MDS Coordinator RN        
NC-Mount Airy, Position Description We focus on people. Our residents. Their lives. Their health. Their families. We are one of the largest providers of short-term and long-term health care services in the United States. Through our affiliated entities, we provide services through skilled nursing facilities in 23 states. We are committed to providing compassionate, family oriented short-term and long-term care.
          '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

          '..another Cold War that may last even longer than the war with world communism.' (no replies)        
'..until Muslim scholars find a Koran key to the free world and lead their followers to an entrance.'

'Economists pondering about human action distinguish between four types of individual incomes; the Koran permits only two, which explains much poverty in the Muslim world. Economists speak of labor income which flows from services rendered either in self-employment or working for an employer; the Koran smiles upon this basic kind of income. Economists also discern interest income which, reflecting human frailty and mortality, flows from the differences between man’s valuation of present economic goods and future goods; the Koran condemns “riba”, that is, interest income, and threatens all creditors who may be tempted to demand “riba” with “the fire prepared for unbelievers.” Economists also like to wax eloquent about entrepreneurial income, commonly called profits, which may be earned through correct anticipation of economic changes; failure to anticipate changes correctly may inflict entrepreneurial losses. The Koran simply prohibits economic activity that involves uncertainty, risk, or speculation and may earn “ghara.” The prohibition obviously discourages and hampers economic changes, adjustments, modernizations, and improvements that are uncertain and risky.

..

Muslim clerics are the tutors and preceptors not only of Islamic theology but also of social and economic ideology. Surely, they may not descend to the level of envy but may fly into anger and passion about the sinful behavior of all non-believers, that is, Christians and Jews, who grow rich in market economies, engaging in uncertain, risky, and speculative economic activity and prospering on riba and ghara. For some clerics the United States is the “Great Satan” and Israel his little offspring. It cannot be surprising that faithful followers abhor, fear, and hate the Great Satan and wish him evil. When a few Muslim fanatics flew into the World Trade Center in New York, killing more than 2,900 men and women, and another hijacked plane hit the Pentagon, killing 189 employees, jubilant masses thronged streets across the Muslim world, celebrating and rejoicing about the destruction and massacre.

..

..Today, the United States is in the early stages of a long struggle with radical Islamism that has been waging war against this country for some thirty years. Radical Islamic states have been breeding, sheltering, and financing the terrorist armies and radical clerics are invoking divine favor upon them.

The Western world, and especially the United States, is facing the prospect of a long and bitter war with a fanatical enemy. It is a desperate enemy because powerful forces of change are eroding its very ideological foundation. Modern communication technology has opened the windows of the world and is allowing people everywhere to observe Western mores and living conditions. A network of communication satellites, for instance, is continuously receiving, amplifying, and rebroadcasting signals to earth. Western ideas are reaching the minds of people everywhere and changing social, economic, political, and educational institutions. It cannot be surprising that Muslim autocracies like to keep the windows closed by monopolizing and disallowing access to such technology.

It is doubtful that the U.S. military will crush and completely render inactive a desperate enemy consisting of an organized guerilla force of Allah-fearing men and women. A small army of suicidal fanatics, a diminutive percentage of one billion and three hundred million Muslims in 206 countries, may wear away the patience and resolve of the American public and its political and military commanders. Such a possibility does not in any way intimate a victory and sway of Muslim fanatics over the forces of the West. Its paramount strength does not rest on brute military might but on its free and open way of life, its private property order and individual enterprise system. Its windows are wide open and its busy subjects are at work all over the world, simple ambassadors or even missionaries of its order. Even if the United States should ever stumble and lose its way, the windows are wide open and the bright light of individual freedom and the private property order would remain visible in many other parts of the West. It is unlikely that it can ever be extinguished.

The U.S. military is not going to conquer many Muslim countries, but individual freedom and the private property order may in time..

..

We shall know the future only when it comes. But our thoughts like to live in the future, and what they see is another Cold War that may last even longer than the war with world communism. They see the Muslim world in a crisis which causes a few revolutionaries to strike at Americans. Insurgents may continue to lash out until Muslim scholars find a Koran key to the free world and lead their followers to an entrance.'

- Hans F. Sennholz, In Another Cold War, 2004


Context

'..the battle of ideas taking place in the Muslim world..'

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

          '..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..'

          Introducing new donation tool on YouTube benefiting nonprofits        
YouTube has over a billion users. That’s almost one-third of all people on the Internet. And everyday those users watch hundreds of millions of hours of video, racking up billions of views – which are now billions of opportunities to do good.

We’re excited to announce a brand new tool that U.S. nonprofits can utilize — donation cards on YouTube! Donation cards make it even simpler to raise money for your cause by allowing your viewers to donate directly from your YouTube video. Even better — Google covers the processing fees, so your organization will receive 100% of the money donated. Donation cards on YouTube are currently available for U.S. nonprofits and creators, but we look forward to expanding into other countries, so nonprofits and creators can digitally fundraise across the globe. 

Using donation cards, YouTube creators can also now raise money through their content to both support your cause and make their videos more impactful! Donation cards for creators in the U.S. enable their subscribers and viewers to donate directly from their videos. Creators can choose any United States, IRS-validated 501(c)3 public nonprofit organization. Your nonprofit will receive 100% of the money donated.

Want to see donation cards in action? Check out this video from Madison Beer. 

Now it’s your turn. To help you get started, we’ve put together an outreach toolkit – including email templates, social media templates, and fundraising best practices – to help your nonprofit share the news about donation cards with your supporters and other YouTube creators. With these tools, we hope you’ll empower as many people as possible to learn about your nonprofit and fuel fundraising on your behalf. 

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate in the YouTube for Nonprofit Program, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

If you are a U.S. nonprofit looking to add donation cards to your YouTube videos, learn more here.
If you are a U.S. YouTube creator looking to fundraise for your favorite cause, learn more here. 

Nonprofits aren't endorsed by YouTube or Google


          Sales Associate, Store (Seasonal) - 2nd Swing Inc.        
Minnetonka, MN - Sales Associate, Store (Seasonal) - Minnetonka, MN
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          Customer Service Associate (Seasonal) - 2nd Swing Inc.        
Minneapolis, MN - Customer Service Associate (Seasonal) - Minneapolis, MN
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2nd Swing is looking for a few high-energy customer service professionals to join our Minneapolis team. The ideal candidate will have a very
          Customer Service Associate (Seasonal) - Minnetonka, MN - 2nd Swing Inc.        
Minnetonka, MN - Customer Service
13031 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305, United States
2nd Swing is looking for a few high-energy customer service professionals to join our Minnetonka or Minneapolis team. The ideal candidate will have a very good understanding and passion for the game of
          Sales Associate, Store (Seasonal) - 2nd Swing Inc.        
Minneapolis, MN - Sales Associate, Store (Seasonal) - Minneapolis, MN
Sales Associate
2412 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55413, United States
2nd Swing is looking for a few seasonal / part-time, high-energy sales associates to join our Minnetonka team. The ideal candidate will have a very
          Sales Associate, Store - 2nd Swing Inc.        
Minnetonka, MN - Sales Associate, Store - Minnetonka, MN
Sales Associate
13031 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305, United States
2nd Swing is looking for a few high-energy sales associates (FT & PT available) to join our Minnetonka team. The ideal candidate will have a very good
          Sales Associate, Store - 2nd Swing Inc.        
Minneapolis, MN - Sales Associate, Store - Minneapolis, MN
Sales Associate
2412 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55413, United States
2nd Swing is looking for a few high-energy sales associates (FT & PT available) to join our Minneapolis team. The ideal candidate will have a very good
          Google Glass        

In early February, 2014, Metropolitan Eyecare became one of the first in the United States to fabricate high-tech digital prescription lenses into one of the new Google Glass frames. The Google Glass frames did not originally have an option for prescription lenses. However, on January 26, 2014, Google announced they were adding four prescription frame choices. Google...

The post Google Glass appeared first on Affordable Eye Care | Optometrist | Chicago Suburbs.


          F1 urged to back 'untapped' US market        
Williams investor Brad Hollinger believes Formula 1's leaders should make a more concerted effort to tap into the potential offered by the United States
          US GP gets green light for 2016        
Formula 1's United States Grand Prix at Austin will go ahead this season, Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein has confirmed
          National Account Manager / Remote        
CA-San Diego, Mitchell 1/ (A Snap-on Company), is a leading provider of vehicle repair information, and business management solutions for automotive and heavy duty shops. We are currently seeking a National Account Manager for the Heavy Duty Truck Group. The territory for this position includes the Central and Eastern United States. This is a work from home and considered a remote position. GENERAL FUNCTIONS: O
          Business in Buffalo        

Allot was accomplished while back in Buffalo over break. Some of it was already mentioned on facebook but this is where I can do some less official ranting.

So what I want to talk about is doing business in Buffalo. I’m sure allot of people have heard horror stories about working with in the city limits. I know for years people don’t me, don’t even bother if you’re not in the old boys club you can’t get anywhere in the city.  My experience was completely the opposite.

We had narrowed our search into the Black Rock area. I think it’s really an area on the up and up. The people there are really passionate about the neighborhood and eager for business to come back. The success of the black rock bar and kitchen and delish are sort of the test beds. As Chippewa seems to be  kicking out the college crowd there is going to need to be somewhere for all those older college students to go. I’m not saying Black Rock should open clubs and go crazy, just that older crowd is going to be looking for somewhere new to go and that could be black rock without a problem. Elmwood can be a bit ‘high end’ and Buff State is right across the river. Honestly Amherst is going to be where it’s at.

I’ve had the pleasure to bounce around the country for the last couple of years. My position in the Air Force requires allot of traveling form base to base, and I’ve found the same formula in all the ‘up and coming’ urban places is the same.

Provide a service or good that’s 100% better at 50% more cost. It’s what Craft Beer is all about, but it’s also what the whole urban movement seems to be able.  When I visit other cities and find something I think  could be a knock-out in Buffalo I write it down or grab a menu. Sadly for all the great ideas there is only so much money, but the formal is the same.

Chef’s in Manhattan KS is one of the business restaurants I’ve ever been in. It costs about 50% more then Denny’s but when you get Salmon Eggs Benedict, the $5 extra over a grand slam seems like nothing. I’m not saying I’ve stumbled upon the Holy  Grail or anything. I’m just finding that it seems to be true across the whole of the United States. It might the ‘Europeanization’ of America.  That’s a different topic so I’ll get back to Buffalo.

Where I wanted to get was armed with this formal and some really impressive growth numbers from Craft Beer the Councilmen Joe Golombek was willing to sit down for almost 2 hours with us, from that we got an audience with the City Office of Strategic Planning, Department of Labor, Tonawanda BOA, NYSBDC, SBA, ECIDC, NYSIDC. I’m missing once person from that list so I apologize. Point being they we’re great to sit down with, tell them what we want to do, and offer some suggestions on how to go about it. I didn’t run into some brick wall or have to cow tow to anyone to get this. I grew up 25 miles outside of the city, I went to School in Rochester. While Buffalo is my city, its not like I have a network. No Doubt I’m developing one, and the other companies we work with have been paramount to that.

Allot of reasons and things like the $1,000,000,000 that state is talking about I honestly don’t think is going to have nearly the effect it could have if it was $1 thousand million dollar grants or 10,000 $100,000 grants. The things about doing business in NYS being hard then other states.  That’s absolutely true, the taxes are terrible, the bureaucracy is enormous, and the law suits plentiful. Despite all that Government workers are really trying to work around it and with it to get Buffalo back on top.

Point being is Buffalo wants to grow, and the real growth is going to be by small business making an investment in the city, living here working here making that lifelong commitment to the area. There isn’t going to be a hand out from the government to get you started. It’s going to be with the help of people in Buffalo and on your own labors. I encourage anyone who’s thinking about starting to do
          AT&T Adds 2.1 Million Net New Customers In Second Quarter Of 2015        
AT&T Adds 2.1 Million Net New Customers In Second Quarter Of 2015

AT&T recently announced that it has added 2.1 million net new customers during the second quarter of this year. Interestingly, almost all of the carrier’s new additions is attributed to strong sales of tablets, and to connected cars. As a matter of fact, AT&T has added one million new additions driven by tablets and connected cars in the period spanning April to June.

It appears that there is a visible shift in the makeup of AT&T’s subscriber base, with a significant part of the new customer additions spurred by tablets and connected devices. Also, it seems that traditional subscribers -- i.e. those that use phones -- may be on the decline, at least in AT&T’s case. It is also possible that such diminished growth from traditional phone customers for AT&T is connected to the increased pressure from competitors like Sprint and T-Mobile, who are only eager to usurp AT&T’s place as the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States.

Earlier in July, T-Mobile had announced that it had added 2.1 million customers during the second quarter of this year. And just a few days ago, Verizon Wireless had revealed that it had gained over 1 million net new customers, and 1.1 million post-paid subscribers. 

As for AT&T, it had added 410,000 post-paid subscribers, however the growth entirely consisted of 600,000 tablets. In the second quarter of this year, the carrier had lost about 200,000 basic phone subscribers. Still, AT&T was able to add 331,000 prepaid customers as a result of boosting its prepaid arm Cricket Wireless. 

A new focus for AT&T is in connected cars. The carrier is signing up with the largest number of automobile manufacturers in order to bring cellular connectivity to vehicles. But perhaps the more pressing question is -- will people actually pay extra money to connect their cars to a cellular network? The potential is there, but for now, it remains to be seen. 

AT&T also managed to generate a profit in the amount of $3.04 billion, or $0.58 per share, during the second quarter of 2015. During the same period in the previous year, the carrier had a profit of $3.55 billion, or $0.68 per share. Not counting costs associated with its acquisition of two wireless carriers based in Mexico and its looming deal with DirecTV, AT&T managed $0.69 per share of adjusted earnings. Moreover, revenues increased 1.4 percent to $33 billion. As per data compiled by Yahoo, analysts predict, on average, revenue of $33.04 billion and earnings of $0.63 per share.

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          LG Introduces The Curved Phone G Flex 2        
LG Introduces The Curved Phone G Flex 2

Back in 2014, LG released the G Flex handset, a 6-inch smartphone with a unique curved body design and a self-healing coating that clears up scratches or any damage done to the device's casing.  

Now, the South Korean company is introducing an enhanced and more streamlined version, the G Flex 2. This time around, the newest version comes with a smaller but more handy 5.5-inch display screen, and Qualcomm's most powerful chip set.

The G Flex 2 smartphone was introduced by LG during its very recent press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 (CES 2015) held in Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States. 

With its introduction, LG's G Flex 2 handset is the first of many phones this year expected to feature Qualcomm's newest offering -- the Snapdragon 810 processor. It is an eight-core 2.0 GigaHertz chip set that is 64-bit compatible for Android 5.0 Lollipop, the latest version of the Android mobile operating system. The 810 processor functions with 2 gigabytes of memory, and can support 3 x 20 MegaHertz LTE carrier aggregation for all networks that support it.

For the device's display screen, LG employed its own plastic OLED display technology. Techies may recall that this is the same display technology utilized in LG's G Watch R wearable device. But in G Flex 2's case, the resolution is set higher to 1080 pixels. 

As for its camera, the G Flex 2 smartphone sports a 13-megapixel camera that has laser autofocus system and optical image stabilization -- features that users may also find in LG's current flagship device (the LG G3).

The G Flex 2 features a 3,000 mAh battery that takes full advantage of Qualcomm's fast charging technology available via the latest Snapdragon chip sets. This technology significantly reduces the recharging time by up to 75 percent. Thus, users can get the G Flex 2 half-charged in just 40 minutes.

But what really makes the G Flex 2 unique is its curved body. The front side (display screen) has a 700 millimeter curved radius, while the rear side is curved just a bit less (650 millimeter radius). This is by design, by the way. According to LG, this helps users hold the phone more easily and also, allows the device to fit more easily in users' pockets.

Naturally, the G Flex 2 will be launched first in South Korea before the end of the month. But American users will not have long to wait. Major carriers AT&T and Sprint have already confirmed that they will be including the device in their respective smartphone line-ups this year. Regional carrier US Cellular has also announced that they will be offering the device in spring. No specific release dates and pricing details have been provided yet, but LG fans in the US should be pretty excited nonetheless. 

Want to know more LG devices? You can start comparing LG phones and plans now.

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          Sprint Called Out For Cramming Customer Accounts        
Sprint Called Out For Cramming Customer Accounts

Oops. Sprint has been busted for charging tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized third-party messaging charges to customer bills.

Moreover, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to issue a fine in the amount of $105 million for the carrier's dubious charges, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Interestingly, the amount of the fine is the same as the one AT&T paid to the FCC earlier this year in a case that is similar.

The fine is not official yet -- the FCC is still waiting for the commissioner to approve it. However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is not wasting any moment -- on behalf of the carrier's disgruntled subscribers, the CFPB is filing a lawsuit against Sprint.

According to the CFPB, Sprint should have made it a priority to protect its subscribers from third-party billing scams. But unfortunately for its customers, the carrier had let suspicious fees for unauthorized premium text messages show up on the customers' billing statements.

The CFPB further alleges that Sprint is choosing to ignore the tens of thousands of complaints and refund requests from disgusted subscribers due to the incorrect billing. The bureau also believes that with the carrier keeping about 40 percent of all the revenue generated from bills crammed with third-party fees, it is a lot easier for Sprint to turn a blind eye.

Even though the major wireless carriers in the United States have agreed to cease billing their subscribers for premium third-party services, the practice of cramming customer bills has always been frequently done by service providers for years. By doing so, they can generate some extra income out of unsuspecting wireless subscribers.

Last October this year, AT&T agreed to settle with the FCC over cramming complaints from its subscribers. Even T-Mobile had to deal with its own cramming lawsuit back in July of this year. Out of the $105 million fine paid by AT&T, the FCC took $80 million to be refunded to subscribers who were affected. For sure, the FCC will work to achieve the same result with its lawsuit against Sprint. 

For its part, Sprint is denying the allegations. The carrier claims that it took certain steps to protect its subscribers from unauthorized third-party billing practices. 

If the $105 million fine does go through, it will mark the first time that the FCC and the CFPB have joined forces together in taking action against a major wireless provider.

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          Sprint Prepaid Teams Up With Best Buy To Offer Free Month Of Service        
Sprint Prepaid Teams Up With Best Buy To Offer Free Month Of Service

Looks like Sprint is on a roll as we enter into the holiday season. The carrier offers another year-end special offer through its Sprint Prepaid brand, which is collaborating with retail giant Best Buy in giving customers one month of service that is completely free of charge. 

This special offer is a limited time offer only, and is open to all subscribers buying a new eligible handset from Best Buy and activating it under a Sprint Prepaid plan. Phones that eligible include the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Samsung Galaxy SIII, the LG Tribute, the LG Volt, and the Sharp Crystal.

Customers get to choose from three Sprint Prepaid plans that already include unlimited calls and unlimited text messaging. These plans are: the $35 monthly plan that includes 1 gigabyte of data, the $45 monthly plan that includes 3 gigabyte of data, and the $55 monthly plan 

Apart from unlimited calls and texting, Sprint Prepaid's plans also offer 50 minutes of off-network voice roaming per month. This is not usually offered by other prepaid service providers, which should delight those who decide to go for a prepaid plan from Sprint.

Sprint's free first month special offer is certainly a treat, but other prepaid brands also offer competitive deals. For instance, Cricket Wireless (AT&T's prepaid brand) has its Basic Plan, which offers unlimited calls, unlimited text messaging, and 1 gigabyte of high-speed data for $35 each month, that is once an AutoPay credit is applied.

New prepaid player Red Pocket also has an interesting offer. Via its GSMT Unlimited Everything plan, you get unlimited calls, unlimited text messaging, 200 minutes of international calls, and 2 gigabytes of data at full speed for $39.99 every recharge. This offer is also eligible for a full month of service free of charge from Red Pocket, provided the customer gets two months worth of recharges.

The year is not over yet, and we may still see other holiday deals from prepaid brands in the coming days or weeks. But Sprint Prepaid's offer is truly worth checking out. Customers can avail of it until January 31st of next year at all Best Buy retail stores in the United States.

Sprint has been rather busy in the past few weeks. The carrier has made its iPhone for Life and Easy Pay options available from Apple retails stores for the holidays. Apart from that, it has also teamed up with Uber in offering a free first ride promo for Sprint customers who sign up for the transport service. Interested to know more about Sprint's deals? You can compare plans and phones from the carrier here.

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          AT&T Includes Data Throttling To GoPhone Prepaid Plans        
ATT Includes Data Throttling To GoPhone Prepaid Plans

AT&T has made changes to two its high-end GoPhone prepaid smartphone plans. The carrier's $60 and $45 prepaid smartphone plans now include unlimited calls and text messaging, plus 2.5 gigabytes and 1 gigabytes of data, respectively. 

Previously, subscribers would have to pay $10 for 1 gigabyte or 500 megabytes of extra data. But now with the latest changes in the GoPhone prepaid plans, once subscribers use up all of their high-speed allotment, they will still continue to get data -- it is just going to be throttled at speeds of up to 128 kbps (unlike before wherein the data gets completely cut off). 

AT&T's prepaid plan will keep on listing those $10 for 1 gigabyte/500 megabyte options, which means subscribers can still pay extra to add more high-speed data to their plans. 

We know, we know -- 128 kbps is certainly not much. Still, it is a better deal compared to having your data discontinued entirely if you do not want to or can not pay extra for additional data usage. 

So if you are currently under any one of AT&T's high-end prepaid smartphone plans, you no longer have to worry about your data getting cut off as your megabyte allotment is about to be used up, even if you still have a number of days left on your bill. 

Say, for example, you are currently under a 1 gigabyte data plan and you have already reached 1 gigabyte but still have 8 days left on the bill. Before, you wouldn't be able to get any additional data, and even if you did, you would be charged with the overage. 

Well, that changes now with AT&T's latest tweaks on its GoPhone prepaid smartphone plans. Instead of getting cut off, you simply get throttled data, down to speeds of up to 128 kbps. 

Let's face it -- 128 kbps is definitely slow by today's standards. But it is still unlimited, which means you can still download to your heart's content, just not as fast as you would prefer.

In related news, AT&T has also announced a new monthly plan for those in the United States, Canada,and Mexico. In this plan, users in those regions can enjoy unlimited calls, text messaging, and data with 1 gigabyte of high-speed data when in the US, for $55 per month. 

If you take your device and plan across the border to either Canada or Mexico, you can make calls at $0.01 per minute, send unlimited text, picture and video messages, and even purchase a $25 1 gigabyte data plan. 

If you are within the US, you get to enjoy unlimited text messaging to Canada, Mexico, and to more than 100 other countries.

Know more about AT&T deals -- start comparing AT&T plans here.

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          Nexus 6 Pre-Orders Start November 12th At AT&T; Goes On Sale November 14th At Sprint        
Nexus 6 Preorders at ATT and Sprint

Good news for Nexus 6 fans. Google's latest Nexus phablet will start to become available for purchase at two major wireless carriers this week. 

AT&T has confirmed that the Nexus 6 will become available for pre-ordering starting on Wednesday, November 12th. The device is priced at $249 on-contract. Buyers, however, can opt to purchase the phablet at its full retail price of $682.99 and pay off that total amount over the course of 20, 24, or 30 regular monthly payments via AT&T's Next 12, Next 18, and Next 24 plans, respectively. Unfortunately, AT&T has not yet provided any shipping estimates for the Nexus 6 as of this writing. But it will not be long now until the carrier makes announcement regarding availability.

Two days later on Friday, November 14th, the Nexus 6 will become available on Sprint's stores. As announced by Sprint, the phablet will be priced at $696 off-contract, with $0 down payment and 24 regular monthly payments of $29 through the carrier's Easy Pay plan. 

Also, it should be noted that Sprint will only be offering the Midnight Blue 32 gigabyte edition of the Nexus 6 smartphone.

As one might notice, the device does have a rather high price tag. That may not be too surprising. The Nexus 6 smartphone after all sports an enormous 6-inch 2560 by 1440 resolution display screen, and a 13-megapixel rear camera. 

Hardware-wise, it packs a Snapdragon 805 processor, 32 gigabytes (or 64 gigabytes) of internal storage, 3 gigabytes of random access memory (RAM), and a powerful 3,220 mAh battery.

It is also the first smartphone to have Android 5.0 Lollipop, the newest version of the Android mobile operating system. This updated edition of the world's most popular smartphone OS is truly a joy to behold, featuring a neater design further enhanced with animations and a more user-friendly interface and environment.

In the last two weeks, the Nexus 6 has only been made available through the Google Play Store and directly from Motorola, the phone maker who collaborated with Google in bringing the phablet to life.

In a few days, users will be able to get them from two of the four major wireless carriers in 
the United States. While AT&T and Sprint have already joined the party, many are expecting the other big boys (T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless) to follow suit.

Interested to learn more about AT&T and Sprint offers? Browse AT&T phones and plans here, or explore Sprint deals here.

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


          An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States        
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States
author: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
name: Marisa
average rating: 4.28
book published: 2014
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2016/03/11
shelves: to-read
review:


          Malware: How we are Infected [InfoGraphic]        
So you have a computer, but if it was infected with a virus, what would you do? Would you even know it was there? It is a well-known fact that over 32% of all computers in the world have malware of some sort. Today we will be talking about the infamous computer virus and what it is.

So let's start with something you all have probably heard of, Malware. Malware is a program made to infiltrate your computer, disable parts of it, and thus gain access to your hard drive, search history and such to aid with stealing information. However, there are other types of malware out there. Let's get to know them and how much of the 32% they infect.

At 57%, first we have the virus. This is a software that has the capability to copy itself and send itself into other folders. Then there is the "Trojan" at 21%. The Trojan is malicious software that hides on the internet disguised as some sort of program or free item, and ce you download it, you will soon discover it is malicious. But the Trojan has a brother at 7%, called the "Trojan Downloader". This type of virus does the same thing as the simple Trojan, but once on your computer it downloads more viruses and software, then begins to use those programs.

Then at 3% there is the "Exploit", which finds a glitch, bug or system error and uses that to hack into your computer. Next we have the "Worm" at 2%, this malicious bug works the same as a Trojan, but then copies and pastes itself across your computer network.

But not all viruses seem so bad when you get them, for instance the "Adware" at 3%. This type of virus infects your computer so nothing happens at first, but once you log into your web browser, then immediately your screen will be flooded with ads. There is also the "Monitoring Tool" with 2% of the 32% infected. This malware infects your computer and hides, not doing anything but monitoring your activity, (Search history, keyboard history etc.) and then sends those back to a remote server.

There is also one of the worst at 1%, the "Back Door". This virus infects your computer remotely, not allowing your anti-virus security to even detect it, but sure enough it does. And lastly we have one of the worst but luckily at a low percentage of 0.01%, "Spyware". This diabolically designed software infects your computer and takes the most important pieces of information it can find and sends it back to wherever it came from. This information is generally passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information.
All of these viruses have devastating effects. Last year there were 27 million strains of malware made, which means 74,000 new viruses are created every day. The number of homes in the United States that experience spam is 24 million. The number of homes with serious viruses in the last 2 years is 16 million, and the number of houses that had spyware in the last 6 months is 6 million. But most devastating of all, over 1 million of all homes have lost money to spyware in the last year. Another devastating fact is that Viruses cost the world 4.55 billion USD every year.

So be safe, don't download anything you are unsure of, and be sure to have an anti-virus software. But most importantly learn how to detect these programs when you get them.























          Halting PSA testing the right thing to do, bioethicist says        
The recommendation Monday by the prestigious United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that the widely used PSA test for prostate cancer no longer be used for men of any age is likely to be met with howling.
          What America’s Top LGBT Leaders Think Obama Must Do Next        
Barack Obama was elected to a second term as President of the United States partially because of his declared support of the LGBT community. As the president moves forward into his second term, the question rises of what the LGBT … Continue reading
          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
Integrated Security Services
According to the Washington Post, “it’s been a bad 2017 for Jews.” During the month of January, 48 bomb threats were called in to Jewish community centers across the country. Also last month, a neo-Nazi made national news by promising to hold a march in Whitefish, Montana to intimidate the town’s small Jewish population.

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

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

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


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

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

    Identifying Your Threats & Vulnerabilities

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

    Natural Hazards vs. Targeted Violence

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

    Protective Measures

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

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

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

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

    Additional Measures to Consider:

    • Reporting Procedures

    • Establishing Collaborative Planning Teams

    • Starting an Emergency Operations Plan

    • Define Roles and Responsibilities

    • Notification Procedures

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

    • Plans for Diverse Needs of Children and Staff

    • Necessary Equipment and Supplies

    • Common Vocabulary

    • Emergency Drills

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







  • Integrated Security Services


  • About Alan Schissel










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

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  •           Burn After Reading        

    Who’s Who
    What’s What

    In the World of CIA Fronts, Partners, Proprietaries & Contractors




    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



  •           Liquid Assets: Cincinnati drowning in water tech        

    The most recent statistics show the Tri-State has the highest concentration of water technology patents per capita in the United States. As of October, 2010, the number stood at 687, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.


              Greetings from Massachusetts (No, Really)        
    There are other people named Blake Stacey around the United States. I know this because (a) I came across their records when opting myself out of person-search websites, and (b) sometimes they use my GMail address when signing up for things. (Or, to be fair, perhaps they write their address in a form and someone … Continue reading Greetings from Massachusetts (No, Really)
              As Of Today        
    The United States of America is a failed experiment. We went out in the way a bad joke would have predicted. We lost against our own racism and sexism, our endemic illnesses whose symptoms were intensified by corrupt law enforcement and institutionally rotten mass media. Undone at the final hour by a bizarre codicil in … Continue reading As Of Today
              US Naturalization Certificate: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska)        
    US Naturalization Certificate: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) United States This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); US Naturalization Certificate of Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska). The document issued in Cleveland, Ohio and dated January 18, 1957.; Cleveland, Ohio
              PhD diploma from OSU: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska)        
    PhD diploma from OSU: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) Ohio State University This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); PhD diploma (in Chemistry) from the Ohio State University of Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska). The document issued in Columbus, Ohio, United States and dated June 8, 1973.; Columbus, Ohio
              Masters Degree Certificate from Western Reserve University: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska)        
    Masters Degree Certificate from Western Reserve University: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) Western Reserve University This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); Masters Degree Certificate from Western Reserve University of Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska). The document issued in Cleveland, Ohio, United States and dated June 10, 1964.; Cleveland, Ohio
              Lundy, Michael D.         
    Autor: wlasto

    Datum: 10.08.2017 12:00:13



     
    Příjmení:
    Surname:
    Lundy Lundy
    Jméno:
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    Michael D. Michael D.
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    Michael D. Lundy
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    Generálporučík Lieutenant General
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    velitel: Vysoká škola pro velitele a důstojníky štábů Armády Spojených států Commander: United States Army Command and General Staff College
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    usacac.army.mil

               Brown, Robert Brooks        
    Autor: wlasto

    Datum: 10.08.2017 11:17:14



     
    Příjmení:
    Surname:
    Brown Brown
    Jméno:
    Given Name:
    Robert Brooks Robert Brooks
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    Robert Brooks Brown
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    generál General
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    MSc MSc
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    Datum, místo narození:
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    14.04.1959 ?, Pennsylvania
    14.04.1959 ?, Pennsylvania
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    DD.MM.RRRR
    Nejvýznamnější funkce:
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    velitel: Vysoká škola pro velitele a důstojníky štábů Armády Spojených států Commander: United States Army Command and General Staff College
    Jiné významné skutečnosti:
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    Sources:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Brooks_Brown

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

    CNN

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

              Attorney Fees in NJ Litigation        

    The American Rule In the United States, each party is responsible for its own legal fees.  This is known as the “American Rule.”  In other countries, the U.K. for example, the loosing party is responsible for the winner’s legal fees.  This critical difference in approach to the general legal framework explains why litigation in the United […]

    The post Attorney Fees in NJ Litigation appeared first on Blog: News & Legal Articles from Our Team.


              New I-9 Form – Employment Eligibility Verification        

    All US employers are required to use an I-9 form to verify the identity and eligibility of individuals (both citizens and non-citizens) for employment in the United States.  Please take notice that effective today, January 22, 2017, there is a new I-9 form that replaces the one currently in place.  You can download a copy […]

    The post New I-9 Form – Employment Eligibility Verification appeared first on Blog: News & Legal Articles from Our Team.


              Substance Abuse And Addiction: N.H. Discusses        
    It’s no secret that substance abuse is a huge and growing problem across the United States. And although New Hampshire is often ranked healthier than...
              5 things the world may not know about America and the environment        
    The United States is losing respect overseas, but most Americans don't support Trump's destructive policies.

         …

              The Following        
    • Media Blog Project.
    • Topic #2: TV as a cultural mirror.

         I watched The Following episode 2 "Chapter Two", which aired on FOX Monday, January 28th at 9:00 pm.  The Following is a drama and suspenseful TV show that stars Kevin Bacon who is a former FBI agent that has been asked to come back for a very large case involving a murderer that he put away for life who has amassed a "cult following" to do his dirty work for him now.  In this particular episode, Dr. Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), who Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) has put in jail previously, has had his "followers" kidnap his his son from his ex-wife and Hardy and the FBI agents and police officers he is consulting with are looking for him.  Hardy discovers the house where the "followers" meet and they reconfirm that all of Carrolls symbolism and antics are based off Edgar Allen Poe's writings.  In that house, Hardy was attacked by a man wearing a Poe mask and later at the end of the episode we see a masked Poe man light a man on the street on fire and run away.
         The ads that aired during this episode are pretty much the stereotypical ads that you would expect.  There were ads for cars and car dealerships; including Honda, Kia, Chevrolet, Ford, Subaru, and Buick.  There were also ads for different foods like Lean Cuisine, Campbell's, and Weight Watchers meal plans.  In the category of online dating, notable services were Christian Mingle, Match.com, and eHarmony.  Major commercials that were most prominent and were aired multiple times included Ford, Honda, Chevrolet, Comcast, Direct TV, Kiefer Kia, John and Phil's, Guaranty in Junction City, beer brands like Coors, Heineken, and Budweiser, and of course there is always the Fox News ads that feature their anchors for around 15 seconds each time a commercial ends to continue with the program.  These commercials all fit the demographic that the TV show is trying to reach.  Younger adults through mid-life adults.  These are all people who have cars or will by buying new cars in the future, they may be insecure about their weights or just want some food that is not only tasty but healthy or a viewer who is single and wants to find somebody.  The commercials are definitely spot on for their target audiences as far as I am concerned. 
         The Following is meant for more mature audiences and was rated TV 14 for language, images, sexual situations and the like.  The actors and actresses were dressed appropriate for our time period and the authority figures has appropriate looking uniforms.  Most of the men who were FBI agents wore suits and the women wore suits as well.  Compared to other shows like this one, I would say that dress and mannerisms are identical and what you expect and would want to see for a drama/suspenseful TV show.  The main thing, for me, that makes this show different than others is the fact that the whole show is based around an ex FBI agent and the man he put away years before and the this guys "followers" and how they are operating.  I have never seen a show like this one in terms of that.
         A major stereotype that occurred in this particular episode was about police officers.  There were several cuts to them just standing around and drinking coffee around the house they were supposed to be guarding.  Same thing happened when they were shown at the scene of the murders in the sorority house after they had come in and done the initial reports on the situations.  The other stereotype that I noticed, and probably the most prominent, is that the wife of Carroll, who is an attractive woman, had an affair with Hardy who was the main FBI agent that was there when her husbands case was first taking place.  This refers to her being maybe a weak and needy woman who has lost who she thought was her best friend and trusted lover and in walked tough, strong, independent agent Hardy who was not married.  These kinds of relationships always happen in TV shows and movies and aren't always the reality of true real life.  Other than these two outstanding stereotypes, I think the directors and producers have done a pretty good job at trying to be new and different in the ways of how the TV show operates within the story lines and isn't too predictable.  If I were a viewer from another country, I would not think much of the shows Americans watch because I am sure there are many good dramas that air in other country's.  In fact, The Following actually airs in the U.S. plus another 17 countries.  If I were not from here, based on the commercials, I would say that there is a problem with people being overweight and single and everybody is buying new cars.
        I do not watch many crime/drama/suspense TV shows but I would say that this one, as of now (it's only aired two episodes total so far) is a TV show that I am expecting to be kept on FOX and be aired for at least several seasons or until the story is wrapped up and concluded.  What really keeps me interested in this show is that it's not as predictable as other similar shows.  Usually I am able to predict what can happen in a TV show after 15 minutes or so.  I am not so accurate with this one.
        I would tend to agree with the 7.5 stars that IMDB gave them.  If I never watched it I wouldn't feel like a part of my life was missing but if I just stopped watching I would be very curious as to what happened in each episode.  My girlfriend watches the this show with me and what she likes most about The Following is all the plot twists.  I definitely agree.  It's a very engaging TV show.  One thing that all TV shows like this one do is end with a cliff hanger.  That cliff hanger keeps you wondering all week what is going to happen in the next show and that brings back viewers from previous weeks.
        I have seen every single episode The Following! Wait, that's only two episodes.  But still, it is one that I am going to have to add to my list of shows that I try to keep up on.  I am not a user of social media so I don't follow the show on Twitter or on Facebook but I have visited the shows page on FOX and the opening sentence on their page paragraph about the show is very interesting.  "The FBI estimates there are currently up to 300 active serial killers in the United States."  This is a very bold statement and scary statistic.  One thing that the average viewer may not know is that Hardy wrote a book sharing the details of his previous investigation and other factoids about his case regarding Carroll.  If a book like this came out or is already out here in real life, that would be a very interesting and possibly quite controversial book.
        Overall, I would recommend The Following to most normal people who enjoy good TV shows that keep the viewers eyes glued to their TV.  Upon further examination, one could come to the conclusion that TV programs, the ads run, and the particular channel or station that is airing all have very close relation and share the same views and interests. 
              Grants Are Now Available for Preserving WWI Memorials!        

    WWI Memorial in Jackson, Miss. (Library of Congress)

    Here's a project for your history- and preservation-minded genealogical society, civic group or scouting troop: The 100 Cities/100 Memorials matching grant program is accepting applications through July 10 (an extended deadline) for projects to adopt and preserve WWI memorials.

    Up to 100 WWI memorial restoration projects around the country will receive matching funds of up to $2,000 apiece from the US WWI Centennial Commission in Washington, DC, and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library in Chicago.

    Any municipal government, organization or individual can apply. You'll find details and the application on the 100 Cities/100 Memorials website.

    World War I, also known as the Great War, began in Europe just over 100 years ago, July 28, 1914. The United States entered the war April 6, 1917, and an armistice ended fighting Nov. 11, 1918. The July 2014 Family Tree Magazine includes a research guide to records of World War I service, as well as a guide to tracing women who served as nurses and volunteers overseas and on the home front.

    Also find our downloadable guide to the top 10 WWI genealogy websites in ShopFamilyTree.com.


    WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Library of Congress)
    SaveSaveSave
              Pembroke Sustainability Planning Sessions        
    Environment & Conservation

    Through support from The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Keller Science Action Center is facilitating Sustainability Planning Sessions in Pembroke Township, IL. Though Pembroke has always been known for its incredibly diverse wildlife, there is currently no plan in place to ensure its protection. Various conservation agencies have interest in acquiring land, but no formal understanding existed between the residents and the agencies to determine what is best. In early 2016, The Field Museum helped to establish a joint agreement between the agencies and elected offices to collaborate on a sustainability plan for the region.

    Following the agreement, the team initiated a series of community meetings with Pembroke-Hopkins Park residents, the Nature Conservancy, United States Fish & Wildlife Service, State of Illinois conservation representatives, and government officials from the Village of Hopkins Park, Pembroke Township, and Kankakee County. During these sessions, participants have the opportunity to ask stakeholders questions directly, receive updates from government officials, and contribute to planning initiatives in smaller working groups. In December and January they explored ways to protect the community’s natural resources and achieve sustainable economic development. An immediate outcome was the commitment from USFWS to establish a stipend-based youth program this summer that will hire local teenagers. The program will hire four teens and one supervisor to do restoration projects in community greenspaces while learning about ecology and conservation. Residents are encouraged to be a part of this program by helping to create the curriculum and suggesting locations in the area that needs work.

    As the sessions draw upon the wisdom of farmers, ranchers, and longtime members of the community, the team is hopeful that more impactful outcomes will come out of this process. USFWS has announced they will include the results of this sustainability planning process for their federally mandated land protection plan. And further TNC and USFWS will not buy more land in this region until the process is complete. The final meeting will take place in February, and will identify strategies for building upon community values in the face of growth and change. These planning sessions have helped to create much needed dialogue in the township. The Field Museum is looking forward to the continued growth in the community and protection of precious land.


              With an emphasis on culture, a new kind of nature trail emerges along Chicago’s south lakefront        
    Environment & Conservation

    North of the Margaret Burroughs Beach, a Caracol-inspired gathering space with a Mesoamerican hop scotch game is be part of a new trail in the Burnham Wildlife Corridor. This is one of five sites installed in by teams of artists and community-based organizations whose designs are inspired both by local ecology, as well as the heritage of communities adjacent to the south lakefront.

    Moving along the trail, just past the 31st Harbor, an intertwined monarch butterfly sculpture crowns a hill, this design will be circled with common milkweed. West of Lake Shore Drive on 31st Street, south on the trail, a Scholar's rock sits in a grove of mature oak trees; have a seat and imagine the sounds of traffic as waves from an ocean, urban nature at its best. Crossing 39th street/Oakwood, on the west side of Lake Shore Drive, designed for growth every year, sculpted willow branches take organic shapes. The woodchip trail continues, a fallen tree hugs a bird sculpture born from the Sankofa symbol, a soulful reflection on nature.

    The Gathering Spaces, part of the Roots & Routes Initiative, were curated by a volunteer committee comprised of arts professionals and community leaders. 

    Caracol Opening

    Caracol, Burnham Wildlife Corridor, Roots & Routes, Habitat Restoration, Pilsen, Contratiempo, Chicago, Lakefront
    Photo by John Weinstein, © The Field Museum


    1. Caracol

    Lead artists:  Georgina Valverde, Diana Solis, Jose Terrazas

    Non-profit partner:  contratiempo (Pilsen) – preserves and highlights the cultural identity and contributions of the Spanish-speaking

    Latino population in the United States.

    Description:  Drawing on rich connections from the natural world and cultural symbolism, Caracol (“snail” and “shell” in Spanish) represents the immigrant's desire to belong while maintaining the core of memory and identity. Snails perform a critical role in the food chain, breaking down plant matter and aiding in the nutrification of the soil. Likewise, immigrants economic and cultural contributions enrich and revitalize the host society. Caracol´spiral-shaped structure suggests ongoing movement from the core to a widening exterior—from the familiar to the unknown.  The installation includes a table that can function as a work or picnic table, and as a painting surface for a series of murals featuring the interplay of language and images, a stage, and a hopscotch game that uses Mesoamerican numbers.

     

    La Ronda Parakata

    Gathering Spaces, Burnham Wildlife Corridor, Chicago, Festivals, Summer, Spring, Latino art, African-American art, monarch butterfly, sankofa, bronzeville, pilsen, chinatown, scholars rock, La Ronda Parakata
    Photo by John Weinstein, © The Field Museum

    2. La Ronda Parakata

    Lead artists:  Hector DuarteAlfonso “Piloto” Nieves

    Non-profit partner:  Casa Michoacán (Pilsen) – promotes cultural, social, and sporting activities between the Mexican and immigrant Michoacán community, with a transnational vision.

    Description:  This project is a circular sculpture inspired by the magic symbolism of the butterfly, harmony with nature, and migration.  It is demarcated by a delicate sculptural ring or “ronda” of interlocking butterfly forms. The center of the space features native plants and cement blocks that are being repurposed as rustic seating.

     

    Set in Stone

    Gathering Spaces, Burnham Wildlife Corridor, Chicago, Festivals, Summer, Spring, Latino art, African-American art, monarch butterfly, sankofa, bronzeville, pilsen, chinatown, scholars rock, Set in Stone
    Photo by John Weinstein, © The Field Museum

    3. Set in Stone

    Lead artists:  Andy Bellomo, Anna Murphy

    Non-profit partner:  Chinese-American Museum of Chicago (Chinatown) -- promotes the culture and history of Chinese-Americans in the Midwest through exhibitions, education and research.

    Description:  This project is an interpretation of a traditional Chinese “scholar’s rock” by sculpting, molding and fabricating a sculpture that emulates the magnificence felt through viewing these rocks. The scholar’s rock sculpture is placed at the center of a tranquil rock garden with hand-carved log benches for viewing/contemplation.

     

    Sounding Bronzeville

    Gathering Spaces, Burnham Wildlife Corridor, Chicago, Festivals, Summer, Spring, Latino art, African-American art, monarch butterfly, sankofa, bronzeville, pilsen, chinatown, scholars rock, Sounding Bronzeville
    Photo by John Weinstein, © The Field Museum

    4. Sounding Bronzeville

    Lead artists:  Fo Wilson, Norman Teague

    Non-profit partner:  Bronzeville Community Development Partnership (Bronzeville) -- focuses on information technology, heritage tourism, hospitality workforce development and training, preservation and sustainability in Bronzeville.

    Description:  This site includes several organic, amorphous sculptural forms that rise from the ground in different heights and shapes, covered with native plant material. Some of these forms serve as seating, and some have “sound ports” or “nesting ports.” These openings allow for visibility through the forms as well as opportunities for specific audial experiences between people. This piece commemorates and remembers the strength and resilience of thousands of African-Americans who made the journey from the South seeking better opportunities North with 100 years of the Great Migration.

    Architects: Monica Chadha and Mike Newman; Landscape Architects Nilay Mistry and Nathan Wright; Willow Furniture Maker and Consultant Dave Chapman

     

    Sankofa for the Earth

    Gathering Spaces, Burnham Wildlife Corridor, Chicago, Festivals, Summer, Spring, Latino art, African-American art, monarch butterfly, sankofa, bronzeville, pilsen, chinatown, scholars rock, Sankofa for the Earth
    Photo by John Weinstein, © The Field Museum

    5. Sankofa for the Earth

    Lead artists:  Arlene Turner Crawford, Dorian Sylvain, Raymond A. Thomas

    Non-profit partner:  South Side Community Art Center (Bronzeville) -- preserves, conserves and promotes the legacy and future of African American art and artists, while educating the community on the value of art and culture.

    Description:  This project features a “Sankofa” bird made from mixed-media and recycled materials. In Africa, a bird looking backwards over its tail represents the Sankofa symbol, which means “go back and fetch it.” It is an understanding that our past(s) holds important information to move us forward in life. There is a mosaic on the exterior of the bird and mural on the interior representing Bronzeville history. QR codes are integrated into the mural design to allow visitors with smartphones, to access sites with information about the images included in the mural, as well as, information on Bronzeville, the Chicago Park District and the Field Museum.

     

    How to get to the Gathering Spaces: 

    Gathering Spaces Map


              United States Map        
    Road maps, topographical maps, and relief maps of the USA are the focus of this website. An interstate highway map as well as regional road maps, topo maps, and relief maps are also included on the site.
              A Christian Response to Racism        
    One common thread throughout mankind is the endemic ugliness of racism. Human history is rife with examples: early Romans subjugated the Jews; slavery was rampant; India’s caste system ostracizes the untouchables; Japanese immigrants to Canada and the United States were rounded up and forced into internment camps; indigenous peoples in Canada, Australia, the United States … Continue reading A Christian Response to Racism
              Prisoners for Profit - The Shame of Puppy Mills        
    It was summer when I visited puppy mills in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In the last few years, the area has become a hub for large scale commercial dog breeding operations. And although the Midwest still ranks as containing the highest number of dog breeding operations, the concentration of puppy mills in Lancaster County is unparalleled.

    Accompanying me was a Humane Society of the United States investigator who had monitored the Pennsylvania mills for years. He knew the county well, and had seen not only the proliferation of puppy mills in the area, but at the same time, the increased press and public attention in their operations.

    Driving through the pastoral landscape, it seemed impossible that animal suffering could exist amidst such beauty. This illusion was quickly shattered with my first view of a puppy mill. For years, I had seen and studied photos of infamous facilities, but nothing prepared me for seeing the real thing with my own eyes.
    We approached a farmhouse from the road and turned onto a muddy lane. Rounding the corner, we didn't even have to get out of the truck to see or hear what awaited us. Rows of dilapidated cages were lined up outside a barn. Stopping the truck, my throat constricted with shock. Dogs were crammed three or more to a small cage which were elevated over mounds of feces. Matted fur covered their eyes as they rushed towards the front of their cages, barking at uninvited visitors. Their plight was so dramatically different than the dogs I knew, the dogs who lie lazily in afternoon sun, waiting for their next meal or walk. No, these dogs were here for a purpose and only one purpose: to make money.

    We saw many mills that day. Posing as buyers, we were able to handle and examine some of the puppies. Many seemed sickly, disoriented, and underweight. And when we were allowed to see their mothers, or sneaked onto a farm to view the conditions, the hopelessness of their lives weighed on me like a heavy load that rests on my shoulders even to this day.

    Dogs hold a special place in our hearts. Domesticated thousands of years ago, they were chosen to be our protectors, companions, and best friends. And although we have betrayed our responsibility towards them in many ways, none is so distressing or disturbing as the puppy mill.

    The term "puppy mill," coined in the mid-to-late sixties to describe large scale commercial dog breeding facilities, has only recently arrived in the mainstream vernacular. It is a term that some claim is sensational and manipulative. The word "mill" refers to an operation that churns out dogs in mass, using female dogs as nothing more than breeding machines. The term conjures images of dogs crowded in wire cages, living in their own wastes, shivering from the cold, or baking in the heat. Tragically, this vision is not far from reality. Most people, not just those interested in animal protection, are shocked when confronted with the bleak images of dogs housed and bred in puppy mills. But in the 5,000 puppy mills found across the country, thousands of dogs are bred and raised for profit, valued not for their companionship or loyalty, but for the cold hard cash they bring.

    Many consumers possess an image of puppies at a family farm, lovingly raised and cared for. Others may not even think about where a pet store puppy comes from. Drawn to a pet store window by a bin of wriggling puppies, the furthest thing from a customer's mind is the origin of these cute bundles of fur. But by buying a puppy, often for a price of $500 or more, the consumer is unknowingly supporting a cycle of abuse that begins at the puppy mill.

    What the consumer can't see is the puppy's mother, imprisoned miles away, pregnant again, her body being used to produce more money-making puppies. Starting at six months, she is bred every heat cycle. She is often weak, malnourished, and dehydrated. Rarely, if ever, is she provided with veterinary care. She cannot maintain her productivity past her fourth or fifth year. After that, she is nothing more than a drain on the mill's operation and must be disposed of. If she's lucky, she'll be humanely euthanized. More often than not, she will be shot or bludgeoned to death. Discarded, her wasted body will lie forgotten in a local landfill or garbage dump.

    This is the picture the pet stores will never show. And until recently, the ugly truth of puppy mills has been hidden. But when problems with many of the puppies bought at pet stores across the country began to surface, consumers and animal lovers alike began asking hard questions. Puppies with seizures, parasites, infections, bacteria, and behavioral problems were being seen far too often to be merely coincidental.
    Puppy mills and the pet store industry have begun to feel this scrutiny. They insist that it doesn't make good business sense to sell sick puppies or house breeding females in less than humane conditions. But evidence gained after years of documentation and investigation directly conflicts with these assertions. In addition, those small scale breeders who do treat their animals humanely, who raise them in their homes or in small, cleanly kept kennels, do not usually make a profit off their dogs. It is virtually impossible to breed in a humane fashion and make money at the same time. Although a pet store may sell a puppy for $500 or more dollars, most commercial breeders can only get around $35 per dog from a broker who in turns sells to the pet store for around $75. In order to make a profit and cover costs, corners must be cut, and puppies must be churned out at a furious rate. The cut corners are the animals themselves: their housing, their health, their cleanliness. Inherent in the profit-making mills is the sacrifice of humane standards in order to make a profit.
    What protection, if any, do these dogs and their puppies have? On the state level, puppy "lemon laws," existing in a handful of states including New Jersey and California, seek to offer consumers protection against buying sick puppies. Although these laws do chip away at the production of sick puppies, they do not address the inherent problem of the whole system: the selling of dogs for profit.

    The federal level offers even less hope. The current system not only allows the continuation of a business that makes money off the backs of dogs, but fails in its responsibility to provide even a basic quality of life for dogs in puppy mills. Originally passed in 1966, the federal Animal Welfare Act was amended in 1970 to include in its provisions the oversight of large scale commercial dog breeding facilities. Regulations were written with the intention of ensuring the proper care, feeding, housing, and veterinary care for the thousands of dogs found in puppy mills across the country. Mandated by law to enforce these regulations is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). But with a shortage of inspectors responsible for overseeing these facilities, the agency has developed a reputation for failing to meet its mandate.
    Not only have outsiders criticized the agency's ability to enforce the Act in relation to puppy mills, but several internal reviews have also illustrated the gross inadequacies existing at the federal level. Recently, a damning internal review conducted by the USDA's own office of the Inspector General of the agency's South Central Regional Office offered a bleak picture. The South Central Office, responsible for overseeing the majority of this country's puppy mills, was found to be sorely lacking in its ability to enforce the Animal Welfare Act. The report found that the office failed to respond to complaints from the public, failed to report a large number of blatant violations of the law, and that supervisors told inspectors not only where and when to inspect, but instructed their staff not to write up too many violations of problematic facilities. USDA Secretary Dan Glickman, embarrassed by the report's finding, has demanded the development of an internal plan to respond to the crisis within the agency.

    The USDA is also feeling the heat over the puppy mill issue from members of Congress. After receiving constituent mail on puppy mills, Congressman Glenn Poshard (D-Il) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), sprung to action. Working with The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection organizations, they gathered over 100 signatures from members on both side of Capitol Hill in a letter to Secretary Glickman expressing concern about the problems found in puppy mills across the country. Sent late last summer, the letter has caused anxiety within the USDA.

    This Spring, the agency will consider enacting stronger regulations covering puppy mills as well as examining ways in which their enforcement powers can be increased. Although any change in the way puppy mills are regulated is an improvement, and stiffer rules may even shut down or discourage potential operators from opening a facility, the changes will not directly eliminate the mills themselves. Until the demand for mass-produced pet store puppies decreases, there will always be a buck to be made in the production of dogs.

    Rachel A. Lamb is Director for Companion Animal Care at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Washington, DC.

    Dog Training
              Report reveals ‘safe house' where heroin users shoot up under supervision        
    NEW YORK - A safe haven where drug users inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States...
              Want to shoot the stars?        
    During the summer in the United States if you look off to the southern sky between 10pm – 1am, one might observe a faint glowing band extending overhead from the […]
              Medical Tourism        

    Medical tourism is a growing sector in India. India’s medical tourism sector is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 30%, making it a $2 billion industry by 2015. As medical treatment costs in the developed world balloon – with the United States leading the way – more and more Westerners are finding the […]

    The post Medical Tourism appeared first on Medical Treatment, Medical Treatment centre, Medical healthcare Centre.


              â€œWhy Did Universities Start Patenting?: Institution Building and the Road to the Bayh-Dole Act,” E. P. Berman (2008)        
    It goes without saying that the Bayh-Dole Act had huge ramifications for science in the United States. Passed in 1980, Bayh-Dole permitted (indeed, encouraged) universities to patent the output of federally-funded science. I think the empirical evidence is still not complete on whether this increase in university patenting has been good (more, perhaps, incentive to […]
              How Plastic We've Become        

    Our bodies carry residues of kitchen plastics

    Food for Thought

    In the 1967 film classic The Graduate, a businessman corners Benjamin Braddock at a cocktail party and gives him a bit of career advice. "Just one word…plastics."

    Although Benjamin didn't heed that recommendation, plenty of other young graduates did. Today, the planet is awash in products spawned by the plastics industry. Residues of plastics have become ubiquitous in the environment—and in our bodies.

    A federal government study now reports that bisphenol A (BPA)—the building block of one of the most widely used plastics—laces the bodies of the vast majority of U.S. residents young and old.

    Manufacturers link BPA molecules into long chains, called polymers, to make polycarbonate plastics. All of those clear, brittle plastics used in baby bottles, food ware, and small kitchen appliances (like food-processor bowls) are made from polycarbonates. BPA-based resins also line the interiors of most food, beer, and soft-drink cans. With use and heating, polycarbonates can break down, leaching BPA into the materials they contact. Such as foods.

    And that could be bad if what happens in laboratory animals also happens in people, because studies in rodents show that BPA can trigger a host of harmful changes, from reproductive havoc to impaired blood-sugar control and obesity (SN: 9/29/07, p. 202).

    For the new study, scientists analyzed urine from some 2,500 people who had been recruited between 2003 and 2004 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Roughly 92 percent of the individuals hosted measurable amounts of BPA, according to a report in the January Environmental Health Perspectives. It's the first study to measure the pollutant in a representative cross-section of the U.S. population.

    Typically, only small traces of BPA turned up, concentrations of a few parts per billion in urine, note chemist Antonia M. Calafat and her colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, with hormone-mimicking agents like BPA, even tiny exposures can have notable impacts.

    Overall, concentrations measured by Calafat's team were substantially higher than those that have triggered disease, birth defects, and more in exposed animals, notes Frederick S. vom Saal, a University of Missouri-Columbia biologist who has been probing the toxicology of BPA for more than 15 years.

    The BPA industry describes things differently. Although Calafat's team reported urine concentrations of BPA, in fact they assayed a breakdown product—the compound by which BPA is excreted, notes Steven G. Hentges of the American Chemistry Council's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group. As such, he argues, "this does not mean that BPA itself is present in the body or in urine."

    On the other hand, few people have direct exposure to the breakdown product.

    Hentges' group estimates that the daily BPA intake needed to create urine concentrations reported by the CDC scientists should be in the neighborhood of 50 nanograms per kilogram of bodyweight—or one millionth of an amount at which "no adverse effects" were measured in multi-generation animal studies. In other words, Hentges says, this suggests "a very large margin of safety."

    No way, counters vom Saal. If one applies the ratio of BPA intake to excreted values in hosts of published animal studies, concentrations just reported by CDC suggest that the daily intake of most Americans is actually closer to 100 micrograms (µg) per kilogram bodyweight, he says—or some 1,000-fold higher than the industry figure.

    Clearly, there are big differences of opinion and interpretation. And a lot may rest on who's right.

    Globally, chemical manufacturers produce an estimated 2.8 million tons of BPA each year. The material goes into a broad range of products, many used in and around the home. BPA also serves as the basis of dental sealants, which are resins applied to the teeth of children to protect their pearly whites from cavities (SN: 4/6/96, p. 214). The industry, therefore, has a strong economic interest in seeing that the market for BPA-based products doesn't become eroded by public concerns over the chemical.

    And that could happen. About 2 years after a Japanese research team showed that BPA leached out of baby bottles and plastic food ware (see What's Coming Out of Baby's Bottle?), manufacturers of those consumer products voluntarily found BPA substitutes for use in food cans. Some 2 years after that, a different group of Japanese scientists measured concentrations of BPA residues in the urine of college students. About half of the samples came from before the switch, the rest from after the period when BPA was removed from food cans.

    By comparing urine values from the two time periods, the researchers showed that BPA residues were much lower—down by at least 50 percent—after Japanese manufacturers had eliminated BPA from the lining of food cans.

    Concludes vom Saal, in light of the new CDC data and a growing body of animal data implicating even low-dose BPA exposures with the potential to cause harm, "the most logical thing" for the United States to do would be to follow in Japan's footsteps and "get this stuff [BPA] out of our food."

    Kids appear most exposed

    Overall, men tend to have statistically lower concentrations of BPA than women, the NHANES data indicate. But the big difference, Calafat says, traces to age. "Children had higher concentrations than adolescents, and they in turn had higher levels than adults," she told Science News Online.

    This decreasing body burden with older age "is something we have seen with some other nonpersistent chemicals," Calafat notes—such as phthalates, another class of plasticizers.

    The spread between the average BPA concentration that her team measured in children 6 to 11 years old (4.5 µg/liter) and adults (2.5 µg/L) doesn't look like much, but proved reliably different.

    The open question is why adults tended to excrete only 55 percent as much BPA. It could mean children have higher exposures, she posits, or perhaps that they break it down less efficiently. "We really need to do more research to be able to answer that question."

    Among other differences that emerged in the NHANES analysis: urine residues of BPA decreased with increasing household income and varied somewhat with ethnicity (with Mexican-Americans having the lowest average values, blacks the highest, and white's values in between).

    There was also a time-of-day difference, with urine values for any given group tending to be highest in the evening, lowest in the afternoon, and midway between those in the morning. Since BPA's half-life in the body is only about 6 hours, that temporal variation in the chemical's excretion would be consistent with food as a major source of exposure, the CDC scientists note.

    In the current NHANES paper, BPA samples were collected only once from each recruit. However, in a paper due to come out in the February Environmental Health Perspectives, Calafat and colleagues from several other institutions looked at how BPA excretion varied over a 2-year span among 82 individuals—men and women—seen at a fertility clinic in Boston.

    In contrast to the NHANES data, the upcoming report shows that men tended to have somewhat higher BPA concentrations than women. Then again both groups had only about one-quarter the concentration typical of Americans.

    The big difference in the Boston group emerged among the 10 women who ultimately became pregnant. Their BPA excretion increased 33 percent during pregnancy. Owing to the small number of participants in this subset of the study population, the pregnancy-associated change was not statistically significant. However, the researchers report, these are the first data to look for changes during pregnancy and ultimately determining whether some feature of pregnancy—such as a change in diet or metabolism of BPA—really alters body concentrations of the pollutant could be important. It could point to whether the fetus faces an unexpectedly high exposure to the pollutant.

    If it does, the fetus could face a double whammy: Not only would exposures be higher during this period of organ and neural development, but rates of detoxification also would be diminished, vom Saal says.

    Indeed, in a separate study, one due to be published soon in Reproductive Toxicology, his team administered BPA by ingestion or by injection to 3-day-old mice. Either way, the BPA exposure resulted in comparable BPA concentrations in blood.

    What's more, that study found, per unit of BPA delivered, blood values in the newborns were "markedly higher" than other studies have reported for adult rodents exposed to the chemical. And that makes sense, vom Saal says, because the enzyme needed to break BPA down and lead to its excretion is only a tenth as active in babies as in adults. That's true in the mouse, he says, in the rat—and, according to some preliminary data, in humans.

    Vom Saal contends that since studies have shown BPA exhibits potent hormonelike activity in human cells at the parts-per-trillion level, and since the new CDC study finds that most people are continually exposed to concentrations well above the parts-per-trillion ballpark, it's time to reevaluate whether it makes sense to use BPA-based products in and around foods.


    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.


              A Sweeter Hops        

    Federal scientists have bred a new, antimicrobial-rich hops variety for tea

    Food for Thought

    Brewers prize hops for the characteristic bitter flavors they impart to ales, lagers, and other beers. But aficionados of another class of brews—certain herbal teas—would prefer their hops bitterfree. And federal scientists may have come up with just what the doctor ordered.

    "People have used hops medicinally for a long time. It's a fairly ancient remedy," notes plant physiologist Barbara M. Reed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in Corvallis, Ore.

    The bitter tonic made from hops has putative sedative, hypnotic, and antianxiety properties. Hops tea has been offered as a folk remedy for conditions ranging from fever and insomnia to bruises and cancer, according to a report by botanist James A. Duke, who has authored several books on medicinal plants. A quick browse on the Internet will turn up numerous sources of hop tea.

    The new cultivar, named Teamaker, may produce an especially palatable brew owing to a unique ratio of certain acid components. Moreover, the components that predominate in Teamaker have long-established antimicrobial properties. Indeed, their germ-fighting function appears to have won the appreciation of brewers more than a millennium ago, notes John A. Henning, who leads hop genetics and breeding at a USDA research center, also in Corvallis. Beer producers realized that when their recipe included hops, brews not only proved tasty, but had a longer shelf life.

    Hops breeder Alfred Haunold and his colleagues at the Corvallis center will formally register their debittered cultivar this month.

    What brewers of all stripes refer to as hops are actually the cone-shaped dried female flowers of the Humulus lupulus L. plant. Inside are glands that contain flavorful oils and some fairly bitter water-soluble components.

    To extract the flavorings for use in beer, or merely to make a cup of tea, brewers boil the cones to release their characteristic flavorings. However, the altered chemistry of USDA's new hop has dramatically boosted the production of flavorings possessing natural, antibiotic properties.

    In fact, the elevated antibiotic attributes of the new hop might open new markets for this crop, observes Henning. For instance, sugar producers might turn to it as a preservative to prevent microbial degradation of their product during processing. Alternatively, he notes, manufacturers and others may substitute it for the formaldehyde used to control pests and fungal growth in everything from animal feed and plywood to tissues that are being stored for use in research.

    Alpha vs. beta

    The key flavor compounds in hops trace to two families of chemicals: water-soluble alpha acids, and beta acids that develop in the plants' essential oils. Breweries prize the alpha acids for their hearty, if bitter, taste: These serve as a natural foil to the sweet compounds that develop in many beers. Indeed, some brewers just buy isolated hop-derived alpha acids and dispense with the beta acids entirely.

    The new Teamaker hop derives from experiments several decades ago when Haunold wanted to see the extent to which he could preferentially maximize a plant's production of alpha or beta acids. One successful beta-rich cultivar proved virtually devoid of alpha acids. A technician who tasted it jokingly said the bitterfree product would be great for tea—eventually giving rise to its name.

    In the January Journal of Plant Registrations, Henning, Haunold, and their coauthors describe Teamaker's pedigree—at least as much as is known. Most of its initial ancestors appear to have come from old English lines, such as cultivars known as Fuggle and Late Grape. However, Henning points out, because these lines are rich in alpha acids, there must have also been beta-rich ancestors. He now suspects that these were probably wild U.S. hops that pollinated their English cousins growing openly in Oregon fields, early in the last century.

    Currently, U.S. farmers produce some 55 million pounds of hops annually. Since the big market for hops has always been beer, the alpha acids-shy Teamaker languished in a few test plots for decades. A beer company or two checked the variety out, but ultimately exhibited no commercial interest.

    Recently, however, interest in beta acids—and their antimicrobial prowess—has been growing, independent of hops' use in beer. For instance, European sugar refiners have begun buying beta-acid extracts—essentially leftovers from alpha-acid production for breweries—as a bitterfree, all-natural preservative for use during manufacturing. At the same time, some feed suppliers have begun substituting beta acids for low-dose antibiotics as a livestock growth-promoting dietary additive. Feed producers couldn't use conventional hops directly, Henning notes, because the alpha acids' bitter taste would have soured the animals' interest in their chow.

    However, with Teamaker, the hop is essentially alpha acids-free: It certainly has the lowest quantity of alpha acids of any commercially available hop.

    Teamaker is available to breeders through the National Clonal Germplasm Repository—essentially a federal library with holdings that include more than 510 different hops. Some are wild natives collected throughout the United States. Others are cultivated varieties collected from throughout the world.

    But if the idea of bitterfree hops appeals, Henning says, stay tuned. In a year or two his group expects to announce a new and improved variety. Think of it, he says, as bitter-Terminator 2.


    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

    Citations

    John A. Henning

    Forage Seed and Cereal Research

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Agricultural Research Service

    3450 SW Campus Way

    Corvallis, OR 97331

    Barbara M. Reed

    National Clonal Germplasm Repository

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Agricultural Research Service

    33447 Peoria Road

    Corvallis, OR 97333-2521
    Further Reading

    Carter, P.R., et al. 1990. Hop cultivation and use information. In Alternative Field Crops Manual. University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service. Available at [Go to].

    DeNoma, J.S. 2000. Background information on Hops. USDA ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository. Available at [Go to].

    Duke, J.A. 1983. Humulus lupulus L. In Handbook of Energy Crops . Available at [Go to].

              No Peanuts for Your Peanut        

    Youngsters are developing peanut allergies earlier because of exposures in babyhood

    Food for Thought

    Peanuts are a protein-rich snack food packing plenty of vitamins and trace nutrients. However, these legumes can elicit potentially life-threatening immune reactions within the one in 100 American adults who are allergic to them. Rates of peanut allergy are even higher among children. And the really disturbing news: A new study finds that the age at which this common food allergy first shows up is falling.

    Today, peanut allergy typically emerges in early toddlerhood, a team of Duke University researchers reports in the December Pediatrics. "That's almost a year earlier than what we knew, scientifically, a decade ago, "explains A. Wesley Burks, a pediatric allergist who coauthored the new study.

    Although children outgrow many allergies, peanut allergy is not typically one of them. Among people who develop immune reactions to this food, 80 percent retain their allergy for life.

    The new study began, Burks says, after Duke immunologists noticed that they were encountering younger patients with peanut allergy. To investigate, the researchers pulled entry records and medical charts for all 140 young patients who had come in with the allergy since 1988. Poring over the records confirmed a fall in age at first diagnosis throughout this period—one that proved more dramatic than expected, Burks told Science News Online.

    Nationally, the rate of food allergy appears to be increasing, according to a 2006 report of a National Institutes of Health expert panel. The most striking increase, it noted, has been for peanut allergy, which is also the most common food sensitivity. Because some allergies can be avoided by delaying a child's initial introduction to certain foods, in 2000 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that parents "consider" keeping peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish out of the diet of kids under age 3.

    Burks acknowledges that most parents aren't aware of this recommendation. On the other hand, most peanut allergy shows up in children that had already exhibited allergic reactions to other foods—typically eggs or milk. Many affected children also had skin sensitivities as infants, such as eczema or atopic dermatitis, and a parent or sibling with allergies, although not necessarily to food.

    Against that background, you would think parents of the most vulnerable kids would be especially careful about introducing peanuts into the diet. And they might well have been. Indeed, Burks suspects that most initial introductions to peanuts in his young patients were inadvertent. Either a child encountered items that contained unlabeled traces of peanuts—perhaps a jelly bean, certain flavorings used in medicines, or any of several baby lotions (see Unexpected Sources of Peanut Allergy). Or perhaps the kids encountered peanut allergen in the air when others were eating, handling, or cooking foods that contained the legume.

    But for now, Burks' team has no firm leads on why peanut allergies are showing up earlier. The Duke group and others will be probing that in the next few years.

    Homing in on the problem

    Children with peanut allergy in the new study showed the expected history of vulnerability. For instance, four in five had parents or a sib with some form of allergy. Four in five children also had personally experienced atopic dermatitis, two in every three suffered from asthma, and more than half had allergies that triggered runny noses. Moreover, blood tests from two-thirds of the youngsters turned up antibodies highlighting sensitivity to other foods, typically eggs or tree-nuts.

    Half of the young patients were born between 1988 and 1999, the rest between 2000 and 2005. The average age of their peanut allergy's onset was significantly different between the two groups—roughly 29 months old for the pre-2000 birth group, versus 15 months for children born since 2000. Within the first group, half of the children developed peanut allergy by 21 months of age; for children born since 2000, half developed their allergy by the time they were 14 months old.

    In hopes of teasing out factors that contributed to the trend of earlier allergies, Burks' group is participating in a Food Allergy Research Consortium that has been given $17 million to study food allergies—especially to peanuts. One facet of the 5-year program, which is sponsored by NIAID, is investigating the use of shots to desensitize people with peanut allergy. In addition, some 400 infants with milk and egg allergies will be studied for signs of immunological differences that distinguish those who outgrow their allergies from those who retain them lifelong.

    Currently, some 30,000 people a year are hospitalized for food allergy in the United States, and 200 die during an allergic episode. One concern, Burks notes, is that children who develop peanut allergy earlier than in the past might face a lower-than-usual chance of outgrowing their life-threatening affliction—one that requires constant vigilance.

    Such an allergy can even crimp one's social life. Consider the poor teenage girl whose lips swelled up after being kissed by her boyfriend (see A Rash of Kisses). Hours earlier, the boy had eaten peanuts, to which the girl was allergic.


    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

    Citations

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    141 Northwest Point Boulevard

    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

    Web site: [Go to]

    A. Wesley Burks

    Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

    Duke University Medical Center

    DUMC 2644

    Durham, NC 27710

    National Institutes of Health

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

    Office of Communications and Government Relations

    6610 Rockledge Drive, MSC 6612

    Bethesda, MD 20892-6612

    Web site: [Go to]
    Further Reading

    Helmuth, L. 1999. Allergy vaccine may take fear out of nuts. Science News 155(April 3):213. Available at [Go to].

    Long, A. 2002. The nuts and bolts of peanut allergy. New England Journal of Medicine 346(April 25):1320-1322. Extract available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2003. Unexpected sources of peanut allergy. Science News Online (March 15). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2002. A rash of kisses. Science News 162(July 20):40. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1998. The mango that thought it was poison ivy. Science News Online (Aug. 8). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1997. A whiff, a sniff—then asthma. Science News Online (Feb. 1). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1996. Peanut allergy found common and increasing. Science News 150(Sept. 7):150. Available at [Go to].

    _____. 1996. Family allergies? Keep nuts away from kids. Science News 149(May 4):279. Available at [Go to].

    Seppa, N. 2003. Tough nut is cracked: Antibody treatment stifles peanut reactions. Science News 163(March 15):163. Available at [Go to].

              Canadians Advocate Boosting Vitamin D in Pregnancy        

    A Canadian medical society recommends pregnant women and nursing moms boost their intake of vitamin D dramatically

    Food for Thought

    Canadian pediatricians certainly aren't shirking controversy when it comes to a vitamin guideline they've developed for pregnant women and nursing moms. They're asking these women to boost their intake of vitamin D dramatically—to 10 times the daily doses advocated by most health organizations in the States. This new prescription is aimed at combating rickets—leg deformations caused by soft bones—in youngsters who get too little of the sunshine vitamin.

    Vitamin D helps build strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium. Getting pregnant and nursing women to take more of the vitamin ensures that plenty will reach developing children.

    In the past, most people had little trouble getting enough vitamin D—they just went outdoors where ultraviolet rays from the sun trigger chemical reactions in skin to make this vital nutrient. However, some people always had trouble making enough. Canadian kids at highest risk of vitamin deficits generally live in First Nations and Inuit communities. With sun-filtering pigments in their skin, and living at high latitudes, they must glean most of their vitamin D from the diet—generally a poor source—not the sun.

    Most North American women—including those in the United States—eat diets delivering only about 100 international units, or IU, of vitamin D daily, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in Washington, D.C. That is half of what IOM recommends and a mere 5 percent of what Canadian pediatricians are now advocating for new and soon-to-be moms.

    Although IOM's dietary recommendations are for the United States, the Canadian health establishment has tended to rubber stamp them. In this case, though, Canada's health agency took the unusual tack of signing off on a Canadian Paediatric Society proposal to boost the recommended intake by women who are pregnant or breast feeding to 2,000 IU per day. This new guideline appears in a consensus statement published in September by the society in its journal, Paediatrics & Child Health.

    Soon the society will begin sending its new guideline to every provincial, territorial, and aboriginal health department across Canada, notes Marie Adèle Davis, the group's executive director. The goal, she told Science News Online, is to make sure all public health officials learn about it—not just pediatricians.

    The higher recommendation equals the amount that IOM has designated as the safe upper limit for vitamin D's daily consumption. Most nutritionists don't really consider that value is a true ceiling for safe intake—especially since sunbathing on a bright summer day can generate 10,000 to 20,000 IU in the body without harm. Still, for political and legal reasons, most organizations shy away from advocating intakes near what IOM has flagged as a potential maximum for safe consumption.

    Now a number of researchers suspect that intakes by pregnant and lactating women much below 2,000 IU per day could actually prove unsafe for child health.

    Reinhold Vieth of the University of Toronto explained why, recently, to officials with Health Canada, a counterpart to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To prevent rickets, he argued, a baby needs 400 IU of vitamin D per day. And in many parts of Canada, he said, nursing women may require several thousand IU of vitamin D per day to get 400 IU into their breast milk. Vieth had been recruited by the Canadian Paediatric Society to help defend its proposed guideline to government officials.

    U.S. physicians won't quibble over the 400 IU figure for babies and young children, notes pediatrician Frank R. Greer, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) committee on nutrition. Although the 1997 IOM report says 200 IU of vitamin D per day should be sufficient for anyone under 50—including children—few researchers buy that. "Everybody feels that we should be taking more than 200 IU," says Greer, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

    Unlike the Canadian Paediatric Society, though, "We [at AAP] don't really have any influence on what pregnant and lactating women take," Greer says. "However, I can say that AAP's committee on nutrition has recommended to the board that we go back to [recommending] 400 IU for all children." That's the amount in a teaspoon of cod liver oil—the vitamin D supplement of choice throughout the early 20th century. Greer expects his committee's recommendation to be approved by AAP's board, perhaps within the next month.

    Optimal needs vary

    For most of the past century, nutrient guidelines have been set to prevent gross deficiencies—shortfalls that could cause disease. Those recommendations tended to represent minimally adequate intakes. Over the past decade, however, considerable debate has surrounded what vitamin D consumption levels would be optimal versus merely adequate.

    The controversy has been fueled by a steady stream of studies that have emerged since the IOM set its vitamin D guidelines. Nearly all demonstrate substantial health benefits from relatively high intakes of vitamin D—amounts well in excess of what most individuals now get. Moreover, those benefits extend well beyond protecting bone. More vitamin D seems to diminish the risk of cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, muscle loss, viral infections—even gum disease.

    Researchers gauge vitamin D sufficiency on the basis of 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-HD). This is not the form of the vitamin that is consumed—nor the hormonal form that the body actually uses—but an intermediary. To achieve optimal concentrations of 25-HD, growing numbers of nutrition and health scientists suggest, most of us would need intakes of 800 to 4,000 IU per day (see Vitamin D: What's Enough?).

    How much vitamin D someone needs can vary widely, largely depending on the amount of skin that gets exposed to the sun each day—and for how long. Further complicating the picture, some skin is heavily pigmented, filtering sunlight out. Many people cover up with clothes or sunblock when they go outdoors. Still others live at high latitudes—as Canadians do—where little ultraviolet radiation makes it through the atmosphere during much of the year.

    Even for women in the southern United States, however, "we've found that lactating women need about 6,000 IU a day to transfer enough vitamin D into their milk to supply adequate amounts to a nursing infant," says Bruce W. Hollis of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

    Nor are nursing moms the only individuals who may need relatively large doses of the vitamin. Hollis' research has shown that black women may sometimes need 4,000 IU a day for months at a time to compensate for little time outdoors, heavy skin pigmentation, and/or obesity—a factor that appears to diminish the body's ability to use vitamin D efficiently (see Understanding Vitamin D Deficiency).

    Another reason for moms' supplementation?

    In March, researchers at Harvard Medical School reported evidence that ample vitamin D diminishes the chance a child will develop asthma, a scourge who's incidence has been rising, especially in black and low-income communities (see Childhood Vitamin D—A New Benefit?). Recently, an additional putative benefit has emerged for pregnant women and their developing babies.

    A study linked elevated risk of preeclampsia—high blood pressure that develops in some women during the last half of pregnancy—with low intakes of vitamin D. This condition, which can lead to miscarriage and even the death of the mother—ordinarily develops in some three to seven percent of first pregnancies.

    Pittsburgh researchers enrolled 1,198 women who were pregnant for the first time and measured their blood concentrations of vitamin D within the first 22 weeks of gestation. Subsequently, 59 women developed preeclampsia. Blood values from all but four were compared to a similar group of recruits who maintained normal blood pressure throughout their pregnancies.

    The higher a woman's blood concentrations of 25-HD, the lower her chance of developing preeclampsia—and that risk fell steadily and "strikingly" with increasing vitamin D values, Lisa M. Bodnar of the University of Pittsburgh and her colleagues found.

    Moreover, babies whose moms had developed preeclampsia were far more likely to have low vitamin-D values than were children whose moms had maintained normal blood pressure. "These differences were found in our population despite widespread prenatal/multivitamin use in the 3 months before delivery," Bodnar's group reports in the September Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

    Black women face far higher risks of developing this hypertensive syndrome. Overall, black women are also far likelier than other ethnic or racial groups to have low blood levels of vitamin D. Against this backdrop, Bodnar's group says, "our data linking vitamin D deficiency and preeclampsia risk raises the intriguing possibility that vitamin D may contribute to racial disparities in this [syndrome]."

    "The story of deficiency begins with vitamin D itself and its primary mode of synthesis, which is from sunlight," argue Adekunle Dawodu of the University of Cincinnati and Carol L. Wagner of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. In a commentary in the September Archives of Disease in Childhood, they report a resurgence of rickets around the world, not only in children at high latitudes, but also in the Arab world and Asia where culture or excessive temperatures may keep women and children indoors or covered up.

    A shift from vitamin-D sufficiency to widespread deficiency has occurred rapidly—mostly throughout a half-century. The reason for it is clear, Dawodu and Wagner say: "insufficient sun exposure and inadequate corrective vitamin-D supplementation." They conclude, much as the Canadian Paediatric Society just has, that dosing moms during pregnancy and lactation "would achieve the double effect of preventing vitamin-D deficiency in both mothers and children." But unlike the Canadian society, they note that doses considerably higher than 2,000 IU may be necessary for some individuals and communities.

    As a goal, achieving population-wide vitamin D sufficiency "may be one of the more important preventative public health initiatives," conclude Dawodu and Wagner.


    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

    Citations

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    141 Northwest Point Boulevard

    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098


    Lisa M. Bodnar

    Department of Epidemiology

    University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

    A742 Crabtree Hall

    130 DeSoto Street

    Pittsburgh, PA 15261


    John J. Cannell

    Psychiatry Department

    Atascadero State Hospital

    10333 El Camino Real

    Atascadero, CA 93423

    Marie Adèle Davis

    Canadian Paediatric Society

    2305 St. Laurent Boulevard

    Ottawa, Ont. K1G 4J8

    Canada

    Frank R. Greer

    Department of Pediatrics

    University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Madison, WI 53792

    Bruce W. Hollis

    Department of Pediatrics

    Medical University of South Carolina

    P.O. Box 250917

    171 Ashley Avenue, Room BM326

    Charleston, SC 29425


    Reinhold Vieth

    Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

    Mount Sinai Hospital

    600 University Avenue

    Toronto, ON M5G 1X5

    Canada
    Further Reading

    Cannell, J.J. In press. Autism and vitamin D. Medical Hypotheses. Abstract available at [Go to].

    Dijkstra, S.H., et al. 2007. High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in newborn infants of high-risk mothers. Archives of Disease in Childhood 92(September):750-753. Available at [Go to].

    Moore, C.E., M.M. Murphy, and M.F. Holick. 2005. Vitamin D intakes by children and adults in the United States differ among ethnic groups. Journal of Nutrition 135(October):2478-2485. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2007. Childhood vitamin D—A new benefit? Science News Online (May 19). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Childhood vitamin D—A dark side? Science News Online (May 12). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. The antibiotic vitamin. Science News 170(Nov. 11):312-317. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Breathing easier with vitamin D. Science News Online (Dec. 17). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Vitamin D boosts calcium potency. Science News Online (Nov. 12). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Understanding vitamin D deficiency. Science News Online (April 30). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Vitamin D: What's enough? Science News 166(Oct. 16):248-249. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Vitamin boost. Science News 166(Oct. 9):232-233. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Should foods be fortified even more? Science News Online (Sept. 11). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. Calcium may become a dieter's best friend. Science News 157(April 29):277. Available at [Go to].

    Williams, A.F. 2007. Vitamin D in pregnancy: An old problem still to be solved? Archives of Disease in Childhood 92(September):740-741. Available at [Go to].

              Fattening Carbs—Some Promote Obesity and Worse        

    Food for Thought

    Nutritionists call them carbohydrates. To most of us, they're simply sugars and starches. And although the fructose in soft drinks and the refined flour in white bread taste quite different, "nutritionally and metabolically they're the same as table sugar," explains endocrinologist David S. Ludwig. That's because the body digests all carbohydrate-rich foods into glucose, or blood sugar.

    However, all carbs don't break down at the same rate. The body digests those in many whole-grain products quite slowly. Others become converted to glucose almost immediately.

    Rapidly digested carbs aren't healthy for people with diabetes and others watching their blood sugar. A new study by Ludwig and his colleagues at Children's Hospital Boston suggests that such carbs are also problematic for people looking to shed body fat. Indeed, the findings indicate that consumption of the wrong carbs can spur the development of body fat, even with no gain in weight.

    In the study, mice that chowed down on a type of rapidly digestible starch didn't gain any more weight than did animals eating a starch that digests slowly. But the first group did accumulate lots of excess fat. The data indicate that something about rapidly digesting carbs signaled the body to convert more of a meal's energy into body fat, into fatty lipids that circulate in blood, and into deposits of fat throughout the liver.

    Ludwig considers the observed effect on the animals' livers the most troubling one. Fatty-liver disease has traditionally been regarded as the first stage of damage from alcoholism that can progress to hepatitis, cirrhosis, and death. But researchers in recent years have discerned the beginnings of an epidemic of fatty-liver disease unrelated to alcoholism but correlated strongly with being overweight. Recent data suggest that as much as one-third of children and even a higher proportion of adults have the condition. Ludwig told Science News Online that he suspects that "up to half of the [U.S.] population" now has fatty-liver disease.

    The question has been what's fueling this epidemic. Because the disease so often accompanies obesity, many researchers have suspected that high-fat diets and junk foods are responsible. Ludwig's group had another idea.

    In recent years, the mushrooming incidence of obesity in the United States has led to a push to get people to lower their intakes of fat. However, reducing fat consumption almost always translates into increasing the intake of carbs (see Counting Carbs). Moreover, the carbs most people reach for first are the refined—easy to digest—types found in white flour, white rice, pasta, and potatoes.

    Ludwig's team decided to see whether a diet rich in a similar carb promotes fat buildup. They used a proportion of carbs that people on a low-fat diet might eat and compared its effects with that of a diet equal in all respects except that its carbs were mainly a slowly digested starch.

    In the September Obesity, the researchers show that animals eating rapidly digested carbs accumulated more fat throughout their bodies—including their livers—than did animals eating primarily the slow-to-digest starch.

    Says Ludwig, "This is the first study in which a single dietary factor—varied within normal ranges—affected whether the liver remained normal or accumulated seriously elevated levels of fat."

    Recipe for pudge

    In the new study, Ludwig's team fed 18 recently weaned mice food pellets containing 13 percent fat, 19 percent protein, and 68 percent carbohydrates from corn starch. Half the animals got pellets containing the starch called amylopectin, which is made up of a string of glucose molecules that the gut easily degrades into sugar. The remaining mice ate pellets containing some amylopectin but mostly the starch called amylose. That type of corn starch resists breakdown in the gut.

    All the animals ate and drank as much as they wanted for 25 weeks. Throughout the study, the researchers charted weight gain, body fat, fecal excretion of starch, and blood concentrations of glucose and insulin. At the end, the researchers killed the animals and measured their livers' fat contents.

    Weight gain didn't differ between the two groups of animals, suggesting that the mice found the diets comparably palatable. However, the animals' bodies responded differently to the two food-pellet recipes. Mice dining on amylopectin-enriched chow became twice as fat as those eating the slower-digested amylose recipe. Mice eating this starch grew a little longer in body, so they looked leaner that the "roly-poly" mice eating easily digested starch, Ludwig says. The latter mice "felt squishy," whereas the slow-digested-starch eaters felt firm, he adds.

    Although blood sugar concentrations didn't differ between the two groups, mice on the amylopectin-rich food developed higher insulin values after a meal. The body uses the hormone to shepherd energy into its cells. Higher blood insulin after a meal, Ludwig explains, indicates that an animal needs more insulin to fully use the food it's eaten. Needing more of the hormone can be a first sign of insulin resistance and impending diabetes.

    Ludwig notes, "Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone, meaning it promotes the storage of fat. In fact, that's arguably one of [the hormone's] main roles." One of the first places newly made insulin ends up is in the liver, where it can trigger the localized creation and stockpiling of fat.

    Although the rodents' livers weighed the same whether they ate fast- or slow-digested starch, fat made up 12 percent of the liver in mice fed the amylopectin-rich diet. That's double the fat content of livers in animals that had eaten the slow-digested starch. For perspective, Ludwig notes, people whose livers contain 10 percent fat are considered to be suffering from "advanced" nonalcoholic fatty-liver disease.

    What about people?

    This isn't the first study to indicate that foods that rapidly break down to glucose in the body—characterized as having a "high glycemic index" (see The New GI Tracts)—can fuel nonalcoholic fatty-liver disease. For instance, last year Silvia Valtueña of the University of Parma in Italy and her colleagues reported findings from a study of 247 apparently healthy men and women. The volunteers' diets were evaluated and given a glycemic-index (GI) rating.

    Low GI foods included corn, dairy products, and fruit. High GI fare included bread, pizza, and baked snacks. The volunteers were grouped into four categories based on the ascending GI rankings of their diets.

    Participants with the highest-GI diets were twice as likely to have undiagnosed fatty-liver disease as were other study participants. People in the highest group were also far likelier to be insulin resistant, the researcher reported in the July 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    In an editorial accompanying the Valtueña report, David J.A. Jenkins and his colleagues at the University of Toronto argued that the "implication of this study is that a low-GI diet, or selection of lower-GI rather than higher-GI foods, may benefit persons with nonalcoholic fatty liver." Indeed, the commenters suggested, it might be possible for doctors to treat nonalcoholic fatty liver by lowering the glycemic index of an individuals' diets.

    That's what Ludwig's group is now investigating: "We hope to enroll 46 kids to a diet for 6 months," he says. The 8- to 17-year-olds and their parents will receive dietary counseling. Half of the recruits will be assigned to a low-fat diet. The rest will receive counseling to lower the glycemic index of their diets. The general guidelines for a low-GI diet call for substituting whole-grain foods for ones made from highly processed cereal fibers and reducing refined sugars in favor of sweet fruits.

    "Conceptually," Ludwig says, "fatty liver should be reversible—we've seen it anecdotally in practice many times, such as when someone loses weight or changes the quality of their diet."


    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

    Citations

    David J.A. Jenkins

    Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center

    St. Michael's Hospital

    61 Queen Street, East

    Toronto, ON M5C 3E2

    Canada


    David S. Ludwig

    Children's Hospital Boston

    Department of Medicine

    333 Longwood Avenue

    Boston, MA 02115


    Silvia Valtueña

    Department of Internal Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

    University of Parma

    43100 Parma

    Italy
    Further Reading

    Pawlak, D.B., et al. 2001. High glycemic index starch promotes hypersecretion of insulin and higher body fat in rats without affecting insulin sensitivity. Journal of Nutrition 131(January):99-104. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2007. Super-size mice—Fast food hurts rodents. Science News Online (June 9). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Counting carbs. Science News 166(July 17):40-42. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Coming soon—Spud lite. Science News Online (June 19). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. The new GI tracts. Science News 157(April 8):236-238. Available at [Go to].

    Sloth, I., et al. 2004. No difference in body weight decrease between a low-glycemic-index and a high-glycemic-index diet but reduced LDL cholesterol after 10-wk ad libitum intake of the low-glycemic-index diet. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 80(Aug. 1):337-347. Available at [Go to].

              Human Suffering and Humanitarian Emergencies [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Humanitarian emergencies are not simply brute facts, appealing directly to our emotions or our moral sensibilities. They are one of the important ways in which perceptions of human life, sympathy for suffering, and responses to social upheaval have come to be organized in recent decades. Like nations and business corporations, they are creatures of social imaginaries, but no less materially influential for that. They are shaped by a history of changing ideas about the human; moral responsibility for strangers; structures of chance and causality; and the imperative and capacity for effective action, even at a distance. They reflect the context of the modern era generally and more specific features of the era since the 1970s. And they are embedded in a complex institutionalization of responses. First, grasping human suffering as humanitarian emergencies is made possible by a long history of changes in how we – Westerners especially – construct the categories of the human, the emergency, and moral obligation. Second, though they are influenced by both state politics and economic activity, humanitarian emergencies appear as anomalies outside the putatively normal stable functioning of political and economic systems. Third, emergencies and humanitarian sympathies are produced importantly through large-scale media systems, including especially visual media. Fourth, they have commanded attention especially since the 1970s as responses to an era of market-driven globalization and declining faith in political action. Fifth, they have occasioned a new institutional field of response in which NGOs and voluntary action are pivotal (even though states remain crucial funders), and they are shaped by the way such response organizes both what we see and what happens materially on the ground. Sixth, they reflect a view from relatively ‘core’ locations in the modern world-system on seeming chaos in its periphery, a view often linked at once to a managerial orientation, an idea of charity, and the reassurance of grasping suffering and chaos precisely as distant. The specific historical circumstances that gave rise to humanitarian response are changing, and with them this specific project of cosmopolitan care for distant strangers may be undergoing a deep transformation. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
              Social Movements in the US: From the American Revolution to Obama [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
              The Democracy Project [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Dr David Graeber, Professor Craig Calhoun | From the earliest meetings for Occupy Wall Street, David Graeber felt that something was different from previous demonstrations. What was it about this particular movement that worked this time? And what can we now do to make our world more democratic again? Graeber presents a vital new exploration of anti-capitalist dissent, looking at the actions of the 99% and revealing the alternative political and economic possibilities of our future. David Graeber is an anthropologist at Goldsmiths, University of London, who has been involved with the Occupy movement most actively at Wall Street. He is widely credited with coining the phrase "We are the 99%" and is the author of the widely praised Debt: The First 5000 Years. His new book The Democracy Project is published by Allen Lane. Craig Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
              LSE Director's Inaugural Alumni Lecture [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Craig Calhoun took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes.
              Social Movements and Social Change [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Drawing on his decades of research on social protest, Professor Calhoun will explore the roots of radicalism and the relationship between social movements and social change. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012). Describing his own approach to academic work, Professor Calhoun says: "We must set high standards for ourselves, but in order to inform the public well, not to isolate ourselves from it."
              Knowledge Matters: the public mission of research universities [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | The university is an institution in upheaval. In his Inaugural Lecture as Director of LSE, Professor Craig Calhoun explores the options for the future. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012). Describing his own approach to academic work, Professor Calhoun says: "We must set high standards for ourselves, but in order to inform the public well, not to isolate ourselves from it."
              America and the World - After the Election [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Anne Applebaum, Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Michael Cox, Gideon Rachman | After a closely fought election, this highly topical LSE public debate will look ahead to Obama’s second administration and assess the challenges it faces at home and how it is likely to address them, as well as how its relationships with Britain, Europe and the rest of the world are likely to develop. Author and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum has taken up the post of Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the School for 2012-13. She is the first woman to ever hold this position. Anne Applebaum is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London, and a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate. After graduating from Yale University, Anne Applebaum was a Marshall Scholar at both the LSE and St. Anthony’s College Oxford. She has also lectured at Yale and Columbia Universities, amongst others. Anne Applebaum’s journalistic work focuses on US and international politics, with a particular focus on economic and political transition. Craig Calhoun is director of LSE. He is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Michael Cox is founding director of LSE IDEAS. `Professor Cox is a well known speaker on global affairs and has lectured in the United States, Australia, Asia, and in the EU. He has spoken on a range of contemporary global issues, though most recently he has focused on the role of the United States in the international system, the rise of Asia, and whether or not the world is now in the midst of a major power shift. Gideon Rachman became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in July 2006. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections. His particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation.
              Occupy's Predicament: The Moment and the Prospects for Movement [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Todd Gitlin, Professor Craig Calhoun | Erupting in September 2011, Occupy Wall Street was jump-started by a radical core who devised a form of action, occupation, that combined face-to-face with electronic elements. In an election year, the ingenuity of the original core has been overshadowed by the momentum, the stakes, and not least the money of the presidential campaign. Whether an Occupy movement takes shape and endures, focused on transformation of a political system overwhelmingly shaped by plutocrats, depends on the actions of many networks that were mobilized within and around the Occupy moment. Todd Gitlin is professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University and is the author of 15 books, including, Occupy Nation: the roots, the spirit, and the promise of Occupy Wall Street. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council.
              Early Bird Registration Extended For TypeCon “Capitolized”        
    TypoeCon2014_header_2
    One of the main typography conferences, TypeCon, presented by SOTA (The Society of Typographic Aficionados) is coming up fast. Unlike ATypI which travels all around the world, TypeCon is hosted by a different city in the United States every year. The name of this year’s conference is Capitolized, inspired by its host city Washington D.C., […]
              Ginger's Art Journal Features FINE ART TREKKIN in cities near you!        
    The FINE ART TREKKIN series of blogs represents specific communities in the Los Angeles, California Area, as well as the United States. 

    We are here to represent the FACTS about the Fine Art Community as documentary records. (F.A.C.T.S) PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE NOT A POLITICAL ORGANIZATION, nor do we cover politics, news, religion or crime beats. 

    FINE ART COMMUNITY TREKKIN SERIES of blogs seeks to provide a documentary slice of our culture as it exists in the new millennium, after the year 2000.

    WE ONLY REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF ARTISTS IN THE FINE ARTS FOR SPECIFIC ART EVENTS with the permissions from the artists to promote their work.

    The FINE ART COMMUNITY TREKKIN SERIES© of Blogs is licensed and copyrighted to Ginger Van Hook© as of  2008. This series of documentary works is also licensed and copyrighted on YOU TUBE as videos by EnildeVanHook©. 
    THANK YOU for reading about our artworks and artists!


    ARCADIA     http://finearttrekkinarcadia.blogspot.com/


    INGLEWOOD        http://finearttrekkininglewood.blogspot.com/


    MONROVIA http://finearttrekkinmonrovia.blogspot.com/


    PASADENA  http://finearttrekkinpasadena.blogspot.com/


    TORRANCE           http://finearttrekkintorrance.blogspot.com/


    SOUTHBAY           http://finearttrekkinsouthbay.blogspot.com/


    SANTA MONICA  http://finearttrekkinsantamonica.blogspot.com/


    LITTLE TOKYO    http://finearttrekkinlittletokyola.blogspot.com/


    VENICE BEACH   http://finearttrekkinvenicebeach.blogspot.com/


    CULVER CITY      http://finearttrekkinculvercity.blogspot.com/


    LOS ANGELES      http://finearttrekkinlosangeles.blogspot.com/


    USC                         http://finearttrekkinusc.blogspot.com/



    HUNTINGTON BEACH   http://finearttrekkinhuntingtonbeach.blogspot.com/


    POMONA                            http://finearttrekkinpomona.blogspot.com/


    BEVERLY HILLS              http://finearttrekkinbeverlyhills.blogspot.com/


    DOWN TOWN LA             http://finearttrekkindowntownla.blogspot.com/


    SAN FRANCISCO             http://finearttrekkinsanfrancisco.blogspot.com/


    WESTWOOD                      http://finearttrekkinwestwood.blogspot.com/


    AT OTIS COLLEGE          http://finearttrekkinatotis.blogspot.com/


    IN CHINA TOWN              http://finearttrekkinchinatown.blogspot.com/


    HOLLYWOOD                   http://finearttrekkinhollywood.blogspot.com/


    STUDIO CITY                    http://finearttrekkinstudiocity.blogspot.com/


    GLENDALE                       http://finearttrekkinglendale.blogspot.com/


    MIRACLE MILE LA          http://finearttrekkinmiraclemilela.blogspot.com/


    AT VENICE BEACH         http://finearttrekkinatvenicebeach.blogspot.com/


    AT VENICE                        http://finearttrekkinatvenice.blogspot.com/


    VENICE BEACH                  http://finearttrekkinvenicebeach.blogspot.com/


    NEAR USC                         http://finearttrekkinnearusc.blogspot.com/


    NEAR UCLA                      http://finearttrekkinnearuscla.blogspot.com/


    MID WILSHIRE                  http://finearttrekkinmidwilshirela.blogspot.com/


    SAN DIEGO                       http://finearttrekkinsandiego.blogspot.com/


    SEATTLE                           http://finearttrekkinseattle.blogspot.com/


    NEVADA                           http://finearttrekkinnevada.blogspot.com/


    OREGON                           http://finearttrekkinoregon.blogspot.com/


    CALIFORNIA                   http://finearttrekkincalifornia.blogspot.com/


    NEW YORK                      http://finearttrekkinnewyork.blogspot.com/
              Christmas Traditions in the USA        
    Each year over 400 million individuals worldwide observe the holiday known as Christmas. In the United States, the holiday is celebrated on December 25th. Christmas is linked to many vibrant traditions and plenty of history. Below are some of the more well-known Christmas traditions in the USA, along with their details and roots. See A […]
              Global Voices: Innovative solutions to global refugee crisis        
    Prospects seem grim for the world’s 22 million refugees. The United States and Europe are slamming doors. Kenya is forcing Somalis in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, to go home — even if it’s not safe to return. Uganda […]
              LEGO Architecture United States Capitol Building 21030stuk(s)        

    Normale prijs: € 97,95

    Aanbiedingsprijs: € 89,95


              Frost & Sullivan Awards Diebold Nixdorf's as Leader in the Self-Checkout Systems Market        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/07/27, Santa Clara, CA United States - Innovative product advances, the ability to cater to changing retailer and consumer needs [NYSE: DBD] - DieboldNixdorf.com / Frost.com
              NCR Unveils the Next Generation of its Counterpoint Channel Software Solution        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/05/22, Duluth, GA United States - Omni-channel solution leader launches new version of its proven, all-in-one retail software - NCR.com
              NCR’s Innovative Restaurant Solutions on Display at National Restaurant Association Tradeshow in Chicago        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/05/19, Duluth, GA United States - Global technology company to demonstrate solutions that help restaurants transform their operations and build connected experiences - NCR.com
              NCR Launches Consumer Self-Ordering Solution for North American Restaurant Customers        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/04/03, Duluth, GA United States - Solution Enables Restaurant Guests to Order from Kiosk - NCR.com
              EFTPOS Terminal Vendors Capitalize on Cashless Payment, Mobility and Security Trends to Drive Growth        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/03/09, Santa Clara, CA United States - Increased interest among consumers for secure payment gateways and payment card industry (PCI) PIN entry devices will further bolster growth, finds Frost & Sullivan’s Digital Transformation team - Frost.com
              NCR Wins Two Product Design Awards at iF DESIGN AWARDS 2017        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/02/21, Duluth, GA United States - NCR’s SelfServ™ 90 and FastLane SelfServ™ Checkout solutions were rewarded for excellence in product design - iFWorldDesignGuide.com / NCR.com
              NCR Introduces NCR ENCOR for Small and Medium Sized Retailers in North America        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/02/08, Duluth, GA United States - Purpose-built solution for the fast-moving consumer goods market to meet omni-channel demands available exclusively through the NCR Interact Partner Program - NCR.com
              Smoothie King Powers its First Middle East Store with NCR Hospitality        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/02/07, Duluth, GA United States - International smoothie bar rolls out NCR Aloha in its move to the UAE - SmoothieKing.com / NCR.com
              Dubai Airports Improves Customer Experience with Mobile Wayfinding Software from NCR        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/02/06, Duluth, GA United States - Passengers can now easily navigate Dubai Airports using their mobile devices - DubaiAirports.ae / NCR.com
              NCR Silver Launches Redesigned Point-of-Sale Application        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/01/24, Duluth, GA United States - Improved user interface delivers simpler navigation, reduced transaction times - NCRSilver.com
              Globus Hypermarkets in Russia Introduces Scan & Go with NCR Technology for a Faster and More Convenient Shopping Experience        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/01/16, Duluth, GA United States - The Scan & Go system is based on the NCR FastLane Mobile Shopper powered by Re-Vision solution and is the first customer implementation in Europe - Globus.de / NCR.com
              NCR and Zebra Technologies Work Together to Provide Store Transformation Solutions        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/01/13, Duluth, GA United States - NCR Corporation and Zebra Technologies Corporation expanded their global strategic relationship in two key areas of NCR’s Store Transformation portfolio to provide truly visionary and frictionless customer service to shoppers in-store [NASDAQ: ZBRA]
              Re: Lillie May Green         
    You need to look on http://www.findagrave.com/index.html

    William M. Green and Martha Campbell Green are buried in the Veal Station Cemetery in
    Springtown, Parker County, Texas. There is info on the parents and grandparents of Martha Campbell, with pics and where they were from and where they are buried.

    William M. Green died Jul. 29, 1910 and Martha died May 12, 1929. you can find their death certs here.https://familysearch.org/search
    You can sign up for free.

    Name:
    Wm M Green
    Death 29 Jul 1910
    Weatherford, Parker, Texas, United States
    Gender: Male
    Marital Status: Married
    Birth Date: 17 Oct 1830
    Birthplace: , North Carolina
    Father's Name: Anderson Green
    Mother's Name: Mary Morris








              ECU ALUMNUS CHRIS BUCHANAN NOW DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF INDIAN HEALTH SERVICES FOR U.S. PUBLIC HEATH SERVICE        
    Chris Buchanan

    Chris Buchanan, East Central University alumnus and a member of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), was recently promoted to the flag-officer rank of Rear Admiral and appointed Deputy Director of Indian Health Services.

    Buchanan also recently served six months as acting director.

    As a senior ranking officer, flag officers exemplify the core values for which commissioned officers of the U.S. Public Health Service are held in high esteem, according to Dr. Patrick Bohan, ECU Environmental Health Sciences professor and Retired Captain of the USPHS.

    “Flag officers provide executive-level leadership within the department and the agencies which they serve,” Bohan said. “Our flag officers also carry the title of Assistant Surgeon General and, as such, we rely on them to support special initiatives and exhibit the highest caliber of public health leadership.”

    Buchanan, a native of Konawa, joins fellow ECU alumnus Rear Admiral Kevin D. Meeks as a high-ranking official within the USPHS. Meeks is acting deputy director of field operations for the Indian Health Service, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services and the principal federal health care advocate and provider of health services for American Indians and Alaska natives.

    ECU has provided more environmental health officers to the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service than any other institution in the country, according to Bohan. The Environmental Health Science program at ECU is one of 31 accredited undergraduate programs throughout the United States.

    “The Environmental Health Science program provided an interdisciplinary foundation that prepared me for my career in Indian Health Service,” Buchanan said. “Environmental health graduates of the program are problem solvers. We use this type of approach to develop skill sets

    that help to constructively review environmental and public health issues and come up with solutions. I have and continue to use these skills in my role as the deputy director of IHS.”

    Buchanan credits the late Dr. Mickey Rowe, former chair and professor of the ECU Environmental Health Science Department, with setting the stage for his career.

    “Dr. Rowe was a force of nature. He left a lasting impact on me personally and professionally,” said Buchanan. “His expectations were high for all his students and former students. He made it clear upon graduation that you would be representing the ECU Environmental Health Program and your environmental health decisions will have an impact on public health. His expectation was nothing short of being the best both academically and in your profession.”

     As deputy director Buchanan, an enrolled member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, leads and oversees IHS operations to ensure delivery of quality comprehensive health services. He ensures that IHS provides for the full participation of tribes in programs and services and helps to establish and track the goals and metrics through which the IHS U.S.-federal-government-operated, or direct service, health care program improves outcomes.

    Buchanan ensures IHS services are integrated across all levels of the agency and engaged with other Operating Divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services and external partners, including states and national organizations.

    He previously served in 2016 as the acting area director for the IHS Great Plains Area, with administrative responsibility for 19 service units serving 130,000 people and 17 tribes through seven hospitals, 10 health centers and two urban Indian health programs, overseeing a complex health care program during a period of change. Previously, Buchanan has served as director of the IHS Office of Direct Services and Contracting Tribes.

    As an environmental health officer in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps with more than 20 years of active duty, Buchanan began his IHS career in 1993, serving in various environmental health positions in the Phoenix, Albuquerque and Oklahoma City areas, including serving as the administrative officer for Lawton Indian Hospital and the chief executive officer for Haskell Health Center. In 2010, he was administrative officer of clinical services for the Chickasaw Nation’s Division of Health in Ada.

    Along with serving on several national IHS workgroups and being deployed to several natural disaster events, Buchanan has received numerous professional awards, including one for National Council of Chief Executive Officer’s Rookie of the Year. He earned a bachelor of environmental health science degree from ECU and a public health degree in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

    Buchanan has seen Indian Health Service improve over the years, evolving in a similar manner as the traditional healthcare delivery model to a more value-based healthcare delivery system.

    “The IHS sees these changes through the administration of a nationwide health care delivery program that is responsible for providing preventative, curative and community health care for approximately 2.2 American Indians and Alaska natives in hospitals, clinics and other settings throughout the United States,” Buchanan said. “An example of this evolution includes emerging technologies such as telemedicine. By utilizing these healthcare technologies, IHS will continue to improve the populations we serve.”

    Telemedicine is the diagnosis and treatment of patients in remote areas using medical information such as x-rays or television pictures, transmitted over long distances, particularly satellite.

    -ECU-

    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

                                  580-559-5650 or 405-812-1428 (cell)


              ECU TO PROVIDE BUSINESS CERTIFICATE IN PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING        

    East Central University has registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) to provide the means of awarding a new business certificate diploma for personal financial planning.

    This certificate compliments the current business administration in finance concentration degree.

    An independent certifying organization, CFP Board owns the CFP® and Certified Financial PlannerTM certification marks, which it awards to individuals who meet its education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements.  Students completing the financial planning program at ECU will have met the education requirement for CFP® Certification Examination administered by CFP Board.

    “Financial planning is an excellent career choice. The need for qualified planners is great…and it keeps growing,” said Wendell Godwin, dean of the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business. “Devoting time and energy toward achieving CFP® certification, the highest standard in professional financial planning, can make a financial planning career even more rewarding.”

    CFP® certification is generally recognized as the highest standard in personal financial planning, qualifying financial planning professionals to provide their clients with comprehensive financial advice, according to Godwin.

    “Students completing this certificate will be positioned to take the national CFP® Certification Examination through the CFP Board,” Godwin said. “We are the fourth program approved by the CFP Board in Oklahoma. We are one of only two state universities that offer a program at the bachelor level with the other being Northeastern State University.”

    The CFP Board’s approval certainly pleased Blaine Aikin, CFP®, chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors.

    “As student interest in financial planning as a career continues to grow, we anticipate that

    ECU’s program will contribute significantly to the number of qualified candidates seeking to attain the CFP® certification, the standard of excellence for competent and ethical financial planning,” said Aikin.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 30 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the population ages and life expectancies rise, demand for financial planning services should increase.

    Today, CFP Board partners with over 340 programs at more than 240 institutions. CFP

    Board-Registered Programs are financial planning education programs at the college or university level that meet specific criteria for educating individuals who wish to fulfill the education component for obtaining CFP® certification.

    The mission of CFP Board is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning.  CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial PlannerTM, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.  CFP Board currently authorizes more than 76,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States.  For more about CFP Board, visit www.CFP.net.

    -ECU-

    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

                                  580-559-5650 or 405-812-1428 (cell)


              ONL Therapeutics Receives Orphan Drug Designation for ONL1204 for Treatment of Retinal Detachment from FDA        
    ANN ARBOR, MI – February 11, 2016 – ONL Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for preserving sight in a range of retinal diseases, today announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to ONL1204 for the treatment of retinal detachment. ONL1204 is a novel, first-in-class small molecule peptide […]
              Misuse of Novel Synthetic Opioids: A Deadly New Trend        
    image Novel synthetic opioids (NSOs) include various analogs of fentanyl and newly emerging non-fentanyl compounds. Together with illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF), these drugs have caused a recent spike in overdose deaths, whereas deaths from prescription opioids have stabilized. NSOs are used as stand-alone products, as adulterants in heroin, or as constituents of counterfeit prescription medications. During 2015 alone, there were 9580 deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone. Most of these fatalities were associated with IMF rather than diverted pharmaceutical fentanyl. In opioid overdose cases, where the presence of fentanyl analogs was examined, analogs were implicated in 17% of fatalities. Recent data from law enforcement sources show increasing confiscation of acetylfentanyl, butyrylfentanyl, and furanylfentanyl, in addition to non-fentanyl compounds such as U-47700. Since 2013, deaths from NSOs in the United States were 52 for acetylfentanyl, 40 for butyrylfentanyl, 128 for furanylfentanyl, and 46 for U-47700. All of these substances induce a classic opioid toxidrome, which can be reversed with the competitive antagonist naloxone. However, due to the putative high potency of NSOs and their growing prevalence, it is recommended to forgo the 0.4 mg initial dose of naloxone and start with 2 mg. Because NSOs offer enormous profit potential, and there is strong demand for their use, these drugs are being trafficked by organized crime. NSOs present major challenges for medical professionals, law enforcement agencies, and policymakers. Resources must be distributed equitably to enhance harm reduction though public education, medication-assisted therapies, and improved access to naloxone.
              A Systematic Review on the Use of Psychosocial Interventions in Conjunction With Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Addiction        
    imageOpioid use and overdose rates have risen to epidemic levels in the United States during the past decade. Fortunately, there are effective medications (ie, methadone, buprenorphine, and oral and injectable naltrexone) available for the treatment of opioid addiction. Each of these medications is approved for use in conjunction with psychosocial treatment; however, there is a dearth of empirical research on the optimal psychosocial interventions to use with these medications. In this systematic review, we outline and discuss the findings of 3 prominent prior reviews and 27 recent publications of empirical studies on this topic. The most widely studied psychosocial interventions examined in conjunction with medications for opioid addiction were contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy, with the majority focusing on methadone treatment. The results generally support the efficacy of providing psychosocial interventions in combination with medications to treat opioid addictions, although the incremental utility varied across studies, outcomes, medications, and interventions. The review highlights significant gaps in the literature and provides areas for future research. Given the enormity of the current opioid problem in the United States, it is critical to gain a better understanding of the most effective ways to deliver psychosocial treatments in conjunction with these medications to improve the health and well-being of individuals suffering from opioid addiction.
              Prescribe to Prevent: Overdose Prevention and Naloxone Rescue Kits for Prescribers and Pharmacists        
    imageIn March of 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services identified 3 priority areas to reduce opioid use disorders and overdose, which are as follows: opioid-prescribing practices; expanded use and distribution of naloxone; and expansion of medication-assisted treatment. In this narrative review of overdose prevention and the role of prescribers and pharmacists in distributing naloxone, we address these priority areas and present a clinical scenario within the review involving a pharmacist, a patient with chronic pain and anxiety, and a primary care physician. We also discuss current laws related to naloxone prescribing and dispensing. This review was adapted from the Prescribe to Prevent online continuing medical education module created for prescribers and pharmacists (http://www.opioidprescribing.com/naloxone_module_1-landing ).
              Vermont Hub-and-Spoke Model of Care for Opioid Use Disorder: Development, Implementation, and Impact        
    imageBackground: Opioid use disorders (OUDs) are reaching epidemic proportions in the United States, and many geographic areas struggle with a persistent shortage in availability of opioid agonist treatment. Over the past 5 years, Vermont addiction medicine physicians and public health leaders have responded to these challenges by developing an integrated hub-and-spoke opioid treatment network. Methods: In the present report, we review the development, implementation, and impact of this novel hub-and-spoke model for expanding OUD treatment in Vermont. Results: Vermont's hub-and-spoke system has been implemented state-wide and well-received by providers and patients alike. Adoption of this model has been associated with substantial increases in the state's OUD treatment capacity, with Vermont now having the highest capacity for treating OUD in the United States with 10.56 people in treatment per 1000. There has been a 64% increase in physicians waivered to prescribe buprenorphine, a 50% increase in patients served per waivered physician, and a robust bidirectional transfer of patients between hubs and spokes based upon clinical need. Challenges to system implementation and important future directions are discussed. Conclusions: Development and implementation of a hub-and-spoke system of care has contributed substantially to improvements in opioid agonist treatment capacity in Vermont. This system may serve as a model for other states grappling with the current opioid use epidemic.
              An Argument for Change in Tobacco Treatment Options Guided by the ASAM Criteria for Patient Placement        
    imageTobacco use is a major threat to public health in the United States, and the number one cause of preventable death. Although most smokers try to quit unaided, robust data indicate that pairing behavioral support to US Food Drug Administration-approved cessation medications significantly increase cessation rates. Those who do receive assistance in quitting usually receive very low intensity treatment, regardless of the severity of their dependence or their medical and environmental circumstances. This is in stark contrast to how other substance use disorders are treated, where there are varying levels of care depending on addiction severity and biopsychosocial circumstances. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) developed a formal algorithm for assessing substance use disorders and determining the optimal level of care. The ASAM Patient Placement Criteria are regularly used to determine the appropriate level of care for all substance use disorders except tobacco. This paper will review key aspects of the ASAM dimensions of care and placement levels, with emphasis on how they apply to tobacco use and present case examples of typical smokers who would benefit from a higher intensity of tobacco dependence treatment. We also present current barriers to reimbursing healthcare providers for these services. We conclude with a commentary and discussion regarding recommendations for improvements in tobacco dependence treatment care.
              How will U.S. ramp up security after attack?        
    Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, joins NBC’s Andrea Mitchell to discuss the recent attacks in France and comments on how the United States’ security should adapt to these attacks.
              Accomplishments of my life        
    Accomplishments of my life
    1. Learned to walk
    2. To ride a bike
    3. To draw
    4. To paint with oils on canvas
    5. To cook
    6. Learned to sew
    7. To knit
    8. Tat
    9. Crochet
    10. To make a camp fire
    11. To ride a horse
    12. To ride a motorcycle
    13. To graduate in the top third of high school (of 998 students)
    14. Had four of the most beautiful children
    15. Traveled over the United States and visited almost every state except Main...
              New Behavioral Intervention Targets Latino Men at High Risk of HIV Infection        
    Men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for two thirds of all new HIV infections in the United States, with 26 percent occurring in Latinos, according to 2014 data. If those rates continue, it is estimated that one in four Latino MSM may be diagnosed with HIV during his lifetime.
              Organized Prescription Drug Collection Programs May Have Minimal Impact on Reducing Availability of Controlled Medications        
    More than 3.8 billion controlled medications, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, Valium and Adderall, are dispensed by pharmacies annually in the United States. It has been estimated that only about 30 percent of these drugs are used by the people for whom they were prescribed. The remaining 70 percent represent a large surplus of controlled medications that could be abused or sold to others for abuse.
              Wake Forest Baptist First to Offer New Treatment for Bowel Control        
    Wake Forest Baptist is the first in the state – and the 4th in the United States – to offer women a new, non-surgical treatment for accidental bowel leakage.
              Adjustable Dolphine Ring        
    fits all sizes adjustable ring.925 material please note this includes shipping for the united states only.. will ship to Canada and Australia
              Summer slush keeps The Bunch feeling loose in Montana        

    The Bunch crew is on a North American summer tour. While the masses head to the beach, Magnus Granér, Pär “Peyben” Hägglund and company are traveling across the western United States rocking venues like Windells Camp in Oregon, Mammoth Mountain in the Sierra Nevada range and most recently, Montana’s Beartooth Basin. Shot by Gustav Cavallin […]

    The post Summer slush keeps The Bunch feeling loose in Montana appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              17 products that’ll help you have the best Fourth of July ever        

    July 4, 2017 marks the 241st anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Surely you’ll be spending the day celebrating the wonderful country that is the United States of America. As a small homage to our native land, we’ve rounded up a few items that’ll take your Fourth of July celebration from great […]

    The post 17 products that’ll help you have the best Fourth of July ever appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              ÐžÑ‡ÐµÑ€ÐµÐ´Ð½Ð¾Ð¹ эксперимент доктора философии, Алана По        

    Привет, Алексей!

    Недавно ты писал о гюрзе, которая укусила собаку в бронкском парке, а вечером я видел это сообщение на нескольких каналах по ТВ. Было сообщение и о сальмонеллёзе (заражённых помидорах в нескольких магазинах Штатов). А у меня был один очень интересный эксперимент, связанный с этими случаями.

    Я решил заказать животных через интернет. Не простых животных -- ядовитых, лягушек, насекомых. В поисковой системе набрал соответствующие слова (ядовитые лягушки и змеи) и... что бы вы думали? Есть! Только плати денежки. Одну? Две? Сколько угодно! и чем больше, тем дешевле. Но это ещё не всё...

    Заказав соответствующий товар, и, с большой осторожностью и оговорками, заплатил через PayPal, как требовал продавец. Стал ожидать. Долго ждал. Не дождался. Написал продавцу. Получил кучу извинений и оправданий с заверениями отправки. Жду. Нету. Опять звоню и требую номер отслеживания посылки (tracking #). Дают... не тот. Жду. Ничего. Пишу продавцу. Оправдываются. Присылают другой номер с оправданием занятости и забывчивости. Я уже возмущён до предела! Ну, -- думаю, -- "спамери-скримеры". Жду, ищу, звоню на почту, еду на почту... так как этот номер оказался верным, но данных в интернете ещё нет.

    В конечном счёте, результат плачевный. Посылки нет. Где же она?

    Посылку с живыми животными доставляют неизвестно кому и тот неизвестный расписывается за неё. Может быть звери и посланы были не мне, а тому кто получил? Мы же уверены в том, что в Америке всё правильно -- по-Закону. Возмущаюсь и отказываюсь от заказа (благо, товара полно в интернете и у других продавцов). Но как бы ни так. Продавец отказывается вернуть деньги. Звоню представителям кредитной карты и требую возврата за обман и не выполненный заказ.

    Такой же случай и с насекомыми, но я их получил... не тех, которых заказывал и не в том количестве: больших и половозрелых, голодных и страшных -- в бооольшом количестве. Самое интересное то, что некоторые из них вылезли из посланной коробки... как? не знаю. Я их назад вернул -- на почту (не вылезших, а в коробке которые остались).

    Здесь ты можешь возмутиться и задать вопрос: при чём здесь гюрза и заражение помидоров в магазине?

    А... при чём? как раз -- при них: при таких ситуациях. Посылку, как выяснилось, направили по моему адресу, но почтальон доставил по другому (соседскому). Я уже давно борюсь с таким вопиющим безобразием, когда почтовые работники доставляют корреспонденцию не по указанному адресу или бросают её у двери квартиры или дома, а потом доставка пропадает. Они даже не утруждают себя сообщать место доставки уведомлением.

    Так вот; животные пересылаются в обычных картонных коробках. А ведь именно животные являются переносчиками заболеваний (особенно черепахи и ящерицы, некоторые виды птиц), а тут ещё ядовитые змеи, лягушки и даже крокодилы! Кто-то открыл посылку, кто-то выкинул, кто-то вернул, а где-то... животные вылезли и убежали. Некоторые могут возразить, что они же "домашние", "ручные", "маленькие"... Ага, -- как бы ни так. Продают всё и всяких (в том числе и диких!). Маленькие вырастают в больших, а большие размножаются. Конечно прекрасно запустить кого-нить в метро, чтоб крыс пожрали, но там такие крысы -- любого сами сожрут. У продавцов нет никакой лицензии и никто их не контролирует: живые, дикие -- отловленные из природы (и не важно мало их осталось или много ещё)... Деньги важнее.

    Я позвонил в несколько организаций (311, Attorney General, BOI, BBB и т.д.) никто не знает что делать. Написал в конгресс, президенту, вице-президенту, FBI, агентство по борьбе с мошенничеством в интернете, отдел по национальной безопасности, USPS, в отдел по охране природы и природных ресурсов, в отдел здравоохранения, и ещё в ряд национальных служб нашего государства. Пока получил только благодарности за сообщения, но...

    Вот из USPS отправили ответ моментально:

    "Dear ALAN PO, Thank you for contacting us about the dangers there are regarding the shipping of wild and poisonous animals. We do have restrictions regarding shipping live animals, birds, scorpions and other small cold blooded animals. Adult birds, small cold blooded animals and warm-blooded animals are not accepted by us for mailing. Any other living items may in certain circumstances be mailed, but the sender must contact our Mailing Requirements Office for instructions and acceptance of these items. You can contact your local Mailing Requirements office to get any further information regarding our policies and regulations regarding this. Based on your ZIP Code, you can contact (по телефону) and ask for the Mailing Requirements office. You have a lot of good information. You might want to contact other agencies like the Department of Homeland Security about this. If I can be of assistance to you in the future, please don't hesitate to contact me. Thank you for choosing the United States Postal Service®. Regards, Sara S"

    Самое интересно, что при разговоре с некоторыми работниками почтовой службы, выяснилось: они так и воспринимают хладнокровных животных, как написано: "насекомые, рыбы...", а всё остальное им "не разжевали"!!! Большим удивлением для них было узнать, что и лягушки туда же -- к хладнокровным. И самое интересное, что посылать можно всё что угодно -- никто посылки не проверяет (хотя есть правила и запрет).

    Про меня же, продавец распространяет ложную информацию на различных форумах интернета. Ничего, переживём -- пережили худшее. Реклама -- двигатель прогресса (даже плохая).

    С уважением,
    Алан.


    Оставить комментарий
              Blessed Body: An Interview with Unoma Azuah        
    Nigerian writer Unoma Azuah discusses her writing process, spirituality, and her journey from Nigeria to the United States.
              This is what privatisation did to Australia's household electricity bills        

    When three eastern and one southern state formed the National Electricity Market in December 1998 Australia had the lowest retail prices in the world along with the United States and Canada.

    The rules which underpin this National Electricity Market are created by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) set up by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) - through the COAG Energy Council - for that purpose and to advise federal & state governments on how best to develop energy markets over time.

    The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) sets the amount of revenue that network businesses can recover from customers for using networks (electricity poles and wires and gas pipelines) that transport energy.

    So far so good. There's a defined market and there are rules.

    Then the privatisation of electricity supply and infrastructure began in earnest.

    It should come as no surprise that this push towards full privatisation, with its downhill spiral in service delivery and uphill climb in cost to retail customers, began and was progressed during the term of Liberal Prime Minister John Howard.

    By 2017 the NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government has almost completed its three-stage privatisation of state power infrastructure by selling off poles and wires and, it goes without saying that the retail cost of electricity is expected to rise again next year.

    This is where we stand today……………………

    [Graphs in Financial Review, 4 August 2017]
    The Financial Review, 4 Augut 2017:

    The annual cost to households of accepting a standing offer from one of the big three retailers instead of the best offer in the market has been estimated at $830 in Victoria, $900 in Queensland and $1400-$1500 in NSW and SA by the St Vincent de Paul Society.

    Mr Mountain said power bills are constructed in such a complex way that ordinary customers without sophisticated spreadsheet and analytical skills have little hope of analysing competing offers to work out which offers them the best deal.

    Private comparison websites do not include all market offers and charge retailers for switching customers, while the websites offered by the Australian Energy Regulator and the Victorian government do not provide the tools customers need to discriminate among offers.

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ordered the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to conduct an inquiry into electricity supply, costs and pricing, including retail pricing.

    The Treasurer should have a preliminary report from the ACCC in his hands by the end of September this year, however this body does not submit a final report until 30 June 2018 with no guarantee that any recommendations will be adopted by government and industry.

    Quite frankly, it appears the privatisation train left the platform some time ago and there is no way to halt or divert it in order to genuinely benefit household consumers.


              Still feel unhappy with the Turnbull Government's policies on underground, land surface and marine waters? So you should        

    “Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans and large lakes, caused by "excessive nutrient pollution from human activities coupled with other factors that deplete the oxygen required to support most marine life in bottom and near-bottom water.” [US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration]

    Every Northern Hemisphere Spring this dead zone occurs in the Gulf of Mexico and increases in size over time.



    It is only one of more than 400 hypoxic areas world-wide which were mapped in 2008.


    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), Andrew H. Altieri et al, 2017, Tropical dead zones and mass mortalities on coral reefs:

    Oxygen-starved coastal waters are rapidly increasing in prevalence worldwide. However, little is known about the impacts of these “dead zones” in tropical ecosystems or their potential threat to coral reefs. We document the deleterious effects of such an anoxic event on coral habitat and biodiversity, and show that the risk of dead-zone events to reefs worldwide likely has been seriously underestimated. Awareness of, and research on, reef hypoxia is needed to address the threat posed by dead zones to coral reefs.

    Degradation of coastal water quality in the form of low dissolved oxygen levels (hypoxia) can harm biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human wellbeing. Extreme hypoxic conditions along the coast, leading to what are often referred to as “dead zones,” are known primarily from temperate regions. However, little is known about the potential threat of hypoxia in the tropics, even though the known risk factors, including eutrophication and elevated temperatures, are common. Here we document an unprecedented hypoxic event on the Caribbean coast of Panama and assess the risk of dead zones to coral reefs worldwide. The event caused coral bleaching and massive mortality of corals and other reef-associated organisms, but observed shifts in community structure combined with laboratory experiments revealed that not all coral species are equally sensitive to hypoxia. Analyses of global databases showed that coral reefs are associated with more than half of the known tropical dead zones worldwide, with >10% of all coral reefs at elevated risk for hypoxia based on local and global risk factors. Hypoxic events in the tropics and associated mortality events have likely been underreported, perhaps by an order of magnitude, because of the lack of local scientific capacity for their detection. Monitoring and management plans for coral reef resilience should incorporate the growing threat of coastal hypoxia and include support for increased detection and research capacity.

    Anyone still in favour of allowing an expansion of coal mining in the Galilee Basin, Queensland?

    Anyone still comfortable with the amount of agricultural/industrial run-off into the Great Barrier Reef, marine protected areas and Australian coastal waters, which is allowed under state and federal policies?

    It’s not just our rivers and aquifers which are suffering from political inaction and vested interest greed.

    BACKGROUND

    The Australian Government’s OzCoasts website states:

    A reduction in dissolved oxygen concentrations is amongst the most important effects of eutrophication on aquatic organisms [4]. Hypoxia can cause direct mortality, reduced growth rates and altered behaviour and distributions of fish [4] and other organisms. In addition, bottom-water hypoxia can interact with elevated water temperatures at the surface to produce a "temperature-oxygen squeeze" effect, which can greatly reduce the amount of summer habitat available for some species [12]. Eggs and larvae of fish (and crustaceans) may be particularly susceptible to this effect because these life history stages are less able to avoid unfavourable conditions, and because they live in near shore areas, such as estuaries, where too-high water temperatures and too-low oxygen conditions often occur [5]. Changes in fish assemblages and crustaceans in response to hypoxia and & anoxia can render these organisms more susceptible to fishing pressure, and can increase the abundance of non-targeted species in by-catch [4].

    Dissolved oxygen status also influences the uptake or release of nutrients from sediment. When oxygen is depleted, the nitrification pathway is blocked, and efficiencies may be lowered. As a consequence, more nutrients (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorous) are released from the sediment in bio-available forms [7]. These nutrients help to sustain algal blooms, and therefore continue the supply organic matter to the sediments [7]. With organic matter (energy) diverted from invertebrate consumption to microbial decomposition, the natural pattern of energy flow is altered, and pelagic and opportunistic species are favoured [8]. Indeed, an increased ratio of planktivore:demersal fish biomass is an important effect of eutrophication [11]. Low bottom water oxygen concentrations are also conducive to the build-up of toxic compounds such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia gas, which can also be harmful to benthic organisms and fish. Even short-lived anoxic events can cause the mass mortality of fish and benthic organisms [10].

    Overall, anoxic and hypoxic events can cause large reductions in the abundance, diversity and harvest of fish in affected waters [4], and can contribute to an overall loss of bio-diversity[9]. However, the extent to which bottom water anoxia causes declines in overall fish production depends on a balanced between the negative and positive and effects of eutrophication in the full spectrum of habitats within the system [4]……

    Major research institutions, universities and government (local and State) agencies gather oxygen data for specific research studies. Some information on anoxic and hypoxic events in Australian coastal waterways was compiled during the National Land & Water Resources Audit. In most cases, no data was available. However, localised or short-lived periods of hypoxia were reported in the Derwent and Huon estuaries (TAS) and in the Tuggerah Lakes (NSW). Prolonged and extensive anoxia is experienced in the Gippsland Lakes.

    Note:

    Anoxia is an extreme form of hypoxia.

              Dear President Obama: A few tips for your upcoming trip to Ghana        
    Dear President Obama: I received the news of your impending trip to Ghana with a mixture of excitement, elation and crushing disappointment.  You see, as a Ghanaian by birth, I cannot overstate the significance of my country being the location of your first trip as President of The United States of America, to Africa.   Knowing
              The travesty that is Australia's asylum seeker offshore detention policy -"If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here."         

    It seems the truth will out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Washington Post, 3 August 2017:

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


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

    TURNBULL
    Good evening.

    TRUMP
    Mr. Prime Minister, how are you?

    TURNBULL
    I am doing very well.

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

    TURNBULL
    He is a great mutual friend yes.

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

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

    TRUMP
    Good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    TURNBULL
    Can you hear me out Mr. President?

    TRUMP
    Yeah, go ahead.

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

    TRUMP
    Who made the deal? Obama?

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

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

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

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

    TURNBULL
    This is our experience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    TURNBULL
    That is the point I have been trying to make.

    TRUMP
    How does that help you?

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

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

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

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

    TURNBULL
    Correct, we have stopped the boats.

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

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

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

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

    TRUMP
    They were from wherever they were.

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

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

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

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

    TURNBULL
    You will not.

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

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

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

    TURNBULL
    Do you want to talk about Syria and DPRK?

    TRUMP
    [inaudible] this is crazy.

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

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

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

    TRUMP
    I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm.

    TURNBULL
    Okay, thank you.
    END OF CALL

    * My yellow highlighting.

              Facebook Inc still pursuing dream of spying on users through their webcams and via their touch screens or mobile phones        

    The Daily Dot, 8 June 2017:

    Your worst internet nightmare could be on its way to becoming a reality.
    newly discovered patent application shows Facebook has come up with plans to potentially spy on its users through their phone or laptop cameras—even when they’re not turned on. This could allow it to send tailored advertisements to its nearly two billion members. The application, filed in 2014, says Facebook has thought of using â€œimaging components,” like a camera, to read the emotions of its users and send them catered content, like videos, photos, and ads.

    “Computing devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets increasingly include at least one, and often more than one, imaging component, such as a digital camera. Some devices may include a front-facing camera that is positioned on the same side of the device as a display. Thus, during normal operation, a user may be looking towards the imaging component. However, current content delivery systems typically do not utilize passive imaging information. Thus, a need exists for a content delivery solution that takes advantage of available passive imaging data to provide content to a user with improved relevancy.”

    This is the US patent application to which the article is referring.

    United States Patent Application 20150242679
    Kind Code:
    A1
    Techniques for emotion detection and content delivery are described. In one embodiment, for example, an emotion detection component may identify at least one type of emotion associated with at least one detected emotion characteristic. A storage component may store the identified emotion type. An application programming interface (API) component may receive a request from one or more applications for emotion type and, in response to the request, return the identified emotion type. The one or more applications may identify content for display based upon the identified emotion type. The identification of content for display by the one or more applications based upon the identified emotion type may include searching among a plurality of content items, each content item being associated with one or more emotion type. Other embodiments are described and claimed.

    Publication number
    US20150242679 A1
    Publication type
    Application
    Application number
    US 14/189,467
    Publication date
    Aug 27, 2015
    Filing date
    Feb 25, 2014
    Priority date
    Feb 25, 2014
    Also published as
    Inventors
    Original Assignee
    Export Citation
    External Links: USPTOUSPTO AssignmentEspacenet

    Facebook Inc appears to have been granted this related patent, Techniques for emotion detection and content delivery (US 9681166 B2- Publication date 13 June 2017):

    ABSTRACT
    Techniques for emotion detection and content delivery are described. In one embodiment, for example, an emotion detection component may identify at least one type of emotion associated with at least one detected emotion characteristic. A storage component may store the identified emotion type. An application programming interface (API) component may receive a request from one or more applications for emotion type and, in response to the request, return the identified emotion type. The one or more applications may identify content for display based upon the identified emotion type. The identification of content for display by the one or more applications based upon the identified emotion type may include searching among a plurality of content items, each content item being associated with one or more emotion type. Other embodiments are described and claimed.

    BACKGROUND
    Users of computing devices spend increasing amounts of time browsing streams of posts on social networks, news articles, video, audio, or other digital content. The amount of information available to users is also increasing. Thus, a need exists for delivering content a user that may be of current interest to them. For example, a user's interests may be determined based upon their current emotional state. Computing devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets increasingly include at least one, and often more than one, imaging component, such as a digital camera. Some devices may include a front-facing camera that is positioned on the same side of the device as a display. Thus, during normal operation, a user may be looking towards the imaging component. However, current content delivery systems typically do not utilize passive imaging information. Thus, a need exists for a content delivery solution that takes advantage of available passive imaging data to provide content to a user with improved relevancy.

    Facebook also appears to have been granted a US patent in May this year for Augmenting Text Messages With Emotion Information (US 20170147202 A1).

    According to CBINSIGHTS this patent would; automatically add emotional information to text messages, predicting the user’s emotion based on methods of keyboard input. The visual format of the text message would adapt in real time based on the user’s predicted emotion. As the patent notes (and as many people have likely experienced), it can be hard to convey mood and intended meaning in a text-only message; this system would aim to reduce misunderstandings.
    The system could pick up data from the keyboard, mouse, touch pad, touch screen, or other input devices, and the patent mentions predicting emotion based on relative typing speed, how hard the keys are pressed, movement (using the phone’s accelerometer), location, and other factors.


              Four Steps to Creating a Dog-Friendly Workplace        
    August 26th marks National Dog Day in the United States, a day dedicated to celebrating man’s best friend and the companionship, aid, and unwavering loyalty they bring to their owners. What better way to celebrate our furry-friends than to let them follow us to the office? Not only is it a benefit for puppies (creating opportunities […]
          

              Senate Reauthorizes JJDPA, Setting Up a Conference Committee with the House        

    Before adjourning for the August recess, the Senate quietly passed the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act, S. 860, by a voice vote. The bill reauthorizes the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, the authorization for which expired in 2007, and provides long overdue reform to the juvenile justice system.

    For as quiet as passage was, the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) is notable. Last year, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who ridiculously once said that the United States has "under-incarceration problem," blocked a similar bill. In fact, he was literally the only member of the upper chamber who stood in the way of its passage.

    Sen. Cotton's objection to the bill was over the proposed phase out of the valid court order (VCOs) exception. A violation of a VCO would allow state and local judges to detain juveniles for status offenses -- actions such as curfew violations, truancy, and tobacco use that are offenses only because of the person's status as a minor. In some states, juveniles who commit a status offense and are subject to a VCO are detained with serious offenders, increasing a juvenile's risk of recidivism.

    The use of VCOs has been in decline nationwide. Last year, however, Sen. Cotton's spokesperson defended his intransigence, noting that Arkansas has one of the highest VCO use rates in the country. The use of VCOs in Arkansas had been in decline, dropping by roughly half between FY 2013 and FY 2014, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The most recent report from the Arkansas Division of Youth Services showed that 46 percent of youths who entered the states juvenile justice system had committed misdemeanors or violated probation for adjudicated for a misdemeanor. The cost of detaining a youth Arkansas is nearly $64,000 annually.

    Because Sen. Cotton wouldn't agree to allow JJDPA reauthorization to move in the Senate, the bill that would have reauthorized JJDPA died.

    The issue was given new life earlier this year in the new Congress. The House passed the Juvenile Justice Reform Act, H.R. 1809, in May by voice vote. The House version of JJDPA reauthorization includes a phase of VCOs. The Senate, however, still struggled to get passed Sen. Cotton's strange desire to ensure that judges could essentially lock children up for status offenses.

    The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act, introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), offers key reforms. The bill reauthorizes JJDPA, prohibits the placement of juveniles in adult facilities, places a greater emphasis on evidence-based recidivism reduction programs, and increases transparency.

    Unfortunately, the bill doesn't include a phase out of the VCO exception, though it does prohibit the detention of juveniles who commit status offenses, with one exception -- if a juvenile violates a VCO. In short, Sen. Cotton got his way, and judges will be able to place children who violate VCOs because of a status offense.

    There is still an opportunity to address the concerns about the use of VCOs. Appointed members of the House Education and Workforce Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee will likely enter into a conference committee and produce a final version of the bill that rectifies the differences between the two bills. If language phasing out the VCO exception in put in the conference report, it can't be amended from the floor of either chamber. The conference report is given a straight up or down vote.

    Hopefully, the House conferees will insist that the VCO exception for status offenses should be phased out in the conference report.


              The Best Part-Time Job in America        

    The fix is in. Did you know, Congress only works 33 percent of the year?

    The base salary for all rank-and-file members of Congress is $174,000, more than triple the median household income of the United States. In exchange for that generous salary, members of Congress work one out of three days.

    The House of Representatives was in session for only 18 hours a week in 2013. Members worked only 130 days in 2015. In case you needed more evidence that Congress doesn’t earn its salary, consider this: House and Senate members only worked eight days in April.

    Eight work days in a month, with an annual salary of $174,000. Can you imagine? Must be nice!

    Meanwhile, in the real world, the average American worker puts in more hours than a medieval peasant. Full-time U.S. employees use only 54 percent of their paid vacation days, sacrificing the rest for fear of falling behind or being replaced. The idea of a congressman skipping that much vacation is laughable, at best.

    I was raised to believe that how people spend their time is a direct reflection of their priorities. The United States holds more than $19 trillion in debt, not including unfunded liabilities. Our health care, immigration, and justice systems are in desperate need of reform. Public schools are underperforming, while families and small businesses are being taxed out of financial security.

    Where is our elected leadership? Clearly, they have other priorities.

    Members of Congress spend most of their time in their districts, schmoozing with donors, speaking at private events, and securing their next elections. The average House member spent $53,170 of taxpayer money on travel in 2013.

    These aren’t legislators, these are professional campaigners.

    The American people aren’t being heard by government because the game is rigged. Washington isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”


              In Defense of Economic Noninterventionism         

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


              Capitol Hill Update: July 24, 2017        

    Schedule:

    The House and Senate are in session this week.

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

    House:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Senate:

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

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

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

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

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

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


              ESM's QuickLessons A DearMYRTLE Genealogy Study Group Lesson 7         

    Hilary Gadsby


    QuickLesson 7: Family Lore and Indian Princesses    
    Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 7: Family Lore and Indian Princesses,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-7-family-lore-and-indian-princesses : accessed 4 May 2016).

    This lesson deals with the stories that pass down through the family.
    These can either be backed up by the evidence or totally refuted.
    Whatever we do we must be sure that the person we have found is the one we want and not just someone with a similar name.
    We must also ensure that we look at all credible sources for the time and place we are researching.
    If we miss that there is another person with a similar name, or don't consider them in our analysis, we will reduce the credibility of our research.

    Stories get passed from one generation to another and as each person passes the oral history it can change and even become a totally different tale.
    Oral history should not be dismissed as it can help us to deal with conflicts and changes from one record to another. 
    Within my own research I have been told why a living person uses a different name to that recorded on the birth certificate. 
    Sometimes social attitudes can be such that the truth is not recorded. During wartime many children were conceived whilst the husband was away and at least some of them will have been registered with the husband's surname. Children born to unmarried girls may have been brought up as a younger sibling by the grandparents.

    Many like to believe that they are descendants of nobility or that there is a connection to someone with money. But finding a document does not mean that it is one that relates to your family. Does the information fit with what you already know or are there inconsistencies. Don't wait for someone else to point out your conflicts resolve them, if you can't explain them, highlight them, and think about how you may find out more so that you can resolve them. 


    Only this last week I made contact with a third cousin who told me “ Joseph George Robbins was born on the 28th December 1887 in Warminster, Wiltshire. He left Warminster and went to London, became a window cleaner and then got a job as a waiter at The Strand Hotel in London.  He met Edith Fuller who later became his wife. Joseph travelled to New York and got a job as a waiter at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.  At some point he sent for Edith and she obtained work in the hotel as a “hat check girl”.  They married in New Rachel, USA. Edith became pregnant and was sent back to stay with her mother in England. Violet Georgina Robbins was born on 5th June 1916.Grandfather also worked on ships as a chef and a waiter working for the Orient line and went to Australia on the Orantees and my aunts could remember he visited Fremantle, Adelaide and Brisbane. ”
    I am now in the process of confirming the details.

    Transcriptions can be easy to find but I always like to confirm things with originals or digital images.
    The marriage transcription is on Family Search and here is the citation
    New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/2435-KDP : accessed 16 May 2016), Joseph Robbins and Edith Fuller, 21 Feb 1913; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,613,708

    I have also found possible passenger lists for both of them travelling to New York she left on 12 February 1913 and he on the 4 December 1912, however the occupations do not fit with those I have been told about, and the Joseph on another ship leaving Southampton on the 11 March 1914 could be him as he is listed as a waiter. She is possibly following in April 1914 on the Olympic.
    Did he go out in 1912 trying to find work and then end up doing something else?

    Why did they go back to England after their marriage and return on different ships?

    The information that is on the passenger lists is never enough to be certain that you have the correct person(s) particularly with common names.

    I have found a record card CR10 which shows his Merchant Navy service on the Orontes this has a photograph of him on the card. (see link to Wikipedia page for SS Orontes)
    Another researcher added some family photographs to their Ancestry tree in 2009 and the person on the CR10 matches the person in those photographs.

    I have found a website for the Waldorf Astoria and believe there may be records in the New York Archives but I will probably have to wait and see if they become available online. 
    I also need to check out the newspapers for any information.

    Since Joseph and Edith were both born, and also died, in England, I might never have thought to search elsewhere for their marriage. 
    Family stories can be useful but we need to be careful to follow up our hints with good documentation.



              STUDIES: FBI Crime Report Shows Murder Rates Remain Higher in Death Penalty States        

    The U.S. Department of Justice released its annual FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2014, reporting no change in the national murder rate since 2013. In the Northeast, the region with the fewest executions, the murder rate declined 5.7%, from 3.5 to 3.3 per 100,000 population. The murder rate was 1.7 times higher in the South, which carries out the most executions of any region. That region saw a 3.4% increase in the homicide rate, and its 5.5 murders per 100,00 population remained the highest rate of any region. Murder rates in the West and Midwest declined by 3.8% and 5.4%, respectively. A DPIC analysis of weighted murder rates found that death penalty jurisdictions continue to have a higher murder rate than non-death penalty jurisdictions (including Washington, D.C.): 4.7 per 100,000 compared to 3.8 per 100,000. Ten of the eleven states with the highest murder rates have the death penalty, while six of the eight lowest do not.

    ("Crime in the United States, 2014", U.S. Dept. of Justice (2015); DPIC analysis posted October 30, 2015).  See Deterrence and Murder Rates.

    REGION 2014 2013
    Northeast 3.3 3.5
    West 3.9 4.0
    Midwest 4.3 4.6
    South 5.5 5.3
    NATIONAL 4.5 4.5

    Rates are number of murders per 100,000 persons.


              STUDIES: Murder Rate Highest in South; Northeast Has Sharpest Decline        
    REGION 2013 Murder Rate 2012 Murder Rate Mur
    Northeast 3.5 3.8
    West 4.0 4.2
    Midwest 4.5 4.7
    South 5.3 5.5
    NATIONAL 4.5 4.7

     On November 10 the Justice Department released its annual Uniform Crime Report for 2013. The report revealed an overall decline of 5.2% in the national murder rate. The Northeast had the lowest murder rate--3.5 murders per 100,000 people--and the sharpest decline from last year. The South again had the highest murder rate (5.3). The West had the second-lowest murder rate (4.0), followed by the Midwest (4.5). The states with the highest murder rates in the country were Louisiana (10.8) and Alabama (7.2). The states with the lowest rates were Iowa (1.4) and Hawaii (1.5). The Northeast has also had the fewest executions in the modern era, with 4, and none since 2005. The South has had the highest number of executions (1,132) since 1976. The average murder rate for states with the death penalty (4.4) was higher than the average rate for states without the death penalty (3.4).

    Among the ten states with the lowest murder rates, six have abolished the death penalty. Overall, as the use of the death penalty has declined, the murder rate has continued to fall.

    ("Crime in the United States, 2013", U.S. Dept. of Justice, Nov. 10, 2014).  See Deterrence and Murder Rates.



     


              STUDIES: FBI Releases Report Including State Murder Rates for 2012        

    The U.S. Department of Justice recently released its annual FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2012. The national murder rate remained approximately the same in 2012 as in 2011. The Northeast, the region with the fewest executions, had the lowest murder rate of any region, and its murder rate decreased 3.4% from the previous year. The South, which carries out the most executions of any region, again had the highest murder rate in 2012. The murder rate in the West remained about the same, while the rate in the Midwest increased slightly. Six of the nine states with the lowest murder rates are states without the death penalty. The average murder rate of death penalty states was 4.7, while the average murder rate of states without the death penalty was 3.7 (not weighted by population).

    ("Crime in the United States, 2012", U.S. Dept. of Justice (2013); DPIC analysis posted October 28, 2013).  See Deterrence and Murder Rates.

    REGION
    2012
    2011
    Northeast 3.8 3.9
    West 4.2 4.2
    Midwest 4.7 4.5
    South 5.5 5.5
    NATIONAL 4.7
    4.7

    Rates are number of murders per 100,000 persons.


              STUDIES: FBI Releases 2011 Crime Report Showing Drop in Murder Rates        

    On October 29, the U.S. Justice Department released the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2011, indicating that the national murder rate dropped 1.5% from 2010. This decline occurred at a time when the use of the death penalty is also decreasing nationally.  The Northeast region, which uses the death penalty the least, had the lowest murder rate of the 4 geographic regions, and saw a 6.4% further decrease in its murder rate in 2011, the largest decrease of any region.  By contrast, the South, which carries out more executions than any other region, had the highest murder rate. It saw a small decline from last year. The murder rate in the West remained about the same, while the rate in the Midwest increased slightly.  Four of the five states with the highest murder rates are death-penalty states, while four of the five states with the lowest murder rates are states without the death penalty. See table below.

    On the whole, the number of violent crimes in the U.S. dropped 3.8% from 2010 to 2011.

    (T. Frieden, "U.S. violent crime down for fifth straight year," CNN, October 29, 2012; "Crime in the United States, 2011", U.S. Dept. of Justice, October 29, 2012; DPIC analysis).  See Deterrence and Murder Rates. Listen to DPIC's podcast on Deterrence.

    REGION
    2011
    2010
    Northeast 3.9 4.2
    West 4.2 4.2
    Midwest 4.5 4.4
    South 5.5 5.6
    NATIONAL 4.7
    4.8

    Rates are number of murders per 100,000 persons.


              TIME Magazine Poses Five Reasons for Death Penalty Decline        

    In a cover story for TIME Magazine, award-winning journalist and TIME editor-at-large David Von Drehle explores the decline of capital punishment in the U.S.  Von Drehle offers five significant reasons for the drop in death sentences, executions, and public support for the death penalty in the United States. First, he cites persistent problems with the administration of the death penalty: botched executions and a lengthy appeals process that fails to identify wrongful convictions for decades, if at all. Second, he points to the falling crime rate, showing that support for the death penalty has closely tracked the national murder rate throughout the 20th century. The third reason Von Drehle gives is the erosion of the justification for capital punishment. Life without parole sentences provide an alternative way to ensure that a murderer will never be released and an equivalent to "[w]hatever deterrent capital punishment provides." He also describes the historical use of executions as a tool of white supremacy. While he notes that "the overt racism of the old order is now plainly unconstitutional," the system remains plagued by economic bias, as a result of which "[t]hose without the capital get the punishment." Fourth, he highlights the financial cost of the death penalty, which has led some prosecutors to decide that death sentences are simply not a priority within a constrained budget. Finally, he says, "Actions of the legislatures, lower-court judges and governors can all be read by the Supreme Court as signs of 'evolving standards of decency' in society," which the U.S. Supreme Court may eventually see as justification for striking down capital punishment. He concludes, "The facts are irrefutable, and the logic is clear. Exhausted by so many years of trying to prop up this broken system, the court will one day throw in the towel."

    (D. Von Drehle, "The Death of the Death Penalty," TIME Magazine, June 8, 2015.) See Arbitrariness and History of the Death Penalty.


              More Obama-Bashing        
    This is classic (emphasis all mine):
    Assemblyman Dov Hikind yesterday predicted that Jewish voters would make "a mass movement toward Sen. McCain" if Barack Obama knocks Hillary Rodham Clinton out of the race in tomorrow's critical Democratic primaries.

    Hikind, an Orthodox Jew whose Borough Park district includes the largest Hasidic bloc in the United States, blasted Obama for what he called his half-hearted support of Israel and his ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., who has repeatedly praised anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has endorsed Obama.

    Hikind, a Democrat who has yet to endorse a candidate for president, said Obama had not satisfactorily distanced himself from Wright, his Chicago-based personal pastor, noting, "This is a man who thinks Farrakhan is a great guy and God's gift to the world."

    Hikind went on, "Obama has said that you can be a supporter of Israel even if you're for giving up land to the Arabs, which is true - but for a guy running for president to take a position like this in advance of getting into office, combined with everything else going on in the Middle East, that scares the hell out of me.
    Huh? It "scares the hell" out of Hikind that Obama says you can support Israel and still be for giving up land for Israel? What world does he live in? Does he think Hillary Clinton feels otherwise?? Most US politicians would admit that any peaceful settlement would include some concession of land to the Palestinians. Does Hikind actually expect Mr. Obama to take a public position on the matter that is to the right of GWB's current position?? And then what? Flip-flop after the election to a position more in line with just about every other politician in the country?? That sounds like a super idea. And did Mr. Hikind somehow miss when Mr. Obama clearly rejected and denounced Mr. Farrakhan, and called him out for being an anti-Semite? That Mr. Hikind feels that Obama hasn't distanced himself enough from Rev. Wright, who is claimed to be close to Farrakhan, is no more than guilt by association. Is such association more or less damning than Mr. Hikind's past association with Meir Kahana's militant Jewish Defense League and various other controversial settler groups?

    I would guess Mr. Hikind is simply trying to do more of the same ignorant fearmongering about Obama that we have seen recently from other members of the Jewish community.
              First Books in the Anne Spencer Collection!        

    The Library is so happy to announce the newest Personal Libraries Library Collection, that of poet, civil-rights activist and gardener Anne Spencer. The first book of the Spencer Collection is Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, pictured above, and also found in the Borges Collection.


    The first acquisitions to the Anne Spencer Personal Library reflect her varied interests and place within American literature:

    Star-Land by Sir Robert Stawell Ball
    Wild Flowers Every Child Should Know by Frederic William Stack
    The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
    Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
    Magic Portholes by Helen Follett
    House Plants: Their Care & Culture by Hugh Findlay



    Pictured above are the endpapers to Follett's Magic Portholes; incredible woodcuts pepper the novel.

    Below is the title page spread for The Story of Light by Jeanette Eaton:


    Eaton's The Story of Light is joined by,
    United States Postal Policy by Clyde Kelly
    The White Stag by Kate Seredy
    Enough Rope: Poems by Dorothy Parker
    Birds in Town & Village by W.H. Hudson


    and,
    Good-bye to All That by Robert Graves
    Knickerbocker's History of New York, Two Volumes, by Washington Irving
    Geology, Physical & Historical by H. Cleland
    Bird Neighbors by Neltje Blanchan
    The Story of Language by Mario Pei


    Bird Neighbors includes countless images of birds; these birds are obviously stuffed and are strangely arranged on branches and foliage in front of painted backdrops.


    For any questions about the Library, Collections or books (including the new Anne Spencer Collection!), please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 



              Anne Spencer Personal Library Catalogue        

    GARDENING & NATURE
    Blanchan, Neltje, Bird Neighbors - AS 5.7 2013
    Carson, Rachel, Silent Spring - AS 5.18 2013
    De La Mare, Garden Guide: The Amateur Gardener's Book - AS 5.27 2015****
    Findlay, Hugh, House Plants: Their Care and Culture - AS 5.17 2013
    Hudson, W.H., Birds in Town and Village - AS 5.3 2013
    Rutherfurd Ely, Helena, A Woman's Hardy Garden - AS 5.20 2014
    Stack, Frederic William, Wild Flowers Every Child Should Know - AS 5.16 2013

    FICTION & POETRY
    Follett, Helen, Magic Portholes - AS 5.12 2013
    Miller, Arthur, Death of a Salesman - AS 5.6 2013
    Parker, Dorothy, Enough Rope: Poems - AS 5.14 2013
    Seredy, Kate, The White Stag - AS 5.4 2013
    Whitman, Walt, Leaves of Grass - AS 5.1 2013 

    AUTOBIOGRAPHY, MEMOIR & BIOGRAPHY
    Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Representative Men: Seven Lectures - AS 5.19 2013
    Graves, Robert, Good-bye to All That - AS 5.10 2013
    Smith, Allen, Life in a Putty Factory - AS 5.22 2014

    LABOR & SOCIAL JUSTICE
    Sinclair, Upton, The Jungle - AS 5.8 2013

    LANGUAGE & EDUCATION
    Pei, Mario, The Story of Language - AS 5.9 2013

    AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES
    Davidson, Basil, A Guide to African History - AS 5.23 2015
    Ottley, Roi, New World A-Coming: Inside Black America  - AS 5.26 2015 

    HISTORY
    de Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America, Vol. 1 - AS 5.24 2015
    de Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America, Vol. 2 - AS 5.25 2015
    Eaton, Jeanette, The Story of Light - AS 5.13 2013
    Irving, Washington, Knickerbocker's History of New York, Two Volumes - AS 5.11 2013
    Kelly, Clyde, United States Postal Policy - AS 5.5 2013

    SCIENCE
    Cleland, Hermand, Geology, Physical and Historical - AS 5.2 2013
    Stawell, Sir Robert, Star-Land - AS 5.15 2013
    Watson, James, Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of DNA - AS 5.21 2014


    Please contact the Library at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com to check out a book from the Robert Smithson Personal Library. ** latest book / accession number



              Anne Spencer Personal Library Wish List        
    This ongoing catalogue / wish list is compiled using the catalogue of Anne Spencer's personal books from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. The PLL is looking for the exact editions stated.
     

    GARDENING & NATURE

    -De La Mare, A.T., ed.,  Garden Guide: the Amateur Gardeners’ Handbook (A.T. De La Mare Co., 1940)


    AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES

    -(--), An Appeal to the Common Sense of Colored Citizens (Republican National Committee, 1940)
    -(--), Africa: Questions and Answers for Mission Circles and Bands (Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church, 1897) 
    -(--), One year from the day that the Supreme Court of the United States outlawed segregation in public schools everyone interested in implementing that decision is invited to attend a Southwestern Regional Conference on Integration in Houston, Texas, May 17, 1955 (Southern -Regional Conference on Integration, 1955)
    -Atlanta Urban League, The Negro School Child in Atlanta (The Atlanta Urban League, 1945)
    -Davidson, Basil, A Guide to African History (Doubleday & Company, 1965)
    -Dobler, Lavinia and William A. Brown, Great Rulers of the African Past (Doubleday, 1965)
    -Lee, David, The Negro Problem: Editorial (1948)
    -McCulloch, James E., The Call of the New South: Addresses Delivered at the Southern Sociological Congress, Nashville, Tennessee, May 7 to 10, 1912 (Southern Sociological Congress, 1912)
    -Ottley, Roi, ‘New World A-Coming’: Inside Black America (Houghton Mifflin, 1943)
    -Streeter, Daniel W., Denatured Africa (Garden City, 1929)
    -Willkie, Wendell, Wendell Willkie Speaks to Negroes: Address at Rally of Colored Republicans, Chicago, Illinois, September 13, 1940 ( Republican National Committee, 1940)


    LABOR & SOCIAL JUSTICE

    -Hutchison, Keith, Labour in Politics (Labour Publishing Company, 1925)
    -Nathan, Maud, The Wage Earner and the Ballot (National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1908)
    -National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Does Your Congressman Represent You?: A Voters Guide (1964)


    FICTION & POETRY

    -(--), Chronicle and romance : Froissart, Malory, Holinshed (P. F. Collier & Son, 1910)
    -(--), Heartsease: or, The Brother’s Wife (D. Appleton and Co., 1855)
    -Boyeson, Hjalmar H., Falconberg (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1899)
    -Brinker Post, Mary, Annie Jordan: A Novel of Seattle (Doubleday & Co., 1948)
    -Butterworth, Hezekiah, Up from the Cape: a Plea for Pepublican Simplicity; Mayflower Tales (J.S. Ogilvie Publishing Company, 1883)
    -Chevalier, Maurice, With Love (Little, Brown & Co., 1960)
    -Dunsany, Lord, Five plays : the gods of the mountain, The golden doom, King Argimēnēs and the unknown warrior, The glittering gate, The lost silk hat (Little, Brown & Co., 1917)
    -Ellmann, Richard, ed., The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (W.W. Norton & Company, 1973)
    -Fallada, Hans, Little Man, What Now? (Simon & Schuster, 1933)
    -Fast, Howard, Citizen Tom Paine (Bantam Books, 1946)
    -Gras, Felix, (Catharine Janvier, trans.), The White Terror: A Romance of the French Revolution and After (D. Appleton and Co., 1900)
    -Harris, Cyril, Street of Knives (Little, Brown & Co., 1950)
    -Johnson, Johnson's Chief Lives of the Poets : being those of Milton, Dryden, Swift, Addison, Pope, Gray, and Macaulay's Life of Johnson (Foreword by Matthew Arnold) (Henry Holt & Co., 1880)
    -Kerlin, Robert T., Contemporary Poetry of the Negro (Press of the Hampton Normal & Agricultural Institute, 1921)
    -Kipling, Rudyard, Barrackroom Ballads (Donohue, Henneberry & Co., 1899)
    -Kipling, Rudyard, Departmental Ditties (M.A. Donohue & Co., 1901)
    -O’Brien, Edward J., ed., The Best Short Stories of 1924: and The Yearbook of the American Short Story(Small, Maynard & Co., 1925)
    -Patten, William, ed., Short Story Classics (American) ( P.F. Collier & Son, 1905)
    -Rothberg, Abraham, The Thousand Doors (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965)
    -Scott, Sir Walter, The Lady of the Lake (Thomas Crowell & Sons, 1893-1900)
    -Shoup, Francis Elliott, ed., Pope's The Iliad of Homer : books I, VI, XXII, and XXIV (B. F. Johnson Publishing Company, 1901)
    -Smart, C., trans., The Works of Horace (David McKay, 1896)


    HISTORY

    -(--), Washington Merry-Go-Round (Liveright, 1931)
    -Addington Symonds, John, Renaissance in Italy (Modern Library, 1935)
    -Anthony, Katharine, Catherine the Great (Garden City, 1927)
    -Dabney, Richard Heath, The Causes of the French Revolution (Henry Holt and Co., 1889)
    -De Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America (Colonial Press, 1899)
    -Gibson, Hugh, ed., The Ciano diaries, 1939-1943 : the complete, unabridged diaries of Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian minister for foreign affairs, 1936-1943 (Doubleday and Co., 1946)
    -Langford Warren, Herbert, The Foundations of Classic Architecture (Macmillan Co., 1919)
    -Parman, Jr., Francis, The California and Oregon Trail: Being Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life (Hurst and Co., 1900)
    -Turner, Edward Raymond, Europe, 1789-1920 (Doubleday, Page, 1920)
    -Vehanen, Kosti, Marian Anderson: A Portrait (McGraw Hill, 1941)


    LANGUAGE & EDUCATION

    -Orlanidi, Nazareno, Italian Grammar (Tip. Sociale, 1910)
    -Tuckerman, Julius, Simplicité : a Reader of French Pronunciation (American Book Co., 1908)


    SCIENCE & MATH

    -Chamberlin, Thomas, A College Text-Book of Geology (Henry Holt and Co., 1909)
    -Curry, Preston E., and Ralph Rice, Applied Business Arithmetic (South-Western Publishing Co., 1940)
    -Korzybski, Alfred, Manhood of Humanity: the Science and Art of Human Engineering (Dutton and Co., 1921)


              New World Order        
    Last night was hot; the city sweltered in the early spring heat wave. Most of the inhabitants were still trying to hold off on using there air conditioners, since the weather soothsayers on the evening news said a drastic cooling trend was only a day a way.

    The night was dark; the waning crescent wouldn?t rise until early morning. It was a perfect night for me to patrol the streets, and root out crime. The only thing is the thugs didn?t cooperate, the streets were empty. The lack of johns had hookers abandoning there corners, clubs were quiet, and no sound from the parks.

    The night was too peaceful for this dark and degenerate city. I didn?t like it, but there was nothing for me to do. I pulled out papers I had printed from the internet concerning the New Deal put forth by President Roosevelt, and started reading through them.

    A quote by James Paul Warburg struck me as appropriate for the current day, and an ominous prediction of the future. Speaking on Feb. 17, 1950, to the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations he said, ?We shall have World Government, whether or not we like it. The only question is whether world government will be achieved by conquest or consent."

    I?m starting to believe that my fight against the zombies may be in vain and that the New World Order may be the real enemy. Obazy does everything he can to coddle and the zombies, but are they the real threat to this country. Seeking to tie the dots to an organization bent on controlling the world with a global government, may be beyond the abilities of this costumed crime fighter. But I may be brought into the fight against my will, as I watch our constitution eliminated piece by piece, and our economy handed over to the government in the form of bailouts and stimulus packages. I can only wonder when the citizens, so burdened by debt, will stand up and scream out their rage. Herein lies the apex to the crisis, will the collective conscious of the masses demand help from an all powerful government or will they demand freedom from the tyranny.

    I don?t know what the answer will be, for I am the mirrorman, I can tell what one man will do when I look in his eyes, but I cannot read the whole.

    I will abide my time, and watch. I will make notes. Eventually I will connect the dots.

    Perhaps I have already been brought into the fight. Perhaps.

              Annual Mormon Book Review        

    Carrying on from last year's review of David Robert's Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy, here is a second review of another Mormon-centered book. Enjoy!

    Jared Farmer. On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008. 455 pages. Cloth: Alkaline Paper. $29.95.


    From the early days of the inception of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS), the Mormons were concerned with place-making. Joseph Smith, the religion’s founder, initially identified Jackson County, Missouri as the “center place,” where the Garden of Eden had once stood. However, the devout were soon thrown out of the state by the governor, and moved on to Nauvoo, Illinois. Later, after Smith was assassinated, the new Mormon leader, Brigham Young, turned his gaze farther west and in 1846-1847 led a party of followers to Utah, which he claimed as “Deseret”—their Zion. There, the Saints found their “place apart” from the rest of the world.

    Jared Farmer’s 2008 book On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape adroitly traces Mormon place-making in Utah. His story is ostensibly about Mount Timpanogos, a landmark known as “Timp” that unites the skyline above Orem and Provo. But the history involves much more than the mountain. It is a microcosm of Angloamerican settlement in the west. Using a singular landmark, Farmer delves into the importance of creating place out of space. He asks why Mount Timpanogos usurped the importance of the historically and agriculturally significant Lake Utah, and how the Mormon settlers manipulated their turbulent history with the Ute Indians in order to make myths and claim places as their own. The book deals with two centuries of history, as well as the interaction between varied cultures and the sometimes contradictory dogma of the LDS Church. Though complex, On Zion’s Mount is a wonderfully executed book—well written, insightful, and an excellent example of how to use local history to illuminate greater historical narratives.

    The book is divided into three sections, each focusing on a different step in the climb to the veneration of “Timp.” The first, “Liquid Antecedents,” deals with the early history of the Ute Indians and the Mormons. It also concentrates on how bodies of water were significant to residents and settlers in the Utah Valley. This section is compelling, as Farmer explains just how distinct the freshwater Lake Utah was in the arid Great Basin. The lake was a natural landmark for the Utes, who relied heavily on its plentiful supply of fish. In the mid-1800s, it became a landmark for the Mormons, who arrived predisposed to seek out monuments in their new “holy land.”

    Despite the Mormons’ intention to find a locale that was disconnected from the rest of the world, the Utah Valley, where the first waves of Mormons settled, was not a “place apart.” It was populated with Ute Indians, who had lived in the area for centuries. The wellspring for many of these Utes was Utah Lake, a freshwater reservoir southeast of the Great Salt Lake. The Indians there called themselves Timpanogos Nuche—“Rocky River Fish Eaters.” They identified themselves in connection with the body of water. The Mormons entered into an unstable relationship with the Timpanogos; an association characterized by violent fits, uneasy alliances, and contradictory feelings. This fluctuating friendship came with a bond to Utah Lake.

    Both the Timpanogos and the Mormons emphasized the importance of place. The Utes classified bands by “geographic food names” like “Lake People” and “Fish-Eaters.” (25) The Saints were concerned with place as it related to Millenialism. While other religions affected by the Second Great Awakening believed in a prediction of when Christ would return, the Mormons were concerned with where. (36) When the Mormons arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, the hot springs, streams, and of course the Great Salt Lake all contributed to the Saints’ belief that they had found their promised land. In the waters they took healing baths, baptized their children, and fished. These same waters had been frequented by the Utes for decades, if not centuries.

    From their introduction onward, relations between the Mormons and the Timpanogos were rocky. In 1849, the former noticed that livestock was missing, and rallied a group to ride south and confront Little Chief, a Ute leader who lived on the shores of Utah Lake. The chief turned the Saints towards some “mean Ewtes,” who they subsequently slaughtered for stealing.(62) Three days afterward, a band of Mormon men decided to relocate their families to Utah Lake. The Saints settled in the midst of hostilities between bands of Utes. In order to secure their own safety, the settlers at Utah Lake as well as the LDS leadership engaged in unsteady diplomacy and occasional fights with different Indian contingents.

    To complicate the already problematic situation, Mormons arrived in Utah with preconceptions of Native Americans. In fact, Indians were integral to the burgeoning religion’s discourse. According to LDS dogma, Indians were descendants of the “Lamanites,” once followers of Christ who traveled to America before the Babylon captivity. In the New World, the hostile sect broke away from their brothers, the “Nephites.” For this, God cursed the Lamanites with dark skin. The ill-fated group waged war on the Nephites and erased any fragments of Christianity from the land. The last Nephite scribe, Moroni, was the impetus for the Mormon religion. He came to Joseph Smith in a dream and told him where to find the scriptural record of this lost history. With his revelation of the sanctity of the Lamanites, Smith incorporated proselytizing to Indians into the Book of Mormon. The descendants of the Lamanites who converted would be saved during the Second Coming. More importantly, they would assist Christ in destroying the earth as soldiers of the apocalypse. This created a contradictory idea of Native Americans: “They were cursed to be inferior yet promised to be superior. They were destined to save the world, yet they couldn’t save themselves.”(57) Furthermore, dealing with real-life Utes proved harder than the LDS leadership imagined.

    The tension in Saints’ beliefs between “Indian-as-brother and Indian-as-other” continued to influence their interactions with natives around Utah Lake.(61) Young was wary of the amicable relations between his followers and the Timpanogos and wished that the two groups not mix. In 1850, following the murder of an Indian man, the Mormons and the Utes engaged in the “Indian War.” Later, LDS leadership chastised natives for engaging in slave trade with a New Mexican. Though in Mormon thought there were some redeemable Indians, by 1860 Young was determined that the Utes ought to be displaced. He wrote to Washington, D.C.: “It is our wish that the Indian title should be extinguished, and the Indians removed from our Territory (Utah) and that for the best of reasons, because they are doing no good here to themselves or any body else.”(82) By the latter half of the 1860s most of the Timpanogos people moved to the Uinta Basin, estranged from the place upon which they based their identity.

    Following the removal of the Utes, Utah Lake experienced a surge and then a decline in popularity that mirrored the fate of other regional waterways. In the late 19th century, tourists came to the area to take in the healing waters of the hot springs, the Great Salt Lake, and Utah Lake. Additionally, the latter continued to be a distinguished fishery. However, this fame did not last. In the first half of the 20th century, fires destroyed a number of Salt Lake resorts. Overfishing and the introduction of nonnative species affected Utah Lake. The Great Depression and WWII furthered the destruction of water sport popularity. The federal government opened the Geneva Steel plant on Utah Lake; its smokestacks and pollution diminished the reservoir’s beauty and water quality. Even after the plant closed in 2001, the lake had lost its reputation. Residents considered it dirty, shallow, and full of undesirable fish. Furthermore, during the twentieth century Utahans rethought their sense of identity. Instead of revering the hydrological geography of Utah, its residents had turned their gaze upward to the peaks.

    The second section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Alpine Play,” discusses how Utahans built Mount Timpanogos into a landmark. Farmer makes great use of the exclusion of certain places as well as their later inclusion. Using topographical resources from the four western surveys, as well as mormon settler drawings and maps, Farmer shows how Timpanogos went from being an undefined ridge in the Wasatch Range to a distinct massif that overshadowed both the larger Mount Nebo to the south and the historically significant Lake Utah to the west.

    As in the first three chapters, Farmer employs LDS beliefs to form the basis of his argument. The Saints’ theological sense of place included an emphasis on mountains. Settlers viewed their new homeland through religion; mountains pervade world religions as the geographical pathway to God. Peaks were of special importance to Mormons, since Joseph Smith purportedly prophesied that they would “become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.”(150) When the Saints arrived in Deseret, they labeled many geographic sites with biblical names, including Mount Nebo, the highest peak in the Wasatch range. However, in the 1880s Mormons began to secularize their environment. This shift was motivated by the United States Congress, which outlawed theocracy and polygamy. During what Mormons call “The Great Accommodation,” the Saints rethought the peaks in a patriotic light.

    The King Survey was the first to identify “Tim-pan-o-gos Peak” in 1869.(164) However, no one considered it a defining aspect of the region, and many could not even see it; the massif was just a part of the jagged wall between Provo and American Fork Canyons. It wasn’t until the early decades of the 20th century that residents of Provo “began to visualize a mountain.”(167) The view of Timpanogos from Provo changed as the town relocated to the east of its original home at old Fort Utah. Spurred by the historic importance of mountains to the Mormons as well as the “European vogue of alpine aesthetics,” it was not unnatural for the residents of Provo to revere a nearby peak.(141) By 1910, the town described itself in relation to the mountain.

    The King Survey did more than just identify Mount Timpanogos—the survey also pronounced it (erroneously) the highest peak in the Wasatch Range. In reality, that title belongs to Mount Nebo. However, the claim persisted even after the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey corrected the record, and tourists began arriving to climb the “highest mountain in the Wasatch.”(175) With the boosterism of Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts, Brigham Young University’s athletics director, and the national increase in the popularity of hiking, “Timp” became a recreational landmark. Roberts led yearly hikes to the top of the massif, and along with the claim that they were climbing the highest peak in the Wasatch, boosters “endlessly repeated claims that the Annual Timpanogos Hike ranked as the biggest hike in America, the greatest community hike in the world, and the largest ‘pilgrimage’ to any mountain over 10,000 feet.”(202) The peak, as well as its ascent were powerful symbols of community strength.

    Though the hike was discontinued in the 1970s, the peak remained emblematic of Provo. The Forest Service designated Timpanogos as wilderness. They banned the grazing of domestic animals and introduced mountain goats to the area in 1981. Meanwhile, Provo and Orem transformed from farming communities into suburbia and Robert Redford bought and built up Sundance. These changes emphasized the dichotomy between wilderness and urban areas. With the growth in population of the two cities and the ski resort, Timpanogos increased in importance. In 1996 the mountain’s significance was solidified in Mormon minds when the LDS Church built Mount Timpanogos Temple. Farmer ends this section with a rumination on environmentalism. Despite all the reverence for place, Mormons are not conservationists, and do not engage in preservation of their landmark. “Sense,” he concludes, “is not the same as sensibility.”(238)

    The final section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Indian Play,” investigates how “Timp” was marked with cultural meaning. Farmer examines the place name as well as the legends that surround it. In the nineteenth century, white Americans like Henry Schoolcraft and Lydia Sigourney advocated the use of Indian place-names, despite the usual miscommunication, misappropriation, or blatant invention of “native” words. The American government continued the trend by accepting Indianist names of states. In Utah, “Timpanogos” was a long-remembered name in the Provo region. The Indians themselves were displaced to the Uinta Band, and though the name had originally designated a river, the waterway had been renamed “Provo River.” For locals, associating the mountain with a Native word “gave the landmark a heightened semblance of antiquity and authenticity.”(281)

    Ironically, to further this authenticity, Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts provided the mountain with a fake Indian legend. “The Story of Utahna and Red Eagle, an Indian Legend of Timpanogos” retold a familiar Angloamerican tale of the Indian Princess—the “dark-skinned Sappho” throwing herself from a precipice in response to a suitor.(287) These stories, all of which have suspect providence, used Native American tragedies to deepen American antiquity.(297) In a land without any ancient city walls or moldering castles, a sense of historic depth was created through legend. Additionally, the legends of leaping maidens alleviated whites’ guilt on displacing the Indians across the continent. The tales emphasized either brutish men that the women could only escape by committing suicide or savage societies that forced women to neglect her chosen lover. Either ended with the implicit message: the race of Indians is uncivilized. More importantly, the destruction of these Native maids was self-imposed. In an age when America was dealing with the morality of Indian Removal, it was more convenient for white storytellers that the natives to make the choice of self-destruction.(314)

    The Legend of Timpanogos gained further footing by its performance in Utah. People repeated the story of Utahna and Red Eagle, and the tale influenced an opera, a ballet, and an oratorio. Locals further promoted the fake history by dressing up in war paint and moccasins and climbing the mountain “as Indians.” The mountain was seen as the embodiment of a Native woman; like the “Sleeping Ute” in Colorado, “Timp’s” ridge resembles a slumbering Indian maid. The Mormon use of Indianist music, storytelling, and fashion to create the Legend of Timpanogos was paradoxical in that they paid homage to a romanticized version of the people that they had forced out of the Utah Valley—the Timpanogos’ ancestral home. These cultural performances replaced history with both fiction and selective memory. Modern residents of Utah formed their own heritage; no matter that their memory is based on a fallacy.

    But of course it does matter, which is Farmer’s point. Mormons produced a heritage that all but erased the Utes, just as it effaced the importance of Utah Lake. Instead of concentrating on their forebears’ efforts to colonize a “place apart,” which would necessitate emphasis on their interactions with the Indian inhabitants, Saints overwhelming focused their attention on the successive journeys westward. LDS theologians went so far as to modify the meaning of a Lamanite, so that Amerindians lost their scriptural status.(370) When they did incorporate Native Americans into their heritage, they did so with Indianist fictional stories that obscured history with romanticism. In this way, Farmer’s book acts as a historical monument, countering the heritage attached to Mount Timpanogos. Using “Timp” as a framework for his study, Farmer is able to resurrect the forgotten history of the Timpanogos Nuches and Lake Utah.

    On Zion’s Mount is an outstanding cultural, local, environmental, and religious history. Farmer engages readers with his lucid prose even as he presents the tangled story of Mormons, Utes, and the western landscape. Such excellent writing is especially important when one is reminded of some of the recently popular books on Mormon history: Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven and David Roberts’ Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy.19 Krakauer and Roberts are both professional journalists and authors; their work is aimed at the populace rather than the academy. And yet Farmer rivals these works in its composition and surpasses them in its historic breadth and depth. More importantly for scholars, his argument illuminates the American inclination to transform its landscape and pinpoints those transformations in culture and historic memory. Overall, Timpanogos’ jagged ridge proved an excellent vantage point from which to view Utah’s past.
              Bernie Sanders: Poverty is a death sentence        
    During the “Brunch with Bernie” segment of The Thom Hartmann Show Thursday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) discussed a recent congressional hearing he held on poverty in the United States. “We now have some 46 million Americans living in poverty,” he said. “And what a lo...
              Rep. Peter King sets second Muslim radicals hearing        
    WASHINGTON — A key US House of Representatives committee next week will hold the second in a controversial series of hearings on Muslim radicalization in the United States, the panel’s chairman announced Thursday. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, a Republican whose first ...
              Jon Kyl: Christians are as victimized by hate crimes as Muslims in America        
    WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) implied Tuesday that Christians are as victimized by hate crimes as Muslims in the United States. Speaking at a hearing called by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) about the civil rights of Muslim Americans, Kyl said, “I’m a bit perp...
              Open Data Meets Digital Curation: An Investigation of Practices and Needs        

    In the United States, research funded by the government produces a significant portion of data. US law mandates that these data should be freely available to the public through ‘public access’, which is defined as fully discoverable and usable by the public. The U.S. government executive branch supported the public access requirements by issuing an Executive Directive titled ‘Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research’ that required federal agencies with annual research and development expenditures of more than $100 million to create public access plans by 22 August 2013. The directive applied to 19 federal agencies, some with multiple divisions. Additional direction for this initiative was provided by the Executive Order ‘Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information’ which was accompanied by a memorandum with specific guidelines for information management and instructions to find ways to reduce compliance costs through interagency cooperation.

    In late 2013, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to conduct a project to help IMLS and its constituents understand the implications of the US federal public access mandate and how needs and gaps in digital curation can best be addressed. Our project has three research components: (1) a structured content analysis of federal agency plans supporting public access to data and publications, identifying both commonalities and differences among plans; (2) case studies (interviews and analysis of project deliverables) of seven projects previously funded by IMLS to identify lessons about skills, capabilities and institutional arrangements that can facilitate data curation activities; and (3) a gap analysis of continuing education and readiness assessment of the workforce. Research and cultural institutions urgently need to rethink the professional identities of those responsible for collecting, organizing, and preserving data for future use. This paper reports on a project to help inform further investments.

     


              G20 admits “Trump factor”: climate policy disagreement and blow to multilateral cooperation        

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


              Why Anthropologists Failed to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions        
    By: Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar In 2016 the movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions for their involvement in the illegal occupation of Palestine both gathered significant steam and faced a huge roadblock. In the United States, the country that largely underwrites and funds the Israeli occupation, the call to boycott initiated in 2004 by … Continue reading Why Anthropologists Failed to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions
              United States Map Wall Shelf ~[satus Inc]~        
    This United States Map Wall Shelf is so detailed and complicated looking to me to make and is truly beautiful as well. Satus has masterly crafted this mesh patriotic shelving unit just for you! Please click the images to see them larger. (This picture was taken at Chamber Magick Lounge) [satus Inc] United States Map... Read More

    View original post on Magick Thoughts ❤ Le meilleur de Second LifeRead the rest
              Political Map Of Mississippi        


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              Maps Mississippi River        


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              Law Mississippi Probate        


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              Map Mississippi Alabama        


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              Important information for Jews        
    "The offering, sale and/or distribution of many of the products or services described on this website are not intended to any Jews. If you intend to obtain any product or service from OurBank that is described on this web site, you must first inform OurBank whether you are a Jew.

    This website and its respective contents do not constitute an offer or invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities or a solicitation of any offer to sell any securities to Jews. Any brokerage and investment advisory services described herein are not intended for Jews. Furthermore, any solicitation on this web site of banking services (including accepting and/or soliciting deposits), insurance services, mortgage and/or consumer lending services or credit card services is not intended for Jews..."

    That's what I just got from my bank. No, the word is not "Jews", but it describes a population group to which I belong. The only reason I withheld the name of the bank is that many banks are displaying the same text, and they have not written it themselves. The word is "US persons", and the guilty parties in this case are the Senate and the House, with the special honorary mentions for  Max Baucus (D–Montana) and Charles Rangel (D–NY), the authors of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009.

    (US persons is defined as all US citizens and permanent residents resident in the US, some US citizens resident abroad - they are not saying who, and whether this actually applies to me, and any entity organized or incorporated under the laws of the United States).

    This particular law has raised the US citizenship renunciations by a factor of six, which should say something to our Congress, or would have if it weren't, as an old joke says, the opposite of progress.

    I am certainly not planning to renounce mine. Seriously, I'd rather vote for Mr. Rangel with a very big cactus, applied anally. But the first thing that comes to mind is banning the population register from identifying me as a US person to anyone, and lying to all the Finnish (and other non-American) financial institutions that I ever deal with that I am not in fact a US person. Funny thing - so far I have always been in compliance with all the US tax laws. Will there be a day when I choose not to report an account just because doing so would "out" me as an American to the bank that holds the account, and cause them to close that account? If that day comes, I will totally do that without feeling guilty in the least.


              Employment: Delaware!!        
    Position Announcement: Director of the School of Marine Science and Policy

    The College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at the University of Delaware invites applications for the position of Director of the School of Marine Science and Policy (SMSP). The position provides a unique opportunity to lead a premier marine organization into the coming decade. The Director is responsible for all teaching, research, and service activities within the School and reports directly to the Dean of the College. The successful candidate will be appointed at the rank of full professor.

    We seek an energetic scholar in any area of marine science or policy who has developed a nationally and internationally recognized body of scholarship with evidence of deep commitment to marine education, research, and academic leadership. Candidates should have administrative experience as a department chairperson, laboratory director, or equivalent leadership position in
    academia. This will include high achievement in teaching and service, as well as substantial experience in the conduct and administration of competitive research programs supported by funds from private sources, foundations, and government agencies.

    The School is composed of 41 faculty members, approximately 100 graduate students, and a growing undergraduate program. The SMSP is ranked among the top institutions for marine education and research in the United States, with facilities located on the Sharp Campus at the mouth of Delaware Bay in Lewes, Delaware and on the main campus in Newark, Delaware. The 64-acre Sharp Campus features over 100,000 square feet of modern laboratory, classroom, and office space. The Director is expected to maintain an active presence at both the Sharp campus in Lewes and the main University of Delaware campus in Newark.

    The University of Delaware is an equal opportunity employer which encourages applications from women and from members of minority groups. More information on the College and School may be found at http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/ and http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/academics/smsp/index.shtml. Applicants should submit a detailed statement of interest and qualifications along with curriculum vitae in electronic format, as well as contact information for at least three references. Applications and requests for information should be directed to the search committee chair, Dr. Patrick Gaffney, Professor of Marine Biosciences (302-645-4364; pgaffney@udel.edu). Applications must be received by 31 December 2010.

              Employment: photoID internship in North Carolina!        
    Bottlenose Dolphin Photo-ID Internship Position for 2010

    The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research (OBXCDR)/Nags Head Dolphin Watch is currently accepting applications for the 2010 summer season. One internship position is available. The research season is May 15 -September 30. Successful applicants must be able to commit through the end of August.

    The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Outer Banks, NC. Our program´s goal is to gain an understanding of the population size, movement patterns, and behavioral ecology of coastal bottlenose dolphins in the sounds and coastal waters near the Outer Banks. The OBXCDR currently conducts a photo-identification monitoring study of bottlenose dolphins in Roanoke, Croatan, Albemarle, Pamlico and Currituck Sounds. Data is collected via dedicated small boat surveys as well as opportunistically from a local dolphin watch. This study is a continuation of the long-term study initiated by the Nags Head Dolphin Watch in 1997. Information from the current long-term study will provide a basis for initiation of studies involving habitat utilization, social associations, and anthropogenic effects on the dolphins. For more information about the OBXCDR, please visit: www.obxdolphins.org

    The internship position will consist of field research, photo-identification, and environmental education. Responsibilities include:

    - Assisting with boat-based photo-identification surveys of bottlenose dolphins, including operating small vessel during surveys, collecting environmental, location, and behavioral data for dolphin groups

    - Photo-identification of dolphins in the lab, including photo sorting, sighting data entry, assist in maintenance of long-term photo-id catalog using the program FinBase

    - Mate/naturalist duties aboard a local dolphin watch, including educating the general public on dolphins and the sound/marine environment, collecting opportunistic photo-id data, and additional mate duties

    This internship is a paid position. Applicants will receive an hourly salary for performing ecotours on the dolphin watch. From May 15- June 11 and August 18- September 30, the intern will conduct mate/naturalist duties and opportunistic photo-id aboard the Nags Head Dolphin Watch for 4-5 days per week. From June 12- August 17, time commitment to the dolphin ecotours will be 2 days per week. During this time, the internship requires a minimum of 30 hours per week, consisting of ecotours, dedicated field surveys, and lab photo-id. The rest of the week, the intern may seek employment in the Outer Banks or have the time off.

    Housing: A studio apartment is available for rent in Kill Devil Hills for the duration of the research season ($50 per week), however transportation to and from the Outer Banks as well as to and from the field site is not provided.

    The successful applicant would ideally have the following qualifications:
    - Minimum of 18 years of age and currently or recently enrolled in a college-level program in marine biology, biology, zoology, or related field
    - Strong interest in the marine environment and conservation
    - Ability to swim
    - Basic computer proficiency in MS Office Access
    - Enthusiasm, attention to detail, responsible, and works well on a team
    - Field research/small boat operation experience preferred but not required
    - First AID/CPR certification preferred but not required

    NOTE: The United States Coast Guard requires all passenger vessels to be drug free work environments. In order to work aboard the dolphin ecotours, the intern will be required to pass a pre-employment drug test and to participate in random drug testing during the period of the research season.

    Application Process:

    Please submit cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references via email to: obxcdr@hotmail.com Use "Dolphin photo-id internship" in the subject line of the email. All applications will be reviewed; those received by April 1st will be given priority.

    Jessica Weiss, M.E.M. Coastal Environmental Management
    Scientific Advisor, Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research
    7517 Virginia Dare Trail
    Nags Head, NC 27959

              LATINO AMERICANS SERIES        
    LATINO AMERICANS is a three-part series that chronicles the lives and experiences of Latinos in the United States from 1800 to the 21st Century. Through its people, politics and culture, LATINO AMERICANS tells the story of early settlement, conquest and … Continue reading
              â€˜Latinos and the Politics of Immigrattion Reform’        
    As part of the Latino Stud­ies Reunions Event on May 31, 2013 Pro­fes­sor Douglas Massey (Sociology) will speak about Latinos in contemporary America. Massey details his topic below:             In 1970 the Latino population of the United States stood at around 9.6 … Continue reading
              Fitness and Exercise Prevent Disease        
    Fitness and exercise prevent disease. That is a proven fact, and yet more Americans than ever are suffering from obesity and type two diabetes are considered an epidemic in the United States. If you are overweight, and especially if you are obese, or if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, then listen to your doctor and begin a regular fitness and exercise program. You’ll be glad you did.

    One of the benefits of fitness and exercise, as any physician will tell you, it that fitness and exercise help control blood sugar. A diabetic who takes medication daily may find that less medication is needed with a regular fitness and exercise program. Many diabetics who stay with fitness and exercise programs find that they are able to quit the medication and get their diabetes under control in a totally natural way.

    Triglycerides are also too high for most Americans. High triglycerides are linked to heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes. A great natural way to reduce your level of triglycerides is to simply begin and stick with a fitness and exercise program, while eating a sensible diet. Triglycerides at too high a level are also linked to high blood sugar, and it is common for diabetics to have high triglyceride levels. Therefore, in this case fitness and exercise can take care of two potential health risks at the same time.

    Many people have marveled at the way being over weight has become an American way of life, and wondered what caused it. Many point to sedentary lifestyles, working in front of computers, and watching too much television. In addition, many Americans eat diets high in fat and carbohydrates. Whatever the root causes fitness and exercise can be a major part of the cure for this problem. Engaging in physical activity, increasing the heart rate, and just getting active can help a person loose weight, control triglyceride levels and improve diabetes and should not be ignored. Parents should restrict time spent by children with video games or watching television and encourage them to engage in fitness and exercise the way children in past generations have, playing games like baseball, basketball and jump rope. Children who learn the benefits of fitness and exercise at an early age will go into adults, who enjoy fitness and exercise, lead healthier lifestyles and tend to live longer, healthier and obviously happier lives.
              My 10 Least Favorite Things About Living and Teaching in Korea        
    I've got a week left here in Korea before I go home to start grad school and say goodbye to the Sparkling Hermit Kingdom of Morning Calm for good. I've lived and taught here for two years, and it has been wonderful and terrible, glorious and excruciating, boring and exciting, eye opening and let-me-just-tune-out-the-world-and-watch-television-for-weeks-on-end.

    I thought I'd finish out the year with two last posts: my ten favorite things about living here and my ten least favorite things. So that we end on a positive note, here are ten things that I have found consistently, repeatedly, powerfully annoying.

    10. "Hello! Howareyou! Whereareyoufrom!" This is at the bottom of the list because in slightly modified form, it can actually be nice. When I pass an ajuma and her 4 year old granddaughter and the ajuma smiles and tells her granddaughter to say hello, it's really sweet. When I'm in the right mood, it can make me smile for a bunch of middle school girls to get over themselves and say hello and then giggle for fifteen seconds. But when I pass a group of college aged boys (or grown men!) across the street and one yells out "whereareyoufrom!" and the others start laughing uproariously, that's annoying.

    9. Auto exhaust. I like to run and I walk everywhere, so I spend a lot of time "with" cars, trucks and scooters. I don't know what it is that our exhaust tests in the states get off the road, but the majority of autos here put out a foul, noxious gas that I'm sure is just destroying my lungs. Of course the tractors and scooters are even worse.

    8. Sewers rising. Again, I don't know what they've done in the US to prevent the smells of sewers from rising into the streets, but they certainly haven't figured it out here. The national dish is kimchi -- rotting (er, sorry, fermenting) cabbage with garlic, fish sauce, shrimp paste and chilies. Unfortunately, that's what everyone shits and it smells even worse than you would imagine.

    7. Fan death and other insanity. A lot of Koreans (maybe a majority. really. even doctors.) think that if you sleep with a fan on in your room you will die. A lot of Koreans also think that Korea is the pinnacle of culture and accomplishment. Logic here is... to be culturally sensitive, I'll say different, though having studied symbolic logic, I feel pretty comfortable saying it's just either missing or gets beat out by antiquated cultural beliefs. Ignorance and delusion are everywhere.

    6. Logistical challenges. A lot of things are a lot harder in a foreign country. Often to buy something, I have to ask a Korean friend for help. I'm not going to miss feeling like a retarded four year old.

    5. Volume and style of speech. Korean men are much worse than the women on this, though plenty of women are plenty annoying as well. Fresh from the west, you would honestly think a discussion on where to go to lunch was a boiling blood feud. Koreans love to eat and drink outside (which I love), and there's a nice spot just below my apartment window (which I don't love). For hours on end two women will sit pouring soju (the Korean version of sake, except it's vile) for men talking and yelling and interrupting and gesticulating at volumes I thought impossible. No time of day or location is off limits for this manner of communication.

    4. Confucianism. Confucius mapped out social relationships to try to produce social harmony (the ultimate goal of Confucianism) in any situation. According to Confucianism, the younger, female or lower status should be deferential and obedient, which often seems more like meek and unquestioning. I think social harmony is an admiral goal, and I think deference and humility are lacking in westerners, but the rigid way Confucianism operates in modern Korea creates manifold problems. As my coteacher (a 31 year old woman) said when she learned we wouldn't be having a retirement party for our principal (a 64 year old man) because the government found out he has been stealing money from the school, "Why does he still have job? If I am stealing, I don't have job one more day!"

    3. The staring. Maybe now I know what it's like to be a gorgeous woman. No, not the same. I am stared at constantly. This was less true (though still common) in the big city, but in this rural little town, I'd say around half of the people I see on the streets just fix their gaze on me. I almost always look back, try to summon compassion and acknowledge them. Maybe one in ten gives me a nice smile and bows back (usually the older women), the rest look away until I've stopped looking at them, and then fix their stare right back on me. What really makes this hard is what's behind the stare:

    2. Xenophobia. Korea has long been called the Hermit Kingdom and with good reason. Throughout its existence, Korea has had to fight off domination from China and empires of the Japanese, Mongolians and others. Even in modern times, Korea has remained remarkably isolated. Besides the utter unfamiliarity with anything not-Korean, there is also a deep (and historically valid) antipathy toward foreigners. I once asked three wealthy, cosmopolitan middle school students from Busan if they would allow their children to marry foreigners and all three said absolutely not. I have received a tremendous amount of kindness and welcome from Koreans, but with a few notable exceptions, there is always an element of my being not quite the same, not quite human. What I'm about to write is completely unfair -- there are so many differences and what I have faced here doesn't even enter into the same arena -- but living here has given me emotional insight into what it must have been (and be) like to be black in many times and places in the United States.

    1. Missing events and holidays at home. All of the above end when I leave in a week. But one of my best friends got married this summer, and I missed two Christmases with my family, and those are gone forever. I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had for those that I missed, but without exception, the hardest days here have been the days I have most wanted to be home.


    What do you think waegookin seonsaengnim... what would you have included that I've left out?
              Al Gore - What We Need to Do        
    In a NYTimes op-ed yesterday, Al Gore noted that the same steps can heal our economy, our planet, and our national energy security. He's not the first to say it, but it is eloquent and if the former VP says it can be so, who are we to say it can't?

    It's may be too late already -- we may have already entered a feed-forward loop that will massively alter the ecology of the planet and it make it much less pleasant for humans to live here. But in case we haven't, we must take these steps now. There is no time to waste.

    --


    What follows is a five-part plan to repower America with a commitment to producing 100 percent of our electricity from carbon-free sources within 10 years. It is a plan that would simultaneously move us toward solutions to the climate crisis and the economic crisis — and create millions of new jobs that cannot be outsourced.

    First, the new president and the new Congress should offer large-scale investment in incentives for the construction of concentrated solar thermal plants in the Southwestern deserts, wind farms in the corridor stretching from Texas to the Dakotas and advanced plants in geothermal hot spots that could produce large amounts of electricity.

    Second, we should begin the planning and construction of a unified national smart grid for the transport of renewable electricity from the rural places where it is mostly generated to the cities where it is mostly used. New high-voltage, low-loss underground lines can be designed with “smart” features that provide consumers with sophisticated information and easy-to-use tools for conserving electricity, eliminating inefficiency and reducing their energy bills. The cost of this modern grid — $400 billion over 10 years — pales in comparison with the annual loss to American business of $120 billion due to the cascading failures that are endemic to our current balkanized and antiquated electricity lines.

    Third, we should help America’s automobile industry (not only the Big Three but the innovative new startup companies as well) to convert quickly to plug-in hybrids that can run on the renewable electricity that will be available as the rest of this plan matures. In combination with the unified grid, a nationwide fleet of plug-in hybrids would also help to solve the problem of electricity storage. Think about it: with this sort of grid, cars could be charged during off-peak energy-use hours; during peak hours, when fewer cars are on the road, they could contribute their electricity back into the national grid.

    Fourth, we should embark on a nationwide effort to retrofit buildings with better insulation and energy-efficient windows and lighting. Approximately 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States come from buildings — and stopping that pollution saves money for homeowners and businesses. This initiative should be coupled with the proposal in Congress to help Americans who are burdened by mortgages that exceed the value of their homes.

    Fifth, the United States should lead the way by putting a price on carbon here at home, and by leading the world’s efforts to replace the Kyoto treaty next year in Copenhagen with a more effective treaty that caps global carbon dioxide emissions and encourages nations to invest together in efficient ways to reduce global warming pollution quickly, including by sharply reducing deforestation.

    Of course, the best way — indeed the only way — to secure a global agreement to safeguard our future is by re-establishing the United States as the country with the moral and political authority to lead the world toward a solution.

    Looking ahead, I have great hope that we will have the courage to embrace the changes necessary to save our economy, our planet and ultimately ourselves.
              Hike Above Our New Home        
    When I move to a new town, I make it a priority to get some perspective as quickly as possible by climbing the hills surrounding the place. When I moved to Boulder and climbed the beautiful red rocks above Settlers Park, I remember thinking I can't imagine living on flatland where you couldn't climb above and look down on town. Since 2000, I've lived in California, Colorado and Korea and those have suited me just fine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And a reflexology footpath, in the shape of a foot, at the bottom of the valley. They're huge on reflexology here (it's a Traditional Chinese Medicine thing). The idea, as best I understand it, is that you walk on the stone paths barefoot to stimulate the points on the bottom of your feet to enhance the flow of qi. We just got a path in front of our school, which we've taken to using after lunch, until we're dragged away by the raucous group of second grade girls that kidnaps us to the playground everyday.
              What can I do to help promote my small business with internet marketing?        

    Social media is one of the most important components of a successful internet marketing strategy for your small business. Posting updates, articles and other things on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites will help you build a customer base that will help increase traffic to your website. The number of Facebook users alone in the United States is at nearly 150 million and growing every day. In fact, the number of Facebook users in the country has increased by nearly 10 percent just in the last year along. That makes social media & internet marketing one of the most effective and far reaching forms of advertising and about 90 percent of social media users have a Facebook account and use it regularly.  314media can help with all aspects of social media and inbound marketing – complete management and reporting available for clients who wish to outsource your more common social media duties to us. Another way to achieve success when using social media marketing is to provide content that is local and relevant to your customers. Nobody wants to read about a bunch of offers, contests and other opportunities only to find out that they aren’t eligible to take advantage of ...

    The post What can I do to help promote my small business with internet marketing? appeared first on 314media.


              African american-latino relations in the 21st century: when cultures collide.         
    this provocative look at the connectionsâ€Â•and conflictsâ€Â•between latinos and african americans in the united states assesses the challenges facing both groups as they strive to achieve the american dream. latino and african american communities in the united states share neighborhoods, similar family values, and many of the same challenges faced by minorities, yet are often at odds about their distinctive cultures and position in society. This book looks at the social and political history of both groups, pointing out their differences and similarities, and explor
              Nashville Musician/Songwriter Jam        
    Tuesday / August 8, 2017 / 6:00 p.m.
    Nashville Musicians Union - 11 Music Circle North
    Nashville
    TN
    United States
    37203
    Nashville, Tennessee

    The Nashville Musician's Union presents the Musician/Songwriter Jam, a recurring event for which you need not be a union member to participate. Songwriters are encouraged to send John Mattick B.M. '80 an MP3 or link to their song, as well as a chart of their song as a PDF or JPEG to jmattick@comcast.net.

    Mattick will organize the songs and share them in advance with the musicians, who also participate. It is a great opportunity to network with other musicians and songwriters, and get experience reading charts and working in a recording-session environment without stress. All musicians and songwriters are encouraged to participate.


              Berklee + Lollapalooza        
    Thursday / August 3, 2017 / 6:00 p.m.
    2430 North Lakeview Avenue
    Chicago
    IL
    United States
    60614
    Lollapalooza

    Berklee College of Music parents Priscilla and Steven Kersten invite you to their home in Chicago, Illinois, for a community gathering of parents, alumni, and friends of the college.

    Betsy Newman, senior vice president for Student Enrollment and Engagement, and Stefanie Henning, assistant vice president for Career Strategy and Services, will attend along with other Berklee leaders.

    The evening will feature a performance by student band Lady Pills (pictured) ​in a preview of their appearance at Lollapalooza as part of the Berklee Popular Music Institute—an immersive education program that takes students from the classroom to the festival stage.

    Join us for a fun and informative evening with the local Berklee community. Appetizers and beverages will be served. Space is limited. 

    Berklee is grateful to the Kersten family for hosting this special evening.

    For more information, contact Brithney Joseph at bjoseph1@berklee.edu or 617-747-6953.

    Register

    Admission: 
    Free

              BPMI Presents:        
    Wednesday / October 25, 2017 / 7:30 p.m.
    Add to Calendar
    David Friend Recital Hall
    921 Boylston Street
    Boston
    MA
    United States
    02115

    This event is a continuation of the Berklee Popular Music Institute (BPMI) speaker series. BPMI strives to bring in innovators and leaders in the live music industry to learn about current trends in the concert and festival market.

    Admission: 
    Free

              Music Business/Management Orientation        
    Wednesday / November 8, 2017 / 6:00 p.m.
    Add to Calendar
    David Friend Recital Hall
    921 Boylston Street
    Boston
    MA
    United States
    02115

    This annual orientation for new and prospective music business/management students features a keynote address from alumni and networking with leaders of all student activities connected with the major.

    Admission: 
    Free

              Effortless Mastery Institute Presents: Kenny Werner        
    Tuesday / October 24, 2017 / 7:30 p.m.
    Add to Calendar
    David Friend Recital Hall
    921 Boylston Street
    Boston
    MA
    United States
    02115
    Kenny Werner
    Image courtesy of the artist

    Kenny Werner, artistic director of the Effortless Mastery Institute, believes that mastery is available to everyone. An accomplished jazz pianist, he uses his life story and experiences to explore the barriers to creativity and mastery of music. His book, Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within, is one of the most widely read books on music and improvisation, and has helped thousands of musicians around the world unlock their talent and potential.

    Admission: 
    Free

              Evening with Entrepreneurs        
    Wednesday / October 18, 2017 / 6:30 p.m.
    Add to Calendar
    David Friend Recital Hall
    921 Boylston Street
    Boston
    MA
    United States
    02115

    This annual event features a panel of successful music business entrepreneurs.

    Admission: 
    Free

              Music Education Symposium        
    Monday / October 16, 2017 / 9:00 a.m.
    Add to Calendar
    David Friend Recital Hall
    921 Boylston Street
    Boston
    MA
    United States
    02115

    The 2017 Music Education Symposium will feature guest speakers and opportunities for students and faculty to learn about using technology in music education settings with special-needs students.

    Admission: 
    Free

              11-Year-Old Sues Federal Government To Legalize Medical Marijuana; ‘I’m Doing What I Consider Pretty Well – 866 Days Seizure Free’        
    An 11-year-old girl from Rowlett is taking on the United States government by suing them over medical marijuana.
              Program Director, Vaccine Research & Development        
    NY-Pearl River, Job Title: Program Director, Vaccine Research & Development Target Openings: 1 Locations: United States-New York-Pearl River Role Description Provide overall project management expertise for Vaccine Research & Development (VRD) Program Teams to ensure creation of strategic and operational objectives from early (lead) development through licensure of the product. Ensure the operational deliverables
              Blog Post: Beyond: Two Souls        

    I'm going to try not to talk about David Cage's or Quantic Dream's past or previous projects such as Indigo Prophecy or Heavy Rain. I know that in some ways- and in more ways than one, Beyond: Two Souls resembles these games- mostly Heavy Rain, but it is a completely new ballgame in other ways as well. Sure, I might use a few easy to grasp examples from Heavy Rain- but that'll be about it, as I do not wish to ruin that particular story for anyone who may or may not have played or finished it. However, I will say that I was not a particularly big fan of Heavy Rain, and I actually enjoyed Beyond  a little bit more than that game- if not for its storytelling, then for its overarching story and minimal on-screen prompts during gameplay. While I did not so much like the classic Cage contextual prompts in Heavy Rain as much, despite enjoying that story more- the opposite was true here, as I didn't so much stick by the story as I did the better integrated prompts and controls. Despite their inherent lack of realism, I must admit that Cage/Quantic Dream games are quite good at what they do best- crafting a beautiful world and an engaging control scheme to explore it with.

    I promise this is really the only direct line I'll say about Heavy Rain in relation to Beyond: Two Souls, but it really must be said in order to explain the themes of this game- so, sorry. There is a massive feeling of parental guidance and lack thereof in both games- from Ethan Mars and, in Beyond, Nathan Dawkins. While one deals directly with losing his son and then (possibly) recovering him later, the inverse happens throughout the plot of Beyond: Two Souls, and Dr. Dawkins serves almost as a mentoring and parental figure to Jodie for some time. Many of the same themes carry over from Heavy Rain into Beyond: Two Souls, however, Beyond also manages to stand on its own shaky feet as its own unique story which can have several different interpretations depending upon your choices throughout. The main, significant and stalwart theme of the game is one that follows (erratically, mind you) the life of Jodie Holmes and her paranormal companion Aiden. While some would argue that she is being held as a psychiatric and physical captive by Cole Freeman and Nathan Dawkins- her two doctors and later friends, I personally believe that their eagerness to learn of her communicative abilities with Aiden and obsession with the nether realm (for each their own reasons) serves as a more interesting tale than captivity.

    Without (hopefully) spoiling too terribly much for you, Jodie's saga will take her from a child to a young woman, from the United States all the way to China, and from the deep sea to covert CIA deep cover facilities. In typical and slightly overbearing David Cage style, the story- or what there is cinematically told, I should say, is quite bizarre even for a paranormal, omnipresent, omniscient sidekick being in it- and is a globetrotting extravaganza that can be very confusing when taken out of order as it is. Then again, while I respect his ideas and games, I've never really enjoyed Cage's writing style so much- or his abilities rather at all. He would be a better film and cinematic director than he would be a true author, which is basically what he is currently anyway. While he often nails the tone throughout the plot, the overly dramatic conversations that don't need to be made so are often very awkwardly handled- although I can't say Page and Dafoe and the other seasoned vets didn't impress me, because that'd be a lie. The performances are solid, but some moments still fall through due mainly to the writing- especially the unbelievable ones. It's truly a moving game- in terms of the speed with which it jumps around the plot, and the places you'll go and people you'll see. For example, Jodie and Aiden go from being interned at the DPA (Department of Paranormal Activity) to covert missions with special operatives of the Central Intelligence Agency, to coexisting with local Native Americans and exploring the otherworld filled with malevolent and benevolent spirits. Oh the places you will go...

    Sorry, but I'm going to make another quick little allusion to Heavy Rain again here- bear with me for a moment. The basic gameplay components are quite similar to Heavy Rain's analog presses and twists, quick-time button choices for decisions and actions, and worldly indicators as opposed to actual flashing prompts. While Beyond feels like more of a real experience than Heavy Rain due to its lack of on-screen HUD-like prompts, despite its less believable setting, it still has the occasional popup here and there as well, but covers most scenarios well enough by making players guess what to do. As usual, this provides somewhat of an incredibly challenging and semi-frustrating experience at times, but one I was ultimately, overall, pleased with by the finale. Don't worry yourself too much about the scattered action segments and your reactions to them, as the game will slow time just enough briefly to allow you the appropriate time to react. Still, it's a short window of opportunity, so take advantage of it before desperately lashing out or tackling your foes. All in all, that's a pretty scarily immersive experience.

    The biggest gameplay and game changer is the fact that you also have the ability to control Aiden, Jodie's ghostly friend, at certain times throughout the story. Mind you, this isn't a free choice to switch like it is in Grand Theft Auto V, but rather a documented and scripted changeover. Which is fine, because the gameplay elements themselves make it all the more interesting to compare two drastically different control schemes between Jodie's and Aiden's. You can possess enemies, float seamlessly through objects and walls, throw objects, move things a la Poltergeist, and even peer into the past memories of those you encounter. Needless to say, Aiden is a busy little fella, and a pretty handy guy to have around helping. Despite these thrills however, your experiences are bound to be limited in some ways in terms of puzzles and learning how to perform new tasks as the entity. For example, you might not be able to choke every single enemy out or possess them all because the game wants you to experiment and try something new each time. Thus, annoyingly enough, some enemies are immune to your greatest advances. Still, it's a truly exciting experience even if it is flawed- kind of like the game.

    Whereas it could have been truly artsy and not flawed in other ways, Beyond's greatest mistake lies in its design choice and narrative choice to try to compete with the biggest action titles out there. The fact that it's a paranormal adventure story gives it a leg up at first, but also serves as its greatest bar- holding the game back from ever reaching its true potential. Sadly, instead of relying- again, I'll mention it- on the mundane tasks that got Heavy Rain's points across, Beyond tries to hard to make you feel the tense action of covert attacks and assassinations instead of the simple things. The stereotypical CIA as the bad guy/good guy/can't decide idea comes into play, the infiltration of some secret underwater base comes into play, and much more. As interesting as these action-y sequences are, and as much fun as I had completing the more action-packed memories and moments, I always had to remember to take the with the customary grain of sand/salt- a very large one in this case. Throughout most action segments, the conversation we've come to believe shapes the story is essentially nonexistent, or lacks the creative punch I was expecting. Some things can drastically alter you story, but not as many factors as I would have thought would in such settings and scenarios as I encountered with Jodie and Aiden.

    Overall, the story is what gets the most confusing for me, and probably for most people. When I broke it down, and also referred to Wikipedia for the chronology of events, it was a lot easier to stomach. However, as it was- muddled, jumbled, and otherwise penned sporadically as Cage imagined it, it lacks the punch it would otherwise have delivered. If we could cut out some of the truly extraneous and meaningless parts, then sure, it'd be a bit shorter- but it would've been so much more meaningful to me as a player and it would've let me experience things relatively unbroken alongside Jodie and Aiden. It's a really big shame, and weighs heavily on me, because the acting was superb in most cases, and there were some really tough moments to get through both emotionally and thoughtfully. I'll admit, I could feel Jodie's pain at times, and I actually enjoyed the two different endings I experienced- of the six or so main endings. There are some moments of power amidst the story, but as with a weaker gale, it just couldn't topple any sturdy structures of video game worth.

    Despite it trying its hardest to cajole gamers into agreeing politically (although quite subconsciously at times) with what must be either Quantic or Cage's opinions on matters- such as the treatment of the homeless and natives, as well as the two-facedness of the CIA and intelligence agencies- Beyond was truly both an enlightening and enjoyable experience for me. As Matt said however, I'll always remember it as definitely brilliant, yet incredibly flawed in some important ways. It doesn't overall reflect too poorly upon it's score, as it was enjoyable enough- but it's still disappointing...

    Concept: Tell the story of Jodie Holmes and her connection to the omnipresent and omniscient entity Aiden through a sporadic tale covering most of her life and bridging several worlds, uncovering some surprisingly deep revelations along the way. A true story of finding yourself as much as finding quality and acceptance in others.

    Graphics: Excellently rendered animations and character models, only pulled down in some instances by weaker parallels in still models within the environments. The cinematic work is unparalleled in my opinion, for the most part.

    Sound: Between the haunting and minimalistic melodies and the star studded cast, it's truly hard to find fault with what is present for sound quality.

    Playability: The quick time contextual sequences work out much more fluidly than in previous Quanitc Dream games utilizing similar sequences of control, however the action moments can often make players lost and disoriented- which, while somewhat intended, can still be quite annoying at times when wrestling with control and chaos.

    Entertainment: Despite falling down in the story and gameplay department at times, the game comes together well and has its genuinely impressive and deeply thought-provoking moments of fear, bravery, trust, and sadness.

    Replay Value: High.

    Overall Score: 8.5


              All Mosquitoes are Not the Same When it Comes to Zika        
    Author: Sid Baccam, Computational Epidemiologist, IEM By now, we all know that Zika virus can be spread to humans through pesky mosquito bites. But why should we care only about specific mosquitoes? Aren’t all mosquitoes the same? Actually, there are more than 3,500 species of mosquitoes, 175 of which are found in the United States, […]
              New immigration bill called radical and not proemployment        
    The new immigration bill President Donald Trump touts as a way to “restore our competitive edge in the 21st century” calls for cutting immigration levels in half over a decade and creating a points-based system that favors highly educated and skilled immigrants with English ability over those with family in the United States. The bill […]
              March in March to End Violence Against Women        

    Almost one year ago I wrote in this same spot about a rally that UN Women for Peace organized which aimed at Ending Violence Against Women. This week, we are kicking off our seconds “March in March” and for the same cause. Despite local and global efforts to end domestic violence and sexual abuse of women, the pandemic continues to persist all around us, including here in the United States. In conflict zones, the various forms of violence against women are tools of submission and coercion, not to mention humiliation.

    The post March in March to End Violence Against Women appeared first on United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).


              Showbiz Sandbox 365: As Cord-Cutting Grows, Media Company Revenue Falls        

    Media company stocks took a beating last week with a one-two punch from cord-cutting and a soft ad market. The first quarter of 2017 saw pay cable subscriptions fall by over 700,000 in the United States, the largest ever such loss. This has caused some concern that cord-cutting has accelerated just as major advertisers have […]

    The post Showbiz Sandbox 365: As Cord-Cutting Grows, Media Company Revenue Falls appeared first on Showbiz Sandbox.


              Netflix Streaming Coming To Canada        
    Netflix has announced plans to bring the popular Netflix Streaming service to Canada later this year, the move marks the first availability for the service outside of the United States. The service will initially launch only in English although support for French will arrive at a later date. The service will allow Canadian users to [...]
              Showbiz Sandbox 343: Teamsters Play a Big Role on Broadway        

    The theater world is presently embroiled in major contractual battles over pay, benefits and credits. The last group you’d ever think would be leading the charge is the Teamsters, who represent a large number of theater, television and film workers, including casting directors. Turns out, if you want to produce entertainment in the United States, […]

    The post Showbiz Sandbox 343: Teamsters Play a Big Role on Broadway appeared first on Showbiz Sandbox.


              Showbiz Sandbox 337: Streaming Comes to the Rescue of the Music Industry (Sort Of)        

    After more than a decade in decline, the sale of recorded music in the United States is set to grow for the second straight year thanks to increased revenue earned from music streaming services such as Spotify. Even so, the music industry is taking in half of what it earned at its peak late 1990s […]

    The post Showbiz Sandbox 337: Streaming Comes to the Rescue of the Music Industry (Sort Of) appeared first on Showbiz Sandbox.


              Showbiz Sandbox 330: Rio Olympics Faces Competition for TV Viewers        

    The 2016 Summer Olympics are underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and there are more ways to watch the games than ever before. In the United States, NBC is broadcasting 6,800 hours of coverage from Rio across 11 television channels and 41 live online streams. We look at the declining TV ratings and whether all […]

    The post Showbiz Sandbox 330: Rio Olympics Faces Competition for TV Viewers appeared first on Showbiz Sandbox.


              F1 2012-FLT - UPafile        
    F1 ( Formula 1 ) 2012-FairLight
    Release Date: 18/09/2012
    Mirrors: PutLocker | UPaFile | BillionUploads
    COPYRIGHT : KOS KOMPUTER

    FREE Download PC Game F1 2012 Full Version - Racing presents F1 2012, the next game in the BAFTA-winning series featuring all the official drivers, teams and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. Learn the basics and master the challenge of driving the best machines on the planet in the Young Driver Test Experience the next generation in weather system technology where storm fronts move across the circuits, soaking specific areas of the track, as well as racing around the all-new Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, home of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX. Two new quick fire game options: Season Challenge, a complete Career in just 10 races, and Champions Mode Scenarios, where you test your skills against the very best, complete an exciting line up of gaming options which also includes a 5 year Career, Co-op Championship, 16 Player Multiplayer & Time Attack Scenarios.

    Features
    • Formula One returns to the USA in 2012 at the all new Circuit of the Americas, located in Austin, Texas, and players can drive on the circuit ahead of the track?s debut in November.
    • Gamers will be introduced to the world of Formula One and learn the nuances of how to drive a Formula One car by taking part in the all-new Young Drivers Test at Abu Dhabi?s Yas Marina.
    • Codemasters? Formula One series has set the standard for weather in racing games and players will be able to experience new enhancements that will raise the bar further in F1 2012
    • F1 2012 will feature all-new lap walkthroughs from Formula One test driver and Codemasters technical consultant Anthony Davidson.
    • Expected to attract 120,000 fans on race day, the Circuit of the Americas will be a spectacular addition to the Formula One calendar and will be recreated in full high definition in F1 2012
    Screenshot

    Minimum System Requirements
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.4 Ghz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+
    • Memory: 2 Gb
    • Hard Drive: 15 Gb free
    • Video Memory: 256 Mb
    • Video Card: nVidia GeForce 8600 / ATI Radeon HD 2600
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
    • DirectX: 9.0c
    • Keyboard
    • Mouse
    Recommended System Requirements
    • OS: Windows Vista/7
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 @ 2.66 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.0 GHz
    • Memory: 4 Gb
    • Hard Drive: 15 Gb free
    • Video Memory: 1 Gb
    • Video Card: nVidia GeForce GTX 560 / ATI Radeon HD 6850
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
    • DirectX: 9.0c
    • Keyboard
    • Mouse
    Update Link download (15-04-2013)
    Mirror via PutLocker
    Mirror via UPaFile
    Mirror via BillionUploads
    Password: koskomputer.blogspot.com
    Installation
    1. Unrar
    2. Mount or Burn it
    3. Install the game
    4. Play

    Info
    1. PL, UPa, BU Interchangeable Link
    2. Total part: 14 / 400 MB
    3. Total file : 5.34 GB / 5.30 GB Compressed

              The 10 Steps to Impeach a PresidentIt won’t be easy to impeach...        


    The 10 Steps to Impeach a President

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    It may come in handy.


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


    THE ART OF THE (TRUMP AND PUTIN) DEAL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


              Local Beer Fans “Outraged” by Hill Farmstead Availability        
    The following is a 100% fake, satirical news story. IT’S A JOKE, PEOPLE! TROY, NY – Hill Farmstead, a small brewery located on a farm in northern Vermont, has taken the craft beer world by storm in recent years. Consistently voted Best Brewery in both the United States and in the Milky Way Galaxy by
              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
              Ergun Caner Agrees with Kevin Ezell on Bloggers in the Basement        
    In recent days, Kevin Ezell, the new President of the North American Mission Board, came under attack for comments he made to his congregation about bloggers. The Associated Baptist Press first reported the statement Ezell made to his congregation prior to his election as NAMB President. Ezell told Highview Baptist Church:
    Because of the visibility of the position, there are people across the United States who want to look for things that perhaps I do not do as well or they think we should do different, and perhaps be critical of myself or of Highview, just to try to get their name in the paper,” he said. “Typically those are bloggers who live with their mother and wear a housecoat during the day. Just ignore them, but I apologize if you are hurt by anything that they might say about me or indirectly about you.
    Quickly the news spread and was picked up by SBC Voices where he was criticized by blogger Dave Miller and many of his readers. Additionally, other Southern Baptist bloggers like Peter Lumpkins and Wade Burleson blasted Ezell for his words as well. On Monday, September 27th, James R. White of Alpha & Omega Ministries posted a video regarding recent comments of a similar nature made by Ergun Caner, the former President of Liberty Theological Seminary who was removed from his position earlier this year for what a Liberty University investigative committee called "factual statements that are self-contradictory." White referenced David McGee's article published by the Media General News Service on September 25th, entitled, "Caner Defends Background in Bristol Speech", in which Ergun Caner, speaking after his appearance at Bristol’s (VA.) 12th annual prayer breakfast at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, made the following statement regarding bloggers:
    We saw it (controversy) coming. My brothers and I have been dealing with it for years. This just happened to bounce big, and I paid no attention. News means little to me, and the Web is — well, bloggers for the most part — are just frustrated people in their basements.
    With Kevin Ezell being roundly criticized by many in the Baptist Identity camp, will these same men and women, who previously backed Caner during the height of his controversy, now in turn criticize him for the essentially same comments? Will this even make news in Southern Baptist circles? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I've got to get out of the basement - I have ministry to do.
              John Kerry Reporting For Duty Once Again        
    Unfortunately, Kerry's duty these days includes offending the very Americans he claimed to want to serve two years ago and misrepresenting the facts about his own country. After Kerry's claim of a "botched joke" pretty much did in his potential 2008 Presidential run, he now seems to be in a full spiral downhill. This week the "John Kerry Self-Destruction Tour" stopped off in Davos, Switzerland, where the world's leaders are gathering for the World Economic Forum.

    Kerry, while sharing the stage with the former President of Iran Mohammad Khatami during a discussion entitled, "The Future of the Middle East," took the opportunity on foreign soil nonetheless, to blast away at American foreign policy. Kerry said, "So we have a crisis of confidence in the Middle East - in the world, really. I've never seen our country as isolated, as much as a sort of international pariah for a number of reasons as it is today." He added, "When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto, when we are irresponsibly slow in moving toward AIDS in Africa, when we don't advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy."

    What's most hypocritical and duplicitous about this statement is that Kerry actually favored not ratifying the Kyoto treaty, along with the rest of the Senate in 1995. In a unanimous 95-0 vote, the Senate passed the Byrd-Hagel Resolution, which stated the following:
    Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that--
    (1) the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, at negotiations in Kyoto in December 1997, or thereafter, which would--
    (A) mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex I Parties, unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period, or
    (B) would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States; and
    (2) any such protocol or other agreement which would require the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification should be accompanied by a detailed explanation of any legislation or regulatory actions that may be required to implement the protocol or other agreement and should also be accompanied by an analysis of the detailed financial costs and other impacts on the economy of the United States which would be incurred by the implementation of the protocol or other agreement.

    Additionally, Bill Clinton never submitted Kyoto to the Senate to be ratified and even Al Gore admitted that he would not ratify an ammendment until it had been written to include developing nations as well.

    So basically, Kerry voted against it before he voted for it. Duplicity and Hypocricy - John Kerry style. So to recap - Kerry lied and whined - all on foreign soil. What a great American!
              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.

     


              Newly-discovered documents on Fr. Raphael Morgan        

    We’ve devoted a fair amount of attention here at OrthodoxHistory.org to Fr. Raphael Morgan, the first black Orthodox priest in America. Very briefly: Morgan was born in Jamaica, traveled widely, and eventually became an Episcopalian deacon in the United States. In 1907, after many years of study, he traveled to Constantinople and was received into…

    The post Newly-discovered documents on Fr. Raphael Morgan appeared first on OrthodoxHistory.org.


              First Pradaxa Side Effects Lawsuits Filed By Watts Guerra Craft LLP        

    The product liability and dangerous drug lawyers of Watts Guerra Craft LLP have filed the first three federal Pradaxa injury and death cases in the country. Mikal C. Watts and Ryan L. Thompson are proud to handle what is believed to be the largest Pradaxa injury and wrongful death docket in the United States.

    (PRWeb March 06, 2012)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Pradaxa-Lawyers/Mikal-Watts/prweb9259578.htm


              Central Falls Mayor Diossa Calls for More Syrian Refugees        
    Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, a Democrat, has joined mayors from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and 14 other cities in saying they are ready and willing to accept even more refugees than the Obama administration has proposed. In a letter to the president, the mayors said, ``We will welcome the Syrian families to make homes and new lives in our cities.’’ ``Indeed, we are writing to say that we stand ready to work with your administration to do much more and to urge you to increase still further the number of Syrian refugees the United States the United States will accept for resettlement,’’ the letter stated. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake all signed the letter. ``We have taken in refugees, and will help make room for thousands more,’’ stated the letter. ``This is because the U.S. has developed a robust screening and background check that assures us that
              The New Health Care: The U.S. Is Failing in Infant Mortality, Starting at One Month Old        
    The United States does worse than about two dozen other industrialized nations in this crucial measure of public health.
              How To Connect Azsky Dongles to Qsat Q13G, Q23G & Speed HD S1        

    I will wish to acquaint United States with the processes / steps concerned in connecting your azsky dongle(or similar operating dongles) to qsat q13g, q23g and speed hd s1. there’s […]

    The post How To Connect Azsky Dongles to Qsat Q13G, Q23G & Speed HD S1 appeared first on Latest updates on satellite world in Africa.


              A conversation with General Pace        
    Last month, I was thrilled to attend a talk hosted by Peter Pace, former Chairman of the U.S Joint Chiefs of Staff at JP Morgan's headquarters in New York City. During a Q&A session that followed the main talk, he fielded some good questions from investment bankers in the audience. The last question he answered was about which threats to American security kept him up at night. 


    His response surprised me. 


    First he listed things that you would expect, such as the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, political instability in Africa and the Middle East, the rise of China, the craziness of North Korea, the specter of general nuclear proliferation. Then he went back over each of these things and explained why they do not bother him too, too much. 


    What really bother him, he said, is the threat of cyber attackThe United States is extremely vulnerable to cyber weapons, he said. He mentioned that large firms like JP Morgan no doubt have the resources to protect themselves a bit from these threats. [Word on the street has it that they do this by hiring people straight out of the CIA and NSA]. But that smaller firms have no such protection, and it is in the best interest of everyone for large corporations and the US government work on security gaps together. 



    He said the advent of cyber weapons will have the same impact on relationships between nations as nuclear weapons has. Unlike nuclear weapons, however, thousands of cyber attacks occur each day. He knows what the United States could do to launch a cyber attack and knows what the country cannot defend against. Nation states have generally practiced self-deterrence and do not want a cyber attack launched against them. 
    It is not nation states that concern him as much as small terrorist groups. He said that small groups of individuals have the power to launch the sort of actions that only nation states could just a few years ago. 
    After the talk, I introduced myself to him as an Iraq veteran, which I hoped would soften him up a bit so I could pepper him with questions. When I asked him what kind of books or articles I could read in order to understand all this better from an insurance perspective, he said that the scene changes so fast that anything more than two years old is out-dated. He told me that updating your reading every two weeks was more like it. This all raised more questions than it answered. What sort of redundancies should web-based businesses develop, so that they can weather any conceivable storm???
    I welcome anyone's thoughts on this.

              What is Cyber Insurance?        

    Cyber insurance protects businesses against the hazards of Data Risk. 

     Data is the most valuable asset for most businesses, and data breach is one of the biggest risks. Cyber insurance protects you from a range of costs that you could incur in the event of a data breach. Business interruption costs. The costs of reconstructing data, defending against lawsuits, providing notifications to people whose data has been compromised all fall under this category. The laws regarding these issues are constantly evolving. There are 46 states with separate laws for information risk. There are federal laws, and international laws that are starting to surpass laws in the United States.

    Don't think that by writing this article we intend to generate fear, the way that insurance companies normally do. We are here for the opposite reason, to make you informed and confident.

    Examples of data breach include scenarios such as posting sensitive data on your website, breach of customer privacy, intellectual property infringement, virus transmission between computers, employees who lose their laptops or flash drives containing sensitive information, computer malfunction/ employee action that distributes customer information by mass e-mail.   

    If your business uses a computer system, you are exposed to data risk every day. If you have a website, you are also in the publishing business, whether you intend to be or not, and anyone can access your content. If your business collects or handles confidential information (like home addresses, social security numbers, people’s names, credit card or bank account details), you are legally responsible for what is done with that info. If you have employees, and you gather their personal information to provide benefits, you are responsible for what happens to that info.


    The size of your company does not protect you, especially if you Outsource


    Large banks, retailers, and healthcare organizations are known to have this kind of exposure, but so does every other business. Being small or outsourcing to a third party doesn’t isolate you from exposure. Smaller enterprises may be more at risk than large ones. Big firms can usually take a hit and absorb some losses if they don’t have the right coverage in place. But a smaller company that takes a hit like this can be put out of business. 



    If you use third party vendors, you are not safe. 


    Companies that use third party vendors to handle some of their data – whether it is payroll or customer information – still have exposure. If you collect the data from individuals, you may use vendors to do certain things with it, but the law still looks to you to comply with the issues.


    Can you afford Cyber Insurance?


    The form you fill out for cyber insurance provides a self-assessment for your current risk situation. The best insurance providers in this field give you access to a stable of professionals who specialize in crisis management, law, and front line breach coaching. When losses do occur, people tend to panic. They realize their reputation is now on the line and the customers and competitors will start to pick up on it. Premiums for run from $2,000 to $5,000 for a million dollars of coverage. Policies in that range that will get you an advocate and a response team to help with any incident. As a smaller company, you want to make sure that someone responds because you don’t have employees on staff who are able to devote their full time to cyber loss forensics.












              Comeback        
    Hi everyone! I'd like to use this as an introductory post of sorts. I have been in the blogging world for two years. Lately, I feel like I have failed myself as a blogger. I do not update as much as I should. I barely post reviews. Even without my slumps, I haven't reviewed all the books I have read. Also, I have not given my readers a clear idea of who I am. So, I decided I need to changed! All this week, I will have reviews, posts about myself, and a big contest at the end! More so, I will continue to maintain my blog to the way I want it too. :)

    To begin, I will introduce myself. My name is Krista, and I am 18 years old. I live in Georgia, United States, and I just started college in Atlanta. I have always been an avid reader. Two years ago, I wandered upon some book blogs and thought, why not? Well, two years later, here I am? Aside from reading, I like food, photos, movies, and music (who doesn't like music?). Below is a picture of myself:


    Yay for built-in webcams on macbooks!
              temporary destinations        

    TEMPORARY DESTINATIONS


    ok...

    meine bruder and i have arrived to what i will call the "cleanest country" on earth. germany is frickin' beautiful! i haven't walked the terraced patties of the far east yet, but just like hagen daas knows what the hell they are doing with ice cream, german farmers understand how to plant. damn...the womb of the world, i tell you.

    i'm a little surly right now. we have spent long times getting our arses over here and already i'm brainstorming what i can do without...can a man really live without underwear and a pair of jeans? definitely not ready to ditch the denim, but my shoulders can not carry what i have packed. anyway, this town that we woke up in this morning...magdeburg - is the first of many temporary destinations. i am a pilgrim...with a pogostick. so perhaps, we could call me a "pogrim". nonetheless, i am embarking on epic journey with this iron beast. where am i going? i don't know, i am only on the way. perhaps i have don quixote delusions but i am determined to contribute to the good times vibration here on this durable planet. i have seen the fruits of facilitating playfulness throughout the united states this past year and thanks to the wonderful people at flybar (www.flybar.com) -david jargowsky & bruce turk- i will continue to pogo for peace, laughs, food, lodging, learning, faith, hope, and love through this part of the earth. keep your ear to the ground and your eyes to the jumbo screens of berlin to catch the beginning tremors of yet another tasty drop in the ocean of love.

    ~donnie



              Is Inaccurate Data Destroying Your Customer Relationships?        
    Customer data come into your organization from every touch point, both physical and virtual—numbers, names, order histories, website preferences. These data are the lifeblood of most organizations today. Like real blood, however, data can become contaminated; when that happens, your organization suffers. Dirty Data Are Pandemic Inaccurate customer data probably already exist in your system. Experts across industry estimate that inaccurate data affect as many as 22 to 35 percent of businesses in the United States today. Think about the credit card industry. How many times have you received multiple credit card offers from the same company? Do you already have a card with that company? Another example is when […]
              Is Duterte Warming to the United States?        
    Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, who blasted the United States repeatedly in 2016, and has r

              The United States and North Korea: Time for a New Approach        
    Douglas Mo is an intern at the Council on Foreign Relations and a rising senior at Colby Coll

              Bees        
    Europeanhoneybee I haven't posted much for a variety of reasons, but mainly I have been doing yard work and gardening. (This post was actually begun in early April.) We had a late frost and very long, cold winter here in socal- for us anyway - which led to a later start than in many previous years. Chores ranged from dead-heading frost damaged plants to prep work and actual planting of seeds and starter plants in the veggie garden, and potting up plants for the local garden club's plant sale. I sadly lost about half of my orchids as a result of a week or 2 with lows in the high teens, which made my yard work less satisfying.

    One thing that had me very concerned was the lack of bees in my citrus trees. Years ago we had so many bumblebees that lived on the hillside behind us that collected pollen from our property, until a housing development had to go in. (I plant to attract insects and birds yearlong.) With six assorted citrus in bloom and nary a bee in sight, I was very worried. However, I noticed my apricot and plum trees has baby fruits, so I was hoping the bees would come again. Thankfully, after 2 weeks without seeing a single bee, the bees slowly arrived. It was too late to order bees for my area so I was very relieved! Believe me, when you have millions of heavenly citrus flowers perfuming the air and do not see even one bee, you get worried. Especially this year... (Subject reference books are listed at end of post.)

    If you haven't heard about the sudden drastic decline in the honeybee population, it is a real crisis. There are many reasons why bees die ( A few reasons being diseases, pests, pesticides GMO crops, natural disasters, etc.) but in the last year or two colony collapse disorder is at the root of the current crisis. The bees seem to completely disappear from the face of the earth as if they have been abducted by aliens or pulled up to God in an insect version of the rapture. The problem is worldwide and no one seems to know why.

    As "smart" as man believes he/she is, we rarely are when we try to improve on Mother Nature. Since the "Better Living Through Chemistry" campaign began, man has made many things worse as well as better.

    The "honeybee" is not native to many places in the world, but everywhere with flowering plants has its native bees. We have seen fit to eliminate, or almost decimate, many of the native species through one means or another. These same native species may have to be our saviours if colony collapse disorder continues to near extinction.

    An excellent natural remedy to boost native bees can be read in the "San Francisco Chronicle: Time for a new approach to crop pollination by Deborah K. Rich, Special to The Chronicle, Saturday, May 21, 2005

    Recognizing the very real threat of crop failure that our dependence upon a single species of bee poses, researchers are coaching pollinator understudies. The blue orchard bee (also known as the orchard mason bee) is proving a cooperative pollinator of some early blooming orchard crops, and the bumble bee is helping to pollinate hot-house tomatoes.

    Still, it may be time -- while there still is time -- for another approach entirely. The United States is home to 4,000 bee species, of which 1, 500 are found in California, to say nothing of the many moth, fly, wasp and butterfly species that also assist with pollination."

    Everyone who gardens can help. How-tos can be found at The Xerxes Society's Pollinator Conservation Program pages and at the USDA.

    For those of you who wish to read more on bees, the following books can be found at your local independent bookstore or on the net from a worldwide indie by searching by author and/or title at Bookfinder or ADDALL.
    Honey Bee Pests, Predators and Diseases by Roger A. Morse
    Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind by Stephen Buchmann
    Bees In America: How The Honey Bee Shaped A Nation by Tammy Horn
    Bee diseases: Cause and Treatment by Eugene E Killion
    The Queen Must Die and Other Affairs of Bees and Men by William Longgood
    The Life and Times of the Honeybee by Charles Micucci (children's)
    The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons (children's)
    Langstroth's Hive and the Honey-Bee: The Classic Beekeeper's Manual by L. L. Langstroth
    The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture: An Encyclopedia of Beekeeping by Roger Morse (a classic!)
    Bees & Honey: From Flower to Jar by Michael Weiler
    Fifty Years Among the Bees by C. C. Miller (another classic)
    The Dance, Language, and Orientation of Bees by Karl von Frisch
              American traveling to Colombia- Safety concerns?        
    I am traveling to Colombia for 10 days and I have a concern as far as safety while traveling, not during my stay. I am hispanic, I just happen to live in the United States and I have an American passport. I am paraguayan so I do speak spanish. My main concern using my US passport. I was told by a certain anonymous that showing my US passport might pose a danger for me while being in the airport. I was also told that they call Americans "ransom". I think this person is trying to scare me rather than help me feel better about any safety concerns so I just want to know what are the "real" concerns an american should have when going to Colombia. Again, I do speak spanish so the only way you could figure out that I do live in the US is based on my passport.

    I will only be at the airport in Bogota for an hour or so, my final destination is Bucaramanga where I have friends that I'm visiting. I will be picked up by one of my friends at the airport in Bucaramanga, so should I still be as concerned? I'm a girl who is traveling by myself and I'm 20.
              All about the Ensemble Singing Intensive with Loren Ludwig        

    Loren Ludwig talks about how a viol player got interested in creating a singning program at Amherst.

    Loren Ludwig


    Over the last year, Emily Eagen and I and the AEM executive committee have been working to plan the Ensemble Singing Intensive (ESI), a week-long program for singers who want to focus on one-on-a-part ensemble singing. There is a vast, gorgeous repertory of one-on-a-part vocal music from the late Medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque periods (roughly 1400-1700) that includes madrigals, chansons, masses, motets, and various sorts of partsongs. A relatively small sliver of this music gets performed by vocal ensembles, and even less of it gets performed one-on-a-part.


    As a viol player, I find this situation sort of strange. When viol players get together, they play consort music--the instrumental equivalent of madrigals, motets, and partsongs (a lot of the so-called viol consort" repertory is made up of instrumental versions of English and Italian madrigals and motets). In fact, _the reason_ lots of viol players play the viol is so that they can play one-on-a-part music with each other! I _love_ playing consort music, and even though I'm not a particularly capable singer, I love singing (or trying to) one-on-a-part music.

    So why isn't there more one-on-a-part singing in the United States? Of course, it's not totally unknown. There are groups like Lionheart, Anonymous 4, New York Polyphony, and others that perform and record one-on-a-part polyphony. Also, madrigal singing is still a favorite activity of a shrinking group of dedicated enthusiasts. But given the amount of great one-on-a-part vocal polyphony that survives from centuries past--music that was designed, in most cases, to be fun to sing--why don't we hear more of it when singers congregate? There is no shortage of singers and no shortage of music!

    Ensemble music making creates community among its participants and needs that community to thrive. ESI was designed to focus on one-on-a-part ensemble singing--to give singers a chance to work with like minded folks and with some amazing faculty who have lots of experience with the particular pleasures and challenges of rehearsing and performing this repertory. One-on-a-part music making, even for experienced musicians, takes practice, but it's also sort of addictive.

    I'm hoping that this initiative will fill a need no other workshop addresses. There are workshops that focus on choral singing (not one-on-a-part) and Baroque music/opera (not ensemble singing), but none that really digs deep into the early music vocal repertory. I'm also hoping that ESI helps generate a sense of community among singers who love to sing the still little-known repertory of one-on-a-part early music.

     


              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).

    .

              Fukushima hot particle update        
    SUBHEAD: New study of hot particles shows full radiation risks from Fukushima meltdowns are not recorded.

    By Arne Gundersen on 27 July 2017 for Fairwinds Associates -
    (http://www.fairewinds.org/newsletter-archive//press-release-radioactively-hot-particles-in-japan)


    Image above: Scientist gathers particle sample along curb in Japan for radioactive analysis. Photo by Mikeo Kawasaki. From (http://audioslides.elsevier.com/viewersmall.aspx?doi=10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.091&source=0).

    Today, the scientific journal Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN) published a peer-reviewed article entitled: Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis and implications in radiation risk assessment.

    Co-authored by Dr. Marco Kaltofen, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education, the article details the analysis of radioactively hot particles collected in Japan following the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns.                          

    Highlights

    • Radioactive particles from Fukushima are tracked via dusts, soils, and sediments.
    • Radioactive dust impacts are tracked in both Japan and the United States/Canada.
    • Atypically-radioactive particles from reactor cores are identified in house dusts.
    • Scanning electron microscopy with X-ray analysis is used for forensic examinations.

    Based on 415 samples of radioactive dust from Japan, the USA, and Canada, the study identified a statistically meaningful number of samples that were considerably more radioactive than current radiation models anticipated. If ingested, these more radioactive particles increase the risk of suffering a future health problem.

    “Measuring radioactive dust exposures can be like sitting by a fireplace,” Dr. Kaltofen said. “Near the fire you get a little warm, but once in a while the fire throws off a spark that can actually burn you.”
    The same level of risk exists in Japan. While most people have an average level of risk, a few people get an extra spark from a hot particle.

    According to Dr. Kaltofen, “The average radiation exposures we found in Japan matched-up nicely with other researchers.  We weren’t trying to see just somebody’s theoretical average result.  We looked at how people actually encounter radioactive dust in their real lives.

    Combining microanalytical methods with traditional health physics models,” he added, “we found that some people were breathing or ingesting enough radioactive dust to have a real increase in their risk of suffering a future health problem.

    This was especially true of children and younger people, who inhale or ingest proportionately more dust than adults.”

    Fairewinds’ book Fukushima Dai-ichi: The Truth and the Way Forward was published in Japan by Shueisha Publishing, just prior to the one-year commemoration of the tsunami and meltdowns. “Our book,”

    Mr. Gundersen said, “which is a step-by-step factual account of the reactor meltdowns, was a best seller in Japan and enabled us to build amazing relations with people actually living in Japan, who are the source of the samples we analyzed.

    We measured things like house dusts, air filters, and even car floor mats.  Collecting such accurate data shows the importance of citizen science, crowd sourcing, and the necessity of open, public domain data for accurate scientific analysis.”

    Fairewinds Energy Education founder Maggie Gundersen said, “We are very thankful to the scientists and citizen scientists in Japan, who sought our assistance in collecting and analyzing this data. We will continue to support ongoing scientific projects examining how people in Japan and throughout the world experience radioactive dust in their daily lives."

    The complete peer reviewed report and project audio description by Dr. Kaltofen are available here at the Science of the Total Environment website.  

    Interactive data and the supporting materials are available here at the Fairewinds Energy Education website.

    Also see slide presentation by Dr. Marco Kaltofen (http://audioslides.elsevier.com/viewersmall.aspx?doi=10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.091&source=0


    Video above: Arne Gundersen about hot particles. Tokyo soil samples would be considered nuclear waste in the USA. From (https://vimeo.com/38995781).

    See also:
    Ea O Ka Aina: E-Fukushima bosses on trial 6/25/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco plan to dump tainted water 7/14/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Stop Fukushima as Olympic venue 5/10/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Continuing Fukushima danger 4/14/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Continuing Fukushima danger 4/14/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worse than ever 2/5/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation on West Coast 1/13/17
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima cleanup cost to double 12/9/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Tokyo damaged by nuclear pellet rain 9/24/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Power and Climate Failure 8/24/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: High radioactivity in Tokyo 8/22/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Blinders 8/18/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima and Chernobyl 5/29/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation damages Japan 4/14/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima's Nuclear Nightmare 3/13/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fifth Fukushima Anniversary 3/11/16
    Green Road Jounral: Balls filled with Uranium, Plutonium 2/19/16
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima impacts are ongoing 11/8/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Petroleum and Nuclear Coverups 10/21/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radiation Contamination 10/13/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Radioactive floods damage Japan 9/22/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fir trees damaged by Fukushima 8/30/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Japan restarts a nuclear plant 8/11/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima disaster will continue 7/21/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Too many fish in the sea? 6/22/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima prefecture uninhabitable 6/6/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: In case you've forgotten Fukushima 5/27/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Radiation damages top predator bird 4/24/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukshima die-offs occurring 4/17/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Impact Update 4/13/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima - the end of atomic power 3/13/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Where is the Fukushima Data? 2/21/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fuku-Undo 2/4/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima MOX fuel crossed Pacific 2/4/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worst human disaster 1/26/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Japan to kill Pacific Ocean 1/23/15
    Ea O Ka Aina: Japan's Environmental Catastrophe 8/25/14
    ENE News: Nuclear fuel found 15 miles from Tokyo 8/10/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: Earthday TPP Fukushima RIMPAC 4/22/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Daiichi hot particles 5/30/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: Japanese radiation denial 5/12/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: Entomb Fukushima Daiichi now 4/6/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Disaster 3 Years Old 4/3/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: Tsunami, Fukushima and Kauai 3/9/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: Japanese contamination 2/16/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: Bill for Fukushima monitoring 2/9/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco under reporting of radiation 2/9/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Fallout in Alaska 1/25/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima engineer against nukes 1/17/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: California to monitor ocean radiation 1/14/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: Demystifying Fukushima Reactor #3 1/1/14
    Ea O Ka Aina: US & Japan know criticality brewing 12/29/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Forever 12/17/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Brief radiation spike on Kauai 12/27/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: USS Ronald Reagan & Fukushima 12/15/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Pacific Impact 12/11/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Berkeley and Fukushima health risks 12/10/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Madness engulfs Japan 12/4/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Edo Japan and Fukushima Recovery 11/30/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Reaction to Fukushima is Fascism 11/30/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Radioisotopes in the Northern Pacific 11/22/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima cleanup in critical phase 11/18/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima fuel removal to start 11/14/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima, What me worry? 11/13/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Remove other Fukushina fuel 10/29/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: End to Japanese Nuclear Power? 10/3/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima & Poisoned Fish 10/3/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fuel Danger at Fukushima 9/27/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Reactor #4 Spent Fuel Pool 9/16/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima is Not Going Away 9/9/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: X-Men like Ice Wall for Fukushima 9/3/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima House of Horrors 8/21/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Apocalypse 8/21/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radioactive Dust 8/20/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Cocooning Fukushima Daiichi 8/16/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation coverup 8/12/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Leakage at Fukushima an emergency 8/5/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima burns on and on 7/26/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: What the Fukashima? 7/24/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Spiking 7/15/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: G20 Agenda Item #1 - Fix Fukushima 7/7/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima and hypothyroid in Hawaii 4/9/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Japan to release radioactive water 2/8/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima as Roshoman 1/14/13
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushia Radiation Report 10/24/12
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Fallout 9/14/12
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Unit 4 Danger 7/22/12
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima denial & extinction ethics 5/14/12
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worse than Chernobyl 4/24/12
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima dangers continue 4/22/12
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima children condemned 3/8/12
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima fights chain reaction 2/7/12
    Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco faking Fukushima fix 12/24/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: The Non Battle for Fukushima 11/10/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Debris nears Midway 10/14/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radiation Danger 7/10/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Abandoned 9/28/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Deadly Radiation at Fukushima 8/3/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima poisons Japanese food 7/25/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Black Rain in Japan 7/22/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: UK PR downplays Fukushima 7/1/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima #2 & #3 meltdown 5/17/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima sustained chain reaction 5/3/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Ocean Radioactivity in Fukushima 4/16/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Japan raises nuclear disaster level 4/12/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima No Go Zone Expanding 4/11/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima to be Decommissioned 4/8/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Poisons Fish 4/6/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Learning from Fukushima 4/4/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Leak goes Unplugged 4/3/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Stick a fork in it - It's done! 4/2/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima reactors reach criticality 3/31/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Non-Containment 3/30/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Meltdown 3/29/11
    Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Water Blessing & Curse 3/28/11 

    .

              High Plains Climate Change        
    SUBHEAD: ‘Flash drought’ could devastate half the High Plains wheat harvest this year.

    By Eric Holthaus on 1 August 2017 for Grist -
    (http://grist.org/food/flash-drought-could-devastate-half-the-high-plains-wheat-harvest/)


    Image above: Firemen fighting the recent Bridge Coulee Fire in the High Plains.Photo by Bureau of land. From original article.

    It’s peak hurricane season, but the nation’s worst weather disaster right now is raging on the High Plains.

    An intense drought has quickly gripped much of the Dakotas and parts of Montana this summer, catching farmers and ranchers off-guard. The multi-agency U.S. Drought Monitor recently upgraded the drought to “exceptional,” its highest severity level, matching the intensity of the California drought at its peak.

    The Associated Press says the dry conditions are “laying waste to crops and searing pasture and hay land” in America’s new wheat belt, with some longtime farmers and ranchers calling it the worst of their lifetimes. Unfortunately, this kind of came-out-of-nowhere drought could become a lot less rare in the future.

    “The damage and the destruction is just unimaginable,” Montana resident Sarah Swanson told Grist. “It’s unlike anything we’ve seen in decades.”

    Rainfall across the affected region has been less than half of normal since late April, when this year’s growing season began. In parts of Montana’s Missouri River basin, which is the drought’s epicenter, rainfall has been less than a quarter of normal — which equals the driest growing season in recorded history for some communities.

    “It’s devastating,” says Tanja Fransen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Glasgow, Montana. Just six years removed from 2011, one of the region’s wettest years on record, eastern Montana is now enduring one of its driest.

    “We’re at the bottom of the barrel,” Fransen says. “For many areas, it’s the worst we’ve seen in 100 years.”

     
    In a matter of weeks, the area of Montana in drought conditions has expanded eightfold. U.S. Drought Monitor

    Wheat production worries

    The drought already has far-reaching effects. In eastern Montana, America’s current-largest wildfire continues to smolder; the 422-square-mile Lodgepole complex fire is one-third the size of Rhode Island. It’s Montana’s largest fire since 1910.

    Across the state, 17 other large fires are also spreading. “We haven’t even hit our normal peak fire season yet,” Fransen says.

    Recently, as the climate has warmed and crop suitability has shifted, the Dakotas and Montana have surpassed Kansas as the most important wheat-growing region in the country. The High Plains is now a supplier of staple grain for the entire world. According to recent field surveys, more than half of this year’s harvest may already be lost.

    The economic impact of the drought and related fires may exceed $1 billion across the multi-state region by the time the rains return. Donations of hay for beleaguered farmers and ranchers have come in from as far away as West Virginia.

    Farmers in the region are also worried because the Trump administration has targeted a key federal crop insurance program for hefty cuts. The governors of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana have all declared states of emergency to speed aid and open some normally protected areas for livestock grazing.


    Abnormally dry conditions now cover 100 percent of South Dakota. U.S. Drought Monitor

    It came out of nowhere

    Droughts are often thought of as creeping, slow-motion disasters. They usually don’t grab headlines like hurricane landfalls, even though they represent the costliest weather-related catastrophe worldwide.

    But this drought is an anomaly, a “flash drought.” It essentially came from nowhere. It didn’t exist just three months ago.

    The frequency of these rapid-onset droughts is expected to increase as the planet warms. A recent study focusing on China found that flash droughts more than doubled in frequency there between 1979 and 2010.

    Droughts like these are closely linked to climate change. As temperatures rise, abnormally dry conditions across the western United States are already becoming more common and more intense. And as evaporation rates speed up, rainfall becomes more erratic, and spring snowmelt dries up earlier each year.

    Future summers in North Dakota are expected to be even hotter and drier, on par with the present-day weather of south Texas.

    Taking heavy losses

    On Whitney Klasna’s ranch in Lambert, Montana, the spring rains “just didn’t come this year.” Klasna has already seen 60 to 80 percent crop losses in her fields, and now she’s making calculations about which of her cattle she can afford to save. She and her crew are working to drill an additional water well and install a pipeline to keep as many alive as possible.

    Now they’re worried that, if the rains do come, they’ll lead to flash flooding; the ground has essentially been transformed into concrete.

    Klasna calls the drought a “perfect storm of bad luck” and expects its impacts to last for years.


    The drought in western North Dakota is now just as severe as California’s was at its peak. U.S. Drought Monitor

    Further west, near where the Lodgepole complex is burning, Sarah Swanson runs a John Deere dealership, one of the biggest businesses in her community. She hears heartbreaking stories from across the region, with many farmers and ranchers working together to fight the fire with their own equipment.


    “Right now, I don’t think anybody has time to feel scared,” Swanson says. “I think the emotions will probably start once they have time to get the fire out in a week or two.”

    Last week, Swanson wrote a personal letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a Montana native, asking him to ease grazing restrictions on a nearby wildlife refuge. Two days later, he did so.

    “We’ll be able to continue on,” Swanson says. “I wish I could say that for all the Main Street businesses in eastern Montana, but I don’t think I can. The effects are already being felt by restaurants and retail shops and gas stations, and there will be some that can’t sustain this.”
    .

              Just wait a little while        
    SUBHEAD: You’ll have to earn everything worth having, including self-respect and your next meal.

    By James Kunstler on 7 August 2017 for Kunstler.com -
    (http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/just-wait-little/)


    Image above: Aarly 20th century Russian painting of "A Peasant Leaving His Landlord on Yuri's Day" by Sergei V. Ivanov. From (https://www.kp.ru/radio/26511/3430500/).

    The trouble, of course, is that even after the Deep State (a.k.a. “The Swamp”) succeeds in quicksanding President Trump, America will be left with itself — adrift among the cypress stumps, drained of purpose, spirit, hope, credibility, and, worst of all, a collective grasp on reality, lost in the fog of collapse.

    Here’s what you need to know about what’s going on and where we’re headed.

    The United States is comprehensively bankrupt. The government is broke and the citizenry is trapped under inescapable debt burdens. We are never again going to generate the kinds and volumes of “growth” associated with techno-industrial expansion.

    That growth came out of energy flows, mainly fossil fuels, that paid for themselves and furnished a surplus for doing other useful things. It’s over.

    Shale oil, for instance, doesn’t pay for itself and the companies engaged in it will eventually run out of accounting hocus-pocus for pretending that it does, and they will go out of business.

    The self-evident absence of growth means the end of borrowing money at all levels. When you can’t pay back old loans, it’s unlikely that you will be able to arrange new loans.

    The nation could pretend to be able to borrow more, since it can supposedly “create” money (loan it into existence, print it, add keystrokes to computer records), but eventually those tricks fail, too.

    Either the “non-performing” loans (loans not being paid off) cause money to disappear, or the authorities “create” so much new money from thin air (money not associated with real things of value like land, food, manufactured goods) that the “money” loses its mojo as a medium of exchange (for real things), as a store of value (over time), and as a reliable index of pricing — which is to say all the functions of money.

    In other words, there are two ways of going broke in this situation: money can become scarce as it disappears so that few people have any; or everybody can have plenty of money that has no value and no credibility.

    I mention these monetary matters because the system of finance is the unifying link between all the systems we depend on for modern life, and none of them can run without it.

    So that’s where the real trouble is apt to start. That’s why I write about markets and banks on this blog.

    The authorities in this nation, including government, business, and academia, routinely lie about our national financial operations for a couple of reasons.

    One is that they know the situation is hopeless but the consequences are so awful to contemplate that resorting to accounting fraud and pretense is preferable to facing reality.

    Secondarily, they do it to protect their jobs and reputations — which they will lose anyway as collapse proceeds and their record of feckless dishonesty reveals itself naturally.

    The underlying issue is the scale of human activity in our time. It has exceeded its limits and we have to tune back a lot of what we do. Anything organized at the giant scale is headed for failure, so it comes down to a choice between outright collapse or severe re-scaling, which you might think of as managed contraction.

    That goes for government programs, military adventures, corporate enterprise, education, transportation, health care, agriculture, urban design, basically everything. There is an unfortunate human inclination to not reform, revise, or re-scale familiar activities.

    We’ll use every kind of duct tape and baling wire we can find to keep the current systems operating, and we have, but we’re close to the point where that sort of cob-job maintenance won’t work anymore, especially where money is concerned.

    Why this is so has been attributed to intrinsic human brain programming that supposedly evolved optimally for short-term planning. But obviously many people and institutions dedicate themselves to long-term thinking.

    So there must be a big emotional over-ride represented by the fear of letting go of what used to work that tends to disable long-term thinking. It’s hard to accept that our set-up is about to stop working — especially something as marvelous as techno-industrial society.

    But that’s exactly what’s happening. If you want a chance at keeping on keeping on, you’ll have to get with reality’s program. Start by choosing a place to live that has some prospect of remaining civilized. This probably doesn’t include our big cities.

    But there are plenty of small cities and small towns out in America that are scaled for the resource realities of the future, waiting to be reinhabited and reactivated.

    A lot of these lie along the country’s inland waterways — the Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri river system, the Great Lakes, the Hudson and St. Lawrence corridors — and they also exist in regions of the country were food can be grown.

    You’ll have to shift your energies into a trade or vocation that makes you useful to other people. This probably precludes jobs like developing phone apps, day-trading, and teaching gender studies.

    Think: carpentry, blacksmithing, basic medicine, mule-breeding, simplified small retail, and especially farming, along with the value-added activities entailed in farm production.

    The entire digital economy is going to fade away like a drug-induced hallucination, so beware the current narcissistic blandishments of computer technology.

    Keep in mind that being in this world actually entitles you to nothing. One way or another, you’ll have to earn everything worth having, including self-respect and your next meal.

    Now, just wait a little while.

    .

              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."

    .

              Kauai Council is Climate Change        
    SUBHEAD: The County Council turns down $100,000 in private donations to fund climate action plan.

    By Nathan Eagle on 3 august 2017 for Civil Beat -
    (http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/08/kauai-council-says-no-thanks-to-100k-to-fight-climate-change/)


    Image above: Kauai County Council members 2016-2018 -  Mason Chock, Arthur Brun, Chair Mel Rapozo, JoAnn Yukimura, Ross Kagawa, Derek Kawakami and Arryl Kaneshiro. From original article.

    Opponents of taking the money question whether the county needs its own plan. One said the work should be left to the federal government.

    Kauai County Council members have rejected $100,000 in private donations to fund a climate action plan for their rural island, which is particularly susceptible to rising sea levels, stronger storms and other effects of climate change.

    In a 4-3 vote last week, Council Chair Mel Rapozo and members Arryl Kaneshiro, Ross Kagawa and Arthur Brun opposed a request from Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s administration to accept $50,000 from the Hawaii Community Foundation and a matching $50,000 from the nonprofit Partners for Places.

    They expressed skepticism about the need for a county climate plan, saying they didn’t want to duplicate the state’s efforts. They also felt the county economic development director’s explanation of the potential funding was insufficient.

    “You don’t need a plan to tell you that you help the environment if you walk more, if you bike more, catch the bus more,” Kagawa said. “If the federal government is working on it, let them do it.”

    Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura, who along with Councilmen Derek Kawakami and Mason Chock supported accepting the money, pointed out at the meeting that the United States is no longer leading on climate change.

    “Under President Trump, we’re withdrawing from it and really losing face in the world,” Yukimura said, referring to Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

    The Paris agreement, signed by 195 nations in 2015, established a goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and laid out plans for countries to work together to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.

    “That’s why the cities now are rising to address it and saying we’re going to do it because it’s affecting the lives of our citizens, it’s affecting the planet and I think this county needs to join in and do that,” Yukimura said.

    The council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee took up the matter again Wednesday, but the deadline had passed Monday to use the foundation’s grant to apply for the matching funds from Partners for Places.

    George Costa, director of Kauai’s Office of Economic Development, said Wednesday that he had been reluctant to disclose Monday’s grant deadline at last week’s meeting because of the way council members had reacted the previous time the administration came before them with a last-minute request to apply for a Transportation Alternatives Program grant.

    At least one council member said the additional information provided Wednesday by the county’s energy and sustainability manager, Ben Sullivan, who was unable to attend their meeting last week, would have changed their vote.

    “Had we had this information last week, this would have passed,” Rapozo said.

    Costa said the administration tries to give the council as much notice as possible, but in this case was uncertain whether the private funding would be available until July — although the county started talking to the Hawaii Community Foundation in January.

    “A lot of these opportunities do come at the last minute,” Costa said.

    Still, Yukimura questioned during Wednesday’s meeting why the county would not want to have the council accept the foundation’s funding, since there was ample time to use it to meet the next deadline in January to apply for a matching grant from Partners for Places.

    Sullivan said there’s still a chance the administration will come back to the council to ask for such approval, but he noted that the foundation is now looking for a nonprofit or other third party to receive the funds. He was not sure if new recipients had been determined.

    “We’re kind of strategizing and rethinking,” Sullivan said.

    ‘Defining Issue Of Our Lives’
    Kagawa said at last week’s meeting that the idea of a county climate action plan reminded him of Kauai’s efforts to address “all this fear” over genetically modified organisms.

    The county passed a bill in 2013 to require GMO companies to disclose more information about the pesticides they use and abide by setbacks for spraying. A federal court later overturned the law.

    “I don’t think it necessarily makes sense that the county is getting into the business of telling people on Kauai what to do to help this problem,” he said. “It needs to be done nationwide.”

    Kaneshiro had his own fears over what a climate action plan might obligate the county to do.

    “Is it going to say airplanes are causing a lot of carbon emissions so we should reduce the amount of airplanes coming to Kauai?” he asked. “Or, you know, vehicles are a main cause of carbon emissions so reduce the amount of miles people can drive on Kauai?”

    Yukimura said the plan would not obligate the county to do anything, but instead would provide data and possible strategies.

    Sullivan said the county’s climate action plan would add a greater level of detail to the data the state Department of Health is collecting about greenhouse gas emissions, for instance.

    Better Communication Needed
    The council members, even those supporting accepting the funding, said they did not get the information they needed from Costa last week. Even Yukimura later called his answers “weak.” But those in favor said it still made sense to accept the money and then work out the details for the plan.

    Kawakami, who was concerned about the message last week’s vote would send to future potential donors, said he wants a plan that produces results.

    “At what point do we get some tangible recommendations on what we need to do with our wastewater facilities, with our county roads and state highways being impacted by sea level rise, and when do we get some sort of tangible to-do list instead of studying this thing?” Kawakami said. “If we study this thing to death then by the time we come out with any real action plan it’s going to be too late.”

    Costa said $10,000 of the grant would have gone to a greenhouse gas study that looked at emission levels from various sectors, such as electricity, the landfill and transportation.

    He said $40,000 would have gone to community engagement, $10,000 would have been for contingencies and the rest would have been used to contract with the University of Hawaii’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning to drive the plan.

    Rapozo said at last week’s meeting that community engagement could be part of a county plan to address climate change, but he questioned spending the money on that, even it wasn’t from Kauai taxpayers.

    “I don’t understand how you can get information on a plan with community engagement,” he said. “When you’re doing a plan, I think you’ve got to use scientific data.”

    This was the third time the council has rejected funding a climate action plan. Last year, the Hawaii Community Foundation said it would provide $75,000 if the county chipped in $30,000, Costa said.

    Kagawa said last week at the meeting that he still did not trust the administration when it comes to addressing climate change.

    “I don’t believe they’ll have the plan with the silver bullet to solve the problem,” he said. “That’s just my gut.”

    Yukimura, in an email trying to rally her constituents after the vote, called climate change the “defining issue of our lives.” She said Kauai’s fragile and unique environment in particular has a great challenge ahead that demands leadership, community involvement and consensus on a course of action.

    In April 2016, Sullivan tried to convey the urgency of coming up with a plan to address climate change while encouraging the council to support the mayor’s $30,000 budget request.

    “It’s past time for us to champion this,” he told The Garden Island newspaper at the time.

    On Wednesday, Sullivan said in an email that the mayor is committed to developing and implementing a climate action plan and the Hawaii Community Foundation has been “extremely supportive.”

    “Despite some communications challenges, today’s meeting seemed to illustrate that our County Council, and quite a few people in our community are also in full support of this effort, so I am confident that we will find a way forward with this work,” he said.

    Darcy Yukimura, the foundation’s senior philanthropic officer on Kauai, said the island still has the opportunity to be a leader in the state.

    Read more about the administration’s plan below.
    (http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3912056-Council-OED-7-31-17-C-2017-168-Development-of-a.html?embed=true&responsive=false&sidebar=false




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              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.

    .

              New GOP Rules for Discussing the President        
    We're still trying to get used to the idea of Democratic nominee Barack Obama actually being President of the United States.

    To help us get acclimated, the wingnut freakazoids have kindly provided criticism that follows the new GOP Rules for Discussing the President. Steve Benen explains.

    DEPT. OF POTS AND KETTLES.... Either the president's conservative critics have very short memories, or they assume we do.

    SNIP

    The irony is almost overwhelming. A loyal Bushie, who heard his boss spend years engaging in shameless demagoguery (see "clouds, mushroom" and "uranium, from Africa") based on nothing but neocon fantasies, believes presidents have to keep their rhetoric in check and never forget to be "truthful." Sure, Blakeman, tell us another one.

    Keep in mind, Obama's dire warnings about the economy are well grounded in reality. It's not "insane" to fear an economic collapse given the situation we're in. The president has a choice -- pretend the news isn't scary, or give honest assessments while vowing to act. Bush preferred the prior approach; Obama prefers the latter.

    What's more, have you noticed the bizarre double-standards we've seen emerge in recent weeks?

    When Bush uses over-the-top language to convince Americans about perceived security threat, he's being "presidential." When Obama issues dire warnings about the economy, he's being "pessimistic."

    When Bush ignores the congressional minority, he's being "principled." When Obama engages the congressional minority but declines to give them what they want, he's being "partisan."

    When Bush trashes constitutional norms, it's evidence of "seriousness." When Obama is in the Oval Office without a jacket, he's being "disrespectful to the presidency."

    When liberals criticize Bush during a crisis, they're traitors who are aiding and abetting the enemy. When conservatives criticize Obama during a crisis, they are doing their patriotic duty.

    Good to know.

              The Presidential State Car - Obama's Whip        
    Just so everyone knows, I was away on vacation for the last week and a half, hence no updates during that time.  But I did gather some material for a few new posts, so the wait will be worth it, I promise!  Today I want to talk about the car used by the President of the United States.  Why?  Because I saw him in Manhattan, that's why! 
    It was pretty crazy.  Michelle and I were walking up 42nd Street after taking a look at the UN Building when some police cars started circling the block at 2nd Avenue.  We weren't too sure what was going on, but I did learn that the NYPD owned a tow truck (taking up the caboose of the lights and sirens parade).  We were also aware fairly quickly that something unusual was happening, as traffic on the streets started to clear out and police officers started blocking intersections. 

    We hunkered down at 42nd and 3rd Ave, and no sooner had we made that decision that the Presidential motorcade came peeling in up 3rd Ave and stopped in front of the Gap store.  There were a few black SUVs and two massive limos with flags crowning the front fenders and the Presidential Seal on the doors.  The emblem on the grill was Cadillac, but these were not your typical DTS coachwork limousines.

    The limos were just huge, sat high and boxy with big rubber.  I couldn't make out what model they were supposed to be.  I thought they would just modify a regular car, but after seeing these I did a little bit of research.  Turns out these things are custom built by GM.  They used to modify production cars, but they couldn't handle the extra weight of everything needed to keep the President safe and were constantly breaking down.     

    Here are some figures (most of the actual details are classified):

    - Weighs an estimated 15,000lbs
    - Gets about 3-4 MPG
    - Costs over a $1M each 
    - Armour plating on the doors is 8 inches thick

    If you want to read more about the presidential cars, here's a link to a fairly informative article from Autoweek.com.

    Once the cars pulled up, the entourage whisked Obama into the Gap store.  I found out later that he was there to promote the Gap's recent pledge to raise the minimum wage of their employees to $10/hour.  Here's an article that documented his visit. 

    While he was in the shop I took a video of the goings on outside.