'..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention .. Financial politicians..' (no replies)        
'..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention..'

'This Fed has already engineered the next crisis, just as Greenspan kept rates too low for too long, ignored his regulatory responsibility, and engineered the housing bubble and subprime crisis. If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention. The Trump Fed is going to have to deal with that crisis, but we still have many questions as to what a Trump Fed will actually look like or do.'

John Mauldin (Source, Jun 25, 2017)

'..Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

'Powerful people everywhere routinely make decisions that hurt others. We see it in central bankers, politicians, corporate CEOs, religious groups, universities – any large organization. The old saying is right: Power really does corrupt. And corruption is a barrier to sustainable economic growth. This is more than a political problem; it has a serious economic impact.

Recent psychological research suggests that powerful people behave remarkably like traumatic brain injury victims. Controlled experiments show that, given power over others, people often become impulsive and less sensitive to risk. Most important, test subjects often lose empathy, that is, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.


Powerful people also lose a capacity called “mirroring.” When we observe other people doing something, our brains react as if we were doing the same thing. It’s why, when you watch a sporting event, you may unconsciously mimic a golf swing or the referee’s hand signals. Some portion of your brain thinks you are really there. But when researchers prime test subjects with powerful feelings, their mirroring capacity decreases.

You can see why this is a problem. The Protected-class members of the Federal Open Market Committee must feel quite powerful when they gather in that fancy room to make policy decisions. It’s no wonder they forget how their decisions will affect regular working-class people: Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

- Patrick Watson, The Wedge Goes Deeper, June 30, 2017

'..I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest..'

'Re-entering the news flow was a jolt, and not in a good way. Looking with fresh eyes at the economic numbers and central bankers’ statements convinced me that we will soon be in deep trouble. I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest. Just a few months ago, I thought we could avoid a crisis and muddle through. Now I think we’re past that point. The key decision-makers have (1) done nothing, (2) done the wrong thing, or (3) done the right thing too late.

Having realized this, I’m adjusting my research efforts. I believe a major crisis is coming. The questions now are, how severe will it be, and how will we get through it? With the election of President Trump and a Republican Congress, your naïve analyst was hopeful that we would get significant tax reform, in addition to reform of a healthcare system that is simply devastating to so many people and small businesses. I thought maybe we’d see this administration cutting through some bureaucratic red tape quickly. With such reforms in mind I was hopeful we could avoid a recession even if a crisis developed in China or Europe.


One news item I didn’t miss on St. Thomas – and rather wish I had – was Janet Yellen’s reassurance regarding the likelihood of another financial crisis. Here is the full quote.

Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? You know probably that would be going too far, but I do think we’re much safer, and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be. [emphasis added]

I disagree with almost every word in those two sentences, but my belief is less important than Chair Yellen’s. If she really believes this, then she is oblivious to major instabilities that still riddle the financial system. That’s not good.


Financial politicians (which is what central bankers really are) have a long history of saying the wrong things at the wrong time. Far worse, they simply fail to tell the truth. Former Eurogroup leader Jean-Claude Juncker admitted as much: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” he said in the throes of Europe’s 2011 debt crisis.'

- John Mauldin, Prepare for Turbulence, July 9, 2017

'..Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

'This week marks the five-year anniversary of Draghi’s “whatever it takes.” I remember the summer of 2012 as if it were yesterday. From the Bubble analysis perspective, it was a Critical Juncture – for financial markets and risk perceptions, for policy and for the global economy. Italian 10-year yields hit 6.60% on July 24, 2012. On that same day, Spain saw yields surge to 7.62%. Italian banks were in freefall, while European bank stocks (STOXX600) were rapidly approaching 2009 lows. Having risen above 55 in 2011, Deutsche Bank traded at 23.23 on July 25, 2012.

It was my view at the time that the “European” crisis posed a clear and immediate threat to the global financial system. A crisis of confidence in Italian debt (and Spanish and “periphery” debt) risked a crisis of confidence in European banks – and a loss of confidence in European finance risked dismantling the euro monetary regime.

Derivatives markets were in the crosshairs back in 2012. A crisis of confidence in European debt and the euro would surely have tested the derivatives marketplace to the limits. Moreover, with the big European banks having evolved into dominant players in derivatives trading (taking share from U.S. counterparts after the mortgage crisis), counter-party issues were at the brink of becoming a serious global market problem. It’s as well worth mentioning that European banks were major providers of finance for emerging markets.

From the global government finance Bubble perspective, Draghi’s “whatever it takes” was a seminal development. The Bernanke Fed employed QE measures during the 2008 financial crisis to accommodate deleveraging and stabilize dislocated markets. Mario Draghi leapfrogged (helicopter) Bernanke, turning to open-ended QE and other extreme measures to preserve euro monetary integration. No longer would QE be viewed as a temporary crisis management tool. And just completely disregard traditional monetary axiom that central banks should operate as lender of last resort in the event of temporary illiquidity – but must avoid propping up the insolvent. “Whatever it takes” advocates covert bailouts for whomever and whatever a small group of central bankers chooses – illiquid, insolvent, irredeemable or otherwise. Now five years after the first utterance of “whatever it takes,” the Draghi ECB is still pumping out enormous amounts of “money” on a monthly basis (buying sovereigns and corporates) with rates near zero.


Thinking back five years, U.S. markets at the time were incredibly complacent. The risk of crisis in Europe was downplayed: Policymakers had it all under control. Sometime later, the Financial Times - in a fascinating behind-the-scenes exposé - confirmed the gravity of the situation and how frazzled European leaders were at the brink of losing control. Yet central bankers, once again, saved the day – further solidifying their superhero status.

I’m convinced five years of “whatever it takes” took the global government finance Bubble deeper into perilous uncharted territory. Certainly, markets are more complacent than ever, believing central bankers are fully committed to prolonging indefinitely the securities bull market. Meanwhile, leverage, speculative excess and trend-following flows have had an additional five years to accumulate. Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

- Doug Noland, Five Years of Whatever It Takes, July 29, 2017

'..This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.'

'While I've written about numerous valuation measures over time, the most reliable ones share a common feature: they focus on identifying "sufficient statistics" for the very, very long-term stream of cash flows that stocks can be expected to deliver into the hands of investors over time. On that front, revenues are typically more robust "sufficient statistics" than current or year-ahead earnings. See Exhaustion Gaps and the Fear of Missing Out for a table showing the relative reliability of a variety of measures. In April 2007, I estimated that an appropriate valuation for the S&P 500 stood about 850, roughly -40% lower than prevailing levels. By the October peak, the prospective market loss to normal valuation had increased to about -46%. As it happened, the subsequent collapse of the housing bubble took the S&P 500 about -55% lower. In late-October 2008, as the market plunge crossed below historically reliable valuation norms, I observed that the S&P 500 had become undervalued on our measures.

Again attempting to “stimulate” the economy from the recession that followed, the Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates to zero in recent years, provoking yet another episode of yield-seeking speculation, where yield-starved investors created demand for virtually every class of securities, in the hope of achieving returns in excess of zero. Meanwhile, Wall Street, suffering from what J.K. Galbraith once called the “extreme brevity of the financial memory,” convinced itself yet again that the whole episode was built on something more solid than quotes on a screen and blotches of ink on paper..


..greater real economic activity was never the likely outcome of all this quantitative easing (indeed, one can show that the path of the economy since the crisis has not been materially different than what one could have projected using wholly non-monetary variables). Rather, Ben Bernanke, in his self-appointed role as Mad Hatter, was convinced that offensively hypervalued financial markets - that encourage the speculative misallocation of capital, imply dismal expected future returns, and create temporary paper profits that ultimately collapse - somehow represent a greater and more desirable form of “wealth” compared with reasonably-valued financial markets that offer attractive expected returns and help to soundly allocate capital. Believing that wealth is embodied by the price of a security rather than its future stream of cash flows, QE has created a world of hypervaluation, zero prospective future returns, and massive downside risks across nearly every conventional asset class.

And so, the Fed created such an enormous pool of zero interest bank reserves that investors would feel pressure to chase stocks, junk debt, anything to get rid of these yield-free hot potatoes. That didn’t stimulate more real, productive investment; it just created more investors who were frustrated with zero returns, because someone had to hold that base money, and in aggregate, all of them had to hold over $4 trillion of the stuff at every moment in time.

When you look objectively at what the Fed actually did, should be obvious how its actions encouraged this bubble. Every time someone would get rid of zero-interest base money by buying a riskier security, the seller would get the base money, and the cycle would continue until every asset was priced to deliver future returns near zero. We’re now at the point where junk yields are among the lowest in history, stock market valuations are so extreme that we estimate zero or negative S&P 500 average annual nominal total returns over the coming 10-12 year horizon, and our estimate of 12-year prospective total returns on a conventional mix of 60% stocks, 30% Treasury bonds, and 10% Treasury bills has never been lower (about 1% annually here). This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.

Examine all risk exposures, consider your investment horizon and risk-tolerance carefully, commit to the flexibility toward greater market exposure at points where a material retreat in valuations is joined by early improvement in market action (even if the news happens to be very negative at that point), fasten your protective gear, and expect a little bit of whiplash. Remember that the “catalysts” often become evident after prices move, not before. The completion of this market cycle may or may not be immediate, but with the median stock at easily the most extreme price/revenue ratio in history, and a run-of-the-mill outcome now being market loss on the order of -60%, the contrast between recent stability and likely future volatility could hardly be more striking.'

- John P. Hussman, Ph.D., Hot Potatoes and Dutch Tulips, July 31, 2017


(2017) - '..a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929 .. the stage has now been set..'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..'

'..the Next 30 Years: “Everything is Deflationary”..'

          (Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) Dream - Semco Style (no replies)        
Those who make dreams come true get noticed

- Aldowa (A Semco Style Company)

'Leading Wisely is a podcast series by Ricardo Semler about the search for wisdom in organizations. In discussions with business leaders such as Zappos' Tony Hsieh, Basecamp's Jason Friedman and David Heinemeier Hansson and with other experts on the topic such as Frederic Laloux, he challenges assumptions and explores how we can change the way we live and work.

- Killing the dinosaur business model, 2017

'In France, almost every couple of days a company or public sector organization is entering corporate liberation. How about US? Here is one more example on how a company’s leader decided to liberate his company.

Ricardo Semler’s book served as an inspiration. Add to that a deep conviction and a lot of common sense.'

- Freedom Inc, '..corporate liberation.' June 6, 2017

Context (Leaders)

'..I believe in responsibility but not in pyramidal hierarchy .. the negative value of structure. Structure creates hierarchy, and hierarchy creates constraint..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - 'Your physical .. cultural .. soul heredity..'

(To Heal - Teal - Bazaarmodel) - Striving for wholeness '..We have let our busy egos trump the quiet voice of our soul; many cultures often celebrate the mind and neglect the body..'

'I, too, have a pet little evil, to which in more passionate moments I am apt to attribute all the others. This evil is the neglect of thinking. And when I say thinking I mean real thinking, independent thinking, hard thinking.'

- Learning How to Think (Economics - '..acts of choice.' (‘..imagination of alternatives..’))

(Open Source) - '..“open innovation.” Companies such as AstraZeneca, Lilly, GSK, Janssen, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, TransCelerate, and others..'

(Haptopraxeology) - '..the senses were the windows of the soul and that reason had a divine right to feed upon fact..'

(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'

'..to rethink and to rebuild a culture where there are open channels between feeling and understanding..'

(Praxeology) - '..his or her subjective values .. to explain all economic phenomena as the results of what people do..'

'Reinventing Organizations: ..radically more soulful, purposeful and powerful ways to structure and run .. organizations.'

(To Heal)(Management innovation) - '..Teal Organizations to start healing the world..'

(Haptopraxeology) - Students of Civilization

          'The WMO says that the "extreme and unusual" climate and weather trends have continued into 2017..' (no replies)        
'The WMO says that the "extreme and unusual" climate and weather trends have continued into 2017. At least three times this winter, the Arctic experienced the equivalent of a heatwave, as powerful Atlantic storms drove warm, moist air into the region.

Changes in the Arctic and the melting of sea-ice are also leading to a shift in atmospheric circulation patterns impacting other parts of the world. This is causing unusual heat in some areas - In the US, over 11,000 warm temperature records were broken in early 2017.

"Even without a strong El Niño in 2017, we are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system. We are now in truly uncharted territory," said David Carlson, World Climate Research Programme Director at the WMO.

In the face of all this information, climate researchers around the world are irked by the attitude of the Trump government in Washington.'

- Matt McGrath, 'Extreme and unusual' climate trends continue after record 2016, March 21, 2017


Update (February 11, 2017) - '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..')

'..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..'

          (Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..' (no replies)        
'Now that he is president, Trump likes to tout the fact he’s listening to America’s generals. Perhaps he needs to talk to General Mike Millen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Perhaps then he would see that the greatest threat America faces isn’t from China, Russia, or North Korea – it is from the national debt. Until Trump reverses course on military spending, and gets tough on entitlements, his "America First" budget will only make the US worse off.'

- Tho Bishop (Source, March 20, 2017)

'..a crippling national debt..'

'Under a Republican budget resolution, the national debt will explode by a third from an already staggering $19 billion to $29 trillion over the next ten years. Although counterintuitive, Democratic presidents, at least those after World War II, have reduced deficits as a portion of the value of the national economy (GDP) while Republican presidents have increased them — thus accumulating less public debt as a percentage of GDP. Yet neither political party has paid enough attention to this burgeoning national security problem.

National security problem? Yes. General Mike Mullen, while he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s top military man, was enlightened enough about long-term health of American power to realize that it takes continuing infusions of money to acquire the weapons and equipment, personnel, training, maintenance and benefits to create a credible military to adequately defend the country. In addition, all other indices of national power — political, diplomatic and cultural — require money too.

To generate those resources, a strong economy is needed. The number one problem dragging down economic growth rates through the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidencies was a crippling national debt..'

- Ivan Eland, National debt is our biggest security threat: Column, January 11, 2017


'..World Debt Hits $152 Trillion.'

'Our nation and the world are paying a very heavy price for a failed experiment in Inflationism..' - Doug Noland

'..Global policies since the 2008 crisis have spurred the expansion of speculative finance to multiples of pre-crisis levels..'

'Germany Plans to Cut 2017 Debt Sales .. Balanced-Budget..'

'..monetary knowledge .. of currency reform under difficult conditions you have to go to Carl Menger.'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..The Theory of Money and Credit .. an invaluable guide for ending the business cycles of our own time.'

(Banking Reform - English/Dutch) '..a truly stable financial and monetary system for the twenty-first century..'

          Update (February 11, 2017) - '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..') (no replies)        
Update February 11, 2017: 'In an interview on Monday with E&E News, Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post, and from the way his criticisms were portrayed in the Mail on Sunday article.

“The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data,” he said, “but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was.”

Climate Home, a nonprofit site based in London that offers news and analysis, also weighed in on one of the central contentions of Mr. Rose’s article, that the publication of the NOAA paper had "duped” policy makers into adopting the Paris accord. The site contacted representatives to the talks from 10 countries; none said that the paper had any influence.'

- Henry Fountain, No Data Manipulation in 2015 Climate Study, Researchers Say, February 7, 2016

Update February 09, 2017: 'Dr Bates’ main complaint is that Dr Karl and his co-authors did not follow strict procedures required for NOAA’s ‘operational’ data. It is not yet clear whether Dr Karl should have subjected his research data to the same procedures. Dr Karl, who retired from NOAA in August 2016, has not yet had the opportunity to respond fully to Dr Bates’ allegations.'

- LSE: More fake news in ‘The Mail on Sunday’, February 5, 2017 (Wikipedia Bans Daily Mail As 'Unreliable' Source, February 08, 2017))

'..a failure to observe proper ethical standards..'

'Dr John Bates’s disclosures about the manipulation of data behind the ‘Pausebuster’ paper is the biggest scientific scandal since ‘Climategate’ in 2009 when, as this paper reported, thousands of leaked emails revealed scientists were trying to block access to data, and using a ‘trick’ to conceal embarrassing flaws in their claims about global warming.

Both scandals suggest a lack of transparency and, according to Dr Bates, a failure to observe proper ethical standards.

Because of NOAA ’s failure to ‘archive’ data used in the paper, its results can never be verified.

Like Climategate, this scandal is likely to reverberate around the world, and reignite some of science’s most hotly contested debates.'

- Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data, February 4, 2017

'Whatever takes its place, said Dr Bates, ‘there needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results. I’m hoping that this will be a wake-up call to the climate science community – a signal that we have to put in place processes to make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.


Dr Bates said: ‘How ironic it is that there is now this idea that Trump is going to trash climate data, when key decisions were earlier taken by someone whose responsibility it was to maintain its integrity – and failed.’ '

'Dr Bates retired from NOAA at the end of last year after a 40-year career in meteorology and climate science. As recently as 2014, the Obama administration awarded him a special gold medal for his work in setting new, supposedly binding standards ‘to produce and preserve climate data records’.


Less than two years earlier, a blockbuster report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which drew on the work of hundreds of scientists around the world, had found ‘a much smaller increasing trend over the past 15 years 1998-2012 than over the past 30 to 60 years’. Explaining the pause became a key issue for climate science. It was seized on by global warming sceptics, because the level of CO2 in the atmosphere had continued to rise.


In the weeks after the Pausebuster paper was published, Dr Bates conducted a one-man investigation into this. His findings were extraordinary. Not only had Mr Karl and his colleagues failed to follow any of the formal procedures required to approve and archive their data, they had used a ‘highly experimental early run’ of a programme that tried to combine two previously separate sets of records.


Dr Bates revealed that the failure to archive and make available fully documented data not only violated NOAA rules, but also those set down by Science. Before he retired last year, he continued to raise the issue internally. Then came the final bombshell. Dr Bates said: ‘I learned that the computer used to process the software had suffered a complete failure.’

The reason for the failure is unknown, but it means the Pausebuster paper can never be replicated or verified by other scientists.


Whatever takes its place, said Dr Bates, ‘there needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results. I’m hoping that this will be a wake-up call to the climate science community – a signal that we have to put in place processes to make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.

Dr Bates said: ‘How ironic it is that there is now this idea that Trump is going to trash climate data, when key decisions were earlier taken by someone whose responsibility it was to maintain its integrity – and failed.’

NOAA not only failed, but it effectively mounted a cover-up when challenged over its data. After the paper was published, the US House of Representatives Science Committee launched an inquiry into its Pausebuster claims. NOAA refused to comply with subpoenas demanding internal emails from the committee chairman, the Texas Republican Lamar Smith, and falsely claimed that no one had raised concerns about the paper internally.'

- Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data, February 4, 2017

Context '..conduct more meetings on ethics .. Respectful discussion of different points of view should be encouraged.' - John Bates

Climategate: Follow the Money - By Bret Stephens

Those Who Control the Past Control the Future, Climate Data Edition, February 5, 2017

'..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..'

'Trees are the best known ‘technology’ to cool our planet'

Focus Fusion - '..So, production reactors by 2020 or so.'

(Earth Defence - Earth Shield) - Faraday - Tesla - 'The Accelerating Winds of Venus.' (Electric Universe - Solar Climate Change)

(The Electric Universe - Earth Defence - Earth Shield) - Electric Fossils and Thundercrabs

(The Electric Universe) - '..weather systems .. an electric “wind” surrounds and often precedes an electric arc.'

(Thymology - Haptopraxeology) - '..entrepreneurship .. actions he will carry out and estimates the future effect of those actions..'

'...The peer review process is broken...' - '...don't have the "situational awareness"...'

On the Mail on Sunday article on Karl et al., 2015, February 5, 2017

          'We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war.' - Sidney Drell (no replies)        
'..My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

'The harsh rhetoric on both sides increases the danger of miscalculations and mistakes, as do other factors. Close encounters between the military aircraft of the United States and Russia have become routine, creating the potential for an unintended conflict. Many of the nuclear-weapon systems on both sides are aging and obsolete. The personnel who operate those systems often suffer from poor morale and poor training. None of their senior officers has firsthand experience making decisions during an actual nuclear crisis. And today’s command-and-control systems must contend with threats that barely existed during the Cold War: malware, spyware, worms, bugs, viruses, corrupted firmware, logic bombs, Trojan horses, and all the other modern tools of cyber warfare. The greatest danger is posed not by any technological innovation but by a dilemma that has haunted nuclear strategy since the first detonation of an atomic bomb: How do you prevent a nuclear attack while preserving the ability to launch one?


..the Cuban Missile Crisis, when a series of misperceptions, miscalculations, and command-and-control problems almost started an accidental nuclear war—despite the determination of both John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev to avoid one. In perhaps the most dangerous incident, the captain of a Soviet submarine mistakenly believed that his vessel was under attack by U.S. warships and ordered the firing of a torpedo armed with a nuclear warhead. His order was blocked by a fellow officer. Had the torpedo been fired, the United States would have retaliated with nuclear weapons. At the height of the crisis, while leaving the White House on a beautiful fall evening, McNamara had a strong feeling of dread—and for good reason: “I feared I might never live to see another Saturday night.”


The personnel who command, operate, and maintain the Minuteman III have also become grounds for concern. In 2013, the two-star general in charge of the entire Minuteman force was removed from duty after going on a drunken bender during a visit to Russia, behaving inappropriately with young Russian women, asking repeatedly if he could sing with a Beatles cover band at a Mexican restaurant in Moscow, and insulting his military hosts. The following year, almost a hundred Minuteman launch officers were disciplined for cheating on their proficiency exams. In 2015, three launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Montana, were dismissed for using illegal drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine, and amphetamines. That same year, a launch officer at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for heading a violent street gang, distributing drugs, sexually assaulting a girl under the age of sixteen, and using psilocybin, a powerful hallucinogen. As the job title implies, launch officers are entrusted with the keys for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles.


..A recent memoir, “Uncommon Cause,” written by General George Lee Butler, reveals that the Pentagon was not telling the truth. Butler was the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, responsible for all of America’s nuclear weapons, during the Administration of President George H. W. Bush.

According to Butler and Franklin Miller, a former director of strategic-forces policy at the Pentagon, launch-on-warning was an essential part of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (siop), the nation’s nuclear-war plan. Land-based missiles like the Minuteman III were aimed at some of the most important targets in the Soviet Union, including its anti-aircraft sites. If the Minuteman missiles were destroyed before liftoff, the siop would go awry, and American bombers might be shot down before reaching their targets. In order to prevail in a nuclear war, the siop had become dependent on getting Minuteman missiles off the ground immediately. Butler’s immersion in the details of the nuclear command-and-control system left him dismayed. “With the possible exception of the Soviet nuclear war plan, [the siop] was the single most absurd and irresponsible document I had ever reviewed in my life,” Butler concluded. “We escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.” The siop called for the destruction of twelve thousand targets within the Soviet Union. Moscow would be struck by four hundred nuclear weapons; Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, by about forty.

After the end of the Cold War, a Russian surprise attack became extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, hundreds of Minuteman III missiles remained on alert. The Cold War strategy endured because, in theory, it deterred a Russian attack on the missiles. McNamara called the policy “insane,” arguing that “there’s no military requirement for it.” George W. Bush, while running for President in 2000, criticized launch-on-warning, citing the “unacceptable risks of accidental or unauthorized launch.” Barack Obama, while running for President in 2008, promised to take Minuteman missiles off alert, warning that policies like launch-on-warning “increase the risk of catastrophic accidents or miscalculation.” Twenty scientists who have won the Nobel Prize, as well as the Union of Concerned Scientists, have expressed strong opposition to retaining a launch-on-warning capability. It has also been opposed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Senator Sam Nunn. And yet the Minuteman III missiles still sit in their silos today, armed with warheads, ready to go.

William J. Perry, who served as Secretary of Defense during the Clinton Administration, not only opposes keeping Minuteman III missiles on alert but advocates getting rid of them entirely. “These missiles are some of the most dangerous weapons in the world,” Perry wrote in the Times, this September. For many reasons, he thinks the risk of a nuclear catastrophe is greater today than it was during the Cold War. While serving as an Under-Secretary of Defense in 1980, Perry also received a late-night call about an impending Soviet attack, a false alarm that still haunts him. “A catastrophic nuclear war could have started by accident.”

Bruce Blair, a former Minuteman launch officer, heads the anti-nuclear group Global Zero, teaches at Princeton University, and campaigns against a launch-on-warning policy. Blair has described the stresses that the warning of a Russian attack would put on America’s command-and-control system. American early-warning satellites would detect Russian missiles within three minutes of their launch. Officers at norad would confer for an additional three minutes, checking sensors to decide if an attack was actually occurring. The Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack System collects data from at least two independent information sources, relying on different physical principles, such as ground-based radar and satellite-based infrared sensors. If the norad officials thought that the warning was legitimate, the President of the United States would be contacted. He or she would remove the Black Book from a briefcase carried by a military aide. The Black Book describes nuclear retaliatory options, presented in cartoon-like illustrations that can be quickly understood.


Although the Air Force publicly dismissed the threat of a cyberattack on the nuclear command-and-control system, the incident raised alarm within the Pentagon about the system’s vulnerability. A malfunction that occurred by accident might also be caused deliberately. Those concerns were reinforced by a Defense Science Board report in January, 2013. It found that the Pentagon’s computer networks had been “built on inherently insecure architectures that are composed of, and increasingly using, foreign parts.” Red teams employed by the board were able to disrupt Pentagon systems with “relative ease,” using tools available on the Internet. “The complexity of modern software and hardware makes it difficult, if not impossible, to develop components without flaws or to detect malicious insertions,” the report concluded.

In a recent paper for the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, Andrew Futter, an associate professor at the University of Leicester, suggested that a nuclear command-and-control system might be hacked to gather intelligence about the system, to shut down the system, to spoof it, mislead it, or cause it to take some sort of action—like launching a missile. And, he wrote, there are a variety of ways it might be done.


Strict precautions have been taken to thwart a cyberattack on the U.S. nuclear command-and-control system. Every line of nuclear code has been scrutinized for errors and bugs. The system is “air-gapped,” meaning that its networks are closed: someone can’t just go onto the Internet and tap into a computer at a Minuteman III control center. At least, that’s the theory. Russia, China, and North Korea have sophisticated cyber-warfare programs and techniques. General James Cartwright—the former head of the U.S. Strategic Command who recently pleaded guilty to leaking information about Stuxnet—thinks that it’s reasonable to believe the system has already been penetrated. “You’ve either been hacked, and you’re not admitting it, or you’re being hacked and don’t know it,” Cartwright said last year.

If communications between Minuteman control centers and their missiles are interrupted, the missiles can still be launched by ultra-high-frequency radio signals transmitted by special military aircraft. The ability to launch missiles by radio serves as a backup to the control centers—and also creates an entry point into the network that could be exploited in a cyberattack. The messages sent within the nuclear command-and-control system are highly encrypted. Launch codes are split in two, and no single person is allowed to know both parts. But the complete code is stored in computers—where it could be obtained or corrupted by an insider.

Some of America’s most secret secrets were recently hacked and stolen by a couple of private contractors working inside the N.S.A., Edward Snowden and Harold T. Martin III, both employees of Booz Allen Hamilton. The N.S.A. is responsible for generating and encrypting the nuclear launch codes. And the security of the nuclear command-and-control system is being assured not only by government officials but also by the employees of private firms, including software engineers who work for Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Lord Des Browne, a former U.K. Minister of Defense, is concerned that even ballistic-missile submarines may be compromised by malware. Browne is now the vice-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit seeking to reduce the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction, where he heads a task force examining the risk of cyberattacks on nuclear command-and-control systems. Browne thinks that the cyber threat is being cavalierly dismissed by many in power. The Royal Navy’s decision to save money by using Windows for Submarines, a version of Windows XP, as the operating system for its ballistic-missile subs seems especially shortsighted. Windows XP was discontinued six years ago, and Microsoft warned that any computer running it after April, 2014, “should not be considered protected as there will be no security updates.” Each of the U.K. subs has eight missiles carrying a total of forty nuclear weapons. “It is shocking to think that my home computer is probably running a newer version of Windows than the U.K.’s military submarines,” Brown said.In 2013, General C. Robert Kehler, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the risk of cyberattacks on the nuclear command-and-control system. He expressed confidence that the U.S. system was secure. When Senator Bill Nelson asked if somebody could hack into the Russian or Chinese systems and launch a ballistic missile carrying a nuclear warhead, Kehler replied, “Senator, I don’t know . . . I do not know.”

After the debacle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union became much more reluctant to provoke a nuclear confrontation with the United States. Its politburo was a committee of conservative old men. Russia’s leadership is quite different today. The current mix of nationalism, xenophobia, and vehement anti-Americanism in Moscow is a far cry from the more staid and secular ideology guiding the Soviet Union in the nineteen-eighties. During the past few years, threats about the use of nuclear weapons have become commonplace in Moscow. Dmitry Kiselyov, a popular newscaster and the Kremlin’s leading propagandist, reminded viewers in 2014 that Russia is “the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust.” The Kremlin has acknowledged the development of a nuclear torpedo that can travel more than six thousand miles underwater before devastating a coastal city. It has also boasted about a fearsome new missile design. Nicknamed “Satan 2” and deployed with up to sixteen nuclear warheads, the missile will be “capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France,” an official news agency claimed.


Russia’s greatest strategic vulnerability is the lack of a sophisticated and effective early-warning system. The Soviet Union had almost a dozen satellites in orbit that could detect a large-scale American attack. The system began to deteriorate in 1996, when an early-warning satellite had to be retired. Others soon fell out of orbit, and Russia’s last functional early-warning satellite went out of service two years ago. Until a new network of satellites can be placed in orbit, the country must depend on ground-based radar units. Unlike the United States, Russia no longer has two separate means of validating an attack warning. At best, the radar units can spot warheads only minutes before they land. Pavel Podvig, a senior fellow at the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research, believes that Russia does not have a launch-on-warning policy—because its early-warning system is so limited.

For the past nine years, I’ve been immersed in the minutiae of nuclear command and control, trying to understand the actual level of risk. Of all the people whom I’ve met in the nuclear realm, Sidney Drell was one of the most brilliant and impressive. Drell died this week, at the age of ninety. A theoretical physicist with expertise in quantum field theory and quantum chromodynamics, he was for many years the deputy director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator and received the National Medal of Science from Obama, in 2013. Drell was one of the founding members of jason—a group of civilian scientists that advises the government on important technological matters—and for fifty-six years possessed a Q clearance, granting him access to the highest level of classified information. Drell participated in top-secret discussions about nuclear strategy for decades, headed a panel that investigated nuclear-weapon safety for the U.S. Congress in 1990, and worked on technical issues for jason until the end of his life. A few months ago, when I asked for his opinion about launch-on-warning, Drell said, “It’s insane, the worst thing I can think of. You can’t have a worse idea.”

Drell was an undergraduate at Princeton University when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. Given all the close calls and mistakes in the seventy-one years since then, he considered it a miracle that no other cities have been destroyed by a nuclear weapon—“it is so far beyond my normal optimism.” The prospect of a new cold war—and the return of military strategies that advocate using nuclear weapons on the battlefield—deeply unnerved him. Once the first nuclear weapon detonates, nothing might prevent the conflict from spiralling out of control. “We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war,” he said.


Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin confront a stark choice: begin another nuclear-arms race or reduce the threat of nuclear war. Trump now has a unique opportunity to pursue the latter, despite the bluster and posturing on both sides. His admiration for Putin, regardless of its merits, could provide the basis for meaningful discussions about how to minimize nuclear risks. Last year, General James Mattis, the former Marine chosen by Trump to serve as Secretary of Defense, called for a fundamental reappraisal of American nuclear strategy and questioned the need for land-based missiles. During Senate testimony, Mattis suggested that getting rid of such missiles would “reduce the false-alarm danger.” Contrary to expectations, Republican Presidents have proved much more successful than their Democratic counterparts at nuclear disarmament. President George H. W. Bush cut the size of the American arsenal in half, as did his son, President George W. Bush. And President Ronald Reagan came close to negotiating a treaty with the Soviet Union that would have completely abolished nuclear weapons.

Every technology embodies the values of the age in which it was created. When the atomic bomb was being developed in the mid-nineteen-forties, the destruction of cities and the deliberate targeting of civilians was just another military tactic. It was championed as a means to victory. The Geneva Conventions later classified those practices as war crimes—and yet nuclear weapons have no other real use. They threaten and endanger noncombatants for the sake of deterrence. Conventional weapons can now be employed to destroy every kind of military target, and twenty-first-century warfare puts an emphasis on precision strikes, cyberweapons, and minimizing civilian casualties. As a technology, nuclear weapons have become obsolete. What worries me most isn’t the possibility of a cyberattack, a technical glitch, or a misunderstanding starting a nuclear war sometime next week. My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

- Eric Schlosser, World War Three, By Mistake, December 23, 2016


The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

          (Haptopraxeology) - Students of Civilization (no replies)        
'I remain optimistic, but even more cautiously than before. If 2016 taught me anything, it was that we economists should stick to our jobs as "students of civilization" as the founding members of the Austrian School saw their intellectual mission.


..We have the tools and mentality to be 'students of civilization" as our intellectual tradition demands.'

- Peter Boettke, 2016: A Year in a Life, December 29, 2016

'This book argues that the work of the Austrian economists, including Carl Menger, Joseph Schumpeter, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, has been too narrowly interpreted. Through a study of Viennese politics and culture, it demonstrates that the project they were engaged in was much broader: the study and defense of a liberal civilization. Erwin Dekker shows the importance of the civilization in their work and how they conceptualized their own responsibilities toward that civilization, which was attacked left and right during the interwar period. Dekker argues that what differentiates their position is that they thought of themselves primarily as students of that civilization rather than as social scientists, or engineers. This unique focus and approach is related to the Viennese setting of the circles, which constitute the heart of Viennese intellectual life in the interwar period.

• Corrects the one-sided view on Austrian economists which dominates the literature • Investigates how economics was transformed into a modern engineering science and what was lost in the process • Helps the reader understand how the Austrian economists regarded their role and responsibilities as scholars and citizens'

- The Viennese Students of Civilization, 2014

Context 'A judgment of value .. a man's affective response to definite conditions of the universe..' - Ludwig von Mises

'..dismantle the Marxist myth..' - 'Karl Marx, False consciousness'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - '..is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school?'

(The Electric Universe) - SAFIRE as Astrophysical Laboratory | EU2016

The Christmas Truce of 1914 - '..what might have happened if the truce had spread and this had caused the war to end earlier..'

(To Heal - Teal - Bazaarmodel) - Striving for wholeness '..We have let our busy egos trump the quiet voice of our soul; many cultures often celebrate the mind and neglect the body..'

'..how socialism actually produces a superclass of elites and a form of socio-economic apartheid..'

Presentation: Phase I (2012 - 2022) - The Beginning

          (Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - '..is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school?' (no replies)        
'This factory-like system seems increasingly out of date. More and more people are crying out for innovation in education and starting to experiment with curricula, technologies, and governance in schools. But is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school? And what would it look like? A superb example can be found in the center of Berlin in Germany. The “ESBZ” is a grade 7-12 school that opened its doors in 2007 with more than a bit of improvisation. Just three months before the start of the school year, the city council had suddenly given a decrepit prefabricated building from communist times to a group of pesky parents who simply wouldn’t let go of their dream. When the school year started, only 16 students were registered. A few months later, at the mid-year point, 30 more students had joined, mostly rejects and troublemakers other schools had expelled. Hardly a promising start for a new school. And yet today, only a few years later, the school has 500 students and attracts hundreds of principals, teachers, and education specialists from all over the country who want to study the ESBZ model.'

- Frederic Laloux, (Reinventing Organizations, Chapter 2.2 _ Self-management Structures), page 93

'..Yet unlike Sudbury, Montessori or Steiner schools, Rasfeld’s institution tries to embed student self-determination within a relatively strict system of rules. Students who dawdle during lessons have to come into school on Saturday morning to catch up, a punishment known as “silentium”. “The more freedom you have, the more structure you need,” says Rasfeld.

The main reason why the ESBC is gaining a reputation as Germany’s most exciting school is that its experimental philosophy has managed to deliver impressive results..'

'..At Oberländer’s school, there are no grades until students turn 15, no timetables and no lecture-style instructions. The pupils decide which subjects they want to study for each lesson and when they want to take an exam.

The school’s syllabus reads like any helicopter parent’s nightmare. Set subjects are limited to maths, German, English and social studies, supplemented by more abstract courses such as “responsibility” and “challenge”. For challenge, students aged 12 to 14 are given €150 (£115) and sent on an adventure that they have to plan entirely by themselves. Some go kayaking; others work on a farm. Anton went trekking along England’s south coast.

The philosophy behind these innovations is simple: as the requirements of the labour market are changing, and smartphones and the internet are transforming the ways in which young people process information, the school’s headteacher, Margret Rasfeld, argues, the most important skill a school can pass down to its students is the ability to motivate themselves.

“Look at three or four year olds – they are all full of self-confidence,” Rasfeld says. “Often, children can’t wait to start school. But frustratingly, most schools then somehow manage to untrain that confidence.”

The Evangelical School Berlin Centre (ESBC) is trying to do nothing less than “reinvent what a school is”, she says. “The mission of a progressive school should be to prepare young people to cope with change, or better still, to make them look forward to change. In the 21st century, schools should see it as their job to develop strong personalities.”

Making students listen to a teacher for 45 minutes and punishing them for collaborating on an exercise, Rasfeld says, was not only out of sync with the requirements of the modern world of work, but counterproductive. “Nothing motivates students more than when they discover the meaning behind a subject of their own accord.”

Students at her school are encouraged to think up other ways to prove their acquired skills, such as coding a computer game instead of sitting a maths exam. Oberländer, who had never been away from home for three weeks until he embarked on his challenge in Cornwall, said he learned more English on his trip than he had in several years of learning the language at school.

Germany’s federalised education structure, in which each of the 16 states plans its own education system, has traditionally allowed “free learning” models to flourish. Yet unlike Sudbury, Montessori or Steiner schools, Rasfeld’s institution tries to embed student self-determination within a relatively strict system of rules. Students who dawdle during lessons have to come into school on Saturday morning to catch up, a punishment known as “silentium”. “The more freedom you have, the more structure you need,” says Rasfeld.

The main reason why the ESBC is gaining a reputation as Germany’s most exciting school is that its experimental philosophy has managed to deliver impressive results..


Aged 65 and due to retire in July, Rasfeld still has ambitious plans. A four-person “education innovation lab” based at the school has been developing teaching materials for schools that want to follow the ESBC’s lead. About 40 schools in Germany are in the process of adopting some or all of Rasfeld’s methods. One in Berlin’s Weissensee district recently let a student trek across the Alps for a challenge project. “Things are only getting started,” says Rasfeld.

“In education, you can only create change from the bottom – if the orders come from the top, schools will resist. Ministries are like giant oil tankers: it takes a long time to turn them around. What we need is lots of little speedboats to show you can do things differently.” '

- Philip Oltermann, No grades, no timetable: Berlin school turns teaching upside down, July 1, 2016


(To Heal - Teal - Bazaarmodel) - Striving for wholeness '..We have let our busy egos trump the quiet voice of our soul; many cultures often celebrate the mind and neglect the body..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - 'Your physical .. cultural .. soul heredity..'

(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'

(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'

          '..Russia .. cyberpower proved the perfect weapon .. political sabotage..' (no replies)        
' “We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”


Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends..


..The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.


..the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon..


What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '

'..the White House’s reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.


..President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia moved beyond mere espionage to deliberately try to subvert American democracy and pick the winner of the presidential election.


..A low-cost, high-impact weapon that Russia had test-fired in elections from Ukraine to Europe was trained on the United States, with devastating effectiveness. For Russia, with an enfeebled economy and a nuclear arsenal it cannot use short of all-out war, cyberpower proved the perfect weapon: cheap, hard to see coming, hard to trace.


The United States had two decades of warning that Russia’s intelligence agencies were trying to break into America’s most sensitive computer networks. But the Russians have always managed to stay a step ahead.

Their first major attack was detected on Oct. 7, 1996, when a computer operator at the Colorado School of Mines discovered some nighttime computer activity he could not explain. The school had a major contract with the Navy, and the operator warned his contacts there. But as happened two decades later at the D.N.C., at first “everyone was unable to connect the dots,” said Thomas Rid, a scholar at King’s College in London who has studied the attack.

Investigators gave it a name — Moonlight Maze — and spent two years, often working day and night, tracing how it hopped from the Navy to the Department of Energy to the Air Force and NASA. In the end, they concluded that the total number of files stolen, if printed and stacked, would be taller than the Washington Monument.

Whole weapons designs were flowing out the door, and it was a first taste of what was to come: an escalating campaign of cyberattacks around the world.


The Russians were also quicker to turn their attacks to political purposes. A 2007 cyberattack on Estonia, a former Soviet republic that had joined NATO, sent a message that Russia could paralyze the country without invading it. The next year cyberattacks were used during Russia’s war with Georgia.


Mr. Obama was briefed regularly on all this, but he made a decision that many in the White House now regret: He did not name Russians publicly, or issue sanctions. There was always a reason: fear of escalating a cyberwar, and concern that the United States needed Russia’s cooperation in negotiations over Syria.

“We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”


Last year, the attacks became more aggressive. Russia hacked a major French television station, frying critical hardware. Around Christmas, it attacked part of the power grid in Ukraine, dropping a portion of the country into darkness, killing backup generators and taking control of generators. In retrospect, it was a warning shot.


..CrowdStrike’s nicknames for the two Russian hacking groups that the firm found at work inside the D.N.C. network. Cozy Bear — the group also known as the Dukes or A.P.T. 29, for “advanced persistent threat” — may or may not be associated with the F.S.B., the main successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B., but it is widely believed to be a Russian government operation. It made its first appearance in 2014, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike’s co-founder and chief technology officer.


Only in March 2016 did Fancy Bear show up — first penetrating the computers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and then jumping to the D.N.C., investigators believe. Fancy Bear, sometimes called A.P.T. 28 and believed to be directed by the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence agency, is an older outfit, tracked by Western investigators for nearly a decade. It was Fancy Bear that got hold of Mr. Podesta’s email.


It was bad enough that Russian hackers had been spying inside the committee’s network for months. Now the public release of documents had turned a conventional espionage operation into something far more menacing: political sabotage, an unpredictable, uncontrollable menace for Democratic campaigns.


Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and editor, has resisted the conclusion that his site became a pass-through for Russian hackers working for Mr. Putin’s government or that he was deliberately trying to undermine Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. But the evidence on both counts appears compelling.


Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends. The media’s appetite for the hacked material, and its focus on the gossipy content instead of the Russian source, disturbed some of those whose personal emails were being reposted across the web.


In late 2014, hackers working for Kim Jong-un, the North’s young and unpredictable leader, had carried out a well-planned attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment intended to stop the Christmastime release of a comedy about a C.I.A. plot to kill Mr. Kim.

In that case, embarrassing emails had also been released. But the real damage was done to Sony’s own systems: More than 70 percent of its computers melted down when a particularly virulent form of malware was released. Within weeks, intelligence agencies traced the attack back to the North and its leadership. Mr. Obama called North Korea out in public, and issued some not-very-effective sanctions. The Chinese even cooperated, briefly cutting off the North’s internet connections.

As the first Situation Room meetings on the Russian hacking began in July, “it was clear that Russia was going to be a much more complicated case,” said one participant. The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.


..code was put out in the open by the Russians as a warning: Retaliate for the D.N.C., and there are a lot more secrets, from the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon, that might be spilled as well. One senior official compared it to the scene in “The Godfather” where the head of a favorite horse is left in a bed, as a warning.


As the year draws to a close, it now seems possible that there will be multiple investigations of the Russian hacking — the intelligence review Mr. Obama has ordered completed by Jan. 20, the day he leaves office, and one or more congressional inquiries. They will wrestle with, among other things, Mr. Putin’s motive.


Did he seek to mar the brand of American democracy, to forestall anti-Russian activism for both Russians and their neighbors? Or to weaken the next American president, since presumably Mr. Putin had no reason to doubt American forecasts that Mrs. Clinton would win easily? Or was it, as the C.I.A. concluded last month, a deliberate attempt to elect Mr. Trump?

In fact, the Russian hack-and-dox scheme accomplished all three goals.

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '

- Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger and Scott Shane, The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S., December 13, 2016

Context '[Russia] may become a threat to the world. That is the worst thing that could happen to Russia.' - Yegor Gaidar

'..Russian strategy of hybrid influence and destabilization .. German Council on Foreign Relations.'

'German intelligence says Russia is trying to destabilize German society..' - '..war that Moscow is waging against the West..'

'[Putin is doing] anything that can and will expand Russian influence to U.S.S.R.-era levels of power.'

'..Zero tolerance for Russian intrusions .. Estonia .. policy of publicly naming or prosecuting spies..'

'..the Soviet Union was cut off from Western financial markets and was effectively under permanent sanctions..'

          Commentaires sur Donald Le grand gagnant par USA: L’élection présidentielle truquée ou la rengaine de Trump et des républicains – AF2050        
[…] des argumentscomplotistes. Le milliardaire fut l’un des plus acharnés propagateurs des doutes sur la naissance de Barack Obama. Le candidat avait également accusé de fraude son principal challenger dans le camp républicain […]
          Commentaires sur Donald Le grand gagnant par L'élection présidentielle truquée ou la rengaine de Trump et des républicains – MediaVor        
[…] arguments complotistes. Le milliardaire fut l’un des plus acharnés propagateurs des doutes sur la naissance de Barack Obama. Le candidat avait également accusé de fraude son principal challenger dans le camp […]
          Pastor: Trump har rätt att oskadliggöra Kim Jong-un        
Alla medel är tillåtna mot en regim som Nordkorea. Det påstår inflytelserika pastorn Robert Jeffress, som säger att "Gud har gett Trump rätt avsätta Kim Jong-un"..
          2015 Emmys Host Andy Samberg Touches On All Liberal Talking Points in His Opener        

2015 Emmy host Andy Samberg made sure to touch on all current lib talking points for his opener tonight: diversity, the wage gap, Donald Trump's racism, and even Kim Davis!

          Gideon's Trumpet: How One Man, a Poor Prisoner, Took His Case to the Supreme Court-and Changed the Law of the United States        
Gideon's Trumpet: How One Man, a Poor Prisoner, Took His Case to the Supreme Court-and Changed the Law of the United States
author: Anthony Lewis
name: Marisa
average rating: 3.87
book published: 1964
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2016/07/08
shelves: to-read

          Why do some men get grouchier as they age?        

Donald Trump, 66, shows his grumpy stripes in frequent Twitter outbursts. Some call it “grumpy old man complex.” Other experts label it: “irritable male syndrome,” a spike in the outward crankiness of guys of a certain age. As more baby boomers hit 60  be ready for more grouchy outbursts, like a Donald Trump rant set to explode.

          Weekly News: The Transgender Military Ban        
This episode of You Are Here looks into Trump's controversial declaration that transgender individuals can no longer serve in the military. Recent Posts A Farewell... Read More
          Dear Trump Supporters        

If the very text of the Declaration of Indpendence, being read out on the Fourth of July, sounds to you like a propoganda attack against your guy in the White House, then I submit the problem is with your guy in  the White House.  Not with the Declaration of Independence, and not with the people

The post Dear Trump Supporters appeared first on The Hathor Legacy.

          Men without college express territorial sexism months after voting Trump        

Bustle just reported that a poll found that half of Americans feel the law should require women to take their husband's names after getting married to them.

The post Men without college express territorial sexism months after voting Trump appeared first on The Hathor Legacy.

          What American White Men Just Admitted to the World        

The next time somebody interrupts your legitimate complaints about a man to chide you, “Now, now, not all men are that way”, you can remind them that in 2016, 63% of white American men told us they are. In order to vote for Trump, there are a couple of things you have to believe. At

The post What American White Men Just Admitted to the World appeared first on The Hathor Legacy.

          Del G20 al G-Cero: gobernanza global ¿sin Trump? - Elcano Blog        


          Reprise: Ongoing Cover-Up in Badaracco Homicide, Dog Killers, RFK 2nd Shooter & Many Other Matters in the Public Interest        

  • Complete list of SPJ winners

  • 'Therefore whatever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which you have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed on the housetops.'
    - Luke 12:3

    CT SPJ Contest, 2016

  • Complete list

  • Annual dinner

  • Dinner highlight:
  • Diane Smith and Maureen Croteau to be inducted into Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame

  • Partial List of Finalists

    Regional B

    Hartford won’t indemnify cops in killing of child’s dog; Officers’ personal assets attached; CTNewsJunkie; Andy Thibault
  • Complete article

  • Crime levels are surging in Plainfield; Norwich Bulletin; John Penney

    'Problem pockets' worry residents; Stamford Advocate; Nelson Oliveira, John Nickerson

    Lawyers have personal, professional reasons to help Community Speaks Out fight opioid crisis; The Day; Karen Florin

    Bones, tissue, teeth: Small details help investigators identify remains; The Day; Lindsay Boyle

    General Column
    Regional B

    Andy Thibault Cool Justice: Pretend investigations the norm in Badaracco homicide for 32 years; Litchfield County Times; Andy Thibault

  • Complete Article

  • Andy Thibault Cool Justice: Important questions about a homicide are ignored or deflected; Litchfield County Times;

  • Complete Article

  • Cool Justice: How judges and prosecutors circle the wagons to shaft public, protect themselves; Litchfield County Times;

  • Complete Article

  • Rabbi a man for all seasons, all people; News-Times; Brian Koonz

    Why would women vote for a misogynist? ; News-Times; Jacqueline Smith

    High noon in the wild west town of Bethel; News-Times; Jeff Gewert

    Police drug testing not a routine thing; Norwich Bulletin; Brendan Cox

    MPD secrecy standard procedure; Record-Journal; Eric Cotton

    Judge’s ruling says state must re-invent town-by-town system of schools; Record-Journal; Glenn Richter

    We’ve just made the wrong person president; Record-Journal; Glenn Richter

    Football is great, but is it worth the health risks? ; Record-Journal; Jeffery Kurz

    Coping with President Trump; Stamford Advocate; Jeff Gewert

    Biggest little fan meets Moriah; The Chronicle; Jennifer Lemanski

    The Coast Guard museum has no parking plan; The Day; David Collins

    Why was seizure-prone Sen. Maynard driving? ; The Day; David Collins

    Regional B

    No place to play in western Greenwich; Greenwich Time; Emilie Munson

    Cool Justice: RFK Jr. points to forensic evidence of second gunman in his father’s assassination; Litchfield County Times; Andy Thibault

  • Complete Article

  • Year after Nina Coe’s disappearance from Middletown, family pleads for answers; Middletown Press; Cassandra Day

    Plight of low-wage workers worsens; News-Times; Rob Ryser

    Hihchey, Bilda went on $340,000 trip; Norwich Bulletin; Ryan Blessing

    Over decade, many NPU salaries jump 40%; Norwich Bulletin; Ryan Blessing

    Family devastated by loss of ‘hero’ mom killed in Meriden hit-and-run; Record-Journal; Leigh Tauss

    Pedestrians, bicyclists prohibited from accessing new trail through Wallingford condo complex; Record-Journal; Leigh Tauss

    Man who shot at Meriden mosque comes full circle as prison term approaches; Record-Journal; Mike Savino

    We were children, I wasn't the only victim; Stamford Advocate; Amanda Cuda

    Stamford's surging development demolishes old homes; Stamford Advocate; Liz Skalka

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  •           Protecting Our Houses of Worship: Guest Column by Security Expert / Retired NYPD Detective Sergeant         


    Founder & Chief Executive Officer

  • Integrated Security Services

  • According to the Washington Post, “it’s been a bad 2017 for Jews.” During the month of January, 48 bomb threats were called in to Jewish community centers across the country. Also last month, a neo-Nazi made national news by promising to hold a march in Whitefish, Montana to intimidate the town’s small Jewish population.

    This, of course, was followed by another unprecedented press conference by our President during which two reporters were moved to ask Mr. Trump about the rise in anti-Semitism. Many of us were aghast at the President’s rude and dismissive response, and his unwillingness to address the question seriously. The fact is, the country is experiencing an alarming increase of anti-Semitic incidents, and this has been trending upward since 2015. A security report issued by the Department of Homeland Security on protecting houses of worship stated that the United States has approximately 345,000 religious congregations representing 230 denominational groups and roughly 150 million members. Despite being sanctuaries from the troubles of the world, houses of worship have also been targets as violence has spiked across the country in recent years. The killing of nine people at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina was the largest mass shooting in a house of worship since 1991, when nine people were shot at the Wat Promkunaram Buddhist temple in Waddell, Arizona, northwest of Phoenix.

    [Under relentless pressure, the President subsequently denounced anti-Semitism.]

  • Empathy and action: Muslims unite to help fix vandalized Jewish cemeteries

  • The intent of this column is to generate awareness and provide a short guide which contains security practices for religious institutions, parishioners and our non religious communities to help deter threats, mitigate hazards and risks, and minimize the damage caused by an incident in or around a house of worship, including mass casualty events.

    I preface with the word “short” because there is a wide range of methods from programmatic and procedural considerations to technological enhancements that religious facilities and their leadership may consider implementing based upon the most likely threats to their facilities and their available resources. Basic security principals would suggest taking a blended approach to security and safety with the goal of hardening the facility to deter, detect and/or delay a criminal occurrence before it happens. The next steps are equally important and this is where lives are saved and mass casualties are reduced. Selecting the appropriate response to a threat or armed intrusion will help facilitate a safe transition into an effective recovery and restoration of services mode.

    Identifying Your Threats & Vulnerabilities

    Identifying and evaluating a known or potential threat to a given facility is the first step of a security assessment. The results of which will guide the process of developing a security plan. A proper readiness plan will aim to deter a threat or mitigate a threat by reducing the religious facility’s vulnerability to those threats.

    Natural Hazards vs. Targeted Violence

    As stated before, all life safety solutions should be designed using a blended approach to managing risk. Protecting a religious facility means your emergency management plan(s) must address an all-hazard approach to both natural hazards, e.g., infectious diseases and illnesses, fire, and seismic and weather-related events (hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods) as well as targeted attacks. Spontaneous and pre-planned attacks are likely to occur by individual(s) who use firearms; improvised explosive devices (IEDs); vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs); chemical, biological, or radiological attacks; or arson in order to inflict a number of casualties and damage to religious facilities.

    Protective Measures

    As previously mentioned earlier, a house of worship environment is managed by creating layers of protective measures in collaboration with state and local partners that allow religious institutions to deter, detect and delay threats. These layers also allow an institution to consider a threat as soon as possible and to more effectively respond to, further deter, eliminate or mitigate that threat.

    • Technological sensors such as CCTV surveillance cameras or alarms (fire, smoke, wind, and intrusion detection) will trigger informed decision-making.

    • Barriers, such as locked doors or fixed barriers or uniform security personnel should be in place to deter or delay a threat and afford more time for effective decision making.

    • Having the correct inbound and outbound communication network in place will influence a number key decisions. Time, or the lack of time, is a principle disrupter of effective decision-making. Sound communication strategies such as emergency email blasts, voice activated alert systems, and silent alert systems help to improve response to and during a crisis. An effective communication protocol should expand the window of time available to leaders to make sound decisions.

    Additional Measures to Consider:

    • Reporting Procedures

    • Establishing Collaborative Planning Teams

    • Starting an Emergency Operations Plan

    • Define Roles and Responsibilities

    • Notification Procedures

    • Evacuation Lockdown and Shelter‐In‐Place Policies and Procedures

    • Plans for Diverse Needs of Children and Staff

    • Necessary Equipment and Supplies

    • Common Vocabulary

    • Emergency Drills

    Call us at (212) 808-4153, or write us to tell what you think or how we can be of more assistance and remember, always dial 911 first in an emergency!

  • Integrated Security Services

  • About Alan Schissel

  • Cool Justice Editor’s Note: By way of disclosure, Cool Justice is an occasional denizen of Integrated’s Hartford office and once in a while even does a little work …


  • Hartford PI Stars in Network Real-Life Manhunt Show

  •           Resistance at Standing Rock: Dispatches from the Front Lines        


  • Water Protector Legal Collective Files Suit for Excessive Force against Peaceful Protesters

  • Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields’ for Dakota Pipeline Protesters

  • Oceti Sakowin encampment on Oct. 6, 2016. The proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires.

    Story and Photos by John Briggs

    Cool Justice Editor's Note: OK to repost, courtesy of John Briggs and The Cool Justice Report.

    Corporate – Government Alliance Versus the American People

    Native Americans from tribes across the country have gathered on the windswept plains of North Dakota to pray with Mother Earth to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from pumping 500,000 gallons of oil a day beneath the Missouri River. The natives know the pipeline will most certainly leak or break, as have most U.S. pipelines, fouling the water for the Great Sioux Nation and 18 million non-Natives downstream.

    The standoff -- which began in April -- continues as a new U.S. administration ascends to power with a president-elect who campaigned denying human-caused climate change and threatening the Paris Climate accords. This remains the overriding reality despite a mini walk back by Donald Trump pledging an open mind to The New York Times this week.

    Standing Rock illuminates the brazen alliance that has developed between corporate and government interests. Viewed from the front lines, the law has been turned into a fig leaf for repression and suppression. Only the discipline and spiritual clarity of the water protectors and the native elders has kept people from being killed or seriously injured since April when the movement began.

    The fused police-DAPL force is doing everything it can to incite a violent reaction from the resisters so as to crack down, clear the camps, imprison, or even gun down the natives. More than one commentator has found the atmosphere at Standing Rock similar to what led to the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 when 300 Sioux were murdered by government troops who mistook their prayerful Ghost Dance for a war dance.

    A great deal is at issue at Standing Rock. The Sioux and their numerous native and non-native allies face a militarized force whose composition tells us something dark about the complex façade that U.S. democracy has become and suggests the proto-fascist zombi lurking beneath. More deeply, Standing Rock also emblemizes a struggle that is taking place at this moment in human history between two distinct modes of human consciousness.

    One mode is the familiar anthropocentric (human-centered) consciousness that the dominant culture most of us were born into favors—a consciousness that assumes reality is a collection of objects to be extracted, owned, and branded. Humans are the focus of this consciousness, meaning that our concerns about climate change focus primarily on the fate of our own species.

    Distinct from this anthropocentric mind-set is a second, ancient and spiritual mode of awareness that understands that the earth and its landscapes are not objects; they are relationships, including the tangle of relationships that gave us birth. This ancient mode of consciousness is potential in everyone, but for most it has been buried beneath the piles of conceptual objects that we have come to believe constitute our reality.

    The Indigenous Peoples gathered at Standing Rock are guided by this ancient, holistic, earth-mind consciousness, and so they understand that humans are not the most valuable living objects on the planet: we are not in control of the planet; it is not our job to manage nature; rather, our sacred task is to work with Mother Earth and other beings as members of Earth’s family. If we don’t, Mother Earth will make us face this spiritual truth one way or another.

    Guided by their ancient, earth-mind awareness, Native Americans have taken up a role as “water protectors.” “Mni Wiconi, Water is Life” is the slogan of the Standing Rock movement.

    Every day scores of Sioux from North Dakota, South Dakota and nearby states, along with Paiute, Shoshoni, Diné, and a sampling of other Natives from the 300 or so tribes whose flags fly at the Standing Rock encampments set out to pipeline construction sites in a convoy to engage in “actions” on the “front lines.”

    There the protectors sing and pray in the face of physical harassment and arrests by heavily armed police fused with a corporate security force.

    DAPL and their overlord company, Energy Transfer Partners, have lavished campaign contributions on politicians in North Dakota and the U.S. Congress so that they could use the state’s eminent domain powers to force purchase of land for the pipeline all across North Dakota, beginning in the Bakken fields in the northwest corner of the state where the fracked crude oil is extracted. Similar eminent domain arrangements were achieved in other states through which the 1,200-mile line traverses before reaching a river port in Illinois. The company promised Congress and the public that the pipeline would carry oil for 100 percent domestic use only, but it is clear from reporting done by the website The Intercept that the oil will be sold on international markets.

  • Though Promised for Domestic Use, Dakota Access Pipeline May Fuel Oil Exports

  • The DAPL line, now virtually complete except for permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to fill in the link that crosses under the Missouri River, passes just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The DAPL construction runs through sacred burial and archeological grounds that the Lakota people were given free access to by treaties with the U.S. Government in the 19th Century. In mounting their resistance to the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux have been turned into “trespassers on their own land.”

    In late August, the tribe’s lawyers filed a stop work petition in federal court detailing areas where sacred sites would be disturbed if construction continued on its planned trajectory. The federal judge routinely forwarded a copy of the filing to DAPL. Over Labor Day weekend, when the company would not have been expected to work, pipeline crews leapfrogged to the disputed sacred and preemptively bulldozed them under. Too late, the judge granted the Sioux an emergency restraining order, but, then in a curious move, allowed construction in some areas where sacred sites have been discovered. DAPL has ignored a request from the Obama administration not to work in buffer areas on either side of the river. No fines have been imposed for intentionally bulldozing the disputed sacred sites.

  • The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline

  • Burial ground at center of police confrontations is known historical site

  • In recent live-stream videos from the front lines, DAPL-police snipers can be seen perched on top of a sacred mound called Turtle Island, their high-powered rifle crosshairs trained on the water protectors who are standing in prayer in the frigid lake below.

    North Dakota wants the federal government to pick up the tab for the massive expenditures required to keep the Native Americans under their guns. Alternatively, the CEO of Energy Transfers, Kelcy Warren, has offered to pick up the millions-of-dollars tab.

  • ETP CEO Kelcy Warren Says They Have Offered to Pay Protest Related Expenses

  • Native media have documented that DAPL has already been supplying military-style equipment, drones, armored vehicles, riot gear, water canons, concussion grenades and other armaments. The tax-payer-funded and corporate-sponsored front lines phalanx is led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, which has local jurisdiction, reinforced by North Dakota State Troopers, North Dakota National Guard units, sheriffs and police from six nearby states—all interpenetrated by DAPL security (while the FBI lurks in the background). A contingent of Hennepin County, Minnesota, Sheriffs’ Deputies were recalled following protests back home. Residents in the state of Ohio are writing letters and calling legislators to express their distress that their law enforcement has been enlisted into this repressive force.

  • Hennepin Co. sheriff's deputies leave Standing Rock protest

  • Native media’s live stream videos show DAPL security teams in mirror-visor helmets and black ops body armor with no identification, mingling with the police, sometimes directing them when and who to mace or pepper spray. They point out media making video for arrest. The big fossil fuel company evidently has plenty of experience dealing with protestors around the world. In their blank, reflecting visors we can see the soulless Darth Vader face of the government-corporate proto-fascist state the U.S. is becoming.

    Of course, this struggle with the Wasi’chu (Lakota word for the white man, meaning literally “takes too much”) is an old story for Native-Americans. In the 18th and 19th centuries it took the form of the Sioux nations trying to hold back the tsunami of colonizers flooding into their ancestral lands, occupying and despoiling them. The big difference now is that the fire-power of the state (think Custer’s 7th Cavalry or present day militarized police) has been fused with vast profit centers dependent for their existence on plundering the earth in the name of energy-squandering lifestyle survival.

    The provocations the water protectors endure take many forms. There is the psychological pressure of constant surveillance: the heavy police presence on the roads around tribal and reservation lands, the DPLA helicopter and a small plane that circle constantly above the encampments; there is the Bureau of Indian Affairs station set up on a knoll to suck out data from the cell phones of anyone in the area. There is the pepper spraying and tasing of water protectors who are praying. There is the more recent blasting of the protectors with freezing water canons in sub zero weather. There is the constant threat of weapons pointed at them. One twitching trigger finger could set off a slaughter.

    The water protectors are unarmed. The resistance movement does not allow guns in the encampments. One day, at one of the front line actions, an armed man showed up with a pistol and began firing. Possibly he was paid by DAPL to create an incident. The Natives are aware of paid provocateurs or agitators passing through the camps, pulling dirty tricks, looking to start something. Antimedia reported about the man with the gun: “According to an official statement from the tribe, the man fired several shots from his gun before being peacefully apprehended by tribal police. Witnesses at the scene say he pointed his gun at several protesters. The man was clearly trying to provoke violence that could later be used to demonize protesters who have so far remained peaceful.”

    The news site added, “The Morton County Sheriff’s Department circulated a false report claiming the man was shot, presumably by protesters… [As images show], the man was not harmed. The Sheriff’s Department has since retracted that report. Anti-Media’s attempts to obtain clarifying comments from Morton County Sheriffs were ignored.”

  • Dakota Access Caught Infiltrating Protests to Incite Violence, Funding Trolls Online

  • On a hill overlooking Oceti Sakowin, the largest of the Standing Rock encampments, an old army tent houses the field office of the rotating teams of lawyers who come to Standing Rock to help out. They use donations made to the resistance to bail out protectors who have been arrested; they try to negotiate with the police so the protectors can be allowed to pray. The constant arrests on trumped-up charges are an ongoing harassment—people maced or beaten, violently thrown to the ground and zip-tied. Often activists are charged with trespass and “riot” on the Morton County Sheriff’s novel legal theory that if several people are arrested for trespass that must signify that they were engaged in a riot.

    All this naturally requires court time and money to defend, incarceration in usually unpleasant conditions, including dog kennels. (Though the white allies who are arrested seem to get better treatment.)

    Arrests are to be expected as a consequence of civil disobedience. But some arrests are directed at chilling speech. One lawyer who came to Standing Rock from the Oregon-based Civil Liberties Defense Center, an activist defense nonprofit primarily involved in climate protests, https://cldc.org/ told Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network that often after the day’s action was over, police would stop the last cars in the caravan. They would then make “snatch and grab” arrests, impounding the cars of people who had come to support the water protectors but had no expectation that they’d be arrested when the action was over and the police told them to leave. They have to pay heavy fines ($900) to get their cars back. She said the arrests and impoundment fines for their cars are unlawful. “The intention with those types of actions is to scare out-of-towners from being comfortable coming to these actions. So they’re trying to chill the rights of others to come and participate in these protests.”

  • Environmental Lawyer Explains Standing Rock Legal Issues

  • The authorities regularly characterize the natives as terrorists, and local radio spreads false rumors of farm animals being slaughtered and stolen, reported vandalism—the kind of thing you would expect from psychologically projected homesteader fears about savage Indians of earlier centuries.

    Yes, Magazine on Oct. 31 reported: “The county sheriff is claiming the water protectors were violent and that police were stopping a riot. But hours of live video feed from people caught in the confrontation showed instead a military-style assault on unarmed people: police beating people with batons, police with assault rifles, chemical mace, guns firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds, tasers.”

  • Why Police From 7 Different States Invaded a Standing Rock Camp—and Other Questions

  • The UN has sent human rights observers. According to Salon, Nov. 16, 2016: “The U.N. special rapporteur said that American law enforcement officials, private security firms and the North Dakota National Guard have used unjustified force against protesters.

    “ ‘This is a troubling response to people who are taking action to protect natural resources and ancestral territory in the face of profit-seeking activity,’ [Maina] Kiai [U.N. special rapporteur] said in his statement, which was issued by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and was endorsed by several other U.N. experts.

  • Native Americans facing excessive force in North Dakota pipeline protests – UN expert

  • “At least 400 activists have been detained and often have been held in ‘inhuman and degrading conditions in detention,’ Kiai added. Some indigenous protesters have said they were treated like animals and even held in dog kennels.

  • Dakota pipeline protesters say they were detained in dog kennels; 268 arrested in week of police crackdown

  • “ ‘Marking people with numbers and detaining them in overcrowded cages, on the bare concrete floor, without being provided with medical care, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment,’ the U.N. expert said.

    “ ‘The excessive use of State security apparatus to suppress protest against corporate activities that are alleged to violate human rights is wrong,’ he continued, noting that it violates U.N. guidelines on business and human rights.

    “Amnesty International USA, which has repeatedly criticized authorities for not respecting the rights of protesters, issued another statement on Tuesday noting that U.S. authorities had put up roadblocks to prevent journalists and human rights observers from documenting the protests and the official response.”

  • U.N. experts call for halt in Dakota Access pipeline, blast “excessive force” against protesters

  • Living on Earth reporter Sandy Tolan reflected: “You know, at times I felt I was back reporting in the West Bank, and not the Northern Plains…”

  • Standing With the Standing Rock Sioux

  • The Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians

    Compare the government response at Standing Rock with the response occasioned by Ammon Bundy and his gang of armed militants when they occupied Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for over a month in January 2016. Imagine if the Bundy gang had been pepper sprayed, beaten, hit with water cannon, tased. But the Bundy crew were taking over the refuge to proclaim their belief that public lands should be given free to the profit-making private ranching business. In other words, the Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians.

    The mainstream corporate media has largely ignored the stand-off at Standing Rock. Rallies have taken place around the world at places like Tokyo, Stockholm, and Auckland, but the sad truth is many foreigners have heard more about Standing Rock than Americans have. Not surprising. The news editors, working for corporate media conglomerates, choose what they believe we should know and what fits the larger corporate agenda, and so they devote massively more play to Brad Pitt, to the gossipy politics of who’s-on-first, and to whatever the latest glittering consumer thing is than they do to climate change and issues highlighted by the poor and the powerless, like Standing Rock. What coverage that does exist is usually cursory and misleading.

    Fortunately, alternative media have been on the scene and active at Standing Rock. As someone who taught journalism for more nearly 20 years, it has been refreshing for me to see what the alternative press is accomplishing.

    Amy Goodman of the webcast Democracy Now brought the prayer-resistance movement to national attention over the summer. She was arrested and charged with riot in absentia for her live reports of water protectors being set upon by dogs. The charge was later dismissed in court.

    Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network has done searching interviews and incisive commentary from the scene.

    But my absolute favorite news source at Standing Rock is Myron Dewey’s Digital Smoke Signals. Dewey does updates every day, which he posts on Facebook. I highly recommend anyone who has a Facebook account to “follow” him. I went to Standing Rock on Oct. 4-11 with two friends and I have since been able to keep up with developments on the ground through Dewey’s Facebook broadcasts. He posts live stream unedited clips that constitute what he calls an ongoing “documentation” of what is happening day-to-day at the movement.

    Here is Dewey at night standing on a hillside next to the Oceti Sakowin encampment. His face appears in the glow of his screen. Then he’s panning and zooming in on a large grassfire as he’s telling us about it. His finger appears in the screen and points out where the fire started. He says the helicopter which constantly circulates over the camp suddenly disappeared 20 minutes before they saw the first flames. He zooms to the area where he and the person he is with first spotted the fire. He says, “It looked like someone using a drip torch.” He says they called 911, but it’s been over an hour and the Morton County Fire Department hasn’t shown up. He tells the people in the camp, his audience, not to worry, though. It looks like the fire was started by DAPL employees to scare them or hurt them. But the Oceti Sakowin is full of Indians who supplement their income by wild-land firefighting, work that also benefits Mother Earth; he mentions that he is himself a “hotshot” firefighter [one of the elite crews]. He and his fellow firefighters can tell by the wind direction that the fire won’t harm the camp.

    Now here’s Dewey on a bright morning walking along the road by Oceti Sakowin. A young man appears on screen, and Dewey asks him who he is and why he’s here. He’s from the Paiute nation. “I’m here to protect the water,” he says. Dewey asks him to sing a Paiute song. The young man closes his eyes and sings.

    In another nighttime broadcast find we ourselves looking through a car windshield, headlights illuminating the highway, centerlines whizzing by. We hear voices talking in the backseat. The car drives on and on. We’re just watching the road. Then ahead is a police roadblock. The police van looms. Dewey gets out with his camera and calls over to the officers, asks them where they’re from, inquires about where the road blocks are, what are the open routes. At one level it’s a mundane exchange between a citizen and police, but you experience the edginess of the situation. More deeply, you feel the riskiness and pathos that is involved any human interaction. Dewey firmly exercises his right to have these protect-and-serve police respond to him civilly; he is cordial and respectful in a way that reinforces to them and to his viewers that he is after all not their enemy but a fellow human being. Dewey asks more questions and the lead officer says he doesn’t want to be filmed; Dewey offers to turn his camera away from them and onto himself. The distant officers disappear from the screen and Dewey’s face fills it. The contact officer walks nearer; we can hear his voice. Dewey can’t resist a joke, though. He asks the officer if he’s sure he doesn’t want to become famous by putting his face on Dewey’s screen? You realize these are just guys doing their job. Dewey understands that, but he also wants to educate them about the water protectors’ mission. He never misses an opportunity to educate his adversary, as well as his own people about the larger dimensions of the Standing Rock resistance. When he gets back in the car, someone in the back seat says “Let’s get out of here; this is enemy territory.” Dewey laughs, turning the car around, “It’s not enemy territory.”

    I believe you learn more about Standing Rock by watching Dewey’s unedited video than you ever could from watching any number of dramatically produced, commercially constricted reports on CNN, complete with the drumb-drumb latest crisis theme music.

    Dewey explains to his viewers that what they’re seeing is a “documentation” that’s not edited. “It’s not scripted. It’s not acted out.”

    After a month of watching Dewey’s daily reports I realize more fully than I ever have before how ghastly and vacuous mainstream news reporting is: a production where facts have been emptied of the humanity of real encounters, replaced by the shallow performances of reporters and news sources, slick, clichéd phrasing, behavior slotted into ready made categories, events analyzed and even predigested. The news about reality comes to us compartmentalized in trays like tasteless microwave dinners. Rarely is the reader or viewer allowed to simply experience the event unfolding through the reporter’s eyes or camera. The stories are crafted and slickly packaged. Their very polish and stimulating presentation sabotages their meaning and replaces it with a meaningless, artificial understanding.

    Note that I am not saying that the news these days is politically biased. Some obviously is, but the left or right bias charge is a serious red herring, a mis-direction. In fact, in mainstream media’s very effort to appear neutral and unbiased means events are chopped up and pieced together to fit the templates of a few hackneyed forms of storytelling: the winner-loser story, the conflict story, the individual overcoming obstacles story, the facing bad choices stories, he-said, she-said stories, scandal stories, hypocrisy stories. You’ve seen them all, repeatedly.

    Most of these templates come plated with a cynicism, skepticism, superiority, or sentimentality that grabs our attention by adding a dash of disgust. The current journalistic manner of telling stories reduces and dismisses the story in a way that sometimes makes the commercials and pop-up ads come as a relief. None of the common journalistic templates or attitude has much to do with real life as it’s lived in the moment. It’s not what people really experience in their lives. Instead, it’s how they’ve been conditioned to wrap up experience afterward in a dramatized way that leaches out the nuance, that leaves out the moment-to-moment uncertainty, or as the Lakota call it, the Wakan, the deep mystery of relationships that permeates every event. And that’s what Dewey’s broadcasts have in abundance. You get to see him interacting with the people who show up on his screen. You get to feel his humanity and the mystery of everyday relationships taking place at Standing Rock that he brings to light. It’s certainly not dramatic or melodramatic. It’s not interesting or stimulating in the usual way. It does seem really important.

    So when Dewey sits in his parked car and does an update video on “10 things to know about DAPL” (Nov. 18, 2016), there’s no editing and no script, meaning that you get to see him thinking through what those top 10 things might be. Some points he makes are incisive and comic, others not so much. But the not-so-much ones can lead you to thinking about gray areas, the imprecise observations we all make. He asks a guy who just got in the car to help out with his list and the guy, William Hawk Birdshead, goes immediately serious on him until Dewey says, “I was trying to keep it light.” So the Birdshead says, “Laughter is good medicine.” Suddenly they’re off. Dewey mimics the shifty-eyed look of the FBI guys lurking around the area and denying they are FBI, the DAPL security characters trying to look all steely and tough. We learn that in the encampments they say that “DAPL dresses up like Ninja Turtles.” You can tell that it’s DAPL undercover because those guys never drive rez cars, which are rusted and dented. Nobody is spared. Dewey describes the water protectors just arriving from California as dudes who’ve “got their animal spirits on… They’re all furred up. They’re coming in all mystical and crystals.” He and his buddy laugh, which Dewey says is laughter “in a good way,” because the whole thing going on at Standing Rock is deadly serious but you need laughter, because that’s good medicine for healing. And healing and praying are about “getting reconnected with the Earth.”

    This points to a major difference between anthropocentric prayer as most of us know it and earth-mind prayer. In the prayer that most people are familiar with, an individual seeks intercession for human needs with a transcendent being. The Native prayer is about healing not getting. The prayer is a community ceremony or song or ritual to maintain or restore the balance between and among beings, both animate and inanimate. Prayer is to all my relatives, all my relations, the birds, the water, the wind, the buffalo, my family, even those who oppose me as enemies. Mitakuye Oyasin is an important Lakota phrase that means “all my relations.” When you’re watching a Dewey update from Standing Rock you’re experiencing Mitakuye Oyasin in action. It’s newscasting as a kind of prayer, in the earth-mind sense. Whether he’s engaging in laughter or educating about the spiritual importance of water, you can see that what he’s getting at is healing relationships. Watching and listening, you get to be part of that healing.

    What Dewey does goes way beyond advocacy journalism.

    Our traveling companion for our visit to Standing Rock, Lakota elder Tiokasin Ghosthorse, also provides a good way to keep up with developments through the interviews he conducts for his weekly syndicated broadcast from WPKN in Bridgeport Conn. and WBAI in New York City. On Oct. 31, 2016, Tiokasin interviewed a young man who was seized on Oct. 27 when a frontline camp was destroyed by police. Trenton Joseph Castillas Bakeberg, in the bloodline of Crazy Horse, was praying in a sweat lodge when the militarized police swept through the camp. They yanked him out of the sweat lodge and arrested him. The young water protector told Tiokasin:

    “I pray that we’ll be able to keep a state of prayer and peace, as we have been… Although there’s some people on our side are more likely to tend toward violence. But there’s also people on our side to stop them. Don’t start a fight. That’s what it’s all about, keeping it peaceful because the elders told us in the beginning that all it takes is one single act of violence, one person attacking a police officer and they’ll unleash the fear on all of us. This wrath that we have with our military overseas, we’re beginning to see it now in the heart of our own country. All for the greed and the corporate interests of this government. They say we’re a democracy but it’s not showing anymore. The people didn’t want this pipeline, but this foreign entity that they call a corporation, Energy Transfers, is saying, we don’t care. We want this money. We need this for economic stability of the country and that somehow trumps the interests of our communities and our nation as a whole….We’re standing up to this corporate machine with prayer and love.”

  • Forcibly removed from prayer at Standing Rock

  • Against a heavily armed, corporatized democracy designed to ensure that only powerful business and political elites rule the land and possess the wealth of its objects, the Native-American people at Standing Rock stand in defense of Mother Earth armed with songs, prayers, and an understanding that Earth’s objects are us, and we are them. They are our relatives. It seems better armament than most of us Wasi’shu possess. Webster defines fascism as “a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.” It’s an incendiary word, and readers might think ill of me for introducing it here. Certainly we are not a fascist state yet. But for the prayer-resistance at Standing Rock, the clear alliance between corporate and government interests to quell their opposition under color of the law has a fascist flavor.

    It should not surprise anyone that the new US president reportedly holds stocks that directly fund the Dakota Access Pipeline and that the DAPL CEO Kelcy Warren gave the Trump campaign a substantial donation.

  • Trump's Personal Investments Ride on Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline

  • This is how the proto-fascism works. Ironically (or perhaps absurdly), Trump may have been elected by people hoping he would somehow counter the tightening grip of multinational corporations on their lives. One might wish for that to happen.

    At a deep level, Standing Rock may suggest that such absurdities as a Trump presidency occur because our mode of consciousness is impaired or inadequate to the situation it has created on our planet at this historical time. Too many of us have gone dead to the natural world we come from. Our obsessive anthropocentric mode of consciousness has reduced nature and reality at large to a bunch of things we have names for—things that feed our greed. Fortunately, many Indigenous people have retained an acute and ancient consciousness that we are those rocks and trees and clouds, and birds and water that we see outside our windows, and that restoring our relationships with them is incumbent on us.

    John Briggs is emeritus distinguished Professor of Writing and Aesthetics from Western Connecticut State University. He was the English Department’s journalism coordinator for 18 years and was one of the founders of Western’s Department of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process. He is the author of several well-known books on chaos theory, fractals and creativity. He lives in the hilltown of Granville, Mass., where served as a Selectman for five years and as reserve police officer for 10 years.

    When people at Standing Rock talk about the black snake they mean the pipeline, referring to an old Sioux legend about a black snake that will threaten the end of the world. The Lakota prophet Black Elk said that in the seventh generation, the Sioux tribes would unite to save the world.

    Media covering the Standing Rock resistance movement:

  • Digital Smoke Signals

  • Myron Dewey, Facebook

  • The Antimedia

  • Democracy Now

  • The Intercept

  • The Guardian

  • Censored News

  • Unicorn Riot

  • Living on Earth

  • The Indigenous Environmental Network

  • Status of Standing Rock court claim

  •           Milo's earlier article "An Establishment Conservative's Guide to the Alt-Right"         

    I have started reading “Dangerous” by Milo Yiannopoulos on Kindle ($2.99) since this first self-published printing sold out so quickly.  I note also that the Washington DC Metro refused to carry ads for Milo’s book.  (I don’t have the scale to advertise mine on the Metro).

    I have to note already that Milo's definition of "intersectionalism" is interesting.

    Milo refers to a preview essay that he and Allum Bohkari wrote on March 29, 2016 on Breitbart, “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right”, which I thought I would pass along here.
    Milo seems to distinguish modern GOP republicans (who would allow a strip mall to replace a historic building if it made enough money) with “natural conservatives”, who prefer “homogeneity over diversity”, etc.  Living in a large tribe or culture involves sharing common risks.  It’s a lot easier to do what you have to do, even at a personal, intimate level, if you have confidence all your peers have the sane impulse to do it, and that “norms” have some kind of cultural meaning mapped on to virtue.

    All of this, however, does not clearly separate out the populist right.

    The article refers to a National Review article, March 28, 2016 in National Review by Kevin Williamson, “The Father Fuhrer” – Trump indeed, even well before the GOP convention last year.
    Milo says that the alt-right is about western supremacy, not white supremacy.

              NatGeo magazine issue warns Trump on climate change, then describes artificial human evolution         

    The April 2017 issue of National Geographic has two very important items.

    One if “7 Climate Facts You Need to Know Now”, especially in view of President Trump’s pulling out of the Paris accords.

    NatGeo says that extreme weather events even now are related to climate change, and some animals are already going extinct.

    But the feature article is “The Next Human” by D. T. Max, with illustrations by Owen Freeman. The article traces how life in the desert, high altitudes, and later colder climates all affected human evolution. Human behavior may have favored development of starch metabolism.  Environments seemed to encourage a “thrifty gene” which leads to obesity in some native populations when exposed to processed foods, but less so in European populations because of centuries of food preparation technology. Sometimes European men became taller and kept more body hair partly because women regarded them as more sexually attractive, but this did not happen in warmer climates.

    There is a section called “Distant Future” regarding human manipulation of genetics, and particularly “Can Humans Adapt to the Red Planet?” On Mars, bodies would become tall and thin in lower gravity and hairless in an indoor controlled environment without dust.

              Progressive Policy Institute: "Building a New Middle Class in a Knowledge Economy"         

    Harry Holzer, of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University in Washington DC, has offered a position paper through “Progressive Policy”, “Building a New Middle Class in the Knowledge Economy”, a PDF with this link (34 pages).

    Holzer picks up on Donald Trump’s exploitation of the disenchantment of some groups, especially older white males without college degrees, with the job market and their earnings ability.

    He notes that the stability of jobs with regimentation but narrow skill sets has become less, as has the pay, not only because of foreign offshoring, but because of technology and automation. He says that families need incomes of at least $50000 a year to be middle class (possibly $40000 for smaller families) and notes the difficulties of single parents.

    The most effective measure would be to improve trade or vocational education opportunities at the community college level, especially in smaller communities or rural areas.  He also mentions the value of paid family leave.

    What I noticed after my forced “retirement” at the end of 2001 was the tendency for companies to resort to hucksterism to create jobs, and for the employment outplacement services and policy makers not to notice that this was happening so much. This has led to a culture clash:  aggressive attitudes in some communities about preserving telemarketing and door-to-door sales, versus resistance from consumers who see accelerating security problems. We need more manufacturing jobs to reverse this trend toward hucksterism.

              Jaded and Disillusioned        

    Look, I'm no different from you. All of this bullshit is wearing me out, too. The BLS cranks out 158,000 make believe "jobs" via the birth/death model and they also throw on 393,000 part-time jobs. All of this is trumpeted as a sign of a "surging US economy" and used as cover to spike the dollar and smash Comex silver by 2.5%. It's all just one big, massive freaking scam.

    read more

              Trump attacks on McConnell bring rebukes from fellow Republicans - Washington Post        

    Washington Post

    Trump attacks on McConnell bring rebukes from fellow Republicans
    Washington Post
    President Trump aimed a fresh barrage of criticism at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday, escalating an extraordinary fight with a key Republican leader that could undermine the party's ability to regroup and pass shared legislative ...
    Trump to McConnell in latest tweet: 'Get back to work,' 'You can do it!'CNN
    Trump escalates attacks on McConnellPolitico
    Trump Escalates Attacks on McConnell With Suggestion His Job Is at RiskNBCNews.com
    NPR -The Hill -Reuters -New York Times
    all 420 news articles »

              Trump: 'The opioid crisis is an emergency' - CNN        


    Trump: 'The opioid crisis is an emergency'
    (CNN) President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration plans to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency, a designation that would offer states and federal agencies more resources and power to combat the epidemic. "The opioid crisis ...
    Trump says opioid crisis is a national emergency, pledges more money and attentionWashington Post
    Trump says he will declare opioid crisis a 'national emergency'Politico
    Will Melania Trump 'Just Say No' In Her Own Way?NPR
    BBC News -The Atlantic -The Hill -New York Daily News
    all 220 news articles »

              The Trump Administration's First Sex Scandal Has Now Produced a Child - Vanity Fair        

    Vanity Fair

    The Trump Administration's First Sex Scandal Has Now Produced a Child
    Vanity Fair
    The Trump administration has sparked a good deal of drama so far, but now this soap opera has just ramped up to Days of Our Lives proportions. Donald Trump's former communications director Jason Miller confirmed to Page Six on Wednesday that he is the ...

    and more »

              200 days in: Obama still on Trump's mind - CNN        


    200 days in: Obama still on Trump's mind
    Bridgewater, New Jersey (CNN) In 1962, as the United States and the Soviet Union wobbled toward nuclear confrontation, then-President John F. Kennedy got his predecessor on the phone. "What's your judgment as to the chances they'll fire these things off?
    FactCheck: Trump misfires on nuclear weapons boastPhilly.com
    AP FACT CHECK: Trump's unjustified boast about US nuke powerMiami Herald
    Fact Check: Trump's Unjustified Boast About US Nuke PowerNBC New York
    Twitter -Whitehouse.gov -The White House -Department of State
    all 113 news articles »

              Arizona’s Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument off the chopping-block        
    Jennifer Dickson

    In a late Friday afternoon announcement, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced his plans to recommend no changes to Arizona’s Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in a final report due to President Trump later this month.

              5 things the world may not know about America and the environment        
    The United States is losing respect overseas, but most Americans don't support Trump's destructive policies.


              Should Canadian Judges Wearing “Trump” Attire be Disciplined?        
    Is discipline in order for an Ontario judge who went shopping wearing a “Make American Great Again” t-shirt? What about a judge sitting in court the day after the American election wearing a baseball cap with the same logo? Local resident Lorne Warwick was also shopping when he saw Justice Toni Skarica, of Ontario’s Superior … Continue reading Should Canadian Judges Wearing “Trump” Attire be Disciplined?
              Jewelry for Band Geeks        
    Any Band Geeks out there? My husband played trumpet in his high school marching band, and continued as a member of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band. Now my daughter is following suit, playing his horn in her school marching band. Over the past 20+ years, I have attended and cheered at many a band […]
              Donald Trump avertizează Coreea de Nord că va da de necaz dacă face ceva împotriva SUA        
    Preşedintele american Donald trump a avertizat joi seara Coreea de Nord că va da de necaz în cazul în care Phenianul face ceva împotriva Statelor Unite, relatează BBC News.
    Citește mai departe...
              Trump to McConnell: 'Mitch, get back to work'        
    Trump slams Senate Republicans for failing to pass an Obamacare repeal plan.
              Trump: Maybe 'fire and fury' statement on North Korea wasn't tough enough        
    President Donald Trump suggested his warning of bringing "fire and fury" to North Korea may not have been tough enough.
              Ivanka Trump’s opening a store in Trump Tower        
    Ivanka Trump's fashion brand was under fire for much of 2017, Racked reports.
              Americans already feeling effects of climate change, says report        
    A leaked report says evidence that humans are responsible for climate change is strong – but it remains to be seen how the Trump White House will react
              Donald Trump says media playing down terrorist threat posed by ISIS        

    Washington: US President Trump has said that the news media was playing down the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) and journalists were reluctant to report on the militant groups attacks in Europe and "have their reasons" for failing to cover them, the media reported.

    Trump initially did not provide examples of a news media conspiracy to underplay terrorist attacks. The White House on Monday released a list of what it said were 78 attacks from September 2014 to December 2016 that were carried out or inspired by the IS. It said that "most have not received the media attention they deserved", the New York Times reported.

    The list included the major attacks in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino (California) and Orlando (Florida) that dominated the news for weeks. 

    Other attacks overseas, lesser known to Americans, received extensive local coverage, like a shooting in Zvornik, Bosnia, in April 2015 in which one police officer was killed and two others were wounded, the White House said.

    "Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland, as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino and all across Europe," Trump said at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. 

    "All over Europe, it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported, and in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it," he said.

    "They have their reasons," Trump added, "and you understand that."

    The President made similar comments about the US media during a January visit to the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia, that the news media had fabricated his feud with the intelligence community. 

    Those remarks came only days after he likened American intelligence officials to Nazis, after several weeks in which he had denigrated their work, the New York Times said.

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the President had been referring in Tampa to "several instances" in which the news media had not devoted sufficient attention to terrorism. 

    Trump, Spicer said, believed that journalists pay more attention to public protests than they do to terrorist attacks or plots.

    During his 12-minute speech on Monday, Trump promised to make "a historic financial investment in the armed forces", in an effort to maintain peace in "our troubled, troubled times". 

    He also vowed to give the military the tools necessary to prevail against the Islamic State and thwart its attempts to strike America.

    At a luncheon with enlisted soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, Trump went around his table asking who would remain in the military, and told them their experience would improve during his presidency.

    On NATO, Trump, who had earlier called it "obsolete," tempered his message, arguing that he was focused on ensuring that it is well funded.

    "We strongly support NATO. We only ask that all of the NATO members make their full and proper contributions to the NATO alliance, which many of them have not been doing -- many of them have not been even close," he said.

    Donald Trump says media playing down terrorist threat posed by ISIS
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              Donald Trump warns journalists, calls them most dishonest human beings        

    Washington: Describing journalists as the most dishonest human beings on Earth, US President Donald Trump has said he has been "running a war" with the media and warned them of consequences for falsely reporting that less number of people attended his inauguration.

    "We had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed.

    I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field," Trump said.

    "I say, wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out, it looked like a million, million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there.

    They (media) said, Donald Trump did not draw well. I said, it was almost raining, the rain should have scared them away, but God looked down and he said, we're not going to let it rain on your speech," he said.

    "Then I walked off and it poured right after I left. It poured. But, we have something that's amazing because, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was, it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.

    And I turn on -- and by mistake I get this network, and it showed an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people," he said.

    "Now, that's not bad, but it's a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around in the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20-block area, all the way back to the Washington Monument, was packed.

    So we caught them, and we caught them in a beauty. I think they're going to pay a big price," Trump warned.

    Trump was speaking at the CIA headquarters.

    He told his top spy agency that this is the reason for him visiting the CIA headquarters as the media has portrayed that he has differences with the intelligence community.

    "The reason you're my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth," Trump said amidst applause and laughter from the CIA officials attending his maiden address to them.

    "They sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you're the number-one stop is exactly the opposite.

    They understand that, too," he said and then said that the crown strength of his inauguration was being accurately being written by the media.

    Then Trump listed out another incident.

    So a reporter wrote that Trump took down the bust, of Martin Luther King.

    "It was right there. But there was a cameraman that was in front of it. So a reporter writes a story about I took down. I would never do that because I have great respect for Martin Luther King. But this is how dishonest the media is," Trump alleged.

    "I only like to say that because I love honesty. I like honest reporting. I will tell you, final time -- when you let in your thousands of other people that have been trying to come in -- because I am coming back -- we're going to have to get you a larger room," Trump said indicating that he would have a bigger room for the White House press corps.

    Donald Trump warns journalists, calls them most dishonest human beings
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              Classic Rock Vs. Donald Trump: Musicians Who Already Can't Stand Our New President        
    Donald Trump's ascension to the presidency has not exactly been met with classic rock jubilation. Continue reading…
              Rosyjski samolot przeleciał nad Pentagonem, Kapitolem i CIA        

    Rzecznik Pentagonu Dan Gaffney potwierdził, że rząd USA wydał zgodę na lot, powiedział jednak, że nie może potwierdzić trasy przebytej przez tupolewa, dopóki nie skończy misji obserwacyjnej, a ta podzielona jest zazwyczaj na kilka przelotów w ciągu kilku dni.

    Według portalu Flightradar24 rosyjski samolot przeleciał na pułapie ok. 1,1 km nad śródmieściem Waszyngtonu oraz nad bazą lotniczą Andrews w stanie Maryland, gdzie stacjonuje prezydencki samolot Air Force One. Według cytowanego przez CNN źródła w siłach bezpieczeństwa maszyna przeleciała też nad rządowym ośrodkiem wypoczynkowym Camp David, polem golfowym należącym do koncernu prezydenta USA Donalda Trumpa w Wirginii oraz nad pilnie strzeżonym bunkrem podziemnym w Mount Weather w tym samym stanie, służącym jako schronienie dla rządu amerykańskiego i generałów armii w razie katastrofy narodowej.

    Na pokładzie tupolewa, wyposażonego w sprzęt umożlwiający gromadzenie informacji, znajdowali się przedstawiciele amerykańskich sił powietrznych - powiedział informator CNN.

    Według dwóch innych źródeł, na które powołuje się ta stacja, następny zaplanowany lot tupolew ma odbyć nad Bedminster w New Jersey, gdzie Trump obecnie spędza urlop.

    Lot rosyjskiego samolotu wojskowego w USA za zgodą władz amerykańskich był możliwy na mocy Traktatu o Otwartych Przestworzach (Open Skies Treaty), którego sygnatariusze zobowiązują się do udostępnienia całego swego terytorium dla nieuzbrojonych lotów obserwacyjnych pozostałych państw traktatu. Ma to na celu m.in. poprawę transparentności działań wojsk, zwiększanie zaufania i unikanie nieporozumień. Od wejścia traktatu w życie w 2002 roku odbyło się ponad 1,2 tys. takich lotów.

    Jak informuje Pentagon, przed każdym przelotem państwa sygnatariusze otrzymują plan lotów w ramach misji, a na pokładzie samolotu przeprowadzającego leci zespół eskortujący, który ma za zadanie upewnić się, że lot odbywa się regulaminowo. Po każdym locie państwo goszczące otrzymuje kopię wszystkich zdjęć i nagrań wykonanych przez samolot obserwacyjny.

    Jak wskazuje Associated Press, wysokiej rangi przedstawiciele amerykańskiej armii i wywiadu wyrażali obawy, iż Rosja działa wbrew duchowi traktatu, wykorzystując w tym celu nowe rozwiązania technologiczne. Agencja przypomina, że były dyrektor ds. kontroli zbrojeń w Departamencie Stanu Steve Rademaker podczas przesłuchań w Kongresie wskazywał m.in., że Rosja nałożyła ograniczenia na obserwacje prowadzone nad Moskwą, Czeczenią oraz w pobliżu Abchazji i Osetii Południowej, dwóch separatystycznych regionów Gruzji.


              LA Art Show 2017 PhotoJournal Interview with Chinese Artist, Si Bowen by Ginger Van Hook        
    Chinese Artist from Beijing exhibits painterly expressions of time through space.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook©2017

    On the Opening Night of the LA Art Show 2017, the first artist to capture my eye with his painting was Si Bowen. This was not easy to do as I was carried away by the crowd at the entrance and was led through a throng of art lovers all but covering the paintings and artworks with their own presence of appreciation. The fact that we are about a week from the inauguration of a new President, it seemed fit to come across a painter with an outside perspective of our election process. Si Bowen, an artist born in Beijing, China who studied art not only in Beijing, but in France and New York, described to me that his rendering of the television debate versions of Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton were painted to describe the passage of time. Viewed as duplicate and triplicate images of Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton side by side on their podiums with hand gestures superimposed one over the other, yielded an out of focus picture of the debate postures from last year. That the image captured my eye because it looked politically vaguely amusing or satirical yet timely or that it expressed a unique and clever perspective was something that made me stop and want to meet the artist. The American People might agree that our process is somewhat murky when we transition from one administration to another, so the artist Si Bowen, might have captured in his painting, the unclarity of our union in mid-gesture. Nonetheless, his portfolio of non-political images was of even further interest as one of his favorites was the wonderful painterly expression and focus on his grandmother's hand. Si Bowen stated that he had studied in France as well as spent time in the arts in New York and that he started drawing at the age of three. When his father observed his talents, he enrolled him in the art schools at an early age. Some of the works that Si Bowen showed me in his catalogue were even more spiritually related than just his exploration of time and space and matters of death and spirituality. 

    Si Bowen is a multi-diciplinary artist creating works in sculpture, oil paint, and installation works. Si Bowen is represented by the LIAHONA ART SPACE representing the strong forces of young Chinese artists.

    PhotoJournal by 
    Ginger Van Hook, Photographer, Writer, Curator, Artist
    Van Hook Fine Arts, Beacon Arts Building Studio 1D
    808 N. La Brea Inglewood
    Los Angeles, California
    email: gingervanhook@gmail.com

              Trump, Macron Look to Past, Future as U.S.-French Alliance Moves Ahead        
    Trump, Macron Look to Past, Future as U.S.-French Alliance Moves Ahead By Jim Garamone DoD News, Defense Media Activity ...

    This is an article summary only. Click on the article's title to enjoy the complete article
              Telly With Melly: Canadian ratings for the week of May 8-14        
    No doubt, Saturday Night Live has had a stellar season. Alec Baldwin’s pouting buffoonery as U.S. President Donald Trump was a driving force, as well as Melissa McCarthy’s unbridled aggression as press secretary Sean Spicer. The May 13 episode, however, […]
              Trump declares opioid crisis a...        

     "It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had," President Trump said. 


              Study: Trump actions trigger health...        

    An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that mixed signals from President Trump have created uncertainty for insurers 'far outside the norm.' 


              Zinke Reconsidering Trump Support: 'We've got to have this conversation'        
    It didn't take long for several prominent Republicans to say they could no longer support Donald Trump's candidacy for president, after a 2005 recording of him speaking disparagingly of women became public Friday. On Saturday, Montana's Congressman Ryan Zinke, a strong supporter of Trump, issued this statement:
              June 4, 2016 Stacy on the Right Hour 2        

    Trump - "Look at my African American"! Plus, a huge announcement for the show. 

              June 4, 2016 Stacy on the Right Hour 1        

    Sally Field has something to say - and the tepid GOP enthusiasm is spelling trouble for Trump. 

              May 14, 2016 Stacy on the Right Hour 2        

    More trans issues. Plus, listen to Trump blast Hillary Clinton on Benghazi. 

              February 27, 2016 Stacy on the Right Hour 1        

    BLM protesters are shocked Hillary doesn't like them, either. Plus, Donald Trump is not Hitler. 

              January 23, 2016 Stacy on the Right Hour 2        

    Trump on his faith, and a Sarah Palin discussion. 

              Attorneys General To Sue President Trump        

    ( 4UMF NEWS ) Attorneys General To Sue President Trump: Two attorneys general plan on suing President Trump, alleging he violated the U.S. Constitution by accepting payouts from foreign governments through his hotel empire, according to a report Sunday. Brian Frosh of Maryland and Karl Racine of the District of Columbia said the two will […]

    The post Attorneys General To Sue President Trump appeared first on 4UMF | Current Events | Current News | Latest News.

              Cartoon: Goodnight Human Rights        
    On June 29, 2017, just days before the annual July 4th celebration of American independence and patriotism, the US began implementing a partial version of Donald Trump's travel ban, restricting entry into the US from six Muslim-majority countries and from refugees without "bona fide" relationships in the US.
              Quotes of the Week        

    “These days, it's not just leftie troublemakers who doubt that benefits going direct to big business will trickle down to the rest of us, it's every punter in the street.”  [Economics Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Gittins, 24 July 2017]

    “Six months into his presidency, Donald Trump is saddled with a stalled agenda, a West Wing that resembles a viper’s nest, a pile of investigations and a Republican Party that is starting to break away.”  [Journalists Julie Pace and Jonathan Lemire writing in The Washington Post, 29 July 2017]

    “This White House is broken, perhaps beyond repair. It can’t do anything right. It can’t issue executive orders that are enforceable. It can’t pass legislation. It can’t prioritize the president’s agenda. It can’t get anybody on the same page. In a normal White House, all of those things flow from an empowered White House chief of staff who can execute the president’s agenda and most importantly tell him what he does not want to hear. And none of that is happening.”  [Author Chris Whipple quoted in The Washington Post, 31 July 2017]

    “Yeah. He’s like a conveyor belt for bad overseas ideas.” [Journalist Richard Chirgwin tweeting about Australian Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull on 2 August 2017]

    “By August 2 2017, we will have used more from Nature than our planet can renew in the whole year…..This means that in seven months, we emitted more carbon than the oceans and forests can absorb in a year, we caught more fish, felled more trees, harvested more, and consumed more water than the Earth was able to produce in the same period.” [World Wildlife Fund quoted in the Independent on 2 August 2017]

              The travesty that is Australia's asylum seeker offshore detention policy -"If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here."         

    It seems the truth will out.

    After the United States completes its vetting of asylum seekers held in overseas detention by the Australian Government it is not obliged to take even one of those individuals U.S. immigration officials have examined.

    In May 2017 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed 268 people had completed their second-stage security interview with US officials: 220 in Nauru and 48 on Manus Island.

    U.S. immigration officials halted screening interviews and departed Nauru on 14 July 2017, two weeks short of their scheduled timetable and a day after Washington said the US had reached its annual refugee intake cap.

    However, under the original agreement once that vetting is completed Australia becomes obliged to resettle between 20 and 50 people under a U.S. "Protection Transfer Arrangement" in Costa Rica set up to resettle refugees from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

    Prime Minister Turnbull verbally changed that undertaking to an open-ended number of people the Trump Administration might be “very keen on getting out of the United States”.

    There is no indication that the U.S. Government intends to complete its vetting of those detained on Nauru and Manus islands.

    The Washington Post, 3 August 2017:

    The Washington Post has obtained transcripts of two conversations President Trump had with foreign leaders: one with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and another with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
    The transcripts were prepared by the White House but have not been released. The Post is publishing reproductions rather than original documents in order to protect sources. The reproductions below also include minor spelling and grammatical mistakes that appeared in the documents………………

    JANUARY 28, 2017 FROM 5:05 TO 5:29 P.M. EST.

    Good evening.

    Mr. Prime Minister, how are you?

    I am doing very well.

    And I guess our friend Greg Norman, he is doing very well?

    He is a great mutual friend yes.

    Well you say hello to him. He is a very good friend. By the way thank you very much for taking the call. I really appreciate it. It is really nice.

    Thank you very much. Everything is going very well. I want to congratulate you and Mike Pence on being sworn in now. I have spoken to you both now as you know. I know we are both looking to make our relationship which is very strong and intimate, stronger than ever – which I believe we can do.


    I believe you and I have similar backgrounds, unusual for politicians, more businessman but I look forward to working together.

    That is exactly right. We do have similar backgrounds and it seems to be working in this climate – it is a crazy climate. Let me tell you this, it is an evil time but it is a complex time because we do not have uniforms standing in front of us. Instead, we have people in disguise. It is brutal. This ISIS thing â€“ it is something we are going to devote a lot of energy to it. I think we are going to be very successful.

    Absolutely. We have, as you know, taken a very strong line on national security and border protection here and when I was speaking with Jared Kushner just the other day and one of your immigration advisors in the White House we reflected on how our policies have helped to inform your approach. We are very much of the same mind. It is very interesting to know how you prioritize the minorities in your Executive Order. This is exactly what we have done with the program to bring in 12,000 Syrian refugees, 90% of which will be Christians. It will be quite deliberate and the position I have taken – I have been very open about it – is that it is a tragic fact of life that when the situation in the Middle East settles down – the people that are going to be most unlikely to have a continuing home are those Christian minorities. We have seen that in Iraq and so from our point of view, as a final destination for refugees, that is why we prioritize. It is not a sectarian thing. It is recognition of the practical political realities. We have a similar perspective in that respect.

    Do you know four years ago Malcom, I was with a man who does this for a living. He was telling me, before the migration, that if you were a Christian from Syria, you had no chance of coming to the United States. Zero. They were the ones being persecuted. When I say persecuted, I mean their heads were being chopped off. If you were a Muslim we have nothing against Muslims, but if you were a Muslim you were not persecuted at least to the extent – but if you were a Muslim from Syria that was the number one place to get into the United States from. That was the easiest thing. But if you were a Christian from Syria you have no chance of getting into the United States. I just thought it was an incredible statistic. Totally true – and you have seen the same thing. It is incredible.

    Well, yes. Mr. President, can I return to the issue of the resettlement agreement that we had with the Obama administration with respect to some people on Nauru and Manus Island. I have written to you about this and Mike Pence and General Flynn spoke with Julie Bishop and my National Security Advisor yesterday. This is a very big issue for us, particularly domestically, and I do understand you are inclined to a different point of view than the Vice President.

    Well, actually I just called for a total ban on Syria and from many different countries from where there is terror, and extreme vetting for everyone else – and somebody told me yesterday that close to 2,000 people are coming who are really probably troublesome. And I am saying, boy that will make us look awfully bad. Here I am calling for a ban where I am not letting anybody in and we take 2,000 people. Really it looks like 2,000 people that Australia does not want and I do not blame you by the way, but the United States has become like a dumping ground. You know Malcom, anybody that has a problem – you remember the Mariel boat lift, where Castro let everyone out of prison and Jimmy Carter accepted them with open arms. These were brutal people. Nobody said Castro was stupid, but now what are we talking about is 2,000 people that are actually imprisoned and that would actually come into the United States. I heard about this – I have to say I love Australia; I love the people of Australia. I have so many friends from Australia, but I said – geez that is a big ask, especially in light of the fact that we are so heavily in favor, not in favor, but we have no choice but to stop things. We have to stop. We have allowed so many people into our country that should not be here. We have our San Bernardino’s, we have had the World Trade Center come down because of people that should not have been in our country, and now we are supposed to take 2,000. It sends such a bad signal. You have no idea. It is such a bad thing.

    Can you hear me out Mr. President?

    Yeah, go ahead.

    Yes, the agreement, which the Vice President just called the Foreign Minister about less than 24 hours ago and said your Administration would be continuing, does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any. It requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States – this is a big deal, I think we should respect deals.

    Who made the deal? Obama?

    Yes, but let me describe what it is. I think it is quite consistent. I think you can comply with it. It is absolutely consistent with your Executive Order so please just hear me out. The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process. So that is the first thing. Secondly, the people — none of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. That is the vast bulk of them. They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.

    Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

    Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people —

    That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am.

    This is our experience.

    Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries. These people are crazy to let this happen. I spoke to Merkel today, and believe me, she wishes she did not do it. Germany is a mess because of what happened.

    I agree with you, letting one million Syrians walk into their country. It was one of the big factors in the Brexit vote, frankly.

    Well, there could be two million people coming in Germany. Two million people. Can you believe it? It will never be the same.

    stood up at the UN in September and set up what our immigration policy was. I said that you cannot maintain popular support for immigration policy, multiculturalism, unless you can control your borders. The bottom line is that we got here. I am asking you as a very good friend. This is a big deal. It is really, really important to us that we maintain it. It does not oblige you to take one person that you do not want. As I have said, your homeland officials have visited and they have already interviewed these people. You can decide. It is at your discretion. So you have the wording in the Executive Order that enables the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State to admit people on a case by case basis in order to conform with an existing agreement. I do believe that you will never find a better friend to the United States than Australia. I say this to you sincerely that it is in the mutual interest of the United States to say, “yes, we can conform with that deal – we are not obliged to take anybody we do not want, we will go through extreme vetting” and that way you are seen to show the respect that a trusted ally wants and deserves. We will then hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country 31 [inaudible] that you need to move on from.

    Malcom [sic], why is this so important? I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

    With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

    Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

    The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting. I think that what you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order.

    No, I do not want say that. I will just have to say that unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama. I will say I hate it. Look, I spoke to Putin, Merkel, Abe of Japan, to France today, and this was my most unpleasant call because I will be honest with you. I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.

    I would not be so sure about that. They are basically —

    Well, maybe you should let them out of prison. I am doing this because Obama made a bad deal. I am not doing this because it fits into my Executive Order. I am taking 2,000 people from Australia who are in prison and the day before I signed an Executive Order saying that we are not taking anybody in. We are not taking anybody in, those days are over.

    But can I say to you, there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal. Look, you and I have a lot of mutual friends.
    Look, I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306. That is why they lost the election, because of stupid deals like this. You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible.

    Mr. President, I think this will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States. It shows that you are a committed —

    Okay, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you. Not even a little bit. I think it is ridiculous and Obama should have never signed it. The only reason I will take them is because I have to honor a deal signed by my predecessor and it was a rotten deal. I say that it was a stupid deal like all the other deals that this country signed. You have to see what I am doing. I am unlocking deals that were made by people, these people were incompetent. I am not going to say that it fits within the realm of my Executive Order. We are going to allow 2,000 prisoners to come into our country and it is within the realm of my Executive Order? If that is the case my Executive Order does not mean anything Malcom [sic]. I look like a dope. The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?

    That is the point I have been trying to make.

    How does that help you?

    Well, we assume that we will act in good faith.

    Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

    Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

    Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?

    Correct, we have stopped the boats.

    Give them to the United States. We are like a dumping ground for the rest of the world. I have been here for a period of time, I just want this to stop. I look so foolish doing this. It [sic] know it is good for you but it is bad for me. It is horrible for me. This is what I am trying to stop. I do not want to have more San Bernardino’s or World Trade Centers. I could name 30 others, but I do not have enough time.

    These guys are not in that league. They are economic refugees.

    Okay, good. Can Australia give me a guarantee that if we have any problems – you know that is what they said about the Boston bombers. They said they were wonderful young men.

    They were Russians. They were not from any of these countries.

    They were from wherever they were.

    Please, if we can agree to stick to the deal, you have complete discretion in terms of a security assessment. The numbers are not 2,000 but 1,250 to start. Basically, we are taking people from the previous administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take. The only people that we do not take are people who come by boat. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.

    What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.

    No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea. So what we say is, we will decide which people get to come to Australia who are refugees, economic migrants, businessmen, whatever. We decide. That is our decision. We are a generous multicultural immigration nation like the United States but the government decides, the people’s representatives decides. So that is the point. I am a highly transactional businessman like you and I know the deal has to work for both sides. Now Obama thought this deal worked for him and he drove a hard bargain with us – that it was agreed with Obama more than a year ago in the Oval Office, long before the election. The principles of the deal were agreed to.

    I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it – START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.

    You will not.

    Yes, I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. This is a killer.

    You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it.

    I have no choice to say that about it. Malcom [sic], I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

    Do you want to talk about Syria and DPRK?

    [inaudible] this is crazy.

    Thank you for your commitment. It is very important to us.

    It is important to you and it is embarrassing to me. It is an embarrassment to me, but at least I got you off the hook. So you put me back on the hook.

    You can count on me. I will be there again and again.

    I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm.

    Okay, thank you.

    * My yellow highlighting.

              Literatur und Themen mit allerlei Überraschungen        
    DI, 07.06.2016, 12.30 Uhr: Lesen, Sprachen, Gesprächsrunden und mehr! Vorab eine Frage: Kennt ihr diese Kinder- und Jugendbuchautorin? SchülerInnen der Volksschule Schäffergasse informieren über das Leben von Astrid Lindgren und bringen ein Kurzhörspiel zu einer Szene aus einem Pippi Langstrumpf-Buch. Weiter geht’s mit „Sprachen und Themen mit allerlei Überraschungen“ von SchülerInnen der NMS Pazmanitengasse, die […]
              Thompson: The nonsense behind Trump’s military transgender ban announcement        
              Comment on Goddesses and Rape: The Issue is That we Have Raped Devotion Itself! by Desh Kapoor        
    <p><strong><u>Comedy Circus of Ram Swamy:</u></strong>  </p> <p>I said: <em>Who I think is Shiva? How will that matter? <strong>You seem to have decided who he is and anything I say may run counter to what you have already decided of him</strong>. Then what? <strong>You will say that is my belief and this is your belief</strong>. Right? So its really useless.</em></p> <p>and </p> <p><em>He is <strong>not a calendar god who is shown in TV serials</strong>. I find that simply restricted by belief.</em></p> <p><u>Your Rant:</u> </p> <blockquote> <p>“<em>How do you know I have decided who he is?”</em></p></blockquote> <p>and then you rile on – </p> <blockquote> <p>“<em>Shiva is a god! Ask a 100 and a 100 will say that. Just because you consider him to be a yogi and not a god doesn’t make it so!”</em></p></blockquote> <p>ROFL!!!!  Wonder why you are so predictable?</p> <p>Just a question – How do you know Shiva is a God?  And maybe… just maybe those 100 you talked to didn’t get the memo at all.  But hey you have already decided “he is a god!”  and emphatically so - based on your special "exit poll". How can anyone contradict your own special little secret survey - huh?  </p> <p>But wait, <strong>lets go to the basics.</strong> <strong><u> What IS god?</u></strong>  why don’t you fix that part first.  After all, you are frothing from your mouth, spraying all over the place trying to <em>prove me wrong</em> – by saying who is god and who is not.  Don’t you think you should first be clear What or who is god?  </p> <p>So lets start there now.</p> <p>Since you are so much into fun… We will have some fun then… ok?  </p> <p>Obviously, you cannot possible get to terms with my simple set of statements that: (1) I have been told that Shiva was a Yogi (not my claim) … and (2) my Guru manifests Shiva (by my Guru who is a pretty smart bloke and knows a lot of shit!) .. and (3) that when I have experienced the most profound moment by the Grace of Sadhguru, what ever I experienced was more far… far… FAR.. more humongous than my thought, mind, and understanding – so if that is Shiva manifested via my Guru (obvious from the process as it unveiled) then IT is EVERYTHING – the primordial existence itself!</p> <p>Despite that being my most humbling/devastating and profound of experiences and my admission that I cannot subscribe to the belief of a calendar artist or a 3rd rate film director.. you can’t get over your own barriers of mind and ego and keep projecting your belief on me.  </p> <p>I have no belief about Shiva.  Really!!  Based on my greatest moment in life, I could clearly “see” that<strong> there is nothing that is NOT Shiva</strong>. <strong> I couldn’t experience anything but that.  Shiva!</strong>  Similar experience occurred at Kedarnath and Kailash!  Hence there should be something to it!  There is nothing to believe in it… I kept sobbing like a kid for 4-5 hours without my will – that’s how it shook the very being of mine!!!  I know EXACTLY how it all shook me.. .why should I have to believe ANYONE (100s or millions!?)</p> <p>So dude, stop projecting and gas-lighting please…  One Trump is enough for all of us.  OK? </p> <p><strong>Now, YOU state in very clear terms what is God?!</strong>  Since you are sooooo emphatic about who is and who isn’t god.  For example, if .. just an if.. not actually “believing” or having such ego.. .but just if I say I am god.  Is that ok with you?  If not, then you have decided that you know who is a god and who is not.  So it behooves YOU – the arbiter of Gods.. to define who that freaking Guy/Gal/Gay/It is!  God that is.  <strong>Go ahead…..Start!</strong></p>
              FreedomWorks Comments on Right to Try Passing Senate         

    FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon released the following statement after the Senate passed the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act by unanimous consent:

    "We applaud the Senate's move to support right to try. Right to try will give hope to those facing the worst diagnoses by opening up treatments with good results that haven't passed the entirety of FDA's bureaucratic approval process.

    "Chairman Greg Walden, whose home state of Oregon has passed right to try Oregon, should move Rep. Andy Biggs' Right to Try Act out of his committee first thing in September. The bill has bipartisan support, and dozens of states have recently adopted right to try legislation.

    "Vice President Mike Pence signed right to try as Indiana's governor in 2015, and President Donald Trump has spoken up for right to try. This is an easy legislative win if we can get out of our own way."

              Right to Try: Life and Death        

    FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon urged the Senate to support Sen. Ron Johnson's (R-Wis.) unanimous consent request for the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act:

    “Right to try is the right to hope. We saw the heartbreaking situation with Charlie Gard in England; his country would not let him try a treatment that might have saved his life. We see Diego Morris, who is a great advocate of right to try; his life was arguably saved because he got treatment for his cancer that was illegal here by traveling to England where it was legal.

    “Right to try has passed in thirty-seven states with great momentum. Five states passed it in 2014, eighteen in 2015, six more in 2016, and seven more in 2017. Vice President Mike Pence signed the bill into law in 2015 for the state of Indiana, and President Donald Trump has expressed support for right to try. They should have a chance to try a treatment that might cure them.

    “We strongly support the right to try in the Senate, and urge senators to support Sen. Johnson should he ask for unanimous consent to bring the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act to the floor.”

              In Defense of Economic Noninterventionism         

    A recent Wall Street Journal article has surprisingly good news: US companies are seeing the highest profit growth in two years with “two consecutive quarters of double-digit profit growth for the first time since 2011.” This surprisingly comes not from policies pursued in Washington, but the hard work of the private sector.

    The fact that businesses and job creators can make such a phenomenal showing after years of regulatory uncertainty and continued political intervention reminds us of the power of the free market and that the best successes come from the work of the individuals, not collectivists in the public sector.

    Perhaps the best reminding of what the last eight years brought us was President Obama’s infamous 2012 campaign speech “If you've got a business, you didn't build that.” Throughout the course of his administration saw a creation of routine legislative and executive actions that were designed to both micromanage business and supposedly “create” jobs. Unfortunately, none of this had the intended success.

    Most prominently among the actions from the executive administration while Obama was presidents include significantly increased regulations. Among these have included the Waters of the United States Rule (WOTUS), Dodd-Frank, the stimulus package, and, most spectacularly of all, Obamacare. All of these added a large interventions and onerous barriers in the economy that failed to achieve their stated goal.

    WOTUS was probably one of the greatest power grabs by the EPA in recent history. The rule essentially sought to define “navigable waters” in the clean water Act which “brought nearly half of Alaska and a total area in the lower 48 states equivalent to the size of California under the CWA’s jurisdiction.” The proposal, had it not been blocked and rescinded, would have cost thousands of dollars for permits on land that was not previously under the EPA’s jurisdiction, delayed production since a permit can take up to months, and this would have resulted in reduced development and production as well as higher prices.

    Though the WOTUS rule was not fully implemented, regulations that did have a massive negative impact on the economy include the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

    As implemented, Dodd-Frank imposed various new regulations on the financial sector, including creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), designated firms as systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs), and instituted price controls on debit and credit card transactions. The result was a climate of over regulation with banks being incentivized to become as large as possible in the hopes of being bailed out while the CFPB became a revolving door for lobbyists and influence peddlers to regulate the market with little to no oversight.

    Unsurprisingly, one fifth of the banks in the U.S. banks, totalling 1,708, went under between the law’s creation and 2016, which is about one per day, and by 2015 five large banks controlled 50 percent of the banking industry.

    Outside of simple regulation, there was also so called “jobs creations” programs that were supposed to create jobs the President did not think businesses could such as the stimulus package. The program was sold as a job creation plan that would keep unemployment below 8 percent for the low price of $830 billion.

    The next four years were marked by above 8 percent unemployment while the money ended up being wasted on worthless projects, including trees in wealthy neighborhoods, a study of erectile dysfunction, and the failed company solyndra which was run by a bundler for the Obama campaign. To make matters worse, though unemployment eventually went down long after the stimulus’s implementation, the labor participation rate reached its lowest in 38 years which shows that people still weren’t working.

    However, the crowned jewel of overregulation and job destruction during the Obama administration was ObamaCare. Implemented to expand health insurance coverage, it has repeatedly failed to reach its goals as premiums went up, enrollment failed to reach its projections, and the legislation gave corporate welfare (including promised bailouts) to the insurance lobby. In the end, most of the coops failed and major companies pulled out of the exchanges, resulting in 1,000 counties, including five whole states, only having one insurer, a major failure in the goal of expanded coverage.

    Inevitably, the phenomenal intervention in the economy by President Obama failed to achieve the job creation while it instead made made doing business that much harder. With record breaking numbers of regulations, Obama was the first President since the Great Depression to never see 3 percent GDP growth.

    The Trump administration in the meantime has pursued a different approach than its predecessor. The Trump administration has seen sixteen regulations cut for every one it has created, had signed four resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn regulation within two months as President, and rolled back the clean power plan which could have cost $40 billion per year. All of this marks a significant change in policy that will greatly open up business opportunities and expand economic growth.

    However, policy alone does not explain why there has been high profit growth for the last two quarters. As the Wall Street Journal article admits, health care legislation and tax reform have been stalled in the senate. This has caused a climate of uncertainty which businesses have not been happy with.

    Nevertheless, they have instead moved on from Washington and instead remained focused on doing business. Political events seem to have taken a backseat to actual business as the number of S&P 500 companies have mentioned the President or his administration during conferences is down by a third as the research firm Sentieo found out. To be blunt, the involvement of Washington and government policy is not driving the current profit growth and the lack of involvement may actually be increasing it.

    For a better example of how reduced involvement can improve the economy, look no further than the Depression of 1920. At the time, war time debt had exploded, unemployment peaked at 11.7 percent in 1921, and inflation rates jumped above twenty percent. It had the potential to be even more catastrophic than the Great Depression that started in 1929.

    However, the policies pursued were entirely different. The federal budget was severely reduced from $18.5 billion in FY 1919 to $3.3 billion for FY 1922. Taxes at the same time were cut by about 40 percent.

    As a result, unemployment dropped to 2.3 percent by 1923 and a crisis had been averted. This was accomplished not by bailouts and and overregulation but by getting the government entirely out of the way. This is a radically different approach than was pursued during the financial panic of 2008 or even the Great Depression.

    Overall, there has been a repeated belief that government involvement has made economic advancement harder. As was stated by former President Reagan, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” President Kennedy noted the same when he said “Our tax system still siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort — thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate.”

    It should come as no surprise then that business are fully prepared to run their own affairs and is best capable to address its own need, for as JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon noted, “We’ve been growing at 1.5% to 2%...because the American business sector is powerful and strong and is going to grow regardless.”

    It remains the desire of others that the government should intervene in the economy to make improvements. However, this has always resulted in guaranteed failure. Be it raising the minimum wage in Seattle or increased taxation and regulations in Connecticut, the result is usually lackluster growth and decreased jobs. At the national level, Venezuela’s nationalization and China’s increased infrastructure projects have created the same results, which is to say none.

    As history and current events have shown time and time again, the best results come not from government involvement and micromanagement, but from the hard work of free individuals in free markets. More and more, the adaptability of businesses to their consumer’s demands and their ability to whether adversity in the marketplace has always been more efficient than the micromanagement the state perceives. As a result, sometimes the best thing to do is to have the government do nothing so that those who can make the economy better will.

              FreedomWorks Foundation Submits Only Comment to Coast Guard Regulatory Reform Effort, Opposing Jones Act        

    FreedomWorks Foundation submitted, thus far, the only comment to an open Coast Guard docket requesting information on regulations to review and/or reverse, in accordance with President Trump's executive orders on regulatory reform.

    The Foundation's comments focus on the Jones Act and subsequent regulations governing domestic maritime shipping. The laws and regulations governing America’s domestic shipping industry, particularly the Merchant Marine Act of 1920—more commonly known as the Jones Act—restrict shipping between two domestic ports in the United States to ships primarily built, owned, operated and flagged in the United States. According to the World Economic Forum, America’s coastwise trade laws under the Jones Act are “the most restrictive” of their kind in the world.

    FreedomWorks Foundation strongly contends that these laws and subsequent regulations designed to protect the domestic maritime industry, such as the Jones Act, have produced significant unintended consequences requiring immediate redress. In particular, these rules have suppressed competition in the domestic shipping market, ultimately harming demand and exposing merchant marine personnel to hazard aboard an aging fleet of ships.

    You can read FreedomWorks Foundation's comments in the attached document below or here.

    You can find out more about the Jones Act and its unintended consequence by reading the following studies:

    Mercatus Center at George Mason University: An Economic Analysis of the Jones Act

    Grassroot Institute of Hawaii: THE JONES ACT IN PERSPECTIVE: A survey of the costs and effects of the 1920 Merchant Marine Act

              Some Republicans Just Don’t Want to Repeal ObamaCare        

    FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon released the following statement about the defeat of the skinny repeal of ObamaCare:

    “Last night’s vote was a slap in the face to every conservative who has been promised that Republicans would repeal ObamaCare. Sens. John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins voted against the ‘skinny repeal’ of ObamaCare, theoretically the least repeal that can be achieved because so many Republicans went back on their votes for a 2015-style repeal. The Republican Party has been all about ObamaCare repeal for the better part of a decade, and now we see that they have been writing checks to voters that they knew the Bank of Obama wouldn’t cash. Now that President Trump would sign it, they have exposed themselves as frauds.”

              FreedomWorks Presents FreedomFraud Awards        

    FreedomWorks today announced the FreedomFraud Award winners for this year: Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Dean Heller (R-Utah), and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). This is the counterpart to the FreedomFighter Awards.

    The FreedomFraud Awards recognize the height of political fraud by senators who voted to defend ObamaCare by voting against a bill virtually the same as one they supported less than two years ago. While protected by Barack Obama’s veto, they supported ObamaCare and railed against it. Now that President Trump supports the bill, they have exposed themselves as political liars.

    FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye delivered the awards to senators’ offices Friday afternoon. You can see an archived live stream here. Eligibility for the award is based purely on whether senators campaigned on repeal and voted for this bill less than two years ago and opposed it when it could have passed.

    “These people committed the greatest political fraud in American history,” said Jason Pye. “Republican politics has focused on repealing ObamaCare for the better part of a decade. There were frequent votes to repeal ObamaCare. These senators showed great contempt for their constituents by going against everything they’ve stood for on ObamaCare repeal.”

    After the 2015 bill passed, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said, “I'm for repealing this broken law and replacing it with something better that gives patients more choice, decreases costs and increases access to quality, affordable care.”

    After the 2015 bill passed, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) said, “This law is not affordable for anyone in Alaska. That is why I will support the bill that repeals the ACA and wipes out its harmful impacts. I can’t watch premiums for Alaskans shoot up by 30 percent or more each year, see businesses artificially constrained, or see the quality of public education decline.”

    After the 2015 bill passed, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said, “I am glad that a repeal bill will finally reach the president’s desk.”

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, “It is clear that any serious attempt to improve our health care system must begin with a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare, and I will continue fighting on behalf of the people of Arizona to achieve it.”

    Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said, “This DC bureaucrat-driven healthcare system will only result in limited health care choices and higher costs for Nevadans.”

    Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said , “The wisest course is to repeal Obamacare and replace it step by step with solutions that lower health care costs.”

              Key Vote YES on the ObamaCare Repeal Reconciliation Act, Amendment 271 to H.R. 1628        

    On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to vote YES on the ObamaCare Repeal Reconciliation Act. This language will be offered as an amendment to H.R. 1628.

    This amendment is virtually identical to the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill – the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, H.R. 3762. This bill passed the Senate by a vote of 52 to 47, with only two unsurprising Republican defections.

    For more than seven years, Republicans successfully campaigned on ObamaCare repeal. They made floor speeches in support of repeal, and they voted to pass a repeal bill less than two years ago. Grassroots conservative activists are not going to accept excuses if Republicans fail to pass a bill that they have passed once before.

    The ObamaCare Repeal Reconciliation Act would repeal much of ObamaCare – including the tax and cost sharing subsidies, Medicaid expansion, and the taxes that came with the law – with a two-year delay to pass a replacement. This delay provides more than ample time to reach an agreement on a replacement bill or package.

    President Donald Trump has indicated that he will sign a 2015-style ObamaCare bill into law. Senate Republicans should do as they did in December 2015 and pass a bill that delivers on their frequent promises to repeal ObamaCare.

    FreedomWorks will triple-weight the votes for the ObamaCare Repeal Reconciliation Act. Additionally, FreedomWorks reserves the right to retroactively key vote any amendments during the so-called “vote-a-rama.” The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.


    Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks

              Capitol Hill Update: July 24, 2017        


    The House and Senate are in session this week.

    There are five (5) legislative days remaining for the House before the August recess and 53 legislative days remaining in the year. The Senate will supposedly work through the first two weeks of the August recess.


    The FY 2018 budget resolution, dubbed "Building a Better America," was marked up and approved by the Budget Committee on Thursday in a party-line vote. The budget would reduce the budget deficit by $6.5 trillion over the ten-year budget window and eventually come into balance in FY 2027, creating a $9 billion surplus.

    Perhaps one of the most important components of the budget is that it begins the reconciliation process for fundamental tax reform. There are also reconciliation instructions for 11 House committees to find roughly $200 billion savings or reforms in mandatory spending.

    The FY 2018 budget resolution isn't on the calendar for the week. It's unclear if House Republican leaders will bring it to the floor.

    Additionally, the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, H.R. 2997, introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) could come to the floor for a vote this week. The bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and reforms the United States' out of date air traffic control (ATC) system. FreedomWorks has released a key vote in support of the 21st AIRR Act.

    On Monday, the House will consider 17 bills on the suspension calendar. Most of the bills on the suspension calendar related to veterans or active military issues. There are three bills on the suspension calendar that relate to small businesses and investment. The House will also consider the Intelligence Authorization Act, H.R. 3180, sponsored by Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on suspension.

    There are three bills on the suspension calendar for Tuesday, including the Medicare Part B Improvement Act, H.R. 3178, sponsored by Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), and a yet-to-be-numbered resolution that will impose sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

    The House will also consider H.J.Res. 111, a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, to cancel the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) giveaway to trial lawyers. The rule put restrictions on the use of arbitration to settle disputes over consumer products. This would lead to more class-action lawsuits, benefiting trial lawyers and hurting consumers. FreedomWorks has signed a coalition letter in support of H.J.Res. 111 and will likely include the vote on our 2017 Congressional Scorecard.

    For the balance of the week, the House will consider at least four more bills on the suspension calendar. The Make America Secure Appropriations Act, H.R. 3219, will also come to the floor. This is the consolidated appropriations bill, or "minibus," for the Department of Defense, the Legislative Branch, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Energy and Water. Like virtually every other bill to come to the floor this year under "regular order," the Make America Secure Appropriations Act is subject to a rule to limit or prevent amendments from the floor.

    On Thursday at 10:00 am, the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing entitled "The Need for the Balanced Budget Amendment." The witness list for the hearing has not yet been announced. Twelve constitutional amendments have been introduced in the House that would require a balanced budget. Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is the sponsor of two of them, H.J.Res. 1 and H.J.Res. 2. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), the primary sponsor of H.J.Res. 15, is among the House conservatives who have introduced a balanced budget amendment.

    The committee and subcommittee schedule for the week can be found here.


    Presumably, the Senate will vote this week on the motion to proceed to the House-passed version of H.R. 1628. It's still unclear on what happens next. A vote to proceed to the House-passed version has always been the first step. The next step will be for an amendment to the bill that will substitute the language of either the Better Care Reconciliation Act or language similar to the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill, now called the ObamaCare Repeal Reconciliation Act. FreedomWorks' key vote on the motion to proceed applies only if the base text that will be substituted is similar to the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill.

    At least a few Senate Republicans have backed away from their votes for the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill, which was passed in December 2015 with the support of all but two Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins. Moderate Republicans who refuse to vote for the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill have demanded $200 billion in Medicaid funding offered by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to get them to support the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

    Some parts of the Better Care Reconciliation Act are in limbo, however, as the Senate parliamentarian has apparently ruled that provisions limiting funding for Planned Parenthood and tax credits for plans that cover abortion will require 60 votes. Other provisions that may require 60 votes include the State Innovation Waivers. Many of these provisions can be altered to make them withstand a Byrd rule challenge, as was done in 2015.

    The Senate still has several nominees to consider and, on the legislative front, the FDA Reauthorization Act, S. 934; the National Defense Reauthorization Act; and the debt ceiling are among the items awaiting action.

    Separately, Senate Democrats are rolling out their "better deal" economic agenda today, which is a rehashing and repackaging of virtually every leftist policy proposal in recent years. The agenda is Democrats' attempt to find a message after a string of special election losses around the country.

    The full committee schedule for the week can be found here.

              Trump University Lawsuit Heads to Trial        
    Summary: The New York Trump University lawsuit is proceeding to trial.  Donald Trump is known for speaking his mind, and now he may have to flex those communication skills in court. Buzzfeed reports that the leading Republican candidate may have to testify in a fraud case in regards to his now-defunct school, Trump University, which […]
              Comentario en Guardians Inferno, el hilarante videoclip de Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 por Travsam        
    Digo, un cameo era mas que obvio, pero... wow... hasta Donald Trump escupiria el cafe al ver ese otro cameo!!!
              Trump declares opioid crisis a ‘national emergency’        
    President Donald Trump is officially declaring the opioid crisis a “national emergency.”
              Non mettete alla prova Donald Trump        
    If North Korea escalates nuclear threat, ‘they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. Come dobbiamo classificare questa dichiarazione proferita personalmente dal presidente Trump? Un bluff? Le parole di un uomo che non ha piena consapevolezza della situazione? Una boutade di chi ha scambiato un reality show con la […]
              Trump: pronti ad agire contro la Corea del Nord        
    BREAKING: Trump: If NKorea escalates nuclear threat, ‘they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.’ (AP) Il Presidente Americano Trump ha affermato che gli Stati Uniti sono pronti a rispondere a nuove minacce nucleari della Corea del Nord. Sebbene le dichiarazioni del comandante in capo delle forze armate americane […]
              Comment on Defending Trump: LaRouche advocates set up at Post Office by Christopher Sare        
    That was an excellent article. By the way, I was the other organizer.
              Resist scarf, pink scarf, pink pussy scarf, pink chiffon scarf, women's rights, resist trump, equality, feminist gift, protest, gift for her by FireAuntStudios        

    42.00 USD

    Stand up! Show your support for women's rights and inspire your sisters to not fall into complacency out of sheer exhaustion. Hand dyed pink silk chiffon has been subtly hand lettered with "resist" marching down the right-hand side of the scarf ... symbolic, don't you think?

    * This is is 100% silk chiffon, not that polyester impostor!
    * Available in two sizes: medium (13"x56") and large (17"x74")
    * Best of all, a portion of the proceeds from each purchase will be donated to Planned Parenthood. I'll even specify donations in honor of a specific individual, if you would like.

    IMPORTANT! The scarf you see in the photo is not the actual scarf you will receive. Upon receipt of your order, I will hand dye and letter your scarf just for you, using the same materials and techniques as pictured. Since everything is done by hand, slight variations and imperfections are to be expected, and are what make your item truly one of a kind .. just like you!

    I make every effort to represent colors accurately, however, colors may vary slightly depending on your monitor. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me. If you like the message, but pink isn't your color, please let me know, I'd be happy to discuss a custom order.

    I use only professional quality fiber reactive dyes, which bond permanently with the fabric, meaning the colors you see won't run or fade. To care for your new Fire Aunt Studios silk scarf, I recommend hand washing in cold water, and hang or dry flat.

    Since this is a new product line, I'm indicating a shipping timeline of two to three weeks, since each scarf is made by hand. It's very likely it won't always take me that long. Your new scarf will be shipped via Priority Mail in a flat rate padded envelope. If you live in the Treasure Valley, Idaho area, and would like to arrange for pick up or delivery, message me, and I'll provide you a coupon code for free shipping.

    I invite you to check my shop reviews - here’s what happy customers have said:


    This scarf is gorgeous, the picture doesn't do this scarf justice. it's very soft and the colors are vibrant. it's a Christmas present for my girlfriend. I know she'll love it.

    Beautiful scarf!! Artistically dyed in rich and wonderful colors. Visiting Anne's shop is such a treat!! Opening the package is even more of a treat!!!

    Simply gorgeous! The colors are unbelievable! Looks just as rich and textured as it does online. I loved it so much I bought another one recently as a Christmas gift. Beautiful work! Thank you!


    Please contact me with any questions you may have. Whether you purchase from me or another Etsy merchant, thank you for supporting independent artisans!

              Write a guest post for Liberal England        

    This is a reminder that I welcome guest posts on Liberal England.

    And as you can see from the list of the 10 most recent guest posts below, I am happy to consider a wide range of subjects.

    If you would like to write a guest post yourself, please send me an email so we can discuss your idea.

              Handshake, Konzert - und danke für nichts        
    Donald Trump gibt den Hungerhelfer, und Angela Merkel schließt den G20-Gipfel mit einer Absage an „klassische Entwicklungshilfe“. Nun sollen private Gelder Afrika nach vorn bringen. Nur: Wie soll das gelingen?
              G20 admits “Trump factor”: climate policy disagreement and blow to multilateral cooperation        

    “In the end, the negotiations on climate reflect dissent – all against the United States of America,” Merkel told reporters at the end of the meeting Leaders from the world's leading economies broke with U.S. President Donald Trump on climate policy at a G20 summit on Saturday, in a rare public admission of disagreement and blow to multilateral cooperation.

              Trump and Putin hold “robust” two-and-a-quarter hours discussions and shake hands        

    The US and Russian presidents held their first face-to-face talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the German city of Hamburg Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin discussed on Friday the alleged Russian hacking of last year's US presidential election during their first meeting. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the exchanges as “robust”, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Mr Trump had accepted Putin's assertions that his country was not responsible.

              CNN’s Angela Rye Posts Disturbing Video Being ‘Humiliated’ By TSA Agent During Body Search        
    CNN’s fierce political talking head said that the incident was “traumatic,” and that “the TSA grabs p__s like Donald Trump.”
              A Fake Newser in King Donald’s Court        
    Late last night I fell asleep reading the Failing New York Times on my iPad here in Alexandria, Virginia. To my surprise, though a time warp and other inexplicable phenomena, I awoke in a spare bedroom in the former Trump White House. I say “former” for a reason. The time was the mid-2020s. And the […]
              A Trump-era etiquette guide: How progressives can get along with Trumpists and respect themselves in the morning        
    George Roper, my good friend from high school, is dead now. When alive, he was often as right-wing as they come—complete with a passionate anti-Obama blog. And yet George and I avoided hand-to-hand combat. Up to his death several years ago, we followed each other on Facebook. He even talked up my novel. Similarly my […]
              Q & A with James Fallows on Trump and Pence        
    Think Donald Trump will give us many positive surprises in the near term? Dream on. His EPA nominee hates the agency’s mission. Among at least the long-shot possibilities for secretary of state? The head of ExxonMobil. What is this, reality or a cartoon? I caught up with James Fallows of the The Atlantic, once Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter, for his own take […]
              Accountability: Why the press needs to ask ALL 538 electors about Donald Trump        
    A century from now, historians may well turn to the Trump Time Capsule series. The Atlantic’s James Fallows has told “what we knew, when we knew it, about the man who was trying to become president.” The series holds Republican politicians and others accountable to future generations. Donald Trump’s detractors regard him as a potential tyrant […]
              President Trump’s enemies list: Will you make it?        
    Richard Nixon’s enemies list was a black-tie affair. What a party! The twenty original names included such luminaries as film star Paul Newman, Congress member Ron Dellums, and journalist Daniel Schorr. Some powerful VIPs almost felt slighted not to make The List. The Nixon people later added scores of other individuals, as well as groups, […]
              Want Kent State II? Then pander to Donald Trump. A few thoughts for the media.        
    Ohio National Guardmen killed Bill Schroeder, an ex-Eagle Scout, 46 years ago today, at Kent State University. As a reporter for The Lorain Journal, his hometown daily, I covered the death of this ROTC cadet. Do you realize what America was like back then? People actually phoned up our factory-town newspaper and praised the guardsmen […]
              LOS SIETE MAGNÍFICOS        

    Película: Los siete magníficos. Título original: The magnificent seven. Dirección: Antoine Fuqua. País: USAAño: 2016. Género:AcciónwesternInterpretación: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard, Byung-hun Lee, Haley Bennett. Guion: John Lee Hancock, Richard Wenk y Nic Pizzolatto; basado en el libreto de Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto y Hideo Oguni.Música: James Horner. Estreno en España: 23 Septiembre 2016.

    Los habitantes de Rose Creek, atemorizados bajo el control del industrial Bartholomew Bogue, deciden contratar a siete forajidos para terminar con la amenaza: Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Home (Vincent D´Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel García Rulfo) y Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). Sin embargo, pronto se darán cuenta de que están luchando por algo más que simple dinero. Antoine Fuqua dirige esta versión moderna del clásico de 1960.

    Descubrí "Los 7 Samurais" de Akira Kurosawa después de ver el remake de John Sturges y gracias a un ciclo retrospectivo de la SEMINCI de Valladolid y fue la primera vez que comprendí la necesidad de los remakes para que historias localistas se pudiesen conocer más allá de sus orígenes. Sturges no era Kurosawa y Fuqua no es Sturges ni Kurosawa pero nos ofrece una película casi perfecta con un reparto extraordinario y un espectáculo que hará las delicias del gran público que, sin duda, responderá a esta propuesta revitalizadora de un género muy popular como es el western relegado ahora a las sobremesas de las TV autonómicas.
    Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D' Onofrio y Peter Sarsgaard están estupendos y el resto del reparto les acompañan con acierto. La música de James Horner es muy buena pero no consigue hacer olvidar el famoso tema de Elmer Bernstein que dejo un clásico inolvidable.
    Seguramente cosechará mejores críticas que otros clásicos recientemente versionados y el público responda bien en taquilla...se lo merece.(SOLO FALTA ELMER)

    Revisitación de la historia de siete expertos con las armas, que deben defender a una pequeña y pacífica comunidad de campesinos, amenazados por unos matones que quieren hacerse con sus tierras. Originalmente fue contada por Akira Kurosawa en Los siete samuráis, y luego trasladada al lejano oeste por John Sturges en Los siete magníficos, el mismo escenario donde transcurre esta nueva versión dirigida por Antoine Fuqua.
    Más allá del viejo y absurdo debate de si resulta “innecesaria” esta película –cualquier historia puede ser contada de nuevo, y hasta está bien hacerlo si contiene material valioso, también pensando en las nuevas generaciones: luego los espectadores decidirán si desean verla o no–, podemos decir que se trata de una película correcta, rodada con una espectacularidad a ratos algo exagerada, que entretiene pero que no resulta memorable.
    Lo más destacable y que sabe poner en valor, como los anteriores filmes, es la idea de fondo de la dignidad, hay que saber mantener la cabeza alta y dar la cara ante la injusticia, aunque resulte  incómodo y surja la tentación de escurrir el bulto. Y entre los elementos novedosos, pero que no enriquecen en gran cosa la narración, está la idea de dar al grupo unos rasgos multiculturales –un afroamericano, un indio, un oriental...–, más el hecho de que se realza el papel de la mujer, al fijarse en la viuda que contrata a los pistoleros.
    Teniendo la película como coguionista a Nic Pizzolatto, que ha logrado llamar la atención con la serie True Detective, cabía esperar una mirada más filosófica y deprimente a la naturaleza humana, pero prevalece cierto optimismo, y también la fe sencilla que lleva a reunirse y rezar en la iglesia, y a la confianza de que pase lo que pase, y a pesar de sus personales demonios, los lugareños del pueblo y sus defensores se mueven por una causa justa. Los actores están bien, sobre todo Denzel Washington, que imprime la necesaria decencia a su personaje.(DE CINE 21).

    Floja y decepcionante en varios aspectos, es entretenida pero no convence.

    La asociación de Antoine Fuqua y Denzel Washington en una película del oeste merecía más. Su visita a la mitología de la icónica Los siete magnificos merecía más. Ye esperaba más de un guión del creador de True Detective, Nic Pizzolatto. El personaje de Chris Pratt merecía más desarrollo del que tiene, no puede ser simplemente un comparsa humorístico de Denzel. El propio Denzel merecía más porque su personaje, aún teniendo todo el apoyo del director, que parece haber devaluado el resto de “magníficos” para reforzar la “magnificencia” de su protagonista, está dibujado con trazos desiguales y como a todo el resto de sus compañeros le falta una escena definitoria que marque al personaje similar a la que tuviera Yul Brynner en la versión de John Sturges en los años 60 en el cementerio, junto a Steve McQueen, lo que podríamos llamar la clave épica. En lugar de esa presentación de clave épica, Fuqua y sus guionistas prefieren darle al personaje una explicación final que además de innecesaria incluye una especie de giro al modo del western europeo con sus historias de venganza que llega demasiado tarde al relato para proporcionarle al personaje una motivación sólida para su conducta, y tampoco ejerce bien el rol de elemento de intriga sobre su pasado, aunque lo pretenda....(ACCIÓN DE CINE).
    Que Antoine Fuqua decida empezar 'Los Siete Magnífcos' sin ceder a la tentación de hacer un riff que nos recuerde la mítica banda sonora de Elmer Bernstein debe entenderse como toda una declaración de principios. No se trata de facturar un remake de un western mítico, sino de reinterpretarlo según los vientos (ideológicos) que soplan. Los bandidos que aterrorizaban un pueblo mexicano en el original toman cuerpo ahora en un tiburón de los negocios que no duda en colocar en la misma ecuación los conceptos de democracia, capitalismo y Dios.
    Si a eso le añadimos que, en el septeto de rebeldes con causa, hay un negro, un asiático y un mexicano, es evidente que funciona como alegoría distópica de una América presidida por Donald Trump. El carisma de Washington y Pratt, junto a una eficaz presentación de personajes, avalan su disfrute al margen de lecturas políticas, aunque el clímax es confuso y atropellado.(FOTOGRAMAS).

              Meet the Senior Federal Official Blowing the Whistle on Trump's Suppression of Climate Science        
              Abigail Ratchford’s Giant Boobs Again Are The Crap We Missed        
    Abigail Ratchford's giant boobs, Finn Jones' badass chest tattoo, and the blossoming bromance of Donald Trump and Paul Ryan. It's The Crap We Missed.
              Trump Tried To Force One Direction To Meet His Daughter        
    3 Doors Down would never have acted like this. Superstars. Extremely talented. Very nice!
              Bella Hadid In A Swimsuit Is The Crap We Missed        
    Bella Hadid in a swimsuit, the Dutch Donald Trump, more SXSW hipster BS, and Amber Rose's giant, jiggly boobs. It's The Crap We Missed.
              Sara Jean Underwood In A Bikini Is The Crap We Missed        
    Sara Jean Underwood in a bikini, Trump's "listening to a broad" face, and an extra helping of Instagram boobs. It's The Crap We Missed.
              Nicki Minaj In Latex Is The Crap We Missed        
    A double dose of Nicki Minaj, John Goodman humping his Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, and Trump sharting in The White House. It's The Crap We Missed.
              Arianny Celeste In A Bikini Is The Crap We Missed        
    Arianny Celeste in a bikini, Flo from Progressive IRL, and the best Ivanka Trump photo since eye-banging Justin Trudeau. It's The Crap We Missed.
              Donald Trump Jr. Really Wants To Be On ‘Saturday Night Live’        
    I'm guessing Donald Trump Jr. doesn't follow his dad on Twitter. Call it a hunch.
              Ashley Graham Braless Is The Crap We Missed        
    Ashley Graham braless, Trump's henchman rolling out Muslim Ban Lite, and Jennifer Garner getting her non-mantitted groove back. It's The Crap We Missed.
              When you're out there, you're family        
    I've said it before. I'll say it again. I'm not an athlete.
    I slouch so much, I wonder if my future job will be ringing church bells.
    I can't dribble down a basketball court and run at the same time. My shot is a heave, even at the free throw line.
    I can run down a football field, as long as I hold the ball out in front of me, meaning a mosquito could cause me to fumble. I can catch, too, as long as it's a pitch. I can defend, as long as there's no such thing as pass interference, as grabbing the shirt and hanging on for dear life is my only move.
    I dance worse than the members of Genesis. I've never tried hockey because I can't skate. I've never swung a golf club, and it's my goal in life to never do so. I was always picked last in kickball. I "roped" too much in tetherball. I was good in volleyball until I got out of high school and I learned the nets were higher than my forehead. Bummer. Because, you guessed it, I can't jump.
    Sure, I can climb mountains, pretty well, in fact, even if I've tried to perform open heart surgery on myself many times while learning how to self arrest on snow. But if you want to know the truth, mountain climbing, even at my somewhat advanced level, is full of guys like me, introverted, introspective, semi-geeky types who love mountaineering simply because it gives us a chance to get our grrr on. When I climbed Mount Rainier with the guiding group RMI many years ago, our group of 24 had, I believe, 21 engineers. Seriously. When I said I was a writer, everyone looked up and stared at me, like I was the guy with bottle-coke glasses stepping into a biker bar. In this case, I suppose, it was the opposite.
    Somehow, despite all this, I love sports. I love the NFL, sorta love baseball, kinda love hockey and the NBA and dearly love my Kansas Jayhawks and college basketball. When Kansas destroyed Baylor Monday night, I felt a buzz, as if I was drunk off a good lager. Some of my best memories are playing in the basketball band and going to the Final Four with the team and leaving Allen Field House with my ears ringing not from the trumpets but from the crowd.
    Yet because I can't do the things they can, the athletes look like a circus act. The circus, if it's not one of those stupid ones that make animals do tricks, is designed to entertain you with acts that seem impossible. And it's not much different when I watch, say, Thomas Robinson grab a basketball with one hand on an alley-oop and flush it through the cord. Go ahead and watch it. I'll wait.
    You back? Wow, right? Only there's NO WAY I could do that. I probably couldn't catch an alley pop with one hand with my feet planted firmly on the ground.
    I know what you're saying. Not many can do that, Dan. True. But many of you have played sports. So you know what they're feeling. You may not dunk like Robinson, but you know the smell of the court, the sweat off your eyes, the sticky blisters on your feet. How a ball sounds on the hardwood.
    Your spikes have stabbed at the grass. You've crushed a ball down the left field line. You've scored a goal in soccer.
    I had no idea what it was like to watch athletes and relate to them in any way.
    Until I watched the Olympic Marathon Trials Saturday.
    Now look, don't get me wrong. Anyone who ran the marathon in Houston Saturday was an athlete, and a serious one at that. Their VO2 maxes are off the charts, their resting heart rates are probably in the 40s, if not lower, and their bodies, as far as I could tell, were so lean, fat was an anti-matter. They were built to survive a zombie takeover.
    These guys, and gals, were basically sprinting for 26 miles.
    I can't relate to that.
    And yet, I knew what they were feeling.
    I'm a runner too.
    I could see Deena Kastor, one of my heroes, straining at mile 8, and I knew the pace would be too much for her proud, 38-year-old body. Sure enough, she fell off the pace almost right away. I think she finished seventh or eighth. It reminded me of a half marathon in Moab, when my partners were blazing into a strong headwind, and I tried to hold on to their pace for as long as I could, but I knew I'd have to let them go.
    I could see Abdi Abdirahman pumping his arms and waving to the crowd, and my wife asked me why he was raising the roof. "He's not," I said. "He's trying to draw some energy from them."
    That told me he was struggling a bit, and sure enough, at mile 21, his legs stiffened, his arms pumped like a machine about to break, and his feet seemed to flop forward. That reminded me of my last mile in Vegas, when a crash could wreck my beautiful PR and all I needed to do was just hold on and run. All Abdirahman needed to do was hold the brutal pace of 5-minute miles, faster than I've ever run a mile, like, ever. EVER. And he would make the Olympics.
    I'd been there many times. My goal was not the Olympics, or even to win the race. But many times I've been there, just trying to hold on until the end, dreaming about nothing but not feeling that pain any longer.
    I love running for many reasons, and I've talked about them plenty in earlier posts. I think one of the best reasons for me is I now know what athletes are feeling during a big event. It adds to the enjoyment of it. I know what it means to run a 2:09 marathon, the times the top three had to run to qualify for the games, even if I'll never run that fast (my last marathon, which I was very proud of, was a 3:43).
    Heck, I KNOW an elite runner. She's ran with us many times. She ran in the trials Saturday. She's Wendy Thomas. She finished 12th at 2:34, and four years ago, she would have finished seventh. It's pretty incredible. There's no ceiling for her, either, and some are saying she has a shot at the Olympics in four years. Yowza. I followed up on her performance in my column Tuesday.
    Yep. I feel what elite athletes are feeling now.
    And now I run with a bunch of athletes. I'm in a group. We all met Wednesday for drinks to celebrate the performance of Wendy and others I run with regularly who ran Sunday and qualified for the Boston Marathon.
    I left feeling like I was part of a family.
    A family of athletes.
    It makes me think that maybe, just maybe, I'm one myself now.

              Blog Post: Senate Panel Advances Trump Pick For DOJ Enviro Chief        
    The Department of Justice is one step closer to having Kirkland & Ellis LLP partner Jeffrey Bossert Clark as its top environmental enforcer Thursday after a party line vote in a Senate panel advanced his nomination.
              Blog Post: 3 Things To Watch After DC Circ. Issues EPA Methane Mandate        
    Environmental groups on Monday scored another win in their battle to keep in force methane regulations for oil and gas infrastructure when the D.C. Circuit again ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to lift a stay on the rule. But the war over the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back this and other finalized Obama-era energy regulations is far from over. Here are three things to watch.
              Blog Post: Trump Admin Illegally Suspended Enviro Reg, Nonprofits Say        
    The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration has illegally suspended a regulation designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions on national highways without providing public notice or allowing public comment, according to a lawsuit filed by nonprofits in New York federal court Monday.
              New Jams: PJ Harvey - Let England Shake        
    I'm starting a new series called "New Jams." As many of you know, I am a musician, (fiddler/violist/singer/songwrtier) and there some really exciting things going on right now that are in the works (which I have mentioned before.) Although I can't share any of that information at the moment, I will be sharing the latest music that I'm listening to. (Not as exciting, but this is basically my favorite thing to talk about in "real life," so I thought I'd bring the discussion over to the blog!) I'm an avid Spotify-user, which is a bit taboo for a musician, I think, but that's another story for another time. Spotify is where I find all the current music I'm listening to. It's so easy to use and just makes it that much easier to explore different genre's that you might not normally give a chance. Some of the music I listen to has just come out and the artist has recently released a new album, but a lot of it is just new-to-me musicians and artists that I've discovered on my own. 


    So first up, is this knock-your-socks-off  album "Let England Shake" by the lovely Ms. PJ Harvey. I've been a fan of hers since her album White Chalk, which came out back in 2007. When I first heard her, I was honestly like "what the f*ck just happened." She's bizarre. She's kinda freaky. And her lyrics are kinda scary at times. (White Chalk is REAL depressing for the most part.) But she's an artist… Yah?! PJ Harvey is one of those musicians who lives and breathes her art. In fact, I just read somewhere that every album she comes out with brings basically a new chapter of her life quite literally. Harvey's goal is to "never repeat herself" and to continue reinventing herself with every new album by changing not only her musical styles, but also her physical appearance. I remember I had my boyfriend at the time listen to "The Mountain" from her 2007 album, and he looked at me like I was losing my marbles. (I will never date another close-minded musician ever.) She sings completely out of key for the latter half of "The Mountain", but the more I listened to it, the more I realized that her out-of-tune belting was actually quite strategically placed and was in fact, beautiful. After that, I hadn't listened to her for several years, because I over-played White Chalk and was not a huge fan of Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. (There is a great track on that album though, called "This Mess We're In." It's a collab with my favorite Thom Yorke from Radiohead. But she also has several other albums that I have not listened to.)

    Last week, I typed her into the search engine of my Spotify account and started listening to to her 2011 album "Let England Shake." And boy, am I glad I typed in her name and clicked on this album, because it's another world-changer in my opinion. PJ Harvey is a like a Bjork or a Thom Yorke. All three of these artists use their voices as instruments in different ways, and they're ingenious lyricists. I wish I had one sixteenth of the talent they had when it comes to writing lyrics, but alas, I have not been doing it that long. "Let England Shake" is absolutely beautiful, with many references to her love for her homeland, England. She uses different technologies throughout the tracks such as recordings of bells from a vintage ice-cream parlor, a circus trumpeter, or a middle-eastern lick from a old traditional-tune. That's what I imagine they are, at least. PJ Harvey brings her music to places that I would never expect, which is something that is hard to find in my opinion. Harmonics are my forte, and I often know where a song is going to go before I even hear it through once. So it's fun to listen to music that's surprising and exciting! She uses her voice in so many different ways and is not afraid to crack or sound odd. I mean, those of you who listen to her know what I'm talking about. She's just downright odd sometimes, but she hooks you in with her unexpected melodies. It's incredible! 

              OCC FinTech Charter in Trump Administration Cards        

    Look!! What I found under the TRUMP building in Chicago!😂🇺🇸 . . 見て!! トランプビルの下にこんなメッセージが😂さすがアメリカ😂オープンっす🇺🇸😂
              Educating Trump’s “Deplorables”        
    Usually, after a few weeks off in the middle of August each summer, I find myself chomping at the bit to get back into the classroom.…
              â€œFuego y furia”: la amenaza es para todo el mundo        
    Una escalada de amenazas sin precedentes entre Corea del Norte y EE.UU. que podría acabar malCorea del Norte está jugando con fuego. Donald Trump, jugando al golf en Nueva Jersey ha respondido con furia. “Fuego y furia” son las palabras del presidente estadounidense, en el punto más crítico de la crisis de los misiles y Leer más…
              What Makes a Great Definition        
    Too often we see bad definitions, a convoluted mess carefully crafted to make a theorem true. A student asked me though what makes for a great definition in theoretical computer science. The right definition can start a research area, where a bad definition can take research down the wrong path.

    Some goals of a definition:
    • A great definition should capture some phenomenon, like computation (Turing machines), efficient computation (P), efficient quantum computation (BQP). Cryptography has produced some of the best (and worst) definitions to capture security concerns.
    • A great definition should be simple. Defining computability by a Turing machine--good. Definition computability by by the 1334 page ISO/IEC 14882:2011 C++ standard--not so good.
    • A great definition should be robust. Small changes in the definition should have little, or better, no change in what fulfills the definition. That is what makes the P v NP problem so nice since both P and NP are robust to various different models of computing. Talking about the problems solvable by a 27-state Turing machine--not robust at all.
    • A great definition should be logically consistent. Defining a set as any definable collection doesn't work.
    • A great definition should be easy to apply. It should be easy to check that something fulfills the definition, ideally in a simply constructive way.
    A great definition drives theorems not the other way around.

    Sometimes you discover that a definition does not properly capture a phenomenon--then you should either change or discard your definition, or change your understanding of the phenomenon.

    Let's go through an interesting example. In 1984, Goldwasser, Micali and Rackoff defined $k$-bits of knowledge interactive proof systems. Did they have good definitions?
    • The definition of interactive proof systems hits all the right points above and created a new area of complexity that we still study today. 
    • Their notion of zero-(bits of) knowledge interactive proofs hits nearly the right points. Running one zero-knowledge protocol followed by another using the GMR definition might not keep zero-knowledge but there is an easy fix for that. Zero-knowledge proof systems would end up transforming cryptography. 
    • Their notion of k-bit knowledge didn't work at all. Not really robust and a protocol that output the factors of a number half the time leaked only 1-bit of knowledge by the GMR definition. They smartly dropped the k-bit definition in the journal version.
    Two great definitions trump one bad one and GMR rightly received, along with Babai-Moran who gave an alternative equivalent definition of interactive proofs, the first Godel Prize.

              Harvard revokes admission of students based on what was said in a private(?) chat room        
    Harvard revoked the admission of 10 students (see here) based on what the students said in a private (can't have been too private) chat room.

    (ADDED later upon reflection- Harvard has only confirmed that there is a clause students are made
    aware of about immaturity and moral character. As for the reason for the revoking- we only have
    what is reported and that comes from the students. Are the students trustworthy on this?  Given that they are being expelled for moral reasons... But more seriously we really don't' know. I just want to caution that we do not know the full story and never will. Note that Harvard is not  legally allowed to disclose why they revoked, while the students can say what they want.  For an example of how off a reported story can be see this though I am sure you all know other examples.)

    Normally I would be aghast (and I may still be aghast) because of the slippery slope:

    Today you revoke admissions because students mock sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the death of children, and call the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child ``pinata time''

    Tomorrow you revoke admissions because a student is a Trump Supporter.  (Readers: I assume that you would find revoking admission because a student is a Trump supporter to be disgusting and absurd.)

    I felt strongly against this and sought out some other viewpoints. Here are some:

    1) Harvard is within their rights to do this legally according to what they agree to when they accept you. This is true. This is also irrelevant- I am interested in if its the right thing to do, not if its legal.

    2) The content of the chat rooms indicates a lack of moral character.  This is a stronger argument. However the nebulousness of ``moral character'' reminds me of the origin of taking moral character into account: it was an excuse to let in less Jews (see the book t Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, see The Chosen: The hidden history of admissions and exclusion a review here).  Jews do not have less moral char, but it was used as an excuse to admit less of them.  Even though in the case at hand moral char is a legit issue, the history of the use of this issue bothers me. Slippery slope again.

    3) For crying out loud bill, LIFE is a Slippery Slope! You have to draw the line somewhere! And wherever you draw it, these kids are over that line.  This argument, combined with the moral-point of item 2, I do find compelling.

    4) Here is a one border (I do not know if it was crossed): If a student personally attacks another student then this is grounds for  revoking. Sounds good but what constitutes a personal attack?

    Counter argument: : Whenever a disgusting point of view is censored or punished the conversation shifts from

                                                  That is a disgusting point of view


                                             Free Speech! Oppressing unpopular views!

    I would rather the conversation be about why the point of view is wrong (or disgusting)  rather than on Free Speech.

    Right now I am 75% against the revoking of the students admissions. This has no effect- I am not in any position of power, I won't give less money to Harvard (I am an alum-Grad school, which is why I noticed the story in the first place). I find the question interesting and, more than usual, welcome your comments. Based on your comments that 75 might change! In either direction!
              Climate Change: The Evolution of the Deniers/Does Paul Ryan Hate His Grandchildren?        

    I went to the Mach for Science and then Drumpf pulled out of the Paris Accords. Causation or Correlation? I then posted about climate change (CC). That's caustation.

    1) Deniers:

      The deniers have gone through several phases:

    There is no CC

    There is CC but its not caused by humans.

    There is CC and its caused by humans but since China and India and other countries aren't doing anything about it, if only we do it will have no effect except to ruin our economy.
    (Counter argument: the effects of climate change are economically devastating- are insurance companies trying to pressure governments to do something about CC since CC's effects cause damage which hurts their bottom line?)

    Intermixed with these arguments have been:

    Just because 87% of all lung cancer victims  smoke, that's just a correlation. Maybe people the lung cancer gene is also the smoking gene. Correlation does not equal causation. OH, sorry, that's a flashback to the Correlation NOT causation arguments made by the Tobacco companies. Do they still believe that? Mike Pence does (see here). How can they stay in business? (here's how) ANYWAY, some are making the correlation NOT causation argument for why Polar bears are dying, etc.

    AND the classic

    Technology will bail us out. (This would be a better argument if it was followed by hence we will give lots of funding for such technology  which is NEVER what its followed by.)

    OKAY, so where are we in 2017?

    The economist had an argument about how Solar and Wind will soon be MORE cost effective than Oil and Gas- though we still have the problem of what happens on a cloudy, windless day- so we need technology to store (see here though its behind a pay wall). China and India ARE doing things about CC. How much? Effective? Hard to say- though both are really concerned with pollution.

    I predict the new argument will be:

    We're all doomed anyway so why take our economy down at the same time.

    Unfortunately this argument might be correct.

    (ADDED LATER- a commenter says that I conspicuously left out religious arguments to not do anything about CC.  I now conspicuously ask you to read his comment.)

    2) Take Paul Ryan. Please.
    Seriously-- I assume he KNOWS that CC really is a problem and the longer we put it off the worse it will be for his grandchildren, and perhaps his children. So why does he fight ANY attempt to even admit we HAVE a problem (And note there ARE some market-based solutions- a Carbon Tax, Cap and Trade.)  Some speculation

    a) Despite being smart he's in deep deep denial. Okay, but why is that? If you believe in small government then if something comes along that REQUIRES big government, you just DENY it since it does not fit into your world view.

    b) Paul Ryan hates his Grandchildren.

    c) Paul Ryan thinks that HIS grandchildren will be among the few people who survive and live in a VERY gated community. He's probably wrong about that as even those in gated communities will suffer the effects of CC.

    d) Paul Ryan is stuck. If he tries to do ANYTHING then it will not work AND he'll lose his speakership and possibly his seat in congress. And there are a large number of congressman and senators who feel the same way but they're all afraid to say. If they ALL said so then... they'd ALL lose their seat in congress. One of the downsides of politics is ending up STUCK on the WRONG side of history and KNOWING it. Well, at least there won't be much history left so he won't be stuck on the wrong side for long.

    3) Game Theory. I used to think that it was in NO countries SHORT term interest to do anything serious about CC (that is, do it alone) and hence we were all DOOMED! Doomed I say! And part of the problem is that if Country A emits greenhouse gases its bad for THE ENTIRE WORLD EQUALLY, and not for Country A in particular. But a few things make me more optimistic:

    Pollution is a here-and-now problem for China and India so they will tackle that. That somehow has to be part of the solution.

    Technology- as mentioned before Solar and Wind is catching up to Gas and Oil. (downside of technology- Fracking and oil extraction are also getting better and cheaper. Hubbert's Peak Oil Theory doesn't seem to be true) But the real advantage of Solar and Wind will be that you don't have to Extract and ship Oil (or Coal or whatever).

    4) I wrote that last positive point before President Drumpf. Having a CC denier in the white house means four more years of no action which sounds really bad- especially since the longer we put off doing something about the problem, the harder and more expensive it will be to slow down CC (Some ponders that Trump won't be that bad for the environment: here)

    5) Okay Bill, what would YOU do? Carbon Tax will give financial incentive for companies to curb Carbon emissions. And its simple. The Tax has to be high enough to have an effect. Another added bonus will be to help America pay down its deficit. ALSO more research into renewables. Oddly enough I would also recommend NOT forcing Gas to contain Ethanol- make Ethanol compete with Solar and Wind. (Recall that Ethanol is funded only because of the Iowa Caucus. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry, its too stupid to explain.) Some may disagree and have other ideas. Thats FINE- I would rather be having a debate about what to DO about the problem rather than one about whether or not there IS a problem. Though even a debate about what to do about the problem should be SHORT so we can begin DOING something.

              Trump legt gegen Nordkorea nach        
    Zurück zur Diplomatie? Nicht mit US-Präsident Trump. Er bezeichnete seine jüngsten Äußerungen zu Nordkorea als möglicherweise nicht scharf genug. Trump empfahl dem Land, besser sehr nervös zu sein. Zugleich aber müssten die USA Verhandlungen stets erwägen.
              Chicago wehrt sich gegen Trump        
    US-Präsident Donald Trump ist seit Januar im Amt. Im Tagebuch halten wir fest, was er bislang gesagt, erreicht oder auch vermasselt hat.
              Hike Above Our New Home        
    When I move to a new town, I make it a priority to get some perspective as quickly as possible by climbing the hills surrounding the place. When I moved to Boulder and climbed the beautiful red rocks above Settlers Park, I remember thinking I can't imagine living on flatland where you couldn't climb above and look down on town. Since 2000, I've lived in California, Colorado and Korea and those have suited me just fine.

    So last weekend, our first in this town, I looked out my window and found the biggest hill beside town, found a valley next to and started walking up it. I ran into several groups of students on the way to the hike, and then one with his family on the trail. It feels great to be living in the same place we're working, to be (in some few ways) part of a community. On the other hand, when I went to buy water at the convenience store under our apartment after work in my sweats and ran into two students in the store, I was a little less excited about community and more worried about privacy. Similarly yesterday when we ran into a student 50 meters from our apartment and he followed us like a lost puppy into our building, the concerns trumped the satisfaction.

    Anyway, here are some pictures from the hike, of our new home, Dogye Village of Samcheok County of Gangwon Province of the Republic of Korea. If it's a bit hazy, that's because there was a fire just a valley over two days before. Helicopters overhead all day, but no serious damage done.

    Dogye from above. Our apartment is on the left, the highest of the cluster of six large buildings. That valley that we back up to is this weekend.

    This is the industry that keeps this region breathing (and warm during the winter... there are actual bricks of coal all over the place. They get them delivered to burn for heat).

    Here are some dogs that I can only assume are being kept for food. To be honest, I feel only marginally worse for these creatures than I do for the millions of pics and cows kept all over the world for food, in the United States usually in much worse conditions than these dogs.

    Persimmons are everywhere this time of year, a dime a dozen, if you will. When the leaves blow off the trees, leaving the orange bulbs alone with the dark brown branches, it's really quite a site. I'll have to work on getting a better shot of it than this.

    And a reflexology footpath, in the shape of a foot, at the bottom of the valley. They're huge on reflexology here (it's a Traditional Chinese Medicine thing). The idea, as best I understand it, is that you walk on the stone paths barefoot to stimulate the points on the bottom of your feet to enhance the flow of qi. We just got a path in front of our school, which we've taken to using after lunch, until we're dragged away by the raucous group of second grade girls that kidnaps us to the playground everyday.
              Comment on Azusa Street Prophecy – Certainty or Warning? by Jerry        
    I agree with Okechukwu, sadly to many have itching ears! Emotational messages seem to trump teaching messages. No wonder the Church is so ignorant
    George Steinbrenner:
    1930 – It’s About Goddamned Time

    You can tell a lot about the life a man lived by those who come forward to eulogize him. In the past 12 hours, Rickey has born witness to Bobby Knight, Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Jerry Jones, and other self-proclaimed pillars of STRENGTH and CAPITALISM sing the praise of the late Yankees owner. If possible, Nixon himself would've scurried out from under the woodshack to laud this man for those thoughtful campaign donations. Politics aside, the fact of the matter is that the imprint George Steinbrenner left on baseball has forever changed the game for the worse.

    Steinbrenner’s defenders argue that his relentless acquisition of superstar players didn’t violate MLB’s free agency regulations and we should therefore just clamor down, because, hey, he’s allowed to do it. Well guess what? It also doesn’t say that you can’t grab 57 pieces of spicy yellowtail when you’re at the sushi buffet, but that still doesn’t make it an OK thing to do. Where’s the regard for the greater good? Now look what happens: Rickey’s stuck eating those disgusting salmon & cream cheese pieces of sushi because that’s all that’s left. Seriously: who puts cream cheese in sushi? What the fuck? (In this analogy, the salmon cream cheese sushi represents Oliver Perez).

    Leveraging free agency for all it’s worth has cheapened baseball and undermined the balance of the game. Those who would proudly defend an unrepentant asshole like Steinbrenner’s right to act like an unrepentant asshole are also themselves… wait for it… Yep! Unrepentant assholes! They’re the same sort of people who cry foul when Con Ed remotely regulates air conditioners in times of peak energy demand because dwindling wattage be damned, Benny in the Bronx needs his basement masturbatorium humming at 57 degrees year round! They’re the people who demand the right to carry guns into places of worship for no ostensible reason other than they kind of liked that shoot out scene in the church in that John Woo movie with doves flying everywhere.

    In short, we’re a greedy and belligerent country and for Rickey, George Steinbrenner is the embodiment of a lot of that ugliness. He won’t be missed.

              Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wants to Target Affirmative Action. How Will That Affect UNC?        
    The university is facing a lawsuit by a white student who didn’t get in Last week, The New York Times reported that the Department of Justice is preparing to investigate universities over their affirmative action policies. The news ricocheted across the Internet, in part because it seemed like a singular representation of President Trump's messaging around race: playing into fears that minorities are taking away a limited resource—in this case, college admissions—from whites.…
              Triangle Refugee Resettlement Agencies Try to Figure Out How a Recent Supreme Court Ruling Will Affect Their Clients        
    The court kept intact the Trump administration’s restrictions on refugees Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court again weighed in on on President Trump's refugee and immigrant travel ban. While the high court had previously ruled that the administration could temporarily block anyone without a "bona fide" relationship to an American person or entity, this time it ordered the administration to expand its definition of bona fide to include grandparents and cousins of those already in the U.S.…
              White House Expects Justice Crackdown On Legalized Marijuana        
    The Justice Department will step up enforcement of federal law against recreational marijuana, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday, offering the Trump administration's strongest indication to date of a looming crackdown on the drug.
              SMU Law Professor Expects Judge Gorsuch To ‘Sail Through’ Nomination        
    President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, 49, to the U.S. Supreme Court was his first, but it might not be the last.
              Young, Female, and Pro-Trump        
    How white evangelical millennials are defying political predictions.
              President Trump, First Lady Attend Inaugural Balls         
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: A number of inaugural balls are taking place right now around Washington, D.C. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will appear at three of them - two Liberty and Freedom Balls at the Washington Convention Center and the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball at the National Building Museum. That ball is free, but admission is by invitation only. NPR's Elizabeth Blair is there, and she joins us now. And, Elizabeth, the National Building Museum is a very unusual building in normal times, what's it like there tonight? ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Tonight it is very much a tribute to the '70s, and it's, well, you know it's a 19th century building and it's - has these very, very high ceilings and these huge columns inside, but it's kind of almost turned into a bit of a disco here. There are - it's - but it's quite beautiful. There are American flags draped from the ceiling in between the columns, and it's quite elegant. SIEGEL:
              Is Donald Trump's Sun 'Cliché' Rising Or Setting On His New Website?        
    It didn't get a lot of attention – and maybe that was intentional - but a new website from President-elect Donald Trump's transition team went live last week. It's too soon to judge the Trump administration's aesthetic sensibilities, but the new site provides some clues. "It could've been stolen from the Reagan campaign of 1984, how 'It's Morning in America again,'" said H.W. Brands, an American history professor at the University of Texas-Austin and the author of Reagan: The Life . Brands says that sunrise imagery is "at striking odds from the whole theme of the Trump campaign which (was) that 'It's getting really near midnight now,'" Brands joked. The sun "cliché," as Brands calls it, didn't begin with Reagan. During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin noticed a half sun on the back of presiding officer George Washington's chair . "Franklin remarked that artists, over the years ... have had a hard time distinguishing in their art between a rising and a setting sun,"
              Doit-on s’inquiéter d’une possible guerre entre la Corée du Nord et les Etats-Unis ?        

    Depuis plusieurs mois, on assiste à une escalade de déclarations agressives et de démonstrations militaires entre les Etats-Unis et la Corée du Nord. Ce weekend, le président américain Donald Trump a promis “le feu et la furie”, et “une démonstration de force, comme le monde n’en a jamais vu”. Doit-on en conclure qu’une guerre est imminente, […]

    The post Doit-on s’inquiéter d’une possible guerre entre la Corée du Nord et les Etats-Unis ? appeared first on Express [FR].

              Instagram Chic: Rihanna in Dior’s Feminists Tee        

    Yesterday Rihanna joined millions of women across the US and the world in protest. Rih waved signs and chanted outside Trump Tower last night but she also recognises that the fight doesn’t end there. Today she posted this photo of her wearing a tee from Dior‘s Spring 2017 ready-to-wear collection [Look 18]. This was Maria...

    This post, Instagram Chic: Rihanna in Dior’s Feminists Tee, was originally posted on Haus of Rihanna.

              8 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Me        

    When tapped to share “8 things you probably didn’t know about” James Farrar he noted that blogging is quite the “exhibitionist” activity. Much of my blogging experience these past years has been more in audience capacity; a vicarious blog explorer, rather than an active onstage character. Vicarious means I observe certain events by “imaginative or sympathetic participation in the experiences of another”.

    Others’ blogs expose me to great examples of: storytelling, journalism, innovation and when done expertly well, art. While exploring, I’m often wondering what it would be like to write as prolifically or as creatively or as knowledgeably as the bloggers whose contents I follow. Fair, although hardly shy, I do feel a bit the wallflower while the nimble waltz me by with dizzyingly and dazzlingly clever insights, observations, perceptions and opinions.

    I’ve imagined what I would write on the off-chance that someone might tag me for the “8 things you probably don’t know about me” meme. But I was caught off guard (gobsmacked as the brits would say) when I happened upon my name in James’ blog: the Wisdom of Clouds. It’s like someone asked the ungainly girl at the school party to dance to be nice. Thanks James.

    Eight is a lot. I’ll start chronologically.

    1. When I was 4, my sister was born on my birthday. For years afterwards I assumed that all families had that same arrangement, meaning siblings who were not twins also shared a common birthday. The realization that my belief system was faulty was very traumatic.

    2. When I was about 8 years old, I separated from my parents while on board the Sternwheeler (steamboat) called the "The American". We were visiting an ill-fated and short-lived amusement park in the Bronx (New York) called: Freedomland U.S.A. There is a certain irony to all this. The year was 1960 and the civil rights movement was coming into its own with the Greensboro Four staging a peaceful sit-in at Woolworth’s in North Carolina, breaking down the segregation walls in the south. Back on the steamboat, my parents found me quickly. I was staging my own sit-in of sorts, in the steamship’s bandstand. There they found me sitting entranced on a trumpet player’s lap. His name: Louie Armstrong. I’ve always loved his voice and music.

    3. When I was 10 I decided to have a “penny fair” and created an amusement park in my yard. I gathered $5.57 cents from all of our neighborhood children (a great many pennies). Although rather pleased with my entrepreneurial success, I wound up donating the money to a school for mentally handicapped children. The principal sent me and the neighborhood children a very nice thank you letter.

    4. When I was 16 I discovered that although my sister and I shared the same birth date, it wasn’t the one recorded in our birth certificates. My mom had changed them both by a few days to give us the opportunity of starting kindergarten early. I think it was a shocking revelation that documents could be misleading or doctored.

    5. At 20 I took a road trip across the US. It was the summer of ’74 and in California, after a day of many driving mishaps; I got pulled over by the police. I had gotten a ticket earlier that day for speeding on the freeway. While paying my speeding ticket, I parked in a no-parking zone. I then proceeded to run a stop sign. It was a bad-hair driving day.When I saw the flashing lights in the rear-view mirror I was baffled. Couldn’t think of a single additional infraction I might have committed other than the fact that our car was a real jalopy with only one workable door, totally dust-covered and we (my future husband and I) looked a bit like ’70’s hippies after our 6 weeks on the road. I roll down my window (I’m the driver) and ask: “yes officer?”, failing to notice the growing number of squad cars accumulating behind us. The policeman looks oddly tense. “Did you hear about the bank robbery?”, says he. “Oh sure”, says I., “I’m Bonnie and this” (pointing to my future husband) “is Clyde”. The policemen weren’t particularly amused as they pulled me out of the car thinking I was the fugitive kidnapped newspaper heiress turned militant, Patty Hearst .

    6. I studied theater directing in the Tel Aviv University drama department. In 1979 I turned down an invitation by the national theater to assistant direct and work with theater luminary Joseph Chaiken on “The Dybbuk”. What we do for love. I was expecting my first child.

    7. In the early eighties, before “Glastnost” and the subsequent transparency policies of Gorbachev, I went on a small mission to meet with prisoners of conscience and human rights activists in a number of cities in the Ukraine and found myself and travel partner “interviewed” by the KGB concerning our activities in each city. I think I’m a “persona non grata” in the former Soviet Union.

    8. In the middle nineties started a grassroots movement of citizens concerned about environmental hazards and the rights of local residents and was invited to speak in the Israeli Parliament, together with my Bedouin neighbors.

    Now, grannimari is quietly and sedately working as an online community evangelist for the Business Process Expert Community. And looking to the community members who inspire and challenge her thinking. In that spirit of letting no good deed go unpunished, I’ll tag: Jim Spath , Eddy De Clercq , Jen Robinson, Thomas Ritter, Dick Hirsch and Ram Tiwari

              New immigration bill called radical and not proemployment        
    The new immigration bill President Donald Trump touts as a way to “restore our competitive edge in the 21st century” calls for cutting immigration levels in half over a decade and creating a points-based system that favors highly educated and skilled immigrants with English ability over those with family in the United States. The bill […]
              Showbiz Sandbox 354: Why the Entertainment Industry Should Care About Net Neutrality        

    President Donald Trump’s selection of Ajit Pai to chair the Federal Communications Commission has moved quickly to rollback consumer protection regulations long thought to be settled; specifically net neutrality. Rules put in place to ensure an open internet allowing every company to compete on equal footing could get thrown out for ones that favor four […]

    The post Showbiz Sandbox 354: Why the Entertainment Industry Should Care About Net Neutrality appeared first on Showbiz Sandbox.

              In Amerika mag je nu als transgender niet meer het leger in en dat is insane        

    Amerika heeft afgelopen nacht weer een stapje terug in de...

    Het bericht In Amerika mag je nu als transgender niet meer het leger in en dat is insane verscheen eerst op Vance.

              Trump’s nieuwe woordvoerder is 80s Guy uit Futurama        

    Een mengeling van vreugde en teleurstelling vervulde ons vlak voor...

    Het bericht Trump’s nieuwe woordvoerder is 80s Guy uit Futurama verscheen eerst op Vance.

              Trump's Achievements - So Far        
              Trump's Achievements...So Far...        
              Night Thoughts on Trump and America        
    With Donald Trump away vacationing at one of his golf resorts, the rest of us may have a chance...
              A SUMMER SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE TRUMP ERAHere’s a summer...        


    Here’s a summer survival guide, 10 ways to relax during the era of Trump.

    1.  Take a day off from the news, one day a week.

     2.  Don’t get into an argument with a Trump supporter, especially if it’s a member of your family. Remember, there are more independents and non-voters than Trump Republicans. And the 2018 midterm election will be won on the basis of turnout.

    3.  Pay no attention to Trump’s tweets. They’re becoming increasingly bizarre and irrelevant.

    4.  Watch an old movie of biting political satire, like “Wag the Dog.”

    5.  But don’t watch “Doctor Strangelove.”

    6.  Join an Indivisible group near you and take action with them, attending a congressional town meeting and organizing others to contact your members of congress. It’s having an effect. Plus, it’s therapeutic.  

    7.  Drink lots of water and get plenty of exercise. Helps with the anger.

    8.  Read good books of fiction, like Harry Potter. Don’t read George Orwell’s “1984” or Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here” or Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America.”

    9.  Go to a county fair with your kids, and watch the pigs.

    10. Have a cookout with your neighbors and see what resources you yourselves can offer to your community. Start a tool collective or teach a class in a library or out of someone’s house. Tangible change can come from your hands, not only your votes. Remember, resistance works best when people come together and work together.         

    Have a great summer!

              Hill Republicans: Trump is Fritzing Out        
    This morning I phoned my friend, a former Republican member of Congress.Me: What’s going on?...
              Trump’s Big Loss        
    The demise of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act is hardly the end of the...
              6-Month Update for Trump Voters        
    So after six months, has he delivered what he promised you?1. He told you he’d repeal Obamacare and...
              The Trump Standard        
    What did Trump say when confronted with proof that his son jumped at the prospect of meeting with a...
              The 10 Steps to Impeach a PresidentIt won’t be easy to impeach...        

    The 10 Steps to Impeach a President

    It won’t be easy to impeach Donald Trump. No president in American history has ever been convicted on articles of impeachment. 

    Only two presidents so far have been impeached by the House and had that impeachment go to the Senate for trial. The first was Andrew Johnson, in 1868, when the Senate came one vote short of convicting him. The next was 131 years later, in 1999, when Bill Clinton’s impeachment went to the Senate. 50 Senators voted to convict Clinton, 17 votes short of what was needed.

    What about Richard Nixon? He resigned early in this process, before the House had even voted on articles of impeachment. And then his successor, who had been his vice president, Gerald Ford, gave Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he might have committed against the United States while president.

    This isn’t to say Trump couldn’t or won’t be impeached. Only that it’s a long and drawn-out process. 

    It all revolves around Article I Sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution, and rules in the House and the Senate implementing those provisions.

    Step 1. It starts in the House Judiciary Committee, when a majority of the member vote in favor of what’s called an “inquiry of impeachment” resolution.

    Step 2. That resolution goes to the full House of Representatives where a majority has to vote in favor. And then votes to authorize and fund a full investigation by the Judiciary Committee into whether sufficient grounds exist for impeachment.

    Step 3. The House Judiciary Committee investigates. That investigation doesn’t have to be from scratch. It can rely on data and conclusions of other investigations undertaken by, say, the FBI.

    Step 4: A majority of the Judiciary Committee members decides there are sufficient grounds for impeachment, and the Committee issues a “Resolution of Impeachment,” setting forth specific allegations of misconduct in one or more articles of impeachment.

    Step 5: The full House then considers that Resolution and votes in favor of it – as a whole or on each article separately. The full House isn’t bound by the Committee’s work. The House may vote to impeach even if the Committee doesn’t recommend impeachment.

    Step 6: The matter then goes to the Senate for a trial. The House’s Resolution of Impeachment becomes in effect the charges in this trial.

    Step 7: The Senate issues a summons to the president, who is now effectively the defendant, informing him of the charges and the date by which he has to answer them. If the president chooses not to answer or appear, it’s as if he entered a “not guilty” plea.

    Step 8 is the trial in the Senate. In that trial, those who are representing the House – that is, the prosecution – and counsel for the president, both make opening arguments. They then introduce evidence and put on witnesses as in any trial. Witnesses are subject to examination and cross-examination. The trial is presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court – who has the authority to rule on evidentiary questions or may put such questions to a vote of the Senate. The House managers and counsel for the president then make closing arguments.

    Step 9: The Senate meets in closed session to deliberate.

    Step 10: The Senate returns in open session to vote on whether to convict the president on the articles of impeachment. Conviction requires a two-thirds vote by the Senate. Conviction on one or more articles of impeachment results in removal from office. Such a conviction also disqualifies the now former president from holding any other public office. And it doesn’t bar additional legal proceedings against that former president, and punishment.

    So there you have it–the 10 steps that must all take place to impeach the president. 

    It may come in handy.

              THE ART OF THE (TRUMP AND PUTIN) DEALSay you’re Vladimir Putin,...        


    Say you’re Vladimir Putin, and you did a deal with Trump last year. Whether there was such a deal is being investigated. But if you are Putin and you did do a deal, what might Trump have agreed to do for you? 

    1. Repudiate NATO. NATO is the biggest thorn in your side – the alliance that both humiliates you and stymies your ambitions. Trump seemed intent to deliver on this during his recent European trip by bullying members about payments and seemingly not reaffirming Article 5 of the pact, which states that any attack on one NATO ally is an attack on all. (He’s backtracked on this since then, under pressure from Congress.)

    2. Antagonize Europe, especially Angela Merkel. She’s the strongest leader in the West other than Trump, and you’d love to drive a wedge between the United States and Germany. Your larger goal is for Europe to no longer depend on the United States, so you can increase your influence in Europe. Trump has almost delivered on this, too. Merkel is already saying Europe can no longer depend on America.

    3. Take the United States out of the Paris accord on the environment. This will anger America’s other allies around the world and produce a wave of anti-Americanism – all to your advantage. You’d also love for the whole Paris accord to unravel because you want the world to remain dependent on fossil fuels. Russia is the world’s second-largest exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia, and biggest exporter of natural gas. And the oil and gas industry contributes about half the revenues to your domestic budget. And, hey, there’s also all those Arctic ports that are opening up now that the earth is warming. Trump has delivered on this. 

    4. Embark on a new era of protectionism. Or at least anti-trade rhetoric. This will threaten the West’s economic interdependence and loosen America’s economic grip on the rest of the world. Trump is on the way to delivering on this one.

    5. End the economic sanctions on Russia, imposed by the United States in 2014. Oil production on land is falling so you want to tap the vast petroleum and gas reserves offshore in the Arctic. In 2011, you and ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson, signed a $500 billion deal to do this. But the sanctions stopped it cold. Trump has promised to lift them, but he hasn’t delivered on this yet, because he has got to cope with all the suspicions in America about his deal with you. Once it dies down, he’ll end the sanctions. In the meantime, he’ll give you back the two compounds that were seized by the Obama administration when the U.S. intelligence discovered you’d interfered in the election.

    And what might you have agreed to do for Trump in return? 

    Two things: First, you’d help him win the presidency, by hacking into Democratic Party servers, leaking the results, sending millions of fake news stories about Hillary to targeted voters, and tapping into voter lists. 

    Second, after he was elected, you’d shut up about your help so Trump wouldn’t be impeached and convicted of treason.

    In other words, if you did a deal, you both still have every incentive to fulfill your side of it. That’s the art of the deal.



    As Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are moving toward Medicare for All – a single-payer plan that builds on Medicare and would cover everyone at far lower cost.

    Most House Democrats are already supporting a Medicare for All bill.

    With health care emerging as the public’s top concern, according to recent polls, the choice between repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All is likely to be the major domestic issue in the presidential campaign of 2020 (other than getting Trump out of office, if he lasts that long).

    And the better choice is clear. Private for-profit insurers spend a fortune trying to attract healthy people while avoiding the sick and needy, filling out paperwork from hospitals and providers, paying top executives, and rewarding shareholders.

    And for-profit insurers are merging like mad, in order to make even more money.

    These are among the major reasons why health insurance is becoming so expensive, and why almost every other advanced nation – including our neighbor to the north – has adopted a single-payer system at less cost per person and with better health outcomes.

    Most Americans support Medicare for All. According to a Gallup poll conducted in May, a majority would like to see a single-payer system implemented. An April survey from the Economist/YouGov showed 60 percent of Americans in favor of “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.”

    That includes nearly half of people who identify themselves as Republican.

    If Republicans gut the Affordable Care Act, the American public will be presented with the real choice ahead: Either expensive health care for the few, or affordable health care for the many.

              Trump’s Escalating Assault on the Press        
    On Sunday morning Trump seemed to promote violence against CNN. He tweeted an old video clip of him...
              NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALLAs Republicans in Congress...        


    As Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are moving in the opposite direction, toward Medicare for All – a single-payer plan that builds on Medicare and would cover everyone at far lower cost.

    Most House Democrats are already supporting a Medicare for All bill. Senator Bernie Sanders is preparing to introduce it in the Senate. Both California and New York state are moving towards single-payer plans.

    With health care emerging as the pubic’s top concern, according to recent polls, the choice between repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All is likely to be the major domestic issue in the presidential campaign of 2020 (other than getting Trump out of office, if he lasts that long).

    And the better choice is clear. Private for-profit insurers spend a fortune trying to attract healthy people while avoiding the sick and needy, filling out paperwork from hospitals and providers, paying top executives, and rewarding shareholders. 

    And for-profit insurers are merging like mad, in order to make even more money. 

    These are among the major reasons why health insurance is becoming so expensive, and why almost every other advanced nation – including our neighbor to the north – has adopted a single-payer system at less cost per person and with better health outcomes. 

    Most Americans support Medicare for All. According to a Gallup poll conducted in May, a majority would like to see a single-payer system implemented. 

    An April survey from the Economist/YouGov showed 60 percent of Americans in favor of “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.” That includes nearly half of people who identify themselves as Republican. 

    If Republicans gut the Affordable Care Act, the American public will be presented with the real choice ahead: Either expensive health care for the few, or affordable health care for the many.

              It’s Time for Medicare for All        
    Mitch McConnell is delaying a vote on the Senate Republican version of Trumpcare because he doesn’t...
              THE CASE FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICEObstruction of justice was...        


    Obstruction of justice was among the articles of impeachment drafted against both Presidents Nixon and Clinton. The parallel between Nixon and Trump is almost exact. White House tapes revealed Nixon giving instructions to pressure the acting FBI director into halting the Watergate investigation.

    Two weeks after Trump told Comey privately “I need loyalty. I expect loyalty,” he had another private meeting with Comey in the Oval Office. After shooing out his advisers – all of whom had top security clearance – Trump said to Comey, according to Comey’s memo written shortly after the meeting, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

    Then on May 9, Trump fired Comey. In a subsequent interview with NBC Trump said he planned to fire Comey “regardless of [the] recommendation” of the Attorney and Deputy Attorney General, partly because of “this Russia thing.” Trump also revealed in the interview that he had had several conversations with Comey about the Russia investigation, and had asked Comey if he was under investigation.

    The federal crime of obstruction of justice applies to “[w]hoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law” in a proceeding or investigation by a government department or agency or Congress.

    As in Nixon’s case, a decision to support an “inquiry of impeachment” resolution in the House—to start an impeachment investigation—doesn’t depend on sufficient evidence to convict a person of obstruction of justice, but simply probable cause to believe a president may have obstructed justice.

    There’s already more than enough evidence of probable cause to begin that impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump.

              Talking With My Friend About Trump        
    My friend Tom phoned this morning:“I can’t take any more Trump. It’s summer. I’m taking a vacation...
              Government By and For Trump        
    Last Monday, the White House invited reporters in to watch what was billed as a meeting of Trump’s...
              Trump’s Infrastructure Scam        
    At a roundtable discussion with state transportation officials on Friday, Donald Trump said...
              Impeach Him Now        
    Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) is already drafting articles of impeachment related to Trump’s firing of FBI...
              NY State Board of Elections Decision to Hand Over Voter Data to Trump Adm. Sparks Anger        
    The state Board of Elections quietly voted this week to turn over some data on New York’s voters to a Trump Administration panel looking at whether there was mass voter fraud in the 2016 Presidential election. The move makes New York the first state to comply with the controversial request, after officials initially said they would resist the request. Governor Cuomo said in June that the state would not comply with requests from a panel authorized by President Trump, and headed by Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, to turn over information on New York’s voters. Among other things the panel is seeking evidence of mass voter fraud, something Cuomo has said is a “myth”. Many election experts agree with the governor that massive voter fraud in the US is highly unlikely. Two requests from the panel were rejected. This week, though, the state’s Board of Elections agreed to a third request from the federal panel, made through the state’s Freedom of Information Law
              Live Video of Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing        
    The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday morning about foreign agents and attempts to influence the U.S. election. The panel is among the bodies investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Senators had requested Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, to appear as witnesses. Instead, they are in closed-door discussions for now.
              New York's Attorney General Vows Court Action Against ACA Repeal        
    New York’s top elected Democrats rallied against the Republican Congress’s proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, saying they will take legal action, if necessary, to stop it. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, speaking before a crowd of unionized health care workers at Mount Sinai hospital, says if the plans to repeal and replace Obamacare in the GOP led Senate and House do become law, he will sue on behalf of New Yorkers. “I’ve developed a bit of a reputation since January as the guy who sues Donald Trump and the federal government,” Schneiderman said, to cheers. “Always on the merits, and boy, have we got a lot of merits on our side.” This is not the first time that Schneiderman has made the threat. The Attorney General said after the house passed its version of the Obamacare repeal and replacement that court action was likely. The AG says provisions in both the Senate and House plans to defund Planned Parenthood services, “would
              Silver Corruption Conviction Overturned on Technicality        
    The corruption conviction of the former New York State Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver, was overturned Thursday on a technicality by a federal appeals court. Silver’s attorneys say they are “grateful” for the decision, but the US Attorney’s office for New York’s Southern district says it will retry the case. Until recently, the office was headed by Preet Bharara. He was fired by President Donald Trump earlier this year. The court ruling does not dispute the facts presented in the case. Silver is accused of using his political position to gain over $4 million in illegal kickbacks and bribery payments in schemes involving cancer patients and two major real estate firms. The judges wrote that most people would view those scenarios with “distaste”, but they ruled that the instructions that the trial judge gave to the Silver jury were incorrect. Susan Lerner, with the government reform group Common Cause, she’s disappointed by the ruling. “ This is very clear and outrageous conduct,”
              Live Video Stream: Senate Confirmation Hearing of New FBI Director        
    Christopher Wray, President Trump’s nominee for FBI Director, faces the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for his confirmation hearing. Wray would replace James Comey , whom Trump fired in May. Wray served in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush and currently works on white-collar crime at an international law firm. Given Comey's dismissal and ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. election and potential ties to the Trump campaign, senators are expected to press Wray on his independence and integrity.
              Annotation: Donald Trump Jr.'s Emails About Russia Meeting        
    Donald Trump Jr. tweeted images of emails regarding his 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer on Tuesday. An intermediary said he could connect Trump Jr. with people who had information "that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton]... and would be very useful to your father." Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting, which former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner also attended in June 2016. They met with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya , whom Trump Jr. said ultimately did not provide the promised material on Clinton. In the emails, Trump Jr. corresponds with publicist Rob Goldstone , who represents the son of an Azerbaijan-born billionaire who has also done business with the Trumps. Trump Jr. forwarded the thread to Kushner and Manafort Loading...
              Arse Trump at the G-20 Summit        

    Brainchamber Blog - Authoritative Blog

      Unretouched photos from the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, clearly show that President Donald Trump is an Arseface.  In the photo, Trump appears to have an asshole where his mouth should be. Up until now, his staff has done a great job of hiding the real Arse Trump from the public spotlight.  It’s likely […]

    The post Arse Trump at the G-20 Summit appeared first on Brainchamber Blog.

              New Sermon Series at Cleveland Road Baptist Church        

    If you've been in the kids's section of any Christian bookstore, you've seen them. If you've ever worked in the Church nursery, you've probably picked one up from time to time. And if you're a parent of a young child, chances are you own one or more of them. Yes, Childrens' Bible Storybooks are everywhere these days. They seem to a huge hit with all Christians. In fact they are so ubiquitous, it's shocking that Jon Acuff didn't include them in his bestselling book, Stuff Christians Like.

    But as much as Christian parents and nursery workers love these Bible storybooks, most of them have an inherent flaw - they treat the events of the Bible like every other storybook. Many reduce the various pericopes of the Bible (particularly the Old Testament) down to little more than a Christian version of Aesop's Fables - a collection of various parables, each of which can be boiled down to a terrific little morality lesson for the growing child.

    The problem of course becomes worse as these children move into adolescence and then into adulthood still believing that the events of the Bible should be viewed as tales of morality instead of what they really are - episodes in the grand story of redemptive history. And that's what our new sermon series at Cleveland Road Baptist Church is all about - showing how these storybook narratives of the Old Testament all point forward to one culminating event in the Coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the World.

    So we invite you to come to Cleveland Road, or listen in on the internet as we seek to understand how talking serpents, tall towers, angry brothers, loud trumpets, strong men, and weak kings all point us to the reality that Jesus Christ bore the guilt and shame for sinners like you and I. And hopefully the Bible will open up to you like a child reading an amazing story for the first time. I promise, it will be worth the journey!


    Here's links to each of the sermons. I will try to add more as the sermons are preached each week. So if you are interested, you can bookmark this page and check back regularly:

    The Scriptures Speak of Me - An Introduction to the Adult Bible Storybook Series
    The Power, Perfection, and Priority of God in Creation
    The Fall of Man and the Rise of Christ
    Cain, Abel, and Faith in Christ

              Obama Not as "Green" as He Would Like You to Think        
    Future Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama might not be as "green" as he appears. And I don't mean "inexperienced." Last year Obama came under fire from conservatives for giving a series of speeches on the need to reduce carbon emissions by breaking America's addiction to SUVs, while arriving and departing in a GMC Envoy. When the story broke, Obama's press secretary, Tommy Vietor, issued a statement saying that Obama liked to roll in a Flex-Fuel SUV, which suggested that he was indeed practicing what he preached. Unfortunately for Obama, many clever conservatives did their research and found out that the GMC Envoy does not come equipped with Flex-Fuel technology.

    But now, Obama's committment to being Green is being challenged by environmentalists on both sides of the aisles (Washington Post article here). In a Grist article entitled, "Even Stevens?" reporter Amanda Griscom Little descibes the problems environmentalists have with the "Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007" co-sponsored by Obama and Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning. According to the article, "Coal-to-liquid (CTL) technology uses a highly energy-intensive process to convert coal into diesel fuel for cars or jet fuel for airplanes -- an appealing prospect to the coal industry in Obama's home state of Illinois, but not to [environmentalists] and others concerned about global warming." Little goes on to explain the problems with CTL technology:
    David Doniger, policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate Center, has supported coal gasification as a viable alternative to coal-burning power plants, but explains that CTL is not as promising an alternative to conventional gasoline or biofuels. "Coal-to-liquid is, in the best-case scenario, no worse for the climate than oil-derived gasoline -- and no better," he says. The best-case scenario assumes that CTL producers find a way to capture their carbon emissions. Problem is, none of the current CTL projects actually involve carbon capture. Without that step, the climate impacts of CTL fuel are far worse than those of gasoline. According to an NRDC analysis, a 35-mpg car powered by the CTL fuel that's currently available would generate as much carbon dioxide pollution as a far less efficient 19-mpg car that runs on conventional gasoline.
    The Bunning-Obama bill "which would expand tax incentives for CTL and help jumpstart the industry with public-private partnerships, was first introduced by the senators in spring of last year." It appears that for Obama, regional politics trump environmentalism. It will be interesting to see how many of his Democratic collegues will support the bill and undermine the Dems climate control promises. One thing is for sure: Obama's "100 percent approval rating from the League of Conservation Voters for his environmental voting record in the Senate last year" is certain to decrease this time around.
              Opportunity to Preach Christ        
    A new MP3 sermon from Center Effingham Baptist is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: Opportunity to Preach Christ
    Subtitle: Donald J Trump
    Speaker: David L. Gilpatric
    Broadcaster: Center Effingham Baptist
    Event: Current Events
    Date: 11/23/2016
    Length: 13 min. (64kbps)
              In new threat, Trump demands NKorea 'get their act together'        
    ADDS TRANSLATION OF SIGN - Tens of thousands of North Koreans gather for a rally at Kim Il Sung Square carrying placards and propaganda slogans as a show of support for their rejection of the United Nations' latest round of sanctions on Wednesday Aug. 9, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Propaganda poster at center says,

    North Korea details plan to fire missile salvo toward Guam

              Resistance Kitchen: Stir up some anxiety marinara        
    The delightfully crotchety mofo who occasionally buys Resistance Kitchen recipes to reprint in the Missoula Independent made a crack a few posts ago about how all my recipes are giant piles of carbohydrates, and I cracked back about how if he thinks my pasta recipes have a lot of carbohydrates, he should check out my Trump-era beer intake. It was all very amusing.…
              Resistance Kitchen: The ceviche of ghoulish psychopathy        
    Look at Senator Mitch McConnell commissioning the U.S. Capitol Police—just following orders! blue lives matter!—to drag people out of their wheelchairs for daring to show up to his office to oppose Trumpcare.…
              Resistance Kitchen: Trump is a political typo pasta salad        
    When I woke up, it was covfefe. Everybody was on the covfefe jam.…
              Resistance Kitchen: Pope soup        
    Y'all, look how fed up the pope looks in that photo with the Trumps! (The Pope?…
              Semi-custom window treatments BY DeCocco Design!        
    Small blast of the trumpet please.  Finally ready to make this exciting announcement about a new venture for DeCocco Design.  We're getting ready to launch our very own line of semi-custom window treatments, sold right on the website! And they're going to look amazing in your home!

    I've long wished for a choice between the blah, low quality, ready-made options offered by the big catalog/stores and the high price point of truly custom products.  That choice has never appeared to my satisfaction, so I'm going to do what any pioneer woman would--do it myself.  Of course, that's with the help of Gail, my hard working partner in this project, and a cast of amazing suppliers, all found right here in the U.S.A.

    Our launch date is sometime this Spring, so I'll tell you more as the days go by. There's SO much to do, including a full reswizzle of the website.   In the meantime, look at these photos from Houzz.com.  They all show how beautiful draperies can polish, warm and finish a space.


              Trump escalates 'fire and fury' threat to North Korea        
    President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North Korea on Thursday, demanding that Kim Jong Un's government "get their act together" or face extraordinary trouble. He said his previous "fire and fury" warning to Pyongyang might have been too mild.
              Foxconn deal won't make money for Wisconsin until 2042, study shows        
    The deal President Donald Trump called “incredible” and Gov. Scott Walker hailed as “once-in-a-century” opportunity to bring the electronic manufacturing giant Foxconn to Wisconsin wouldn’t generate profits for the state until 2042, a new legislative analysis projects.
              Trump questions if McConnell should remain majority leader        
    President Donald Trump raised the possibility Thursday that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should step down if he can't muscle health care and other legislation through the Senate, taking an extraordinary swipe at the man with the most power to steer the White House agenda through the chamber.
              The New Health Care: A Study on Fats That Doesn’t Fit the Story Line        
    Old but only recently published research increases a concern that when it comes to nutrition, personal beliefs can trump science.
              Prosperity, heresy and Trump: Inauguration pastor Paula White answers her critics        
    (RNS) Paula White has been called the president-elect's "God whisperer" -- as well as a heretic and prosperity gospel charlatan. She responds in this interview.
              Wishlust 5        
    Wishlust is where I will post a few books that are on my infinitely long wishlist. By infinitely long, I mean almost 600 books! Hopefully, you will find a book or two that seem interesting. =)

    Peak - Roland Smith
    After Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he’s left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or to go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Peak quickly learns that his father’s renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings. He wants Peak to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit—and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. But it’s also one that could cost him his life.

    Geek Magnet - Kieran Scott
    Everybody loves KJ. Especially the geeks. See, KJ Miller is super nice, smart, pretty, the stage manager of her high school’s spring musical . . . and a total geek magnet. She’s like the geek pied piper of Washington High, drawing every socially clueless guy in a five-mile radius. If only Cameron, the hottest guy in school, would follow her around and worship her the way her entourage of dorks do. Enter Tama Gold, queen of the popular crowd, and solution to all of KJ’s problems. KJ is too nice, and the nice girl never gets the guy. Tama’s ready to help KJ get cruel, ditch the dorks, and win Cameron’s heart. But is KJ?

    Band Geek Love - Josie Bloss
    All band, all the time. That's how trumpet goddess Ellie Snow has made it to senior year. No drama, no dating. Just keeping lock-step within the safe precision of the Winslow Marching Band. She's a fierce section leader now, and so over the heart-crushing social disaster of her freshman year. No boy is going to ruin Ellie's shining moment-her senior solo performance at the homecoming game.

    And then Connor Higgins shows up. Not even Ellie can resist the trumpet player who could be a model for Abercrombie & Fitch. It's a hook-up made in band-geek heaven! But Ellie's not ready to publicize their romance, not even to her best friends. After all, Connor's just a sophomore. What would everyone say? Breaking formation and revealing her true self would be like . . . marching on the field completely naked!

    Then Ellie discovers the flipside of secrets and how it feels to be shut out by the ones she loves.
              Voice of Sanity Missing in Korean Showdown        
    [ Ed. note – If you’re looking for a leader of enlightened wisdom, or even one who simply manages to display prudence and sanity on a somewhat regular basis, Donald Trump doesn’t seem to fit the bill. For all the foolhardy, misguided decisions he made in choosing his cabinet and staff, Trump’s threat to unleash […]
              What Is Behind The War Of Words Between Donald Trump And Kim Jong Un        
    North Korea has accelerated the timeline for its missile development with two ICBM tests in July.

              California Seizes Climate Leadership After Trump Abandons Paris Accord        
    In an

              The RAISE Act Won't Raise Wages for Americans        
    In his successful election campaign last year, Donald Trump tapped into a genuine and serious set

              U.S.-Thailand Relations Warm … But Thailand Stays the Same        
    Although General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s meeting with President Trump, which was supposed to take pla

              DAGENS L        

    Rosett: Livly
    Tom Tailor

    Igår åkte vi en sväng till outleten i Ingolstadt, mamma följde med oss. Mest åkte vi för att mamma och jag ville ha super gosiga hemmaskor till vintern som tyvärr inte hade kommit in än. Men vi hade en mysig dag ändå. Alex fick några nya pikéer, Linnéa är nu redo för hösten då hon fick många olika strumpbyxor och mamma köpte sig en fin morgonrock.
    Vi tänkte avrunda vår utflykt med goda hamburgare som lagades på en u-båt men tyvärr så hade de redan stängt när vi var klara. Får bli en annan gång.

    Nu ska jag läsa lite i min nya bok <3

              #LarryOQuestion: Conservatives in Support of Postponing the 2020 Election?        
    #LarryOQuestion: According to The Washington Post, half of Republicans stated they would support postponing the 2020 election if President Trump suggested the delay. Is this because Republicans blindly follow President Trump? Or is there a deep concern regarding voter fraud? Share your thoughts today on The Larry O'Connor Show.
              TODAY: Dr. SEBASTIAN GORKA on President Trump’s Message to North Korea        
    Listen to The Larry O'Connor Show today from 3pm - 6pm as Larry speaks with Dr. Sebastian Gorka, President Trump's Deputy Assistant, regarding the President's handle on North Korea.
              The Beckoning of Nuclear War        
    SUBHEAD: A glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to our "national security" managers.

    By John Pilger on 4 August 2017 for JohnPilger.com -

    [IB Publisher's note: As much as Trump may not wish a nuclear exchange with Russia, he seems quite amenable to turning North Korea into an ashtray. World War III may begin in  Guam and relay to Hawaii on its way  to the US mainland. Here in Hawaii it may mean Duck and Cover!]

    Image above: Detail of original paperback cover of Nevil Shute's 1957 novel "On the Beach". From (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/267542034087528868).

    In Nevil Shute's book "On the Beach" the US submarine captain says;
    "We've all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you're never ready, because you don't know when it's coming. Well, now we do know and there's nothing to be done about it."
    He says he will be dead by September. It will take about a week to die, though no one can be sure. Animals live the longest.

    The war was over in a month. The United States, Russia and China were the protagonists. It is not clear if it was started by accident or mistake. There was no victor. The northern hemisphere is contaminated and lifeless now.

    A curtain of radioactivity is moving south towards Australia and New Zealand, southern Africa and South America. By September, the last cities, towns and villages will succumb. As in the north, most buildings will remain untouched, some illuminated by the last flickers of electric light.
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper

    These two lines from T.S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men appear at the beginning of Nevil Shute's novel On the Beach, which left me close to tears. The endorsements on the cover said the same.

    Published in 1957 at the height of the Cold War when too many writers were silent or cowed, it is a masterpiece. At first the language suggests a genteel relic; yet nothing I have read on nuclear war is as unyielding in its warning. No book is more urgent.

    Some readers will remember the black and white Hollywood film starring Gregory Peck as the US Navy commander who takes his submarine to Australia to await the silent, formless spectre descending on the last of the living world.

    I read On the Beach for the first time the other day, finishing it as the US Congress passed a law to wage economic war on Russia, the world's second most lethal nuclear power.  There was no justification for this insane vote, except the promise of plunder.

    The "sanctions" are aimed at Europe, too, mainly Germany, which depends on Russian natural gas and on European companies that do legitimate business with Russia. In what passed for debate on Capitol Hill, the more garrulous senators left no doubt that the embargo was designed to force Europe to import expensive American gas.

    Their main aim seems to be war - real war. No provocation as extreme can suggest anything else. They seem to crave it, even though Americans have little idea what war is. The Civil War of 1861-5 was the last on their mainland. War is what the United States does to others.

    The only nation to have used nuclear weapons against human beings, they have since destroyed scores of governments, many of them democracies, and laid to waste whole societies - the million deaths in Iraq were a fraction of the carnage in Indo-China, which President Reagan called "a noble cause" and President Obama revised as the tragedy of an "exceptional people"He was not referring to the Vietnamese.

    Filming last year at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, I overheard a National Parks Service guide lecturing a school party of young teenagers. "Listen up," he said. "We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom."

    At a stroke, the truth was inverted. No freedom was defended. Freedom was destroyed. A peasant country was invaded and millions of its people were killed, maimed, dispossessed, poisoned; 60,000 of the invaders took their own lives. Listen up, indeed.

    A lobotomy is performed on each generation. Facts are removed. History is excised and replaced by what Time magazine calls "an eternal present".

    Harold Pinter described this as "manipulation of power worldwide, while masquerading as a force for universal good, a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis [which meant] that it never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest."

    Those who call themselves liberals or tendentiously "the left" are eager participants in this manipulation, and its brainwashing, which today revert to one name: Trump.

    Trump is mad, a fascist, a dupe of Russia. He is also a gift for "liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics", wrote Luciana Bohne memorably. The obsession with Trump the man - not Trump as a symptom and caricature of an enduring system - beckons great danger for all of us.

    While they pursue their fossilised anti-Russia agendas, narcissistic media such as the Washington Post, the BBC and the Guardian suppress the essence of the most important political story of our time as they warmonger on a scale I cannot remember in my lifetime.

    On 3 August, in contrast to the acreage the Guardian has given to drivel that the Russians conspired with Trump (reminiscent of the far-right smearing of John Kennedy as a "Soviet agent"), the paper buried, on page 16, news that the President of the United States was forced to sign a Congressional bill declaring economic war on Russia. Unlike every other Trump signing, this was conducted in virtual secrecy and attached with a caveat from Trump himself that it was "clearly unconstitutional".

    A coup against the man in the White House is under way. This is not because he is an odious human being, but because he has consistently made clear he does not want war with Russia.

    This glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to the "national security" managers who guard a system based on war, surveillance, armaments, threats and extreme capitalism. Martin Luther King called them "the greatest purveyors of violence in the world today".

    They have encircled Russia and China with missiles and a nuclear arsenal. They have used neo-Nazis to instal an unstable, aggressive regime on Russia's "borderland" - the way through which Hitler invaded, causing the deaths of 27 million people.  Their goal is to dismember the modern Russian Federation.

    In response, "partnership" is a word used incessantly by Vladimir Putin - anything, it seems, that might halt an evangelical drive to war in the United States. Incredulity in Russia may have now turned to fear and perhaps a certain resolution. The Russians almost certainly have war-gamed nuclear counter strikes. Air-raid drills are not uncommon. Their history tells them to get ready.

    The threat is simultaneous. Russia is first, China is next. The US has just completed a huge military exercise with Australia known as Talisman Sabre. They rehearsed a blockade of the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea, through which pass China's economic lifelines.

    The admiral commanding the US Pacific fleet said that, "if required", he would nuke China. That he would say such a thing publicly in the current perfidious atmosphere begins to make fact of Nevil Shute's fiction.

    None of this is considered news. No connection is made as the bloodfest of Passchendaele a century ago is remembered. Honest reporting is no longer welcome in much of the media. Windbags, known as pundits, dominate: editors are infotainment or party line managers. Where there was once sub-editing, there is the liberation of axe-grinding clichés. Those journalists who do not comply are defenestrated.

    The urgency has plenty of precedents. In my film, The Coming War on China, John Bordne, a member of a US Air Force missile combat crew based in Okinawa, Japan, describes how in 1962 - during the Cuban missile crisis - he and his colleagues were "told to launch all the missiles" from their silos.

    Nuclear armed, the missiles were aimed at both China and Russia. A junior officer questioned this, and the order was eventually rescinded - but only after they were issued with service revolvers and ordered to shoot at others in a missile crew if they did not "stand down".

    At the height of the Cold War, the anti-communist hysteria in the United States was such that US officials who were on official business in China were accused of treason and sacked. In 1957 - the year Shute wrote On the Beach - no official in the State Department could speak the language of the world's most populous nation. Mandarin speakers were purged under strictures now echoed in the Congressional bill that has just passed, aimed at Russia.

    The bill was bipartisan. There is no fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. The terms "left" and "right" are meaningless. Most of America's modern wars were started not by conservatives, but by liberal Democrats.

    When Obama left office, he presided over a record seven wars, including America's longest war and an unprecedented campaign of extrajudicial killings - murder - by drones.

    In his last year, according to a Council on Foreign Relations study, Obama, the "reluctant liberal warrior", dropped 26,171 bombs - three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day.  Having pledged to help "rid the world" of nuclear weapons, the Nobel Peace Laureate built more nuclear warheads than any president since the Cold War.

    Trump is a wimp by comparison. It was Obama - with his secretary of state Hillary Clinton at his side - who destroyed Libya as a modern state and launched the human stampede to Europe. At home, immigration groups knew him as the "deporter-in-chief".

    One of Obama's last acts as president was to sign a bill that handed a record $618billion to the Pentagon, reflecting the soaring ascendancy of fascist militarism in the governance of the United States. Trump has endorsed this.

    Buried in the detail was the establishment of a "Center for Information Analysis and Response". This is a ministry of truth. It is tasked with providing an "official narrative of facts" that will prepare us for the real possibility of nuclear war - if we allow it.

    Video above: "On the Beach" the complete 1959 movie from Nevil Shute's  novel. From (https://youtu.be/Ue8hC5qqMt4).


              Playing the Trump card to Alberta’s Advantage        
    If policymakers realize the importance of remaining competitive and supporting economic development, perhaps we can play the Trump card to our advantage.
              President Trump: ‘Fire and Fury’ Comment Perhaps ‘Wasn’t Tough Enough’        
    Trump says North Korea "better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble."
              Standing Rock lawsuit update        
    SUBHEAD: Army Corps of Engineers sent back to analyze the environmental justice of the Dakota Access pipeline.

    By Yessenia Funes on 3 August 2017 for Yes Magazine -

    Image above: More than 380 tribes around the world came forward to stand with the water protectors. Photo by Vlad Tchompalov.From original article.

    On July 27, 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers for authorizing the construction of the 1,172-mile Dakota Access pipeline. Just over a year later, the project has been completed and carries crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields to an export terminal in Illinois. The case is still pending, and continues to be the tribe’s last hope to protect its water and land.

    The lawsuit alleged that authorization of the pipeline violated the Clean Water Act, Rivers and Harbors Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to adequately conduct an efficient environmental assessment and skipping an environmental impact statement (EIS) altogether.

    “If history is to repeat itself, it doesn’t look good for us,” says Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II. “But that doesn’t mean we don’t have hope.”

    The lawsuit has now been joined by the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Yankton and Oglala Sioux tribes, but at its heart, the case remains the same since its initial filing, said lead attorney Jan Hasselman, who represents the Standing Rock Sioux on behalf of nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice.

    He’s been arguing that the $3.8 billion energy project ignores treaty rights and needs further environmental review. The goal is that U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg will rule in favor of an EIS and pause pipeline operations indefinitely, and, ultimately, stop them completely.

    In December, pipeline opponents almost secured the EIS under former President Barack Obama when the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would prepare the statement and not permit the pipeline to cross beneath the Lake Oahe crossing on the Missouri River, an area of cultural, religious, and spiritual significance to the tribe.

    It was a near victory. With the EIS secured, the court shelved the lawsuit, but there was more bubbling beneath the surface. Dakota Access launched a counter lawsuit once the Obama administration requested the EIS, and Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration loomed on the horizon. The lawyers, the tribe, and even the court knew the situation could change drastically.

    “The court was pretty explicit that this could be undone,” Hasselman said. And it was.

    Trump rescinded the EIS and issued the final easement across Lake Oahe in February. Immediately, the attorneys amended their initial complaint to include the final easement. Things moved along quickly from there, Hasselman explained. For the first time, the tribe had something concrete to contest, not something they were asking the courts to prevent.

    “We were finally able to put those environmental review issues and treaty issues up front and center,” Hasselman said. Until then, the case was essentially in “pause mode.”

    Then in June, Judge Boasberg found that the Corps had not sufficiently considered the pipeline’s environmental effects or environmental justice impacts when issuing its permit, and remanded the case back to the EIS process to reconsider its analysis. This is the first time Earthjustice is aware of such an environmental justice ruling.

    Boasberg’s recent decision offers DAPL’s opponents hope, but a favorable outcome is anything but assured. A pipeline has never before been stopped with a lawsuit, Hasselman said. “The legal and regulatory infrastructure is badly broken.

    You just don’t have the big overarching federal permits for a crude oil pipeline that you have in a lot of other contexts.” Unlike natural gas pipelines, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates a pipeline’s terms and conditions of transport, but not its actual construction and operation.

    Earthjustice didn’t take up the case because it believed the court held the answer but, rather, because it recognized the political power such a case could build. To that end, it has surpassed expectations.

    “What I had in mind was substantially more modest than what happened,” Hasselman said. He had hoped that 50 people would show up to court and they’d end up on the evening news. He wasn’t expecting the iconic fight for indigenous sovereignty that Standing Rock has become.

    The Dakota Access pipeline is now a matter of global interest. More than 380 tribes around the world—from New Zealand’s Māori to the Ecuadorian Amazon’s Kichwa—came forward to stand with the water protectors. “That’s a very significant time in history: when the tribes come together collectively and unite and say, Enough is enough,” Archambault said.

    The tribe’s effort became a movement with the support of spirit and prayer camps outside the reservation—including the Sacred Stone and Oceti Sakowin camps—and a 1,500-mile run to Washington, D.C., in which about 30 Native American youth delivered a petition with more than 140,000 signatures to the Army Corps headquarters demanding it halt the pipeline’s construction.

    Although this attention hasn’t influenced the lawsuit, Hasselman said, it legitimized the movement. Once the world set its eyes on Standing Rock, it could no longer ignore that the historic violent treatment of indigenous people isn’t a thing of the past—it continues today.

    Now? Hasselman thinks they have a shot. “We have an uphill struggle in persuading the court to shut down the pipeline while the remand process is underway, and we have an uphill struggle persuading the Army Corps to do a legitimate and appropriate analysis on remand, but we’re all working 24/7 to make that happen,” he said.

    Judge Boasberg is set to decide in September whether to pause pipeline operations while the Corps continues its review, and court proceedings are ongoing as both parties make their arguments. Until then, the tribe will see its challengers in court.

    See also:
    Ea O Ka Aina: DAPL battle not over 6/15/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Defense contractors fought NoDAPL 5/27/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Tribes divest DAPL Bankers 2/13/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Veterans defending NoDAPL 2/11/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Army Corps okays DAPL Easement  2/8/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Trump orders go on DAPL EIS 2/3/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Water Protectors pipeline resistance 2/1/17 
    Ea O Ka Aina: Force a full EIS on DAPL 1/27/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Missile launcher at Standing Rock 1/19/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Lockdown at Trans-Pecos Pipeline 1/10/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Standing Rock has changed us 12/9/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: As Standing Rock celebrates... 12/5/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Army Corps denies easement 12/4/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: My Whole Heart is With You 12/2/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: The Loving Containment of Courage 12/1/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: The Beginning is Near 12/1/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Feds to shutdown NoDAPL Camp 11/25/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL people are going to die 11/23/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Hundreds of vets to join NoDAPL 11/22/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Obama must support Standing Rock 11/21/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Trump's pro oil stance vs NoDaPL 11/15/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai NoDAPL Demonstration 11/12/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Obama to Betray Standing Rock 11/12/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Trump impact on Standing Rock 11/12/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Ann Wright on Standing Rock 11/8/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Turning Point at Standing Rock 11/6/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Jackson Browne vs DAPL owner 11/5/16
    Democracy Now: Boycott of DAPL Owner's Music Festival
    Ea O Ka Aina: World responds to NoDAPL protests 11/5/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL victory that was missed 11/5/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: DAPL hid discovery of Sioux artifacts 11/5/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Dakota Access Pipeline will leak 11/5/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline 11/4/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Sanders calls for stopping DAPL 11/4/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Obama hints at DAPL rerouting 11/3/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: New military attack on NODAPL 11/3/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: How to Support NoDAPL 11/3/16
    Unicorn Riot: Tweets from NoDAPL 11/2/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Standing Rock & the Ballot Box 10/31/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL reclaim new frontline 10/24/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: How far will North Dakota go? 10/23/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Amy Goodman "riot" charge dropped 10/17/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Amy Goodwin to face "Riot Charge" 10/16/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Shutdown of all tar sand pipelines 10/11/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Why Standing Rock is test for Oabama 10/8/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Why we are Singing for Water 10/8/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Labor's Dakota Access Pipeline Crisis 10/3/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Standing Firm for Standing Rock 10/3/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Contact bankers behind DAPL 9/29/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL demo at Enbridge Inc 9/29/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Militarized Police raid NoDAPL 9/28/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Stop funding of Dakota Access Pipeline 9/27/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: UN experts to US, "Stop DAPL Now!" 9/27/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: No DAPL solidarity grows 9/21/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: This is how we should be living 9/16/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: 'Natural Capital' replacing 'Nature' 9/14/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: The Big Difference at Standing Rock 9/13/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Jill Stein joins Standing Rock Sioux 9/10/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Pipeline temporarily halted 9/6/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Native Americans attacked with dogs 9/5/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Mni Wiconi! Water is Life! 9/3/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Sioux can stop the Pipeline 8/28/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Officials cut water to Sioux 8/23/16


              Listen: Jeffrey Lord says Trump tough talk echoes Reagan        
    "The town went crazy, they were just appalled at this kind of language!"
              High Plains Climate Change        
    SUBHEAD: ‘Flash drought’ could devastate half the High Plains wheat harvest this year.

    By Eric Holthaus on 1 August 2017 for Grist -

    Image above: Firemen fighting the recent Bridge Coulee Fire in the High Plains.Photo by Bureau of land. From original article.

    It’s peak hurricane season, but the nation’s worst weather disaster right now is raging on the High Plains.

    An intense drought has quickly gripped much of the Dakotas and parts of Montana this summer, catching farmers and ranchers off-guard. The multi-agency U.S. Drought Monitor recently upgraded the drought to “exceptional,” its highest severity level, matching the intensity of the California drought at its peak.

    The Associated Press says the dry conditions are “laying waste to crops and searing pasture and hay land” in America’s new wheat belt, with some longtime farmers and ranchers calling it the worst of their lifetimes. Unfortunately, this kind of came-out-of-nowhere drought could become a lot less rare in the future.

    “The damage and the destruction is just unimaginable,” Montana resident Sarah Swanson told Grist. “It’s unlike anything we’ve seen in decades.”

    Rainfall across the affected region has been less than half of normal since late April, when this year’s growing season began. In parts of Montana’s Missouri River basin, which is the drought’s epicenter, rainfall has been less than a quarter of normal — which equals the driest growing season in recorded history for some communities.

    “It’s devastating,” says Tanja Fransen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Glasgow, Montana. Just six years removed from 2011, one of the region’s wettest years on record, eastern Montana is now enduring one of its driest.

    “We’re at the bottom of the barrel,” Fransen says. “For many areas, it’s the worst we’ve seen in 100 years.”

    In a matter of weeks, the area of Montana in drought conditions has expanded eightfold. U.S. Drought Monitor

    Wheat production worries

    The drought already has far-reaching effects. In eastern Montana, America’s current-largest wildfire continues to smolder; the 422-square-mile Lodgepole complex fire is one-third the size of Rhode Island. It’s Montana’s largest fire since 1910.

    Across the state, 17 other large fires are also spreading. “We haven’t even hit our normal peak fire season yet,” Fransen says.

    Recently, as the climate has warmed and crop suitability has shifted, the Dakotas and Montana have surpassed Kansas as the most important wheat-growing region in the country. The High Plains is now a supplier of staple grain for the entire world. According to recent field surveys, more than half of this year’s harvest may already be lost.

    The economic impact of the drought and related fires may exceed $1 billion across the multi-state region by the time the rains return. Donations of hay for beleaguered farmers and ranchers have come in from as far away as West Virginia.

    Farmers in the region are also worried because the Trump administration has targeted a key federal crop insurance program for hefty cuts. The governors of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana have all declared states of emergency to speed aid and open some normally protected areas for livestock grazing.

    Abnormally dry conditions now cover 100 percent of South Dakota. U.S. Drought Monitor

    It came out of nowhere

    Droughts are often thought of as creeping, slow-motion disasters. They usually don’t grab headlines like hurricane landfalls, even though they represent the costliest weather-related catastrophe worldwide.

    But this drought is an anomaly, a “flash drought.” It essentially came from nowhere. It didn’t exist just three months ago.

    The frequency of these rapid-onset droughts is expected to increase as the planet warms. A recent study focusing on China found that flash droughts more than doubled in frequency there between 1979 and 2010.

    Droughts like these are closely linked to climate change. As temperatures rise, abnormally dry conditions across the western United States are already becoming more common and more intense. And as evaporation rates speed up, rainfall becomes more erratic, and spring snowmelt dries up earlier each year.

    Future summers in North Dakota are expected to be even hotter and drier, on par with the present-day weather of south Texas.

    Taking heavy losses

    On Whitney Klasna’s ranch in Lambert, Montana, the spring rains “just didn’t come this year.” Klasna has already seen 60 to 80 percent crop losses in her fields, and now she’s making calculations about which of her cattle she can afford to save. She and her crew are working to drill an additional water well and install a pipeline to keep as many alive as possible.

    Now they’re worried that, if the rains do come, they’ll lead to flash flooding; the ground has essentially been transformed into concrete.

    Klasna calls the drought a “perfect storm of bad luck” and expects its impacts to last for years.

    The drought in western North Dakota is now just as severe as California’s was at its peak. U.S. Drought Monitor

    Further west, near where the Lodgepole complex is burning, Sarah Swanson runs a John Deere dealership, one of the biggest businesses in her community. She hears heartbreaking stories from across the region, with many farmers and ranchers working together to fight the fire with their own equipment.

    “Right now, I don’t think anybody has time to feel scared,” Swanson says. “I think the emotions will probably start once they have time to get the fire out in a week or two.”

    Last week, Swanson wrote a personal letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a Montana native, asking him to ease grazing restrictions on a nearby wildlife refuge. Two days later, he did so.

    “We’ll be able to continue on,” Swanson says. “I wish I could say that for all the Main Street businesses in eastern Montana, but I don’t think I can. The effects are already being felt by restaurants and retail shops and gas stations, and there will be some that can’t sustain this.”

              Just wait a little while        
    SUBHEAD: You’ll have to earn everything worth having, including self-respect and your next meal.

    By James Kunstler on 7 August 2017 for Kunstler.com -

    Image above: Aarly 20th century Russian painting of "A Peasant Leaving His Landlord on Yuri's Day" by Sergei V. Ivanov. From (https://www.kp.ru/radio/26511/3430500/).

    The trouble, of course, is that even after the Deep State (a.k.a. “The Swamp”) succeeds in quicksanding President Trump, America will be left with itself — adrift among the cypress stumps, drained of purpose, spirit, hope, credibility, and, worst of all, a collective grasp on reality, lost in the fog of collapse.

    Here’s what you need to know about what’s going on and where we’re headed.

    The United States is comprehensively bankrupt. The government is broke and the citizenry is trapped under inescapable debt burdens. We are never again going to generate the kinds and volumes of “growth” associated with techno-industrial expansion.

    That growth came out of energy flows, mainly fossil fuels, that paid for themselves and furnished a surplus for doing other useful things. It’s over.

    Shale oil, for instance, doesn’t pay for itself and the companies engaged in it will eventually run out of accounting hocus-pocus for pretending that it does, and they will go out of business.

    The self-evident absence of growth means the end of borrowing money at all levels. When you can’t pay back old loans, it’s unlikely that you will be able to arrange new loans.

    The nation could pretend to be able to borrow more, since it can supposedly “create” money (loan it into existence, print it, add keystrokes to computer records), but eventually those tricks fail, too.

    Either the “non-performing” loans (loans not being paid off) cause money to disappear, or the authorities “create” so much new money from thin air (money not associated with real things of value like land, food, manufactured goods) that the “money” loses its mojo as a medium of exchange (for real things), as a store of value (over time), and as a reliable index of pricing — which is to say all the functions of money.

    In other words, there are two ways of going broke in this situation: money can become scarce as it disappears so that few people have any; or everybody can have plenty of money that has no value and no credibility.

    I mention these monetary matters because the system of finance is the unifying link between all the systems we depend on for modern life, and none of them can run without it.

    So that’s where the real trouble is apt to start. That’s why I write about markets and banks on this blog.

    The authorities in this nation, including government, business, and academia, routinely lie about our national financial operations for a couple of reasons.

    One is that they know the situation is hopeless but the consequences are so awful to contemplate that resorting to accounting fraud and pretense is preferable to facing reality.

    Secondarily, they do it to protect their jobs and reputations — which they will lose anyway as collapse proceeds and their record of feckless dishonesty reveals itself naturally.

    The underlying issue is the scale of human activity in our time. It has exceeded its limits and we have to tune back a lot of what we do. Anything organized at the giant scale is headed for failure, so it comes down to a choice between outright collapse or severe re-scaling, which you might think of as managed contraction.

    That goes for government programs, military adventures, corporate enterprise, education, transportation, health care, agriculture, urban design, basically everything. There is an unfortunate human inclination to not reform, revise, or re-scale familiar activities.

    We’ll use every kind of duct tape and baling wire we can find to keep the current systems operating, and we have, but we’re close to the point where that sort of cob-job maintenance won’t work anymore, especially where money is concerned.

    Why this is so has been attributed to intrinsic human brain programming that supposedly evolved optimally for short-term planning. But obviously many people and institutions dedicate themselves to long-term thinking.

    So there must be a big emotional over-ride represented by the fear of letting go of what used to work that tends to disable long-term thinking. It’s hard to accept that our set-up is about to stop working — especially something as marvelous as techno-industrial society.

    But that’s exactly what’s happening. If you want a chance at keeping on keeping on, you’ll have to get with reality’s program. Start by choosing a place to live that has some prospect of remaining civilized. This probably doesn’t include our big cities.

    But there are plenty of small cities and small towns out in America that are scaled for the resource realities of the future, waiting to be reinhabited and reactivated.

    A lot of these lie along the country’s inland waterways — the Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri river system, the Great Lakes, the Hudson and St. Lawrence corridors — and they also exist in regions of the country were food can be grown.

    You’ll have to shift your energies into a trade or vocation that makes you useful to other people. This probably precludes jobs like developing phone apps, day-trading, and teaching gender studies.

    Think: carpentry, blacksmithing, basic medicine, mule-breeding, simplified small retail, and especially farming, along with the value-added activities entailed in farm production.

    The entire digital economy is going to fade away like a drug-induced hallucination, so beware the current narcissistic blandishments of computer technology.

    Keep in mind that being in this world actually entitles you to nothing. One way or another, you’ll have to earn everything worth having, including self-respect and your next meal.

    Now, just wait a little while.


              Trump's lazy lack of interest        
    SUBHEAD: Trump, America's Boy King, should know golf and television won't make America great again.

    By Lee Moran on 4 August 2017 for Huffington Post -

    Image above: Cover of Newsweek illustrates Trump's Lazyboy lifestyle labeled "Donald Trump is bored and tired. Imagine how bad he'd feel if he did any work." From (http://www.newsweek.com/2017/08/11/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-gop-white-house-potus-bannon-643996.html).

    “I would have added past due bills on floor...”

    President Donald Trump won’t want to hang this uncomplimentary magazine cover at any of his golf clubs.

    Newsweek depicted the president as a junk food-eating television addict on the front of its next issue, dated Aug. 11.

    Under the headline “LAZY BOY,” the edited photo shows Trump slumped in a recliner with a remote control in one hand and a Diet Coke in the other.

    An open bag of Cheetos is perched on his lap while an empty McDonald’s hamburger carton is discarded on the floor.

    “Donald Trump is bored and tired,” the sub-headline reads. “Imagine how bad he’d feel if he did any work.”

    Newsweek shared the cover on its home page late Thursday, two days after it published the cover story itself, which examined “America’s boy king” and his apparent lack of enthusiasm for the job.

    The image went viral, sparking a myriad of responses.

    Image above: Could Trump be afraid? From (http://www.newsweek.com/2017/08/11/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-gop-white-house-potus-bannon-643996.html).


              Kauai Council is Climate Change        
    SUBHEAD: The County Council turns down $100,000 in private donations to fund climate action plan.

    By Nathan Eagle on 3 august 2017 for Civil Beat -

    Image above: Kauai County Council members 2016-2018 -  Mason Chock, Arthur Brun, Chair Mel Rapozo, JoAnn Yukimura, Ross Kagawa, Derek Kawakami and Arryl Kaneshiro. From original article.

    Opponents of taking the money question whether the county needs its own plan. One said the work should be left to the federal government.

    Kauai County Council members have rejected $100,000 in private donations to fund a climate action plan for their rural island, which is particularly susceptible to rising sea levels, stronger storms and other effects of climate change.

    In a 4-3 vote last week, Council Chair Mel Rapozo and members Arryl Kaneshiro, Ross Kagawa and Arthur Brun opposed a request from Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s administration to accept $50,000 from the Hawaii Community Foundation and a matching $50,000 from the nonprofit Partners for Places.

    They expressed skepticism about the need for a county climate plan, saying they didn’t want to duplicate the state’s efforts. They also felt the county economic development director’s explanation of the potential funding was insufficient.

    “You don’t need a plan to tell you that you help the environment if you walk more, if you bike more, catch the bus more,” Kagawa said. “If the federal government is working on it, let them do it.”

    Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura, who along with Councilmen Derek Kawakami and Mason Chock supported accepting the money, pointed out at the meeting that the United States is no longer leading on climate change.

    “Under President Trump, we’re withdrawing from it and really losing face in the world,” Yukimura said, referring to Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

    The Paris agreement, signed by 195 nations in 2015, established a goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and laid out plans for countries to work together to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.

    “That’s why the cities now are rising to address it and saying we’re going to do it because it’s affecting the lives of our citizens, it’s affecting the planet and I think this county needs to join in and do that,” Yukimura said.

    The council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee took up the matter again Wednesday, but the deadline had passed Monday to use the foundation’s grant to apply for the matching funds from Partners for Places.

    George Costa, director of Kauai’s Office of Economic Development, said Wednesday that he had been reluctant to disclose Monday’s grant deadline at last week’s meeting because of the way council members had reacted the previous time the administration came before them with a last-minute request to apply for a Transportation Alternatives Program grant.

    At least one council member said the additional information provided Wednesday by the county’s energy and sustainability manager, Ben Sullivan, who was unable to attend their meeting last week, would have changed their vote.

    “Had we had this information last week, this would have passed,” Rapozo said.

    Costa said the administration tries to give the council as much notice as possible, but in this case was uncertain whether the private funding would be available until July — although the county started talking to the Hawaii Community Foundation in January.

    “A lot of these opportunities do come at the last minute,” Costa said.

    Still, Yukimura questioned during Wednesday’s meeting why the county would not want to have the council accept the foundation’s funding, since there was ample time to use it to meet the next deadline in January to apply for a matching grant from Partners for Places.

    Sullivan said there’s still a chance the administration will come back to the council to ask for such approval, but he noted that the foundation is now looking for a nonprofit or other third party to receive the funds. He was not sure if new recipients had been determined.

    “We’re kind of strategizing and rethinking,” Sullivan said.

    ‘Defining Issue Of Our Lives’
    Kagawa said at last week’s meeting that the idea of a county climate action plan reminded him of Kauai’s efforts to address “all this fear” over genetically modified organisms.

    The county passed a bill in 2013 to require GMO companies to disclose more information about the pesticides they use and abide by setbacks for spraying. A federal court later overturned the law.

    “I don’t think it necessarily makes sense that the county is getting into the business of telling people on Kauai what to do to help this problem,” he said. “It needs to be done nationwide.”

    Kaneshiro had his own fears over what a climate action plan might obligate the county to do.

    “Is it going to say airplanes are causing a lot of carbon emissions so we should reduce the amount of airplanes coming to Kauai?” he asked. “Or, you know, vehicles are a main cause of carbon emissions so reduce the amount of miles people can drive on Kauai?”

    Yukimura said the plan would not obligate the county to do anything, but instead would provide data and possible strategies.

    Sullivan said the county’s climate action plan would add a greater level of detail to the data the state Department of Health is collecting about greenhouse gas emissions, for instance.

    Better Communication Needed
    The council members, even those supporting accepting the funding, said they did not get the information they needed from Costa last week. Even Yukimura later called his answers “weak.” But those in favor said it still made sense to accept the money and then work out the details for the plan.

    Kawakami, who was concerned about the message last week’s vote would send to future potential donors, said he wants a plan that produces results.

    “At what point do we get some tangible recommendations on what we need to do with our wastewater facilities, with our county roads and state highways being impacted by sea level rise, and when do we get some sort of tangible to-do list instead of studying this thing?” Kawakami said. “If we study this thing to death then by the time we come out with any real action plan it’s going to be too late.”

    Costa said $10,000 of the grant would have gone to a greenhouse gas study that looked at emission levels from various sectors, such as electricity, the landfill and transportation.

    He said $40,000 would have gone to community engagement, $10,000 would have been for contingencies and the rest would have been used to contract with the University of Hawaii’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning to drive the plan.

    Rapozo said at last week’s meeting that community engagement could be part of a county plan to address climate change, but he questioned spending the money on that, even it wasn’t from Kauai taxpayers.

    “I don’t understand how you can get information on a plan with community engagement,” he said. “When you’re doing a plan, I think you’ve got to use scientific data.”

    This was the third time the council has rejected funding a climate action plan. Last year, the Hawaii Community Foundation said it would provide $75,000 if the county chipped in $30,000, Costa said.

    Kagawa said last week at the meeting that he still did not trust the administration when it comes to addressing climate change.

    “I don’t believe they’ll have the plan with the silver bullet to solve the problem,” he said. “That’s just my gut.”

    Yukimura, in an email trying to rally her constituents after the vote, called climate change the “defining issue of our lives.” She said Kauai’s fragile and unique environment in particular has a great challenge ahead that demands leadership, community involvement and consensus on a course of action.

    In April 2016, Sullivan tried to convey the urgency of coming up with a plan to address climate change while encouraging the council to support the mayor’s $30,000 budget request.

    “It’s past time for us to champion this,” he told The Garden Island newspaper at the time.

    On Wednesday, Sullivan said in an email that the mayor is committed to developing and implementing a climate action plan and the Hawaii Community Foundation has been “extremely supportive.”

    “Despite some communications challenges, today’s meeting seemed to illustrate that our County Council, and quite a few people in our community are also in full support of this effort, so I am confident that we will find a way forward with this work,” he said.

    Darcy Yukimura, the foundation’s senior philanthropic officer on Kauai, said the island still has the opportunity to be a leader in the state.

    Read more about the administration’s plan below.


              Sinclair Broadcasting is Trump TV        
    SUBHEAD: The owner of  the most TV stations dumps Fox News to become Trump's mouthpiece.

    By Staff on 30 July 2017 for Common Dreams -

    Image above: The Sinclair Broadcasting cut a biased deal with Jared Kushner and the Trump campaign. Now the Trump FCC is paying back the favor. From original article.

    “It’s unheard of to have one company pushing one specific agenda reaching so many people and doing it in a way designed to evade local input”

    During the 2016 Presidential campaign, the Sinclair Broadcasting group cut a deal
    with Jared Kushner for “good” coverage of the Trump Administration, which seems to have paid off.

    Politico reported last December:

    Sinclair would broadcast their Trump interviews across the country without commentary, Kushner said. Kushner highlighted that Sinclair, in states like Ohio, reaches a much wider audience — around 250,000 viewers[sic]— than networks like CNN, which reach somewhere around 30,000.

    With Fox News suffering several major setbacks in the past year, Sinclair Broadcasting is making moves to become the new giant of right-wing media. Many are now calling Sinclair 'Trump TV.'
    David D. Smith built Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. into the largest owner of television stations in the U.S. after taking over his father's television company (with his brothers) in the late 1980's.

    With David as president and CEO, the Sinclair Broadcast Group blossomed to 59 stations in less than a decade. By 2014, that number had nearly tripled to 162. Smith stepped down earlier this year and became executive chairman.

    The Smith family has heavily funded conservative Republican candidates. David Smith's Cape Elizabeth, Maine summer home, just 5 miles down the coast from Common Dreams' Portland office, regularly serves as a meeting place for right-wing politicians like Trump's HUD Secretary Ben Carson and conservative commentator Armstrong Williams.

    Journalist David Zurawik, who has covered local television for roughly thirty years, is speaking out against Sinclair Broadcasting Group. In a recent segment on CNN on Sunday, Zurawik said:
    “They come as close to classic propaganda as I think I’ve seen in thirty years of covering local television or national television. They’re outrageous! Whatever the White House says, you know, President Trump believes there was voter fraud and he sets up this commission to get data from the states and the states rightfully push back because it’s very intrusive data — Boris Ephsteyn’s piece on it ends with, the states should cooperate with President Trump.”
    And John Oliver took aim at the Sinclair Broadcasting group earlier this month, examining the far right station’s ownership of many local TV news stations:
    “National cable news gets a lot of attention with their big budgets and their fancy graphics packages. Meanwhile, local news often has to do a lot more with a lot less.”
    The Sinclair Broadcasting group has close ties to the Trump administration and is forcing local stations to air pro-Trump news segments. Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai rolled back a key Obama administration regulation that had prevented Sinclair from further expansion. The green light from the Trump administration allowed Sinclair to purchase 42 more local stations from the Tribune Media company, extending its reach to 72 percent of American households.

    Oliver went on to show clips of broadcaster Mark Hyman railing against “political correctness and multiculturalism”.
    “Hyman is a commentator and former executive at Sinclair Broadcast Group, and Sinclair may be the most influential media company you’ve never heard of. Not only are they the largest owner of local TV stations in the country, they could soon get even bigger.”

    “If the opinions were confined to just the commentary or the ad breaks, that would be one thing. But Sinclair can sometimes dictate the content of your local newscasts as well, and in contrast to Fox News, a conservative outlet where you basically know what you’re getting, with Sinclair, they’re injecting Fox-worthy content into the mouths of your local news anchors, the two people who you know, and who you trust, and whose on-screen chemistry can usually best be described as two people.

    “You may not realize it’s happening because Sinclair and its digital news subsidiary Circa not only produce and send packages to their stations; they even write scripts that local anchors use to introduce the pieces. For example, this Tuesday night, anchors at Sinclair stations all over the country introduced a story about Michael Flynn like this.”
    Oliver's footage then showed multiple Sinclair broadcasters in different locales introduce a report about Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, by downplaying the investigation as just a “personal vendetta” against Flynn.

    They are called “must-runs,” and they are sent every day to all the local stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting — video reports that are centrally produced by the company. Station managers around the country must work them into the broadcast over a period of 24 or 48 hours.

    Today, the Portland Press Herald (Maine) reported:
    Marc McCutcheon of South Portland was watching WGME’s evening newscast as he has for half a century when something came on that shocked him.

    In the midst of the local news, a taped commentary from President Trump’s former special assistant Boris Epshteyn appeared on the screen, trumpeting the administration’s position with what he thought selective use and abuse of facts.

    McCutcheon, a small-business owner and political independent, describes the experience as “surreal,” “extremely jarring” and “so out of place with the friendly, local broadcast from news people I’ve come to trust over the years.” There was no rebuttal, no context, no alternate point of view – a situation he found concerning.

    WGME-TV (Channel 13) and WPFO-TV (Channel 23) each carry the segments nine times a week on orders from their owner, the Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting Group, the nation’s largest owner of local television stations and an aggressive, unabashed disseminator of conservative commentary supporting the Trump wing of the Republican Party.

    “It’s unheard of to have one company pushing one specific agenda reaching so many people and doing it in a way designed to evade local input,” says Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press, a Washington-based group that opposes media consolidation. “The idea of having local stations offer an array of viewpoints is great, but what we get with Sinclair is one set of political leanings being broadcast everywhere.”

    Epshteyn, a 34-year-old Russia-born investment banker, is a friend and former Georgetown University classmate of the president’s son Eric Trump who ascended rapidly within Trump’s campaign.

    “Bottom Line With Boris” commentaries echo the White House’s own talking points. After former FBI director James Comey said in televised congressional testimony that the president had pressured him to let go of parts of his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Epshteyn asserted to Sinclair viewers that Comey’s appearance had been more damaging to Hillary Clinton than the president.

              Fascism and the Denial of Truth        
    SUBHEAD: Party polarization and gridlock in the US have created unsolved issues amenable to a Trump demagogue.

    By Thomas Scott on 30 July 2017 for Truth Out  -

    Image above: Cover art for song release of "Demagogue" by Franz Ferdinand. From (https://rateyourmusic.com/release/single/franz-ferdinand/demagogue/).

    What is a fascist? How many fascists have we? How dangerous are they? These are the questions that the New York Times posed to Henry A. Wallace, Franklin Roosevelt's vice president, in April 1944.

    In response, Wallace wrote "The Danger of American Fascism," an essay in which he suggested that the number of American fascists and the threat they posed were directly connected to how fascism was defined.

    Wallace pointed out that several personality traits characterized fascist belief, arguing that a fascist is;
    "one whose lust for money and power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends."
    Wallace also claimed that fascists "always and everywhere can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power."

    Fascists are "easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact" (my italics), he contended.

    Moreover, Wallace noted that fascists "pay lip service to democracy and the common welfare" and they "surreptitiously evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion."

    Finally, Wallace identified that fascists' primary objective was to "capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they keep the common man in eternal subjection."

    Wallace was writing in the context of an existential threat to democracy posed by Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan.

    However, his essay is prescient in that he identified the existence of a domestic form of American fascism that emerged from the political context of enlightened thought, rule of law and limited government. Wallace drew a clear distinction between European fascism and the kind of fascism found in the United States.

    Rather than resort to overt violence, American fascists would "poison the channels of public information," Wallace reasoned. Likewise, he argued that American fascism was generally inert, not having reached the level of overt threat that it had reached in Europe.

    Despite this, Wallace argued that American fascism had the potential to become dangerous to democracy under that appropriate context; one in which a "purposeful coalition" emerges based on "demagoguery."

    British historian Karl Polanyi has written in his seminal book, The Great Transformation, that fascism can emerge in a society in reaction to "unsolved national issues."

    Party polarization and gridlock in the US have created unsolved issues concerning health care, immigration reform and the "war on terror." These volatile issues, in turn, have created the perfect political context for a demagogue to emerge in the United States.

    With the election of Donald Trump, the purposeful coalition Wallace feared may have evolved. Trump is the first US president who has been seriously associated with fascist ideology.

    His coalition of white supremacists, xenophobes, plutocratic oligarchs and disaffected members of the working class have aligned with the mainstream Republican Party.

    The coalition's political philosophy, rooted in reactionary populism and "American First" sloganeering, has quickly led to the United States' systematic withdrawal from global leadership.

    Coupled with a disdain for multilateral collaboration, a rejection of globalization, and a focus on militarism and economic nationalism, Trumpism has taken the country down the perilous path of national chauvinism reminiscent of previous fascist states like Spain under Franco, Portugal under Salazar, or Peronist Argentina.

    Unlike past Republican and Democratic presidents, Trump has disregarded long-standing traditions related to political protocol and decorum in the realm of political communication. He routinely makes unsubstantiated claims about political rivals, questioning their veracity and ethics.

    Trump's claim that the Obama administration wiretapped his phones during the 2016 campaign and that Obama refused to take action regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election, as well as Trump's incendiary tweets about federal judges who ruled against his executive orders on immigration, suggest a sense of paranoia commonly associated with autocrats.

    Trump has demonstrated a fundamental ignorance of democratic institutions associated with the rule of law, checks and balances, and the separation of powers.

    Common to autocratic leaders, Trump sees executive power as absolute and seems confounded when the legislative or judicial branches of government question his decisions.

    Trump has seemed willing to ignore norms that are fundamentally aligned with US democracy: equality before the law, freedom of the press, individual rights, due process and inclusiveness.

    Typical of all autocratic leaders, Trump has a deep-seated distrust of the media. Calling journalists "enemies of the people," Trump's incessant claims that media outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post create "fake news" is a common attribute of authoritarian regimes.

    In response to investigative reports that are critical of his administration, Trump engages in systematic tactics of disinformation. Trump has refined the art of evasion through communicating a multiplicity of falsehoods as a means of obfuscating charges of abuse of power and political misconduct.

    The biggest dilemma for an autocrat is confronting the truth. Systematic strategies to implant misinformation have historically provided significant political dividends for demagogues.

    From Trump's earliest forays in national politics, the truth was his biggest enemy.

    Trump discovered in the 2016 campaign that the perpetuation of lies and deceit could be converted into political capital. Lying on issues actually generated support from Trump's political base, many of whom were low-information voters.

    The hope by many that Trump would conform to traditional political norms once elected proved to be a chimera. Trump has obliterated the Orwellian dictum that lies are truth; in Trump's worldview, truth does not exist. It is seen as a political liability.

    As president, the debasement of truth has become an important political strategy shaping much of his communication to the American public.

    Purposeful deceit has become one of the primary means by which Trump energizes and excites his supporters. It is the catalyst that drives their emotional connection to Trump, who is insistent on "telling it like it is" and fighting for "the people" as a challenge to the political elite.

    For Trump, facts mean nothing. They are contrary to the desires of his political base. Connecting to his base is visceral; intellectualism is the antithesis of Trump's immediate political objectives.

    By denying the existence of truth-based politics, Trump solidifies his populist vision and perpetuates one of fascism's greatest mechanisms for acquiring absolute power: the force of emotion conquering the force of reason.

    As Timothy Snyder states in his insightful book On Tyranny, "To abandon facts is to abandon freedom.

    If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so."

    Seen in this light, empirical evidence based on scientific investigation is superfluous; public policy is only useful when it is connected to human emotion and desire.

    This is all that matters in Trump's vision for the US. As such, facts and scientific research are a ruse, a tool of the elite designed to consolidate power over "the people" and discredit Trump's "America First" policies.

    Truth is a necessity for democracy because citizens depend on truth-based decision-making to achieve reasoned judgments about public policy. In the Trump administration, the eradication of fact-based communication has normalized the denial of truth.

    As a result, democracy is clearly under siege. Henry Giroux makes an excellent argument when he writes, "normalization is code for retreat from any sense of moral or political responsibility, and it should be viewed as an act of political complicity with authoritarianism and condemned outright."

    All Americans should take heed of this point. History has provided ample evidence of how institutional and civic complicity with autocratic rule erodes democracy.

    However, history has also demonstrated how engaged citizens can mobilize to resist this erosion.

    ]As Snyder argues, in order to confront autocracy, citizens need to become aware that democracy can disappear and mobilize to stop such a disastrous turn of events. In the age of Trump, there is no time for complacency.


              Do you feel Capitalism dying?        
    SUBHEAD: We need to develop the fortitude and skills needed for the future that is coming at us.

    By Joe Brewer on 24 July 2017 for Medium -

    Image above: A sign about "Capitalism" in Westminister Square with the Tower of London at British Parlement in the background. From (https://medium.com/@discomfiting/kill-capitalism-before-it-kills-us-fe23d10f6243).

    Can you feel capitalism dying around you? There is a mental disease of late-stage capitalism causing deep worry and anxiety, prompting feelings of severe isolation and humiliation, combined with a profound sense of powerlessness for millions of people around the world.

    The question I ask today is What are YOU going to do about it?

    The feeling bubbles up when students graduate from college with mountains of debt and few prospects for meaningful work. It spreads across cities where housing prices are skyrocketing and a giant financial chasm exists between owners and renters of residential property. And it aches in the spiraling decay of exploited ecosystems as they unravel after decades (or centuries) of pillaging industries waging war on nature.

    There is a reason only 5 men have the same aggregate wealth as half the human population. And that the Earth’s climate is ramping up for a phase transition that threatens our entire civilization. It is because a Global Architecture of Wealth Extraction has been carefully built up in the last five hundred years to produce exactly these outcomes.

    And it is causing millions of people to feel a malaise of loneliness and quiet desperation that tickles at the edge of their tongues — yet they don’t quite know what to call it.

    I’ve called it late-stage capitalism and this resonated with hundreds of thousands when I wrote about it last year. The depth and tenor of this resonance revealed that these feelings are truly widespread and the currents run deep within our veins.

    So what are we going to do with these feelings? Some tens of millions of Americans decided to elect President Trump last year. They had fallen victim to a sophisticated information war that functions as a kind of political mind control.

    Too few among them were able to discern what is really going on and now they are emotionally manipulated pawns in the end game for a small cohort of super-elites.

    This is not an acceptable place to direct the feelings we have about the death of capitalism. It will only accelerate us on the path to planetary-scale collapse that we need to reckon with in our lifetimes.

    Instead — if we can develop the fortitude and skills — we need to direct these feelings toward the much more productive path of learning how to design cultural change.

    You see, it has been our inability to collectively set intentions that enabled elite groups to divide-and-conquer us in these times of mass confusion, hardship, and despair.

    We need to recognize that the real state of power is culture and learn how to wield this power the way our ancestors once did.

    Anthropologists who study hunter-gatherer societies have long known that they are all egalitarian.

    Bullies and dictators were not able to rise up and boss people around because the group sanctioned against it.

    They did this through a combination of shaming and ostracism, or in extreme cases they resorted to expulsion or execution. But they were able to keep the bullies in check becaus;
    1. everyone knew everyone else in these small bands of people and
    2. relationships of trust were robust enough to navigate conflicts and cooperate effectively against individuals who might be stronger or more skilled at hunting than any one person on their own.
    We now have a vast digital infrastructure — the internet plus cell phones and satellite communication systems — that make it possible for the first time since the birth of civilizations to coordinate with transparency and trust at larger scales of society.

    Yet we remain divided into political tribes, fighting amongst each other at the beckoning of those who set the terms of debate.

    Are you a Democrat or Republican? Socialist or Capitalist?

    A person of color or a beneficiary of white privilege? Categories of division such as these may have important realities embedded within them but none gets at the root issue that defines these times.

    We are in a deep crisis that is carrying us all on the path toward extinction. We must learn to rise above our labels of separation and remember that everything is connected. Only then can we be seeds of transformation in a world where most of our stories are breaking down.

    So I call upon you to name your feelings of angst and powerlessness.

    Recognize that you are living through the death of a capitalist system that has brought our entire civilization to the brink of ruin.

    Learn how to design for change in a world where only through a paradigm shift in values and behaviors will it be possible to navigate our way toward planetary resilience in the decades ahead.

    We can get to the future we all want but only when we realize that it is our power to create cultural mythologies that has blinded us to our place within a world barreling toward humanity’s end.

    This power must now be employed in service of life, compassion, humility, and care for the living world. These are dangerous times and our actions matter more than most of us are ready to realize.

    Take hold of your feelings and direct them toward life, healing, and regeneration of our broken world.

    We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to our children, born and unborn.

    And we owe it to the many other species whose very existence are now in jeopardy because an arrogant myth of human superiority has driven us to soil the beds we must sleep in as members of the natural world ourselves.

    Time is short and there is much work to be done.

    Onward, fellow humans.


              North Korea: Final Plan By Mid-August For Firing Missiles Near Guam        
    North Korea said it would finalize plans for missile launches near Guam by the middle of this month and then wait for a green light from leader Kim Jong Un before carrying them out. The statement, disseminated by state-run news agency KCNA, comes amid an increasingly tense tit-for-tat between Pyongyang and Washington, as well as reports that U.S. intelligence has determined that North Korea can now fix nuclear warheads onto its ballistic missiles, including an ICBM thought capable of reaching the United States. On Tuesday, President Trump promised "fire and fury like the world has never seen" against North Korea if it didn't stand down from its threats against the United States. That prompted North Korea to announce that it was considering plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles into an area about 18-25 miles from the U.S. territory of Guam. On Wednesday, Pyongyang's military said Trump "let out a load of nonsense about 'fire and fury,'" adding that "sound dialogue is not
              Trump Says U.S. Will Meet North Korean Threats With 'Fire And Fury'        
    Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET President Trump on Tuesday threatened to meet North Korea with "fire and fury" a day after Pyongyang said it was ready with "ultimate measures" in response to new U.N. sanctions pushed by Washington. "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States," the president warned at a meeting on the opioid crisis held at Bedminster, N.J., where he is on an extended working vacation. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen," he said, adding that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before." Hours later, North Korea responded to the latest remarks by Trump by saying it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike the U.S. territory of Guam. The state-run KCNA news agency said a strike plan the Pacific island would be "put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any
              Trump's 'Drug-Infested Den' Remark In Transcript Angers New Hampshire        
    New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is taking umbrage at President Trump's apparent characterization of his state as "a drug-infested den." And not surprisingly, he isn't the only one who's angry. The remark was contained in a transcript published Thursday of a telephone conversation between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Discussing the flow of drugs on the southern U.S. border in a conversation from the Oval Office on Jan. 27, Trump told his Mexican counterpart: "We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy." "I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den," Trump reportedly said. (Note: While Trump won the New Hampshire Republican primary, he lost the state in the general election). As NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben noted : "The Trump administration is, for now, being reticent about the leaked transcripts. National Security Council spokesperson Michael Anton told NPR that
              Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 28th        

    Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy! PEOPLE: Noted Republican Caitlyn Jenner posted a video of herself trying to look very daring by using what appears to be a single-person bathroom at a Trump hotel in New […]

    The post Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 28th appeared first on Marriage Equality Watch.

              A Muslim's Top 10 Wishes for 2016        

    This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post on January 3, 2015. You can find the original article by clicking here or on the title. 

    A Muslim's Top 10 Wishes for 2016

    Have you ever made a wish that's come true -- because you made the wish? Until now, making a wish, whether at the sight of a shooting star or when blowing out the candle(s) on your birthday cake or when breaking a wishbone, has not yet been scientifically proven to actually work, as far as I know. Yet, in the spirit of hope, I am making 10 wishes at the beginning of the New Year. And as is always the case, as a Muslim, I speak on behalf of 1.5 billion people. So here goes...
    1. People no longer confuse me with ISIS.
    My name isn't ISIS. It's not even Islamic State. In fact, the words Islamic or State are not actually in my extended name. Nevertheless, time and time again, I keep getting requests to respond to the group's actions. I swear, ISIS or ISIL or IS -- none of them are in my family tree; they're not some distant cousins of mine. In 2016, I just want people to stop confusing me with ISIS. I really don't know what ISIS is thinking and why they do what they do. It's not like the State Department is asked for comment because of the State-to-State connection. As a postscript, can ISIS stop using the word Islamic? 
    2. Muslims stop killing Muslims for being Muslim.
    Somewhere, along the way over the last couple of decades, Muslims started killing other Muslims for being Muslim in the wrong way, or at least took it to a whole new level. There's a whole ideology out there built around takfir or essentially "declaring Muslims as kufar or unbelievers" for failing an evermore peculiar litmus test. Imagine if death squads emerged killing Black people for not being Black enough. Originating in some of the philosophical exhortations by scholar Ibn Taymiyyah 700 years ago, the criteria by which you are deemed "takfir-ed" and permissible to be killed has reached insane if not idiosyncratic levels. It would be funny if the situation weren't so deadly. Even barbers were caught in the crosshairs and were being assassinated in Baghdad in the 2000s. 
    3. Death and destruction in the Muslim world have a timeout. 
    From Yemen to IraqLibya to Somalia, and from Afghanistan to far beyond, civil strife is rife in too many parts of what is defined as the Muslim world. Autocrats, militants, extremists and terrorists, don't care who they kill: men, women, children -- everyone is fair game. I wish this would stop. Into this toxic mix, the last thing needed is more killing coming into these countries from the outside; the 2003 invasion of Iraq proved that. I wonder if Russia will hear that message? 
    4. We all get comfortable with the "other."
    What a difference it was in 2015 between Trudeau and Trump in the North American political cycle. The world needs more Trudeaus and less Trumps (Donalds that is). The fear of the "other" is starting to define Western politics and it is not just about Trump. The rise of right-wing political parties in Europe from Hungary to Denmark is a poignant reminder of the breadth of this phenomenon. Yet, outside the West this fear of the other also permeates and often dominates. In Turkey, we are seeing a renewed vilification of the Kurdish population. Further afield in Burma, the Rohingyaare cast as outsiders. In Malaysia, Christians are prohibited from using the Arabic word for God. And, in nearby Brunei, Christmas was simply cancelled. In some of the war zones in the Middle East, Christians are on the verge of disappearing. The world would be a lot better off if we weren't so afraid of the bogeyman of the other.
    5. The Muslim world deals with its taboos. 
    Speaking of an aversion to the non-orthodox, there's a whole set of taboos that many Muslim countries and societies need to start dealing with. A lot of them relate to sex. Sometimes the Muslim world acts like it has one big case of the cooties. There have been attempts by some to break through these restrictions. Wedad Lootah in the UAE comes to mind. Shereen El Feki's Sex and the Citadel is another. This is not an issue to take lightly, especially in societies where 60-70 percent of youth are under the age of 30. Bombarded by sexualized imagery from modern and digital media, these youth then live, essentially, in an austere second world that is their reality. More importantly and tragically, rape and sexual assault are simply not talked about; child abuse is an even worse curse hidden under the rug. Finally, at some point Muslim countries - and the clerical establishment -- will need to come to terms with the fact that gay Muslims exist
    6. Somewhere, over the rainbow, democracy and Islam go steady. 
    Let's be honest, a lot of people have tried to set up democracy with Islam for a relationship. Sometimes it has been a surprise blind date (e.g. Iraq in 2003). Other times, it was a relationship that grew from blind passion (e.g. the Arab world in 2011). Often, the sparks of love eventually turn into animus and things quickly go south. In the Arab world, Tunisia is carrying - with some fragility -- the banner of democracy. Many Muslim-majority countries that used to be counted as democracies now suffer from authoritarian syndromes (e.g. TurkeyMalaysia, and Bangladesh). In other cases, democracy in its infancy quickly devolved into score settling or majoritarian mafias (e.g. the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt). Perhaps Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country is our hope that can breathe life into this wish. 
    7. Averroes comes back in style. 
    Averroes -- or Ibn Rushd -- was a man's man. He schooled his way into Raphael's The School of Athens. The polymath kept alive ancient Greek philosophy, paving the way for much of Europe's modern intellectual movements. Back in the day, in Andalusia, he was a big deal (Biden-style). And, why not? He vociferously argued for the co-existence of secular and religious thought in a posthumous debate with the Abbasid scholar Al Ghazali. Ultimately, Ibn Rushd lost the debate to the detriment of the Muslim world, but his arguments culminated with the work, The Incoherence of Incoherence, which I think would be a great riposte to all ISIS ideologues and their friends. If Ibn Taymiyyah came back, then let's bring Averroes back too. 
    8. Flying while Muslim is no longer a thing. 
    They say that flying while Muslim is the new driving while Black. I guess if you're a Black Muslim, this really sucks, especially if you drive to the airport for your flight. So my wish maybe can be two-pronged: getting rid of both 'driving while Black' as well as 'flying while Muslim.' What is flying while Muslim? Well, it often starts with a casual stare or two from across the way. A timid approach then ensues: "Excuse me sir." This is normally followed by a more forceful: "Please follow me." It can then get quite aggressive, with clothes falling by the wayside. It normally ends with your belongings in disarray, your belt on backwards, and you fast-walking without turning back in the hope that no one thinks twice about you boarding your flight. Oh, and don't watch the news while on the plane. I hate flying while Muslim. 
    9. Trump presides over a Muslim beauty contest. 
    Was 2015 the year of Trump? You have to hand it to Trump; he sure knows how to grab the spotlight. Unfortunately, he's used that spotlight to spew increasingly populist venom targeted at Muslims (and others). Maybe, we need to better appeal to Trump's core interest: beauty pageants. There are a few lists circulating online for potential Muslim contestants (for Men: click here | for Women: click here). Yet, I think we should make this a mipsters pageant and turn this whole thing on its head. 
    10. Peace comes to Syria. 
    This Muslim (me) -- speaking on behalf of 1.5 billion people around the world -- has 10 wishes for 2016 but if only one of them came true it should be this one. No country has been more ravaged in recent memory than Syria. Hundreds of thousands have been killed as gangsters, terrorists, and dictators fight for supremacy. The surrounding region, instead of trying to promote a solution, has sent in weapons, fighters, and incitement. The world, instead of trying to mediate, has sought to settle old scores. All the while, the people in Syria live in lifeless limbo amidst daily death and destruction. If I had only one wish it would be that the violence in Syria would come to an end. 
    This wish list is non-exhaustive. I think I may have missed a few...

              10 Questions on the Conflict in Syria        
    A potential military strike by Western powers on Syria now appears to be a fait accompli and is being touted as long overdue. Given the spiralling humanitarian disaster that has overtaken the country during the last two years of conflict, continued inaction appears to be an untenable reality. The death toll is now well over 100,000 (although the proportion of civilians to combatants is unclear). There are 2 million refugees, half of whom are children, and over 4 million more internally displaced persons (IDPs), amounting to a quarter of the country's overall population. Yet, it was the apparent chemical weapons attack in the suburbs around Damascus known as Ghouta last week that has served as the impetus for international military intervention into the conflict. Amidst the rhetoric and war rehearsals, clarity on what is really happening seems to be cast aside in the media, in favor of faux-spontaneous leaks, retired generals, and trumpeters of past wars. Here are ten questions to try to set the record straight.

    1. Were chemical weapons used in Syria?

    When the initial attack unfolded last Wednesday, August 21 in the suburbs in Damascus known as Ghouta (near the town/suburb of Jobar), news quickly spread to local, regional and international media. Claims were made of hundreds of deaths, with some activists claiming the death toll was 1,300. Moreover, the Government of Syria immediately denied responsibility and has continued to do so. However, the attack did unfold amidst a series of army strikes on Jobar, which is a rebel-held area, and has been for quite some time. The Government conversely claimed to find chemical weapons supplies in tunnels in the same area, and it is alleged that some Hezbollah fighters were also exposed to chemical toxins.

    A week on, it appears incontrovertible that chemical weapons were used, not just from YouTube videos but also from visits by independent journalists, and of course by a report by Médecins Sans Frontières that has documented at least 355 deaths from local hospitals. It is likely that the chemical agent used was a neurotoxin or nerve gas, most likely sarin gas. What is still not clear, is how they were delivered (i.e. in what form and carried on what type of weapon) and from where.

    It should also be kept in mind that this was not the first attack that has been alleged. There have been numerous claims by rebels, and counter-claims by the government on the use of chemical weapons in the conflict. Here's a map of those events. In fact, this is precisely why the team of UN inspectors had arrived in the country, the day before this latest incident (and massacre) took place. In fact, what is interesting is that their investigation of other sites has now been put on the back-burner due to the latest developments.

    2. Do we know who actually used the chemical weapons? 

    The United States, United Kingdom, and France have all stated they are certain that the Government of Syria has undertaken the attack last week. On the U.S. side, at the forefront of the rhetoric has been Vice President Biden - who has said there is 'no doubt' - and Secretary of State John Kerry, who made an evocative plea for action several days ago. Of course, the next speech is the most important, and it would be one made by President Barack Obama. In light of this certainty, it would be difficult to question the attribution of blame. A leak from the US government also claims to have intercepted a murky call between commanders in the Syrian army that supposedly is evidence of culpability on the Syrian side.

    There is tremendous reason to doubt U.S. claims. Firstly, it should not be forgotten that then Secretary of State Colin Powell presented ironclad evidence to the United Nations Security Council of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that Saddam Hussein possessed, a finding that was later proven to be utterly false, but which was the basis of a war that continues until today. Secondly, the U.S. claimed that there was incontrovertible proof that the Government of Syria was responsible for earlier chemical attacks this year, but that finding has been contested, and some experts apportioned blame to the rebels fighting the government. And finally, in this case, no evidence has been presented, as of yet to make such a determination, at least not conclusively.

    Does that mean the Assad and his regime are not responsible? No. It is very likely given the ongoing military operations in the same area that the Syrian government launched such an attack. Yet, more evidence needs to be presented to make a definitive conclusion. The other scenarios that could be possible are:

    - Extremists groups like Jubhat al-Nusra, who have previously seized advanced weaponry and possibly chemical weapons from Syrian army bases and positions, were attempting to use them on Syrian soldiers (or conversely to cast blame on the Syrian army);

    - The Government of Syria inadvertently hit a stockpile of sarin gas releasing the toxins (although unclear if this would lead to the effects that we've seen); or

    - Rogue elements within the chain of command used chemical weapons intentionally or inadvertently.

    Russia, Iran and China have of course cast doubt on western claims but that is to be expected.

    3. What would be the basis or justification for US intervention?

    The U.S. intervention would likely be on the basis of Obama's previously stated red line on Syria, which would be the mass use/movement of chemical weapons. It is not in fact about humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect framework, developed in the 1990s to prevent genocide and mass civilian deaths. If it was, then the humanitarian case for intervention has been present for some time, and other massacres by the Syrian regime, such as in Houla in 2012, would have provided sufficient pretext. Obviously, the U.S. and other Western powers, and regional countries, have their own interests at play that are much more geopolitical in nature, but the justification or casus belli being offered is around the issue of chemical weapons, and chemical weapons alone.

    4. Will anybody else be involved in the military strikes besides the US and will this affect whether they are 'legal'?

    Given Russian and Chinese opposition, and a likely veto of any resolution by the United Nations Security Council supporting such a military strike on Syria - especially in light of the intervention in Libya, which Russia regretted supporting - a 'coalition of the willing' will need to be developed. This coalition would be broader than the Iraq War in 2003, and would be similar to the coalition carrying out the strikes against Serb positions vis-a-vis Kosovo in 1999. While the U.S., U.K. and France will likely lead an effort, Turkey would also be critical as a staging ground (as it borders Syria from the North), and thus there will be an attempt to launch such an attack under the auspices of NATO. Despite its reluctance, Jordan, given its reliance on the U.S. and Saudi Arabia politically and economically, will have no choice but to support . The two other neighbours of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon are squarely against any military strike. And of course, the other neighbor - Israel - would sit this one out but would provide intelligence to the U.S. and other parties on Syrian positions, given that it has already undertaken a number of air strikes on Syria in the past two years.

    Further afield, it is likely the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) will support military intervention, with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates possibly sending fighter jets to participate in a strike to give it regional cover and credibility. Finally, while many groups within the Arab and Muslim world, and the 'left' of the West, will oppose military intervention, many others will support it, because of the spiralling humanitarian situation in Syria.

    Technically speaking if the military intervention is not sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, and there is no imminent threat that the U.S. and other parties can point to towards its own territory or its assets, it would be illegal under international law. However, that has not stopped NATO or other countries (i.e. Russia in Georgia) form undertaking military action in the past. And before the Iraq War, some scholars claimed that while such an attack would be illegal it would be legitimate, and demonstrated retroactively to be legal. Given the state of world affairs, 'legality' is likely not a determining factor for a strike on Syria.

    5. Are we seeing a repeat of Iraq in 2003? 

    No. The situation today with Syria is different than it was in 2003 in Iraq, for many reasons, despite some passing similarities. In Iraq, the U.S. claimed that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction while in Syria, we already know Bashar al-Assad possesses chemical weapons, and the question is whether he used them (small aside, it was released this week that thirty years ago, the U.S. obstructed a UN investigation when it knew Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons). In Iraq, the U.S. alleged that Saddam Hussein had links with Al Qaeda (and related groups), while in Syria, Bashar al Assad is widely acknowledged to be fighting Al Qaeda (and related groups) in addition to the 'Free Syrian Army' (and in addition to crushing peaceful demonstrators). In Iraq, there was no active state of conflict that was leading to a spiralling humanitarian catastrophe (and the potential use of WMDs), while in Syria there is not just a violent conflict, but also WMDs have been used by somebody (even if the culprit is not yet clear).

    What should be noted, however, is that both Iraq in 2003 and Syria in 2013, are in complex environments, and any removal of government or sustained military intervention would have dramatic unforeseen consequences. It seems like the media debate in the U.S. is also similarly anaemic (but slightly better) this time around.

    6. What is the real motivation for the United States and other powers?

    As with all things in this world when it comes to international relations, the primary interest is not humanitarian but geopolitical. This is not absolute, however, and it could be argued that Turkey has been insisting on humanitarian intervention from an early stage. However, the regimes (not peoples) in the Gulf, most notably Saudi Arabia, are exclusively concerned with dislodging Syria from the Iranian orbit, and severing connections between Syria and Hezbollah. Humanitarian concerns are a by-product. And for the United States, something similar is at play. As noted above, if this was about humanitarian concerns, action would have been taken long before 100,000 deaths had occurred.

    For the U.S. it has been looking for regime change in Syria for a while. However, these strikes if they occur, will be about sending a message and asserting America's position in the Middle East, given the red line that Obama drew. Ultimately, it may tip the scales in the rebels favour or improve the U.S.'s negotiating position vis-a-vis Iran. The chemical weapons attack in a morbid way, opened a door of opportunity for Western powers (with GCC support) to do something limited without a full-scale intervention.

    7. Will military intervention solve the Syrian conflict?

    No. Military intervention no matter how small or how big will not solve the Syrian conflict. In fact, it could very much exacerbate the situation on the ground even further (if that can be imagined). What is being reported currently is that the U.S. and allies will undertake a series of 'surgical strikes', a euphemism for a large-scale assault on key military and strategic installations, such as army positions, air bases, radar installations, communications infrastructure, supply routes, and, where appropriate, power stations (among other targets). More than anything this will be intended to send a message to the regime and weaken its capabilities. Yet, it would not be a fatal blow. And it would not necessarily tip the scales in favor of the rebels. It may in fact mobilize certain parties to support the regime, if there are civilian casualties from the intervention.

    The solution to the Syrian situation has to be political, if it is going to lead to stability or peace. Yet, if the military intervention escalated and led to the removal of the Syrian regime, that would still not be the end of the conflict. After the Soviets were booted out of Afghanistan, the country devolved into a civil war for five years until the rise of the Taliban in 1996. Somalia has only recently stabilised (somewhat), more than 20 years after the assassination of its leader, President Siad Barre. And neighboring Lebanon, took 15 years of conflict (1975-1990) to reach an end, which was brought about by ironically Syrian military intervention (which committed its own crimes), that produced a - audible gasp - political settlement.

    8. What could potentially go wrong?

    Everything. The potential for disaster following military intervention in any country is great (see Black Hawk Down, Iraq, Afghanistan and the list goes on). Yet, in Syria it could be apocalyptic. Here is a list of what that could entail:

    - Chemical weapons are used by Syria against its neighbors such as Jordan and Turkey, or U.S. military positions in those countries;
    - U.S. planes/helicopters are shot down leading to an escalation of U.S. involvement requiring boots on the ground;
    - Syria sends a volley of missiles into Tel Aviv and other places in Israel, leading to a regional war;
    - Proxy forces of Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, launch a sustained campaign against Israel/U.S. interests, including attacks embassies within Lebanon/Palestine/Israel but also in other countries, in the short and medium-term;
    - Al Qaeda forces in the region, while opposing the Assad regime, oppose U.S. intervention especially if there are masses of civilian casualties, and use it as a pretext for attacks in places such as Yemen;
    - Russia objects to the U.S. strike, and mobilizes warships to the Mediterranean, leading to a standoff with Europe and the U.S.;
    - Negotiations with Iran, still in embryonic stages are suspended irrevocably;
    - Six party talks with North Korea are suspended by Russia, China, and North Korea irrevocably;
    - The Syrian regime goes all out in its conflict and begins to bomb with even more abandon civilian areas controlled by rebels, leading to thousands of casualties, and counter-massacres by enraged rebel fighters;
    - The Syrian regime is removed by force from power by the intervention, leading to a power vacuum sinking the country further into civil war for over a decade of even more violent strife and a possible Al Qaeda style government;
    - Tensions rise in the Middle East, especially in places of sectarian division (i.e. Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia, and Iraq) leading to civil strife and attacks on governments, and counter-attacks on populations; and
    - World War 3.

    9. What could potentially go right?

    It may seem that what is written above is slightly alarmist and that's true. Many things can go wrong (most of which, to be honest, are hard to predict as they will be unforeseen consequences or as Donald Rumsfeld, ironically calls them, unknown unknowns). However, the U.S.-led strikes could be quite effective. Firstly, if they are limited in scope, they can be completed in one day, reducing the risk for a military entanglement and civilian casualties. Secondly, if they are from the air, there is limited risk for casualties on the side of the intervening forces. Thirdly, an attack that is forceful and hits Syrian military positions, will send a message to Assad that there is a limit to what he can do, which thus far has not been the case, and may entice him to reach a political settlement. Fourthly, it is unlikely that the Syrian regime would retaliate, for a short strike on positions, against Israel, knowing that they cannot afford to fight a war on so many fronts (and thus far they have yet to retaliate to any Israel air strike). Finally, the systematic destruction of Assad's air capabilities could be instrumental in limiting civilian casualties by the regime in the future.

    All of this is one possibility of what could occur.

    10. Let's cut to the chase - should I support or not support military intervention?

    There is no clearcut answer. Ultimately, military intervention should not be supported as a solution to the Syrian conflict. It is not, and whether we like it or not, a political solution/settlement is the only way the current situation moves towards peace and stability. The U.S. is negotiating with the Taliban. The Vietnamese negotiated with the U.S. The Lebanese negotiated with each other. The Dayton Accords to end the Bosnian War were signed with Slobodan Milosevic. It may not be easy, it may be unlikely, and it will not work perfectly, but political discussions involving all parties is the only way to find a real solution.

    That being said, if a case is made with overwhelming evidence by independent parties (not U.S. conjecture) that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian regime, then military intervention on a limited scale, and for a period of 1-2 days only, should be undertaken, ideally with UN support - and if not with broad support of half of the members, i.e. 90, of the UN General Assembly to demonstrate legitimacy - against military targets only, which will both send a message about the use of these weapons and damage the capabilities of Assad.

    What is clear is that whatever happens, there are no clear answers with regards to the conflict in Syria.

              Tuba Christmas Trumpets Portland’s Holiday Spirit        
    Tuba! Tuba! TUBACHRISTMAS (its official name), a FREE annual Yuletide concert in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, provides a belly full of holiday cheer 1:30 – 3pm Saturday, Dec. 12, much like the jolly old elf himself. Listen to 200 tubas play the festive music of the season AND join in a sing-a-along of familiar carols. TUBACHRISTMAS actually [...]
              The rise and fall - and rise? - of Christian nationalism        
    Does the 2016 election portend the rise of Christian nationalism? Two new studies shed light on the conditions that appear to predict support for Christian nationalism, and how Donald Trump’s presidential run may have played a substantial role in its revival.
              Ambitious growth plans trump political uncertainty        

    Despite political uncertainty, businesses are still providing enticing targets for acquisition as they pursue big growth plans, says BDO expert

    The post Ambitious growth plans trump political uncertainty appeared first on Financial Director.

              CFOs optimistic despite political uncertainty, suggests Deloitte survey        

    Positive outlook despite Brexit and Trump causing uncertainty, with UK CFOs in better spirits than at any other time in last 18 months

    The post CFOs optimistic despite political uncertainty, suggests Deloitte survey appeared first on Financial Director.

              Comment on billt and the artinliverpool crew by Anonymous        
    How was it Bill? Looks like a lot of intensive brain work going on there. Would have liked to come but daughter's birthday trumped it.
              Ken Ludwig's ROBIN HOOD! Extends Again at The Old Globe        

    The Old Globe today announced that due to popular demand, the exciting Globe-commissioned world premiere comedy Ken Ludwig's Robin Hood! has now extended again, through September 10! This is the second and final extension for the hit show, which previously announced a one-week addition through September 3. The production plays in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Single tickets start at $45 and are on sale now.

    Two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright and inventive comic genius Ken Ludwig is back at the Globe following the smash success of Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, which broke box office records in 2015. Director Jessica Stone also returns to the Globe, where she helmed the hit productions of Arms and the Man and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Packed with thrills, romance, laughs, and great characters like Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian, Robin Hood! tells the timeless story of a hero of the people who takes on the powers that be. So get ready to duck a quarterstaff or two-you won't want to miss a moment of the swashbuckling fun!

    Daniel Reece plays Robin Hood (Belleville, The Realistic Joneses at Yale Repertory Theatre), joined by Michael Boatman (Broadway's "Master Harold"...and the Boys, "Spin City") as Prince John, Kevin Cahoon (Love's Labor's Lost at the Globe, Hedwig and the Angry Inch Off Broadway) as The Sheriff of Nottingham, Manoel Felciano (Globe's Twelfth Night, Broadway's Amélie, Sweeney Todd) as Sir Guy of Gisbourne, Meredith Garretson (Private Policy at Signature Theatre Company) as Maid Marian, Andy Grotelueschen (Fiasco's Into the Woods and The Imaginary Invalid at the Globe) as Friar Tuck, Suzelle Palacios (student in The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program) as Doerwynn, and Paul Whitty (Amélie and Once on Broadway) as Little John.

    The creative team includes Tim Mackabee (Scenic Design), San Diego native, two-time Tony Award winner, and Old Globe Associate Artist Gregg Barnes (Costume Design), Jason Lyons (Lighting Design), Fitz Patton (Original Music and Sound Design), Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum (Fight Director), David Huber (Voice and Dialect Coach), Caparelliotis Casting (Casting), Jess Slocum (Production Stage Manager), and Annette Nixon (Stage Manager).

    "Ken Ludwig is fast becoming a part of The Old Globe family, and we couldn't be happier," said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. "Ken is arguably the leading comic dramatist in the American theatre, and with Robin Hood! he has fashioned an extraordinary new take on the legend. The play is a fun summer romp full of swashbuckling and romance, and it's also a moving tale of a young man's discovery that everyone has a responsibility to care for his fellow man. This fast, funny, and colorful play is interpreted by another Globe mainstay, the gifted director Jessica Stone. She has assembled her own team of merry men and women to help make a memorable evening of theatre, and I'm delighted to share it with San Diego."

    Ken Ludwig (Playwright) is a two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright whose work is performed every night of the year throughout the world in more than 30 countries and over 20 languages. He has written 24 plays and musicals, with six Broadway productions and seven in London's West End. His Tony Award-winning play Lend Me a Tenor was called "one of the classic comedies of the 20th century" by The Washington Post. His other plays and musicals include Crazy for You (five years on Broadway, Tony Award for Best Musical), Moon Over Buffalo (Broadway and West End), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Broadway), Treasure Island (West End), Twentieth Century (Broadway), Leading Ladies, Shakespeare in Hollywood, The Game's Afoot, The Fox on the Fairway, The Three Musketeers, The Beaux' Stratagem, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, and A Comedy of Tenors. His critically acclaimed adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, written at the request of the Christie estate, premiered this season to sold-out houses at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton. Mr. Ludwig has received commissions from the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bristol Old Vic, and he is a Sallie B. Goodman Fellow of McCarter Theatre Center. His many awards and honors include the Charles MacArthur Award, two Helen Hayes Awards, the Southeastern Theatre Conference Distinguished Career Award, the Edgar Award for Best Mystery of the Year, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Contributions to the American Theatre. His book How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare (Random House) won the Falstaff Award for Best Shakespeare Book of 2014, and his essays are published by The Yale Review. He holds degrees from Harvard University and University of Cambridge.

    Jessica Stone (Director) worked as an actress on and Off Broadway and in television and film for the last 30 years. Her Broadway credits include Anything Goes, Butley, The Odd Couple, The Smell of the Kill, Design for Living, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Grease. Her Off Broadway credits include Crimes of the Heart, Krisit, The Country Club, June Moon, Tenderloin, and Babes in Arms. She has performed in regional theatres across the country including Huntington Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum, Geva Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, and 10 seasons at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Ms. Stone's television credits include series-regular and guest-starring roles on CBS, NBC, ABC, and Hulu. Her film credits include work with Ang Lee, M. Night Shyamalan, and Kevin Bacon, among others. Concurrently, she was an assistant/associate director on and Off Broadway to Nicholas Martin, Joe Mantello, David Warren, and Christopher Ashley. Ms. Stone's directing career began in earnest with her all-male 2010 production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for Williamstown Theatre Festival. Her directing credits now include Arms and the Man (The Old Globe), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (The Old Globe, Huntington Theatre Company), Charlotte's Web (Theatreworks USA), June Moon and Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Absurd Person Singular and A Funny Thing... (Two River Theater Company), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Bucks County Playhouse), and Bad Jews (George Street Playhouse). Ms. Stone's upcoming productions include Bad Dates for Huntington Theatre Company and Dancing at Lughnasa for Two River Theater Company.

    Ken Ludwig's Robin Hood! is supported in part through gifts from Production Sponsors California Bank & Trust, Sheila and Jeffrey Lipinsky, Paula and Brian Powers, Jean and Gary Shekhter, Theatre Forward, and Pam Wagner and Hans Tegebo, as well as Artist Sponsor Jo Ann Kilty (for Daniel Reece, playing Robin Hood) and Evelyn Mack Truitt (for playwright Ken Ludwig). Financial support is provided by The City of San Diego.

    Additional events taking place during the rest of the run of Ken Ludwig's Robin Hood! include:

    POST-SHOW FORUM: Tuesday, August 8, 2017.

    Join us after the show for an informal and enlightening question-and-answer session with cast, crew, and/or Globe staff members. Get the inside story on creating a character and putting together a professional production. FREE.

    SINGLE TICKETS to Ken Ludwig's Robin Hood! start at $45 and are on sale now to the general public. Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE [234-5623], or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and under, seniors, military members, and groups of 10 or more. Performances have been extended by popular demand and now run through September 10. Performance times: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

    The 2017 Summer Shakespeare Festival includes William Shakespeare's classic tragedy Hamlet, one of the greatest plays ever written. Directed by the Globe's own Barry Edelstein, this exhilarating new production will run August 6 - September 10. Revenge thriller, ghost story, psychological drama, political epic, and family saga, all packed in one with unforgettable characters, theatrical masterstrokes, and world famous lines. The Prince of Denmark comes home from college to find his father dead, his mother remarried to his uncle, and a spine-chilling apparition roaming the palace grounds.

    The Summer Season also features Guys and Dolls, playing July 2 - August 13 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. This musical fable of Broadway is based on a story and characters of Damon Runyon, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, presented in association with Asolo Repertory Theatre. Guys and Dolls tops Entertainment Weekly's list of the Greatest Musicals of All Time, and for good reason: it's everything we love in musical theatre. Now fast-rising director/choreographer Josh Rhodes returns to the Globe to direct our first-ever production of this Broadway masterpiece. Nathan Detroit needs some serious dough to keep his "oldest established permanent floating crap game" going. He's also got his hands full with his marriage-minded girlfriend Adelaide. But when Nathan makes a bet with high-roller Sky Masterson, his problems appear to be solved. Based on Damon Runyon's famous tales of small-time hoods and showgirls, Guys and Dolls is filled with some of the most wonderful showtunes ever, including "Luck Be a Lady," "I've Never Been in Love Before," and the irrepressible anthem "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat." Guys and Dolls will put a spring in your step and a smile on your face and remind you how much fun it is to see a top-notch Globe revival of a classic American musical!

    The Summer Season began with Shakespeare's King Richard II, which was directed by Erica Schmidt and closed on July 15, 2017.

    The Old Globe is located in San Diego's Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. Through a special arrangement with the San Diego Zoo, Old Globe evening ticket-holders have the opportunity to pre-purchase valet parking in the Zoo's employee parking structure. With a drop-off point just a short walk to the Globe, theatregoers may purchase fast, easy, convenient valet parking for just $20 per vehicle per evening. Pre-paid only, available only by phone through The Old Globe Box Office. Call (619) 234-5623 or visit

    There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Guests may also be dropped off in front of the Mingei International Museum. The Balboa Park valet is also available during performances, located in front of the Japanese Friendship Garden. For additional parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org. For directions and up-to-date information, please visit www.theoldglobe.org/plan-your-visit/directions--parking/detailed-directions.

    PLEASE NOTE: To look up online or GPS directions to The Old Globe, please do not use the Delivery Address above. There is only a 10-minute zone at that physical address. For GPS users, please click here for the map coordinates, and here for written directions to The Old Globe and nearby parking in Balboa Park.

    CALENDAR: King Richard II (6/11-7/15), Guys and Dolls (7/2-8/13), Ken Ludwig's Robin Hood! (7/22-9/10), Hamlet (8/6-9/10), Benny & Joon (9/7-10/22), The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (9/30-10/29), Globe for All Tour: Twelfth Night (10/31-11/19), Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (11/4-12/24), M.F.A.: Romeo and Juliet (11/11-11/19), The Importance of Being Earnest (1/27/18-3/4), Uncle Vanya (2/10-3/11), American Mariachi (3/23-4/29), The Wanderers (4/5-5/6), A Thousand Splendid Suns (5/12-6/17), Native Gardens (5/26-6/24), Dr. Seuss's The Lorax (7/2-8/12).

    The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country's leading professional regional theatres and has stood as San Diego's flagship arts institution for over 80 years. Under the leadership of Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of The Old Globe's Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-seat outdooR Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theatre's artistic and arts engagement programs. Numerous world premieres such as the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, Allegiance, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and the annual holiday musical Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.

    Michael Boatman (Prince John) starred in Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway revival of "Master Harold"...and the Boys. His other stage credits include The Glass Menagerie (Lorraine Hansberry Theatre), Tiny Mommy (Playwrights Horizons), and Blithe Spirit (Williamstown Theatre Festival). His television credits include "The Good Fight," "Madam Secretary," "Instant Mom," "The Good Wife," and "Spin City." He is the author of four novels, including Last God Standing and Who Wants to Be the Prince of Darkness? He studied acting at Western Illinois University.

    Kevin Cahoon (The Sheriff of Nottingham) was seen at the Globe last season in Love's Labor's Lost (Craig Noel Award nomination). He has appeared on Broadway in The Wedding Singer, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Rocky Horror Show, The Lion King, and The Who's Tommy. His Off Broadway credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch (also Boston, San Francisco, Edinburgh International Festival), How I Learned to Drive (Second Stage Theatre), The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World (Playwrights Horizons), The Foreigner (Roundabout Theatre Company, Lucille Lortel Award nomination), The Wild Party (Manhattan Theatre Club), and Hair and Babes in Arms (City Center Encores!). Mr. Cahoon's regional credits include Guthrie Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Bard SummerScape, Ahmanson Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and others. He has appeared on television in "Nurse Jackie," "Modern Family," "NCIS," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "The Good Wife," "Odd Mom Out," "Six Degrees," "Black Box," "The Mentalist," "Franklin & Bash," "Canterbury's Law," "Law & Order," and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," among others. His film credits include I Am Michael, Mars Needs Moms, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, The Thing About My Folks, Sudden Manhattan, and the documentaries SqueezeBox! and Whether You Like It or Not: The True Story of Hedwig. With the band Ghetto Cowboy, Mr. Cahoon won the OUTmusic Award for their album Doll.

    Manoel Felciano (Sir Guy of Gisbourne) was previously seen at The Old Globe in Twelfth Night and I Just Stopped By to See the Man. He appeared on Broadway in Sweeney Todd (Tony Award nomination), Amélie, Disaster!, Brooklyn, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Cabaret, and he appeared Off Broadway in The Changeling (Red Bull Theater), Trumpery (Atlantic Theater Company), Shockheaded Peter, and Much Ado About Nothing (New York Shakespeare Festival). His regional credits include the world premiere of Terrence McNally's Mothers and Sons with Tyne Daly (Bucks County Playhouse), The Exorcist with Brooke Shields (Geffen Playhouse), Scorched, Tales of the City, Clybourne Park, Norman in Round and Round the Garden, Caucasian Chalk Circle, November, Jerry in Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo, and Rock 'n' Roll (American Conservatory Theater), Elektra with Olympia Dukakis (Getty Villa), Tateh in Ragtime (The Kennedy Center), Three Sisters directed by Michael Greif (Williamstown Theatre Festival), and George in Sunday in the Park with George directed by Jason Alexander. His film and television credits include Uncertainty with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "Elementary," "NCIS," "Trauma," "Life on Mars," "The Unusuals," "One Life to Live," and "All My Children." Mr. Felciano's concert credits include Soldier's Tale (Sun Valley Symphony), Ragtime (Lincoln Center), Nick Adams with Jack Nicholson, Julia Roberts, and Sean Penn (San Francisco Symphony), and Zipperz (Oakland and Marin Symphonies). As a singer/songwriter he has performed on live@joe's pub, Moonshot, and SundaySongs. He has also directed and taught at New York University, Viterbo University, American Conservatory Theater, Boston University, UC Berkeley, and University of Florida.

    Meredith Garretson (Maid Marian) is thrilled to make her first appearance at The Old Globe. She is a proud graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting M.F.A. Program, class of 2017. Some of her favorite roles there include Hermione in The Winter's Tale directed by MarK Wing-Davey, Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard directed by Lucie Tiberghien, Marc Antony in Julius Caesar directed by Janet Zarish, Hypatia in Misalliance directed by Ms. Zarish, and Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof directed by Tamilla Woodard. She has appeared on ABC's "What Would You Do?" as well as in multiple independent and short films.

    Andy Grotelueschen (Friar Tuck) was recently seen at The Old Globe in Fiasco Theater's world premiere adaptation of The Imaginary Invalid. He has appeared Off Broadway and around the U.S. in Fiasco's Into the Woods (The Old Globe, Roundabout Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre Center, Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival and nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical), The Two Gentleman of Verona (Theatre for a New Audience, St. Clair Bayfield Award), Cymbeline (Theatre for a New Audience/Barrow Street Theatre), Measure for Measure (The New Victory Theater, Long Wharf Theatre), and Twelfth Night. He also appeared on Broadway in Cyrano de Bergerac. His other New York credits include Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew (Theatre for a New Audience), the Cyclops in The Odyssey (Public Works at Delacorte Theater), and world premieres at 13P, The Exchange, and St. Ann's Warehouse. Mr. Grotelueschen's regional credits include Yale Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Folger Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Guthrie Theater, and all across the country with The Acting Company. He has appeared on television in "Elementary," "The Good Wife," and "The Knick." His film credits include Still on the Road (PBS), Coin Heist (Netflix), Geezer, Land of Kings, and Tumorhead. He is a Fiasco Theater company member.

    Suzelle Palacios (Doerwynn) is a second-year M.F.A. student in The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. She has been seen in The Old Globe's Summer Shakespeare Festival in King Richard II, Love's Labor's Lost, and Macbeth. Her previous credits include Julia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Audrey in As You Like It (The Old Globe/USD), Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice (Houston Shakespeare Festival), and Our Country's Good, The Miser, Blood Wedding, and The Crucible (University of Houston).

    Daniel Reece (Robin Hood) is making his Old Globe debut in Robin Hood! His other credits include Belleville, The Realistic Joneses, and Owners (Yale Repertory Theatre), Pygmalion and The Bachelors (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Arabian Nights, A Man for All Seasons, Hair, and Love's Labour's Lost (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), Romeo and Juliet, Petty Harbour, Dead Ends., Hedda Gabler, Twelfth Night, and Sunday in the Park with George (Yale School of Drama). His television credits include "Elementary," "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," and "Public Morals." Mr. Reece is a co-founder of Old Sound Room, where he most recently appeared in the company's fifth production, JIB.

    Paul Whitty (Little John) is thrilled to be making his Old Globe debut. Most recently he was in the original cast of Amélie on Broadway. He also originated the role of Billy in the Tony Award-winning musical Once, giving over a thousand performances on Broadway and also a handful at American Repertory Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, and even Tokyo. His Off and Off Off Broadway credits include Bayonets of Angst (New York Musical Festival), Violet (Encores! Off-Center), and Twelfth Night (Sonnet Repertory Theatre). His regional work includes Amélie (Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Center Theatre Group), Peter and the Starcatcher (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Judge Jackie (Sharon Playhouse), Be More Chill (Two River Theater), reasons to be pretty and Art (Crescent Stage), Circle Mirror Transformation (PURE Theatre), and Doubt and War of the Worlds (Village Repertory Co.). On screen, Mr. Whitty has appeared in the films Song One and The Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell and on the television series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Guiding Light." His recordings include the Amélie and Be More Chill cast albums, the Song One motion picture soundtrack, and the Grammy Award-winning Once cast album.

    Tim Mackabee (Scenic Design) recently designed the Globe's productions of Skeleton Crew and The Last Match. His Broadway credits include The Elephant Man starring Bradley Cooper (also West End) and Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth directed by Spike Lee. His Off Broadway credits include Guards at the Taj (2016 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Scenic Design) and Our New Girl (Atlantic Theater Company), Vietgone and Important Hats of the Twentieth Century (Manhattan Theatre Club), Heathers: The Musical (New World Stages), Luce (Lincoln Center Theater), Gigantic (Vineyard Theatre), and Much Ado About Nothing (The Public Theater). Regionally Mr. Mackabee has designed for Geffen Playhouse, American Conservatory Theater, Ford's Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, Cleveland Play House, Dallas Theater Center, Geva Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, South Coast Repertory, Victory Gardens Theater, Bay Street Theater, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Arden Theatre Company, The Studio Theatre, The Muny, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. His dance credits include Doug Varone and Dancers, and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. His television credits include Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo, "Gotham," "Smash," and "The Today Show."

    Gregg Barnes (Costume Design) is an Associate Artist of The Old Globe. He has designed the Broadway productions of Tuck Everlasting (2016 Tony Award nomination), Something Rotten! (2015 Tony nomination), Aladdin, Kinky Boots (2013 Tony nomination, 2016 Olivier Award), Follies (2012 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Henry Hewes Design Award), Elf, Legally Blonde (2007 Tony nomination, 2010 Olivier nomination), The Drowsy Chaperone (2006 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Award, Olivier nomination), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Flower Drum Song (Tony nomination), and Side Show. His other New York credits include Sinatra: His Voice. His World. His Way. and Christmas Spectacular (Radio City Music Hall), The Wizard of Oz (Madison Square Garden), Pageant (Blue Angel Theatre, West End, Olivier nomination), and Dreamgirls (West End, 2016 Olivier nomination). His national tour credits include Something Rotten!, Aladdin, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, The Drowsy Chaperone, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Flower Drum Song. Mr. Barnes also designed the regional productions of Robin and the 7 Hoods, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Lucky Duck, Hay Fever, and more (The Old Globe), Minsky's (Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award), Mame and Follies (The Kennedy Center and productions at Arena Stage, The Glimmerglass Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, June Opera Festival of New Jersey, and Paper Mill Playhouse. He is the recipient of the Theatre Development Fund's Irene Sharaff Young Master Award.

    Jason Lyons (Lighting Design) recently designed Red Velvet, Love's Labor's Lost, and Macbeth at The Old Globe. He designed the Broadway productions of Hand to God, On the Town, Bronx Bombers, Let It Be, Bring It On: The Musical, Rock of Ages (also Vegas, Toronto, Australia, London, and national tours), The Threepenny Opera, Barefoot in the Park, and Good Vibrations. His other recent credits include Dry Powder, Barbecue, and Venice (The Public Theater), Smart People (Second Stage Theatre), Murder for Two and Heathers: The Musical (New World Stages), Hand to God (MCC Theater), The Commons of Pensacola (Manhattan Theatre Club), Nerds (Philadelphia Theatre Company), Hello, Dolly! (Goodspeed Musicals), All in the Timing (Primary Stages), Medieval Play (Signature Theatre Company), Uncle Vanya (Classic Stage Company), White Noise (Chicago), Broke-ology and Clay (Lincoln Center Theater), Happy Hour, Two by Pinter, and Scarcity (Atlantic Theater Company), and The Good Mother, Marie and Bruce, Abigail's Party, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Hurlyburly, and more (The New Group, 10 years).

    Fitz Patton (Original Music and Sound Design) previously sound designed the Globe productions of Constellations, The Winter's Tale, Good People, and August: Osage County and provided original music for The Two Gentlemen of Verona. He is currently represented on Broadway with Present Laughter and The Little Foxes. His other Broadway credits include The Father, The Humans, Blackbird, It's Only a Play, An Act of God, Airline Highway, The Other Place, I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, Outside Mullingar, Casa Valentina, The House of Blue Leaves, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and Broadway Bound. Mr. Patton's many Off Broadway credits include this season's Prodigal Son (New York City Center), When the Rain Stops Falling (Lincoln Center Theater, Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Awards), and The Other Place (MCC Theater, Lortel nomination). His symphony credits include The Holy Land. Mr. Patton is the founder of Chance Magazine, a theatre design magazine.

    Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum (Fight Director) is honored to return to the Globe after 2013's The Last Goodbye and 2014's Othello. He is also fight director for Hamlet in this year's Summer Shakespeare Festival. His credits as fight director include Peter and the Starcatcher (Broadway, New York Theatre Workshop, New World Stages, national tour), Peter Pan Live! (NBC/Universal), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Broadway, The Public Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival), Cyrano de Bergerac (Broadway), Here Lies Love (The Public Theater, commercial remount), The Robber Bridegroom (Roundabout Theatre Company), Sailor Man (also co-creator, New York International Fringe Festival, winner of Best Play), The Buccaneer (also playwright, The Tank, Fight Fest), and Robin Hood (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Mr. Grigolia-Rosenbaum has also been fight director for numerous regional and touring companies, including Connecticut Free Shakespeare, Ogunquit Playhouse, and National Theater for Arts and Education. He was the stunt coordinator and creature performer for the horror film Dark Was the Night (Caliber/Image) and was a D1 varsity fencer while at Yale University.

    David Huber (Voice and Dialect Coach) has worked on the Globe productions of The Imaginary Invalid, Skeleton Crew, Red Velvet, The Blameless, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Measure for Measure (Globe for All), October Sky, Meteor Shower, Sense and Sensibility, Macbeth, tokyo fish story, Camp David, Constellations, Rain, The Last Match, The Metromaniacs, Ken Ludwig's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Arms and the Man, Buyer & Cellar, The Royale, Bright Star, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. His previous Globe acting credits include The Winter's Tale directed by Jack O'Brien, The Tempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Merchant of Venice, among several others. He has studied voice with Master Linklater Voice teacher David Smukler, Eric Armstrong, and Kate Burke. He is a graduate of the Graduate Voice Teacher Diploma Program at York University in Toronto. His regional theatre credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Pittsburgh Playhouse, PCPA Theaterfest, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Center REPertory Company, and Centennial Theater Festival, among many others. Mr. Huber coaches voice, speech, and acting locally, works on speech issues with special needs students, and recently taught speech in the graduate theatre program at UC San Diego. He is a graduate of The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program.

    Caparelliotis Casting (Casting) has cast the Globe productions of Skeleton Crew, Red Velvet, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Blameless, Meteor Shower, tokyo fish story, Constellations, The Last Match, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Ken Ludwig's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Rich Girl, Arms and the Man, Buyer & Cellar, The White Snake, The Twenty-seventh Man, The Royale, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Water by the Spoonful, Time and the Conways, Bethany, The Winter's Tale, The Few, Double Indemnity, The Rainmaker, Other Desert Cities, Be a Good Little Widow, A Doll's House, The Brothers Size, Pygmalion, and Good People. Their Broadway casting credits include A Doll's House Part 2, The Front Page, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Glass Menagerie, Jitney, The Little Foxes, The Father, Blackbird, An Act of God, Airline Highway, Fish in the Dark, It's Only a Play, Disgraced, The Country House, Holler If Ya Hear Me, Casa Valentina, The Snow Geese, Lyle Kessler's Orphans, The Trip to Bountiful, Grace, Dead Accounts, The Other Place, Seminar, The Columnist, Stick Fly, Good People, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The House of Blue Leaves, Fences, Lend Me a Tenor, and The Royal Family. They also cast for Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theater Company, Signature Theatre Company, LCT3, Ars Nova, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre Center, Arena Stage, Second Stage Theatre (seven seasons), and Williamstown Theatre Festival (three seasons). Their recent film and television credits include HairBrained with Brendan Fraser, "American Odyssey" (NBC), "How to Get Away with Murder" (ABC pilot), "Ironside" (NBC), and Steel Magnolias (Sony for Lifetime).

    Jess Slocum (Production Stage Manager) previously worked on the Globe productions of The Imaginary Invalid, Red Velvet, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Measure for Measure (Globe for All), Love's Labor's Lost, tokyo fish story, The Metromaniacs, In Your Arms, Twelfth Night, Buyer & Cellar, Bright Star, Othello, Water by the Spoonful, The Winter's Tale, A Doll's House, Pygmalion, A Room with a View, Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show, the 2011-2013 Shakespeare Festivals, Rafta, Rafta..., Robin and the 7 Hoods, Alive and Well, Sammy, Cornelia, Since Africa, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and The Glass Menagerie. Her Broadway credits include In the Heights. Her regional credits include Indecent, Side Show, Ruined, The Third Story, Memphis, and Most Wanted (La Jolla Playhouse) and Post Office (Center Theatre Group). Her San Diego credits include Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, North Coast Repertory Theatre, and Lamb's Players Theatre.

              BWW Review: DR. JOHN IN SAN DIEGO at Embarcadero Marina        

    A worse-for-wear Dr. John walked slowly to the piano with the help of two canes. He was no quicker while leaving the stage at the end of the set. But for over an hour in between, he and his sextet kept up an infectious funky beat, and his voice and piano playing erased half a century of his 76 years. Listeners felt an irresistible urge to tap feet, sway rhythmically, and sometimes laugh at the lyrics of songs such as "How Come My Dog Don't Bark (When You Come 'Round)?" sung in Dr. John's inimitable raspy growl. Contrary to the title of his biggest hit, it was "Right Place, Right Time."

    San Diego's Euphoria Brass Band octet set an appropriately festive mood before the main act with a New Orleans brass-band sound, spiced by R&B tinged saxes. As they

    Euphoria Brass Band

    left the stage before a brief intermission, they second-lined with a good chunk of the crowd, wailing to a finish on the large lawn where people socialize and buy food and beverages before the concert.

    In strange program-handout oversites, Euphoria band members were listed, the musicians backing Dr. John weren't, and Dr. John was described as a guitarist rather than a pianist. He does play both, but usually piano, his only instrument on this night.

    The concert was part of the San Diego Symphony's "Bayside Summer Nights" series at the Embarcadero on the waterfront. During my recent interview with Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer she told me a substantial investment in the series is playing an important role in plans for reaching a larger audience. This season that means performers such as Tony Bennett, Wynonna Judd and Leslie Odom, Jr.

    But for me, the most important change has been a huge improvement in audio-visual equipment. The outdoor concerts previously had the sound of an AM table-radio playing in another room at home. Especially for those choosing ultra-casual seating on the grass, only the canons of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture could attract attention above neighboring conversations. No more. Bass guitarist Roland Guerin and drummer Herlin Riley were rocking the outdoor venue as if it were an intimate night club, while video closeups of soloists and their instruments were sharp and clear on a new stadium-size display above the stage.

    The set included mandatory appearances of "Right Place, Wrong Time" and "Such a Night," among many other tunes. Although Dr. John sang and played piano on each, most of the solo heavy-lifting went to organ and keyboard player Joe Ashlar, trumpeter Leon Brown and lead guitarist Eric Struthers. Ashlar played with spectacular bouncing energy. Brown can do old-fashioned New Orleans gut-bucket trumpet, but mixes in more contemporary sounds and the mysterious, dark-glasses stage-presence of a MiLes Davis. Eric Struthers adds to the group's eclectic and eccentric style with virtuosic blues and rock-phrased electric guitar.

    Dr. John might have gotten the most enthusiastic reaction of the evening had he included a change-of-pace solo in the New Orleans Professor Longhair style he does so well. But the relentless swampy gris-gris groove was never less than captivating.

    A cool evening on San Diego's waterfront with food, liquid refreshment and top-notch entertainment. What's not to like? The Symphony's summer series continues through September 3rd. For a calendar and ticket information visit SD SYMPHONY.

              Breaking: Fewer Total People Means Fewer Total Workers        

    According to CNN, a University of Pennsylvania economic model projects the RAISE Act would lead to "4.6 million lost jobs by the year 2040." What the CNN reporters mean by "jobs," however, is "workers." There will be 4.6 million fewer workers in the U.S.

    Mark Krikorian August 10, 2017 - 3:53pm Jason Richwine
              No, the RAISE Act Isn't Economically or Morally Flawed        

    As has been widely reported, Sens. Cotton and Perdue recently introduced a bill called the RAISE Act, which would significantly amend the categories in which immigrants may obtain residence visas, away from the traditional, extended family chain migration system in favor of a merit-based system.

    President Trump has endorsed the proposal, while progressives — who often tout themselves as in favor of more-more-more STEM (science/technology/engineering/mathematics) workers — suddenly found the bill repugnant.

    Patrick McHugh August 10, 2017 - 1:28pm Dan Cadman
              Trump Administration Policies Lead to an Increase in Removal Orders        

    It is also noted that DOJ had detailed more than 100 judges to DHS detention facilities across the country.

    Patrick McHugh August 10, 2017 - 11:49am Andrew R. Arthur
              Blæst tilbage pÃ¥ arbejde....        
    Det blev en blæsende afslutning på vores ferie og det er som om det slet ingen ende vil tage. Jeg syntes efterhånden vi fortjener noget stille og smukt august vejr. De fleste af billederne er taget i weekenden, da det ikke er let at fastholde nogen motiver idag.

    Endelig er den smukke Carl Nielsen sprunget ud, med sine kæmpe store blomster.

    De er så fine sammen med pileurt Black Field og hortensia limelight.

    Enkelte blomster tilbage i Giardina.

    New Dawn er forlængst klatret ud af sit stativ, og skøjter nu rundt i vinden.

    Vi tager da lige et enkelt billede mere af Carl.

    Rosenholm får også nogle gevaldige rusketure.

    Jeg er helt betaget af denne smukke lathyrus Nimbus.

    Igår fik jeg plukket den første store buket lathyrus ind til stuen, det er da luksus.

    Tre mørke buddeleja Black Night på rad og række, dækker godt af imod naboen, lige efter planen.

    På bagsiden af volden får de hjælp fra en lysere udgave.

    Al den megen regn og blæst, har resulteret i at de tunge blomster hoveder i den gamle hortensia er tynget helt ned.

    På afstand er det næsten lettere at se hvor stor den er.

    Jeg havde da helt glemt denne påskeklokke.

    Der er ikke mange blomster i det hvid/gule bed for øjeblikket. Der skal vist suppleres med lidt floks og andet som blomstrer i sensommeren.

    Der er dog lidt i blomst, havens eneste solhat i år er sprunget ud.

    Denne gamle hortensia som blev klippet helt ned og flyttet for et par år siden står også med blomster.

    Desværre nÃ¥ede lobelia Haspen Purple ikke, at springe ud inden ferien var over. Det er den sÃ¥ nu, men helt umulig at indfange i blæsten.

    Hestemynte Blaustrumpf.

     Tunge mørke skyer farer afsted forfulgt af en kraftig blæst som kaster nogle ret hidsige stød og smÃ¥ regnbyger af sig.
    Er det ikke snart på tide vi danser en sommervals og får sat gang i noget smukt stille og roligt sensommer vejr.

    Mange blæsende hilsner herfra :)
              Sommerstemning,-sol og sommerferie....        
    De sidste dage har sommerstemningen, solen og varmen virkelig ramt vores lille ferieparadis. Dagene bliver nydt sammen med vores datter og søn, som heldigvis havde tid til en endnu en lille sommerferie hjemme i Vestjylland, inden studier og job atter presser sig på. Det er en luksus, vi alle virkelig sætter pris på, efter at sønnen har boet i udlandet i flere år.

    De helt mørke buddeleja - black night er sprunget ud og sommerfuglene er hurtige til at indtage tagselvbordet.

    Det er disse vi har flest af.

    Bag volden er der næsten en hel allé af sommerfuglebuske.

    Et rigtigt dårligt billede af en sommerfugl, jeg ikke har set i haven før. Desværre var den hurtigt væk, så jeg fik kun dette elendige billede.

     De løg vi endnu ikke har spist os igennem ligger til tørre.

    Hvidløgs høsten har været overraskende god. De fire store hvidløg i kurven øverst til venstre i collagen, havde vi med hjem fra Malta sidst i februar. I mit billedarkiv kan jeg se, at de først kom i jorden midt i marts. Så det er da vildt imponerende, at de allerede nu er høstklare med store delte fed. Jeg plejer at sætte hvidløg om efteråret, men det er måske slet ikke nødvendigt.

    Der er efterhånden bar jord flere steder i højbedene. Her hvor der har været kartofler, fik jeg idag lagt en masse nye løg. Jeg ved godt at de ikke kan nå at blive til store løg, men jeg er også mest ude efter løgtoppene, som vi hakker og fryser ned til vinter. Det er som at tage en lille pose sommer ud af fryseren.

    Den megen regn har været hård ved roserne, så der var mange rådne knopper at dead-heade.

    New Dawn er helt upåvirket og blomstrer lystigt.

    Det samme gør Rosenholm i æbletræet.

    Den sidste blomst i Chopin for denne omgang.

    Dejligt med efternølere nu hvor flere roser holder pause. Her er det Burgundy Ice med årets første knopper.

    Carl Nielsen står også med de første knopper. De har næsten været druknet i perikon, så efter jeg fik klippet dem fri, er væksten kommet igang.

    Limelight flankeret af Carl Nielsen til begge sider.

    En enkelt blomsterstængel blev det til i agapanthus i år, så den skal vist gødes og forkæles til efteråret.

    Floks i flok.

    Pause ved vandstenen. Rosenholm og New Dawn kan anes i baggrunden.

    Jeg troede mine solhatte var forsvundet, men havde helt glemt denne, som blev sat i det hvid/gule bed sidste år. Hvis jeg husker rigtigt så bliver den ret så gul !!!

    Leucanthemum blev gnasket helt i bund af snegle først på sommeren, men er kommet stærkt igen.

    Lidt primula er der også i blomst.

    Blue angel.

    Jackmanii purpurea.     

    Fine hosta blomster.

    Der er ikke meget spændende i bedet bag drivhuset lige nu. Bedet er flottest først på sommeren hvor pæoner allium og digitalis domminerer bedet.

    En kraftig rengøring pynter da lidt på bedet.

    Hestemynte Blaustrumpf er jeg ret vild med.

    De voldsomme regnmængder i sidste uge var mere end det gamle højbed kunne klare. Planen er at lave nye til efteråret, så nu må vi se at få spist resten af kartoflerne inden de bliver helt blotlagt.

    Hov... det blev da vist et laaaangt indlæg. Blogindlæg minimalist bliver jeg vist aldrig :) især ikke når solen skinner.
    Sidst på eftermiddagen begyndte det at regne. Det er kun blevet til et par byger, så det er helt ok.

    Mange glade sommerhilsner herfra :)
              Endelig ferie        
    SÃ¥ er nedtællingen slut og sommerferien er endelig skudt igang. Det skal blive sÃ¥ dejligt, med 2 ugers frihed til bare at gøre lige det vi har lyst til. De sidste uger har været præget af travlhed pÃ¥ arbejde, blandet med masser af hygge, da vores datter, søn og svigerdatter har været hjemme pÃ¥ ferie :). 
    Jeg har fået taget lidt billeder, men ikke lavet indlæg, så her kommer lidt blandet fra den sidste uge, på denne grå og våde

    Den yndige lyngfloks blomstrer igen og passer helt perfekt til den mørke sedum.

    Høstfloks er også godt igang.

    Jackmanii purpurea på en dejlig solskinsdag.

    Blue angel.

    Hagley Hybrid.

    Hvide violfrøstjerner i blomst.

     Monarda ‘Blaustrumpf lyser godt op i bedet.

    Jeg var meget længe om at få plantet mine lathyrus planter ud, men nu er blomstringen så småt gået i gang.

    New Dawn har virkelig vist sit værd i år og står med masser af knopper og blomster.

    Sidste blomst i Minerva.

     Giardina og klematis alpina i skøn forening.


    Rosenholm har startet sin blomstring i æbletræet.

    Lidt nærmere er de små fine roser lette at få øje på.

    Helt tæt på, kan man rigtigt nyde roser og æbler sammen.

    Endelig begynder vores stokroser at røre pÃ¥ sig, de er altid sÃ¥ længe om at komme igang. 

    Jeg er rigtig glad for støttestativet af rionet, som manden lavede for nogen tid siden. Det virker efter hensigten og indtilvidere er der ikke væltet en eneste stokrose, selvom det har blæst en del.

    Randblomstrende hortensia i fuld flor.

    Sommeren er så kold at påskeklokken er blevet forvirret. Det er første gang den skal blomstre her i haven så den bliver spændende at følge.

    Stille og roligt kommer der lidt farve i det lille retrobed.

    Jeg er stadig lige imponeret over mine såede chokoladeblomster, som opfører sig helt eksemplarisk.

    Sommerfuglebusken er sprunget ud, så nu mangler vi bare sommerfuglene.

    Selvom sommeren ikke viser sig fra sin bedste side i disse dage, kan det heldigvis ikke afholde ungdommen fra at lave bålmad til os.

    Der er nu ikke er megen sommerferie stemning over vejret i dag, hvor regnen siler ned. Haven trænger i høj grad til vand og det nu meget hyggeligt at ordne vaskettøj og lidt praktisk inde i tørvejr, inden vi imorgen sætter kurs mod langeland. Nu krydser vi bare fingre for at vejret ændrer sig bare lidt til det bedre, det vil jo være dejligt.

    Mange glade feriehilsner herfra :)
              President Trump Swears In New Chief Of Staff        
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
              After Low-Key Lobbying Effort, Trump Says He Was 'Let Down' By Senators        
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypALjI7MEWI Blindsided by the latest collapse of a Republican health care bill, President Trump took to Twitter to voice his frustration. Trump complained of being "let down" by a handful of Republican lawmakers. And he insisted that the fight over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is not over. Trump had just finished discussing health care with seven Republican lawmakers over dinner Monday when Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas — who were not at the meeting — announced they would be voting against the measure to repeal and replace Obamacare. With two other Republican senators already on record in opposition, the Monday-night development effectively killed the Senate bill. Trump acknowledged he was caught off guard by the latest GOP defections. "For seven years, I've been hearing repeal and replace from Congress," Trump said. "And then when we finally get a chance to repeal and replace, they don't take advantage of it. So
              Trump Hints At New Limits On Steel Imports        
    President Trump is hinting that he may impose tariffs, quotas or both on imported steel in an effort to protect the domestic steel industry. "Steel is a big problem," Trump told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One en route to Paris, where he landed Thursday. "We're like a dumping ground, OK? [Other countries are] dumping steel and destroying our steel industry. They've been doing it for decades and I'm stopping it." "There are two ways," Trump said, "quotas and tariffs. Maybe I'll do both." The Commerce Department has been conducting a review of both steel and aluminum imports under a rarely used 1962 statute designed to protect industries deemed vital to national security. Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters in April that imports now account for more than a quarter of the U.S. steel market, while domestic steel mills are operating at just 71 percent of capacity. Trump railed against what he called unfair trade practices throughout the campaign and has continued to advocate
              A Look At Trump's Day At The G-20        
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: Hard to remember the last time a meeting between two world leaders drew quite so much attention as the one set for today in Hamburg, Germany, when Donald Trump sits down with Vladimir Putin. Now, we don't know what these two men plan to say to each other, but we maybe got a hint yesterday of the U.S. position. President Trump was giving a speech in Warsaw, Poland, and among other things, he said this. (SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes, including Syria and Iran, and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself. KELLY: NPR's Scott Horsley is traveling with the president. He is on the line from Hamburg. Scott, President Trump often says he doesn't like to tip his hand, he doesn't like to telegraph what he's going to do.
              Amid Gathering Of World Leaders, Trump's Meeting With Putin Stands Out        
    President Trump arrives in Poland on Wednesday afternoon. Over the next few days, he'll be attending a Group of 20 summit and meeting with a wide array of world leaders. It's likely none of those meetings will be more closely scrutinized than Trump's first face-to-face sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump has often said he would like to see closer ties between the U.S. and Russia. But that has been complicated by Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Throughout the campaign, Trump routinely praised Putin as a strong leader, often contrasting him with then-President Barack Obama. "I think in terms of leadership, he's getting an A, and our president is not doing so well," Trump told Bill O'Reilly of Fox News in 2015. Now that Trump is in office, national security adviser H.R. McMaster says, he has pursued a two-track approach with Russia: looking for areas in which the two countries can cooperate, while confronting the Russians for their bad behavior
              Re: Bills in North Carolina, Congress Target Companies That Boycott Israel        
    More conservative Communism. What part of freedom of speech do these imbeciles not understand...The right to protest...Is an American right...But republicans those so called champions of the constitution are in an all fired hurry to destroy our rights to further their aggression against descent.
    Nothing remotely American or in the interest of freedom do any of these idiot republican lawmakers support..The republicans are pro corporate and anti working American....These idiot GOP assbags would change and subvert all our laws to squash any resistance to their draconian and dangerous agendas...They are truly tyrannical in their politics and the fact they support that big idiot Trump proves they have no morals, ethics, humanity, And completely devoid of any honesty or the ability to tell the truth..Facts and truth scares the hell out of republicans and they run and hide from it they are deceivers.
    They fear voters and that is why they are so concerned about a non issue of voter fraud...Republicans are the only frauds.
    Posted by Tony D
              GOP Senators Postpone Vote On Health Care Bill        
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: And let's bring another voice now into the conversation. NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley has been covering this debate for years and years and years... SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: (Laughter). INSKEEP: ...And is here with us and has been listening to Matt Schlapp. Scott, what did you hear there that was noteworthy? HORSLEY: Well, he is right that Republicans have spent more time demonizing Obamacare than they have really selling their own plan. And part of the challenge is philosophically, the Republicans, at least in Congress, envision a health care system where the government plays a smaller role, where there is more consumer skin in the game, that is, consumers bear more of the responsibility. They feel like that'll inject market forces and help to keep costs down. But you have a president, Donald Trump, who has been marketing great care at low costs for everyone. Everyone's going to be taken care of. So there is a
              White House Releases Unexpected Statement About Syria        
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit DAVID GREENE, HOST: Late last night, the White House released an unexpected statement about Syria. The administration said it believes that the Assad regime might be preparing to wage another chemical weapons attack. The statement went on to say if such an attack is carried out, Assad and his military would pay a heavy price. Let's begin our coverage in Washington with NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley. And, Scott, this late-night, public warning about what a country might do - this is weird, right? SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: It was certainly unusual, David. The statement came from Press Secretary Sean Spicer a little bit before 10 p.m. And you're right. He said the United States had observed possible preparations similar to what they saw back in early April, when the Assad regime carried out what appeared to be a deadly sarin gas attack against its own people. Of course, at that time, the Trump administration responded by firing dozens of
              Re: After Pat McCrory Lost, the NCGOP Falsely Accused Hundreds of Voter Fraud. Shouldn’t That Be Harder?        
    The only voter fraud in NC is the republicans....Except for governor the GOP won everything else..And then they cry voter fraud...lol how can you hold all the majority in the legislature and beyach about fraud. laughable to say the least....Proof that the only frauds in NC is the GOP party...Thank god we got rid of McCory that assclown...Now if we can only get rid of the other GOp crooks maybe NC will once again be a friendly state instead of this Trump obsessed republican clusterfk of ignorance.
    Posted by Tony D
              Senate GOP Reveals Health Care Bill         
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Senate Republicans at last have posted their version of replacing the Affordable Care Act. This is a bill that would affect health insurance, health care which is one-sixth of the American economy. They want a vote within one week or so. And NPR's Scott Horsley has had a solid half-hour to analyze this plan. He joins us now. Hi, Scott. SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Steve. INSKEEP: OK. Let's just remember, President Trump first celebrated a House version of this bill but then said he was hoping it would have more heart in the Senate version, that it would be more generous in some way. Is it more generous? HORSLEY: Well, it depends, Steve. Some people who are trying to buy insurance on the individual market might do better with this plan than they would under the House-passed version. So for them, it might seem like this is a bill with more heart or a bigger government subsidy. For others, though, that's not the
              Trump's Lawyer Fires Back After Comey Testimony        
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjDNe9A0QfI Updated at 3:35 p.m ET President Trump's outside lawyer flatly denied that the president ever asked former FBI Director James Comey for a pledge of loyalty, and he accused Comey of disclosing privileged communications with the president to the news media, without authorization. Trump's attorney, Marc Kasowitz, went on the offensive only a couple of hours after Comey concluded his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee — a highly anticipated performance that was broadcast live on national television. Kasowitz highlighted Comey's most favorable point for the president: that Trump was not personally the target of an FBI investigation. But he challenged Comey's account of a private dinner he had with the president on Jan. 27, during Trump's first full week in the White House. The president "never told Comey, 'I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,' in form or substance," Kasowitz said in a statement, rebutting Comey's testimony that Trump
              White House Downplays Trump Tweets On Gulf Feud         
    Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET Spokespeople at the White House and the State Department say the Trump administration remains committed to cooperation among Arab allies in the Middle East. The reassurance comes after a series of tweets in which President Trump appeared to be siding with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states in their push to isolate Qatar. The Saudis, Egypt and several neighboring countries abruptly severed diplomatic ties to Qatar on Monday, while also cutting off transportation links to the country. Qatar is regional headquarters for U.S. Central Command and home to some 10,000 American troops. "The United States continues to be in close communication with all the parties to resolve the issues and restore cooperation, which is so important to regional security," said White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Tuesday. "The U.S. still wants to see this issue de-escalated and resolved immediately, in keeping with the principles that the president laid out in terms of defeating terror
              Trump's Latest Tweets On Travel Ban Could Raise New Legal Hurdles         
    Updated at 2:20 pm ET President Trump is mounting a vigorous defense of his controversial travel ban, continuing an argument he started over the weekend in response to a terrorist attack in London. That message launched a series of tweets. His uncompromising language could complicate matters for administration lawyers charged with defending the travel ban in court. The tweets also threaten to overshadow a series of White House policy announcements on infrastructure this week. This is not the first time that a carefully choreographed roll-out by the administration has been upended by the president's itchy thumbs. Trump's original travel ban, barring would-be visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, prompted airport protests throughout the country and was quickly blocked by the federal courts. The administration crafted a second version, which dropped Iraq from the list of targeted countries, removed religious language and made other adjustments in an effort to pass constitutional
              Trump Set To Announce Decision On Paris Climate Agreement        
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: This afternoon in the White House Rose Garden, President Trump is set to announce whether the U.S. will stay in the Paris climate accord. Yesterday, the president said he's been hearing from a lot of people with opinions about what he should do. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I'm hearing from a lot of people both ways, both ways. Believe it. MARTIN: So how will the president come down on this? We are joined now by NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley. Hi, Scott. SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel. MARTIN: It seemed like the president had his mind made up on the campaign trail he. Said time and again that he was going to pull out of the accord. So is there reason to believe otherwise at this point? HORSLEY: Well, you're absolutely right. The president was very critical of the Paris climate accord during the campaign. He often described it as a bad deal for the United States. Here's
              Trump Has Multiple Escape Routes From Paris Climate Accord         
    President Trump is nearing a decision on whether to formally withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement — a landmark deal in which nearly every country volunteered to curb its greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit global warming. Trump is getting conflicting advice from various quarters of the administration. He met Tuesday with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, one of the strongest voices calling for the U.S. to drop out of the Paris accord. Trump is to meet Wednesday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who believes the U.S. should stay in so it can keep its place at the international bargaining table. Various news outlets have reported that Trump has already made the decision to withdraw. But the president is doing his best to maintain suspense. Trump tweeted early Wednesday that he'll announce his decision "over the next few days." For all its symbolic importance, the decision may have little practical effect on U.S. carbon emissions. Trump has already taken steps
              Craig Wiesner: Beliefs Don’t Land You in Jail – Actions Do        
    Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis was jailed today by a federal judge for failing to issue marriage licenses, a duty she is sworn to carry out, but which she has refused to do since the Supreme Court decided that LGBTQ people could get married in all 50 states. She claims that her religious beliefs trump the [...]
              Comment on Rossini does Trump by vinylspear        
    Everytime Trump says anything on the teevee machine, this replays in my head. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMKFIHRpe7I
              Comment on Rossini does Trump by frugalchariot        
    <a href="http://www.salon.com/2017/08/09/a-terrifying-axis-of-idiocy-kim-jong-un-baits-trump-who-falls-for-it/" rel="nofollow"><strong>Emergent Adversaries</strong></a> Kim Jong Un -- N.K. Ding Num Dong -- U.S.
              Comment on Rossini does Trump by houseofroberts        
    I am still predicting that if Trump tries to strong arm Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, over healthcare, they both are likely to declare as independents and would be free to caucus with the Dems. Collins could expect the same voters that elected Angus King to vote for her, and Murkowski owes nothing to the GOP since she had to win by write in last time anyway.
              Comment on Rossini does Trump by houseofroberts        
    Here's a little funny for y'all. https://www.democraticunderground.com/10029433538
              Comment on Rossini does Trump by dycker        
    Ernst Zündel, Holocaust Denier Tried for Spreading His Message, Dies at 78 - No he didn't https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/world/europe/ernst-zundel-canada-germany-holocaust-denial.html?module=WatchingPortal&region=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=11&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F08%2F07%2Fworld%2Feurope%2Fernst-zundel-canada-germany-holocaust-denial.html&eventName=Watching-article-click
              Comment on Rossini does Trump by vinylspear        
    Could we do Don Giovanni next? It has a happier ending.
              Yapmanız Gereken Ücretsiz Harika Aktiviteler        
    Boş vaktiniz var ve nasıl değerlendireceğiniz hakkında fikriniz yoksa şüphesiz bu yazıda kendiniz için eğlenceli bir şeyler bulacaksınız. İşin en eğlenceli kısmı ise aşağıda yazanların hepsinin ücretsiz olması! :)


    1) ÜniversitePlus 'ın birbirinden kaliteli, ücretsiz eğitimlerine katıl!

    Birbirinden değerli üniversitelerin (Aydın, Boğaziçi, Bahçeşehir, İstanbul Bilgi Uni vb..), değerli hocalarının katılımıyla hayata geçirilen, tamamen ücretsiz ve online olarak katılmanız için hazırlanmış eğitimlere katılabilirsiniz. 6 hafta sürecek eğitim sonunda hemen katılım belgesi alabiliyorsunuz.Bunun dışında eğer sertifilka almak isterseniz(Ücretli), final sınavına katılıp, başarılı olduktan sonra kaydınızı yaptırarak alabilirsiniz.

    Eğitimlerden bir kaçı;

    E-Ticaret ve Ä°nternet Ekonomisi
    İş Dünyası İçin Veri Bilimi
    Sosyal Medya Stratejileri
    Android 'e Giriş
    Uluslararası Muhasebe Standartları
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    İçerik Stratejisi
    Vinyasa Yoga

    Eğitimlerden istediğinizi alabileceğiniz gibi, hepsine de katılabilirsiniz. Önümüzde ki günlerde daha fazla eğitimin yer alacağını düşünüyorum. Siteye buradan ulaşabilirsiniz. Bu arada hatırlatayım! Final sınavı test değil klasik sınav. O yüzden dersleri dikkatle takip etmenizi tavsiye ederim. Ben ters köşe oldum mu olmadım mı sınavların sonucu açıklanınca göreceğiz! :)

    2) Açık hava konserlerine katıl!

    İstanbul Şişli ’deki Trump Towers Alışveriş Merkezi ’nin teras katında hizmet veren Trump Cadde, 7 Haziran – 23 Ağustos 2014 tarihleri arasında her Cumartesi ücretsiz konserler sunmaya hazırlanıyor. Katılarak güzel vakit geçirebilirsiniz.

    Konser programı;

    07 Haziran Mabel Matiz
    14 Haziran Feridun Düzağaç
    21 Haziran Kolpa
    05 Temmuz Malt
    12 Temmuz Umut Kaya
    19 Temmuz Tnk
    02 Ağustos Redd
    09 Ağustos Mehmet Erdem
    16 Ağustos Koray Candemir
    23 Ağustos Aylin Aslım

    Adres; Mecidiyeköy Yolu Caddesi, No:12 Şişli, 34388 İstanbul Tel: (0212) 348 7867

    3) Arkadaşlarınla Kapış!

    Akıllı telefon ve tabletlerde kelime oyunu oynamayı seviyorsanız, bu uygulama hoşunuza gidebilir. Kelimetre adlı bu yeni uygulamada, kullanıcılar verilen süre içerisinde, oyun panosunda ki harflerden kelimeler oluşturarak en yüksek puanı almaya çalışıyorlar. Herhangi bir rakiple karşılaşabileceğiniz gibi, kendi arkadaşlarınızla oynayabilir veya birden fazla kişi davet ederek, grup şeklinde de oynayabilirsiniz.

    Uygulamaya AppStore ve Google Play platformlarından ücretsiz ulaşabilirsiniz.

    4) Define aramak hoşuna gider mi?

    Şaka yapmıyorum! :) Uzun süredir faaliyette olan ama bir çoğumuzun maalesef haberi olmadığı, Geocaching oyununu oynayarak, tabiri caizse bir define avcısı olabilirsiniz. Üzerinize rahat bir şeyler giyin, akıllı telefonunuzu yanınıza alın ve dışarıya çıkın. Şehrin çeşitli yerlerine saklanmış kutuları bularak güzel vakit geçirebilirsiniz.

    Peki saklanmış kutuların yerleri nerede? Nasıl bulacaksınız?

    Bu ve buna benzer soruların hepsinin cevabına, oyunun Facebook Türkiye sayfasından ulaşabilirsiniz. Ben bulamam, ben yapamam demeyin. Dünya üzerinde 2 milyondan fazla saklanmış kutu bulunuyor. Oldukça keyifli vakit geçireceğinizden şüpheniz olmasın! :) Şanslıysanız eğer, bulduğunuz kutucukta ufak bir hediye de sizi bekliyor olacak.

    Science and theology? While one can certainly inform the other, one may not be misused to trump the other.
              Recolta politică a credinÅ£ei        
    Dacă America ar fi o ţară din vestul Europei, tablouri precum imaginea lui Trump acoperit de mâinile pioase ale liderilor creștini born-again care se rugau pentru succesul lui la eventuala cârmă a ţării ar fi o icoană a oportunismului, blamată de societate.
              Paper Trump hates analyses effect of Trump on US$ and equity mkt        
    From NYT’s Dealbook   In the Age of Trump, the Dollar No Longer Seems a Sure Thing By PETER S. GOODMAN Long the ultimate safe haven in the global economy, the U.S. dollar may be losing some status as investors grapple with an uncertain political climate. And   Financial markets are reaching new highs, and enthusiasm about the […]
              Trump’ın Derecelendirmesi En Düşük Seviyeye Ä°ndi        
    ABD Başkanı Donald Trump’ın Amerikan vatandaşları tarafından oylaması arasında en düşük seviyede olduğu belirtildi. CNN TV kanalı tarafından belirtilen oylamada katılımcıların % 56’sı Trump faaliyetlerinden memnun değil olarak nitelendirildi. CNN’e göre, Trump seçildikten sonra memnuniyetsiz vatandaşların sayısı en üst düzeye ulaştı. Şubat ayında, ankete katılanların yüzde 44’ü kendisine destek verirken yüzde 53’ü memnuniyetsiz kaldı. Şu […]
              OH 2024 + 2028 = kandidáti Paříž + Los Angeles. Rozdělí si hry?        
    Mezinárodní olympijský výbor v září pravděpodobně určí pořadatele hned dvou letních her. Na roky 2024 a 2028 kandidují jen Paříž a Los Angeles a obě města se nyní mají domluvit na pořadí. Pokud se tak nestane, rozhodne se mezi nimi pouze o hostiteli her v roce 2024.
              North Korea Crosses Red Line, Can Fit Miniaturized Nuke in Missile Warhead        
    Trump: "My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal."
              ÎŸ Τραμπ χαρακτηρίζει εθνική κατάσταση εκτάκτου ανάγκης την κρίση των οπιοειδώ        

    Ο πρόεδρος των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών της Αμερικής Ντόναλντ Τραμπ χαρακτήρισε σήμερα εθνική κατάσταση εκτάκτου ανάγκης την κρίση που δημιουργεί η επεκτεινόμενη χρήση οπιοειδών στη χώρα και πρόσθεσε ότι η κυβέρνησή του καταρτίζει ένα σχέδιο για την επίσημη ανακήρυξή της ως τέτοια και την αντιμετώπισή της.

              Still Facing The Remnant Threat Of The Globalist Elite        
    The wealthy kingmakers of the global elite sure got a kick in the teeth with Donald Trump. But one battle, doesn't win a war...
              Young Dogwoods, Dog & A Slivery Moon        
    It's here this week!  Summery weather for sure, high 70s to the low 90s, coming up and no sign of rain for the next several days. In the evening just after sunset, a low hanging sliver of a moon off in the western sky.

    That's the good news . . . the other news is that it means that I'll have to test run the sprinklers and then put them on a regimen. Unlike the last two years when we could only water on Tuesday evening and on Friday evening, this year (with the drought over we think) we can again choose our schedule of watering.

    The dogwoods (two of them) are flowering beautifully -- along with a couple of other plants. They are about the same age as Dino (5 1/2) and looking fine! These are the skies this morning and there is not a single cloud in the sky.

    And the moon -- hopefully it will be hanging out back again later this evening -- is remarkable.

    This is the 119th day of the year, about 32% has been used up in 2017. But for whatever reason, this marks a significant day in the Presidential term of DJT -- 100th day or about 7% of the first term.

    To me, it will be most important to see what the remaining 1360 days bring during this term. There are so many concerns that have to be dealt with -- some more serious than others.

    Donald Trump is officially the oldest person starting a first term Presidency. He already has served over three times as long as William Harrison did (who may be related to us).

    I can only imagine the stress and pressure of having such an important job at his age. I am a few years older but would find it extremely difficult to keep such a schedule and such a high profile as he does. I get uptight when the scheduling of the DVR goes awry . . .

    Legacy Family Trees Webinars presented two webinars this week, shown to  the left.

    The first was about "land ownership maps". Very impressive presentation and useful as well. I just wish more of our ancestors could be found "owning land", so many were tenants.

    The second webinar also was very fascinating in that it dealt with how to research criminal records -- not that folks in our tree would be involved . . .

    I am sure that with some research we could uncover a few folks that fell outside the legal norms, but so far I have uncovered very little -- which is a good thing for sure.

    Falling well within legal boundaries though this week would be a couple of activities that Gail (and I) have engaged in.

    Gail especially has rekindled her interest in working puzzles and is engaged with that activity as I write.

    The Liberty Puzzles that offer such beautiful wooden pieces are being constantly arranged so that they fit together in the likeness of the cover picture by Gail.

    And every day, we play Quiddler in the late afternoon. It is such a quick paced game and a learning experience as well. We both use the dictionary on several of the hands. Gail continues to win a majority of the games -- but I have somewhat of an excuse as I am usually fixing dinner while we are playing . . .

    Sadly, the finale show appeared last Monday -- but it was a great episode.

    It was about Liv Tyler (Steven Tyler's daughter)

    The facts and people that were uncovered in her family were amazing.

    Even Steven was blown away by the discoveries. Very much fun to watch.

    We hope that the show returns next year -- and we can hardly wait.

    In the meantime, the search goes on. I have to say though that "spring cleaning" has gotten a bit into the scene as we have systematically attacked now two closets. Later today, we will be making a "Goodwill" run and I shutter to think as we move forward of the things that we will find . . .

    And for that I'm thankful. Everyday, I work on some aspect of genealogy and am continually enthused and invigorated by this hobby . . .

    That's a bit of our week. See you all "in a few"!

              Why Does the Medicaid Debate Matter? National Data and Voices of People with Medicaid Highlight Medicaid’s Role        
    President Trump and other GOP leaders have called for far-reaching changes to Medicaid, including caps and reductions in federal funding for the program. This snapshot provides data on the role Medicaid plays for different population groups as well as perspectives from individuals with coverage through the program. Medicaid, the nation’s public health insurance program for low-income children, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities, covers 1 in 5 Americans, including many with complex and costly needs for medical care and long-term services. Most people covered by Medicaid would be uninsured or underinsured without it. The AHCA would fundamentally change Medicaid in the most significant restructuring of the program since 1965.
              Review: Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization        
    Paperback, 280 pages Published :April 5th 2006 by The Johns Hopkins University Press ISBN : 0801883806 (ISBN13: 9780801883804) edition language: English original title : Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization As an academic discipline built upon Enlightenment thought and a cosmopolitan worldview—not grounded in the literary tradition of any single language or nation—comparative literature has benefited from regular reexamination of its basic principles and practices. The American Comparative Literature Association 1993 report on the state of the discipline, prepared under the leadership of Charles Bernheimer, focused on the influence of multiculturalism as a concept transforming literary and cultural studies. That report and the vigorous responses it generated, published together as Comparative Literature in the Age of Multiculturalism, offered a comprehensive survey of comparative criticism in the 1990s. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, globalization has emerged as a defining paradigm in nearly every area of human activity. This latest report from the ACLA demonstrates that comparative critical strategies today can provide unique insights into the world's changing—and, increasingly, colliding—cultures. Incorporating an even wider range of voices than had its predecessor, the report examines how the condition (or myth) of globalization in all its modes and moods, affirms or undercuts the intuitions of comparative literature; how world literatures whether seen as utopian project or as classroom practice, intersect with the canons and interpretive styles of national literatures, and how material conditions of practice such as language, media, history, gender, and culture appear under the conditions of the present moment. Responding to the frequent attacks against contemporary literary studies, Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization establishes the continuing vitality of the discipline and its rigorous intellectual engagement with the issues facing today's global society. Contributors: Emily Apter, Christopher Braider, Marshall Brown, Jonathan Culler, David Damrosch, Caroline Eckhardt, Caryl Emerson, David Ferris, Gail Finney, Roland Greene, Linda Hutcheon, Djelal Kadir, Françoise Lionnet, Fedwa Malti-Douglas, Richard Rorty, Haun Saussy, Katie Trumpener, Steven Ungar, Zhang Longxi

              Secret Service Theft Caught on Video Thief Knew What He Was After        
    Our sources say the thief -- whom they say is a man -- was caught on surveillance video pulling up to the agent's driveway in an Uber at around 3 AM Thursday. The video shows the man make a beeline for the agent's car, removing a backpack with the computer inside and then walking off. As we reported, the hard drive contained Trump Tower floor plans and evacuation protocols, but the agency insists there was no classified info inside.
    It's expensive as hell to protect presidential candidates like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump... which explains why the Secret Service drops the loser FAST... but maybe not as fast as you think. The federal government shells out about $40k PER DAY to protect Hillary -- code name "Evergreen" -- and Donald -- code name "Mogul." The cost of protecting candidates in 2012 reportedly approached $113 million. There's no hard-and-fast rule on when the Secret Service stops protecting the loser. It's done on a case-by-case ... but typically, agents say sayonara to the loser about a week after the election. The...
              Curt Schilling: Public service is about being a leader        
    Sep. 30, 2016 - 11:03 - On 'Your World,' former MLB All-Star on running for Senate, voting for Trump
              What should Donald Trumps Secret Service Code Name Be?        
    Ronald Reagans name was Rawhide....
              Ann Coulter likes to say, “Our blacks are better.” But have you ever noticed that so are our trannies?        
    Ann Coulter likes to say, “Our blacks are better.” But have you ever noticed that so are our trannies?
    More from my siteAnn Coulter: “At least we know Trump wasn’t lying when he said he didn’t practice for the debate”Ann Coulter: Every Word The Media Says About Trump Is A Lie, Including Words Like AND And THEAnn Coulter: ‘BLM is a gay group. It was started by two lesbians and its most prominent spokesman […]

    Kathy Shaidle's NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.


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              Sailer: “If Johnny Ramone were alive today, he’d be Trump’s Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts”        
    Sailer: “If Johnny Ramone were alive today, he’d be Trump’s Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts”
    Over 100 comments at Sailer’s “What was the whitest music…?” post:Presumably, prog rock fans tended to have more musical intelligence and thus got bored faster. Punk rock fans tend to have more verbal than musical intelligence. Punk is musically repetitive but fast, so it appeals to people who aren’t that good at music, but whose […]

    Kathy Shaidle's NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.


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              â€œThe Unabomber Couldn’t Kill David Gelernter. Now Gelernter Supports Donald Trump”        
    Via The Tablet:Gelernter told me that he’d been asked to write an op-ed about whether the internet should be censored. (The answer is yes: “We have a concept of public nuisance,” he said. “Throw them off the air. Not permanently.”) (…)In the 1990s, Gelernter predicted that the internet would be a perfect environment for thinking, […]

    Kathy Shaidle's NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.


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              Scott Adams: The Turn to “Effective, but we don’t like it”        
    Scott Adams writes:How does the anti-Trump media gracefully pivot from “chaos and incompetence” to a story of “effective, but we don’t like it”? They need an external event to justify the turn. They need a visible sign of the White House moving from rookie status to professional status.They need General John Kelly to replace Reince […]

    Kathy Shaidle's NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.


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              The Wake Up: New Gambino On The Way, Trump Threatens North Korea, Spike Lee Supports Kaepernick        
    Donald Glover has been working on Childish Gambino music, telling BBC Radio in a recent interview that his fans can keep referring to him by his musical alter ego name.
              Mark Steyn talks about Justin Trudeau’s “Rolling Stone” cover & more        
    Mark Steyn talks about Justin Trudeau’s “Rolling Stone” cover & more
    More from my siteGavin McInnes: A Future Letter From a Socialist to President TrumpMark Steyn on “Obama’s bemoaning the rise of ‘fake news’ to, of all people, Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner…”‘Good grief’: Mark Steyn explains the difference between Justin Trudeau and Ronald Reagan to Warren KinsellaBoxing, jihad and… Justin Trudeau?

    Kathy Shaidle's NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.


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    I know I've seen a video of these two brands showcasing their competitive spirits against each other online and my initial reaction was, "Wow! the efforts of these brands are just amazing!" It was funny (and cute at the same time) and I can't help but feel proud as a consumer that they're doing it all to promote their respective brands. At least I know the money I'll be spending on their phones will not just go for the actual phone itself but also, for their promotions. And to think both smartphone brands are not that expensive! I really have big respect for brands who advertise.

    Let's put the spotlight on the Vivo V5s.

    The new Vivo V5s trumps its competitors within the same price range in terms of photo quality and camera specifications, improved selfie tools, and new features like the Groufie or Group Selfie technology.
    With a slew of smartphone brands vying for the patronage of tech-savvy Filipinos and inveterate selfie enthusiasts, top five premium global brand1 Vivo has sprinted past the competition with its “perfect selfie” V5 line, the latest of which is the Vivo V5s. Priced at only P14,990 but loaded with features that are not found in its competitors, the V5s is turning out to be the best smartphone deal vis-à-vis other brands in the same price range.First, the V5s is equipped with a 20-megapixel front camera with f2.0 aperture, which trumps the OPPO F3 Plus’ 16-MP front camera. The V5s’ superior front camera is complemented by its 13-megapixel rear camera with f2.2 aperture and an ultra-high-definition mode that renders stunning HD images of up to 52 megapixels.
    Selfies have never been clearer and more vibrant with the newest and more impressive member yet of the V5 line, the Vivo V5s, which brandishes a 20-megapixel front camera and high-end selfie-tools for the tech-savvy Filipino.
    Second, the V5s’ 20-MP sensor ensures that the tiniest of details are captured in your selfies. The light-sensing area, at 1/2.78 of an inch, is larger than average, allowing more light to come in, which, in turn, enhances photo brightness.

    Third, the V5s boasts of an updated Selfie Soflight that allows users to take crystal-clear selfies in any lighting condition—even at night.

    Fourth, the Vivo V5s has a Face Beauty 6.0, decidedly superior to the OPPO F3 Plus’ Face Beauty 4.0. The V5s’ Face Beauty 6.0, which works as a skincare tool, has three new functions: buffing, whitening, and enhancing one’s skin tone.
    The newly launched Vivo V5s is equipped with advanced selfie tools, including an improved Selfie Softlight with an enhanced with an enhanced night mode, and the Face Beauty mode 6.0.
    Fifth, the V5s touts still another cutting-edge feature—the Group Selfie technology, which supports both portrait and panorama-oriented photos. This means everyone gets into the act; no one is left out in the ‘groupfie’.

    Sixth, the V5s offers its App Clone, a feature that lets users run two accounts with the same app. With the App Clone, multi-tasking professionals and highly mobile millennials can compartmentalize their personal and social lives online.
    No more excuses not to come up with that perfect, natural, and radiant-looking selfies as Vivo launches its most impressive smartphone yet, the V5s, which boasts of a 20-megapixel front camera and more advanced selfie tools.
    Seventh, the V5s’ slimmer bezels make it smaller than the average 5.5-inch smartphones, and therefore easier and more comfortable to grip.

    Aesthetics and function likewise combine in the V5s. Its 2.5D Corning Gorilla glass cover renders it practically shatter proof and endows it with a minimalistic but elegant look.

    Finally, the V5s’ other notable features include a 4G RAM and 64GB internal memory, Hi-Fi music technology, and 0.2-second fingerprint unlocking mode.

    Whichever way you look at it, the new Vivo V5s gives more bang for your buck and is decidedly the best smartphone deal—in its price range—for all selfie-loving Filipinos.

    For inquiries about Vivo V5s, visit the Vivo website at vivoglobal.ph, or check out their Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/VivoPhil), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/vivophil/), and Twitter (https://twitter.com/vivophil) accounts.

    1according to International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker (http://www.idc.com/promo/smartphone-market-share/vendor;jsessionid=7595C1498F4F0FBF496CC767E273121B)

              The Gaping Holes in the Gap Theory        

    Scripture gives us a complete—albeit contested—account of God’s work on the first day of creation.

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (Genesis 1:1–5)

    Verse 1 is a general statement. The rest of Genesis 1 unfolds the sequence of God’s creative work, starting with a “formless and void” earth.

    The Barren Planet

    As day one emerges from eternity, we find the earth in a dark and barren condition. The construction of the Hebrew phrase that opens verse 2 is significant. The subject comes before the verb, as if to emphasize something remarkable about it. It might be translated, “As to the earth, it was formless and void.” Here is a new planet, the very focus of God’s creative purpose, and it was formless and void. The Hebrew expression is tohu wa bohu. Tohu signifies a wasteland, a desolate place. Bohu means “empty.” The earth was an empty place of utter desolation.

    The same expression is used in Jeremiah 4:23. There, Jeremiah is lamenting the doom of Israel. He says in verse 19, “My soul, my soul! I am in anguish! Oh, my heart! My heart is pounding in me; I cannot be silent.” Why? Because the trumpet signaling God’s judgment of Israel had sounded. “Disaster on disaster is proclaimed, for the whole land is devastated” (v. 20). And he borrows the very words from Genesis 1:2: “I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless [tohu] and void [bohu]; and to the heavens, and they had no light” (v. 23). That is how he describes the condition of Judah under the devastating destruction that was brought upon it by the judgment of God. What was once a fruitful land had become a wilderness (v. 26). It was a wasted, devastated place without any inhabitants. It had lost its former beauty. It didn’t have any form. It didn’t have any beauty. It had reverted to a state of barrenness that reminded Jeremiah of the state of the earth in the beginning, before God’s creative work had formed it into something beautiful.

    Isaiah borrows the same expression. Prophesying the destruction that would come in the day of the Lord’s vengeance against the Gentiles, he says their land will be turned into desolation. “He will stretch over it the line of desolation [tohu] and the plumb line of emptiness [bohu]” (Isaiah 34:11). That pictures God as the architect of judgment, using a plumb line of tohu, which is kept taut by weights made of bohu.

    So these words speak of waste and desolation. They describe the earth as a place devoid of form or inhabitants—a lifeless, barren place. It suggests that the very shape of the earth was unfinished and empty. The raw material was all there, but it had not yet been given form. The features of earth as we know it were undifferentiated, unseparated, unorganized, and uninhabited.

    Reading Eons Between the Lines

    Some have suggested that an indeterminate interval of many billions of years is hidden between verses 1 and 2. This theory, known as the “gap theory,” was once quite popular, and is featured prominently in the Scofield Reference Bible. According to the gap theory, God created a fully–functional earth in verse 1. That ancient earth ostensibly featured a full spectrum of animal and plant life, including fish and mammals, various species of now–extinct dinosaurs, and other creatures that we know only from the fossil record.

    Proponents of the gap theory suggest that verse 2 ought to be translated, “The earth became without form, and void.” They speculate that as a result of Satan’s fall, or for some other reason, the prehistoric earth was laid waste by an untold calamity. (This presupposes, of course, that Satan’s fall or some other evil occurred sometime in the gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.) Then, according to this view, God created all the life forms that we now see and thus remade earth into a paradise in six days of recreation.

    Like other old–earth theories, the gap theory is supposed to explain the fossil record and harmonize the biblical account with modern scientific theories about a multiple–billion–year–old earth.

    Most who hold to the gap theory suggest that the sun was not created on day four; it was merely made visible on that day by the clarifying of earth’s atmosphere or the receding of a vapor cloud that had encircled the earth. Other than that, the gap theory has one advantage over most other old–earth views: It allows for a straightforward literal interpretation of the creation days of Genesis 1.

    The Gaping Holes in the Gap Theory

    But the theory is accepted by relatively few today, because the biblical and theological problems it poses are enormous. For example, in Genesis 1:31, after God had completed all His creation, He declared it “very good”—which would not be a fitting description if evil had already entered the universe. Furthermore, if the fossil record is to be explained by an interval in the white space between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, that means death, disease, suffering, and calamity were common many ages before Adam fell. Yet Scripture says Adam’s sin was the event that introduced death and calamity into God’s creation: “By a man came death” (1 Corinthians 15:21); “Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin” (Romans 5:12). The gap theory also flatly contradicts Exodus 20:11: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.”

    The plain meaning of the text seems to be that the barrenness described in verse 2 is simply the original state of the universe in the twenty–four hours immediately following its initial creation. It is not a state of desolation into which the earth fell; it is how the universe appeared in situ (in its original condition), before God finished His creative work.

    The picture it conjures up is reminiscent of a potter wishing to fashion a beautiful vessel and then fill it to be used. He first takes a lump of unformed clay and places it on the wheel to mold and fit it to his purpose. In a similar way, God began with raw material. He first created a basic mass of elements that contained everything necessary to make a habitat for the life He would later create. And then using that mass of elements, He carefully shaped it and formed it into the perfect finished work He had planned from the beginning. So aside from the life–forms He created, His work throughout those first six days is comparable to the potter’s finishing work. It was mostly a process of perfecting what He had already created in the beginning.

    (Adapted from The Battle for the Beginning.)


              Faith and Science, Falsely So-Called        

    [Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the earliest days of the GTY Blog. As we recently culled through the ministry archives in preparation for a new blog series on God’s work of creation—which coincides with the broadcast of The Battle for the Beginning sermon series on “Grace to You”—we believed this post deserved further consideration.]

    The apostle Paul closed his first epistle to Timothy by urging the young pastor to guard the deposit of truth that had been entrusted to him, “avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Timothy 6:20-21). In the King James Version, the text famously speaks of “science falsely so called."

    Over the course of human history, all kinds of speculative ideas have been falsely labeled “science” and mistakenly accepted as true and reliable knowledge by otherwise brilliant people. The now-discredited dogmas of older scientific theories are numerous—and in some cases laughable. They include alchemy (the medieval belief that other base metals could be transmuted into gold); phrenology (the Victorian belief that the shape of one’s skull reflects character traits and mental capacity); astrology (the pagan belief that human destiny is determined by the motions of celestial bodies); and abiogenesis (the long-standing belief that living organisms are spontaneously generated by decaying organic substances). All those false beliefs were deemed credible as “science” by the leading minds of their times.

    Consider just one of those—abiogenesis. Popularly known as “spontaneous generation,” this idea has long been, and continues to be, one of the archetypal expressions of “science falsely so called.” It is also one of the most persistent of all demonstrably pseudoscientific fictions. The notion that aphids arise naturally from dew on plant leaves, mold is generated automatically by aging bread, and maggots are spontaneously begotten by rotting meat was more or less deemed self-evident by most of humanity’s brightest intellects from the time of Aristotle until 1861, when Louis Pasteur conclusively proved that non-living matter cannot spawn life on its own.

    Take for example Alexander Ross, an early seventeenth-century Scottish writer and intellectual who harshly criticized Sir Thomas Browne for questioning the dogma of spontaneous generation. Under the heading “Mice and other vermin bred of putrefaction, even in mens bodies,” he wrote:

    He doubts whether mice can be procreated of putrefaction. So he may doubt whether in cheese and timber worms are generated; Or if Betels and wasps in cowes dung; Or if butterflies, locusts, grasshoppers, shel-fish, snails, eeles, and such like, be procreated of putrefied matter, which is apt to receive the form of that creature to which it is by the formative power disposed. To question this, is to question Reason, Sense, and Experience: If he doubts of this, let him go to Egypt, and there he will finde the fields swarming with mice begot of the mud of [the Nile]. [1]Alexander Ross, Arcana Microcosmi, (London: Newcomb, 1652), Book 2, Chapter 10, 156.]

    It is one of the great ironies of scientific history that the first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published exactly two years before Pasteur’s famous experiments proved that life cannot arise spontaneously from non-living matter. The publication of Darwin’s book marked the apotheosis of evolutionary theory, and it was rooted in the basic presupposition that under the right circumstances, life can spring on its own from non-living matter. In other words, two years before abiogenesis was scientifically debunked, it was in effect canonized as the central dogma of modern secular belief about the origins of life. The discovery that fleas don’t magically form out of decomposing dander on the backs of dirty dogs did not dissuade most in the scientific world from embracing the theory that all life in the universe arose by itself out of nothing. The belief that life spontaneously came from non-life remains to this day the great unexplained (albeit easily disprovable) assumption underlying the dogma of evolution.

    The irony of that is utterly lost on many in the scientific community today, where evolution has become an article of faith—unshakable faith, it turns out.

    Evolutionists have conveniently “solved” the problem of abiogenesis by repeatedly moving their estimates of the earth’s age backward toward infinity. Given enough time, it seems, anything is possible. Trying desperately to keep the biblical concept of eternity at bay, evolutionists have thus devised an alternative kind of infinitude. Every time a challenge to current evolutionary theory arises, geologists and astronomers dutifully tack billions and billions of eons onto their theories about the earth’s age, adding however many ancient epochs are deemed necessary for some new impossibility to be explained.

    In the introduction to my 2001 book, The Battle for the Beginning, I suggested naturalism had become the dominant religion of contemporary secular society. “Religion is exactly the right word to describe naturalism,” I wrote. “The entire philosophy is built on a faith-based premise. Its basic presupposition—a rejection of everything supernatural—requires a giant leap of faith. And nearly all its supporting theories must be taken by faith as well.” [2] John MacArthur, The Battle for the Beginning, (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2001), 11.

    Here, then, is a classic example of what I was talking about: the typical evolutionist’s starting point is this notion that life arose spontaneously from inanimate matter sometime in eternity past. That requires not merely the willful suspension of what we know for certain about the origins of life and the impossibility of abiogenesis—but also enough deliberate gullibility to believe that moving-target estimates of the earth’s antiquity can sufficiently answer all the problems and contradictions sheer naturalism poses.

    Meanwhile, in the popular media, evolutionary doctrine and ever-expanding notions of prehistory are being promoted with all the pious zeal of the latest religious sect. Watch the Internet forums, programs on the Discovery Channel, interviews and articles published in the mass media, school textbooks, and books aimed at lay readers—and what you will usually see is raw assertions, demagoguery, intimidation, and ridicule (especially when the subjects of biblical theism and the Genesis account of creation are raised).

    But question the dogma that all life evolved from a single spontaneously-generated cell, point out that the universe is full of evidence for intelligent design, or demand the kind of proof for evolutionary origins that would ordinarily pass scientific muster, and the ardent evolutionist will simply dismiss you as a heretic or a bigot of the worst stripe. What they are tacitly acknowledging is that as far as they are concerned, evolution is a doctrine that must be received with implicit faith, not something that can be scientifically demonstrated. After all, the claims of true science can always be investigated, observed, reproduced, tested, and proved in the laboratory. So to insist that evolution and so-called “deep time” doctrines must be accepted without question is really just a tacit admission that these are not scientific ideas at all.

    Consider these quotations from typical evolutionist writers:

    • No biologist today would think of submitting a paper entitled “New evidence for evolution;” it simply has not been an issue for a century. [3] Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, 2nd ed., (Boston: Sinauer Associates, 1986), 15.
    • It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that evolution is a fact, not theory. . . . All present forms of life arose from ancestral forms that were different. Birds arose from nonbirds and humans from nonhumans. No person who pretends to any understanding of the natural world can deny these facts. [4] R. C. Lewontin, “Evolution/creation debate: A time for truth,” Bioscience (1981), 31:559.
    • Here is what separates real scientists from the pseudoscientists of the school of intelligent design. . . . One thing all real scientists agree upon is the fact of evolution itself. It is a fact that we are cousins of gorillas, kangaroos, starfish, and bacteria. Evolution is as much a fact as the heat of the sun. It is not a theory, and for pity’s sake, let’s stop confusing the philosophically naive by calling it so. Evolution is a fact. [5] Richard Dawkins, “The Illusion of Design,” Natural History (November 2005), 53.

    But as those statements themselves show, evolution is a dogma, not a demonstrable “fact.” I stand by the position I took in The Battle for the Beginning: “Belief in evolutionary theory is a matter of sheer faith. [It is] as much a religion as any theistic world-view.” [6] The Battle for the Beginning, 12.

    I’ll go even further: science cannot speak with any authority about when the universe began, how it came into being, or how life originated on earth. Science by definition deals with what can be observed, tested, measured, and investigated by empirical means. Scientific data by definition are facts that can be demonstrated by controlled, repeatable experiments that always yield consistent results. The beginning of the universe by its very nature falls outside the realm of scientific investigation.

    To state the case plainly: there is no scientific way to explain creation. No one but God actually observed creation. It did not happen by any uniform, predictable, observable, repeatable, fixed, or natural laws. It was not a natural event or a series of natural events. The initial creation of matter was an instantaneous, monumental, inexplicable miracle—the exact opposite of a “natural” phenomenon. And the formation of the universe was a brief series of supernatural events that simply cannot be studied or explained by science. There are no natural processes involved in creation; the act of creation cannot be repeated; it cannot be tested; and therefore naturalistic theories purporting to explain the origin and age of the universe are unverifiable.

    In other words, creation is a theological issue, not a scientific one. Scripture is our only credible source of information about creation, because God Himself was the only eyewitness to the event. We can either believe what He says or reject it. But no Christian should ever imagine that what we believe about the origin of the universe is merely a secondary, nonessential, or incidental matter. It is, after all, the very starting point of God’s self-revelation.

    In fact, in its profound brevity, Genesis 1:1 is a very simple, clear, and unequivocal account of how the universe, the earth, and everything on the earth came to be: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That is not an ambiguous statement.

    Christians should not be intimidated by dogmatic naturalism. We do not need to invent a new interpretation of Genesis every time some geologist or astronomer declares that the universe must be older than he previously thought. Nor should we imagine that legitimate science poses any threat to the truth of Scripture. Above all, we must not seek ways to circumvent the clear meaning of God’s Word, compromise our trust in the Creator, or continually yield ground to every new theory of falsely-so-called science. That is precisely what Paul was warning Timothy about.

    Sadly, it seems evolutionary thinking and qualms about the Genesis account of creation have reached epidemic levels among professing Christians in recent decades. Too many Christian leaders, evangelical schools, and Bible commentators have been willing to set aside the biblical account of a relatively young earth in order to accommodate the ever-changing estimates of naturalistic geologists and astronomers. They have thrown away sound hermeneutical principles—at least in the early chapters of Genesis—to accommodate the latest theories of evolution.

    When I encounter people who think evolutionary doctrine trumps the biblical account of creation, I like to ask them where their belief in the Bible kicks in. Is it in chapter 3, where the fall of Adam and original sin are accounted for? In chapters 4-5, where early human history is chronicled? In chapters 6-8, with the record of the flood? In chapter 11, with the Tower of Babel? Because if you bring naturalism and its presuppositions to the early chapters of Genesis, it is just a short step to denying all the miracles of Scripture—including the resurrection of Christ. If we want to make science the test of biblical truth rather than vice versa, why would it not make just as much sense to question the biblical record of the resurrection as it does to reject the Genesis account? But “if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! . . . If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:17-19).



               Jon Stewart's Epic Tribute to Pizza         
    Jon Stewart's Epic Tribute to Pizza

    Jon Stewart's Epic Tribute to Pizza
    This transcends all party affiliations. This is pizza.
    Submitted by: TheMagicHour
    Keywords: jon stewart jon stewart pizza sarah palin donald trump the daily show the daily show pizza palin pizza trump pizza pizza pizza jokes new york pizza
    Views: 27,694

               Stephen Colbert Takes On Trump, Announces His Own Debate         
    Stephen Colbert Takes On Trump, Announces His Own Debate

    Stephen Colbert Takes On Trump, Annou...
    Oh God I hope this is real.
    Submitted by: TheMagicHour
    Keywords: stephen colbert stephen colbert donald trump donald trump donald trump debate trump debate colbert debate colbert trump stephen colbert republican debate republican debate
    Views: 7,607

               Trump Said #AskTheGays And So #TheGaysResponded         
    Trump Said #AskTheGays And So #TheGaysResponded

    Trump Said #AskTheGays And So #TheGay...
    For every Donald Trump action there is an equal and opposite reaction GIF.
    Submitted by: Best of the Web
    Keywords: donald trump #askthegays gay twitter trump fail reaction gifs twitter fails equality trump twitter roundup
    Views: 56,776

              Medicaid Drug Rebate Program Summit 2017        
    Medicaid Drug Rebate Program Summit 2017
    September 11-13, 2017
    Marriott Magnificent Mile | Chicago

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    • Network with 600+ government officials, industry leaders, and pharma executives
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    A Universal Continuing Legal Credits (CLE) Certificate of Attendance will be applied for the State of Illinois. Continuing Professional Credits (CPE) will be provided in accordance with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. All credits will be provided following the conclusion of the conference.

    Get guidance from key federal officials to ensure compliance on government program mandates
    • Medicaid Reform in the Trump Era – Scott W. Atlas, MD, David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Member, Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Health Care Policy
    • MDRP: Once a Good Idea, Now Not “Good Enough” – Jeff Myers, President and Chief Executive Officer, Medicaid Health Plans of America
    • Part I: General Overview of the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program: History, Core Elements, and Manufacturer Requirements and Part II: Understand How to Calculate Critical Price Types Such as AMP, URA, Best Price, Base Line AMP – Miree Lee, Principal at M. Lee Consulting LLC
    • Authorized Generics Price Calculations – John Gould, Partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
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              What I Told HHS Secretary Tom Price About the 340B Drug Pricing Program (rerun)        
    This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I'm on vacation. Click here to see the original post and comments from May 2017.

    This post is especially timely given President Trump’s draft Executive Order. In Section 4, the Order directs Secretary Price to ensure that the program benefits "the lower income or otherwise vulnerable Americans for which the program was intended." Shortly after the article below was published, I discovered that the 340B program has been growing by more than 30% annually. (See The 340B Program Hits $16.2 Billion in 2016; Now 5% of U.S. Drug Market.) It's time to moderninze the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

    Last Friday, I had the privilege of meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price. I was invited to meet with Secretary Price for one of his listening sessions with industry experts and stakeholders. I appreciated the opportunity to share my perspectives.

    In our meeting, I highlighted four ways that the 340B Drug Pricing Program is raising drug costs. I then offered eight specific recommendations for improving the program by addressing the widespread channel distortions the program has caused.

    Read on for the recommendations and a summary of my comments to Dr. Price.

    I have no idea if my suggestions will have any impact. Regardless, your friendly neighborhood blogger enjoyed spending time among some Washington insiders.
    Read more »

              Trump threatens 'fire and fury' against North Korea        
    US President Donald Trump said North Korea "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it threatened the United States again. Earlier Pyongyang said it was ready to give Washington a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force in response to any US military action. Washington has warned it is ready to use force if need be to stop North Korea's weapons ballistic missile and nuclear programs but has said it prefers global diplomatic action, including sanctions. The consequences of a US strike would potentially be catastrophic for South Koreans, Japanese and US military personnel within range of North Korean retaliatory strikes. "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen," Trump told reporters at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Earlier on Tuesday, Japan's Defence Ministry said "It is conceivable that North Korea's nuclear weapons programme has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturisation of nuclear weapons and has acquired nuclear warheads." The UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday over its continued missile tests that could slash the reclusive country's $3 billion annual export revenue by a third. North Korea said the sanctions infringed its sovereignty and it was ready to give Washington a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force in response to any U.S. military action. North Korea has made no secret of its plans to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States and has ignored international calls to halt its nuclear and missile programmes. North Korea says its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) are a legitimate means of defence against perceived US hostility. It has long accused the United States and South Korea of escalating tensions by conducting military drills.
              Lời đe dọa chiến tranh hạt nhân của Donald Trump        

    John Cassidy | DCVOnline Ai có thể thuyết phục Donald Trump trở lại làm việc? Để ông đi nghỉ mát gây căng thẳng quá. Khi ông ở Toà Bạch ốc, chúng ta đã biết rằng những thay đổi bất thường

    The post Lời đe dọa chiến tranh hạt nhân của Donald Trump appeared first on DCVOnline.

               Marie Osmond Would Perform At Donald Trump's Inauguration         
               Moby Will Dj At Donald Trump's Inauguration Ball If He Releases Tax Returns         
               Rebecca Ferguson Will Not Perform At Donald Trump's Inauguration         
              Kew Gardens ’17: Dark Meridian        
    In New Orleans, the city is loyal to the Saints, neighborhoods are loyal to their local brass bands, and cops are loyal to the gangsters who first bribed them—at least the semi-honest ones are. Det. Spencer Soleno is one of them. When Old Man Marek asked him to hang around in case of trouble, Soleno faithful obliged. However, neither of them expected this much trouble in Rankin Hickman’s Dark Meridian (trailer here), which screens during the first ever Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.

    At Mr. Marek’s request, Soleno is staking out a warehouse, just in case. In case of what, he asks Marek’s youngest son Tevi when he steps out for a cigarette. The recent college graduate will not say, but the shots fired from inside are answer enough. Much to both men’s shock and regret, they find Tevi’s older brother and a trusted lieutenant dead inside. Soleno and the junior Marek will chase the elusive killer all through the city, because neither wants to face his father without the hitman’s scalp.

    Of course, it would help Soreno if he knew why the Mareks had brought the killer to their warehouse in the first place. That story will unfold in flashbacks, but it might take a while, considering the Mareks originally had their doubts whether they were holding the right guy.

    Hickman earns a gold star and a trumpet fanfare, because he actually uses flashbacks quite deftly to enhance the mystery of his narrative. Even though he is constantly revealing, he keeps the audience frequently second-guessing their assumptions. There are about a thousand indie crime dramas that completely bungle their timeline hopping for each one like Meridian that gets it right, but when they work, they work.

    James Moses Black is another glaringly obvious reason why Meridian works as well as it does. As Soreno, he is all kinds of intense, yet acutely, clay-footedly human. It is a terrific portrayal of a problematic but charismatic lawman that could keep company with Bill Paxton in One False Move and Denzel Washington in Training Day. The deceptively everyday looking Billy Slaughter also helps keep the audience off-balance as Patrick Fox, whoever he might be.

    Hickman’s execution is lean and mean and tight and tense. Cinematographer Jerry M. Jacob gives it all an appropriately noir look. The only frustrating thing about Meridian is there is no jazz to be heard, despite its New Orleans setting. There are a lot of great Old School NOLA musicians who are still struggling to get by, nearly twelve years after Katrina. A little soundtrack work would have been a nice gig for them, especially if the film takes off. Oh well, a lost opportunity. Regardless, Dark Meridian is still highly recommended for thriller fans when it screens this Wednesday (8/9) as part of the inaugural Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.
              GoPro Hero4 Session Drops Price to $199        
    If you’re a GoPro fan and you wanted to buy the Hero4 Session for its cuteness, wait a while before you take the plunge.  GoPro Hero4 Session is a cube shaped GoPro and trumpets small form factor as its biggest selling point.  Originally, the GoPro Hero4 Session was priced at $399 but GoPro probably felt […]
              Republican health care bill, short of votes, is withdrawn        
    House Republicans, short of votes, withdrew their health care bill on Friday afternoon, just before it was supposed to go to the floor. The bill was pulled after President Trump asked Speaker Paul Ryan to halt the debate without a vote, according to The Associated Press.
              Susan Rice Lectures Trump About Making False Statements        
    She's best known for lying about Benghazi on national TV
              Bay Of Pigs Veterans’ Association Endorses Donald Trump        
    Maybe it’s an odd coincidence that these men are endorsing Trump over Clinton?
              Shades of Trump: Upper East Side As It Faced '64 Barbarian        
    On the eve of a Wisconsin primary that could dent Donald Trump’s juggernaut toward the GOP nomination, the Republican establishment remains flummoxed and agitated by this uncouth outsider’s prospects. It is a reminder of how the “Eastern Establishment,” as it was, viewed the rise of Barry Goldwater in 1963-64. Goldwater [...]
              "It's Not OK." After Donald Trump and Billy Bush tape, celebrities share their sexual assault experiences        

    This video released today from the social media campaign “Humanity for Hilary” features Meryl Streep, Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and other women who share their own experience of surviving sexual assault. It's a powerful response to recent events surrounding the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump.


              Comment on Trade, Currency, and International Cooperation by Karen Hudes        
    Dear Professor Shaviro, I enjoyed your review on trade, currency and international cooperation. Your statement about the preeminence of the dollar as international reserve currency has missed entirely what the BRICS' proposal for a new development bank means for the dollar. These countries account for more than 25% of international trade, and they are jettisoning the dollar to finance their trade. There is alot to be said about gold at the moment, perhaps Lars Schall's latest article says it best. German / US gold in Hong Kong refineries? Juli 13th, 2013 You may have heard about William Kaye’s assertion that Western central bank gold is being recast for purchase in Asia. However, when asked about it in order to investigate the matter, Mr. Kaye seems to be a “NATO“ member: No Action, Talk Only. http://www.larsschall.com/2013/07/13/german-us-gold-in-hong-kong-refineries/ The National Taxpayers Union has a blog on my case at http://www.ntu.org/governmentbytes/government-reform/whistleblower-protections-a1220.html I am still waiting to hear back from NYUJILP on the attached submission. We are on track for a currency war, downgrade in the US credit rating, and dissolution of the North Atlantic trade alliance unless we combat the corruption that I have been reporting. At least the total censorship in the corrupt media is now beginning to crumble. For a current update, see https://t.co/kD0slcRk7F Sincerely, Karen Hudes Washington Square College Class of 1970 www.kahudes.net 202 316 0684 The best article on my story is at http://www.larsschall.com/2013/05/08/governance-issues-at-the-world-bank-a-security-risk-to-the-world-order/ Asia Times refused to run it Eric Holder's prosecution of me http://nsnbc.me/2013/06/02/trumped-up-charges-and-thinly-veiled-threats-against-world-bank-whistleblower-karen-hudes-2/ For more background see: 6/21/13 RTTV, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7E9SUwlooE House of Commons International Development Committee, Written Evidence for the inquiry into The work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, published July 7, 2012 available here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmintdev/writev/402/contents.htm House of Commons Public Administration Committee, Written Evidence for the inquiry into Public engagement in policy making, published November 2, 2012 available here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmpubadm/writev/publicpolicy/m03.htm The European Parliament Committee on Budgetary Control Hearing on Whistleblowing May 25, 2011 available here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/document/activities/cont/201105/20110518ATT19540/20110518ATT19540EN.pdf My Ripoff Report about this corruption is at: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/world-bank/washington-dist-of-columbia-20433/world-bank-gave-inaccurate-financial-statements-washington-dc-1050418
              Liberalism, secular religion, vulnerability        
    There is a terrific review of a new book on liberalism over at First Things. The book is by a Polish philosopher named Ryszard Legutko, who was a dissident under the communist government and who believes that communism and liberalism share a similar secular religious framework.

    The review, by Adrian Vermeule, is difficult to improve on, so I will limit myself to some commentary on one of the key points raised and then encourage you to go and read the whole thing yourselves.

    What I found most interesting was the discussion of some contradictions within liberalism. For instance, liberalism emphasises both a materialist determinism (i.e. everything we do is predetermined by forces of history, genetics etc.) and a belief in the radically autonomous individual, including the idea that individuals, absent certain social conditions, will use this autonomous freedom to choose the good. How can you have a radically self-determining individual if you believe that everything is materially predetermined? One part of liberal philosophy insists that the individual is radically predetermined, the other that he only has dignity if he is radically self-determined.

    The most interesting contradiction discussed, and one that is complained about all the time in alt-right discussions on social media, is why liberals seem uninterested in seriously illiberal policies in places like Saudi Arabia but come down heavily on mildly illiberal policies in places like Hungary. I think the answer given by Legutko, as summarised by Vermeule, is very interesting:
    Why do Western liberal academics and EU technocrats object so stridently to the mild illiberalism of the Fidesz parliamentary party in Hungary, while saying little or nothing about Saudi Arabia and other monarchical or authoritarian nations, nominal allies of the West, who routinely control, punish, and dominate women, gays, and religious dissenters? Why are the EU technocrats, whose forte is supposed to be competence, so very bumbling, making policy mistake after policy mistake? How is it possible that while the sitting president of the United States squarely opposed same-sex marriage just a few years ago, the liberal intellectuals who supported him passionately also condemn any opposition to same-sex marriage as bigotry, rooted in cultural backwardness? Why was the triumph of same-sex marriage followed so rapidly by the opening of a new regulatory and juridical frontier, the recognition of transgender identity?

    Legutko helps us understand these oddities. We have to start by understanding that liberalism has a sacramental character. “The liberal-democratic mind, just as the mind of any true communist, feels an inner compulsion to manifest its pious loyalty to the doctrine. Public life is full of mandatory rituals in which every politician, artist, writer, celebrity, teacher or any public figure is willing to participate, all to prove that their liberal-democratic creed springs spontaneously from the depths of their hearts.” The basic liturgy of liberalism is the Festival of Reason, which in 1793 placed a Goddess of Reason (who may or may not have been a prostitute conscripted for the occasion, in one of the mocking double entendres of Providence) on the holy altar in the Church of Our Lady in Paris. The more the Enlightenment rejects the sacramental, the more compulsively it re-enacts its founding Festival, the dawning of rationality.

    Light is defined by contrast, however, so the Festival requires that the children of light spy out and crush the forces of darkness, who appear in ever-changing guises, before the celebration can be renewed. The essential components of the Festival are twofold: the irreversibility of Progress and the victory over the Enemy, the forces of reaction. Taken in combination, these commitments give liberalism its restless and aggressive dynamism, and help to make sense of the anomalies. Fidesz in Hungary is more threatening than the Saudi monarchy, even though the latter is far less liberal, because Fidesz represents a retrogression—a deliberate rejection of liberalism by a nation that was previously a member in good standing of the liberal order. The Hungarians, and for that matter the Poles, are apostates, unlike the benighted Saudis, who are simple heretics. What is absolutely essential is that the clock of Progress should never be turned back. The problem is not just that it might become a precedent and encourage reactionaries on other fronts. The deeper issue is that it would deny the fundamental eschatology of liberalism, in which the movement of History may only go in one direction. It follows that Brexit must be delayed or defeated at all costs, through litigation or the action of an unelected House of Lords if necessary, and that the Trump administration must be cast as a temporary anomaly, brought to power by voters whose minds were clouded by racism and economic pain. (It is therefore impossible to acknowledge that such voters might have legitimate cultural grievances or even philosophical objections to liberalism.)

    The puzzle of the EU technocrats, on this account, is no puzzle at all. They are so error-prone, even from a technocratic point of view, at least in part because they are actually engaged in a non-technocratic enterprise that is pervasively ideological, in the same way that Soviet science was ideological. Their prime directive is to protect and expand the domain of liberalism, whether or not that makes for technical efficiency.

    Liberalism needs an enemy to maintain its sacramental dynamism. It can never rest in calm waters, basking in the day of victory; it is essential that at any given moment there should be a new battle to be fought. The good liberal should always be able to say, “We have made progress, but there is still much to do.” This is why the triumph of same-sex marriage actually happened too suddenly and too completely. Something else was needed to animate liberalism, and transgenderism has quickly filled the gap, defining new forces of reaction and thus enabling new iterations and celebrations of the Festival. And if endorsement and approval of self-described “gender identity” becomes a widely shared legal and social norm, a new frontier will be opened, and some new issue will move to the top of the public agenda, something that now seems utterly outlandish and is guaranteed to provoke fresh opposition from the cruel forces of reaction—polygamy, perhaps, or mandatory vegetarianism.

    If this is true, then it gives liberalism both a strength and a weakness. The strength is that people hold to liberal beliefs like a religion, and therefore as a source of meaning that is difficult to step away from. The weakness is that the force of the religious belief depends on an "eschatology" in which there is always a progress toward an ever more radical application of liberalism in society. Therefore, once liberalism is forced back it is vulnerable to collapse. In other words, if liberalism is seen to be obviously stopped, and some aspect of traditionalism restored, it is likely to trigger a psychological demoralisation amongst liberalism's adherents.

    Liberalism needs opposition, it needs a force of reaction to battle against, but it needs to always win.

    So we must not be content with being "house traditionalists" who exist merely to play a role within "the liturgy of liberalism." We need to be serious about building to the point that we are obviously regaining ground. At that point, liberals become vulnerable to psychological confusion and demoralisation. There may not be great depths of resistance once they lose a sense of inevitable progress.
              Trump's anti-Muslim remark angst US national security: Pentagon        

    Washington: The White House and the Pentagon have denounced Republican presidential aspirant Donald Trump's call for a ban on the entry of Muslims into the US, saying the anti-Muslim rhetoric undermines America's national security.

    Trump's remark to ban Muslims from coming to the United States is harmful to national security interest, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

    "His comments aren't helpful to our national security," he said.

    "The fact is, ISIL (Islamic State) is trying to advance narrative that suggests that they represent the religion of Islam in waging a war against the US and the West," Earnest said, adding that, "That narrative is false; it is a fantasy."

    Millions of Muslims are on the side of the US and our international coalition in trying to degrade and destroy the terrorist group, he said.

    The Pentagon too criticised the comment, saying the remark was "contrary to our national security."

    "Anything that bolsters ISIL's narrative and pits the US against the Muslim faith is certainly not only contrary to our values, but contrary to our national security," Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters at a separate briefing.

    The Homeland Security Secretary said Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric is harming US national security interest.

    "What Mr Trump said is deeply offensive. And as the secretary of homeland security said, has consequences for our national security," Earnest said in response to a question.

    "We should have a robust debate about foreign policy in this country. But that should be a debate about policy that reflects the values of this country, that are enshrined in our Constitution. What Mr Trump said runs directly counter to those values. It undermines them. It tarnishes them. It is why so many Americans find them offensive," he said.

    Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the US, in the wake of a mass shooting in California by a Muslim couple believed to have been radicalised. The remark was the latest in a series of increasingly virulent remarks by Trump in recent weeks.

    News Source: 
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              America’s Opioid Epidemic is a Public Health Emergency        

    President Trump’s commission on America’s opioid crisis has urged him to declare it a public health emergency. Inigo Gilmore reports from one community in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, which has been one of the areas hit hardest by the crisis.

    The post America’s Opioid Epidemic is a Public Health Emergency appeared first on  ImperialHipHop.

              Media finds hot new angle for sounding global warming alarm in Trump era        
    The "leak" that wasn't very leaky
              Rahm Emanuel to sue Trump admin for not letting him defy federal law (open thread)        
    It's come to this
              Trump presidency sparks boom in ‘professional cuddling services’ industry        
    Snowflakes melt slower TOGETHER
              Comment on Express Guide to the Alternative Pieces in the ABRSM Piano Syllabus 2017-2018 by Trumpet Blog        
    <strong>Alfred Beyond The Forest Full Orchestra Grade 35</strong> [...] from anything else, will give you and the examiner a break from the well worn on [...]

    Two Trumps in window of The Cheeky Puppy--Washington

              Trumps order till USA-tjänstemän: Undvik k-ordet        
    Anställda på USA:s jordbruksdepartement har uppmanats att inte använda ordet ”klimatförändringar” – utan i stället tala om ”extremt väder”..
              Time for a Brighter Theme?        
    I changed the website theme a few years ago, but now that President Obama’s days are numbered, it might be time to change things up a bit with a new website visual theme. Donald Trump won the election. That fact doesn’t thrill me, other than that it means Hillary Clinton lost, but I’m cautioiusly optimistic […]
              The “Fitna” of Donald Trump – Part 2         
    In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring In the Islamic Monthly, I was blessed to pen a piece entitled, “The ‘Fitna’ of Donald Trump.” I wrote about how the candidacy of Donald J. Trump was a way to make our country even greater than she already is and a test … Continue reading The “Fitna” of Donald Trump – Part 2 
              Böll-Stiftung bittet um Verzeihung für Pranger, nennt aber keine Namen – News vom 8. August 2017        
    "Wir bedauern sehr, dass durch die gewählte Form manche an antidemokratische Methoden erinnert werden und entschuldigen uns bei denjenigen, die sich möglicherweise persönlich verletzt fühlen."

    So heißt es in einer Verlautbarung vom Vorstand der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung zum Antifeminismus-Pranger, die gestern online gestellt wurde. Weiter heißt es dort, man werde die lagerübergreifend entsetzte

    Kritik und Reaktionen zum Anlass nehmen, die bisherige Veröffentlichung zu überprüfen. Entsprechend unseres Selbstverständnisses werden wir Ziele und Format sowie die Zusammenarbeit mit dem Netzwerk und die Wirkung der "Agent*in" kritisch hinterfragen, zeitnah intern beraten und die öffentliche Debatte führen.

    Für mich gibt es offen gesagt einige Hindernisse, diese Bitte um Verzeihung zu gewähren. Beispielsweise wüsste ich gerne, wie genau es aussehen soll, wenn die Böll-Stiftung mit mir eine "öffentliche Debatte" führen möchte. Bisher hatte man in der grünen Stiftung peinlich genau darauf geachtet, zu geschlechterpolitischen Debatten wohl Feministinnen, aber ja keine Männerrechtler einzuladen. Das sind die Strukturen, die überhaupt erst den Online-Pranger ermöglichten, der "an antidemokratische Methoden erinnert", wie die Böll-Stiftung jetzt scheinbar einsichtig schreibt. Auch der Online-Pranger sollte offenbar das Entstehen einer Debatte auf Sachebene unterbinden, indem er Personen mit abweichenden Meinungen brandmarkte.

    Das Blog Science Files schätzt das Statement der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung so ein:

    Wenn man in Rechnung stellt, dass dieser Text mit Sicherheit die moderateste Formulierung ist, die man bei der HB-Stiftung gefunden hat, dann kann man sich ungefähr vorstellen, welche Ausmaße die interne Kritik angenommen hat und welche Folgen die öffentliche Kritik für die Reputation und – viel wichtiger: die Bereitschaft der Projektpartner der HB-Stiftung, Geld an die Stiftung zu überweisen – hatte. Dass sich Unmüßig und Ueberschär gemüßigt sehen, sich für die gewählte Form und dafür zu entschuldigen, dass "manche" durch die Denunziationsplattform "möglicherweise" persönlich verletzt wurden, lässt auch einiges an Rückschlüssen zu.

    Sicherlich gibt es bei der HB-Stiftung dann, wenn die Anti-Antifeminismus-Fraktion wütet, keine Gedanken daran, ob man mit Anti-Antifeminismus Menschen verletzt oder ihnen persönlich, beruflich oder psychisch schadet. Eine Größe, mit der die Anti-Antifeminismus-Fraktion rechnet, werden die Feinde erst dann, wenn sich die Kosten für die anti-antifeministischen Kampagnen häufen. Genauer: Die Zahl derjenigen, die die HB-Stiftung mit der Ankündigung einer Klage auf Schadensersatz wegen ihrer Nennung in Agentin.org erschreckt haben, ist wohl nicht gering. Bei 177 Personeneinträgen im Denunziations-Wiki ist selbst nach deutschem Recht, nicht zu reden von britischem Recht, einiges Potential für Schadensersatzforderungen, die sich schnell im fünf- bis sechsstelligen Bereich summieren können. Man hat also wohl vor den finanziellen, nicht vor den moralischen Kosten kapituliert.

    Science Files weist auch auf einen Tweet des FAZ-Journalisten "Don Alphonso" hin, dessen Recherchen wohl maßgeblich dazu beitrugen, den Verantwortlichen für diesen Pranger zunächst das Handwerk zu legen. "Don Alphonso" nämlich merkt völlig zu Recht an:

    Zur Entschuldigung gehört auch die Benennung der Schuldigen. Und nicht deren Vertuschung.

    Nun liegt der Einwand nahe, dass "Don Alphonso" selbst doch den umstrittenen Soziologen Andreas Kemper als Hauptschuldigen identifiziert hatte. Allerdings hegt "Don Alphonso" den wohl nicht unbegründeten Verdacht, dass Kemper mit seiner bekannten Begeisterung dafür, auf Männerrechtler loszugehen, nur anderen Leuten nützlich war und für sie eine vorgeschobene Figur darstellte. So beanstandet auch ein aktueller Artikel der "Welt", dass hier offenbar Hintermänner oder -frauen noch im Dunkeln bleiben:

    Auf der vorübergehend stillgelegten Seite findet sich kein namentlicher Absender, ein Impressum, das erst nachträglich eingefügt wurde, verweist auf die Böll-Stiftung. Wer sich informieren will, könne dies über eine Mail-Adresse tun, die ebenfalls von der Böll-Stiftung angelegt wurde. (...) Weitere Namen von Mitwirkenden werden nicht genannt. Bei der Böll-Stiftung heißt es, finanziell werde das Projekt "Agent*In" nicht von der Stiftung unterstützt, man stelle lediglich die technische Unterstützung. Eine Distanzierung von dem Projekt? Weitere Fragen müssten Henning von Bargen gestellt werden, hieß es noch Montagmittag. Für die Stiftung der Grünen eine zumindest missliche Konstruktion, wenn sich die Pressestelle inhaltlich nicht zu einem Projekt äußern kann, das eindeutig von der Stiftung gefördert wird, sei es auch nur über technische Dienstleistungen. (...) Mitgründer Henning von Bargen befindet sich auf einer Dienstreise und sei bis Dienstag für Nachfragen schwer zu erreichen.

    Währenddessen berichtet "Don Alphonso" auf Twitter, dass eine unter Pseudonymen wie "Fiona B." und "Fiona Baine" agitierende Aktivistin inzwischen auf der Wikipedia-Seite von "Don Alphonso" (Rainer Meyer) wütet.

    "Fiona B." ist mit einigen Helfershelfern seit Jahren dafür verantwortlich, mich und andere Menschen, die sich für Jungen und Männer einsetzen, in den Wikipedia-Einträgen über uns so schlecht wie nur irgend möglich darzustellen und die Männerrechtsbewegung als eine Mischung aus Geistesgestörten und Schwerverbrechern erscheinen zu lassen. Dabei stellte die Wikipedia ein System dar, in dem ein solches Treiben nicht nur funktionierte, sondern wo die Verantwortlichen feministischen Eingriffen sogar Unterstützung anboten. Schützenhilfe gab es damals auch in Blättern wie der "taz", die letzte Woche Andreas Kempers momentanen Rückzug vom Veröffentlichen Schwarzer Listen flankierte.

    Von dem "Neutral Point of View", den die Wikipedia als Banner vor sich her trägt, ist hier nichts übrig geblieben. Stattdessen stellte sie eine Art Übungsgelände für den grünen Online-Pranger dar, um politisch missliebige Personen durch den Dreck zu ziehen. Ich habe die dabei angewendeten Methoden hier und hier näher aufgeschlüsselt.

    Grundsätzlich fällt auf, dass Akteure, deren "politische Arbeit" meiner persönlichen Schätzung nach zu 95 Prozent aus dem Denunzieren anderer Personen besteht, extrem empfindlich reagieren, wenn sie selbst namentlich gemacht werden. Andreas Kemper etwa hatte dieser Tage in seinem Blog erklärt, der Initialzünder für seine Attacken auf die Männerrechtsbewegung sei seine Enttarnung in der "Jungen Freiheit" gewesen, wofür er offenbar mir die Schuld gibt, weil ich zuvor in einem Blogeintrag gegen die Anonymität in der Wikipedia plädiert hatte.

    Das Ungleichgewicht war in den letzten Tagen auch anderen Beobachtern aufgefallen. Während die Verantwortlichen für den Online-Pranger anonym blieben, würden sie ihre Gegner "gnadenlos" angehen, hatte etwa das "Hamburger Abendblatt" angemerkt. Die Frage ist, wie lange das noch gutgehen wird. "Ich kann zeigen, wer die Beteiligten im Hintergrund sind" erklärte "Don Alphonso" in einem weiteren Tweet. Und falls die Böll-Stiftung das nicht selbst hinbekomme, werde er das auch tun.

    Die Spannungskurve in diesem Krimi ist noch immer nicht am Ende.

    2. Verschiedene Medien, darunter die New York Times berichten, dass der Google-Mitarbeiter James Damore, der in einem Memo die Diversity-Politik des Konzerns kritisiert hatte, gefeuert wurde:

    Google on Monday fired a software engineer who wrote an internal memo that questioned the company’s diversity efforts and argued that the low number of women in technical positions was a result of biological differences instead of discrimination.

    (...) The memo put the company in a bind. On one hand, Google has long promoted a culture of openness, with employees allowed to question senior executives and even mock its strategy in internal forums. However, Google, like many other technology firms, is dealing with criticism that it has not done enough to hire and promote women and minorities.

    (...) Mr. Damore, who worked on infrastructure for Google’s search product, said he believed that the company’s actions were illegal and that he would "likely be pursuing legal action." "I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does," Mr. Damore said.

    Aus der Washington Post erfährt man:

    Yonatan Zunger, a former Google executive who wrote a widely read post about the memo published on the platform Medium, addressed the memo's author by saying "do you understand that at this point, I could not in good conscience assign anyone to work with you?" he wrote. "I certainly couldn’t assign any women to deal with this, a good number of the people you might have to work with may simply punch you in the face, and even if there were a group of like-minded individuals I could put you with, nobody would be able to collaborate with them."

    Hat James Damore nun Recht mit seiner Behauptung, dass es an biologischen Unterschieden statt Diskriminierung liegt, wenn sich weniger Frauen in technischen Berufen finden? Die Debatte darüber wird durch Ausgrenzung und andere soziale Sanktionen weiterhin unterbunden.

    Der Umgang mit Damore erinnert an den Fall von Professor Lawrence Summers, ehemals Präsident der amerikanischen Elite-Universität Harvard. Im Januar 2005 hielt Summers bei einer Wissenschaftskonferenz eine Rede über die Frage, woran es liege, dass Frauen in den oberen universitären Rängen der Naturwissenschaften sowie der Mathematik unterrepräsentiert seien. Bei den denkbaren Gründen verwarf er zunächst Diskriminierung, weil das bedeuten würde, dass eine Universität, die Frauen nicht benachteiligte, im Wettbewerb davonziehen könnte, indem sie schlicht jene Top-Akademikerinnen anheuerte, die anderswo diskriminiert wurden. Übrig blieben als mögliche Gründe, dass Frauen weniger bereit seien als Männer, sich einer 80-Stunden-Arbeitswoche ohne jede eigene Flexibilität zu unterwerfen sowie dass Frauen aufgrund angeborener Eigenschaften weniger Zugang zu Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften finden als Männer (aber dafür z. B. sprachlich begabter sind), was auch aufgrund verschiedener Forschungsergebnisse belegt sei. Mehrere Feministinnen waren so außer sich über Summers Meinungsäußerung, dass sie seine Entlassung durchsetzten.

    Menschen mit politisch unerwünschten Auffassungen werden heutzutage einfach beseitigt.

    Zu dieser Unfähigkeit einiger, abweichende Meinungen auszuhalten, gibt es einen aktuellen Beitrag im "Spektrum der Wissenschaft": "Warum wir etwas nicht glauben, das uns nicht passt."

    Eine Reihe von Belegen, die die Auffassung des gefeuerten Google-Mitarbeiters stützen, findet man bei "Alles Evolution". Aber natürlich würden Argumente nur eine Rolle spielen, wenn die Möglichkeit einer offenen Sachdebatte noch gegeben wäre. Vor diesem Hintergrund bewertet die liberale Feministin Cathy Young die Kontroverse so:

    #GoogleManifesto reactions should dispel any notion that progressives are any more rational or fact-based than the trumpiest of Trumplings.

    3. Aus einer Besprechung der neuen "Game-of-Thrones"-Folge erfährt man mehr über die Befindlichkeit von Feministinnen im Jahr 2017:

    Half a season ago (...), folks were arguing that "Dragonstone" was the most feminist episode in GOT history. Why? Well, mostly because Arya slaughtered an entire castle full of men in one go. My personal take is that ye olde poison-the-wine trick didn’t make a feminist statement, it just proved that we’re all so hungry for vengeance that we cheer when a young girl feeds some dude his sons.

              Sachsen-Anhalt: Frauen verdienen mehr als Männer – News vom 5. August 2017        
    1. Während die Bundes-SPD mit widerlegten feministischen Statistiken Wahlkampf betreibt, verdienen in Sachsen-Anhalt Frauen mit monatlich 2439 Euro brutto inzwischen mehr als Männer, die im Schnitt nur 2395 Euro bekommen. Die Volksstimme berichtet.

    2. "Mehr als die Hälfte der erwerbstätigen Frauen sind arbeiten in Teilzeit" beklagt Elke Ferner, Parlamentarische Staatssekretärin in Bundesfrauenministerium, in einem aktuellen Artikel des SPD-Propagandablattes "Vorwärts". Der Frauenanteil in Führungspositionen sei niedrig, das Berufs- und Studienfachwahlverhalten junger Frauen und Männer habe sich seit den 70er Jahren kaum verändert. Um dies zu beheben, brauche man gesamtgesellschaftlich "ein klares Bekenntnis zum Feminismus", eine Ausweitung der Frauenquote und viele weitere Maßnahmen mehr. Wer leugne, dass Frauen auch heute noch beachteiligt würden, schreibe alte Ungerechtigkeiten fort. Elke Ferner schließt ihren Beitrag mit den Worten: "Gleichstellung ist wählbar – am 24. September."

    3. Das Magazin "Spiegel" enthält in seiner aktuellen Ausgabe den drei Seiten umfassenden Artikel "Halber Job, ganzer Kerl" (nur im Anriss online). Dessen Autoren Markus Dettmer und Cornelia Schmergal beklagen ebenfalls, dass jede zweite Frau, aber nur jeder neunte Mann Teilzeit arbeite, sehen das aber auch dadurch verschuldet, dass sich die Politik zu wenig um Väter kümmere, von denen viele gerne kürzer treten würden, wenn sie könnten.

    In dem Artikel heißt es:

    Vielleicht beginnt das Problem schon damit, dass viel zu selten von den Männern gesprochen wird, wann immer von der Vereinbarkeit von Beruf und Familie die Rede ist. (...) Gibt es auch eine Schlinge, in der sich die Männer verfangen? Die Vollzeitfalle? (...) Gerade mal zehn Prozent der erwerbstätigen Männer haben eine übliche Wochenarbeitszeit von weniger als 31 Stunden.

    (...) Im April veröffentlichte das Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung eine Befragung unter 6500 Frauen mit und ohne Nachwuchs. Gut 43 Prozent der Frauen glauben, dass Mütter nach der Geburt eines Kindes drei Jahre Pause vom Beruf machen sollten, um dann in Teilzeit wieder einzusteigen. Rund 57 Prozent sind der Meinung, dass Frauen erst dann wieder Vollzeit arbeiten sollten, wenn das Kind sieben Jahre alt ist. Es scheint fast so, als ob die Männer nachhelfen müssten, bevor sich die Verhältnisse so ändern, wie es sich Frauen und Männer eigentlich mehrheitlich wünschen.

    Der Artikel fordert "ein Umdenken von Frauen und Männern: dass man einen halben Job machen und zugleich ein ganzer Kerl sein kann."

    4. Unter der Überschrift "Plötzlich alleinerziehend – und ohne Rechte" berichten die "Kieler Nachrichten" über das Schicksal eines Stiefvaters.

    5. "Heinrich Böll würde sich für seine Stiftung schämen" titelt heute das "Hamburger Abendblatt", dessen Autor zu dem Urteil gelangt,

    dass offenbar einige Synapsen bei den Verantwortlichen durchgebrannt sind. (...) Denn die Agent*innen paaren erschreckende Humorlosigkeit mit einem stasihaften Verfolgungswahn. Während die Verfasser anonym bleiben, man müsse sie "leider" vor persönlichen Angriffen schützen, werden die Bösen gnadenlos enttarnt. (...) Zusätzlich verstört, dass die Stiftung die Kritik vieler Medien aussitzt und ignoriert. Die "taz", die "FAZ", die "Welt" und die "Spiegel"-Kolumnistin Margarete Stokowski haben die Verirrungen benannt und kritisiert. Die Stiftung schweigt still. Vielleicht sollte sie nachschlagen, wie ihr eigener US-Büroleiter die Trump-Wahl erklärt hat: "Wir müssen raus aus der Blase! Wir müssen raus aus unseren eigenen Facebook-Echokammern. Wir müssen erklären, zuhören und mit Andersgesinnten Kontakt suchen. Sonst sind wir selbst Teil des Problems und nicht der Lösung."

    Mit Andersgesinnten Kontakt zu suchen – wofür ich mich nach wie vor anbiete –, dazu kann sich die Böll-Stiftung beim Geschlechterthema bis heute nicht aufraffen, aber das Aussitzen zumindest hatte gestern Nachmittag bekanntlich ein Ende. Seitdem blühen Spekulationen, was genau dazu geführt hatte. Nachdem Andreas Kemper seinen Online-Pranger gestern noch im WDR zu bewerben versucht hatte, ist unwahrscheinlich, dass er selbst dessen Rückzug initiierte. Wahrscheinlicher ist, dass jemand aus der Partei die Notbremse zog. "Es gibt keinen in der Partei, der sagt: Jetzt ist aber wirklich Schluss mit dem Irrsinn!" hatte ich vorgestern noch auffordernd gepostet. (Ich habe auch privat mit einem Mainzer Grünen-Politiker über den Pranger gesprochen, er bewertete ihn ähnlich kritisch wie ich.) Womöglich hat sich dann doch jemand gefunden. Dabei bleibt das Gunda-Werner-Institut in der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, das den Pranger der Öffentlichkeit stolz vorgestellt hatte, durch das Versagen von Kemper & Co. beschädigt.

    In der feministischen Szene ist es zum Offline-Gehen der Website weitgehend still. Lediglich Heide Oestreich lässt sich in einer Art Rückzugsgefecht für die "taz" Kempers Verlautbarungen ins Blatt diktieren, ätzt noch mal kurz gegen "frauenfeindlich agierende Männerrechtler" (wobei sie "Männerrechtler" in Anführungszeichen setzt, als ob sie immer noch nicht mit unserer Existenz zurecht komme) – und das war's.

    Nachdem das Kemper-Lager kurz zuvor noch so tat, als ob es vor Kraft kaum laufen könne, trifft es jetzt berechtigter Spott. "He, @boell_stiftung", schreibt etwa der FAZ-Journalist "Don Alphonso" auf Twitter, "Ihr habt die ganze Versionsgeschichte von @Agentin_org verloren. Da, ich habe sie aufgesammelt!" Damit verweist er auf einen weiteren Enthüllungsbericht aus seiner Feder, worin der Don folgendes berichtet:

    Mehrere Betroffene des Wikis sollen sich nach vorliegenden Informationen ihre eigenen "Akten" beschafft haben, und denken jetzt über eine juristische Verwendung gegen Kemper und den Verantwortlichen nach. Das Problem für die Stiftung: In den früheren Versionen der Beiträge wurden unter dem Nutzernamen "Andreas Kemper" Versionen erstellt, die eindeutige und wenig freundliche Tatsachenbehauptungen enthielten. Teilweise wurden prominente Beiträge wie über den Schweizer Journalisten Roger Köppel von weiteren Autoren verschärft – Autoren, deren Name bislang auch durch den FAZ-Bericht noch nicht bekannt war.

    Gott, das ist ja wirklich ein Abgrund des Hasses! Und anderen Menschen werfen diese Leute "Hate Speech" vor ...

    Erst etwa im März 2017 setzte dann eine Phase des grossen Umdenkens und der Korrekturen ein. Umfangreiches, vorliegendes Material zeigt deutlich, wie ein Autor "Gruen" sprachliche Unzulänglichkeiten verbesserte, während "Gruen" zusammen mit “Anna Berlin” und "Agentin2" Kempers anfänglich klare Zuweisungen der Betroffenen zu rechten Ideologien abschwächten. Formulierungen wie etwa "ist ein nationalkonservativer, antifeministischer Autor" wurden hin zu "scheint dem Nationalkonservatismus und Antifeminismus nahe zu stehen" geändert. Ausserdem bemüht man sich um einen sachlicheren Ton in den Fällen, in denen Kemper seiner privaten Sicht zu sehr freien Lauf gelassen hat.

    Diese Korrekturen betreffen viele Beiträge und dauerten bis kurz vor der Veröffentlichung des Wikis an – offensichtlich haben das Institut und seine Aktivisten viele Arbeitstage investiert, um das Wiki zu füllen und juristisch schwerer angreifbar zu machen, auch wenn die Zielrichtung der Gesinnungsdatenbank erhalten blieb. Aus Tatsachenbehauptungen machten die Redakteure Verdächtigungen, Meinungen und Vermutungen – ihr Pech, dass die früheren Versionen trotzdem frei auf dem Server unter ihrer presserechtlichen Verantwortung lagen.

    Auch was mich selbst betrifft, weist "Don Alphonso" auf verschiedene Versionen hin: zunächst die massiv verleumderische Behauptung, ich würde hier auf Genderama "regelmäßig" auf Beiträge der "Jungen Freiheit" verweisen, was dann zu der etwas schwächeren Verleumdung "häufig" abgemildert wurde. (Tatsächlich verlinkt Genderama die "Junge Freiheit" seit vielen Jahren überhaupt nicht mehr, um keinen falschen Eindruck zu erwecken, auch wenn diese Ausgliederung für eine Presseschau zur Geschlechterdebatte ein wenig absurd ist.) Womöglich waren einige Verantwortliche für diese Verleumdungen durch die Anarchie in der Wikipedia geprägt, die sich juristisch nur schwer für so etwas belangen lässt, da sie ihren Sitz in San Francisco hat. Insofern kann dort behauptet werden, was immer den Hetzern gerade durch ihre – um die Wertung des "Hamburger Abendblatts" zu zitieren – "durchgebrannten Synapsen" schießt.

    Vielleicht hat auch mein eigenes Faible für die Meinungsfreiheit und meine daraus entsprungene Abneigung, gegen noch so rufschädigende Unterstellungen juristisch vorzugehen, dazu geführt, dass ich und andere Männerrechtler einigen als eine Art Freiwild erscheinen, das zum Abschuss freigegeben ist.

    "Don Alphonso" berichtet weiter:

    Dem Verfasser vorliegende Seiten zeigen nicht nur, dass die Hauptseite des Wikis schon am 15. Dezember 2015 erstellt wurde, sondern "Andreas Kemper" in langer und weit über tausend Änderungen umfassender Arbeit zwischen dem 4. Januar und Mitte April 2016 fast alle Kategorien und Beiträge des Wikis anlegte. (...) Die angeblich 180 "ehrenamtlich arbeitenden" Mitglieder von Agentin, die auf der Website die vorläufige Schliessung mitteilen und versprechen, erweitert und verständlicher wieder zu kommen, sind zumindest im Datenreichtum nicht erkennbar – dort dominiert klar Andreas Kemper.

    (...) Nun erklärt Agentin.org: "Für uns bleibt die politische und gesellschaftliche Auseinandersetzung dazu eine Aufgabe, der wir uns stellen." Sicherheitsexperten sehen das allerdings kritisch: Dem Vernehmen nach gibt es mindestens einen weiteren schweren Fehler, der jedoch nicht so leicht zu erkennen ist. Aufgrund der bekannten Benutzernamen und der ebenfalls bekannten Login-Seiten betrachten sie das Projekt wörtlich als "total verantwortungslos, unzureichend gesichert und leicht überwindbar" – sogar jetzt kann noch die Login-Maske aufgerufen werden, wenn man eine frühere URL des Wikis im Browser aufruft. Auch mehrten sich in den letzten Tagen diskrete Wortmeldungen von Grünen-Politikern, die für das Projekt als solches und die erneute schlechte Presse im Wahlkampf wenig Verständnis zeigen. Das Gunda Werner Institut zieht sich laut taz auf den Standpunkt zurück, dass es keine grüne Liste sei, "sondern ein unabhängiges Projekt, das von der Stiftung unterstützt wurde".

    So versucht man also Schadensbegrenzung, nachdem man Kempers Amoklauf erst wochenlang tatenlos zusah und erst reagierte, als selbst im eigenen Lager die Presse verheerend wurde. Namentlich und öffentlich hat sich bis heute keiner der Grünen geäußert.

    "Don Alphonso" zufolge wäre jetzt zu prüfen,

    auf welcher Basis ein vor allem vom Staat finanzierter Verein geldwerte Mittel und Leistungen für ein vollkommen anonym agierendes Projekt unter seiner presserechtlichen Verantwortung weiterleitet – die rechtlichen Aspekte sind hier mindestens so interessant wie die technischen Möglichkeiten des Wikis.

    In der Kommentarspalte unter seinem Beitrag geht "Don Alphonso" schließlich noch einmal auf den leidigen Vergleich zwischen "Agent*in" und "WikiMANNia" ein:

    Wie oft muss ich das noch sagen? Wikimannia ist ein Privatprojekt, das der Männerbewegung nicht wirklich nutzt. Agentin ist von einer führenden Stiftung mit Steuerrmitteln umgesetzt worden, und mit Verbindungen zu relevanten Politikern. Was bei Wikimannia steht, ist irrelevant. Was bei Agentin steht, kann ernst genommen werden.

    Einer von "Don Alphonsos" Lesern kommentiert:

    Wenn man sich diese, ich sage mal: Vorgeschichten und die dazu gehörige Gemengenlage anschaut, dann wirft das ein hässliches Licht auf eine Organisation, welche doch eigentlich "gegen den Hass" vorgehen will. Besonders dann, wenn sie Datenmaterial verwendet (quasi für einen Online-Pranger), das ursprünglich von Menschen erstellt wurde, die jegliche Abweichung von den eigenen Auffassungen als eine Art (oder: tatsächlichen) "Hass" auffassen.

    Als wissenschaftlich gebildeter Mensch sollte Herr Kemper noch einmal sehr in sich gehen, ob das wirklich der richtige Weg ist. Im Übrigen ist dieses ganze Projekt, schaut man sich den überwiegend doch sehr schwachen Inhalt und Aufbau an, etwas "magersüchtig" in seiner ganzen Art. Offenbar ist es Herrn Kemper bislang nicht gelungen, in der feministischen Szene Mitstreiter/innen zu finden – auch in der Zielsetzung, das Niveau dieses Wikis vernünftig zu erhöhen.

    Darauf erwidert der Don:

    Die Vorgeschichte ist kompliziert. Ich bin da wie immer schon weiter, aber mehr kann ich da noch nicht sagen. Kemper ist letztlich nur eine Fassade.

    Warum hat dieses Land eigentlich nicht mehr investigative Journalisten wie "Don Alphonso", die den Mut haben, sich völlig unabhängig vom aktuellen Zeitgeist zu positionieren? Ich hoffe, der Frankfurter Allgemeinen zumindest ist klar, was für einen wertvollen Mitarbeiter sie hier hat, der zusammen mit anderen Autoren des Blattes auch linke Leser für diese Zeitung gewinnen kann.

    Ich ganz persönlich fand es in der Rückbetrachtung des grünen Debakels aufschlussreich, von wem der Online-Pranger begeistert gefeiert und unterstützt wurde: Dazu gehörten unter anderem Tauwetter mit diversen unterirdischen Formulierungen ("Mitten drin noch ein paar Väterrechtler, die ein Recht auf 'ihre' Kinder einfordern und die bräunliche Soße ist zusammen."), die Website "Men's Studies" ("Tolles Projekt vom Gunda-Werner-Institut") sowie die feministische Bloggerin Kathrin Ganz. Ich werde über diese Personen aber ganz sicher keine Schwarze Liste anlegen, in der ich irgendwelche persönliche Abwertungen durch lexikalische Formulierungen als "Wissenschaft" zu verkaufen versuche.

    Das Aufsehen um den Online-Pranger sorgte für einen Zuwachs an Genderamalesern um etwa 25 Prozent und eine ganze Reihe neuer Unterschriften unter der "Frankfurter Erklärung". Ich hoffe, dass uns all diejenigen, die uns durch Kempers Treiben entdeckt haben, auch auf Dauer erhalten bleiben. Gerne verweise ich in diesem Zusammenhang auf die heute stattfindende Gründung der Liberalen Männer in der FDP.

    Genderama ist ein privates Blog, das nicht durch Steuergelder finanziert wird, aber durch freiwillige Spenden unterstützt werden kann. An dieser Stelle noch einmal herzlichen Dank an alle, die das bereits tun.
              Projekt der Berliner Regierung: Stehpinkeln auch für Frauen – News vom 4. August 2017        
    1. Wie Gunnar Schupelius in der Berliner B.Z. berichtet, hat der rot-rot-grüne Senat der deutschen Hauptstadt ein 97 Seiten umfassender "Toilettenkonzept für Berlin" erstellen lassen:

    Auf Seite 30 steht das Kapitel "Geschlechtergerechtigkeit". Hier wird nachgewiesen, dass es ungerecht sei, wenn nur Männer im Stehen urinieren dürften, Frauen aber nicht. Wörtlich heißt es: "Aus Sicht der Gleichstellung sind Pissoirs nicht akzeptabel."

    Die Fachleute des Senats stellen fest, dass es zwar wichtig sei, Männern Urinale anzubieten, da sie "eher zum Wildpinkeln tendieren" würden als Frauen. Dennoch müsse aber eben auch Frauen die Möglichkeit geboten werden, sich im Stehen zu erleichtern.

    Bei einem italienischen Designer taten die rot-rot-grünen Toilettenexperten daraufhin das Urinal "Girly" auf, das mit seiner "innovativen Form die Anatomie der Frau berücksichtigt". Damit sollen künftig alle öffentlichen Toiletten nachgerüstet werden.

    Gleichzeitig ist Schupelius zufolge gefährdet, dass öffentliche Toiletten in Berlin überhaupt noch funktionieren. Ein Lösungskonzept dafür gebe es im Senat der Stadt noch nicht: "Nur die Vorschriften für das Frauen-Urinal sind schon fertig."

    Warten wir noch ein paar Jahrzehnte, und dann werden Frauen-Urinale auch in privaten Haushalten angeordnet. Schließlich ist das Private aus feministischer Sicht evident politisch, und es gibt keinen Grund, weshalb Gleichberechtigung in den eigenen vier Wänden keinen Platz haben sollte.

    2. Auf Twitter berichtet "Don Alphonso" über weitere Ergebnisse seiner Detektivarbeit zu dem grünen Onlinepranger. Ich halte mal einige Auszüge fest, falls es später ein Quiz zu diesem Thema gibt:

    Etwa im Mai 2017 haben @gwi_boell bzw @boell_stiftung bei @Agentin_org Angst bekommen und Tatsachenbehauptungen durch Mutmassungen ersetzt.

    Daher diese ganzen "scheint". "orientiert" etc. Formulierungen - nach meinen Infos hat besonders @andreaskemper härtere Begriffe verwendet.

    Während Kemper vor allem Personen denunziert, macht der Wiki-Nutzer "Heinrich Alpin" die öffentliche Darstellung des Projekts.

    Später musste erst mal Nutzerin "Gruen" über die Rechtschreibung und Grammatik gehen (He, @boell_stiftung, Eure Spitzel sind echt peinlich)

    Bei vielen Beiträgen das gleiche Muster: Kemper denunziert vom Jan-März16 die Personen, schreibt Behauptungen. Gruen&Co müssen nacharbeiten.

    3. "Verdienen weiße Männer wirklich das Wahlrecht?" fragt das "Affinity Magazine", der Eigendarstellung zufolge eine Nachrichtenplattform speziell für Teens. In dem Artikel heißt es:

    After all, women and people of colour went through times of not being allowed to vote, and the fact that white men never had to experience that is an injustice. (...) One can’t be sure if withdrawing the white man’s vote could be considered a "wrong". Furthermore, the point here that has to be made is that banning white men from voting temporarily will help them understand systemic injustice and help them become better, more empathetic allies to the social justice cause.

    In contexts like these, identity politics can be helpful, empowering and contributing to an important learning experience. White men who want to become better allies always come across the problem of "I will never understand what it feels like to be systemically oppressed" but this proposal may further their understanding of minority needs and improve relations between different genders and races, which is the ultimate goal; equality.

    Warum eigentlich nicht? Wenn es etwa um die Frauenquote geht, haben wir uns doch auch schon daran gewöhnt, dass die Diskriminierung von Männern mit dem "Endziel soziale Gerechtigkeit" begründet wird.

    Allerdings findet sich in den Kommentaren unter dem Artikel bereits die Auflösung dieses selbst für Feministinnen bizarren Artikels: Bei dem Namen der Autorin "Malia Rolt" handelt es sich wohl nicht zufällig um ein Anagramm von "I am a troll". Bemerkenswert ist, dass – ähnlich wie zuvor die "Huffington Post" – ein sich als seriös verstehendes Magazin einen Artikel mit der geschilderten Auffassung veröffentlichte. Sobald es irgendwie gegen Männer geht, stehen in unseren Medien die Tore noch für den größten Irrsinn sperrangelweit offen.

    4. Wie Genderama berichtete, deckte dieser Tage ein Artikel der New York Times auf, wie sehr die Anführerinnen des Frauenmarsches gegen Trump die Sharia bewerben sowie Extremisten, Rassisten, Terroristen und Gewaltverbrecher verehren. Auf diese Anschuldigungen gibt es jetzt von der Co-Präsidentin des Frauenmarsches eine Erwiderung.

    5. Das Neueste aus der "Rape Culture": Eine US-amerikanische Universität sanktioniert einen Studenten wegen eines angeblichen sexuellen Übergriffes gegen seine Partnerin: Er darf den Campus nicht mehr betreten und keinen Kontakt zu seinen Trainern und Sportkameraden mehr aufnehmen. Seine Partnerin indes bestreitet hartnäckig, Opfer eines solchen Übergriffes geworden zu sein:

    Words, including mine, have been incompetently or intentionally misrepresented, misquoted and taken out of context, which should not be that surprising since no statements were recorded or verified. (...) I have never been abused, assaulted or otherwise mistreated by Matt. (...) He is an incredible person, and I am and have been 100% behind him. Nothing happened that warranted an investigation, much less the unfair, biased and drawn out process that we have been forced to endure quietly.

    Matt Boermeester did nothing improper against me, ever. I would not stand for it. Nor will I stand for watching him be maligned and lied about, and I implore the USC community to stand together to stop this from happening to Matt or anyone else.

    Nach diesen Äußerungen geht die Universität jetzt auch gegen die fragliche Studentin vor.

    6. Australien macht es den Amis nach: Einem aktuellen Bericht zufolge grassiert an australischen Hochschulen sexuelle Gewalt. 51 Prozent der Studenten seien Opfer entsprechender Übergriffe geworden. Tatsächlich scheint es sich bei diesem Bericht um ein Musterbeispiel dafür zu halten, wie man mit viel Getrickse eine nationale Krise heraufbeschwört, worüber viele Medien in Alarmstimmung berichten. Erinnerungen an die #Aufschrei-Hysterie in Deutschland werden wach.

    Die australische "Herald Sun" indes urteilt in einem Artikel von Andrew Bolt so kritisch und so deutlich, wie kein deutsches Leitmedium zu "Aufschrei"-Zeiten geworden ist. Exemplarisch auch für vergleichbare Fälle schlüsselt der Artikel auf, mit welchen Tricks eine Vergewaltigungshysterie geschürt wurde, die keine Grundlage in der Wirklichkeit hat:

    We should be shocked and upset that not one university boss had the brains or guts to call out this fraud of a study.

    There’s only one real scandal exposed by this study — that our universities must lack academics with the most basic research skills to spot how the taxpayer-funded HRC cooked the books. Yes, the HRC has once more invented a scandal that’s been lapped up by an unquestioning media, producing headlines such as, "Alarming rate of university sexual assaults revealed".

    Here’s how it did it. First the HRC, universities and activists spent more than a year on an emotional publicity campaign to hype the alleged threat of sexual assault on campus. Then, having primed students for outrage, our 39 universities asked them to fill in an online survey to report how often they’d allegedly been harassed or assaulted.

    I say "allegedly" because none of the claims was tested.

    But here is the real problem with this survey: fewer than 10 per cent of students responded. As the HRC admits: "The survey data has been derived from a sample of the target population who were motivated to respond and made an autonomous decision to do so. It may not necessarily be representative of the entire student population."

    (...) Only the most motivated students responded, which presumably includes activist students, ideologues and identity warriors, as well as women and men who have indeed been harassed or abused. But 90 per cent of students couldn’t be bothered responding, perhaps because most didn’t think there was a problem that needed fixing.

    That means the results could be exaggerated as much as tenfold.

    Nor does the fraud stop there. The researchers also defined sexual harassment so broadly that the most trivial or accidental behaviour was included. Even "inappropriate staring or leering" was counted as harassment and, bingo, it worked. Mere stares or leers generated a third of all the complaints.

    (...) No wonder that 40 per cent of students who said they’d been sexually assaulted also said they thought it wasn’t serious enough to tell the university, and another 40 per cent said they hadn’t needed help.

    And still that’s not the full con.

    Only one in four of the alleged sexual assaults — 1.6 per cent of students over two years — actually occurred on campus or going to and from university. Doesn’t that suggest that students are actually safer at university than anywhere else?

    And why are assaults on students travelling to and from campus blamed on universities? Why not blame the public transport system?

    Why? Because this is one more way the HRC could inflate the statistics to paint universities as cesspits of rape and sexual predators.

    This survey is a disgrace. The failure of universities to call it out shows that reason no longer rules and the victim culture is king.

    7. Um fremde Männer zu erziehen beziehungsweise sie zu der Auffassung zu bekehren, dass das unverlangte Zusenden von Intimfotos eine unumutbare sexuelle Belästigung darstelle, versandte eine Frau Bilder von ihrer Vagina. Das überraschende Resultat: Die Männer reagierten darauf keineswegs so pikiert wie erwartet, sondern begeistert. Und die fragliche Dame musste lernen, dass es ein Fehler sein könnte, wenn man seine eigenen Gefühle automatisch so sehr verallgemeinert, als ob sie für alle anderen ebenfalls gültig wären.

    8. Die Post. Einer meiner Leser schreibt mir heute:

    Hallo Herr Hoffmann,

    Die Wahrheit setzt sich durch, das ist schon immer mein Glaube gewesen. Sie kommt auf leisen Sohlen daher und braucht einen langen Atem. Aber sie steht auf festem Grund.

    Die Lüge kommt forsch daher, laut und anmaßend. Aber sie hat einen konstruierten, keinen festen Boden und muss immer neue Lügen einbauen, damit das Gerüst nicht zusammenfällt. "Das eben ist der Fluch der bösen Tat, dass sie, fortzeugend, immer Böses muss gebären."

    Dass es aber 40 Jahre dauert, das hat selbst mich alten Mann doch erschaudern und fast verzweifeln lassen. Aber der Gegenwind zu den Gender"wissenschaften" und dem Biotop, das sie geboren hat, wurde schon seit einiger Zeit deutlich. Und doch blieb ich lange ungläubig skeptisch.

    Aber dass Agent*In so umfassend durchgefallen ist, das ist schon mehr als ein Hoffnungsschimmer. Das wäre noch vor zehn Jahren nicht denkbar gewesen Da wurde sowas einfach durchgewunken. Heute gibt es auch Kritik zu den Auswüchsen. Die kommt nicht nur von guten Blogs, die in letzter Zeit wie Pilze aus dem Boden wuchsen. Auch Wissenschaftler melden sich zu Wort. Nicht nur Naturwissenschaftler wie der Biologe Ulrich Kutschera haben offenbar dermaßen die Schnauze voll, dass sie keine Angst mehr haben, in die Öffentlichkeit zu gehen.

    Aus den MINT-Fächern kommen überraschend viele (Blogger jedenfalls) aus dem IT-Bereich, ist mir übrigens aufgefallen. Was ich erst für ein Phänomen hielt, ist aber nur konsequent. Mit Wischi-Waschi-BlaBlaBla ist dort nämlich kein Blumentopf zu gewinnen. Da ist logisches stringentes Denken gefragt.

    Immer mehr Leute selbst aus den Geisteswissenschaften, zu denen Fächer wie Soziologie, Psychologie noch immer gezählt werden, melden sich zu Wort. Der Soziologe Michael Klein versteht was von Methodenlehre, die sein Fach zur Wissenschaft und nicht zum Geschwätz macht und hat ein sehr erfolgreiches Blog.

    Und nun hat es wohl auch de.wikipedia erfasst. Ein zartes Pflänzchen wohl zunächst, aber die Hoffnung wächst. Auf die Diskussion, bei der Andreas Kemper seiner Agent*In ein schönes Make Up verpassen möchte, haben Sie schon hingewiesen Ein sehr interessanter Beleg, denn es kommen nicht mehr, wie früher üblich, sofort die Hilfstruppen aus dem Gebüsch. Es gibt Gegenwind. Wichtig: Der kommt von Leuten, die nicht selbst Ideologen sind, sondern nur klar und unvoreingenommen denken.

    Das betrifft nicht nur den Artikel selbst. Endlich werden mal die Relevanzkriterien richtig angewendet.

    Eine Petitesse scheint dagegen die Wikipedia-Diskussion um das Binnen-I zu sein. Der Artikel über Kempers Online-Pranger hieß nämlich mal kurz "Agent" statt "Agent*In". Nach einer Entschuldigung, dass dafür wohl das verwendete Binnen-I-Eliminierungs-Tool verantwortlich sei, kommt kein #Aufschrei. Kempers Behauptung "Das Binnen-I ist seit Jahrzehnten üblicher Bestandteil der deutschen Schriftsprache und widerspricht nicht der deutschen Rechtschreibung. Es mit einem Tool entfernen zu wollen, ist eine maschinelle Sprachkonstruktion", kommt nicht mehr durch.

    "Typischer Fall von Filterblase", steht da als Antwort bis 20:27, 30. Jul. 2017. Und kein Shitstorm bricht mehr los und auch kein Edit War mehr. Dass selbst Dinge, die sie längst abgehakt haben, nicht mehr so einfach durchgehen, ist, zusammen mit dem, was ich oben angerissen habe, mehr als ein Hoffnungsschimmer. Da wird es langsam schon wieder richtig hell.

              Jetzt ist sogar die Stokowski gegen den Online-Pranger der Grünen! – News vom 2. August 2017        
    1. Andreas Kemper, Henning von Bargen und Elisabeth Tuider stoßen selbst im eigenen feministischen Lager vermehrt auf Ablehnung ihrer dilettantisch geführten Listen über Menschen mit politisch unerwünschten Meinungen. "So kämpft man nicht für Gleichberechtigung" stellt jetzt sogar Magarete Stokowski auf Spiegel-Online fest und übernimmt damit die Kritik aus der maskulistischen Fraktion. Allerdings scheint Stokowski in erster Linie daran intessiert zu sein, das Image ihrer Ideologie vor weiterem Schaden zu bewahren. So berichtet sie in ihrem Artikel zunächst ausführlich, dass der Feminismus auch in ihrem eigenen Publikum als ausgesprochen aggressiv wahrgenommen wird. Bei dem Versuch, dieses Image noch irgendwie zu retten, leisten die wütenden Rundumschläge von Andreas Kemper & Co. einen Bärendienst, wie Stokowski erklärt:

    Mit dem falschen Werkzeug macht man am Ende mehr kaputt als richtig oder tut sich selbst weh. Manchmal geht es schief und man kann dabei zugucken.

    Immerhin stellt Stokowski dann aber klar, dass ein solcher Pranger auch ethisch inakzeptabel ist:

    Es ist nicht gut, Listen von Menschen nach politischer Gesinnung anzulegen. Siehe: Weltgeschichte. Wer sich über die Leute informieren will, bekommt das auch so hin, ohne Abschussliste.

    Hier könnte Stokowski irren: Wer sich beispielsweise über mich aus unterschiedlichen Quellen informiert, dürfte einen komplett anderen Eindruck von mir gewinnen als jemand, der nur in Kempers "Abschussliste" liest, wo die Informationen extrem selektiv und teilweise schlicht falsch präsentiert werden. Genau diese verzerrende Darstellung dürfte eines der strategischen Ziele dieser "Abschussliste" sein. Ihr Prinzip funktioniert so wie ein antifeministisches Lexikon funktionieren würde, das mich als Radikalfeministen darstellt, indem es mit "Belegen" wie diesem arbeitet: "Am 2. August 2017 pflichtete Arne Hoffmann der Radikalfeministin Margarete Stokowski bei und zitierte sie zustimmend."

    Der Fluch der bösen Tat: Bislang schießen sich Andreas Kemper und Henning von Bargen mit ihren Denunziationen vor allem ins eigene Knie. Das lagerübergreifende Kopfschütteln über ihre Methoden hört einfach nicht auf.

    Derweil gibt Andreas Kemper sein Bestes, damit wenigstens der Wikipedia-Eintrag über den von ihm mitverantworteten Online-Pranger positiver wird.

    2. Die SPD geht mit Fake News in den Wahlkampf.

    3. Die Sängerin der Popband "Paramore" verteidigt sich gegen den Vorwurf, dass eine Liedzeile ihres 2007 veröffentlichten Songs "Misery Business" antifeministisch sei.

    4. Professor Jordan Peterson, ein kanadischer Akademiker, der sich weigert, genderneutrale Pronomen zu verwenden, und totalitäre Tendenzen in der Linken kritisiert, wird von Google und Youtube verbannt:

    "Please tell me what principle I have violated," said Peterson in his email to Google upon discovering that he was locked out of his account. "I have not violated any terms that I am aware of and have not misused my account."

    The psychology professor has over 350,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, which he uses as a platform to post his lectures, interviews, and Q&As.

    "We understand you’ve recently been unable to access your Google account, and we appreciate you contacting us," said Google in a response. "After review, your account is not eligible to be reinstated due to a violation of our Terms of Service."

    But Google did not provide any details regarding which rule the professor violated.

    (...) "I’ve had that account for the last, say, 15 years," said Peterson (...). "All of my correspondence is in that account. It’s hundreds of thousands of emails from people all over the world."

    Mit dieser Entwicklung erhält der Verdacht, dass jeder aus der Debatte eliminiert werden soll, der sich nicht der Gender-Ideologie unterwirft, neue Nahrung.

    5. In ihrem Artikel "When Progressives Embrace Hate" macht jetzt selbst die feministisch geprägte New York Times darauf aufmerksam, dass die momentane Führungsfiguren der US-Feministinnen, die Organisatorinnen des Frauenmarsches gegen US-Präsident Trump, mehr als fragwürdig sind:

    Start with Ms. Sarsour, by far the most visible of the quartet of organizers. It turns out that this "homegirl in a hijab," as one of many articles about her put it, has a history of disturbing views, as advertised by ... Linda Sarsour.

    There are comments on her Twitter feed of the anti-Zionist sort: "Nothing is creepier than Zionism," she wrote in 2012. And, oddly, given her status as a major feminist organizer, there are more than a few that seem to make common cause with anti-feminists, like this from 2015: "You’ll know when you’re living under Shariah law if suddenly all your loans and credit cards become interest-free. Sound nice, doesn’t it?" She has dismissed the anti-Islamist feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the most crude and cruel terms, insisting she is "not a real woman" and confessing that she wishes she could take away Ms. Ali’s vagina — this about a woman who suffered genital mutilation as a girl in Somalia.

    Ms. Sarsour and her defenders have dismissed all of this as a smear campaign coordinated by the far right and motivated by Islamophobia. Plus, they’ve argued, many of these tweets were written five years ago! Ancient history.

    But just last month, Ms. Sarsour proved that her past is prologue. On July 16, the official Twitter feed of the Women’s March offered warm wishes to Assata Shakur. "Happy birthday to the revolutionary #AssataShakur!" read the tweet, which featured a "#SignOfResistance, in Assata’s honor" — a pink and purple Pop Art-style portrait of Ms. Shakur, better known as Joanne Chesimard, a convicted killer who is on the F.B.I.’s list of most wanted terrorists.

    Like many others, CNN’s Jake Tapper noticed the outrageous tweet. "Shakur is a cop-killer fugitive in Cuba," he tweeted, going on to mention Ms. Sarsour’s troubling past statements. "Any progressives out there condemning this?" he asked.

    In the face of this sober criticism, Ms. Sarsour cried bully: "@jaketapper joins the ranks of the alt-right to target me online. Welcome to the party."

    There’s no doubt that Ms. Sarsour is a regular target of far-right groups, but her experience of that onslaught is what makes her smear all the more troubling. Indeed, the idea that Jake Tapper is a member of the alt-right is the kind of delirious, fact-free madness that fuels Donald Trump and his supporters. Troublingly, it is exactly the sentiment echoed by the Women’s March: "Our power — your power — scares the far right. They continue to try to divide us. Today’s attacks on #AssataShakur are the latest example."

    Since when did criticizing a domestic terrorist become a signal issue of the far right? Last I checked, that position was a matter of basic decency and patriotism.

    What’s more distressing is that Ms. Sarsour is not the only leader of the women’s movement who harbors such alarming ideas. Largely overlooked have been the similarly outrageous statements of the march’s other organizers.

    Hier geht es weiter mit Infos darüber, was die anderen Organisatorinnen des Frauenmarsches so auf dem Kerbholz haben.

    Das ist die Situation im Jahr 2017. Friedliche Verteidiger der Meinungsfreiheit wie Professor Peterson werden aus dem Diskurs gedrängt, Extremistinnen hingegen wurden weltweit von den Leitmedien gefeiert. Und jeder, der das kritisiert, gilt für das feministische Lager als "anti-emanzipatorisch" und "rechts" und betreibt "Hate-Speech".
              Netzfrauen am Ende, "Edition F" hetzt weiter – News vom 1. August 2017        
    1. Die "Netzfrauen" wurden von vielen, die es nicht besser wussten, als ebenso zuverlässige Quelle für Nachrichten wahrgenommen, wie viele andere feministische Erzeugnisse. Auch auf Genderama wurden sie immer wieder mal erwähnt – beispielsweise nach ihrer infamen Stimmungsmache gegen Cassie Jayes Männerrechtler Doku "The Red Pill", wozu die "Netzfrauen" allen Ernstes Parolen wie "Frauenhasser auf dem Vormarsch!" krähten.

    Jetzt macht dieses Projekt die Grätsche, und das Blog "Ruhrbarone" berichtet darüber: "Im Trottelland wehen die Flaggen auf Halbmast".

    2. Andere feministische Internet-Projekte leben noch. Die Edition F etwa versucht derzeit zu skandalisieren, dass sich die neue SPD-Frauenministerin Barley auch mit Vertretern männerpolitischer Gruppen traf:

    Gelangt das zarte Pflänzchen der Männerrechtler mit parlamentarischer Hilfe zur vollen Blüte, bleibt einiges zu befürchten. Feministinnen 3.0 werden dann um noch viel fundamentalere Frauenrechte kämpfen müssen, als den Gender-Pay-Gap. Spätestens nach der Geburt eines Kindes, kann es, im Fall häuslicher Gewalt, um die ganz konkrete körperliche Unversehrtheit, im Extremfall ums Überleben gehen.