'..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


Context

(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”..'

          (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


Context

'..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


Context

The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

          '..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..'

          The FWA Podcast: 31st March        
Western Mail's Chris Wathan joins Alex Dunn to reflect on Wales' draw with the Republic Of Ireland and to look ahead to Swansea and Cardiff's games this weekend.
          The Punt: Thursday 1 September        
Dave Kelner, Derek McGovern and Thom Kirwin get together to preview the World Cup Qualifiers involving the Home Nations and the Republic Of Ireland. The chaps go through numerous betting markets and Thom and Derek also give you a bet to get involved with in the other Internationals. #betting #ThePunt #football #Eng #WCQ2018
          Euros Punt Podcast: 26th June        
Sunday's games see France take on the Republic of Ireland before Germany v Slovakia and Hungary v Belgium. On this edition we hear from Dereck McGovern, Chris Mayer & Stefan Bienkowski on the respective matches. Enjoy. http://serve.williamhill.com/promoRedirect?member=audiobooUK&campaign=DEFAULT&channel=will_football&zone=1478396557&lp=1478422550
          The Punt: Euros Podcast 18th June        
Jack Critchley is joined by Chris Mayer to preview Belgium v Republic of Ireland and Tom Kundert to look ahead to Portugal v Austria. There's also a preview of Iceland v Hungary.
          The Punt: Euros Podcast 17th June        
On this edition of the Euros Punt Podcast, Michael Wood spins through the betting for Friday's action. He looks at Italy against Sweden and Croatia against the Czech Republic. Football experts Karl Matchett and Emre Sarigul also give their thoughts on Spain against Turkey. Listen now for information on all six nations playing on day eight. #ThePunt #betting #football #Euro2016
          The Euros - Group E Preview        
Group E involves Belgium, Italy, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland. Nick Walsh, Simon Barlow and Al Ross are the men providing the insight on this group. Enjoy.
          The Euros - Group D Preview        
Reigning champions Spain have been drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, Czech Republic and Turkey. Dave Kelner and Pete O'Rourke preview this group and bring you their best bets here. Enjoy.
          Daniel Boone        

Daniel Boone

BOONE, Daniel, pioneer, born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, 22 October, 1734 (For more on Daniel Boone's birthplace please visit his Homestead); died in Missouri, 26 Sept., 1820. Among the immigrants that landed, 10 Oct., 1717, at Philadelphia was George Boone, of Exeter, England, who came with his wife and eleven children, bought land near Bristol, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and joined the society of Friends. His son, Squire Boone, married Sarah Morgan, and Daniel was their son. Squire Boone, who was a farmer, moved, about 1748, to Holman's Ford, on the Yadkin, in North Carolina.

Daniel's education was very limited; he could read and write, but beyond that all he knew related to the fields, the woods, the net, the rifle, and hunting. He was a hunter born, and loved the solitude of the forest. Strong, brave, lithe, inured to hardship and privation, he traced his steps through the pathless forest, sought out the hiding places of panther, bear, and wolf, and was the match of any Indian in the sagacity with which he detected the footsteps of the red man. About 1755 he married Rebecca Bryan and set up his own log cabin, but, displeased with the encroachments of civilization on his solitude, and incited by the glowing accounts brought by John Finley, who had penetrated into the unknown regions of Kentucky, formed a company of six kindred spirits, and, bidding adieu to his family and the comforts of home, on 1 May, 1769, set out on his perilous journey of exploration.

America's Four Republics: The More or Less United States
By: Stanley Yavneh Klos
Edited: Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D.

  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 8th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.

After numerous adventures with the Indians, having become intimately acquainted with the character of the country, established an enviable reputation for sagacity and integrity on important frontier service assigned to him by Lord Dunmore in the campaign against the Indians, usually called "Lord Dunmore's War," and constructed a strong fort on the left bank of Kentucky river, which he named "Boonesborough," he determined to bring his wife and family to the new home. Some of his neighbors joined him, and he conducted the party, numbering upward of thirty, safely to "Boonesborough" without having encountered any other difficulties than such as are common to this passage. 



 Daniel Boone founded Boonesborough while he worked for Richard Henderson of the Transylvania Company.


On one occasion Boone, with an armed party of thirty men, had gone for a supply of salt to a place called "Salt Licks," nearly 100 miles north of Boonesborough, and was captured, with twenty-seven of his men, by a band of more than 100 Indian warriors led by two Frenchmen. 



They carried them first to Old Chillicothe, on the Miami, and then to Detroit, where they surrendered for a ransom all their prisoners except Boone; him they took back to Old Chillicothe, where the great Blackfish, a renowned Shawanese chief, adopted him into his family under an imposing but painful ceremonial; all his hair, except a tuft three or four inches in diameter on the crown of the head, was plucked out; that tuft was allowed to grow to the length of the "warlock," dressed with feathers and ribbons; an ablution in the river was supposed to cleanse him from the taint of white blood; a coat of paint on his face, and a solemn charge from Blackfish, completed the rite. 

After a prolonged and anxious residence among them, during which he was kindly treated, he discovered their intention of marching upon Boonesborough, and resolved, at the peril of certain death in the event of recapture, to attempt his escape and save his family and friends. Chased by 450 Indians, he performed that daring feat in the forty-third year of his age, and thus simply records it: "On the 16th [of June], before sunrise, I departed in the most secret manner, and arrived at Boonesborough on the 20th, after a journey of 160 miles, during which I had but one meal." 




At the fort he learned that his wife and children, despairing of ever seeing him again, had returned, and safely reached her father's home in North Carolina. The Indians assailed the fort, but were repelled with loss, and retreated. Boone then, in the autumn of 1778, rejoined his family on the Yadkin, and returned with them to Kentucky in 1780. 

The country, though well settled, was still unsafe, and, soon after his return, Boone and his brother, Squire, were surprised by Indians; Squire was killed and scalped, and Daniel had a narrow escape. A sanguinary engagement, called the "Battle of the Blue Licks," took place in 1782, in which Boone's two sons fought at his side. One of them was killed, and the other severely wounded. Boone was full of expedients, and on one occasion extricated himself from four armed Indians by blinding them with tobacco dust. Kentucky was admitted into the union, 4 Feb., 1791, and in the survey of the state the title to Boone's land was disputed. The case was decided against him, and, stung to the quick by the wrong, he had again to seek a new home, which he established at Point Pleasant, between the Ohio and the Great Kanawha; but in 1795 he removed to Missouri, then a Spanish possession, and received not only the appointment of commandant of the Femme Osage district, but a grant of 8,000 acres. The Spanish possessions passed into the hands of Napoleon, who sold them to the United States, and, in the survey that followed, the Spanish grant of Boone's lands was pronounced invalid. An appeal to the legislature of Kentucky, and another to congress, resulted in a grant by the latter of 850 acres. Boone was then seventy-five years of age, hale and strong. The charm of the hunter's life clung to him to the last, and in his eighty-second year he went on a hunting excursion to the mouth of Kansas river. He had made his own coffin and kept it under his bed, and after his death they laid him in it to rest by the side of his wife, who had passed away seven years before. 

On 13 Sept., 1845, their remains were removed to the cemetery near Frankfort, Kentucky, a few miles from the fort of Boonesborough, by the concurrent action of the citizens of Frankfort and the legislature of Kentucky. 


Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky where Daniel and Rebecca Bryan Boone were re-interred


His son, Enoch, born in Boonesborough, Kentucky, in 1777 ; d. 8 March, 1862, was the first white male child born in Kentucky. Daniel Boone's wife, with her daughters, went to live with her husband in his palisaded fort in June, 1776, and while there gave birth to this son; but after Boone's capture, on 7 Feb., 1778, his family returned to North Carolina. -- Edited Appleton's American Biography Copyright© 2001 by Stan Klos TM




An American biographical and historical dictionary Containing an account of the lives, characters, and writings of the most eminent persons in North America from its first settlement, and a summary of the history of the several colonies and of the United States. By: W. Hyde, 1832.


BOONE, Daniel, colonel, one of the first settlers of Kentucky, was born about 1730. While he was young, his parents, who came from Bridgeworth,England removed from Pennsylvania or Virginia to the Yadkin river in North Carolina. 






He was early addicted to hunting in the woods; in the militia he attained to the rank of colonel. In 1769, in consequence of the representation of John Finley, who had penetrated into the wilderness of Kentucky, he was induced to accompany him in a journey to that country. He had four other companions, John Stuart, Joseph Holden, James Money, and William Cool, with whom he set out May 1. On the 7th of June they arrived at the Red river, a branch of the Kentucky; and here from the top of a hill they had a view of the fertile plain's, of which they were in pursuit. They encamped and remained in this place till Dec. 22, when Boone and Stuart were captured by the Indians near Kentucky river. In about a week they made their escape; but on returning to their camp, they found it plundered and deserted by their companions, who had gone back to Carolina.




Stuart was soon killed by the Indians; but Boone being joined by his brother, they remained and prosecuted the business of hunting during the winter, without further molestation. His brother going home for supplies in May 1770, he remained alone in the deep solitude of the western wilderness until his return with ammunition & horses July 27th. During this period this wild man of the woods, though greeted every night with the howlings of wolves, was delighted in his excursions with the survey of the beauties of the country and found greater pleasure in the solitude of wild nature, than he could have found amid the hum of the most elegant city. With his brother he traversed the country to Cumberland river. It was not until March 1771, that he returned to his family, resolved to conduct them to the paradise, which he had explored.


Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200. - Click Here for more information



Having sold his farm, he set out with his own and 5 other families, Sept. 25,1773, and was joined in Powell's valley by 40 men. After passing over two mountains, called Powell's and Walden's, through which, as they ranged from the north east to the south west, passes were found, and approaching the Cumberland, the rear of the company was attacked by the Indians on the 10th of October, when six men were killed, among whom was the eldest son of colonel Boone. One man was also wounded, and the cattle were scattered. This disaster induced them to retreat about 40 miles to the settlement on Clinch River, where he remained with his family, until June 6,1774, when, at the request of gov. Dunmore, he conducted a number of surveyors to the falls of Ohio. On this tour of 800 miles he was absent two months. After this he was entrusted by the governor, during the campaign against the Shawanese, with the command of three forts. 



Early in 1775, at the request of a company in North Carolina, he attended a treaty with the Cherokee Indians at Wataga in order to make of them the purchase of lands on the south side of the Tennessee river. After performing this service, he was employed to mark out a road from the settlements on the Holston to the Kentucky river. While thus employed, at the distance of about 15 miles from what is now Boonesborough, the party was attacked March 20, and 23, 1775 by the Indians, who killed four and wounded five. Another man was killed in April. On the first day of this month at a salt lick, on the southern bank of the Kentucky,in what is now Boonesborough a few miles from Lexington, he began to erect a fort, consisting of a block house & several cabins, enclosed with palisades. On the 14th of June he returned to his family in order to remove them to the tort.. His wife and daughters were the first white women, who stood on the banks of the Kentucky river. Dec. 24th one man was killed and another wounded. July 14, 1776, when all the settlements were attacked, two of Colonel Calway's daughters and one of his own were taken prisoners; Boone pursued with 18 men and in two days overtook the Indians, killed two of them, and recovered the captives.






The Indians made repeated attacks upon Boonesborough; Nov. 15,1777 with 100 men, and July 4 with 200 men. On both sides several were killed and wounded; but the enemy were repulsed; as they were also July 19 from Logan's fort of 15 men, which was besieged by 200. The arrival of 25 men from Carolina and in August of 100 from Virginia gave a new aspect to affairs, and taught the savages the superiority of "the long knives," as they called the Virginians. Jan. 1, 1778 he went with 30 men to the blue licks on the Licking river to make salt for the garrison. Feb. 7, being alone, he was captured by a party of 102 Indians and 2 Frenchmen; he capitulated for his men, and they were all carried to Chillicothe on the Little Miami, whence he and 10 men were conducted to Detroit, where he arrived March 30. The governor, Hamilton, treated him with much humanity, and offered 1001, for his redemption. But the savages refused the offer from affection to their captive. Being carried back to Chillicothe in April, he was adopted as a son in an Indian family. He assumed the appearance of cheerfulness ; but his thoughts were on his wife and children. Aware of the envy of the Indians, he was careful not to exhibit his skill in shooting. In June he went to the salt springs on the Sciota. On his return to Chillicothe he ascertained, that 450 warriors were preparing to proceed against Boonesborough. He escaped June 16, and arrived at the fort June 20th, having travelled 160 miles in 4 days, with but one meal. His wife had returned to her father's. Great efforts were made to repair the fort in order to meet the expected attack. On August 1st, he went out with 19 men to surprise Point Creek town on the Sciota; meeting 30 Indians, he put them to flight and captured their baggage. At last, Aug. 8, the Indian army of 444 men, led by captain Dugnesne and 11 other Frenchmen, and their own chiefs, with British colors flying, summoned the fort to surrender. 



The next day Boone, having a garrison of only 50 men, announced his resolution to defend the fort, while a man was alive. They then proposed that 9 men should be sent out 60 yards from the fort to enter into a treaty; and when the articles were agreed upon and signed, they said it was customary on such occasions, as a token of sincere friendship, for two Indians to shake every white man by the hand. Accordingly two Indians approached each of the nine white men, and grappled with the intent of making him a prisoner; but the object being perceived, the men broke away and re-entered the fort.



An attempt was now made to undermine it; but a counter trench defeated that purpose. Atlast on the 20th the enemy raised the siege, having lost 37 men. Of Boone's men two were killed and four wounded. "We picked, up," said he, "125 pounds of bullets, besides what stuck in the logs of our fort, which certainly is a great proof of their industry." In 1779, when Boone was absent, revisiting his family in Carolina, Colonel Bowman with 160 men fought the Shawanese Indians at old Chillicothe. 



In his retreat the Indians pursued him for 30 miles, when in another engagement col. Harrod suggested the successful project of mounting a number of horses and breaking the Indian line. Of the Kentuckians 9 were killed. June 22nd,1780, about 600 Indians and Canadians under col. Bird attacked Riddle's and Martin's stations and the forks of Licking river with 6 pieces of artillery, and carried away all as captives. Gen. Clarke, commanding at the falls of Ohio, marched with his regiment and troops against Reccaway, the principal Shawanese town on a branch of the Miami, and burned the town, with the loss of 17 on each side. 


About this time Boone returned to Kentucky with his family. In Oct. 1780, soon after he was settled again at Boonesborough, he went with his brother to the Blue Licks, and as they were returning the latter was slain by a party of Indians, and he was pursued by them by the aid of a dog. By shooting him Boone escaped. The severity of the ensuing winter was attended with great distress, the enemy having destroyed most of the corn. The people subsisted chiefly on buffalo's flesh. In May 1732 the Indians having killed a man at Ashton's station, captain A. pursued with 25 men, but in an attack upon' the enemy he was killed with 12 of his men. Aug. 10 two boys were carried off from major Hay's station. Capt. Holden pursued with 17 men; but he also was defeated, with the loss of four men. In a field near Lexington an Indian shot a man and running to scalp him, was him- self shot from the fort and fell dead upon his victim. On the 15th Aug. 500 Indians attacked Briant's station, five miles from Lexington,and destroyed all the cattle; but they were repulsed on the third day, having about 30 killed, while of the garrison 4 were killed and 3 wounded. Boone, with cols. Todd and Trigg and major Harland, collected 176 men and pursued on the 18th.



They overtook the enemy the next day a mile beyond the Blue Licks, about 40 miles from Lexington, at a remarkable bend of a branch of Licking river. A battle ensued, the enemy having a line formed across from one bend to the other, but the Kentuckians were defeated with the great loss of 60 killed, among whom were cols. Todd and Trigg, and Major Harland, and Boone's second son. Many were the widows made in Lexington on that fatal day. The Indians having 4 more killed, 4 of the prisoners were given up to the young warriors to be put to death in the most barbarous manner. 

General Clarke, accompanied by Boone, immediately marched into the Indian country and desolated it, burning old Chillicothe, Peccaway, New Chillicothe, Willis town, and Chillicothe. With the loss of four men he took seven prisoners and five scalps, or killed five Indians. In October the Indians attacked Crab orchard. One of the Indians having entered a house, in which were a woman and a negro, and being thrown to the ground by the negro, the woman cut off his head. From this period to the peace with Great Britain the Indians did no harm. "Two darling sons and a brother," said Boone, "have I lost by savage hands, which have also taken from me 40 valuable horses and abundance of cattle. Many dark and sleepless nights have I spent, separated from the cheerful society of men, scorched by the summer's sun and pinched by the winter's cold, an instrument ordained to settle the wilderness."

From this period he resided in Kentucky and Virginia till 1798, when in consequence of an imperfect legal title to the lands, which he had settled, he found himself dispossessed of his property. In his indignation he fled from the delightful region, which he had explored, when a wilderness, and which now had a population of half a million. With his rifle he crossed the Ohio and plunged into the immense country of the Missouri In 1799 he settled on the Femme Osage river with numerous followers. In 1800 he discovered the Boone's Lick country, now a fine settlement: in the same year he visited the head waters of the Grand Osage river and spent the winter upon the head waters of the Arkansas. At the age of 80, in company with a white man and a black man, laid under strict injunctions to carry him back to his family, dead or alive, he made a hunting trip to the head waters of the Great Osage, and was successful in trapping beaver and other game.




In January 1812 he addressed a memorial to the legislature of Ky. stating that he owned not an acre of land in the region, which he first settled; that in 1794 he passed over into the Spanish province of Louisiana, under an assurance from the governor, who resided at St. Louis, that land should be given him; that accordingly 10 thousand acres were given him on the Missouri and he became Syndic or chief of the district of St. Charles; but that on the acquisition of Louisiana by the United States his claims were rejected by the commissioners of land, because he did not actually reside; and that thus at the age of 80 he was a wanderer, having no spot of his own, whereon to lay his bones.

The legislature instructed their delegates to congress to solicit a confirmation of this grant. He retained, it is believed, 2,000 In his old age he pursued his active course of life, trapping bears and hunting with his rifle. Though a magistrate and sometimes a member of the legislature of Virginia, and much engaged in agriculture; yet he preferred the solitude of the wilderness to the honors of civil office and the society of men.


He died at the house of his son, Major A. Boone, at Charette, Montgomery Company, September 26th, 1820, aged nearly 90 years. His wife died in the same place. He left sons and daughters in Missouri. In consequence of his death the legislature of Missouri voted to wear a badge of mourning for 20 days. A brother died in Mississippi Oct. 1808, aged 81. 

Col. Boone was of common stature, of amiable disposition, and honorable integrity. In his last years he might have been seen by the traveler at the door of his house, with his rifle on his knee and his faithful dog at his side, lamenting the departed vigor of his limbs, and meditating on the scenes of his past life.

Whether he also meditated on the approaching scenes of eternity and his dim eyes ever kindled up with the glorious hopes of the christian is not mentioned in the accounts of him, which have been examined. But of all objects an irreligious old man, dead as to worldly joy and dead as to celestial hope, is the most pitiable. An account of his adventures, drawn up by himself, was published in Filson's supplement to Imlay's Description of the Western Territory, 1793.— Niles Register, March 13, 1813.

Capitals of the United States and Colonies of America

Philadelphia
Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
Philadelphia
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Baltimore
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
Philadelphia
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
Lancaster
September 27, 1777
York
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
Philadelphia
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
Princeton
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Annapolis
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Trenton
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
Nov. 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790


NEW BOOK:

The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors
By WAYNE MADSEN
ISBN: 978-1-365-11196-9


Cool Justice Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from author Madsen's introduction and the body of the work. Additional suggested reading: News story about Madsen's book via the Washington, D.C. based Justice Integrity Project [link at the bottom of this post].

EXCERPTS:

From the Introduction


One of the most pervasive uses of companies as intelligence partners was under the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD. During the Cold War, the CIA, often with the approval of corporate executives, infiltrated their agents to work as journalists in newspapers, radio and television networks, wire services, and magazines. The following pages in this book are rife with examples of this penetration of the Fourth Estate – all too many in the opinion of this journalist. The CIA admitted to at least 400 journalists on the agency’s payroll at the height of MOCKINGBIRD. The CIA traditionally understates its capabilities, especially when its covert activities become publicly known. Moreover, the end of the Cold War did not stop the practice of the CIA in infiltrating the media and slant news reports to its wishes.

*

An insightful look behind the veils of secrecy into the CIA’s use of fronts, proprietaries, and partners calls into question the purpose of the CIA. Created by President Harry S Truman to serve as a central collector and repository of intelligence, the CIA became much more than that. A few weeks after the United States witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy in the middle of downtown Dallas, Truman penned an op-ed piece that appeared in several newspapers around the country. In it, Truman shared his regret for having created the CIA in 1947:

“I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA . . . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

"I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”

*

The 21st century’s CIA’s partners are more likely to be found among high-tech companies marketing the latest and greatest mobile applications and data mining programs than among banks, law offices, and advertising agencies. However, in the post-World War II era, the CIA’s top and middle echelons were normally found operating through cover as typewriter-pecking journalists, traveling Madison Avenue admen, corporate lawyers, and chain-smoking oilmen. In the 1970s and 80s, CIA contractors and partners began showing up in the high-tech field, with database, local area networking, and on-line information retrieval systems attracting the most interest by Langley.

*

As this book went to press, the smart phone game application Pokémon Go fad was sweeping the planet. Unbeknownst to many of the on-line game’s avid fan’s was the connection of the game’s developers to the CIA’s venture capital firm IN-Q-TEL. All users saw their geo-location and other smart phone data being swept up by a CIA partner firm.

SELECTED ENTRIES

Amazon, Inc. [CIA contractor]. Company provides cloud computing services for the CIA. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

American Historical Society. [CIA partner]. Many society officials were OSS/CIA officers.

American Press Institute. [CIA front]. Operating out of Columbia University, the institute’s director in the 1950s was a CIA officer.

AmeriCares. [CIA partner]. A non-profit organization that is often the “first in” at refugee situations. Founded by tycoon J. Peter Grace, a board chairman of the CIA front, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and a trustee of another CIA front, the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, AmeriCares was involved in funding the Nicaraguan contras. The group has also provided the CIA with recruiting opportunities at mass refugee sites, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

Bechtel Corporation. [CIA contractor]. Bechtel is a large construction company that has included former CIA director Richard Helms, CIA pseudonym “Fletcher M. Knight,” among its executive ranks. Bechtel was active in providing corporate cover for the OSS in the Middle East during World War II. Bechtel has been a consummate service company for various CIA operations, including support for the CIA-inspired coup against the Syrian government in 1949, the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq in 1953, and President Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Bechtel provided cover for CIA agents in Libya under both the regime of King Idris and his successor, Muammar Qaddafi. Sometimes called a “secret arm” of the CIA, Bechtel’s executives included those who would join President Reagan’s Cabinet, including Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

Before World War II, Steve Bechtel formed a military-industrial complex partnership with John McCone. McCone later became the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and later, director of the CIA. The CIA has used Bechtel to provide cover for non-official cover CIA operatives abroad.

Blackstone Investment Group. [CIA front]. With offices in Washington, DC and Moscow, arranged for the purchase of KGB documents following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among the documents sought by the front company were any related to illegal CIA activities during the Cold War, including the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant. [CIA front]. Opened in 1967 in King’s Cross in Sydney, Australia. Served as a rendezvous point for CIA, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), and organized crime figures. Its proprietor was Bernie Houghton, a CIA operative with links to Nugan Hand Bank, CIA weapons smuggler Edwin Wilson, and CIA clandestine services officers Theodore Shackley, Rafael Quintero, and Thomas Clines.

Center for Democracy. [CIA front]. Administered under the aegis of Boston University, the center maintained offices in Boston, Washington, DC, Guatemala City, and Strasbourg, France. Involved in CIA operations in eastern Europe, Central America, and Africa.

Colt Patent Firearms Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

Daddario & Burns. [CIA partner]. Headed by former OSS officer Emilio Daddario, a Democratic Representative from Connecticut, the Hartford-based law firm provided services to the CIA.

DC Comics. [CIA partner]. Worked with the International Military Information Group (IMIG), a joint CIA/Pentagon unit at the State Department, to disseminate propaganda comic books, featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian, to youth in the Balkans during the military conflicts in that region.

Disney Corporation. [CIA partner]. CIA agents who were adept at creating front companies and shell corporations in Florida, worked closely with Disney in preparation for the construction of Disney World near Orlando, Florida. OSS veteran “Wild Bill” Donovan and CIA shell company expert Paul Helliwell helped create two fake Florida cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, as well as a number of shell corporations, to keep secret the plans for Disney World. This kept land prices low because real estate speculators were unaware of the prospective value of the land in a desolate area of central Florida.

Emory School of Medicine. [CIA partner]. Located in Atlanta, Georgia. Involved in the CIA’s MK-ULTRA behavioral modification project.

Enron Corporation [CIA partner]. Houston-based firm that was used by the CIA to provide commercial cover for its agents around the world. There were at least 20 CIA employees on Enron’s payroll. Andre Le Gallo, a former official of the CIA’s Operations Directorate, went to work as a corporate intelligence officer for Enron.

Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). [CIA front]. Officially established by American Trotskyists, the group was penetrated by CIA operatives. The FPCC New Orleans office was a CIA front that provided cover for the anti-Fidel Castro activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie, among others. The New Orleans FPCC office was located at 544 Camp Street and shared the same building entrance with Guy Banister Associates, Inc., a private detective agency, the address for which was 531 Lafayette Street and around the corner from 544 Camp Street.

In December 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the FPCC ceased all U.S. operations.

General Electric Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

General Foods Corporation. [CIA partner]. Advertising account at CIA’s Robert Mullen Company handled by an active CIA employee.

Google, Inc. [CIA partner]. Developed as a result of a research grant by the CIA and Pentagon to Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science. The CIA referred to the research as the “google project.”

Greenberg Traurig. [CIA partner]. Washington, DC “connected” law firm.

Guy Banister Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New Orleans private detective agency headed by former FBI agent Guy Banister. The detective agency coordinated the activities of various anti-Castro Cuban groups in New Orleans, including Banister’s own Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, as well as the Cuban Revolutionary Council, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Friends of Democratic Cuba, and the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee.

Banister and Associates shared office space with the CIA’s New Orleans front, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, headed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Hale and Dorr. [CIA partner]. Boston-based law firm that provided cover for CIA’s Independence and Brown Foundations.

Halliburton. [CIA contractor]. Based in Houston, it is the world’s largest oil service company. Recipient of a number of CIA sole-source contracts for services worldwide.

Harper and Row, Inc. [CIA partner]. Manuscripts submitted to the New York publisher that dealt with intelligence matters, particularly CIA operations, were turned over to the CIA for censoring edits before publication.

Hewlett Packard Corporation. [CIA partner]. Sold computers to Iraq for Saddam Hussein’s missile program with the knowledge and approval of the CIA.

Hill & Knowlton. [CIA partner]. Public relations firm that teamed with the CIA on a number of operations. Hill & Knowlton’s numerous offices abroad provided cover for CIA agents. One known Hill & Knowlton office that was a CIA front operation was in Kuala Lumpur.

Kerr-McGee. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating overseas.

Kissinger Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New York-based international consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft is a co-owner. The firm provided support to the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation and the Bilderberg Group. Much of the 1982 seed money for Kissinger Associates was provided by Goldman Sachs.

Knight Foundation. [CIA partner]. Also known as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Based in Miami, the foundation provides funding for various CIA-connected media operations in the United States and around the world.

Kroll Inc. [CIA partner]. Founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, who had links to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. Based in Manhattan. French domestic law enforcement believed Kroll’s Paris office was a CIA front. Kroll handled the security for the World Trade Center after the 1993 terrorist bombing and continued to be responsible for security up to, during, and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Kroll employed former FBI assistant director for counter-terrorism John O’Neill, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Lincoln Savings and Loan. [CIA partner]. Based in Irvine, California and headed by notorious swindler Charles Keating, Jr., involved in laundering funds for the Iran-contra scandal.

Lone Star Cement Corporation. [CIA partner]. Based in Stamford, Connecticut and linked to the Bush family, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad. Involved in the Iran-contra scandal.

Mary Carter Paint Company. [CIA front]. A money-laundering operation for the CIA. Involved in casinos in the Bahamas.

Monsanto. [CIA partner]. The firm contracted with former CIA official Cofer Black’s Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a subsidiary of the CIA-connected Blackwater USA, later Xe Services, to monitor animal rights groups, anti-genetically modified (GM) food activists, and other groups opposed to Monsanto’s agri-business operations worldwide.

National Enquirer. [CIA partner]. The tabloid’s founder, Generoso (Gene) Pope, Jr., worked for the CIA’s psychological warfare unit and the agency’s Italy branch in 1950. In 1952, Pope acquired The New York Enquirer broadsheet and transformed it into a tabloid, renaming it The National Enquirer. This transformation bore the imprimatur of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program.

Newsweek. [CIA partner]. Magazine reporters and stringers fed information to the CIA. Newsweek’s stringers in southeastern Europe and the Far East were CIA agents. When Newsweek was bought by The Washington Post Company in 1961, cooperation between the magazine and the CIA increased. It was a participant in the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program. Much of the staff of Newsweek was absorbed into a new online publication, The Daily Beast, which continues to disseminate CIA-influenced articles. See Washington Post.

Nieman Foundation. [CIA partner]. Located at Harvard University, the foundation awarded Nieman Fellowships, some on behalf of the CIA, for foreign journalists to study at Harvard. The journalists were subjected to CIA recruitment efforts prior to their returning to their home countries.

Pamela Martin & Associates. [CIA partner], Escort firm run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “DC Madam.” During her 2008 trial for mail fraud, Palfrey attempted to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act in order to discuss her relationship with the CIA. The U.S. Court refused Palfrey’s request and she was convicted and later said to have committed suicide before her sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. One of her clients was Randall Tobias, the head of the CIA-connected USAID. Another was Louisiana Republican senator David Vitter.

Paris Review. [CIA front]. Literary magazine edited by George Plimpton. Published works by Jack Kerouac and Samuel Beckett. The magazine’s co-founder, Peter Matthiessen, relied on his affiliation with the magazine as his CIA cover.

Quaker Oats Company. [CIA partner]. Worked with the CIA and Atomic Energy Commission to place trace amounts of radiation in breakfast cereal served to boys at the Fernald School for the mentally retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Radio Corporation of America. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Iran, Philippines, Japan, and West Germany. Provided technical assistance to CIA-financed clandestine and propaganda radio stations worldwide, including Radio Free Europe. RCA founder David Sarnoff was a major supporter of CIA operations, including propaganda dissemination around the world. RCA chairman and chief executive officer Thornton F. Bradshaw was active in the operations of the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation.

Reily Coffee Company. [CIA partner]. Also known as William B. Reily Coffee Company and based in New Orleans, this company employed Lee Harvey Oswald and a number of other U.S. government employees, many of whom were suspected CIA officers.

Robert M. Mullen Company. [CIA proprietary]. A Washington, DC public relations firm, it was used as a front for CIA activities. E. Howard Hunt, the CIA agent, worked for Robert Mullen when he was arrested in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in 1972. The Senate Watergate Committee reported that “the Mullen and Company has maintained a relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency since its incorporation in 1959. It provided covers for agents in Europe (Stockholm), Latin America (Mexico City), and the Far East (Singapore) at the time of the Watergate break-in.”

Rockefeller Foundation. [CIA partner]. Used by the CIA to direct scholarships and grants to the Third World and Eastern Europe. Rockefeller Foundation money was funneled to the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), created in 1948. The chairman of ACUE was OSS chief William J. Donovan and the vice chairman was Allen Dulles. One of ACUE’s board members was Walter Bedell Smith, the first CIA director.

Summa Corporation. [CIA partner]. Owned by Howard Hughes, Summa is believed to have skimmed gambling profits from the Sands, Desert Inn, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Castaways, and Landmark casinos in Las Vegas and Harold’s Club in Reno for the CIA and the Mafia. Provided financial cover for the CIA’s Glomar Explorer project.

Teneo Intelligence. [CIA partner]. Branch of Teneo Holdings, which is headquartered in New York. Teneo Holdings’s intelligence branch includes former CIA officials. Teneo is closely linked to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Teneo Intelligence has offices in New York, London, Rome, Brussels, Dubai, Bogota, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

Texas Commerce Bank (TCB). [CIA partner]. Houston-based bank founded by the family of James Baker III. Texas Commerce Bank was used to provide commercial cover for CIA agents. After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Jeb Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was Robert Gambino, the CIA deputy director of security who gave Bush his orientation brief at Langley in 1977.

Kenneth Lay, the chairman of Enron, which had its own links to the CIA, served on the board of Texas Commerce Bank. Texas Commerce Bank was acquired by Chemical Bank in 1987.

The bank provided major loans to Howard Hughes’s Summa Corporation. See Summa Corporation.

United Fruit Company [CIA partner]. Involved in 1954 CIA overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala. Published the Latin America Report, a publication that was a CIA front used for clandestine activities. The CIA transferred weapons to United Fruit employees in Guatemala who were involved in undermining the Arbenz government. The joint CIA-United Fruit plan was code named OPERATION FORTUNE. Company provided an airfield in Guatemala for the CIA’s training of Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

U.S. Rubber Company. [CIA partner]. Headquartered in Naugatuck, Connecticut and later called Uniroyal, provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad. Included those operating under the cover of the Dominion Rubber Company of Canada, a subsidiary of U.S. Rubber Company.

U.S. Youth Council (USYC). [CIA front]. Founded in 1945 and based in New York. Some 90 percent of its funds came from the CIA. USYC received funding from the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs (FYSA), a CIA front. The USYC was composed of American Youth Hostels, Camp Fire Girls, 4-H, American Unitarian Youth, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Students Assembly, YMCA and YWCA.

Wackenhut. [CIA contractor]. Wackenhut, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based security firm, stood accused of providing the CIA with specialized services around the world, including Chile, Greece, and El Salvador. Its Venezuelan branch, Wackenhut Venezolana, C.A., was accused in 2002 of involvement in the CIA’s coup against President Hugo Chavez. William Casey served as Wackenhut’s outside counsel before becoming CIA director in 1981.

Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

Washington Post. [CIA partner]. The Washington Post was part of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD, the agency’s media influence project. Post publisher Phil Graham was a close friend and associate of MOCKINGBIRD chief Frank Wisner, Sr. and CIA director Allen Dulles. Wisner assisted Graham in acquiring The Washington Times-Herald and WTOP radio, creating a sizable CIA-influenced media operation in the nation’s capital.

W. R. Grace. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Latin America. Provided donations to CIA front foundations.

  • News story about Madsen's book via The Justice Integrity Project



  •           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 presents article "Genius" to accompany is new cable series         

    The National Geographic issue for May 2007 has a feature cover story on p. 30, “Genius: Why some people are so much smarter than the rest of us.”, link (paywall) here .
     â€˜
    An important measure of genius is whether the person’s output lives throughout the ages.  Beehoven’s output takes on a life of its own. 

    The article gives some attention to the life story of Leonardo DaVinci.

    The years of highest probability of major output are the late twenties into the mid thirties.

    An important and controversial variable would be how versatile the person is with "real life" skills.  The best of today's young adults simply are or were much more mature than I was at ages like, say 16-21. But it helps to be born later. 


    However, there are real prodigies, in coding (Mark Zuckerberg) and in music.  In music, prodigy becomes harder to show after Mozart.  But Eugen d’Albert’s gigantic first piano concerto (as published, in B Minor) was composed before age 20 and shows real intellectual brilliance as to harmony, counterpoint, and form. Brahms, on the other hand, waited until his forties to compose symphonies.  Genius enters new territory in the latest years, as we know from the last nearly-complete symphony of Bruckner.

    There is a new series on National Geographic Channel which I have not seen yet.
      

    The issue also has an article on the Central African Republic, the Burning Heart of Africa, and “United in Protest” against the North Dakota oil pipeline. 

              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 »

              On The Political Front For Jan. 27        
    On the Political Front this morning, NHPR's Josh Rogers discusses the results of last week's Republican primary to fill Ray Burton's Executive Council...
              Trump to McConnell: 'Mitch, get back to work'        
    Trump slams Senate Republicans for failing to pass an Obamacare repeal plan.
              Westinghouse Recognizes Czech Moravian-Silesian Region Fundamental to Temelin AP1000® Reactor Success        

    Westinghouse recognizes Czech Moravian-Silesian region fundamental to Temelin AP1000® reactor success; identifies 28 local companies with the potential to supply the project, including companies within the Vítkovice Machinery Group; unveils successful fabrication of demonstration module section of AP1000 plant; warns further interruptions in the Temelín tender will undermine and postpone socio-economic benefits to region and the Czech Republic.

    (PRWeb March 26, 2014)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11705193.htm


              Families of jailed Turkish journalists shaken but determined        

    Istanbul: Their imprisonment has torn families apart while the newspaper they work for is left without some of its brightest stars.

    But the relatives and colleagues of jailed journalists from the Turkish opposition daily Cumhuriyet vow to continue to fight for their freedom and ideals.

    "For nine months we have been living a nightmare, to be honest," said Nazire Gursel, wife of veteran commentator Kadri Gursel who has been in jail since October.

    The hardest part, she said, was replying to questions from their 10-year-old son, Erdem.

    "People tell my child, `Your father is a hero, he has done a lot for Turkey`," Nazire Gursel recounted.

    "So, on the one hand he is proud, but on the other hand, he asks, `But why is my father in prison if he is a hero? Who is his enemy?`"

    Since Monday, 17 journalists, executives and other staff of Cumhuriyet, a daily fiercely critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have been on trial accused of supporting "terrorist" organisations.

    Secular Cumhuriyet ("Republic") daily, one of Turkey`s oldest newspapers, has built a strong reputation for publishing scoops embarrassing for those in power.

    The newspaper rejects the "absurd" accusations and claims the trial is aimed at damaging one of the country`s last independent media outlets.

    The experience has united journalists` relatives and their free colleagues who come to court together, and who sometimes go in groups to Silivri prison on the outskirts of Istanbul with a minibus chartered by the newspaper.

    Nazire Gursel goes to Silivri every Friday. "I had never been to Silivri before my husband`s incarceration. When I arrived there for the first time, I told myself `it looks like a Nazi camp`, she told AFP.

    "It is a really scary place."The trial gave family members the chance to see their loved ones outside of prison, where visits are confined to an hour and take place behind bulletproof glass.

    "We at least have the chance to see or hear them without a window between us, to hear their voice directly without using a telephone," said Yonca Sik, the wife of Ahmet Sik, one of Turkey`s most famous investigative journalists who is also jailed.

    According to her, conditions in prison have hardened since her husband`s last incarceration- in 2011, he was imprisoned after writing notably one of the few full-scale investigations into the group of Fethullah Gulen.

    Gulen is a US-based cleric who Ankara accuses of ordering last year`s failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    "They are in isolation, that is especially the hardest," she told AFP in front of the Istanbul courthouse where the staff is on trial. Among them, 11 are in pre-trial detention.

    "They take them away from the people they love, their work and it`s clearly an injustice, persecution," one of Cumhuriyet`s lawyers Efkan Bolac said.

    "It`s torture for the accused."Beyond the impact on families, the incarcerations have hurt Cumhuriyet: the paper`s chairman, Akin Atalay, and its editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu are currently in prison.

    "For nine months, Cumhuriyet has faced troubles. Nearly all of its senior executives have been imprisoned as well as many writers," the daily`s Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul said.

    Gul himself was sentenced last year for five years for "revealing state secrets" after a front page story claiming to show the government sending arms to rebels in Syria in May 2015. He is appealing the sentence.

    "We are paying a heavy price but we continue to publish the newspaper," Gul said, adding: "Cumhuriyet has not changed its editorial line."

    Nazire Gursel says she does not regret the work that her husband did which caused him to be behind bars. "I`m immensely proud of him."

    The judge is likely to decide on Friday whether or not to release the accused for the rest of the trial.

    "Turkey is no longer a state of law, but there are still people who are fighting for democracy, for justice," said Yonca Sik, pointing to the demonstrators gathered in front of the court. 

    "And that, of course, gives me hope."

    Section: 
    Yes
    News Source: 
    Facebook Instant Article: 
    No

              NIA case: Five years imprisonment for 13 on terror charge        

    Bengaluru: An NIA court here on Friday sentenced 13 members of Laskar-e-Toiba and Harkat-ul-Jihad-E-Islami to five years imprisonment for plotting to eliminate politicians, police officials and journalists in 2012.

    After the accused pleaded guilty, Special Judge for NIA cases C Muralidhar Pai pronounced the verdict and said since they had already spent three-and-a-half years in jail, they would have to serve the remaining one-and-half years term.

    He also directed them to pay a total of Rs 31,000 as fine.

    The Special National Investigation Agency Court had yesterday completed the final hearing.

    In a crackdown ahead of Republic Day in 2012, the 13 were arrested by NIA for allegedly plotting attacks in different parts of the country.

    The arrests followed simultaneous searches and raids at 12 locations in six cities - Bengaluru, Tumkur, Mangaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Lucknow, on January 22, with the support of local police.

    Circuits for detonating explosives were recovered during the searches.

    NIA had recovered alleged "incriminating' articles, including laptops, unaccounted cash, jihadi literature, videos and certain material for preparation of bombs from these places.

    The agency had in 2012 received information that certain individuals from various cities in the country were in the process of organising themselves to commit terrorist acts in? different parts of the country.

    Of the 13 convicts, four are from Karnataka.

    While Syed Mujahid is a resident of Tumkur, Asif Ali alias Arman Saani, Suhail Ahmed alias Sohail alias Hafes Saab and Muhammed Abdul Ahad alias Bade Amir alias Sulaiman are from Bengaluru.

    Others included 20-year-old Mohammad Aleem (from Lucknow), Mohammed Obedullah Khan alias Obaid alias Talha and Abu Anas, both from Hyderabad, and Mohammad Hussain Khan alias Jamil, resident of Mazgaon, Mumbai.

    NIA case: Five years imprisonment for 13 on terror charge
    Yes
    News Source: 
    Facebook Instant Article: 
    Yes

              Tea Party Pennsylvania Bill would give patients more privacy control over health care        
    The bill also seeks to protect the rights of patients to buy health insurance, or make any other arrangements to pay for their own health care.





    New federal legislation seeks to prevent government bureaucrats from interfering in private health care and guarantee patient rights to control health care decisions.





    Republican Congressman Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, R-15, and Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk are the cosponsors of the Medical Rights Act of 2009 bill, which was introduced Wednesday. The lawmakers co-chair the centrist GOP Tuesday Group.





    "As Congress begins to discuss how best to address America's health care challenges, we must protect the sacrosanct relationship between a patient and a doctor," Dent said. "One of the greatest strengths of our health care system is that Americans can rely on getting the care that they need when they need it."





    The bill prevents the government from rationing private health care and actions that interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, the congressman contends. It also would prevent the federal government from regulating the hiring practices of organizations that provide health care, such as hospitals and clinics.





    The bill protects the rights of patients to buy health insurance, or make any other arrangements to pay for their own health care. Several foreign countries and several current health care reform proposals substantially restrict this right, according to the bill.





    Additionally, the proposed bill would give Americans who get care under government health programs, such as Medicare, the ability to obtain health care outside the program.





    In the U.S., if a Medicare-participating doctor accepts payment for a service that would otherwise be covered under Medicare, the doctor is suspended from participating in the federal health program for the elderly for two years, according to the bill.





    "This substantially restricts the ability of Medicare patients to pay on their own if Medicare decides they are ineligible for a particular service normally covered by the program," according to the bill. "Not many doctors are willing to take that penalty, so this substantially (if indirectly) restricts the right of seniors and the disabled to access the health care of their choice."





    With Congress preparing to debate health care reform this summer, the men warned legislation allowing government involvement in health care decisions could have "dire consequences." They cite other public health programs in Canada and Britain as examples of how government involvement compromises quality.





    Long waits for care elsewhere





    In a news release, the men cited a 2008 Commonwealth Fund International survey that found most Canadians and British adults waited longer than four weeks to see a medical specialist compared with only 26 percent of Americans.





    They also cited long waits for care, based on a Heritage Foundation study that found 43 percent of Canadian patients and 15 percent of British patients received hip replacements within six months, compared with more than 90 percent of American senior citizens.





    About 30 percent of Canadians' health care is paid for through the private sector, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a group of 30 countries that meets regularly to discuss global issues and make economic and social policies.





    The private payments are mostly for services not covered or partially covered by Canada's health program, such as prescription drugs and dentistry, according to the OECD.





    About 65 percent of Canadians have some form of supplementary private health insurance and many receive it through their employers.





    Canada spends less of its gross domestic product on health care (10.4 percent, versus 16 percent in the U.S.) and performs better on two commonly cited health outcome measures - the infant mortality rate and life expectancy.





    A 2007 National Bureau of Economic Research report found the U.S. experienced a higher incidence of chronic health conditions than Canada, but Americans had somewhat better access to treatment for the conditions. Also, a significantly higher percentage of U.S. residents were screened for major forms of cancer.





    The need to ration health care resources in Canada is the reason most Canadians cited for unmet medical needs, where in the U.S., more than half of those surveyed cited health care costs as the reason for unmet needs, the agency found.


    Quoting and Saving on your health insurance has never been easier...EasyToInsureME

    Pennsylvania Health Insurance
    Ohio Health Insurance

    EasyToInsureME offers clients the easiest way to buy individual health insurance. Free services include instant online health insurance quotes, custom proposals for each client, free phone consultation, and 10-minute application by phone. Our services are free because we are paid by the health insurance company not by our clients.

    tea party: tea party protest


    tea party: 4th of july tea party


    Article Source: www.articlesnatch.com


              DE PAI PRA FILHO II        

    Feito histórico: o agora ex-jogador Rivaldo atuando ao lado de seu filho Rivaldo Júnior




    Mais um craque anunciou sua despedida dos gramados. Neste sábado o agora ex-meia Rivaldo anunciou sua aposentadoria aos 41 anos de idade e daqui por diante seguirá com sua carreira de cartola dirigindo o Mogi-Mirim, clube que o revelou para o Brasil e no qual também fez sua última partida.

    Rivaldo Vítor Borba Ferreira, nascido em Paulista/PE em 19 de abril de 1972 ganhou o mundo da bola nos anos 90 e começo dos 2000. Começou sua carreira no Santa Cruz de Pernambuco, mas seu nome veio aparecer de verdade no Mogi Mirim, time que ficou famoso como o "Carrossel Caipira" em 1992 juntamente com os meias Leto e Válber. 

    Passou com brilho por Corinthians, Palmeiras, Deportivo La Coruña, Barcelona e seleção brasileira. Neste período faturou uma Copa do Mundo e o título de melhor jogador do planeta em 1999. Outras passagens foram mais discretas como no Milan e no Olympiakos da Grécia, apesar de também ser ídolo por lá. Já o final de carreira foi um tanto melancólico com atuações por times obscuros ou de menor expressão (à exceção do São Paulo, obviamente) como Bunyodkor do Uzbequistão, Kabuscorp de Angola e São Caetano.

    Mas Rivaldo não colecionou apenas jogadas geniais, brilho, belos gols e troféus. Justamente em sua última partida conseguiu um feito histórico e que muitos atletas sonham com ele: o de atuar com seu filho em uma partida. Aconteceu justamente na última de sua carreira de 22 anos dentro dos gramados contra o São Bernardo pelo Campeonato Paulista deste ano em 18 de fevereiro no empate por 1 a 1. O pai chegou a dar um passe para o filho Rivaldo Júnior, atacante de 18 anos, mas que não resultou em nada.

    Confira abaixo o momento em que o fato histórico ocorreu.




    A SUMMER SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE TRUMP ERA

    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...
               POLITICAL JUJITSU: NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALLAs...        


    POLITICAL JUJITSU: NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALL

    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.


              NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALLAs Republicans in Congress...        


    NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALL

    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 Secret Republican Plan to Unravel Medicaid        
    Bad enough that the Republican Senate bill would repeal much of the Affordable Care Act. Even worse,...
              Syracuse GOP Mayoral Candidate Proposes Mayoral Control of City Schools        
    Syracuse’s Republican mayoral candidate says one of the keys to move the city out of poverty and lagging economic growth is through mayoral control of the school district. Former superintendent and educator Laura Lavine says she’s prepared lead the turnaround. She says the Syracuse City School District’s recent improvement to a 60 percent graduation rate is nothing to celebrate. The statewide average is 80 percent. She says children are not learning and graduating as they should, and teachers don’t feel safe… "This is a crisis. Having 40 percent either not graduate on time or at all is a disaster for our city. We can't go on like this. We need bold, bold action on this, and this is the way to go." Lavine just retired as superintendent of the Lafayette school district after a 40-year career in education. She says mayoral control would add transparency and accountability to a system that sees plenty of turnover among superintendents and education commissioners. " You might have three or
              DeFrancisco for Governor? The Veteran Senator is Exploring the Possibility        
    What are the prospects that Republican State Senator John DeFrancisco of Syracuse will challenge Governor Andrew Cuomo for Governor? DeFrancisco says he first wants to see if he can gain enough support from republican committee members and is traveling across the state to get the word out about his vision for the state. He feels that it’s a critical time for him to decide whether or not to run. " While population throughout the United States is growing, we had a net loss. That means are voting with their feet. They're expressing how they really feel by leaving the state. That confirms what I've heard from especially small business owners and people worried about their job, and seeing their kids not coming back to the state.” The Senator says that voters want to be confident about elected officials and thinks Cuomo has a credibility issue. " If you talk to most New Yorkers who have any involvement in politics, I would like to find out who, give me one person...have them call me, who
              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
              Q&A on GOP Health Care Bill        
    This week, Republicans in Congress will try to rally votes behind a bill that proposes major changes to the way Americans get health care and how much they pay. In Central New York, many thousands could be affected. Use this Q&A to explore how the bill would affect you. And stay tuned to WAER for continuing coverage of the GOP Health Care Bill from NPR. Loading...
              Onon County Gets Sales Tax OK, Other State Business Draws Protests in Special Session        
    The legislature finally ended its 2017 legislative session, after the Assembly voted overnight on a privately negotiated omnibus bill, and the Senate finally finished on Thursday afternoon. The messy process drew condemnation from both sides of the aisle. Both Democrats and Republicans condemned an end of session that included the governor calling an extraordinary session of the legislature to deal with expiring laws, private meetings between Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders, and rank and file lawmakers kept in the dark about the details. After two days with little or no information on an omnibus cleanup bill , the leader of the Senate Democrats, Andrea Stewart- Cousins, stood with her conference members, and said -enough. “Stop wasting time, stop wasting taxpayer dollars,” Stewart-Cousins said. “And do the things that people sent us here to do.” On the Senate floor, Deputy Senate Minority Leader Mike Gianaris, continued the criticism, saying the extraordinary session was called
              Mayoral Control, Reform, Uncertain as State Legislative Session Draws to a Close         
    The New York State legislative session is drawing to a close, and Democrats and Republicans are digging in on the remaining issues of 2017 including a measure to extend the New York City Mayor’s control of the public schools, which has now been linked to a number of diverse issues effecting people in the rest of the state. Games of chicken are common at the Capitol whenever a deadline like the budget or the end of session draws near. This time, it was the State Senate’s turn to go first. Republicans, who control the chamber, offered three bills extending New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control of the public schools, for one, two or five years. The measures are linked to passage of an education tax credit that would benefit charter schools. Charter schools have long been championed by Republicans but are viewed with suspicion by some Democrats. The three take it or leave it measures were angrily rejected by the Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who was asked about them by reporters.
              Gov. Cuomo Takes Active Role in Taking Back the House for Democrats        
    Governor Andrew Cuomo is getting involved in New York’s Congressional races. At a rally with House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, he vowed to help defeat the state’s republican members of the House of Representatives when they are up for election next year. House Democratic Leader Pelosi introduced Governor Cuomo at the rally of union workers at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. “We will remove you from office on November [7], 2018,” Cuomo shouted. “ And we are telling you those are not just words, you can bet your political life that New Yorkers will do just that!” While Cuomo says he’s working to defeat all of the state’s GOP congressional representatives, the governor directed his ire at Western New York Congressman Chris Collins and the Hudson Valley’s John Faso. The two angered Cuomo earlier this year when they successfully included in the House repeal of the Affordable Care Act a plan to force the state to take over billions of dollars in county Medicaid costs.
              A New Church Website Means I Have to Get Back to Blogging        
    You've heard it before. I'm going to start blogging again. Did you see the last time I posted? It was over a year ago! But, recent developments in the Southern Baptist Convention, controversies over theological positions that long ago should have been settled, and the fact that our Church is now fully exposed on the internet, have led me to want to come back to the keyboard and punch out some more of my thoughts - even if no one is listening anymore.

    One reason I want to do this is in hopes that some of the members of my congregation will begin to catch a vision for a greater Evangelical purpose and see themselves as part of a national and, more importantly, global network of Christians seeking to glorify and exalt the name of Christ.

    Internet hot-spots like Facebook and Twitter present opportunities for Christians to put their best feet forward in regards to the Gospel and Orthodox Theology. More than ever we need each other to counteract the vast influences of both the secular culture and the insulated Christian community (read "Suburban, middle-class, Republican, disengaged, self-focused, and man-centered"). Pointing my people, as well as those I encounter from my past and present on Facebook, toward Gospel-centered, Christ-exalting, globally-focused ministries and tools helps us as a universal Christian community grow together in unity and move ever more swiftly in the direction of glorifying God to the ends of the Earth.

    I have never been more optimistic about the present effectiveness of the Gospel's influence and the Holy Spirit's power than I am right now. Revival is coming and I want to be a part of that, even if it means the Church down the street grows, but ours doesn't. If we just become a more generous, Christ-centered, and spiritually mature congregation, then I will count my ministry a success. Far too often, we get wrapped up in what God is doing (or not doing) visibly in our own Church and forget that it's not about us, it's about His glory. So if my blog can be used to point those who may read it toward the encouragement and optimism that I have experienced over these past few months, then it is effective. And that's really all I can ask - to be effective in actively glorifying Christ and bringing His Kingdom to bear on the Earth.


    So check out our new Church website and listen to some of these guys' sermons:

    Cleveland Road Baptist Church
    David Platt
    Francis Chan
    John Piper

              Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
    Our team is a unique producer of quality fake documents. We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for a number of countries like: USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. This list is not full. To get the additional information and place the order just visit our website: http://www.salepassportsfake.cc www. salepassportsfake.cc >> Contact e-mails: General support: support@salepassportsfake.cc Technical support: admin@salepassportsfake.cc ----------------------------- Keywords: buy fake passport of Afghanistan buy fake passport of Albania buy fake passport of Algeria buy fake passport of Andorra buy fake passport of Angola buy fake passport of Antigua & Deps buy fake passport of Argentina buy fake passport of Armenia buy fake passport of Australia buy fake passport of Austria buy fake passport of Azerbaijan buy fake passport of Bahamas buy fake passport of Bahrain buy fake passport of Bangladesh buy fake passport of Barbados buy fake passport of Belarus buy fake passport of Belgium buy fake passport of Belize buy fake passport of Benin buy fake passport of Bhutan buy fake passport of Bolivia buy fake passport of Bosnia Herzegovina buy fake passport of Botswana buy fake passport of Brazil buy fake passport of Brunei buy fake passport of Bulgaria buy fake passport of Burkina buy fake passport of Burundi buy fake passport of Cambodia buy fake passport of Cameroon buy fake passport of Canada buy fake passport of Cape Verde buy fake passport of Central African Rep buy fake passport of Chad buy fake passport of Chile buy fake passport of China buy fake passport of Colombia buy fake passport of Comoros buy fake passport of Congo buy fake passport of Congo Democratic Rep buy fake passport of Costa Rica buy fake passport of Croatia buy fake passport of Cuba buy fake passport of Cyprus buy fake passport of Czech Republic buy fake passport of Denmark buy fake passport of Djibouti buy fake passport of Dominica buy fake passport of Dominican Republic buy fake passport of East Timor buy fake passport of Ecuador buy fake passport of Egypt buy fake passport of El Salvador buy fake passport of Equatorial Guinea buy fake passport of Eritrea buy fake passport of Estonia buy fake passport of Ethiopia buy fake passport of Fiji buy fake passport of Finland buy fake passport of France buy fake passport of Gabon buy fake passport of Gambia buy fake passport of Georgia buy fake passport of Germany buy fake passport of Ghana buy fake passport of Greece buy fake passport of Grenada buy fake passport of Guatemala buy fake passport of Guinea buy fake passport of Guinea-Bissau buy fake passport of Guyana buy fake passport of Haiti buy fake passport of Honduras buy fake passport of Hungary buy fake passport of Iceland buy fake passport of India buy fake passport of Indonesia buy fake passport of Iran buy fake passport of Iraq buy fake passport of Ireland Republic buy fake passport of Israel buy fake passport of Italy buy fake passport of Ivory Coast buy fake passport of Jamaica buy fake passport of Japan buy fake passport of Jordan buy fake passport of Kazakhstan buy fake passport of Kenya buy fake passport of Kiribati buy fake passport of Korea North buy fake passport of Korea South buy fake passport of Kosovo buy fake passport of Kuwait buy fake passport of Kyrgyzstan buy fake passport of Laos buy fake passport of Latvia buy fake passport of Lebanon buy fake passport of Lesotho buy fake passport of Liberia buy fake passport of Libya buy fake passport of Liechtenstein buy fake passport of Lithuania buy fake passport of Luxembourg buy fake passport of Macedonia buy fake passport of Madagascar buy fake passport of Malawi buy fake passport of Malaysia buy fake passport of Maldives buy fake passport of Mali buy fake passport of Malta buy fake passport of Marshall Islands buy fake passport of Mauritania buy fake passport of Mauritius buy fake passport of Mexico buy fake passport of Micronesia buy fake passport of Moldova buy fake passport of Monaco buy fake passport of Mongolia buy fake passport of Montenegro buy fake passport of Morocco buy fake passport of Mozambique buy fake passport of Myanmar, Burma buy fake passport of Namibia buy fake passport of Nauru buy fake passport of Nepal buy fake passport of Netherlands buy fake passport of New Zealand buy fake passport of Nicaragua buy fake passport of Niger buy fake passport of Nigeria buy fake passport of Norway buy fake passport of Oman buy fake passport of Pakistan buy fake passport of Palau buy fake passport of Panama buy fake passport of Papua New Guinea buy fake passport of Paraguay buy fake passport of Peru buy fake passport of Philippines buy fake passport of Poland buy fake passport of Portugal buy fake passport of Qatar buy fake passport of Romania buy fake passport of Russian Federation buy fake passport of Rwanda buy fake passport of St Kitts & Nevis buy fake passport of St Lucia buy fake passport of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines buy fake passport of Samoa buy fake passport of San Marino buy fake passport of Sao Tome & Principe buy fake passport of Saudi Arabia buy fake passport of Senegal buy fake passport of Serbia buy fake passport of Seychelles buy fake passport of Sierra Leone buy fake passport of Singapore buy fake passport of Slovakia buy fake passport of Slovenia buy fake passport of Solomon Islands buy fake passport of Somalia buy fake passport of South Africa buy fake passport of Spain buy fake passport of Sri Lanka buy fake passport of Sudan buy fake passport of Suriname buy fake passport of Swaziland buy fake passport of Sweden buy fake passport of Switzerland buy fake passport of Syria buy fake passport of Taiwan buy fake passport of Tajikistan
              About Jackie Robinson        

    Who was Jackie Robinson?

     

    Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first black Major League Baseball. Robinson broke the baseball color barrier when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues, (aside from the 1880s, before the MLB was organized) he is most known for bringing social justice to baseball, which had seperate leagues for blacks (the Negro leagues) and whites for six decades. His character and skills are what helped him challenge the traditional basis of segregation, which was prevalent in all areas of American Life, and was a catalyst to the Civil Rights Movement. Robinson was not just any other baseball player, he strived for success and achieved it, as he helped the Dodgers get to six World Series' and win it all in 1955. He was Rookie of the Year in 1947, MVP in 1949 and a six time All-Star from 1949-1954. He was then inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1962 followed by all of MLB retiring the Jackie Robinson Jersey: number 42, in 1997, an honor reserved solely to Robinson. 

    Pre Baseball Life

    Jackie was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, to a family of farmers during a Spanish flu and smallpox epidemic. He was the youngest of five children, after his brothers Edgar, Frank, Matthew, and Willa Mae. He was named "Roosevelt" as a middle name, in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who died earier that month. The Robinson's moved to 121 Pepper Street in Pasadena, California after their father left them in 1920. Their mother worked various jobs to support them as they grew up in relative poverty even though Pasadena was considered an affluent place. They attended Washington Junior High School followed by Muir Tech High School. The Robinsons were superb athletes. Matthew was a silver medalist in the 1936 Olympics and he and Frank inspired Jackie to seriously pursue a career in sports. Jackie played on the Muir Tech football team as quarterback, basketball team as a guard, track team as a jumper, tennis team and baseball team as both a catcher and shortstop. In 1936, he won a Tennis Tournament and played in the Pomona baseball tournament all star team with fellow future Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bob Lemon. 

    After High School, Jackie went on to Pasadena Junior College where he continued his involvement in sports. He also was elected to the Lancers, a local organization responsible for helping patrol school activities. In 1938, Jackie joined the All-Southland Junior College baseball team and was selected as that years MVP. He also received honors for his outstanding community service, even though he sometimes acted against those around him who seemed racist. While playing football for PJC, Jackie broke his ankle. A few days before Jackie's 19th birthday he was arrested for vocally disputing the arrest of a black friend of his. He quickly earned a reputation for being one who won't shy away from beligerrance in the face of racism.

    After graduating from PJC, Jackie's brother, Frank, was killed in a motorcycle accident which helped Jackie make a decision to move to L.A. where he could console Frank's family. Jackie decided to attend UCLA where he met is future wife, Rachel Isum, and won varsity letters in all the major sports. He won the 1940 NCAA Mens Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the Long Jump,jumping a whopping 24 Feet 10.5 Inches. Ironically, in that year, robinson batted .097 for the UCLA baseball squad. In 1941, he took a job with the NYA as an assistant athletic director, as it would have been impossible for him to get a job as a proffesional athlete due to the color barrier. Later that year he traveled to Hawaii where he had an opportunity to play for the racially mixed semi-pro Honolulu Bears' football team. After that season he would move back to L.A. to play for a local football team, not realizing that the US involvement in World War 2 would sidetrack him for a little while and end his short football career.

    Robinson was drafted to the Army in 1942 and was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas. Throughout his 3 plus years in the Army, he was always treated as a subordinate by the White controlled military. He still managed to become a second lieutenant in 1943, and joined the Black Panthers Tank Battallion, the first Black tank unit to see combat in WWII. However, jackie was never in combat. After getting engaged to his College sweetheart, Rachel, he was sidelined after injuring the same ankle he hurt back in high school. He would finish his army service as a coach for army athletes until 1944 when he was discharged. While in the Army, Robinson made close ties with boxer, Joe Louis, as they helped each other struggle in the white dominated Army.

    In early 1945, after working some part time coaching jobs, Jackie received an offer from the Kansas City Monarchs to Play professional Baseball in the Negro Leagues. He signed a contract worth $400 a month as he played for the Monarchs for 1 Season. He played 47 games at shortstop batting .387. The Negro leagues were'nt for Jackie as he didn't like their unorganized style. Luckily he received a secret offer from the GM of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey, to come to NY and play for their Minor League team. They offered him $600 a month on the condition that he would be able to take abuse from other players for being the only black, but contain himself from fighting back. Jackie accepted, and immediately left the Monarchs for NYC where he would marry Rachel Isum, who was in NY studying to be a Nurse. Jackie would start with the Dodgers' AAA club in Daytona Beach, FL that next season.

    Baseball Career

    In 1946, Robinson arrived at Daytona Beach, Florida, for spring training with the Montreal Royals of the Class AAA International League (the designation of "AAA" for the highest level of minor league baseball was first used in the 1946 season). Robinson's presence was controversial in racially charged Florida. As he was not allowed to stay with his teammates at the team hotel, he lodged instead at the home of a local black politician. Since the Dodgers organization did not own a spring training facility (the Dodger-controlled spring training compound in Vero Beach known as "Dodgertown" did not open until spring 1948), scheduling was subject to the whim of area localities, several of which turned down any event involving Robinson or Johnny Wright, another black player whom Rickey had signed to the Dodgers' organization in January. In Sanford, Florida, the police chief threatened to cancel games if Robinson and Wright did not cease training activities there; as a result, Robinson was sent back to Daytona Beach. In Jacksonville, the stadium was padlocked shut without warning on game day, by order of the city's Parks and Public Property director. In DeLand, a scheduled day game was called off, ostensibly because of faulty electrical lighting.

    After much lobbying of local officials by Rickey himself, the Royals were allowed to host a game involving Robinson in Daytona Beach. Robinson made his Royals debut at Daytona Beach's City Island Ballpark on March 17, 1946, in an exhibition game against the team's parent club, the Dodgers. Robinson thus simultaneously became the first black player to openly play for a minor league team and against a major league team since the de facto baseball color line had been implemented in the 1880s. Later in spring training, after some less-than-stellar performances, Robinson was shifted from shortstop to second base, allowing him to make shorter throws to first base. Robinson's performance soon rebounded. On April 18, 1946, Roosevelt Stadium hosted the Jersey City Giants' season opener against the Montreal Royals, marking the professional debut of the Royals' Jackie Robinson. In his five trips to the plate, Robinson had four hits, including a three-run home run. He also scored four runs, drove in three, and stole two bases in the Royals' 14–1 victory. Robinson proceeded to lead the International League that season with a .349 batting average and .985 fielding percentage, and he was named the league's Most Valuable Player. Although he often faced hostility while on road trips (the Royals were forced to cancel a Southern exhibition tour, for example), the Montreal fan base enthusiastically supported Robinson. Whether fans supported or opposed it, Robinson's presence on the field was a boon to attendance; more than one million people went to games involving Robinson in 1946, an amazing figure by International League standards. In the fall of 1946, following the baseball season, Robinson returned home to California and briefly played professional basketball for the short-lived Los Angeles Red Devils.

    The following year, six days before the start of the 1947 season, the Dodgers called Robinson up to the major leagues. With Eddie Stanky entrenched at second base for the Dodgers, Robinson played his initial major league season as a first baseman. On April 15, 1947, Robinson made his major league debut at Ebbets Field before a crowd of 26,623 spectators, including more than 14,000 black patrons. Although he failed to get a base hit, the Dodgers won 5–3. Robinson became the first player since 1880 to openly break the major league baseball color line. Black fans began flocking to see the Dodgers when they came to town, abandoning their Negro league teams.

    Robinson's promotion met a generally positive, although mixed, reception among newspapers and white major league players. However, racial tension existed in the Dodger clubhouse. Some Dodger players insinuated they would sit out rather than play alongside Robinson. The brewing mutiny ended when Dodgers management took a stand for Robinson. Manager Leo Durocher informed the team, "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded."

    Robinson was also derided by opposing teams. Some, notably the St. Louis Cardinals, threatened to strike if Robinson played. After the threat, National League President Ford Frick and Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler let it be known that any striking players would be suspended. Robinson nonetheless became the target of rough physical play by opponents (particularly the Cardinals). At one time, he received a seven-inch gash in his leg. On April 22, 1947, during a game between the Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies players called Robinson a "nigger" from their dugout and yelled that he should "go back to the cotton fields". Rickey later recalled that Phillies manager Ben Chapman "did more than anybody to unite the Dodgers. When he poured out that string of unconscionable abuse, he solidified and united thirty men."

    Robinson received significant encouragement from several major league players. Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese once came to Robinson's defense with the famous line, "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one of them." In 1948, Reese put his arm around Robinson in response to fans who shouted racial slurs at Robinson before a game in Cincinnati. A statue by sculptor William Behrends, unveiled at KeySpan Park on November 1, 2005, commemorates this event by representing Reese with his arm around Robinson. Jewish baseball star Hank Greenberg, who had to deal with racial epithets during his career, also encouraged Robinson. After colliding with Robinson at first base on one occasion, Greenberg whispered a few words into Robinson's ear, which Robinson later characterized as "words of encouragement." Greenberg had advised him that the best way to combat the slurs from the opposing players was to beat them on the field.

    Robinson finished the season having played in 151 games for the Dodgers, with a batting average of .297, an on-base percentage of .383, and a .427 slugging percentage. He had 175 hits (scoring 125 runs) including 31 doubles, 5 triples, 12 home runs, driving in 48 runs for the year. Robinson led the league in sacrifice hits, with 28, and in stolen bases, with 29. His cumulative performance earned him the inaugural Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award (separate National and American League Rookie of the Year honors were not awarded until 1949).

    Following Stanky's trade to the Boston Braves in March 1948, Robinson took over second base, where he logged a .980 fielding percentage that year (second in the National League at the position, fractionally behind Stanky). Robinson had a batting average of .296 and 22 stolen bases for the season. In a 12–7 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 29, 1948, he hit for the cycle—a home run, a triple, a double, and a single in the same game. The Dodgers briefly moved into first place in the National League in late August 1948, but they ultimately finished third as the Braves went on to win the league title and lose to the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

    Racial pressure on Robinson eased in 1948 as a number of other black players entered the major leagues. Larry Doby (who broke the color barrier in the American League on July 5, 1947) and Satchel Paige played for the Cleveland Indians, and the Dodgers had three other black players besides Robinson. In February 1948, he signed a $12,500 contract (equal to $120,914 today) with the Dodgers; while a significant amount, this was less than Robinson made in the off-season from a vaudeville tour, where he answered pre-set baseball questions, and a speaking tour of the South. Between the tours, he underwent surgery on his right ankle. Because of his off-season activities, Robinson reported to training camp 30 pounds (14 kg) overweight. He lost the weight during training camp, but dieting left him weak at the plate.

    In the spring of 1949, Robinson turned to Hall of Famer George Sisler, working as an advisor to the Dodgers, for batting help. At Sisler's suggestion, Robinson spent hours at a batting tee, learning to hit the ball to right field. Sisler taught Robinson to anticipate a fastball, on the theory that it is easier to subsequently adjust to a slower curveball. Robinson also noted that "Sisler showed me how to stop lunging, how to check my swing until the last fraction of a second". The tutelage helped Robinson raise his batting average from .296 in 1948 to .342 in 1949. In addition to his improved batting average, Robinson stole 37 bases that season, was second place in the league for both doubles and triples, and registered 124 runs batted in with 122 runs scored. For the performance Robinson earned the Most Valuable Player award for the National League. Baseball fans also voted Robinson as the starting second baseman for the 1949 All-Star Game—the first All-Star Game to include black players.

    That year, a song about Robinson by Buddy Johnson, "Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?", reached number 13 on the charts; Count Basie recorded a famous version. Ultimately, the Dodgers won the National League pennant, but lost in five games to the New York Yankees in the 1949 World Series.

    Summer 1949 brought an unwanted distraction for Robinson. In July, he was called to testify before the United States House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) concerning statements made that April by black athlete and actor Paul Robeson. Robinson was reluctant to testify, but he eventually agreed to do so, fearing it might negatively affect his career if he declined.

    In 1950, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman with 133. His salary that year was the highest any Dodger had been paid to that point: $35,000 ($338,091 in 2012 dollars). He finished the year with 99 runs scored, a .328 batting average, and 12 stolen bases. The year saw the release of a film biography of Robinson's life, The Jackie Robinson Story, in which Robinson played himself, and actress Ruby Dee played Rachael "Rae" (Isum) Robinson. The project had been previously delayed when the film's producers refused to accede to demands of two Hollywood studios that the movie include scenes of Robinson being tutored in baseball by a white man. The New York Times wrote that Robinson, "doing that rare thing of playing himself in the picture's leading role, displays a calm assurance and composure that might be envied by many a Hollywood star."

    Robinson's Hollywood exploits, however, did not sit well with Dodgers co-owner Walter O'Malley, who referred to Robinson as "Rickey's prima donna". In late 1950, Rickey's contract as the Dodgers' team President expired. Weary of constant disagreements with O'Malley, and with no hope of being re-appointed as President of the Dodgers, Rickey cashed out his one-quarter financial interest in the team, leaving O'Malley in full control of the franchise. Rickey shortly thereafter became general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Robinson was disappointed at the turn of events and wrote a sympathetic letter to Rickey, whom he considered a father figure, stating, "Regardless of what happens to me in the future, it all can be placed on what you have done and, believe me, I appreciate it."

    Before the 1951 season, O'Malley reportedly offered Robinson the job of manager of the Montreal Royals, effective at the end of Robinson's playing career. O'Malley was quoted in the Montreal Standard as saying, "Jackie told me that he would be both delighted and honored to tackle this managerial post"—although reports differed as to whether a position was ever formally offered.

    During the 1951 season, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman for the second year in a row, with 137. He also kept the Dodgers in contention for the 1951 pennant. During the last game of the season, in the 13th inning, he had a hit to tie the game, and then won the game with a home run in the 14th. This forced a playoff against the New York Giants, which the Dodgers lost.

    Despite Robinson's regular-season heroics, the Dodgers lost the pennant on Bobby Thomson's famous home run, known as the Shot Heard 'Round the World, on October 3, 1951. Overcoming his dejection, Robinson dutifully observed Thomson's feet to ensure he touched all the bases. Dodgers sportscaster Vin Scully later noted that the incident showed "how much of a competitor Robinson was." He finished the season with 106 runs scored, a batting average of .335, and 25 stolen bases.

    Robinson had what was an average year for him in 1952. He finished the year with 104 runs, a .308 batting average, and 24 stolen bases. He did, however, record a career-high on-base percentage of .436. The Dodgers improved on their performance from the year before, winning the National League pennant before losing the 1952 World Series to the New York Yankees in seven games. That year, on the television show Youth Wants to Know, Robinson challenged the Yankees' general manager, George Weiss, on the racial record of his team, which had yet to sign a black player. Sportswriter Dick Young, whom Robinson had described as a "bigot", said, "If there was one flaw in Jackie, it was the common one. He believed that everything unpleasant that happened to him happened because of his blackness." The 1952 season was the last year Robinson was an everyday starter at second base. Afterward, Robinson played variously at first, second, and third bases, shortstop, and in the outfield, with Jim Gilliam, another black player, taking over everyday second base duties. Robinson's interests began to shift toward the prospect of managing a major league team. He had hoped to gain experience by managing in the Puerto Rican Winter League, but according to the New York Post, Commissioner Happy Chandler denied the request.

    In 1953, Robinson had 109 runs, a .329 batting average, and 17 steals, leading the Dodgers to another National League pennant (and another World Series loss to the Yankees, this time in six games). Robinson's continued success spawned a string of death threats. He was not dissuaded, however, from addressing racial issues publicly. That year, he served as editor for Our Sports magazine, a periodical focusing on Negro sports issues; contributions to the magazine included an article on golf course segregation by Robinson's old friend Joe Louis. Robinson also openly criticized segregated hotels and restaurants that served the Dodger organization; a number of these establishments integrated as a result, including the five-star Chase Park Hotel in St. Louis.

    In 1954, Robinson had 62 runs, a .311 batting average, and 7 steals. His best day at the plate was on June 17, when he hit two home runs and two doubles. The following autumn, Robinson won his only championship when the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series. Although the team enjoyed ultimate success, 1955 was the worst year of Robinson's individual career. He hit .256 and stole only 12 bases. The Dodgers tried Robinson in the outfield and as a third baseman, both because of his diminishing abilities and because Gilliam was established at second base. Robinson, then 37 years old, missed 49 games and did not play in Game 7 of the World Series. Robinson missed the game because manager Walter Alston decided to play Gilliam at second and Don Hoak at third base. That season, the Dodgers' Don Newcombe became the first black major league pitcher to win twenty games in a year.

    In 1956, Robinson had 61 runs, a .275 batting average, and 12 steals. By then, he had begun to exhibit the effects of diabetes, and to lose interest in the prospect of playing or managing professional baseball. After the season, Robinson was traded by the Dodgers to the arch-rival New York Giants for Dick Littlefield and $35,000 cash (equal to $299,192 today). The trade, however, was never completed; unbeknownst to the Dodgers, Robinson had already agreed with the president of Chock full o'Nuts to quit baseball and become an executive with the company. Since Robinson had sold exclusive rights to any retirement story to Look magazine two years previously,[165&91; his retirement decision was revealed through the magazine, instead of through the Dodgers organization.

    Legacy

    Robinson's major league debut brought an end to approximately sixty years of segregation in professional baseball, known as the baseball color line. After World War II, several other forces were also leading the country toward increased equality for blacks, including their accelerated migration of to the North, where their political clout grew, and President Harry Truman's desegregation of the military in 1948. Robinson's breaking of the baseball color line and his professional success symbolized these broader changes and demonstrated that the fight for equality was more than simply a political matter. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that he was "a legend and a symbol in his own time", and that he "challenged the dark skies of intolerance and frustration." According to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robinson's "efforts were a monumental step in the civil-rights revolution in America ... [His&91; accomplishments allowed black and white Americans to be more respectful and open to one another and more appreciative of everyone's abilities."

    Beginning his major league career at the relatively advanced age of twenty-eight, he played only ten seasons, all of them for the Brooklyn Dodgers. During his career, the Dodgers played in six World Series, and Robinson himself played in six All-Star Games. In 1999, he was posthumously named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

    Robinson's career is generally considered to mark the beginning of the post–"long ball" era in baseball, in which a reliance on raw power-hitting gave way to balanced offensive strategies that used footspeed to create runs through aggressive baserunning. Robinson exhibited the combination of hitting ability and speed which exemplified the new era. He scored more than 100 runs in six of his ten seasons (averaging more than 110 runs from 1947 to 1953), had a .311 career batting average, a .409 career on-base percentage, a .474 slugging percentage, and substantially more walks than strikeouts (740 to 291). Robinson was one of only two players during the span of 1947–56 to accumulate at least 125 steals while registering a slugging percentage over .425 (Minnie Miñoso was the other). He accumulated 197 stolen bases in total, including 19 steals of home. None of the latter were double steals (in which a player stealing home is assisted by a player stealing another base at the same time). Robinson has been referred to by author David Falkner as "the father of modern base-stealing."

    "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." —Robinson, on his legacy

     

    Historical statistical analysis indicates Robinson was an outstanding fielder throughout his ten years in the major leagues and at virtually every position he played. After playing his rookie season at first base, Robinson spent most of his career as a second baseman. He led the league in fielding among second basemen in 1950 and 1951. Toward the end of his career, he played about 2,000 innings at third base and about 1,175 innings in the outfield, excelling at both.

    Assessing himself, Robinson said, "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." Regarding Robinson's qualities on the field, Leo Durocher said, "Ya want a guy that comes to play. This guy didn't just come to play. He come to beat ya. He come to stuff the goddamn bat right up your ass."

    Post-baseball life

    Robinson as ABC sports announcer in 1965

    Robinson retired from baseball on January 5, 1957. Later that year, after he complained of numerous physical ailments, his doctors diagnosed Robinson with diabetes, a disease that also affected his brothers. Although Robinson adopted an insulin injection regimen, the state of medicine at the time could not prevent continued deterioration of Robinson's physical condition from the disease.

    In his first year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, Robinson encouraged voters to consider only his on-field qualifications, rather than his cultural impact on the game. He was elected on the first ballot, becoming the first black player inducted into the Cooperstown museum.

    In 1965, Robinson served as an analyst for ABC's Major League Baseball Game of the Week telecasts, the first black person to do so. In 1966, Robinson was hired as general manager for the short-lived Brooklyn Dodgers of the Continental Football League. In 1972, he served as a part-time commentator on Montreal Expos telecasts.

    On June 4, 1972, the Dodgers retired his uniform number, 42, alongside those of Roy Campanella (39) and Sandy Koufax (32). From 1957 to 1964, Robinson was the vice president for personnel at Chock full o'Nuts; he was the first black person to serve as vice president of a major American corporation. Robinson always considered his business career as advancing the cause of black people in commerce and industry. Robinson also chaired the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) million-dollar Freedom Fund Drive in 1957, and served on the organization's board until 1967. In 1964, he helped found, with Harlem businessman Dunbar McLaurin, Freedom National Bank—a black-owned and operated commercial bank based in Harlem. He also served as the bank's first Chairman of the Board. In 1970, Robinson established the Jackie Robinson Construction Company to build housing for low-income families.

    Robinson was active in politics throughout his post-baseball life. He identified himself as a political independent although he held conservative opinions on several issues, including the Vietnam War (he once wrote Martin Luther King, Jr. to defend the Johnson Administration's military policy). After supporting Richard Nixon in his 1960 presidential race against John F. Kennedy, Robinson later praised Kennedy effusively for his stance on civil rights. Robinson was angered by conservative Republican opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He became one of six national directors for Nelson Rockefeller's unsuccessful campaign to be nominated as the Republican candidate for the 1964 presidential election. After the party nominated Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona instead, Robinson left the party's convention commenting that he now had "a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler's Germany". He later became special assistant for community affairs when Rockefeller was re-elected governor of New York in 1966. Switching his allegiance to the Democrats, he subsequently supported Hubert Humphrey against Nixon in 1968.

    Protesting the major leagues' ongoing lack of minority managers and central office personnel, Robinson turned down an invitation to appear in an old-timers' game at Yankee Stadium in 1969. He made his final public appearance on October 15, 1972, throwing the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series. He gratefully accepted a plaque honoring the twenty-fifth anniversary of his MLB debut, but also commented, "I'm going to be tremendously more pleased and more proud when I look at that third base coaching line one day and see a black face managing in baseball." This wish was fulfilled only after Robinson's death: following the 1974 season, the Cleveland Indians gave their managerial post to Frank Robinson (no relation), a Hall of Fame-bound player who would go on to manage three other teams. Despite the success of these two Robinsons and other black players, the number of African-American players in Major League Baseball has declined since the 1970s.

    Family life and death

    After Robinson's retirement from baseball, his wife, Rachel Robinson, pursued a career in academic nursing—she became an assistant professor at the Yale School of Nursing and director of nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. She also served on the board of the Freedom National Bank until it closed in 1990. She and Jackie had three children: Jackie Robinson Jr. (born November 18, 1946), Sharon Robinson (born January 13, 1950), and David Robinson (born May 14, 1952).

    Robinson's eldest son, Jackie Robinson Jr., had emotional trouble during his childhood and entered special education at an early age. He enrolled in the Army in search of a disciplined environment, served in the Vietnam War, and was wounded in action on November 19, 1965. After his discharge, he struggled with drug problems. Robinson Jr. eventually completed the treatment program at Daytop Village in Seymour, Connecticut, and became a counselor at the institution. On June 17, 1971, at the age of 24, he was killed in an automobile accident. The experience with his son's drug addiction turned Robinson, Sr. into an avid anti-drug crusader toward the end of his life.

    Robinson did not long outlive his son. Complications of heart disease and diabetes weakened Robinson and made him almost blind by middle age. On October 24, 1972, he died of a heart attack at home in Stamford, Connecticut, aged fifty-three. Robinson's funeral service on October 27, 1972, at New York City's Riverside Church attracted 2,500 admirers. Many of his former teammates and other famous black baseball players served as pallbearers, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson gave the eulogy. Tens of thousands of people lined the subsequent procession route to Robinson's interment site at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, where he is buried next to his son Jackie and mother-in-law Zellee Isum. Jackie Robinson Parkway also runs through the cemetery.

    After Robinson's death, his widow founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, of which she remains an officer as of 2009. On April 15, 2008, she announced that in 2010 the foundation will be opening a museum devoted to Jackie in Lower Manhattan. Robinson's daughter, Sharon, became a midwife, educator, director of educational programming for MLB, and the author of two books about her father. His youngest son, David, who has ten children, is a coffee grower and social activist in Tanzania.

    Awards and recognition

    According to a poll conducted in 1947, Robinson was the second most popular man in the country, behind Bing Crosby. In 1999, he was named by Time on its list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Also in 1999, he ranked number 44 on the Sporting News list of Baseball's 100 Greatest Players and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team as the top vote-getter among second basemen. Baseball writer Bill James, in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, ranked Robinson as the 32nd greatest player of all time strictly on the basis of his performance on the field, noting that he was one of the top players in the league throughout his career. Robinson was among the 25 charter members of UCLA’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984. In 2002, Molefi Kete Asante included Robinson on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. Robinson has also been honored by the United States Postal Service on three separate postage stamps, in 1982, 1999, and 2000.

    The City of Pasadena has recognized Robinson in several ways. Brookside Park, situated next to the Rose Bowl, features a baseball diamond and stadium named Jackie Robinson Field. The city's Human Services Department operates the Jackie Robinson Center, a community outreach center that provides early diabetes detection and other services. In 1997, a $325,000 bronze sculpture (equal to $470,522 today) by artists Ralph Helmick, Stu Schecter, and John Outterbridge depicting oversized nine-foot busts of Robinson and his brother Mack was erected at Garfield Avenue, across from the main entrance of Pasadena City Hall; a granite footprint lists multiple donors to the commission project, which was organized by the Robinson Memorial Foundation and supported by members of the Robinson family.

    Major League Baseball has honored Robinson many times since his death. In 1987, both the National and American League Rookie of the Year Awards were renamed the "Jackie Robinson Award" in honor of the first recipient (Robinson's Major League Rookie of the Year Award in 1947 encompassed both leagues). On April 15, 1997, Robinson's jersey number, 42, was retired throughout Major League Baseball, the first time any jersey number had been retired throughout one of the four major American sports leagues.

    As an exception to the retired-number policy, MLB has recently begun honoring Robinson by allowing players to wear number 42 on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day. For the 60th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut, MLB invited players to wear the number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day in 2007. The gesture was originally the idea of outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., who sought Rachel Robinson's permission to wear the number. After receiving her permission, Commissioner Bud Selig not only allowed Griffey to wear the number, but also extended an invitation to all major league teams to do the same. Ultimately, more than 200 players wore number 42, including the entire rosters of the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Pittsburgh Pirates. The tribute was continued in 2008, when, during games on April 15, all members of the Mets, Cardinals, Washington Nationals, and Tampa Bay Rays wore Robinson's number 42. On June 25, 2008, MLB installed a new plaque for Robinson at the Baseball Hall of Fame commemorating his off-the-field impact on the game as well as his playing statistics. In 2009, all uniformed personnel (players, managers, coaches, and umpires) wore number 42 on April 15.

    At the November 2006 groundbreaking for a new ballpark for the New York Mets, Citi Field, it was announced that the main entrance, modeled on the one in Brooklyn's old Ebbets Field, would be called the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The rotunda was dedicated at the opening of Citi Field on April 16, 2009. It honors Robinson with large quotations spanning the inner curve of the facade and features a large freestanding statue of his number, 42, which has become an attraction in itself. Mets owner Fred Wilpon announced that, in conjunction with Citigroup and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Mets will create a Jackie Robinson Museum and Learning Center, located at the headquarters of the Jackie Robinson Foundation at One Hudson Square in lower Manhattan. The main purpose of the museum will be to fund scholarships for "young people who live by and embody Jackie's ideals."

    Since 2004, the Aflac National High School Baseball Player of the Year has been presented the "Jackie Robinson Award".

    Robinson has also been recognized outside of baseball. In December 1956, the NAACP recognized him with the Spingarn Medal, which it awards annually for the highest achievement by an African-American. President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded Robinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom on March 26, 1984, and on March 2, 2005, President George W. Bush gave Robinson's widow the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress; Robinson was only the second baseball player to receive the award, after Roberto Clemente. On August 20, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, announced that Robinson was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts in Sacramento.

    A number of buildings have been named in Robinson's honor. The UCLA Bruins baseball team plays in Jackie Robinson Stadium, which, because of the efforts of Jackie's brother Mack, features a memorial statue of Robinson by sculptor Richard H. Ellis. City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida—the baseball field that became the Dodgers' de facto spring training site in 1947—was renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark in 1989. A number of facilities at Pasadena City College (successor to PJC) are named in Robinson's honor, including Robinson Field, a football/soccer/track facility named jointly for Robinson and his brother Mack. The New York Public School system has named a middle school after Robinson, and Dorsey High School plays at a Los Angeles football stadium named after him. In 1976, his home in Brooklyn, the Jackie Robinson House, was declared a National Historic Landmark. Robinson also has an asteroid named after him, 4319 Jackierobinson. In 1997, the United States Mint issued a Jackie Robinson commemorative silver dollar, and five dollar gold coin. That same year, New York City renamed the Interboro Parkway in his honor.

    In 2011, the U.S. placed a plaque at Robinson's Montreal home to honor the ending of segregation in baseball. The home is located at 8232 avenue de Gaspe south of rue de Guizot Est and near Jarry Park and close to Delorimier Stadium, where Robinson played for the Montreal Royals during 1946. In a letter read during the ceremony, Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow, wrote: "I remember Montreal and that house very well and have always had warm feeling for that great city. Before Jack and I moved to Montreal, we had just been through some very rough treatment in the racially biased South during spring training in Florida. In the end, Montreal was the perfect place for him to get his start. We never had a threatening or unpleasant experience there. The people were so welcoming and saw Jack as a player and as a man."

    Career statistics

    YearTeamGABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOAVGOBPSLGTBSHSFIBBHBPGDPE
    1945 Kansas City 47 163 36 63 14 4 5 23 13       .387                  
    1946 Montreal 124 444 113 155 25 8 3 66 40   92 27 .349                 10
    1947 Brooklyn 151 590 125 175 31 5 12 48 29   74 36 .297 .383 .427 252 28     9 5 16
    1948 Brooklyn 147 574 108 170 38 8 12 85 22   57 37 .296 .367 .453 260 8     7 7 15
    1949 Brooklyn 156 593 122 203 38 12 16 124 37   86 27 .342 .432 .528 313 17     8 22 16
    1950 Brooklyn 144 518 99 170 39 4 14 81 12   80 24 .328 .423 .500 259 10     5 11 11
    1951 Brooklyn 153 548 106 185 33 7 19 88 25 8 79 27 .338 .429 .527 289 6     9 10 7
    1952 Brooklyn 149 510 104 157 17 3 19 75 24 7 106 40 .308 .440 .465 237 6     14 16 20
    1953 Brooklyn 136 484 109 159 34 7 12 95 17 4 74 30 .329 .425 .502 243 9     7 12 6
    1954 Brooklyn 124 386 62 120 22 4 15 59 7 3 63 20 .311 .413 .505 195 5 4a   7 13 7
    1955 Brooklyn 105 317 51 81 6 2 8 36 12 3 61 18 .256 .378 .363 115 6 3 5b 3 8 10
    1956 Brooklyn 117 357 61 98 15 2 10 43 12 5 60 32 .275 .382 .412 147 9 2 2 3 9 9
    TotalsBrooklyn13824877947151827354137734197 740291.311.409.47423101049772113107
     Career155354941096173634267161867248   .316    97   

    a The sacrifice fly (SF) as a unique statistical category did not exist in Major League Baseball from 1940 through 1953. Any pre-1954 sacrifice flies by Robinson would be reflected in the sacrifice hit (SH) category.

    b Likewise, the intentional walk (IBB) category only became a unique statistic beginning in 1955. Any intentional walks issued to Robinson before that year would be reflected in the walk (BB) category.

     


              sambungan materi diplomasi        
    * Pemerintah Darurat Republik Indonesia (PDRI)
    a. latar belakang pembentukan pemerintahan darurat Indonesia
    (PDRI)
    Pada hari minggu 19 desember 1948, belanda melakukan agresi militer II
    dengan serangan utama diarahkan ke kota yogyakarta. Serangan pagi itu
    dilakukan dengan mengebom beberapa bangunan penting di antaranya radio
    republic Indonesia (RRI) dengan tujuan melumpuhkan komunikasi republic
    Indonesia dengan dunia luar. Presiden dan wakil presiden beserta pejabat
    lainnya memilih untuk ditawan oleh belanda. Hal ini dimaksudkan untuk
    menarik perhatian Negara – Negara lain dunia.
    b. Susunan pemerintahan PDRI
    Di halaban , Mr. Syafruddin Prawinegara membentuk PDRI dan langsung
    menjadi ketuanya, merangkap sebagaian menteri pertahanan, menteri
    penerangan, menteri luar ada interim. Untuk jabatan menteri luar negeri
    kemudian diserahkan kepada Mr. A.A. Maramis.
    c. perjuangan PDRI
    Dalam perjuangan mempertahankan Negara republic Indonesia, PDRI
    tetrus melakukan perjuangan gerilya. PDRI memiliki alat pemancar radio YBJ-6
    yang dapat menjalin hubungan dengan pejuang – pejuang di jawa dan luar
    negeri. Pemancar YBJ-6 dapat berhubungan langsung dengan pemancar VWX –
    2 yang ada di India.
    Kenyataan ini menyadarkan dunia bahwa apa yang pernah diberitahukan
    oleh pihak belanda belanda ternyata bohong. Oleh karena itu, belanda terpaksa
    menerima resolusi dewan keamanan PBB, walaupun pihak Indonesia masih
    kurang puas terhadap resolusi itu karena PBB tidak memberikan sanksi terhadap
    belanda dan pengosongan daerah untuk militer hanya terhadap kota yogyakarta.
    v. Penyerahan Manfaat Kembali
    Yogyakarta kembali menjadi ibukota Negara Republik Indonesia
    ditandai dengan kembalinya para pimpinan ibukota Negara republic
    Indonesia ditandai dengan kembalinya para pimpinan republic Indonesia ke
    yogyarkata setelah diasingkan atau bergerilya selama enam bulan.
    Dalam pemerintah cabinet hatta II, ditetapkan bahwa sri sultan
    hamengku buwono IX sebagai wakil perdana memteri I dan mr.syafruddin
    prawinegara sebagai wakil perdana menteri II yang berkedudukan di kotaraja
    (aceh). Pada perkembangan selanjutnya, terselenggara konferensi meja
              sambungan perjuangan diplomasi        
    *. Agresi militer Belanda II
    Pihak belanda yang masih ingin menguasai wilayah Indonesia, mencari –
    cari cara untuk mengingkari persetujuan yang sudah disepakati. Sebelum
    macetnya perundingan itu sudah ada tanda – tanda bahwa pihak belanda akan
    melanggar persetujuan renville. Oleh karena itu, pemerintah republic Indonesia
    dan TNI sudah memperhitungkan bahwa sewaktu – waktu belanda akan
    melakukan aksi militernya untuk menghancurkan republic Indonesia dengan
    kekuatan senjata.
    Seperti yang telah diduga sebelumnya, akhirnya belanda pun melakukan
    aksi militernya yang kedua. Serangan dibuka pada tanggal 19 desember 1948.
    belanda melancarkan serangan di semua front republic Indonesia. Presiden
    Soekarno dan Wakil Presiden Moh. Hatta beserta sejumlah menteri, kepala staf
    angkatan udara komodor S. Suryadarma dan yang lainnya juga ikut ditawan
    tentara belanda. Namun, sebelum pihak belanda sampai ke istana presiden,
    presiden soekarno telah berhasil mengirimkan radiogram yang berisi mandat
    kepada menteri kemakmuran, syafruddin prawiranegara yang sedang melakukan
    kunjungan ke sumatera untuk membentuk pemerintahan darurat republic
    Indonesia (PDRI).
    Beberapa bulan sebelum belanda melakukan serangan, jenderal
    soedirman (panglima Besar Angkatan Perang) menderita sakit paru – paru yang
    sangat parah, sehingga harus dirawat di rumah sakit dan kemudian dirawat
    dirumahya.
    Selanjutnya.. dalam waktu 1 bulan, pasukan TNI telah berhasil
    menyelesaikan konsolidasinya dan mulai memberikan pukulan – pukulan secara
    teratur kepada musih. Serangan umum yang dilaksanakan terhadap kota – kota
    yang paling dikenal adalah serangan umum 1 maret 1949 terhadap kota
    yogyakarta. Serangan umum itu dipimpin oleh komandan Brigade X Letnan
    Colonel Soeharto. Pasukan TNI berhasil menduduki kota yogyakarta selama 6
    jam.
    Sementara itu Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX menolak tawaran kerja
    sama dari pihak belanda. Disamping itu, perjuangan dalam rangka dalam rangka
    memegakkan kedaulatan republic Indonesia juga dilakukan di luar
    negeri.dengan modal sumbangan pesawat rakyat aceh, w. supono membentuk
    armada udara komersial itulah yang dijadikan modal untuk membiyai
    perwakilan republic Indonesia diluar negeri. Juga dibuka komunikasi radio
    antara wonosari, bukit tinggi, Rangoon, dan new delhi.
    Aksi militer belanda yang kedua ini ternyata menarik perhatian PBB,
    karena belanda secara terang – terangan tidak mengakui lagi persetujuan renville
    di depan komisi tiga Negara yang ditugaskan oleh PBB. Pada tanggal 24 januari
    1949, dewan keamanan PBB mengeluarkan resolusi agar republic Indonesia dan
    belanda segera menghentikan permusuhan. Kegagalan belanda di medan
    pertempuran serta tekanan dari amerika serikat yang mengancam akan
              sambungan perjuangan diplomasi        
    Dewan keamanan PBB akhirnya menyutujui usul amerika serikat, yaitu untuk
    mengawasi penghentian permusuhan harus dibentuk sebuah komisi jasa – jasa
    baik.sementara belanda menuntut mempertahankan garis van mook, yaitu suatu
    garis yang dihubungkan pucuk – pucuk pasukan pasukan belanda yang dimajukan
    setelah keluar perintah dewan keamanan PBB untuk menghentikan tembak –
    menembak. Kemudian mereka mengeluarkan pernyataan dari tempat perundingan di
    kaliurang yang isinya sebagai berikut :
    a. dilarang melakukan sabotase
    b. dilarang melakukan intimidasi
    c. dilarang melakukan pembalasan dendam.
    Usul KTN
    Selanjutnya KTN pun juga mengajukan usul politik yang didasarkan pada persetujuan
    linggarjati, yaitu :
    i. kemerdekaan bagi bangsa Indonesia
    ii. kerjasama Indonesia – belanda
    iii. suatu Negara yang berdaulat ats dasar federasi
    iv. uni antara Indonesia serikat dan bagian lain kerajaan belanda.
    Sebagai balasan usul KTN, pihak belanda mengajukan 12 prinsip politik untuk
    disampaikan kepaada pihak Indonesia. Prinsip belanda tersebut adalah pengurangan
    pasukan dan penghidupan kegiatan ekonomi. Tetapi dalam usulan tersebut tidak
    disebutkan masalah penarikan tentara belanda.
    Untuk mengatasi sikap keras kepala pihak belanda dr. frank graham mengajukan 6
    prinsip tambahan agar dapat mencapai penyelesaian politik.pemerintah republic
    Indonesia mendapat jaminan KTN, bahwa kekuasaan republic Indonesia tidak akan
    berkurang selama masa peralihan sampai diserahkannya kedaulatan belanda kepada
    Negara Indonesia.
    Oleh KTN, apabila pihak republic Indonesia menyetujui sampai batas waktu
    yang ditetapkan yaitu tanggal 9 januari 1948. akhirnya pada tanggal 17 januari 1948
    kedua belah pihak bertemu kembali di atas kapal U.U.S. Renville untuk menanda
    tangani persetujuan gencatan senjata dan prinsip – prinsip politik yang telah disetujui
    bersama. Penandatangani ini disaksikan juga olek KTN.
    Pada saat perundingan berlangsung diadakan reshuffle (perombakan) dalam cabinet
    Amir Syarifuddin untuk memperkuat cabinet tersebut guna menghadapi perundingan
    dengan belanda.
              Perjuangan Diplomasi untuk memperoleh Pengakuan Kedaulatan        
    1. Perjanjian Linggarjati
    Perlawanan hebat dari rakyat dan para pemuda Indonesia, untuk
    mempertahankan kemerdekaan menyebabkan inggris menarik suatu kesimpulan
    bahwa sengketa antara Indonesia dengan belanda tidak mungkin dapat diselesaikan
    dengan kekuatan senjata, melainkan dengan cara diplomasi.
    Indonesia menginginkan sebuah Negara yang berdaulat penuh atas wilayah
    bekas jajahan hindia belanda. Untuk itu pemerintah republic Indonesia bersedia
    membayar semua hutang pemerintah hindia belanda sebelum tanggal 6 maret 1942,
    namun pemerintah belandah menolak konsesi itu.
    Perundingan dilanjutkan dinegeri belanda, di kota hooge veluwe bulan april
    1946. dalam perundingan itu, belanda menolak usul yang dilakukan clark kerr
    tentang pengakuan kedaulatan secara de facto wilayah Indonesia yang terdiri dari
    sumatera dan jawa. Pihak Indonesia dipimpin oleh dr. sudarsono, jenderal
    soedirman dan jenderal oerip soemohardjo. Inggris mengirim lord killearn sebagai
    penengah setelah komisi gencatan senjata terbentuk. Isi persetujuan linggarjati
    antara lain :
    a. pemerintah republic Indonesia dan belanda bersama – sama membentuk Negara
    federasi bernama Negara Indonesia serikat.
    b. Negara Indonesia serikat tetap terdiri dalam ikatan kerja sama dengan kerajaan
    belanda, dengan wadah uni Indonesia – belanda yang diketuai oleh ratu belanda.
    Setelah naskah ditandatangani, muncul pro dan kontra di masyarakat mengenai
    hasil perundingan tersebut.namun dengan menambah suara dalam KNIP, pemerintah
    republic Indonesia berhasil mendapat dukungan KNIP. Maka pada tanggal 25 maret
    1947 pihak Indonesia menyetujui perjanjian linggarjati.
    *. Agresi Militer Belanda 1 dan Perjanjian Renville
    Belanda melakukan agresi terbuka pada tanggal 21 juli 1947 yang menimbulkan
    reaksi hebat dari dunia internasional. Pada tanggal 30 juli 1947, pemerintah India
    dan Australia mengajukan permintaan resmi agar masalah Indonesia segera
    dimasukkan dalam daftar agenda dewan keamanan PBB.tanggal 1 agustus 1947
    dewan keamanan PBB memerintahkan penghentian permusuhan kedua belah pihak
    dan mulai berlaku sejak tanggal 4 agustus 1947. sementara itu untuk mengawasi
    pelaksanaan gencatan senjata, dewan keamanan PBB membentuk komisi konsuler
    dengan anggota – anggotanya terdiri dari para konsul jenderal yang berada di
    wilayah Indonesia.
              sambungan materi sejarah kls.XII IPS bab 3        
    3. Pertempuran Medan Area
    Pada tanggal 9 november 1945, pasukan sekutu dibawah pimpinan brigadir
    jenderal T.E.D. Kelly mendarat di Sumatra utara yang diikuti oleh pasukan
    NICA.selanjutnya mereka ditempatkan di binjai, tanjung lapangan. Sehari setelah
    mendarat, tim RAPWI mendatangi kamp – kamp tawanan yang ada di medan atas
    persetujuan Gubernur M.Hasan. kelompok itu langsung dibentuk menjadi Medan
    Batalyon KNIL.
    Pada tanggal 10 oktober 1945 dibentuk TKR sumatera Timur dengan
    pimpinannya Achmad Tahir. Selanjutnya diadakan pemanggilan bekas giyugun dan
    heiho ke sumatera timur. Disamping TKR, terbentuk juga badan – badan perjuangan
    yang sejak tanggal 15 oktober 1945 menjadi pemuda republic Indonesia sumatera
    timur dan kemudian berganti nama menjadi pesindo.
    Sementara itu pada tanggal 18 oktober 1945, brigadier jenderal T.E.D Kelly
    memberi ultimatum agar para pemuda medan menyerahkan senjatanya kepada
    sekutu.pada tanggal 1 desember 1945, pihak sekutu – inggris memasang papan –
    papan yang bertuliskan fixed boundaries medan area di daerah – daerah pinggiran
    kota medan.dan pada taggal 10 agustus 1946, diselenggarakan suatu pertemuan di
    tebing tinggi antara para komando pasukan yang berjuang di medan area.pertemuan
    itu memutuskan dibentuknya satu komando yang bernama komando resimen lascar
    rakyat medan area.
    4. Bandung Lautan Api
    Pasukan sekutu inggris kota bandung sejak pertengahan oktober 1945.
    menjelang November 1945, pasukan NICA semakin merajalela di bandung dengan
    aksi terornya.Untuk meredakan ketegangan diadakan perundingan dengan keputusan
    diplomasi tanggal 25 november 1945, bandung kemudian di bagi menjadi dua
    bagian.
    Meskipun pihak Indonesia telah mengosongkan sejauh 11 km. hal itu
    menyebabkan rakyat bandung marah. Mereka kemudian melakukan aksi
    pertempuran dengan membumihanguskan segenap penjuru bandung selatan.
    Bandung terbakar hebat dari batas timur cicadas sampai barat andir. Satu juta jiwa
    penduduk mengungsi ke luar kota pada tanggal 23 dan 24 maret 1946 meninggalkan
    bandung yang telah menjadi lautan api.
              My Beijing Bash: Part I        
    Beijing..the ancient city and seat of power of the Qing and Ming dynasties...and today the epicentre of China..only one word comes to mind to describe this great city..Majestic!!

    Day 1:
    The flight was Shanghai touched down at the new Terminal 3 at Beijing airport...and it is massive...certainly well equipped to handle the Olympics influx..
    The Hotel
    Made my way to my hotel...Days Inn Forbidden City...the place was too good..and the location even better..just few mins from Tiananmen and the forbidden city...the rooms r good..and to top it all it came with free internet..guys..i really recommend this place...

    Neways..first stop was going to be Tiantian...the temple of Heaven!
    This complex..houses the several temples..where emperors used to perform rituals for a good harvest...they were considered a direct link between the gods and the common people...
    The architecture and the scale of this place is unbelievable...certainly a must see!!
    Parks Around Tiantian

    wat is also fascinating about beijing is its park life...there is so much activity..ppl sipping tea..playing checkers...singing and performing concerts..gives a very unique flavor to the city...was walking around the park in Tiantian..and came across this wonderful troupe...

    From Tiantian..took a time travel to the futuristic Birds Nest Olympics stadium..the steel structure looks complex..and intricate..but at the same time very modern and chic...lot of work goin around in the area so couldnt really get very close...

    The sun was on the horizon..and it was perfect time to make way to Tiananmen square for the flag lowering ceremony...now this is wat is a real square..it is freaking huge..can accommodate around a million people if needed...with the Great Hall of the people...and Mao's mausoleum..and the People's museum surrounding the 3 sides..and the entrance to Forbidden city on the forth side....and to top it all statues and murals of the Long leap all around...now tis is truly impressive..and makes a powerful statement...this is the People's republic!!
    The Great Hall of the People
    The Long Leap
    Countdown!

    Finally dinner was rather interesting..went to a Hakka restaurant...and sure had difficulty with the menu...but managed to get some lovely mushroom veggie..and some "lovely" KFC popcorn chicken imitation...(alas turned out to be fried chk cartilage)

    Day 1 sure was a fascinating...stay tuned for Day 2 and the adventure to the one and only...Great wall
              My China Chronicles...        
    Shanghai...the city has grown and grown...and somehow has still managed to retain some of its old world charm..especially 'The Bund'...its an area along the river with magnificent imperial buildings...you can just picture old chinese bird merchants bringing their birds to market up along the misty river...
    But now to add to the contrast..the oppposite bank is nothing but tall scapers and towers of thriving Pudong district..some with very unique architecture..like the Oriental Pearl Tower...
    One of must visit markets is Nanjing road..it is full pedestrian belt..with big signages and big stores...but then there are small alleys..with small stores...selling anything you can think of..for one-tenth the price..fake obviously...Rolex..Iphone...LV...Armani..cheap cheap!!
    But be prepared to be surrounded by locals...drawing them to their stores..."Want some cheap cheap goods? Grade 1 quality!!"..."Hi can I practise my English with you"...and the best of all.."Hi I am a struggling artist..do you want to see my work and buy some stunning art"
    People's square..the name says it all..in the People's republic..tis is the headquarters of the communist party in shanghai..the centre of power...


    Some more glimpses of Shanghai:

    Even the Road Signs are interesting!
    Kung-Fu Fast Food
    Pudong Airport
    overall Shanghai is an interesting place..with great energy..constant bustle..
    Just loved the atmosphere!!
              My escape to the cradle of culture        
    CHINA
    to me...it has always been a mysterious place...with a long profound history shrouded with myth and tales of emperors and dynasties....
    it is also the place of a strong revolution...with people sprouting new ideology and defining the land that is today..the People's Republic of China....
    and now...in the 21st century...it has made great strides as a powerful economy..and definitely showing some muscle on the world stage...

    yup...this is where I was over the past week...in Shanghai and then in Beijing...and it was an experience I shall never forget....

    The China Chronicles shall continue....

              Insomnia Radio #182 – Around The World        
    A marathon episode of Insomnia Radio, with bands from Canada, USA, Australia, Spain, The Dominican Republic, Argentina, Italy, Holland and Sweden. And there is a BIG announcement. TRT: 1:18:35 Rating: Probably Work Safe Track Listing and Links Pigeon Park: Lovelight Web Site | Bandcamp FINS: Lawnmower Bandcamp | Facebook Half Film: Machines, Hawks And The […]
              Art Symposium in Yelabuga        
    In the end of June (20-29) I took part in the XI International Art Symposium on modern art organized by the Yelabuga State Historical-Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve. Yelabuga is one of the largest cities of the Republic of Tatarstan, with a huge history formed by the different ethnic groups (Finno-Ugric, Turkic and Slavic) and religions...
              [urls] Build a Better Enterprise Application        
    Thursday, August 12, 2004
    Dateline: China
     
    The following is a sampling of my top ten "urls" for the past week or so.  By signing up with Furl (it's free), anyone can subscribe to an e-mail feed of ALL my urls (about 100-250 per week) -- AND limit by subject (e.g., ITO) and/or rating (e.g., articles rated "Very Good" or "Excellent").  It's also possible to receive new urls as an RSS feed.  However, if you'd like to receive a daily feed of my urls but do NOT want to sign up with Furl, I can manually add your name to my daily Furl distribution list.  (And if you want off, I'll promptly remove your e-mail address.)
     
    Top Honors:
     
    * Build a Better Enterprise Application (on Web services and SOA; great review of all the pertinent issues)
     
    Other best new selections (in no particular order):
     
    * Adaptive Document Layout via Manifold Content (PDF) (another hit for Microsoft, this article proposes a user interface for authoring and editing Web content for different form factors; think formatting for ubiquitous devices and pervasive computing)
    A New View on Intelligence (on XML & EII, et al) (thoroughly enjoyable -- so good,  I almost blogged it; insightful perspective)
    InfoWorld Special Report: Has desktop Linux come of age? (IMHO, a resounding "No!!"  But there are other perspectives worth considering.  I still think it's a lot of wishful thinking.)
    * Negotiating in Service-Oriented Environments (PDF) (A slightly annotated excerpt: "The concept of delivering software as a service is relatively simply: 'do not buy software, simply use it as and when you need it'.  Putting such a concept into practice, however, is far more complex and involves many issues.  In this article, we address the question: What are the characteristics of a market for software services?"  Hot topic, good paper.)
    * Real Time Means Real Change (so much talk about the so-called "Real Time Enterprise"; this article takes a look at the realities behind the hype of the "RTE")
    Information Scent on the Web (PDF) (Courtesy of PARC, you need to read this for yourself; Google as The Matrix idea -- worse yet, The Time Machine Reloaded   In reality, useful perspectives for Web designers.)
    Offshoring/Outsourcing: Fragile - Handle With Care (a brief but rather comprehensive overview; points to the various aspects of ITO and BPO along the IT value chain)
    IT Spending For Comprehensive Compliance (original article linked; good review of the various opportunities "thanks" mostly to SOX)
    * The Executive's Guide to Utility Computing - ROI of Utility Computing (a broad perspective on utility computing, different from what is usually published)
     
    Examples of urls that didn't make my "Top Ten List":
     
    > Benchmarking Study Shows 75 Percent of Enterprises Deploying Web Services (need I say more?; includes stats on ebXML and grid computing, too)
    > Probabilistic Model for Contextual Retrieval (PDF) (a sneak peek at Microsoft's emerging search technology?)  See also Block-based Web Search, courtesy of Microsoft Research Asia (Beijing) and Tsinghua University, arguably China's best (the latter article is not urled; from the recent SIGIR conference).  If you think Google is the last word in search, think again.
    > Where To Find New Growth Prospects And What Challenges Need To Be Overcome (necessary action items and preferred geographic regions; China <not Russia, Brazil or the Czech Republic> comes in the number two slot after North America)
    > CIO Magazine: Are We Happy Yet? (on ITO and BPO) (dumb article title, but smart content; good metrics to consider, including a take on SLAs)
    > Developing Killer Apps for Industrial Augmented Reality (restricted access) (this page provides some complimentary information to the restricted access selection, although it's not urled).  I just noticed something:  The apps section of IEEE CG&A is edited by two mil guys, one from the (U.S.) Office of Naval Research and the other from the U.S. Army simulation and training office.  Hey, who says all the good engineering jobs are outsourced!?    Frankly, I believe that the best American engineers can always find jobs within DoD or the intelligence community.  Besides, they do all the truly fun computing stuff!!  Trust me, there isn't so much fun stuff done at Oracle.
     
    and many, many more ...
     
    Cheers,
     
    David Scott Lewis
    President & Principal Analyst
    IT E-Strategies, Inc.
    Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China
     
    http://www.itestrategies.com (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x)
    http://tinyurl.com/2r3pa (access to blog content archives in China)
    http://tinyurl.com/2azkh (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW)
    http://tinyurl.com/2hg2e (AvantGo channel)
     
     
    To automatically subscribe click on http://tinyurl.com/388yf .
     

              REPUBLIC P-47 BLUEPRINTS        
    All P-47 versions, over 46000 drawings, 60 dvds. Contact me for high resolution samples and pricing
              E-TEAM Education Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic        


    Vincent Nierstrasz, prof. Textile Materials Technology, dept. of Textile Technology, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business


    March 12-17 I had the opportinity to teach Textile Biotechnology (a resource effective way of textile processing) at the Technical University of Liberec, (Czech Republic) in the framework of the E-TEAM master program of the AUTEX. University of BorÃ¥s is a member of the AUTEX. The AUTEX has its own ambitious textile technology master program. In this program the students are hosted at 4 different AUTEX member universities for the duration of a semester. The professors teaching the different topics have to teach for 1 week at the hosting university. This time the host for the 2nd semester is the faculty of Textile Engineering in Liberec.
    I am teaching in the E-TEAM program since 1999. Teaching in the E-TEAM program is challeging for both students and professors and has the benefit that you in fact become quite familiar with most AUTEX member universities, thereby facilitating European research collaborations.


    The TU Liberec is a middle-sized university with 6 faculties:
    • Faculty of Mechanical Engineering 
    • Faculty of Textile Engineering 
    • Faculty of Science-Humanities and Education 
    • Faculty of Economics 
    • Faculty of Arts and Architecture 
    • Faculty of Mechatronics, Informatics and Inter-Disciplinary Studies
    • Faculty of Health Studies
    The faculty of Textile Engineering was established in 1960, and is, like the school of textiles in Borås in Sweden, the only academic education in Czech Republic, addressing the whole textile subject, textile materials, technology, marketing and design. The faculty has 6 departments:
    • Textile Technology
    • Nonwovens and nanofibrous materials
    • Clothing Technology
    • Materials Engineering
    • Design
    • Textile Evaluation
    In addition to teaching, I had meetings with several staff members from the dept. of Materials Engineering, the dept. of Clothing Technology, as well as the vice dean to discuss research at the faculty of Textile Engineering as well as in my research group in order to strengthen our research collaboration (see e.g. the blog of Sina Seipel, a PhD-student in my group that visited TU liberec in 2016). I also had a meeting with a representative of Inotex, who is sepcialized in Textile Biotecnology to further discuss potential collaboration.

    It was an inspiring and busy week.


    Vincent Nierstrasz






    The Faculty of Textile Technology


    Town hall

    City centre
     





              Staff mobility at the Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic         

    Sina Seipel - Doctoral Student at the Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business, Department of Textile Technology

    Dobrý den! (Hello!)

    In September I had the opportunity to take part in the Erasmus+ staff mobility program for training. For my exchange I chose the Technical University of Liberec, which was founded in 1953 with a background in mechanical and textile engineering. Today the university has 7 faculties and a total number of approx. 10 000 students. 
    • Faculty of Mechanical Engineering 
    • Faculty of Textile Engineering 
    • Faculty of Science-Humanities and Education 
    • Faculty of Economics 
    • Faculty of Arts and Architecture 
    • Faculty of Mechatronics, Informatics and Inter-Disciplinary Studies
    • Faculty of Health Studies

    As I am a doctoral student in the field of Textile Material Technology I visited the Department of Material Engineering at the Faculty of Textile Engineering to learn more about the characterisation of smart dyes applied on textiles with spectrophotometry. The department is, among other areas, specialised in colorimetry and the development of textile sensorical systems based on smart materials. Their educational and research activities are in large extent compatible but at the same time very much complementing to the specialisation of my doctoral field. This match made it ideal for me to learn more in depth about spectrophotometry and its application for photochromic textile materials. Throughout my stay I could gather a lot of new knowledge and ideas by job shadowing of lab work and participating in group workshops and presentations together with the professors Martina Viková and Michal Vik, doctoral students of the department and an exchange student from Turkey. Eventually, I also did some hands-on work at the measurement instrument to get practical experience. 

    Research group meeting
    Spectrophotometric measurement of photochromic prints 

    The city of Liberec is the former textile center of the Czech Republic and lies in the very North of the country. It is not only comparable to BorÃ¥s because of its textile background, but also in size and landscape-wise. With round about 100 000 inhabitants Liberec is the the third largest city in Bohemia with only Prague and Plzeň being larger. Liberec is surrounded by mountains from northeast and southwest with the river Lusatian Neisse flowing through it. For the textile industry it was essential to have access to a river for the production. The climate in the area was ideal for flax to grow, which was the reason for linen weaving mills and cloth manufactures to arise during the 16th century. In the late 19th century, the textile industry and the city's wealth had reached its peak. During this time countless villas and the beautiful town hall were built. 

    Villa area around the university 
    Former textile worker accommodation area
    Liberec town hall 

    The city is also known for its abundant sports activities that the beautiful surrounding nature invites to: mountain biking, trail running, paddling, cross country skiing and much more. One of my first impressions of the life in Liberec was when I passed by a nearby lake. The local kayaking club was training for a competition which took place the next weekend, children were swimming in the lake and playing by the beach and at the shore was an inviting restaurant where people enjoyed some food and a refreshing drink (in Sweden it is called beer, but in the Czech Republic it is more referred to as water). I liked the mix of all leisure activities at the same time and felt invited to join in one way or another. 

    Kayak training at lake Harcov
    A proper glass would have made it perfect 

    On the weekend I could not hold myself back from doing what I love to do in my free time - compete in running. On a chilly and rainy Sunday, I took part in a mountain race at Liberec's famous landmark and local mountain Ještěd: 20 km and 1350 m of elevation. Unfortunately, the day was too misty so I could not enjoy the view when I reached the top, but I was very happy anyways when I reached the finish line.

    Ještěd peak and tower
    Start of Ještěd half marathon
    Tired but happy me 

    Overall, I am glad for the experiences that I have made during the three weeks in Liberec - both educational and cultural. I am thankful for the knowledge and new perspectives to look at my field of doctoral studies that I have learned from the staff at the Faculty of Textile Engineering. This exchange was important for me as a young researcher and teacher to get to know practices at other educational institutions. Furthermore, I hope that this stay can strengthen collaborations and exchanges between our research teams in the future. And last but not least, I am happy for the personal experience. To stay in a different country, to meet new people and to get to know a new culture is always enriching and nothing I want to miss in life. 


    Sina Seipel


              Why the Left Attacks Sarah Palin        
    Is the left really afraid of Palin, as some Republicans claim? Or is something else going on?
              Gravestone Symbolism        


    I love old gravestones, they are so beautiful and with great meaning. I never knew what some meant, so

    I did some research into the meanings of symbols on gravestones. Listed below are some of the symbols commonly used and what they mean. (I have gathered all over the internet)

    Anchor: The Anchor represents a steadfast hope. There is life after death.
    Arch: We are separated from our loved ones now, but we will spend eternity together in heaven.
    Birds: Birds represent the soul.
    Cherub: A cherub represents divine wisdom.
    Broken Column: A life cut short.
    Conch shell: The wisdom of a wise man.
    The Cross, the Anchor, and the Bible: The trial, the victory, and the reward.
    Crown: Eternal reward and glory.
    Dove: Holy Spirit, purity and love
    Evergreen: Eternal Life
    Garland: Christ was victorious over death.
    Ivy: Faithfulness
    Lamb: Innocence.
    Laurel: Victory
    Lily: The resurrection
    Olive Branch: Peace and Forgiveness
    Palms: Victory over death.
    Peacock: Eternal life.
    Skeleton: Life is short.
    Star of David: God
    Snake in a Circle: Everlasting life.
    Flag: liberty and loyalty. Often seen on military markers.
    Stars & Stripes around an Eagle: Eternal vigilance and liberty. Often seen on U.S. military markers.
    Sword: often indicates military service. When found on the base of the stone might indicate infantry.
    Horse: May indicate calvalry.
    Eagle: courage, faith and generosity. May indicate military service.
    Shield: Strength and courage. May indicate military service.
    Rifle: often indicates military service.
    Cannon: generally indicates military service. When found on the base of the stone it may indicate artillery.
    Crossed Swords: Lost in battle. (Also may indicate a military person of high rank)
    Torch: Eternal Life.
    Triangle: The Trinity.
    Weeping Willow: Grief
    Heart: victory of the soul over death
    Hands reached to the sky: signifying a belief in life after death.
    Hands pointing down: as though to depict the hand of god confirming mortality.
    Hands clasped in prayer: devotion or a couple reunited in death.
    Handshake: soul saying goodbye to earthly life.




    Links to others:
    http://www.everlifememorials.com/v/headstones/cemetery-symbolism.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headstone
    http://www.thegraveyardrabbit.com/2008/12/links-to-articles-by-graveyard-rabbits_20.html

    A variety of acronyms, such as GAR, DAR and SCV may also indicate military service or membership in a veteran's organization. These listed here are U.S. organizations.

    CSA - Confederate States of America
    DAR - Daughters of the American Revolution
    GAR - Grand Army of the Republic
    SAR - Sons of the American Revolution
    SCV - Sons of Confederate Veterans
    SSAWV - Sons of Spanish American War Veterans
    UDC - United Daughters of the Confederacy
    USD 1812 - Daughters of the War of 1812
    USWV - United Spanish War Veterans
    VFW - Veterans of Foreign Wars


    Speaking of graves, I always wondered why people put stones or rocks on gravestones, well... The Jewish tradition of leaving a pebble or stone on top of a tombstone signifies that someone has honored the deceased person’s memory with a visit to the grave. I have also heard that it commemorates the gathering of family and friends to mourn the deceased. Cool isn't it?

              Lighthouse Tribe of Barkhamsted, CT        

    They were a quiet little community in the hills of Connecticut. Here is there story...

    It all starts with JAMES CHAUGHUM and MOLLY BARBER. James was born to Samuel & Priscilla Chaughum circa 1710 on Block Island, Rhode Island. James went to worked as a gardener for Molly's father. Molly was born in Ireland about 1714. Her father's name could be Peter Barber, but it is unknown. It is unknown when they came to Wethersfield, CT.

    The story goes that Molly had many male callers, she fell in love with a gentleman caller, and her father denied them to get married and locked her up on their grounds, the gentleman then moved out west. James seeing Molly so sad gave her a rose from the garden and a friendship blossomed. They eventually fell in love and decided to run away so they could be together. Molly's angered father chased them from Wethersfield, CT into an Indian village near Barkhamsted, were he passed right by Molly and didn't even recognize her. Molly and James then settled in the mountain range around Barkhamsted where they flourished.


    They had 8 children in all; Sally, Samuel, Solomon, Meribah (Mary), Hannah Sands, Mercy, Mary (Polly), and Elizabeth. Samuel married a Miss. Green, Solomon married a Miss. Hayes, Meribah (Mary) married Samuel Lawerence, Hannah Sands married Ruben Barber in 1784, Mercy married Isaac Jacklyn, Mary (Polly) married William Wilson before 1797.

    My link is Mary & William Wilson (click on their names above, and it will take you to their website)



    Suggested Reading
    A Village of Outcasts: Historical Archaeology and Documentary Research at the Lighthouse Site, by Kenneth L. Feder (Mayfield Publishing Company, Mountain View, California---1994).(Book cover scanned by Sherry L. Carsten)

    Barkhamsted, CT and its centennial 1879, by William Wallace Lee, (Meriden, CT: Republican Steam Print, 1881).
    The Legend of Barkhamsted Light House, by Lewis Sprauge Mills, (Lewis Sprauge Mill, publisher. Barkhamsted, CT).


    Other Links to the Lighthouse

              Motherhood and the Law of the Father in Nuruddin Farah's "Dictatorship" Trilogy        
    As many critics have noted, Naruddin Farah’s trilogy “Variations on the Theme of African Dictatorship” represents the patriarchal structure of the family as reinforcing the power of Somalia’s governmental regime under the General (a stand-in for the historical figure of Siad Barre, who led the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969 to 1991 as military dictator). Certainly, traditional gender roles that position the father/husband as the unqualified head of the family and his children/wives as powerless and therefore submissive to his commands map easily, according to Naruddin’s novels, onto the structure of a dictatorship, which situates one omniscient and all-powerful man above a citizenry at the mercy of his dictates and their often violent enforcement. I claim, however, that Naruddin also portrays motherhood, both as a familial position and a conceptual framework, as playing a crucial role in the maintenance of the General’s regime.

    The extent to which motherhood functions to underpin the oppressive Somali government is most fully explored in the first two novels of the trilogy: Sweet and Sour Milk (1979), which introduces this issue even in its metaphorically rich title, and Sardines (1981). The final novel in the series, Close Sesame (1983), sidelines the issue of motherhood in favor of a final look at the patriarchal family structure and its tribal counterpart, the traditional Somali clan system. I will therefore focus in this post on the first two novels. In Sweet and Sour Milk, Loyaan undertakes to determine the cause for the sudden death of Soyaan, his twin brother, which appears to have been ordered by the General in response to Soyaan’s subversive politics. The novel introduces a host of mother figures, including Loyaan and Soyaan’s mother, Qumman, who, out of fear for her children’s lives, discourages their political activism. The second novel centers on the strained relationship between Medina and Samater, who differ in their approaches to dealing with the General’s government and, by extension, the continued oppression and abuse of women and girls personified in Samater’s highly conservative mother, Idil. While Idil works to maintain the political and social status quo, Medina and other mothers throughout the novel offer us alternative approaches to motherhood. In both novels, mothers are depicted as subjugated to the rule of their husbands and the dictatorship, but they are also powerful in that they either visit—in true Kristevan fashion—the Law of the father upon their children or actively resist the rule of the patriarchal family and government structure.

    Although she recognizes that her son’s death was a work of foul play, Qumman insists on blaming other women—Soyaan’s mistress Margarita and her husband’s other wife Beynan, for instance—for his demise. In this way, she deflects responsibility for Soyaan’s murder from the oppressive military regime and—though unwittingly—reinforces the patriarchy’s conventional suspicion of women and breeds distrust within her own community of women. Fearful for her only remaining son’s life, Qumman also tries to prevent Loyaan from pursuing the truth or resisting the government in any way, hovering close to him during a communal “broom party” in an effort to ensure that he does not verbally or non-verbally challenge the officiating government personnel (212). As J.I. Okonkwo points out, “[T]hrough loyalty, service and emotional hold over sons and husbands, Qumman’s generation of women, deeply conservative, militate against individual freedom and progress” (219). We find another—perhaps more extreme and certainly more deliberate—example of this type of maternal control over the potential subversive acts of her children in Idil of Sardines. As I mentioned in a previous post on genital mutilation, Idil insists that she will have her granddaughter, Ubax, circumcised, even if it means that she has to steal the eight-year-old away from Medina and Samater. When Medina moves away with the young girl in an effort to escape Idil’s threat, Idil arranges for a more suitable—conservative and submissive—wife for Samater. Samater ultimately rejects both his mother and the new woman, forcing them to leave his house, but not without arousing the anger of the state.

    In fact, Samater’s decision to eject his mother from his home is treated as an act of treason. Samater is picked up by government officials, held in prison for a period of time, and subjected to various acts of torture before he is finally allowed to return to his wife and child. In this sequence of events, we see Idil the matriarch positioned as a representative of the General and his regime. An offense against Idil is perceived by the state as an offense against the General. In addition to a father-figure, then, the General becomes a mother-figure. A passage in the first novel of the trilogy describes the General and his dictatorship as taking on the role of both mother and father to the abandoned orphans of Somalia: “[A]ny unclaimed babies found in the city’s garbage bins or unpatrolled streets were trained to consider the General their father, his revolution their mother, and the regime’s generosities to them their breast-feed” (235). In fact, the novel’s very title, Sweet and Sour Milk, suggests both the role that women play in perpetuating the violence of the military regime through their efforts to protect their children and the ways in which the head of the state acts as a mother himself, indoctrinating his subjects into a harsh world by laying down the Law, his own law of fear and violence. Recurrent imagery in the novel depicts mothers nursing, refusing to nurse, unable to nurse, and weaning their children. I read these women as representative of the state—and the general himself. Together, they portray the General as an abusive mother. He suckles his citizenry in the rhetoric of equality and freedom and then abandons them to hunger and desperation, all in a careful plan to ensure their dependence on his random and infrequent acts of nurturance. In that they care for their children and then limit their children’s struggles against an oppressive government and in that they take on the symbolism of the state—which protects and kills at whim—conservative mothers in Farah’s trilogy raise their children on the sweet and sour milk of the first novel’s title.

    Not all mothers in Sweet and Sour Milk and Sardines reinforce the Law of the dictator, however. Especially in the figure of Medina, Farah offers us a woman who acts as a strong leader for the young women in her community and encourages both her surrogate and biological daughters to question the government and engage in political activism. Interestingly, though, in all of her zeal to teach her daughter to resist the General’s militaristic regime, Medina has to consciously work to avoid taking on the qualities of a dictator herself. Medina recalls at one point the words of her progressive father: “You must leave breathing-space in the architecture of your love; you must leave enough room for little Ubax to exercise her growing mind. You mustn’t indoctrinate, mustn’t brainwash her. Otherwise you become another dictator, trying to shape your child in your own image” (17). Even as Medina struggles against the General in her political life and her mother-in-law who represents the dictatorship in her personal life, she must proceed with caution in her relationship with her own daughter, for, as Derek Wright points out, “The freedom which Medina forces prematurely upon Ubax is at times almost as oppressive as the obedience Idil has forced upon Samater” (103). In this way, Farah again insists on the power of motherhood, a power that many women use to initiate their children into the way of the Law and that Medina must moderate in order to raise a free-thinking daughter.

    Because women (as mothers) are so potentially powerful in resisting the dictatorship, Farah situates their full freedom—from arranged marriage, circumcision, purdah, censorship, etc.—as crucial to the development of a just government in Somalia. In that they continue to suffer the terrorism and indoctrination inherent to a dictatorship, however, mothers in Farah’s novels often function to serve the state by teaching their children the Law that, ironically, oppresses them and also by serving as honored symbols of the dictatorship itself. It is in fact because Farah is so sensitive to the continued victimization of women and the political consequences of this victimization that popular and scholarly critics agree, as blogger The Activist Writer claims, for example, that he is one of Africa’s leading feminist authors.

    Bibliographic Notes: Those who have discussed the patriarchal family structure as reinforcing the General’s dictatorship include R. John Williams and Derek Wright. For further discussion of the significance of milk in Somali lore and tradition, see Abdourahman A. Waberi.

    Works Cited

    Farah, Nuruddin. Close Sesame. Saint Paul, MN: Greywolf P, 1983.

    ---. Sardines. Saint Paul, MN: Greywolf P, 1981.

    ---. Sweet and Sour Milk. Saint Paul, MN: Greywolf P, 1979.

    Okonkwo, J. I. “Nuruddin Farah and the Changing Roles of Women.” World Literature Today: A Literary Quarterly of the University of Oklahoma 58.2 (1984): 215-221.

    Waberi, Abdourahman A. “Organic Metaphor in Two Novels by Nuruddin Farah.” World Literature Today: A Literary Quarterly of the University of Oklahoma 72.4 (1998): 775-80.

    Williams, R. John. “'Doing History': Nuruddin Farah's Sweet and Sour Milk, Subaltern Studies, and the Postcolonial Trajectory of Science.” Research in African Literatures 37.4 (2006): 161-76.

    Wright, Derek. “Parents and Power in Nuruddin Farah's Dictatorship Trilogy.” Kunapipi 11.2 (1989): 94-106.
              #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.
              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 -
    (www.johnpilger.com/articles/on-the-beach-2017-the-beckoning-of-nuclear-war)

    [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).

    .

              Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It        
    Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It
    author: Lawrence Lessig
    name: Gwen
    average rating: 4.15
    book published: 2011
    rating: 0
    read at:
    date added: 2017/05/25
    shelves: to-read, research-nf
    review:


              South Korea's stubborn peace effort        
    SUBHEAD: Peace movement refusing to give up is taking the long view of its campaign. 

    By Jon Letman on 4 August 2017 for Truth Out -
    (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41486-taking-the-long-view-why-south-korea-s-peace-movement-refuses-to-give-up)


    Image above: Jeong Young-hee is a Korean tangerine farmer in Gangjeong village on Jeju island. Like many residents, she strongly opposes the newly built South Korean naval base just two miles from her farm. Photo by Jon Letman. From original article.

    In August, 1945, as Japan smoldered in the ruins of war, the question of what would become of the Korean peninsula after 35 years of Japanese occupation and a Soviet army advancing southward spurred the hasty selection of an artificial division along the 38th parallel drawn by two American officials as a border between US and Soviet "zones of occupation."

    That line, never intended to be permanent, hardened like stubborn mud before the newly liberated Korea ever had the chance to form an independent, unified and democratic nation. Today 38°N still marks a potentially catastrophic flashpoint between North and South Korea.

    The DMZ -- demilitarized zone -- despite its name, is one of the most militarized places on the planet. This hyper-militarization, in fact, extends south across the peninsula and today, 64 years after an armistice halted (but never formally ended) the Korean war, South Korea remains peppered with scores of US military installations -- at least 80 by the Pentagon's own count.

    US bases, and the 28,500 US troops and joint military exercises they support, are not only opposed by North Korea; many South Koreans see them as a problematic construct that perpetuates the likelihood of war.

    Despite frequent media coverage of North Korea's highly choreographed military parades, increasing missile launches, and Kim Jong-un's threats to turn Seoul into a "sea of fire," far less attention is paid to South Korea's tireless, well-organized peace movement opposed to militarism on both sides of the DMZ.

    South Korean civil groups and NGOs like People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions are skilled at forming coalitions with peace activists and religious groups opposed to a military buildup, which they see as increasing tensions with the North and militarization across Northeast Asia.

    Your Old Farm Is Our New Base


    Image above: Candle light protests have been held outside the Seongju County office nightly since the deployment of the THAAD antimissile defense system was announced in July 2016. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    With the bulk of US bases concentrated in and around Seoul and within range of North Korean artillery, the US is in the middle of a major realignment of its forces as it consolidates bases, moving tens of thousands of troops, their families and civilian contractors to US Army Garrison Humphreys in the city of Pyeongtaek, 40 miles south of Seoul.

    In 2002, when the US announced its plan to triple Humphreys in size, Pyeongtaek residents living around the base organized fierce protests that raged for five years.

    Thousands of police were deployed, citizens were arrested and villages were demolished. In the end, however, the base's walls were pushed outward, and Camp Humphreys grew from just over 1,000 acres to more than 3,400 acres, making it the US's largest overseas military base in the world.

    Now in the final years of construction, US Army Garrison Humphreys is equipped to serve as the new headquarters for the Eighth US Army and US Forces Korea command center.


    Image above: A representative of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions holds an anti-THAAD banner at a demonstration in Soseong-ri, Seongju County, South Korea. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    The Humphreys expansion is slated for completion by 2020 and will eventually be home to up to 46,000 military and civilian personnel living and working behind razor wire-topped walls and gates.

    The $10.7 billion expansion, the US's largest-ever peacetime military construction project, is being paid for overwhelmingly (around 90 percent) by the South Korean government. In 2016, Gen. Vincent Brooks (now head of US Forces Korea) publicly stated that it's cheaper to station US troops in South Korea than in the United States.

    The Humphreys expansion does have supporters in the community, and many businesses have come to depend on the US military's presence.

    Pyeongtaek's city government, unable to refuse the influx of thousands of US forces, has done its best to promote Humphreys' expansion as an opportunity to court non-military business and infrastructure investment and push for internationalization through increased cultural exchanges with military personnel and their families.

    Still, many residents view the base as an unwelcome intrusion on Korean sovereignty and a source of crime, pollution and noise from military aircraft like F-16s, A-10 Thunderbolts, Chinook and Apache helicopters.


    Image above: Demonstrators march toward the former golf course in Seongju County where the controversial THAAD antimissile defense system is being deployed by the US. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    Since 2002, Kang Song-won of the Pyeongtaek Peace Center has been working closely with residents from communities affected by Humphreys, particularly those who were forcibly relocated from the villages of Daechu-ri and Dodu-ri. Kang works with volunteers to monitor military incidents and accidents around the base.

    Beyond the noise and inherent danger, he told Truthout the most harmful impact of Humphreys' expansion has been the deep divisions sown in the community between base supporters and opponents.

    Giving up, however, is not an option. "Even though we lost the fight against the US military, I think it is still necessary to keep fighting ... against the problems of the US military base," Kang said.

    Island of Peace, Tides of War


    Image above: US Army Garrison Humphreys is a helicopter base in what will soon be the the United States' largest overseas military base. Just beyond the fence are small farming villages. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    An hour's flight south of Seoul is sub-tropical Jeju island. Home to nine UNESCO Global Geoparks and a World Heritage site, the volcanic island is renowned for its natural beauty and biodiversity both on land and sea. Jeju has also been heavily developed for tourism. On the south coast, in Gangjeong village, is the site of a new Korean naval base.

    Muddying its primary purpose, the base is sometimes called the Jeju Multipurpose Port Complex and is touted as having a (future) dual civilian-military function, but for now it's strictly a Korean naval base and headquarters for the South Korean Navy's Mobile Task Force Flotilla-7, which includes Aegis warfare destroyers, KDX III helicopter destroyers and a submarine force command.

    Like the expansion of Camp Humphreys, the 2007 announcement of the Jeju naval base sparked widespread outcry from residents opposed to the militarization of what was dubbed "Island of Peace" in recognition of Jeju's horrific April 3 massacre (1947-54).

    In that massacre, as many as 30,000 island residents were killed by Korean forces over a seven-year period beginning in 1947 during the US military administration that occupied the southern part of the Korean peninsula immediately after the August 1945 defeat of Japan.

    As in Pyeongtaek, Jeju base protesters clashed with the police for years. Base opponents, including the former mayor, were arrested and heavily fined but in the end, the base was built.


    Image above: Many of the residents protesting against the deployment of the THAAD antimissile defense system are elderly farmers who don't want their remote mountain village to be militarized. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    Tangerine farmers Jeong Young-hee and her husband Kang Sung-won have been growing Jeju's famous citrus varieties for 30 years in greenhouses less than two miles from the base. Young-hee and Sung-won are concerned about the environmental impact of the base, especially the effects on the sea -- including soft corals, sea urchins, abalone and other marine life -- and the destruction of what was a sacred lava rock coastal field called Gureombi.

    Construction on the base is not yet complete. Young-hee and Sung-won worry that as it grows, if a future exclusion zone (a zone that would restrict new construction) is declared, it would surround their farm, almost certainly driving down land values.

    Peeling one of her sweet hallabong oranges, Young-hee explains how the base has caused a rift between friends and family members. The base has also divided many citrus farmers and Jeju's famous Haenyeo free divers. "Our relationship was destroyed," says Young-hee, who joined her male counterparts in shaving her head as a gesture of protest against the base.


    Image above: Retired Catholic priest Father Mun Jeong-hyeon holds a daily mass along along a roadside site that doubles as a protest against the Jeju naval base in Gangjeong village, Jeju island. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    In the early days of the struggle, when base opponents pointed fingers at the US accusing it of pressuring South Korea (also known as the Republic of Korea), South Korean officials denied that the base would permanently host US warships.

    This year, in March and June, US warships made their first visits to the Jeju base with short, inconspicuous port calls similar to what was recommended in a 2013 US Army War College strategy research project. Last January, US Pacific Command's Adm. Harry Harris suggested the possibility of deploying the US's newest, most lethal stealth destroyer, the USS Zumwalt to Jeju waters.

    The Jeju navy base became operational in February 2016. Resistance continues daily, with activists gathering each morning in front of the entry gate to perform one hundred bows as a nonviolent, meditative protest.

    Nearby, in a roadside tent chapel, retired Catholic priest Father Mun Jeong-hyeon leads a daily mass, before joining protesters who gather with flags and banners playing raucous music outside the base.

    The mood of the protesters is defiant and the message is serious: they want a shift away from militarization of the Korean peninsula and northeast Asia.

    This week (July 30-August 5), for the eighth year since 2008, apeace march is underway, in which activists are walking from the Jeju naval base around the island to raise awareness of the continuing struggle and to call for peace.

    In Defense of Who?


    Image above: Guards look out from behind a razor wire fence surrounded the new South Korean naval base on Jeju island, South Korea. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    South Korea's latest struggle against militarization began in July 2016 in rural, traditionally conservative Seongju County 135 miles south of Seoul.

    Residents of Seongju and neighboring Gimcheon were caught off guard when the central government, under deposed President Park Geun-hye, offered Seongju to the US as a location for the US antimissile defense Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

    For more than a year since that announcement, daily protests have been taking place in Seongju and elsewhere around the country. In June, an anti-THAAD protest of several thousand people briefly and peacefully surrounded the US embassy in Seoul.

    THAAD manufacturer Lockheed Martin says the system is intended to defend "US troops, allied forces, population centers and critical infrastructure against short and medium range ballistic missiles."

    Seongju residents and Koreans across the country, however, recite a litany of reasons they are opposed to THAAD, from environmental and health concerns to the lack of a democratic process to ever-increasing deployment of foreign weapons, as well as economic repercussions and tension with its neighbors China and Russia.


    Image above: Korean Army personnel stand guard at the Demilitarized Zone/Joint Security Area outside the Military Armistice Commission buildings along the tense border. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    Two weeks before South Korea's snap election on May 9 this year, the US, citing North Korean threats, hurriedly began the deployment of THAAD in what had been a golf course outside a small village called Soseong-ri.

    When South Korea's newly elected President Moon Jae-in learned that his own Ministry of Defense had failed to notify him of the presence of an additional four THAAD launchers, Moon called for a temporary suspension of THAAD to conduct an environmental assessment.

    That suspension, however, is being reevaluated now as South Korea considers deploying additional launchers in response to a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile test last week.

    Like other aspects of the military alliance between the US and South Korea, THAAD is supported by some South Koreans and reviled by others. And like the communities in Gangjeong village on Jeju and Pyeongtaek near Seoul, the people of Seongju and Gimcheon are divided.

    Speaking at a candlelight vigil outside the Seongju County government office on May 30, three local women were eager to share their thoughts with Americans.

    On this 310th day of consecutive protests, the women told Truthout they wanted their lives back the way they were before THAAD.

    They said their community was being torn apart -- even relations between parents and children were being strained by strong disagreements over THAAD.

    Some of their neighbors have given up opposition to THAAD, either accepting it as unavoidable or simply focusing on other matters.

    These women, however, refuse to give up and say they feel a responsibility to attend nightly demonstrations against THAAD. They also admit feeling a growing resentment toward what they see as an unequal alliance.

    "We are starting to have anti-American sentiments even though we don't hate Americans," a woman who identified herself as Mrs. Kim said.

    "To be honest, I want the US military to go home," said a second woman, who also goes by the name Mrs. Kim, adding the English phrase, "Yankee, go home."

    The Truth Is Very Powerful


    Image above: Demonstrators perform 100 bows for peace six days a week as a protest against the South Korean Jeju naval base in Gangjeong village, Jeju island. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    Even as new bases are built, old bases expanded and more weapons imported, what fuels South Korean peace movements in the face of overwhelming power?

    In Seoul, Jungmin Choi who works with Durebang (My Sister's Place), an NGO that provides counseling to foreign women working in bars and clubs near US bases, says those women are living witnesses to the impact of military bases.

    Choi calls the impacts of the bases "indescribably huge" and both tangible and intangible, but insists, "we believe this fight cannot be defeated … we will fight in a creative way with a long-term view."

    On the other side of the country, Jeju base opponent Choi Sung-hee says that even though the Jeju base is operational and US warships have started visiting, the protests must continue.

    Not only does the military know it is being watched, but protests build solidarity with other anti-base movements across South Korea and internationally, in places like Okinawa, Guam, the Philippines and Hawaii, particularly among women.


    Image above: A protester is blocked by a security guard as he sits in silent protest outside the entry to the South Korean naval base on Jeju island. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    "That's the role of people ... we should constantly demand: we do not need arms, we do not need THAAD, we do not need more military bases," Choi says. "If the people's movement is strong, I think it can also influence the decisions of the South Korean president."

    Nearby, in the St. Francis Peace Center, Father Mun carves messages of peace into wooden boards after each morning's protest. Nearly 80 years old, Father Mun has been a peace activist for decades in Pyeongtaek, on Jeju and elsewhere acting, in his words, as "a witness for truth."

    When asked why he continues to resist in the face of overwhelming power, Father Mun declared, "The truth cannot be thrown away. The truth will stand up some day. The truth is very powerful. So, I believe the truth is going to win all enemies."

    .

              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 -
    (https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/30/classic-propaganda-sinclair-broadcasting-pushes-aside-fox-news-become-trump-tv)


    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  -
    (http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41423-fascism-and-the-denial-of-truth-what-henry-wallace-can-teach-us-about-trump)


    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 -
    (https://medium.com/@joe_brewer/do-you-still-feel-capitalism-dying-c487b89c42ca)


    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.

    .

              The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books        
    The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books
    author: Azar Nafisi
    name: Sara
    average rating: 3.75
    book published: 2014
    rating: 0
    read at:
    date added: 2016/07/19
    shelves: to-read
    review:


              A Modest Proposal *        
    Government-sponsored homophobia in this country has now officially jumped the shark.

    SHE WASN'T ASKED AND DIDN'T TELL.... Amy Brian, as a Kansas Army National Guard lieutenant, served honorably in Iraq. She was part of a convoy that was hit by an IED; she worked 12-hour shifts at Camp Anaconda; and her superiors asked her to narrate award ceremonies.

    By all appearances, Amy Brian is the type of proud, patriotic American we would all want to wear the uniform. Upon returning home after a tour of duty, Brian was given a job reorganizing the Kansas Army National Guard's government purchase card program. Except now she's been discharged -- because someone found out Brian is gay.

    SNIP

    She joins nearly 12,500 other lesbian, gay and bisexual service members who have been discharged by the Pentagon from 1994 through 2007.

    And in the New York Times, a Marine who served two tours in Iraq explains why he has changed his mind about DADT and now opposes it.

    In addition, six years of war have clarified priorities. The battlefield has its own values, starting with courage. Sexual orientation falls somewhere below musical taste. What a person chooses to do back stateside, off-duty, in his own apartment is irrelevant in a fight. For months I lived with 12 other American advisers on an Iraqi outpost. There was a single pipe shower next to a hole that masqueraded as a sewer. But the reality of combat dominated personality quirks — nobody wondered about sexual orientation.

    A 2006 poll of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans showed that 72 percent were personally comfortable interacting with gays. Bonnie Moradi, a University of Florida psychologist, and Laura Miller, a sociologist at the Rand Corporation, summarized the study this way: "The data indicated no associations between knowing a lesbian or gay unit member and ratings of perceived unit cohesion or readiness. Instead, findings pointed to the importance of leadership and instrumental quality in shaping perceptions of unit cohesion and readiness."

    The other readiness argument concerns recruiting. To fill its swelling ranks, the military now grants one in five recruits waivers for disqualifications that run the gamut from attention-deficit disorder to obesity to armed robbery convictions. In a press conference last fall, Maj. Gen. Thomas Bostick, the head of Army recruiting, said the relevant question in considering such applicants was, "Does that person deserve an opportunity to serve their country?" That's exactly right. And to choose a felon over a combat-proven veteran on the basis of sexuality is defeatist. Ask any squad leader.

    In the end, however, there is one factor that outweighs public opinion, troop morale and recruiting combined. The military is a dictatorship, not a republic. It is built to win in combat. Its strict codes of conduct ensure good order and discipline.

    If "don't ask, don't tell" is rescinded, military leaders will ensure smooth compliance, as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, has said. Cohesion depends on leadership. Our troops will follow the lead of our combat-tested professionals who base their opinions on what a soldier brings to the fight, and little else.

    So here's my proposal: reinstate the draft, expanding it to include both men and women, age 18 to 50, but restricting military service to homosexuals. Only homosexuals. No more heterosexuals in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard or Reserves. Bonus: no more inconvenient pregnancies in the all-gay Armed Forces!

    Why stop at the military? Let's ban heterosexuals from the government benefits of marriage, too. Seriously, they've had it to themselves for 5,000 years and have completely fucked it up. Gay-only marriage can't possibly make it any worse, and might even improve it.

    Gay-Only Adoption. No more subjecting orphans to the twisted values of so-called straights.

    And I can't imagine someone barred from serving in the military, from state-sanctioned marriage, from adopting, passing an FBI background check for a federal job.

    Think of the political campaigns! Spying on candidates, trying to get pictures of them embracing someone of the opposite sex, the interviews with tearful gay spouses, the denials of heterosexual perversions.

    Certainly no more ridiculous than the self-defeating anti-gay idiocy we've got now.

    * With apologies to Jonathan Swift.

    Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic.

              Senator Cornhole Does The Wall Street Shuffle        
    It comes as no surprise to some of us that Texas' junior U.S. senator, John "Cornhole" Cornyn, is one of Congress' most servile right-wingers. But just how servile Sen. Cornhole is to the "repeal the New Deal" crowd on Wall Street wasn't quite apparent until the past week.

    In an e-mail to Texas MoveOn members, MoveOn Executive Director Justin Ruben of Austin wrote:

    You're not going to believe this.

    In the midst of an economic crisis caused largely by Wall Street greed, our senator skipped this week's vote on the stimulus plan so he could meet with —- wait for it —- Republican donors from Wall Street.

    Sen. John Cornyn wasn't just fiddling while Rome burned -— he was actually hanging out with the arsonists.

    He showed us that congressional Republicans aren't fighting for their constituents who got laid off or watched their retirement savings disappear or lost their health coverage. They're just looking out for their big-money corporate friends.


    Ruben went on to say that MoveOn mounted a radio ad campaign that has aired in a few Texas markets -- it's surprising that they could find any in this state -- and solicited for contributions to help fund the campaign. If you're interested in helping, visit MoveOn.org.

    For more details on the kind of right-wing pond scum Sen. Cornhole was cavorting with Monday, instead of being in Washington for the cloture vote on the stimulus package, here's a link to Ben Smith's blog on Politico.

    I have no doubt about how Sen. Cornhole would have voted had he been there -- against anything President Barack Obama advocates. But the point is, he was elected to represent Texans, not the Wall Street high-finance goons who are largely responsible for the nation's economic debacle.

    Here's your special Valentine, Texans, direct from loving Sen. Cornhole his own self. Just goes to show that being a right-wing Republican means never having to say you're sorry.

    But I'll say it -- Sen. Cornhole, you're sorry.
              The New Anti-Americans        
    Just objecting to President Obama's plan for saving the economy and the world is not enough to be anti-American. Even publicly hoping, as Rush Limpballs does, that President Obama fails in everything he does is not enough to be anti-American.

    No, to be one of the New Anti-Americans, you must combine strong dissent toward our new President with a long record of condemning as anti-American all those who dissented against War Criminal, Constitution-Shredder and Traitor George W. Bush.

    For all of us who spent the last eight years enduring verbal and even physical attacks because we dared to express our anti-war, anti-torture, pro-Constitution, anti-bush patriotism, Blue Girl has a rant that will make your heart soar.

    I remember being one of the people who opposed this war from the outset. I remember a squareheaded asshole with a buzz cut pushing his bumper up against mine and trying to push me into traffic a few days before the war started because I had bumper stickers on my truck that said "No War On Iraq" and "Get Afghanistan Right" - when he sped away I saw his..."This time, Anti-War is Anti-American."

    I remember being told by the dispatcher at the police department that I might should take those bumper stickers off my truck because "this is a pretty patriotic town."

    I remember the armchair patriots I worked with there being shocked that a military person was against a war, and how they viewed me with suspicion after learning that.

    I remember having my patriotism questioned, even though I was the one with a record of service to point to.

    And all of my opposing positions were prefaced with "I hope I'm wrong because if I'm right and this fails, America fails, and that is the last thing I want to see happen."

    Yet I'm anti-American and these assholes are the patriots?

    Bullshit. They are traitorous, treasonous cowards, and they do not deserve the rights afforded them by the people like my husband, and elmo, and Rook and, to a lesser extent, me and everyone else who stepped up and took that oath to the Constitution and did so enthusiastically because we knew what was said therein.

    They don't deserve the civil liberties that men and women like bmaz and grolaw fight every day to defend in court. They don't deserve the the protections of the law that my friend RW works within every day to protect society in her role as a prosecutor.

    Fuck Rush Limbaugh.

    Read the whole thing.

    Cross-posted at Blue in the Bluegrass.
              Fantasy Obama        
    The Rude Pundit on how Fantasy Obama would conduct tonight's press conference on the stimulus bill.

    As always, it's brilliant, dead-on and X-rated.

    UPDATE, 5:30 a.m. Blue Girl live-blogged the press conference, and has has the full transcript as a bonus.
              Judo the Anti-Choice Thugs: Pledge a Picket        
    Want an easy way to make freakazoid heads explode? Plus support an outrageously courageous woman providing unique health services to women in dangerous territory?

    Then pledge a picket!

    Dr. Susan Wicklund, whose 2008 book This Common Secret, detailed her life as an abortion provider, has just opened a clinic in Livingston, Montana. Even before it opened on February 2nd, the clinic was being picketed by opponents of abortion rights. In the mail below, Wicklund's co-author, Montana writer Alan Kesselheim, explains how you can turn their protests peacefully against them. (I've pledged $1 per picketer. That puts me in a slightly weird position: Do I hope lots show up so the clinic gets plenty of cash, or few show up so that I can save mine?)

    If you want to pledge, e mail Martha_Kauffman@msn.com.

    (Details after the jump.)
    Dear Friends of Dr. Susan Wicklund:

    As most of you know, Susan Wicklund has been hard at work trying to open a women's reproductive health clinic in the Bozeman/Livingston area. It has not been easy. It has taken several years. Deals have fallen through because word leaked out and landowners were intimidated by violent threats. Other potential arrangements have collapsed due to financial difficulties, political controversy, or simple logistics.

    Despite the setbacks, Sue has persevered. On Monday, February 2nd, precisely sixteen years after she opened her Bozeman clinic, back in 1993, Mountain Country Women's Clinic again opens its doors, this time in downtown Livingston. It is a moment of triumph and satisfaction, achieved with the support of many people. It is also a moment of tension. Not only has Susan incurred significant personal debt in a very uncertain economy, but the usual voices of dissent are echoing in letters to the editor and in anti-choice picketers appearing on Main Street in Livingston, protesting the existence of Sue's legal services. Even before the doors opened, protesters walked the sidewalks outside. Also, even before the doors opened, women were calling Sue to make appointments.

    The need for a compassionate, professional, and thorough women's clinic is as great as ever. Unfortunately, the strident voices against choice rise up as expected. The difference between 1993 and 2009 is that Sue Wicklund has friends. All of you on this mailing list, and many more friends and neighbors, support her cause. Many have volunteered in the past. Some have written letters of support. Others wish they knew how to help.

    I propose to begin a Pledge-A-Picketer Campaign in support of Mountain Country Women's Clinic. The concept is simple, and it mirrors the grassroots style of the Obama campaign, during which many small contributions created a huge impact. Each of us signs on to donate, say, $1/picketer to Susan's clinic. If, over the period of a week, 17 picketers parade on Main Street, we each send a check for $17. It isn't much, but if $17 gets multiplied by 50 people, it comes to $850. If 100 people send in checks, we raise $1,700.

    At the end of the week, Susan posts a sign on the clinic window. It might say, THANK YOU PICKETERS. THIS WEEK THE SUPPORTERS OF MOUNTAIN COUNTRY WOMEN'S CLINIC RAISED $850 IN THEIR PLEDGE-A-PICKETER CAMPAIGN. THESE FUNDS WILL HELP INDIGENT PATIENTS IN NEED OF OUR SERVICES. THE MORE YOU PICKET, THE MORE SUPPORT MCWC RECEIVES.

    Many of us wish to help Mountain Country Women's Clinic. We wish we could confront the picketers face to face. Unfortunately, that sort of public disturbance is precisely what the anti-choice forces would love to foster. However, by turning their efforts against them we can help Mountain Country Women's Clinic serve patients, and deflate the energy of the protesters.

    Susan Wicklund has agreed to keep track of picketers during her first week of operation. At that point we will contact all of you again with the numbers, and an address to send the check to. Even if you can only pledge .25/picketer, the cumulative impact of our efforts will still be significant. Also, I urge you to forward this message to any of your friends who might help support Sue's new clinic. If they would like to participate, they should contact Martha_Kauffman@msn.com and ask to be added to the list.

    With Sincere Thanks, and In Solidarity,

    Alan Kesselheim Co-Author of This Common Secret

    I LOVE THIS! Go ahead, assholes: every day you picket that legal and necessary abortion clinic puts more money in the pockets of abortionists. Keep protesting. Bring all your friends and family, drag in strangers.

    Make. My. Day.

    Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic.

              A Tale of Three Prayer Breakfasts        
    Three years ago, in 2006, Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher's "Prayer Breakfast" was an orgy of sectarian bigotry, a greasy "fuck you" to everyone who didn't share the speakers' narrow conservative Southern Baptism, an object lesson in why combining religion and government is history's worst idea.

    This year, on the same day that invitations to Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's "Prayer Breakfast" landed in state employees' email inboxes, The Economist brings us the latest lesson from President Obama, this one on how to do a "Prayer Breakfast" right, if you must do one at all.

    I think the final proof that Barack Obama plans once and for all to elevate respect for Americans who don't practice a religion came at this morning's National Prayer Breakfast:

    There is no doubt that the very nature of faith means that some of our beliefs will never be the same. We read from different texts. We follow different edicts. We subscribe to different accounts of how we came to be here and where we’re going next – and some subscribe to no faith at all...

    We know too that whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together. Jesus told us to "love thy neighbor as thyself." The Torah commands, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow." In Islam, there is a hadith that reads "None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." And the same is true for Buddhists and Hindus; for followers of Confucius and for humanists. It is, of course, the Golden Rule - the call to love one another; to understand one another; to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth.


    A notable repetition—not just once, rote, but twice, to let you know he means it.

    As for that second passage, did Mr Obama just endorse a name for the group struggling to name itself? Some don't like "atheist" or "nonbeliever" because they are definitionally negative. The coinage of "Brights" has failed to catch on for the obvious reasons. But "humanist" has a nice, positive feeling, and a history.

    Mr Obama went on to announce a White House of Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships. A Bushian thing to do? No, he continued:

    The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another - or even religious groups over secular groups. It will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state.

    Interesting. I'm not sure if Mr Obama isn't trying a little too hard to please everyone here, but the fact that he is trying to please everyone—and remember that a major presidential candidate said not long ago that "freedom requires religion"—is striking.

    Now that he is not doing backflips for Rick Warren, citing his favourite Bible verse in a "faith debate" or dodging conspiracies that he is a Muslim, Mr Obama is also free to say things like

    I was not raised in a particularly religious household. I had a father who was born a Muslim but became an atheist, grandparents who were non-practicing Methodists and Baptists, and a mother who was skeptical of organized religion, even as she was the kindest, most spiritual person I've ever known. She was the one who taught me as a child to love, and to understand, and to do unto others as I would want done.

    A few years ago, Daniel Dennett, an atheist philosopher, wrote
    Politicians don't think they even have to pay us lip service, and leaders who wouldn't be caught dead making religious or ethnic slurs don't hesitate to disparage the "godless" among us. From the White House down, bright-bashing is seen as a low-risk vote-getter.

    Not this White House.


    Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....

              KY Ice Storm: 769,000 Without Power, 25 Dead, $50 Million Spent        
    RDemocrat at BlueGrassRoots reminds us that when you want visual evidence of what's going on in Kentucky, the Hillbilly's got it.

    Jim Pence is one of the finest Progressives we have here in Kentucky. For quite some time now I have gone to his site, and his YouTube feed and laughed endlessly at some of the most creative political vids made in this whole country. His contributions to Democratic candidates, and the Democratic blogosphere in Kentucky have been immense.

    However, I think this time he has even outdone himself. After getting my internet back up, I have been several places trying to get news on the tragedy here in Kentucky, and made my customary stop into hillbillyreport to check on what Jim had.

    What I found was quite frankly the finest coverage available on the internet about the human aspect of this monumental event, and how it effected thousands of Kentuckians.

    According to the Kentucky Public Service Commission, last week 769,353 Kentucky households and businesses suffered power failures.

    At the peak of last week's massive ice storm, more than one-third of Kentucky electric customers were without power, according to new figures compiled by the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC).

    Information gathered from all electric providers in the state show that 769,353 customers were without power at the worst of the storm, late on January 29. Kentucky has about 2.2 million electric customers. The outage affected 35.7 percent of them.
    "These numbers simply bring into sharper focus what we already knew," Governor Steve Beshear said. "This is the worst disruption of essential services on record in Kentucky."

    As of early today, 208,335 Kentucky customers remain without power.

    But the real story is at the Hillbilly's place. Check it out.

    Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....
              Strong Unions = Strong Economy        
    The key component to the repugs' three-decade War on the Middle Class is the destruction of unions.

    It's no coincidence that the strongest middle-class economy in American history co-existed with the strongest union membership. From World War II to the late seventies, more than a third of workers in the U.S. belonged to a union. That membership assured them the decent wage and benefits that allowed one salary to support a family in middle-class comfort: a house and yard in the suburbs, two cars, nice vacations, college education for 2.5 kids.

    But an economy that expands the middle class contracts the rich. Corporate CEOs were only 10 or 20 times richer than their workers, instead of 100 or 1,000 times richer as they became after the repugs broke the back of unions.

    Last week, President Obama took several long strides toward restoring a union-strong economy.

    President Barack Obama signed a series of executive orders Friday that he said should "level the playing field" for labor unions in their struggles with management.

    Obama also used the occasion at the White House to announce formally a new White House task force on the problems of middle-class Americans. He named Vice President Joe Biden as its chairman.

    Union officials say the new orders by Obama will undo Bush administration policies that favored employers over workers.

    SNIP

    At the signing ceremony today, Obama said, "I do not view the labor movement as part of the problem. To me, it's part of the solution. You cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement."

    And to drive that point home, Teamsters President James Hoffa told reporters after the ceremony, "It's a new day for workers. We finally have a White House that is dedicated to working with us to rebuild our middle class. Hope for the American Dream is being restored."

    If you need more ammunition to refute the union-bashers, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich at TPMCafe explains Why We Need Stronger Unions and How to Get Them.

    Why is this recession so deep, and what can be done to reverse it?

    Hint: Go back about 50 years, when America's middle class was expanding and the economy was soaring. Paychecks were big enough to allow us to buy all the goods and services we produced. It was a virtuous circle. Good pay meant more purchases, and more purchases meant more jobs.

    At the center of this virtuous circle were unions.

    SNIP

    The way to get the economy back on track is to boost the purchasing power of the middle class. One major way to do this is to expand the percentage of working Americans in unions. Tax rebates won't work because they don't permanently raise wages. Most families used the rebate last year to pay off debt -- not a bad thing, but it doesn't keep the virtuous circle running. Bank bailouts won't work either. Businesses won't borrow to expand without consumers to buy their goods and services. And Americans themselves can't borrow when they're losing their jobs and their incomes are dropping.

    Tax cuts for working families, as President Obama intends, can do more to help because they extend over time. But only higher wages and benefits for the middle class will have a lasting effect.

    Unions matter in this equation. According to the Department of Labor, workers in unions earn 30% higher wages -- taking home $863 a week, compared with $663 for the typical nonunion worker -- and are 59% more likely to have employer-provided health insurance than their nonunion counterparts.

    SNIP

    Although America and its economy need unions, it's become nearly impossible for employees to form one. The Hart poll I cited tells us that 57 million workers would want to be in a union if they could have one. But those who try to form a union, according to researchers at MIT, have only about a 1 in 5 chance of successfully doing so.

    The reason? Most of the time, employees who want to form a union are threatened and intimidated by their employers. And all too often, if they don't heed the warnings, they're fired, even though that's illegal. I saw this when I was secretary of Labor over a decade ago. We tried to penalize employers that broke the law, but the fines are minuscule. Too many employers consider them a cost of doing business.

    This isn't right. The most important feature of the Employee Free Choice Act, which will be considered by the just-seated 111th Congress, toughens penalties against companies that violate their workers' rights. The sooner it's enacted, the better -- for U.S. workers and for the U.S. economy.

    The American middle class isn't looking for a bailout or a handout. Most people just want a chance to share in the success of the companies they help to prosper. Making it easier for all Americans to form unions would give the middle class the bargaining power it needs for better wages and benefits. And a strong and prosperous middle class is necessary if our economy is to succeed.

    Read the whole thing.

    Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....

              Progressive Progress in the Economic Stimulus        
    As the Senate girds for battle over the repug-sabotaged economic stimulus, Talking Points Memo brings us a reminder of the progressive priorities that made it into the House bill and deserve saving in the Senate.

    The Congressional Progressive Caucus just released a memo that offers a worthy counterpoint to our discussions today about the Republicans' baldly misleading message on the stimulus.

    The Progressives have rounded up elements of their proposed $1 trillion stimulus that ended up making it into the Democratic leaders' final bill, in part or in whole. It's a list that's worth remembering while tax cuts seemingly dominate the airwaves.

    The highlights of the memo are after the jump:

    • Unemployment benefits (UI) extension. Cost = at least $12.7 billion

    • Anti-hunger provisions

    * SNAP - 20% temporary increase in maximum food stamp level above the FY2009 level for two years. Cost = approximately $24 billion and increase in funds for state food stamp administrative costs Cost= $250 million;

    * WIC - increase funding to make up for shortfall not covered in the current Continuing Resolution. Cost = $450 million and increases for management information system and related infrastructure improvements. Cost = $50 million;

    * School meals - provide a 15% increase in funding for breakfast and school lunch programs. Cost = $1 billion;

    • Medicaid payments to states (FMAP). Cost = at least $15 billion

    • LIHEAP assistance to provide low-income Americans relief from higher energy costs. Cost = at least $5 billion

    • Job creation via down payment on rebuilding America's infrastructure and schools, starting with massive investment in commercialization of green technologies and related job training that promote environmental protection and energy independence. Cost = at least $100 billion

    ** In general:

    • No funds for Iraq or Afghanistan wars and no funds for defense procurement.

    • Prevailing wage to be paid for jobs created and upholding of Davis-Bacon Act

    These are, of course, just a downpayment on the long list of repairs to the New Deal and Great Society needed after three decades of repug destruction.

    But if these provisions remain in the final bill and President Obama signs it by Darwin Day, then I'd say we're well on our way to recovery.

              Some Bucking Up For Us Hand-Wringers        
    Bob Cesca at HuffPo reminds us that the repug rejection of the stimulus bill isn't the first time Barack Obama has seemed defeated, only to come roaring back in victory, and it probably won't be the last.

    There's a killer web graphic that was created back in the post-Republican Convention days while everyone was writing spasmodic, breathless "Obama should [fill in the blank]" blog entries and "Oh crap! We're gonna lose!" newspaper columns.


    SNIP

    The web graphic is actually a photograph of Barack Obama from his Invesco Field acceptance speech. In it, he's looking directly into the camera with an expression of fierce determination on his face -- his teeth gnashed in an Eastwood snarl, his left hand gesturing as though he's kung fu fighting his way through an oversized cinderblock made of SlapChop-minced Republican skulls.

    The large, white text superimposed at the top reads: "Everyone chill the fuck out." The text at the bottom exclaims: "I got this!"

    Sure enough, two months later, we watched as this liberal African American man with the noble yet politically unusual name "Barack Hussein Obama" defied the odds and won red states like Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana and the commonwealth of Virginia.

    Fade out the roaring crowds at Grant Park. Dissolve to late January.
    The economy continues to creep nearer to the crumbling ledge of yet another Depression -- if it isn't there already. And yet the Republicans who very nearly shoved us over the ledge are prancing around as if their collective Reaganomics don't stink.

    SNIP

    Their political audacity, while never surprising, always seems to confound expectations and defy logic. Having relegated themselves to the status of a regional, minor party due to their unserious, fear-mongering wedge politics and well-documented record of disastrous policy-making, they remain so hubristic as to crap their cages and demand a seat at the Big Boy Table, as if they're the majority party in Congress -- as if they somehow earned an equal voice in this thing by way of their awesome record on the economy.

    They haven't. It's only due to the magnanimity of the president that they haven't been completely steamrolled on this recovery bill. Magnanimity which, by the way, isn't nearly as plentiful or renewable as the Republicans might think.

    SNIP

    Altogether, it might appear as if the Republicans are using their ridiculousness as a means of duping the president -- hectoring him into capitulation and therefore allowing the recovery bill to be sabotaged with their taint. And when the sabotaged bill fails to help the economy, they'll blame the president. David Sirota outlined this strategy the other day, and while events might seem to point in this direction from time to time, there isn't much evidence to indicate that President Obama is naïve enough to be flimflammed by these very obvious Republican political tricks. Put another way, if you and I can spot the scams, I'm sure he can too. Though, it's important that the Republicans think they can sucker punch the president the same way they've sucker punched Senator Reid over and over.

    The president's "I won" remark indicates that there's a limit to both his benevolence and his tolerance for Republican silly season hackery. "I won" means that he won't be played and he won't be taken advantage of. But the Republicans have miscalculated and misinterpreted the president, believing that "bipartisanship" means Democratic capitulation. Save for a few concessions in an otherwise massive spending bill, President Obama isn't calling for any half-and-half bipartisan compromise on this or anything else so far. His process with the Republicans is all about attaining some civility in the tone of the debate -- not caving. There's a difference. And in that process, the president is looking increasingly presidential as his style is contrasted against the smallness of the Republicans.

    Recent history has proved that the president's Chess Match style will require a little more patience than we're accustomed to in order to see the endgame -- to see how this all plays out. And while it's crucial to keep a clear eye and critical mind, there's a lot of comfort in that web graphic from last September. Chances are: he's got this.

    Read the whole thing.
              President Obama Is Too Nice to Kentucky        
    President Barack Obama is a much better person than I could ever be. If the Democratic governor of a Democratic-registered state that had nevertheless voted overwhelmingly for my republican opponent in the last election begged me for help to get his backward state out of an emergency they had basically created themselves, I would not have been this nice:

    President Barack Obama last night approved Gov. Steve Beshear's request for an emergency Presidential Disaster Declaration that will expedite assistance to people in need across the commonwealth.

    "President Obama called me last night to express his concern about the plight facing our state and many of our people. I appreciate the president's quick response to our request for a disaster declaration," Gov. Beshear said as he traveled throughout Western Kentucky to meet with local officials and survey damage to the region. "We will move quickly to bring power generators, communications equipment and debris removal equipment into the region to help restore power and protect our people in their time of need."

    No, indeedy, I would not have been nice at all. I would have said something like this:

    "Well, Steve, I see the mess you're in and it certainly is a nasty one. But I notice Kentucky had almost exactly the same mess six years ago, and its Democratic leaders made all kinds of promises about burying power lines to make sure this never happened again. Kentucky didn't keep a single fucking one of those promises, did it, Steve? Nope, it sure didn't. And here you are, in a shit hole any idiot could have predicted would happen again with the next ice storm.

    "I really would like to help you, Steve, but I've got these Congressional republicans, including four house members and two Senators with KY next to their names, raking me over the coals for wanting to give money to people who don't deserve it. You know, people who promise to do better but don't, people who waste the opportunities they're given to improve themselves. I would just have a hard time explaining to Mitch and Jimbo and Eddie and Hal and Geoff and Brent why I'm helping that notorious welfare queen Kentucky when we all know she's never going to change her behavior.

    "And even if I didn't care what the republicans thought, I've got the actual Democratic majority in Congress that would throw a hissy fit if I gave federal emergency status to a state the majority of whose registered Democrats voted just three months ago to re-elect the obstructionist, evil republican minority leader in the Senate.

    "So you have my sympathy, Steve, but my hands are tied. See if you can't get your state to sit up straight and fly right for a while, and maybe elect a few actual Democratic candidates next year, then we'll see about letting you have a little money. Until then, you're on your own."

    As a Kentuckian with no electricity since Tuesday and no hope of getting any in the foreseeable future, I am grateful that President Obama did not turn his back on the sure-to-be-ungrateful Commonwealth. But I wish he had found some way of using the Declaration to cudgel some sense into our state's so-called leaders.

    Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....
              No Such Thing as a Power Outage        
    I love it when the universe delivers an engraved, personal invitation to me to rant about a pet peeve.

    There is no such thing as a power "outage." It's a power failure. When the power fails, that's a power failure.

    Decades ago, power company public relations hacks fooled, lied, pressured and threatened newspapers into calling power failures "outages." Power "failure" sounded way too much like the truth: the power failed. The power company is not omnipotent; it can fail, and does fail - far too frequently. Can't have people thinking that. They might start wondering why they're paying way too much money for something that often fails.

    The power didn't "out," like a gay teenager. It failed. Fail, failed, failure. Failure, Failure, FAILURE.

    It's especially a power failure when the power fails more than 607,000 people in Kentucky - an all-time record for the state.

    The failure is not just of the utility companies, but also of the Public Service Commission, the General Assembly and the Governor, who all FAILED to prevent this catastrophe by forcing the utility companies to bury the power lines.

    Although many individuals and entitites share this failure, it remains a failure. A power failure.

    Do NOT let anyone get away with using the out-word.

    It's a power FAILURE.

    Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....
              Comment on Open primaries in Colorado casts the shadow of party affiliation in last-minute legislation by Bill        
    The Republican party has been using the caucus process for the past several elections. This means that the republican party elects their candidates before the primary election. Unaffiliated voters may be upset to find out that their primary ballots will have only 1 selection for each electable position on the primary ballot. They can vote in the primary, as long as they dont mess up the party process.
              Raízes profundas da Idade Média emergem no presente francês        
    Para obter votos o futuro presidente Macron foi se fotografar na festa de Santa Joana d'Arc em Orleans
    Para obter votos o futuro presidente Macron
    foi se fotografar na festa de Santa Joana d'Arc em Orleans
    Luis Dufaur
    Escritor, jornalista,
    conferencista de
    política internacional,
    sócio do IPCO,
    webmaster de
    diversos blogs





    Pode parecer estranho, mas não é. No segundo turno da eleição presidencial francesa, em 7 de maio de 2017, os dois candidatos apostaram corrida para ver quem se identificava mais com a heroína medieval Santa Joana d’Arc, registrou a “Folha de S. Paulo”.

    Nenhum deles é especialmente devoto, nem muito praticante, provavelmente só queriam o voto do eleitor.

    Mas o que há na cabeça dos franceses para que ainda hoje o candidato se tornar presidente de uma República formalmente laica e agnóstica ele necessite mostrar-se também ligado ao passado sacral católico da França?

    O jornal progressista e socialista parisiense “La Croix” foi à procura de eminências do pensamento francês para achar uma explicação do fenômeno que, para ele, parece uma aberração.

    François Huguenin, autor de As grandes figuras católicas da França (“Les grandes figures catholiques de la France”, ed. Perrin) respondeu assim:

    “Existe uma trama comum entre o cristianismo e a fundação da França. É impossível separar os fios da tapeçaria sem desmanchar tudo. O catolicismo é a matriz da França”.



    Segundo seu ponto de vista, desde Clóvis, o primeiro rei franco que se fez batizar, “todos os nossos governantes estão submetidos a uma transcendência, uma verticalidade. Eles têm consciência permanentemente de que há um Deus que os transcende”.

    No livro Deus escolheu a França (“Dieu choisit la France”, ed. Presses de la Renaissance), o professor auxiliar de História Camille Pascal concorda.

    O singular é que isso acontece no fundo das cabeças de muitos presidentes, até mesmo socialistas, que da língua para fora não querem saber de religião.

    A fidelidade ao Papa foi nota característica da França medieval. São Luis foi se encontrar com o Papa Inocêncio IV em Lyon que lhe pediu auxilio. Louis-Jean-Francois Lagrenee (1724-1805)
    A fidelidade ao Papa foi nota característica da França medieval.
    São Luis foi ver em Lyon o Papa Inocêncio IV que lhe pediu auxilio.
    Louis-Jean-Francois Lagrenee (1724-1805)
    Rémi Brague, historiador de filosofia medieval, foi aprofundar-se no catarismo, heresia do sul da França que suscitou contra si uma verdadeira Cruzada que a extinguiu no século XIV.

    Segundo Brague, o catarismo fracassou porque recusava o ato de fidelidade feudal ao suserano, algo que o francês não podia aceitar.

    Recusar a fidelidade do vassalo ao senhor e vice-versa trazia o “risco de destruição da ordem feudal”.

    E explica: “Em nosso país, jamais existiu uma situação na qual a política não teve alguma dimensão religiosa e vice-versa”.

    Mas houve e há todo o contrário: uma ferocidade laicista anticristã que se exprime no culto fanático dos Direitos do Homem.

    Mas, a esse respeito, também o anticristianismo laicista teve um nascedouro cristão, é claro que num cristianismo herético.

    E explica: foi a Revolução Protestante! Ela pregou que Cristo era o único mediador, que a Bíblia era o único mestre, que só havia a fé, sem necessidade das outras virtudes.

    Desse tronco nasceu o Iluminismo racionalista que sabotou os fundamentos da monarquia até derrubá-la e implantar uma República laica, ateia, que muda segundo o capricho dos homens.

    O pastor Antoine Nouis, conselheiro teológico da revista protestante “Réforme”, reconhece que “a ideia de uma pluralidade de religiões num mesmo reino é no fundo uma anomalia” que tinha que dar nas guerras de religião (1562-1598).

    Nicolas Le Roux, secretário geral da Associação dos Historiadores Modernistas das Universidades Francesas, explica que no modo de ver do povo francês,

    “O reino era visto como um corpo, imagem do Corpo Místico da Igreja. O rei era a cabeça desse corpo político e social. Por meio do convívio social, das festas, das procissões, das missas, se atingia a salvação.

    “Deixar de ir à Missa, quebrar as imagens de Nossa Senhora, cantar os salmos em francês punha em perigo essa vida em comum, a salvação de todos”.

    Contra a visão católica partilhada pelo conjunto não faltaram os galicanos, que punham a França por cima do Papa de Roma.

    Alain Tallon, reitor da Faculdade de História da Sorbonne, estudou o caso e concluiu que apesar dos atritos históricos, “a subordinação ao Papado era considerada indispensável para a monarquia francesa. Ainda quando se discordava do Papa, fazia-se questão absoluta de não romper com Roma”.

    O laicismo do século XVIII contestou a autoridade da Igreja. Ostentou a ideia de que se pode viver fora d’Ela, ser diferente, até proclamar um outro deus, o Ser Supremo da Revolução Francesa.

    Para François Huguenin, a violência revolucionária foi “um sismo comparável à ascensão de Hitler ao poder em 1933: a aparição de uma lógica de violência exacerbada pelo vazio instalado no poder”.

    Le Roux: “O reino era visto como uma imagem do Corpo Místico da Igreja” Busto-relicário de Carlos Magno. Fundo: catedral de Aachen (Aquisgrão)
    Le Roux: “O reino era visto como uma imagem do Corpo Místico da Igreja”
    Busto-relicário de Carlos Magno. Fundo: catedral de Aachen (Aquisgrão)
    E segundo Jacques-Olivier Boudon, Napoleão encarnou o revolucionário violento que subiu como mais tarde fez Hitler. Mas, uma vez no poder, Napoleão tentou chegar a uma concordata com a Igreja para “instalar a paz religiosa após o cisma constitucional de 1789.

    Porém, a ferida entre “azuis” (laicos e republicanos) e “brancos” (católicos e monarquistas) ainda continua muito profunda”.

    A contribuição religiosa do Islã foi nula e fonte de guerra constante. O historiador de filosofia medieval árabe e judia, Rémi Brague, fala com clareza :

    “Não, o islã não contribuiu para nossa história.

    “Os saqueadores árabes e berberes que vieram até Poitiers só tinham o Corão numa mão e a cimitarra na outra. Eles vieram para pilhar”.

    Hoje essas tendências subterrâneas carregadas de alta tensão voltam a se chocar.

    Antoine Nouis vê na “atual crispação francesa a respeito do laicismo um fruto do desenvolvimento do conflito entre o Iluminismo e a religião”.

    Nicolas Le Roux ironiza: “A liberdade de consciência é uma invenção. Cada um faz o que quer na sua casa. Mas depois de fechar a porta, não cante muito alto!

    “O verdadeiro problema continua sendo que os modelos de Estado católico-monárquico e laico-republicano não são capazes de coabitar. Essa é a questão que se punha no século XVI e que se põe hoje”, concluiu.





    AS CRUZADASCASTELOS MEDIEVAISCATEDRAIS MEDIEVAISHERÓIS MEDIEVAISORAÇÕES E MILAGRES MEDIEVAISCONTOS E LENDAS DA ERA MEDIEVALA CIDADE MEDIEVALJOIAS E SIMBOLOS MEDIEVAIS
              Fundo medieval emerge na França e abala fachada laica-democrática        
    A sacralização da vida política francesa na Idade Média foi tão profunda que não foi possível apagá-la e até ressurge hoje
    A sacralização da vida política francesa na Idade Média foi tão profunda
    que não foi possível apagá-la e até ressurge hoje
    Luis Dufaur
    Escritor, jornalista,
    conferencista de
    política internacional,
    sócio do IPCO,
    webmaster de
    diversos blogs





    Na última eleição presidencial na França, o catolicismo fez uma irrupção rumorosa num país que se julgava definitivamente ganho pelo laicismo anticlerical da Revolução Francesa.

    Todos os candidatos — inclusive o comunista-anarquista Mélenchon — acenaram para esta ou aquela passagem, ainda que remota, por alguma corrente do catolicismo, ou contato com ela.

    O que houve? Cientistas sociais e políticos, jornais, acadêmicos, líderes partidários atilados se puseram na ingente tarefa de tentar descodificar o enigma.

    Um deles foi Alain Tallon, reitor da Unité de Formation et de Recherche – UFR (outrora mais claramente “Faculdade”) de História da Universidade da Sorbonne, especialista em história religiosa, entrevistado pelo quotidiano parisiense “La Croix”.

    Tallon partiu de uma evidência que não era “politicamente correta”: “A dimensão religiosa, e mais especialmente a questão do cristianismo, é essencial em nossa história.

    “A própria laicização da sociedade francesa não conseguiu apagar totalmente o fato religioso. (...) A França, ao contrário de seus vizinhos alemães, italianos e espanhóis, foi um país uniformemente católico”, acrescentou, antes de pôr o dedo na chaga:

    “Outra peculiaridade: a Revolução Francesa foi feita contra uma França católica. Nós vivemos ainda sob os efeitos desse divórcio entre a França republicana e a França católica”.



    O professor Tallon foi sagaz, tentando embaralhar a oposição: o oposto de ‘republicana’ (realidade temporal) não é bem ‘católica’ (realidade religiosa espiritual).

    Ele estava se referindo às posições ‘república versus monarquia’ e ‘laicismo versus catolicismo’.

    Ou mais concisa e palpavelmente, à posição entre ‘republicano enquanto ateu’ versus ‘monarquista enquanto católico’. Mas isto na França é tema de explosividade atômica.

    O jornalista tentou procurar outra via menos perigosa. E levou para um assunto, na verdade, não muito menos coruscante.

    Prof. Tallon: a sacralidade da monarquia francesa não teve equivalente
    Prof. Tallon: a sacralidade da monarquia francesa não teve equivalente
    O professor Tallon foi claro: “Na França, a política sempre tirou, e largamente, seu vocabulário e seus ritos da religião”, leia-se do catolicismo.

    E acrescentou: “Isso é verdade desde a Idade Média. A sacralidade da monarquia francesa não teve equivalente na Europa. Os franceses inventaram o rei taumaturgo. [NdT: que faz milagres. Após a sagração dos reis, eles saíam à praça e tocavam os doentes ‘escrofulosos’, dizendo: ‘o rei te toca, Deus te cura’ e muitos saíam dizendo-se curados!].

    “Enquanto isso, a monarquia espanhola é profundamente laica desde a Idade Média: o rei não é ungido”.

    Na França, os reis eram ungidos com óleo bento numa cerimônia eclesiástica na catedral de Reims. Em virtude dessa unção eles passavam a diáconos da Igreja, com um mundo de privilégios eclesiais e um rango menor no clero.

    Esse costume é tão forte que até hoje os presidentes da República são considerados cônegos da catedral de São João de Latrão, com estala reservada. O ex-presidente Sarkozy chegou a ocupar essa sede canônica em sua primeira visita a Roma.

    O jornalista, certamente menos letrado que o reitor da Faculdade de História de Paris, procurou outra pista. E acabou ouvindo verdades que arrepiam ao laicismo democrático, igualitário e vulgar inaugurado em 1789.

    O reitor Tallon sublinhou que em país algum houve a sacralização do poder como na França. “E essa sacralização sobreviveu após a monarquia, inclusive sob Bonaparte e, em certo sentido, sob Charles de Gaulle”.

    Todos esses chefes de Estado tentaram dar ares de monarca ungido pela Igreja. Napoleão se fez coroar pelo Papa Pio VII (de modo muito contestável) e Charles de Gaulle assumiu um ar pessoal de monarca, obviamente sem coroa alguma.

    No subconsciente popular, Carlos Magno ainda é o modelo de governante
    No subconsciente popular, Carlos Magno ainda é o modelo de governante
    “O modelo de Carlos Magno — prosseguiu o professor — fez sonhar todos os soberanos franceses.

    “Foi por isso que Henrique IV quis se reconciliar com Roma, em vez de criar uma Igreja nacional como fizera o modelo inglês. (...)

    “Ele também compreendeu que se tratava do único meio para ele se tornar rei da França.

    “Um rei da França protestante era uma coisa impossível, política ou ideologicamente.

    “A sacralização da monarquia atingira tal ponto, que um rei calvinista não teria sido sagrado, não teria curado as escrófulas. Era algo inconcebível. Ele teria rompido com Roma e com o universalismo católico.

    “A monarquia francesa se sente herdeira legitima de Roma porque o rei é o primeiro dos cristãos. (...)

    “Nós nos sentimos investidos de uma missão pela França desde o fim da Idade Média. Essa foi a ideia constitutiva da criação da ‘nação França’.

    “Desde a monarquia carolíngia o tema imperial foi sempre conjugado com Roma e o Papado. Quando houve conflitos opondo o Papa ao Imperador, a monarquia francesa sustentou o Papado.

    “O episódio de Joana d’Arc foi um dos elementos. E isso continuou pela Renascença, com um rei como Francisco I se fazendo pintar em 1518 por Jean Clouet representado como São João Batista…

    “Os embaixadores ingleses contam que eles foram recebidos pelo rei vestido como se fosse Cristo ! É algo completamente surpreendente…

    “A ideia da nacionalidade francesa não foi constituída unicamente pela monarquia, mas também pela Igreja Católica”, concluiu.




    AS CRUZADASCASTELOS MEDIEVAISCATEDRAIS MEDIEVAISHERÓIS MEDIEVAISORAÇÕES E MILAGRES MEDIEVAISCONTOS E LENDAS DA ERA MEDIEVALA CIDADE MEDIEVALJOIAS E SIMBOLOS MEDIEVAIS
              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.


              Muslim Liberals Caught in No Man's Land        
    Originally published in Huffington Post
    Muslim Liberals Caught in No Man's Land
    "Islam is the motherload of bad ideas." - Sam Harris
    "That's just a fact." - Bill Maher
    When the host of Real Time on HBO, Bill Maher, tag-teamed with 'new atheist' Sam Harris, to lead an assault on Islam last week, it was Batman-to-be Ben Affleck who stood up as the inexplicable first line of defense against the disjointed attack. Rounding out the panel of record, was New York Times activist Nicholas Kristof and Republican-lite Michael Steele. The debate - in which, of course no Muslims participated - quickly went viral. In the messy aftermath, Sam Harris even claimed that the media reaction vindicated him and proved his point. 
    While Maher and his sidekick, Harris - and for that matter the entire Dawkinsian crew - may not be the bigots that Affleck accused them of being, they certainly should not feel any sense of self-absorbed vindication. They are not emissaries of the truth nor do they represent the vanguard of neo-enlightenment. Rather they come across as pseudo-intellectual bullies driven by a vain desire for celebrity, feigning any concern for the 'victims of Islam' they cite in remarks branching from their central diatribe against the religion. In effect, they silence the very Muslim liberals and champions who are leading the charge for a more just, equal, and tolerant (i.e. liberal, I guess) Muslim world, forcing on them a Faustian and false choice between identity and values. 
    Just today, Malala Yousafzai, the ardent campaigner for girls' education from Pakistan and a proud Muslim, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, five of the last twelve recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize have been Muslim. These five alongside millions of others seek to promote progressive and positive change in the Muslim world. They constitute everyday Muslims, not necessarily Islam incarnate. The reason this distinction is important is that treating as equal the Muslim world and the ideology of Islam is a misdirection that confuses an evolving 1,400-year philosophy with a disaggregated non-body politic of 1.5 billion people. As I wrote on these pagesseveral weeks ago, it does not mean ignoring a problem but diagnosing it accurately: 
    "There is no crisis in Islam. But, there is, conversely and unmistakably, an existential crisis (or crises) in the Muslim world...The approach of religious discourse divorces us from what is the larger crisis facing the Muslim world, which is one of being mired in a political, social and economic malaise, characterized by hollow leadership and disintegrating states, an environment into which extremism seeps."
    Malala and others are the vanguard in the fight being waged by Muslim liberals, one that is just unfolding, and which contests a broad range of injustices, inequalities, and intolerances in Muslim-majority countries. Yet, these individuals are also caught in a tripartite 'battle' that is ongoing: within the West, within the Muslim world and between the West and Muslim world. These battles are not clear-cut by any means, but each places the Muslim liberal effectively in no man's land. 
    Within the West, we are witnessing the rise of xenophobic and anti-immigration sentiment broadly in the conservative movement, and in the United States, most acutely, on the fringes of the Republican Party. This has been exacerbated by the War on Terror, in which, domestically, the Muslim constitutes the ubiquitous bogeyman. So mainstream is this sentiment, that a series such as Homeland entertains many Muslim Americans, even though it not-so-subtly portends that every Muslim from a secular journalist to a CIA agent could be a threat, simply because he or she is Muslim. More tangibly, in terms of everyday consequences, each new mosque in the U.S. now faces anti-Sharia protestors, including from sitting politicians (who conveniently forget the meaning of the First Amendment). 
    In Europe, however, while there has been similar sentiment from the conservative side of the spectrum, such as from political parties such as the UKIP or BNP in the United Kingdom, it has often dovetailed with a similarly xenophobic liberal view, such as that espoused by Sam Harris. Much akin to the convergence of the liberal humanitarian perspective with the neoconservative movement in recent years (e.g. prior to the Iraq War in 2003), this neo-liberalism is partly a revivalist movement of the White Man's Burden. Overall, within this battle, Islam is portrayed as a flawed essence, and there can be no equivocation. When an assured liberal such as Reza Aslan appears on CNN, he is forced to choose between Islam and liberalism, and asked to re-confirm that indeed Islam is the threat. Meanwhile, the anchors (on CNN) fail to realize that this would mean he would be asserting that he himself (and many members of his family) have an essentialized evilness about them. Whether or not a person like Reza Aslan is liberal is cast aside due to this inability to disavow Islam.
    Yet, it is not just Muslims on the American side of the Atlantic who are caught up in this game. In the Muslim world's own multi-dimensional civil war, we see hyper-nationalists and Islamists battling it out, overlaid with a layer of sectarian strife. Muslim liberals - a term used loosely without weighing the religiosity of individuals - are often the last ones in the streets pushing for open societies. Take the example of the exemplary Alaa Abdel Fattah in Egypt, who, fresh off from being released from prison on bail after being charged for encouraging a demonstration, had his nomination for the prestigious Sakharov Prize revoked. He, like all Muslims, inevitably faced the pro-Israel test, and (two weeks ago) failed. Already under threat of condemnation from within their countries, Muslim liberals within Muslim countries are abandoned in their hour of need by the haughtier-than-though 'critics' in the West. Muslim liberals may be fighting for democracy, against gender discrimination, and for the rights of minorities, but they likely have not reconciled with Zionism. Ask Malala for her views on Israel: you may not like the answer
    Finally, since 9/11 (and before as well), Western countries have increasingly been at war in the Middle East and within other majority-Muslim countries. The recent strikes against ISIS are just one recent example. In this battle, again the Muslim liberal is caught in no man's land. On one hand, he or she will surely be in favor of crushing the cancer that is ISIS but not by any means necessary nor will this mean broad support for the securitization of the interaction between the West and the Muslim world. When a recent video surfaced on Fox News from the Harvard campus, where many students alleged that the U.S. had a more detrimental footprint, overall, on the world stage than ISIS, the headline read, "Twisted Ivy: Harvard students say US bigger threat to world peace than ISIS." Imagine, a Muslim making the same statements as in the video. Game over. 
    When Bill Maher and Sam Harris pontificate from their plush perches, criminalizing a faith, which has 1.5 billion adherents, they think they are doing the world a big service. Nothing could be further from the truth. It should be pointed that Muslim countries are not uniquely in crisis and that broadly there are many countries in crisis in the developing world. In addition, America's homophobia is only now beginning to subside for example, and in many ways is still real (so no real claim can be made of some type of civilizational superiority). And many of Burma's Buddhist monks would have something to say about religious militancy being the dominion of Islamists only. Nevertheless, there are indeed a myriad of unique problems within the Muslim world, which is in a deep crisis. Yet, there are also countless Muslim leaders, intellectuals, clerics, philanthropists, and others, facing these problems, and trying to stand-up to illiberal phenomena in their communities and societies. They already are well aware of the challenges in front of them and do not need lectures from people far-removed from the very violence they face. 
    Maher's (and others) self-titillating orgies of intellectual masturbation demonstrate a total lack of awareness. Perhaps they'll be comforted by the controversy they spawn, indulging their egos as they eye retweets and dollar signs. As for the Muslim liberals on the frontlines? Once again they are caught in No Man's Land.
    Original Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/taufiq-rahim/muslim-liberals-caught-in_b_5965546.html

              The (Counter?)Revolution in #Egypt will be Televised (and Tweeted)        
    Around midnight in Cairo the night of Tuesday, July 2, millions of people in Egypt awaited the President of the Republic, Mohammad Morsi, to respond to the 48-hour ultimatum delivered by the country's military on Monday: resolve your differences with the protestors or we will do it for you. With the deadline fast approaching, and due to hit at 4:30pm local time the next day, Morsi rejected the challenge by the military in a tweet. Then, he came on television and delivered what was the most important speech in not just his life but in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood movement he represents. And it was a spectacular failure. While not as long-winded as the two-and-a-half hour speech he had given just days earlier - akin to a State of the Union - it was just as hollow. His near constant use of the word 'legitimacy' began to elicit uncontrollable laugher in many corners (with the usage count of the word at around 75 in the speech). With millions of Egyptians on the streets across the country - some in support of him but many if not most in opposition - and the military's ultimatum in the background, Morsi had seemingly put the final nail in his own coffin.

    Just 30 months after the ousting of the dictator for the past 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, street protests in Egypt culminated on Wednesday night in a coup d'etat, effectively overturning the 14 democratic elections since February 11, 2011 (the total voting cycles for the parliament, presidency and constitution). Indeed, it was broader than a coup d'etat, as the Tamarod (rebellion) movement that brought millions of people to the streets was a grassroots uprising that gathered millions of signatures from ordinary Egyptians, and more significantly, managed to coalesce a previously disparate and dispirited opposition. Additionally, deposed President Mohammad Morsi had governed incompetently and non-inclusively, which seemingly left the invitation open to change. Yet, what transpired this week, especially in the final sequence of events, could be the initial salvo of a counter-revolution 2.0, potentially endangering the process of democratization in Egypt for years to come.

    While things seemingly have not changed that much in Egypt, and in many ways have gotten worse, a lot has transpired. Following the departure of Mubarak and his gang from the scene, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) took charge of managing the country's affairs. It took nearly a year to hold parliamentary elections. When it did happen, in late 2011-early 2012 the Brotherhood's party (the Freedom & Justice Party or FJP) took 38% of the vote, followed closely by the more conservative Salafist party, Al Nour, which took 28%. Given that this body would determine the fate of the new constitution (and the assembly to draft it), the fact that it was dominated by 'Islamists' already meant the new era of Egypt was handed a poisoned chalice in the eyes of many. Six months later, in June 2012, the Presidential elections saw a run-off between a former Prime Minister but tainted 'remnant' of the old Mubarak regime, Ahmed Shafiq, and Mohammed Morsi (representing the Muslim Brotherhood). Morsi won, and with the backing of protests in the famed Tahrir Square, also managed to wrest plenty of executive authority from SCAF. Within two months, Morsi also seemed to assert civilian control over the military, with a shuffling of key positions in the defense establishment.

    Then on November 22, 2012, with full executive powers, and the parliament in limbo (due to pending court cases), Morsi assumed essentially legislative powers and declared himself immune from judicial oversight until a new constitution was formed. In essence that gave birth to the current movement (well at least the National Salvation Front that formed 2 days later and was a hodge-podge of opposition groups, including figures such as Mohamed El Baradei) which culminated in Morsi's removal from office this week. Morsi and the FJP then ham-fisted a constitution through a referendum, which garnered the support of 64% of the voting public. However, the process was not led by consensus and Morsi appeared to be increasingly marginalizing the judiciary, which many viewed as being too linked to the old regime, especially given that many senior judges were appointed by Hosni Mubarak (the judges had their own democracy movement in 2006 so not a unified group by any means). Yet for many in the opposition, the judiciary was still a check against Morsi and the Brotherhood's power. And there were also complaints about the ikhwanization of the state; given what transpired this week, this appeared not to have been the case.

    Nevertheless, the concentration of power by the Brotherhood and its non-inclusive method of governance as described above, could have overcome minor challenges from the opposition, if Morsi had enacted policies that improved the lives of everyday people. His approval rating had begun to drop dramatically, falling to 28% of the public just weeks before his overthrow. This was mainly due to the inability of the government to turnaround the economy, with 25% of Egyptians below the poverty line, unemployment on the rise, and the country's fiscal health on the decline. Meanwhile, his approach to foreign policy of aligning with the US, engaging with Iran, partnering with Qatar, and leading the charge on Syria, did little to assuage a frustrated public waiting for change at home in their daily lives that had yet to materialize. And sectarian clashes that mainly killed Shiites and Christians tarnished the impartial role the President was assumed to play, given that he was close to figures that were prone to incitement.

    In the backdrop of all of this, the Tamarod movement, which started just several months ago (in April), began to tap into the widespread anger and frustration. Gone was the gloss of a technocratic 'Islamist' party - a la the AKP in Turkey, who incidentally are having their own issues - replaced instead by the reality of the FJP in Egypt. And gone also was the mystique of a survivalist Brotherhood that was the David against the Goliath of the last half century; the Brotherhood was now the Goliath, and seemingly squandering the power that it had accumulated. The Tamarod activists claimed to have gathered 22 million signatures, in a country of 93 million people, which seems patently ridiculous for many demographic/logistical reasons (in the course of just two months). Nevertheless, their demands were clear, and principally centered on early Presidential elections (Morsi had served one of a four-year term). They were supported by umbrella opposition groups such as the National Salvation Front, April 6 Movement, and others, and with their deadline of June 30 for Morsi to respond coming fast, thousands and then millions began to fill Egypt's squares (some as noted in support of Morsi).

    By Wednesday, just prior to the removal of Morsi from power, several implications of what was transpiring were already clear. Firstly, the Tamarod movement, and subsequent mobilization demonstrated that there could be an organized opposition to Islamists in the 'new' Arab world, and that this secular alternative could mobilize numbers. This could have far-reaching consequences in other countries such as Tunisia, where Islamists like the Nahda Party hold sway, as well as eventually (in the longer-term) in autocratic countries where often the only strong opposition movements are bogeyman Islamists movements. Secondly, Morsi's reign had as noted above, dulled - as power does to any party - the shine of the Brotherhood. It has been noted, for example that the clashes that led to the separation of the West Bank & Gaza Strip, and undermined the Hamas victory in Palestinian elections, only emboldened Hamas instead of forcing the movement into the pubic accountability spotlight.

    Of course, in the euphoria of what the opposition was about to gain, the darkness just around the corner might have seemed far away. With millions on the street, and the military indicating a willingness to force itself on the scene as the arbitrator, Morsi offered a new constitutional process, a unity government of technocrats, and an accelerated schedule of new parliamentary elections but it was too little too late it seemed for the street, especially with the military now backing the activists' play. And so instead of a negotiated agreement with President Morsi, or a legal process through the courts, or any other process through civilian authorities, it was the military that removed Morsi from power. The crowds in Tahrir Square cheered but the supporters of the deposed President, in Nasr City (also in Cairo), jeered. In a carefully choreographed display, the civil secular state - with an associated roadmap essentially a reset of the revolutionary period - was re-established by three initial speeches: first by General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, head of the armed forces (appointed by Morsi), second by the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar, and third by the Coptic Pope. Short statements followed from a range of opposition figures, including a representative of Tamarod and El Baradei and the conservative Nour Party.

    If you are an opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood, this was indeed a victory. And given the direction that Egypt was going, if you are an Egyptian, you can only hope that this could lead to a more positive future. Whatever the case, however, the military re-takeover appears to also be a re-launch of the counter-revolution. The autocratic powers that be in the region were effusive and immediate in their praise of the military and the coup. More worryingly, was the systematic campaign of arrests that already started to unfold late into the night of Muslim Brotherhood activists, leaders, affiliated journalists, and yes even Mohammad Morsi. The military is looking not just to referee the playing field but to define the playing field and the players allowed on it. That's not democracy. It may be that in the modern Arab world the demographics are such that the debate is about choosing between liberalism and democracy, but isn't that the false choice of the last 40-50 years offered by autocratic rulers in the Arab world? And there is nothing 'rosy' about liberal autocracy versus religious autocracy in this region. In fact, if anything, liberal/secular authoritarianism has been the bane of decay in modern Arab history: the Baath parties in Iraq and Syria, Ben Ali's Tunis, Mubarak's Egypt, and the list goes on.

    Yet, unless the Egyptian military is kept in check, it will likely go down the path it knows best and one that it has followed since 1952, which is to systematically crush dissent and marginalise and exclude the Muslim Brotherhood. All indications today point to a proclivity to re-instate this exclusion, which could lead to an Algeria scenario of the 1990s, albeit in a different form, of course. Paradoxically, as this new Pandora's Box is opened, the only hope to keep the military in check is the very street and youth who demanded its removal from the scene, and then demanded it to come back to its role as guarantor of the state. Hopefully the tamarod or rebellion, will keep that spirit, now that they have been given a share of the power.





              Canada’s UN vote against Palestinian statehood only empowers extremists        

     


    This article initially appeared in the Toronto Star (December 2, 2012). The original article can be found by clicking on the title below.

    Canada’s UN vote against Palestinian statehood only empowers extremists

    “This resolution will not advance the cause of peace or spur a return to negotiations. On the contrary, this unilateral step will harden positions and raise unrealistic expectations while doing nothing to improve the lives of the Palestinian people.”
    Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird delivered this message in a strident speech from the podium of the UN General Assembly before the historic Thursday vote that affirmed Palestine statehood. But in the end his words failed to resonate with the rest of world, quite literally, as Canada found itself stranded in opposition to the resolution with a hodgepodge of Pacific island nations and Israel’s stalwart ally the United States (and, for whatever reason, the Czech Republic). The final vote was 138 countries in favour, 41 abstentions and 9 against, the latter representing only 5 per cent of the world’s population.

    It wasn’t always this way. Canada traditionally played a much more even-handed role in the conflict, realizing the need to support both Israel’s security and Palestinian aspirations for statehood. But over the last decade Canadian policy on the Middle East conflict has become increasingly one-sided in its affinity for Israel. At the UN, Baird asserted that the resolution did not serve the interests of peace. Yet rather than promoting peace, the lonely Canadian UN vote only empowered extremists on both sides and could contribute to increased violence.

    The push for recognition at the world body was the culmination of an effort that was launched roughly two years ago by the Palestinians, led by President Mahmoud Abbas. In his speech in New York, Abbas reiterated that this initiative was intended not to “delegitimize” Israel but instead to “affirm the legitimacy” of Palestine. The campaign is one of only a few non-violent forms of activism left in the Palestinian arsenal to achieve a two-state solution.

    After more than 64 years of dispossession and 45 years of occupation, Abbas and the Palestinian leadership viewed the UN vote as a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. That message resonated not just with countries that Prime Minister Stephen Harper could dismiss but also with democratic nations such as Norway, Spain, France, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Italy — not really a motley crew of rogue states.

    It would be easy to ignore the significance of the Canadian vote. After all, it’s hardly news that under Harper Canadian policy has lacked balance. But today the Holy Land finds itself at a seminal inflection point, where there is a greater tolerance for intransigence on both sides. Coming out of the crisis in Gaza, where residents suffered massive casualties and destruction, Abbas was viewed as a weak, irrelevant figure. His invisibility, combined with changes in the wider region, has meant that the profile of Hamas has been raised. During the recent conflict, leading political officials from the Arab world met with senior Hamas figures in Gaza for the first time in five years.

    Beyond this, among the Palestinian community, commitment to a two-state solution has been waning. It is no longer viewed as tenable given the growing encroachment of settlements in the West Bank. Leading activists have started to reintroduce the democratic solution that promotes one state in which there is universal suffrage, as in the South Africa model. For them, Abbas’s UN initiative was dead on arrival, regardless of whether it received support.

    Against this backdrop, the Canadian government’s message is that this last-gasp support for a two-state solution and a peaceful Palestinian movement toward that end is “utterly regrettable.” Not only that, the government has also intimated it will review its aid to the Palestinian Authority.
    There should be no illusions about what this means. Palestinians — after many decades of waiting — are looking for realistic traction toward self-determination. If the peaceful avenues leading to that end are closed, it will leave only the extremist approach. Hamas will point out that Gaza doesn’t have any Israeli settlements, that their kidnapping of Israeli Gilad Shalit led to the release of Palestinian prisoners, and that Arab states are recognizing their leadership. And then they will ask: What has President Abbas done for you lately?

    Beyond the question of whether Canada is on the wrong side of history, which hardly seems debatable, it now appears to be empowering violence and extremism. How can you support Palestinian statehood and a two-state solution and inexplicably oppose that very reality, claiming it is not conducive to peace? That cognitive dissonance should stimulate a deep examination of Canadian policy — there is a lot more at stake here than just a UN vote.

     


              RAF Flies 2nd Wave of Vehicles to French Peacekeepers        
    The troop-carrying vehicles were loaded into the hold of a C-17 transport aircraft yesterday morning at an air base near Marseilles. The unique abilities of the C-17 Globemaster, flown by 99 Squadron out of RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, make it the ideal aircraft for this type of strategic airlift. Five armoured vehicles have already been delivered by the RAF to the French, who entered the Central African Republic following a UN resolution. They are there to support an Afr...
              The Republic of Ireland and the 1964 European Nations’ Cup        
    Gerry Farrell rewinds more than five decades to take a look at Ireland's often forgotten qualifying campaign for the 1964 European Nations' Cup.
              Can Civilian Health Care Help Fix The VA? Congress Weighs In        
    Veterans across the country are still waiting too long for medical care, a situation that drove the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki last week.

    Now Republicans and Democrats in Congress are competing to pass laws they think will fix the problem of medical wait times and other problems at the VA.

              10 Most Unintentionally Terrifying Statues        

    10 most unintentionally terrifying statues


    As anyone who has ever dicked around with Play-Doh knows, sculpting is fucking hard: If you aspire to create anything but crude dongs, the level of planning and technical skill it takes to bring a passable statue into existence is downright insane. With this in mind, you'd assume that talented statue folks use their power to create wonders, which is precisely what some of them do.

    However, there are ... others. Time and time again, we keep bumping into statues that prove that a whole bunch of sculptors are clearly using every single ounce of their talent to troll the world as hard as they possibly can.

    #10. Verity -- Devon, Great Britain

    Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images
    If you feel like punching a wall whenever you see the words "modern art," chances are it's because you've seen the works of Damien Hirst. He's the dude behind famous, critically esteemed works such as Isn't That Just a Fucking Shark in a Formaldehyde Tank? and Who the Hell Tries to Sell a Diamond-Covered Fake Skull for $84 Million? As such, he's probably the last person in existence who should be allowed to decorate things like, say, the piers of quaint small towns.
    At least that's what someone must have said a few years ago, because right on cue, a small English town called Ilfracombe stood up and said: "Hey, have you guys noticed that we're a quaint small town? Wouldn't that Damien Hirst dude be the perfect guy to decorate our pier?"
    And that, dear reader, is why the world now has Verity: a giant 2013 sculpture of a half-flayed pregnant woman that looks for all the world like a prop from Hannibal. This 66-foot bronze "allegory for truth and justice" stands facing the sea with a stance that's less "welcome to our little English town" and more "I'm going to punch the very concept of your spleen if you dock." Oh, and it's also brandishing a sword that's as big as the rest of the statue.
    Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images
    On a positive note, ain't no one going to invade them by sea in a hurry.

    #9. The Giant Lamp -- Malmo, Sweden

    In the Swedish city of Malmo, there is a light that never goes out. Too bad said light comes in the form of a giant-ass table lamp that switches spots seemingly at will and whispers to passersby in a broken, not-quite-Swedish subliminal language of mayhem:

    "Ia! Ia! R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn bork bork bork!"
    The Giant Lamp of Malmo is a 19-foot inexplicably popular sculpture that tours the squares of the city as the year progresses, only to return to its headquarters at Lilla Torg Square for Christmas. The words "ritual" and "blood" don't feature in the description, but considering that this is a country that habitually pulls a (hopefully mostly Nic Cage-less) Wicker Man with a giant goat sculpture most Christmastimes, it's pretty safe to assume they're heavily implied.

    #8. The Enema Statue -- Zheleznovodsk, Russia

    The Russian town of Zheleznovodsk is famed for its iron-rich mineral springs, and the many wonderful spas that bring this miracle of nature to the people. As such, it was no surprise that the town wanted to honor the source of their wealth with a statue dedicated to the specialty of Zheleznovodsk spa culture: the enema.
    Via Jaunted
    They used to have a statue of a douche, but it attracted too many pickup artists.
    Shaped as a massive rectal bulb syringe held aloft by Botticcellian cherubs, this bronze sculpture greets the visitors near the gates of the town's largest spa. Sadly, the story doesn't elaborate on whether said spa has had a single visitor since this loving homage was erected.

    #7. Man Hanging Out -- Prague, Czech Republic

    So you're walking the historic streets of Prague, enjoying the fine spring weather, and suddenly your gaze lands on a worrying sight. Holy shit, there's a dude hanging for dear life from a beam that's inexplicably dangling from a rooftop! Uncertain of whether you're witnessing a scene in a James Bond movie or a tragic situation just a few minutes away from ending up as sidewalk splatter, you spring into action and call the authorities.
    A few minutes later, a cop strolls over and gives you an enthusiastic slap over the head. Congratulations! You've just become the 367th person this month alone to let Prague's sculpture of Sigmund Freud fool you.
    Via Bestourism
    It's called Man Hanging Out, because lame puns are the only thing Prague loves more than scaring people.
    Apart from routinely confusing the shit out of first-time visitors to Prague, Man Hanging Out is a representation of Freud's struggle with his phobias and fear of mortality. It's also the work of famous Czech artist/troll David Cerny, who is rapidly turning into something of a personal nemesis: No matter how I promise myself I'll avoid him this time, his work just keeps popping up every time I do one of these articles. In fact, let's take this thing somewhere there's no way of bumping into his work whatsoever. Say ... Australia.

    #6. The Big Lobster -- Kingston, South Australia

    Aaaaaahhhhh! That is not better at all!
    Australia has the virtual monopoly on creatures that can scar our mental and physical capacities merely by saying "Boo." The thing you may not know is that somewhere down the line the continent apparently just said "screw it" and started building giant effigies for all creatures great and small that may or may not be able to murder them in some manner, up to and very much including pineapples.
    The Big Lobster is the king of said statues. It's a massive construct 59 feet tall, 45 feet wide, and 50 feet long that depicts what is either a lobster or a hitherto unknown kaiju species that Australia has thus far been able to hide from the rest of the world in order to keep luring tourists in, much like Mayor Vaughn did in Jaws.
    Riana Dzasta
    The locals call it Larry, which is Australian for "Sir."

    #5. The Hare -- Nuremberg, Germany

    The last time you and your sweet grandmother visited the cultured city of Nuremberg didn't go quite as planned, as the local "Fountain of Virtue" turned out to be the sort of lactation frenzy most niche porn companies could only hope to deliver. This time, you've decided to play it safe. Apart from strictly PG-rated galleries and churches, your only point of interest is going to be the sculpture made in honor of Grandma's favorite painting, Albrecht Durer's The Young Hare:
    Via Wikipedia
    Awwww.
    There's no way you could go wrong with this one. Sure of yourself, you stop to pat yourself on the back for your choice, letting Grandma limp ahead to the plaza that serves as home to the Hare:
    Via Cuniculture
    Ewwww.
    God dammit, Nuremberg. What did the bunny ever do to you?

    #4. Floralis Generica -- Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Quick: What's worse than a 75-foot steel statue that looks like the doomsday weapon of a Bond villain? That's right, a 75-foot doomsday statue that moves.
    Floralis Generica is a giant 23-meter-tall metal flower/murder beam pedestal that was built and donated to the city of Buenos Aires by architect Eduardo Catalano. Its giant steel petals open and close, depending on the time of day. During the dark hours, the sculpture emits an ominous red light that is supposed to appear comforting, but is clearly just waiting to blast passing superheroes out of the sky.
    Via ChessBase
    If there's not an evil lair under this thing yet, I'm calling dibs.
    The artist says the sculpture "is a synthesis of all the flowers and is both a hope that is reborn every day to open," which we can only assume is the code phrase for opening the door of the giant vault underneath Floralis Generica that controls its death ray.

    #3. Transi de Rene de Chalon -- Bar-le-Duc, France

    When you're visiting a random church in a small village in Northern France, you expect to see the stuff you see in most old churches: crosses, paintings, a few statues of saints ... that sort of thing. That's precisely what you'll see in Bar-le-Duc's Saint-Etienne church. Well, that and a fucking zombie monster, just gleefully hanging about in a place of honor, arm raised to meet the sky like the world's cheesiest Shakespearean actor.
    This statue is the memorial of Rene de Chalon, a 16th century prince, who had a hunch he'd die in his 20s (it was a turbulent time) and made a special request to be depicted this way postmortem. Local history books do their level best to write this off as an artistic choice meant to represent "doing right by God even after death." However, let's be honest here: The dude was a wealthy 20-something -- there's no way this was anything but a particularly inspired trolling idea someone in his entourage came up with at 4 a.m.

    #2. Genghis Khan -- Mongolia

    heckepics/iStock/Getty Images

    According to the Arizona Republic, Sen. John McCain is talking immigration reform, apparently as in "comprehensive" immigration reform, a la the failed Gang of Eight Senate bill.

    Patrick McHugh August 7, 2017 - 10:33am Dan Cadman
              Satoransky: Why I’m Not a Point Guard In the NBA        
    On Tuesday, Tomas Satoransky spoke with the Czech media on a variety of topics. Saty’s comments were published in BasketMag, an outlet from his home country, the Czech Republic. A translation of Satoransky’s comments via TAI’s Czech correspondent, Lukas Kuba (@Luke_Mellow), can be found below. Tomas Satoransky on his role on the Wizards next season: “I […]
              VIDEO: Santos – Ogbono        

    After the success of his debut track Ghetto featuring Skales, Santos drops the Visuals and Audio of his Sophomre track titled Ogbono. The Afropop sensation delivers very deft melody and sleek delivery. With Visuals shot by Teekay in Czech Republic. the song was produced by Jaystuntz with an outstanding percussive signature sound. The love song […]

    The post VIDEO: Santos – Ogbono appeared first on Jukebox Music.


              Stephen Roche urges Northern Irish public to 'Be Part of the Start' when the Giro d'Italia hits Belfast        

    Stephen Roche, the only Irish winner of the Giro d'Italia, has teamed up with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has launched a campaign urging people to 'Be Part of the Start' and give their support when this year's edition of the race starts there in May - with the toruist board saying the event is for everyone, not just cyclists.

    The 2014 Giro starts on Friday 9 May with a time trial around Belfast, and the following day a road stage heads from there along the Causeway Coast before looping back to the capital. On Sunday 11 May, the third stage starts in Armagh and sees the peloton cross the border with the Republic of Ireland and head for the finish in Dublin.

    Roche, who in 1987 won the Triple Crown of the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and World Championship, said: “To host an event of this scale is a real coup for Northern Ireland and the Republic.  Northern Ireland is a very beautiful part of the world which will make for a very scenic and of course challenging race which I’m sure that all the cyclists will enjoy.

    “This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people in Northern Ireland to witness an event like this at such close quarters and with all the festivities being organised to mark the occasion, I would certainly echo the words of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and urge people to ‘Be Part of the Start’ in May.”

    Clare McCoy of the NITB, quoted on the website Sports News Irelannd, said: “Obviously, the fact that Northern Ireland is hosting an event as prestigious as the Giro d’Italia is a dream come true for the legions of cycling fans throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic, but the excitement will not only be for the cycling community.

    “In addition to the feast of cycling, there will be a fantastic array of family-friendly events and festivals in Belfast and Armagh in the run up to and during Giro with lots of music, food and live entertainment for visitors to look forward to." 

    She went on: "As Northern Ireland embraces the pink of the leader’s jersey, this will be a hugely colourful and not-to-be-missed experience which is why we’ve launched our ‘Be Part of the Start’ campaign to urge everyone in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to come along and join in the festivities in May.

    “We are not only welcoming hundreds of cyclists but also their families and friends, technical teams and sponsors who have come to support them.  They will enjoy our warm hospitality, taste our local produce, see our sights and meet our people creating positive memories they will talk about when they get back to their own countries.”

    Ms McCoy outlined that Nortern Ireland's hosting of major events in the past gave an insight into how the public would react to the Giro's visit.

    “We know from past experience that the people of Northern Ireland really get behind the big events that come here and when you think that tens of thousands more will be joining them from the Republic of Ireland and other countries, we are on course for one of the most exciting and memorable starts to the race ever staged," she explained.

    “When Northern Ireland hosted the Irish Open at Royal Portrush in 2012, we did it in record-breaking fashion as it became the first European Tour event ever to completely sell out. 

    "I firmly believe that the Grande Partenza will give us another opportunity to demonstrate Northern Ireland’s ability to host massive global events and show just what makes us so special by showcasing our distinctive sense of humour, our unforgettable scenery and unique visitor attractions,” she added.

    You can find more information on the 2014 Giro's Big Start in this dedicated section of the Discover Northern Ireland website.

    Home Page Teaser: 
    Tourist board says event is a "dream come true" for cycling fans, but adds that event is for everyone
    News Topics Term: 
    Story weight: 
    2

              Ireland bids to host start of 2014 Giro d'Italia        

    Ireland could host the Giro d’Italia in a little over 18 months’ time with tourism bosses on bothe sides of the border putting together a joint bid to bring the start of the 2014 edition of the Corsa Rosa - the Pink Race - to the Emerald Isle.

    According to a report in the Belfast Telegraph, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Failte Ireland are co-operating on the bid £3.8 million bid, which has the backing of governments on both sides of the border.

    It is believed that staging the opening days of the race, planned for the bank holiday weekend from 2 to 4 May, 2014, could benefit the local economy to the tune of £10 million.

    Under former race director Angelo Zomegnan and his successor Michele Acquarone, the Giro has pursued a strategy of internationalisation, including increasing the frequency of the Grande Partenza being held outside Italy.

    This year’s race began in Denmark, while two years ago the opening stages were held in The Netherlands, with Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins taking the maglia rosa in the Amsterdam Prologue.

    The bid to bring the Giro to Ireland, which is reportedly yet to be formally submitted, is being co-ordinated by Shade Tree Sports, a company co-founded and managed by Darach McQuaid, brother of UCI president Pat McQuaid.

    The company, which has offices in Dublin and Richmond, Virginia, was also behind the successful bid by the latter for the UCI Road World Championships in 2015.

    A spokesman for the company said, “It is an ongoing project" and added that further details might be made public in early November.

    The Republic of Ireland hosted the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 1998, and in Stephen Roche has a former Giro d’Italia champion.
     

    Home Page Teaser: 
    Tourism boards on both sides of the border co-operate to try and bring the Corsa Rosa to the Emerald Isle
    Story weight: 
    2

              Re: Republican Party Condemns Grand Jury Resistance in Orange County GOP Firebombing Case        
    "In a statement, the NCGOP says anyone defying a grand jury subpoena should be jailed until they comply."

    The NCGOP should let their national party up in DC know about this stance, what with the impending Grand Jury that's coming along shortly.
    Posted by Mark Neill
              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
              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
              GOP Sen. Susan Collins Firmly Opposes Senate Health Care Bill        
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Congressional forecasters say a Senate bill that aims to repeal and replace Obamacare would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026. That's only slightly fewer than a House version that passed last month. This forecast comes as Senate Republican leaders press for a vote on the bill later this week, and it has already led one Republican senator to firmly oppose the bill. NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now. And, Scott, these numbers come from the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan bean counters on Capitol Hill. So where do they think these coverage reductions are coming from? SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Ari, the biggest drop would be in Medicaid. Remember, Obamacare expanded Medicaid. This bill would shrink it. And the forecasters anticipate by 2026 you would have 15 million fewer Americans getting their coverage through that safety net program. They're also anticipating a drop of about 7 million people getting coverage
              Re: U.S. Representative David Price Wants the Feds to Regulate N.C. Hog Farms        
    I dont see no republicans jumping on this they get nice campaign donations from these hog farms..Plus none of these GOP lawmakers live by one of these hog farms....Seems all these farms are located near minority neighborhoods.. Hmm fancy that?
    Posted by Tony D
              GOP Senate Bill Would Cut Health Care Coverage By 22 Million        
    Updated at 8:10 pm ET Congressional forecasters say a Senate bill that aims to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026. That's only slightly fewer uninsured than a version passed by the House in May . Monday's report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office could give moderate senators concerned about health care coverage pause. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was quick to register her opposition to the bill. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell wants a vote on the bill this week, before senators head home for the July Fourth recess. With Senate Democrats united in opposition, Republicans can afford to lose only two votes on their side and still pass the bill. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who is up for re-election next year, had already expressed reservations about the number of people who could lose coverage under the GOP bill. Four other Republican senators have complained that the bill doesn't go far enough in rolling
              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 Republicans Alter Health Care Bill To Avoid 'Death Spiral'        
    Updated at 5 p.m. ET Senate Republicans have updated their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, attempting to patch a hole that threatened to destabilize the individual insurance market . The original Senate bill, unveiled last week, required insurance companies to offer coverage to everyone, including people with pre-existing medical conditions. But there was no requirement that individuals purchase insurance. Critics said that created a perverse incentive for healthy people to go without insurance, only buying coverage after they got sick. Without enough healthy customers making regular premium payments, insurance companies would be forced to raise prices, driving more customers away — a situation sometimes described as a "death spiral." The revised bill attempts to solve that problem by imposing a penalty on those who don't maintain continuous insurance coverage: People who let their coverage lapse for at least 63 days in one year would be locked out of the insurance
              How The Senate Health Care Bill Could Disrupt The Insurance Market         
    Senate Republicans have little margin for error as they prepare for a vote this coming week on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act . Some lawmakers are already raising concerns that the bill could aggravate the problem of healthy people going without insurance, driving up costs for everyone else. "If you can get insurance after you get sick, you will," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told NBC's Today Show . "And without the individual mandate, that sort of adverse selection, the death spiral, the elevated premiums, all of that that's going on gets worse under this bill." The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, tried to address that problem by requiring all Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty. But that so-called "individual mandate" is one of the least popular provisions of the law. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his colleagues are determined to get rid of it. "We agreed on the need to free Americans from Obamacare's mandate so
              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
              Shooting Highlights Role Of Capitol Police         
    Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET Members of the protective detail for Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., are being hailed as heroes Wednesday, shining a spotlight on the little-known police force that guards the Capitol and prominent members of Congress. If not for the presence of the U.S. Capitol Police officers, authorities say, the toll could have been much worse when a heavily armed gunman opened fire at a congressional baseball practice just outside Washington early Wednesday. "Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told MSNBC . Although the practice was taking place in Alexandria, Va., across the Potomac River from the Capitol, police were on hand to protect Rep. Scalise, the majority whip and No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives. "I'm sure it made a significant difference," said Tim Slater, the FBI agent overseeing the investigation. Authorities say two members of the Capitol Police force, Special Agent Crystal Griner and Special Agent David
              Is The Economic Glass Half-Full Or Half-Empty? It Depends        
    The pace of hiring in the U.S. slowed last month. Employers added just 138,000 jobs . But the unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent, the lowest it has been in 16 years. The monthly snapshot from the Labor Department is one of the most closely watched indicators of the health of the economy. No matter what the numbers actually say, how we feel about them is often colored by politics. For the first time in a decade, most Americans are feeling good about the economy. A survey this spring by the Pew Research Center found nearly 6 in 10 think the economy is in good shape. That is up 14 points from a year ago. Nearly all of the gain has come from Republicans, who are now twice as likely to say the economy is doing well as they were last year, even though actual conditions haven't budged much. "There's no big change in the economy. Clearly, the change is the election and the politics," says Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for IHS Markit. "Obviously, there's some people who like what
              Unemployment Data Are Often Colored By Politics         
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit SCOTT SIMON, HOST: The pace of hiring in the United States slowed last month, but the unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent, the lowest it's been in 16 years. The monthly employment snapshot from the Labor Department is one of the most closely watched indicators of the health of the economy. NPR's Scott Horsley reports, no matter what the numbers say, how we feel about them is often colored by politics. SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: For the first time in a decade, most Americans feel good about the U.S. economy. A survey this spring by the Pew Research Center found nearly 6 in 10 think the economy is in good shape. That's up 14 points from a year ago. Nearly all of the gain has come from Republicans who are now twice as likely to say the economy's doing well as they were last year, even though chief economist Nariman Behravesh of the IHS Markit says actual conditions haven't budged much. NARIMAN BEHRAVESH: There's no big change in the economy. Clearly
              St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)        

    Seven friends – Alec, Billy, Jules, Kevin, Kirby, Leslie and Wendy – are trying to navigate through life and their friendships following college graduation. Alec, who aspires to political life, has just shown his true colors by changing his allegiance from Democrat to Republican, which freaks out girlfriend Leslie, who he wants to marry. Budding […]

    The post St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) appeared first on Movie25.


              The Negotiator - Book Review        

    After reading The Afghan, I needed one good Frederick Forsyth novel to boost my liking for my favorite author. The Negotiator did not disappoint me. Yes, the ending was a bit too fast and a tad bland without the usual great twist to the tale, but the novel is worth reading just for the first 300 pages.

    The Negotiator has its share of layers that Forsyth is famous for, but the layers are not as differentiated as I have seen in his other novels. This results in us being able to guess to a good degree on the relationship between the threads. The threads in the novel are:
    1) Oil resources depleting in USSR (yes, the book was written during the period of the undivided Soviet republic) and the army chief planning to launch an attack on a Saudi nation
    2) Oil resources depleting in USA and an oil tycoon evaluating alternate options to get oil
    3) The new US president getting into a demilitarization deal with his soviet counterpart. The arms suppliers in US, the army personnel in the USSR and few others preparing to thwart the demilitarization plan
    5) The planning of a coup in Saudi Arabia
    6) A student in a university in England
    7) Mercenaries from Belgium
    8) A negotiator

    I found the vintage Forsyth touches in these places:
    a) The title of the novel gives the impression that most of the novel would be about the negotiation. But the fact that the negotiation ended half way into the novel was interesting
    b) The "introduction" of the president's son in true Forsyth style
    c) The dialogues in the flight from USA to UK wh the negotiator meets the CIA folks

    It is a good novel with fast paced action. But I am a bit disappointed with some aspects of it.
    a) I was expecting all threads to converge at the climax stages, but some of them ended early. The story of the banker in Arabia had the potential to build into something great, but just frittered away.
    b) Of the numerous intelligent agents from the US and UK, I expected some one to do something astonishing. But they too turned out to be like the cops in Indian movies who just watch the hero handle the bad guys.
    c) What was the part of the KGB except for giving the hero a good shave and some money?
    d) What about the protagonist’s friends in Spain. Poor folks were mercilessly wasted in the novel


              World: FPMA Bulletin #7, 10 August 2017        
    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Country: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Zambia

    Key messages

    • International prices of wheat rose further in July on quality concerns, particularly for higher protein wheat, although upward pressure was limited by prospects of ample global supplies. Export prices of maize remained generally unchanged, while a slowdown in demand capped gains in rice quotations.
    • In East Africa, prices of cereals in most countries declined signi cantly for the second consecutive month in July with the new harvests, but remained generally higher than a year earlier. However, in Ethiopia, prices of maize surged further and reached record levels, underpinned by uncertain prospects for the 2017 crops.
    • In the CIS, prices of staple potatoes declined sharply from the record or near-record highs of June in most countries of the subregion with the beginning of the new harvest. Prices, however, remained higher than in July last year after the sharp increases of the past months.

              World: Food Assistance Outlook Brief, August 2017        
    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population is compared to last year and the recent five-year average. Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season. Additional information is provided for countries with large food insecure populations, an expectation of high severity, or where other key issues warrant additional discussion.


              Somalia: Six Projects Totaling $1.04 Million Committed in July        
    Source: Canadian Foodgrains Bank
    Country: Canada, India, Kenya, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania

    Over 53,000 people in four countries will benefit; includes emergency nutrition response in Somalia

    Over 53,000 people in four countries will benefit from six projects totaling $1.04 million committed by Canadian Foodgrains Bank in July.

    The projects are being implemented by Foodgrains Bank members Development and Peace—Caritas Canada, Canadian Baptist Ministries, World Relief Canada and World Renew, in collaboration with their local partners.

    One project, through Development and Peace, is responding to the crisis in Somalia.

    Somalia is suffering from its worst drought in 40 years. The crippling effects of the drought are compounded by militant violence and lack of response from a young and struggling government.

    Over six million people are in need of urgent help.

    According to the United Nations, the country is on the verge of famine.

    Through the project, implemented locally by Trocaire Somalia, existing nutrition centres and nutrition programming responding to the needs of young children and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are being scaled up.

    The project, which totals $388,000, is benefitting 2,700 children and 2,760 women.

    Another project, through Canadian Baptist Ministries in Embu County, Kenya, is responding to chronic, ongoing hunger.

    Farming households in Embu struggle to grow enough food to support their families year-round due to unreliable rainfall, a lack of access to quality seeds, and depleted soil.

    In response, CBM, through its partner African Christian Churches & Schools, is training farmers in conservation agriculture methods.

    Conservation agriculture methods help farmers make best use of erratic rainfall, restore nutrients to their soil, and ultimately, increase their crop yields.

    1,200 families are benefitting from the project, which totals $125,000.

    Other projects committed in July include:

    • An agriculture and livelihoods project in India through World Relief Canada, totaling $115,000 and benefitting 2,400 people.

    • An agriculture and livelihoods project in Tanzania through World Relief Canada, totaling $192,000 and benefitting 20,000 people.

    • An agriculture and livelihoods project in Tanzania through World Renew, totaling $120,000 and benefitting 12,000 people.

    • An agriculture and livelihoods project in Tanzania through World Renew, totaling $96,000 and benefitting 7,000 people.

    Projects supported by Canadian Foodgrains Bank are undertaken with support from the Government of Canada.

    --Amanda Thorsteinsson, Communications Coordinator


              World: Humanitarian Coordinator Information Products, 31 July 2017        
    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen


              Italy: Italy: Unaccompanied And Separated Children (UASC) Dashboard, July 2017        
    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Bangladesh, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Iraq, Italy, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    Between 1 January and 31 July 2017, 12,656 unaccompanied and separated children arrived in Italy by sea, representing 13% of all sea arrivals in this period. This