Trump admin. wants Colorado voter rolls   

The vice chair of President Donald Trump’s controversial Election Integrity Commission wants the full name, address, date of birth, affiliated political party, last four Social Security number digits and voting history since 2006 of every voter not only in Colorado, but in the entire U.S., and wants that information to be made available to the public.


          SOMEBODY'S GRIEF   
Never politicise somebody's grief...
          Excess in Iowa: 90°, a Butter Cow and Rides on Donald Trump’s Helicopter   
Presidential candidates flocked to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines to connect with supporters while partaking in fare like corn dogs and deep-fried nachos....
          At Iowa’s State Fair, Candidates Brave Cholesterol and Hecklers   
Eighteen presidential candidates from both parties have spoken or will speak at the Iowa State Fair, a chance for them to win over voters in an informal setting....
          Zambia: Witness 'Heard Opposition Politician Mwamba Threaten Lungu'   

Trial took off yesterday in the case in which United Party for National Development vice-president for administration, Geoffrey Mwamba is charged with proposing violence against President Edgar Lungu with one witness testifying against the opposition leader. Celestine Mukandila, a law student and business executive told Lusaka magistrate, Nthandose Chabala that he heard Mwamba on Hot FM radio news warning Mr Lungu that he was going to go for his throat.


          Chris Christie Announces New Jersey Government Shutdown, Orders State Of Emergency   

Illinois, Maine, Connecticut: the end of the old fiscal year and the failure of numerous states to enter the new one with a budget, means that some of America's most populous states have seen their local governments grind to a halt overnight until some spending agreement is reached. Now we can also add New Jersey to this list.

On Saturday morning, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency in the state, and announced a partial state government shutdown as New Jersey become the latest state to enter the new fiscal year without an approved budget after the Republican governor and the Democrat-led Legislature failed to reach an agreement by the deadline at midnight Friday, CBS New York reports.

In a news conference Saturday morning, Christie blamed Democratic State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto for causing the shutdown. And, just like Illinois and Connecticut, Christie and the Democrat-led Legislature are returning to work in hopes of resolving the state's first government shutdown since 2006 and the first under Christie, before NJ is downgraded further by the rating agencies.

"If there's not a resolution to this today, everyone will be back tomorrow," Christie said, calling the shutdown "embarrassing and pointless." He also repeatedly referred to the government closure as "the speaker's shutdown."  Christie later announced that he would address the full legislature later at the statehouse on Saturday.

Prieto remained steadfast in his opposition, reiterating that he won't consider the plan as part of the budget process but would consider it once a budget is signed.  Referring to the shutdown as "Gov. Christie's Hostage Crisis Day One," Prieto said he has made compromises that led to the budget now before the Legislature.

 

"I am also ready to consider reasonable alternatives that protect ratepayers, but others must come to the table ready to be equally reasonable," Prieto said. "Gov. Christie and the legislators who won't vote 'yes' on the budget are responsible for this unacceptable shutdown. I compromised. I put up a budget bill for a vote. Others now must now do their part and fulfill their responsibilities."

Politics aside, the diplomaitc failure has immediate consequences for Jersey residents: Christie ordered nonessential services to close beginning Saturday. New Jerseyans were feeling the impact as the shutdown took effect, shuttering state parks and disrupting ferry service to Liberty and Ellis islands. Among those affected were a group of Cub Scouts forced to leave a state park campsite and people trying to obtain or renew documents from the state motor vehicle commission, among the agencies closed by the shutdown.

As funds run out elsewhere, it will only get worse.  Police were turning away vehicles and bicyclists at Island Beach state park in Ocean County.

A sign posted at the park entrance featured a photo of Prieto and the phone number of his district office in Secaucus, along with the caption: "This facility is CLOSED because of this man."

When asked about the sign, Christie spokesman Jeremy Rosen said the governor wanted to make sure people knew why the site was shuttered.  "Speaker Prieto singlehandedly closed state government," Rosen said, adding that the governor wanted to make sure families "knew that the facilities were closed and who is responsible."

Not all things will be affected: remaining open under the shutdown will be New Jersey Transit, state prisons, the state police, state hospitals and treatment centers as well as casinos, race tracks and the lottery. 

A major point of disagreement is the ongoing stalemate between Christie and lawmakers over whether to include legislation affecting the state's largest health insurer into the state budget.

Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney agree on legislation to make over Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, including allowing the state insurance commissioner to determine a range for the company's surplus that if exceeded must be put to use benefiting the public and policyholders.  But Prieto opposes the plan, saying that the legislation could lead to rate hikes on the insurer's 3.8 million subscribers and that the legislation is separate from the budget.  Prieto has said he will leave open a vote on the $34.7 billion budget that remains deadlocked 26-25, with 24 abstentions, until those 24 abstentions change their mind.

Democratic Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, of Northfield, was among those abstaining. He reasoned that if the governor did not get the Horizon bill, then nearly $150 million in school funding -- $9.6 million of which would go to his district -- would be line-item vetoed out of the budget.   And indeed, Christie said Friday during a news conference that he would slash the Democratic spending priorities if he did not get the Horizon bill as part of a package deal on the budget.  "You want me to wave a magic wand to get a budget?" Christie said. "I can't get a budget to my desk. Only the Senate and Assembly can get the budget to my desk."

But where things may get nasty quick, is that Christie said public workers should not expect any back pay. "Yeah, don't count on it." Christie said of furlough pay. "That was Jon 'I'll Fight For a Good Contract For You' Corzine. I ain't him."

Meanwhile, the fingerpointing has begun, including Democrats pointing at other Democrats.

"It seems like he's just being stubborn," Mazzeo said of Prieto. "With all due respect to the speaker, then there should be some type of negotiations." But Prieto said it's lawmakers - fellow Democrats - like Mazzeo who are to blame for the shutdown. He said he is willing to discuss the Horizon legislation but after the budget is resolved.

Christie has balked at the proposal because he says lawmakers plan to leave town to campaign for re-election and he will be a lame duck.  According to CBS, all 120 lawmakers face voters this year.

Finally, putting the sheer chaos of it all in context, Christie who is term-limited and is expected to be out of office by January, has his family staying for the holiday weekend in a state-owned house at Island Beach State Park. The park is closed because of the shutdown.


          Compromís denuncia que el Gobierno "lleva cinco meses ocultando" la identidad del responsable del tuit contra Marzà   

Compromís en el Senado ha denunciado este sábado que "el Gobierno lleva cinco meses protegiendo y ocultando la identidad de quien insultó desde Renfe al conseller Vicent Marzà" (Educación), en un mensaje de la red social Twitter en la cuenta oficial Cercanías Valencia. El tuit de febrero rezaba: "Un decretazo diseñado al antojo de Escola Valenciana, de la cual es miembro distinguido el pancatalanista sr. Marzà".


          Compromís denuncia que el Gobierno "lleva cinco meses ocultando" la identidad del responsable del tuit contra Marzà   

Compromís en el Senado ha denunciado este sábado que "el Gobierno lleva cinco meses protegiendo y ocultando la identidad de quien insultó desde Renfe al conseller Vicent Marzà" (Educación), en un mensaje de la red social Twitter en la cuenta oficial Cercanías Valencia. El tuit de febrero rezaba: "Un decretazo diseñado al antojo de Escola Valenciana, de la cual es miembro distinguido el pancatalanista sr. Marzà".


          Junqueras avisa de que el Estado podría "colapsar" si opta por la represión ante el 1-O   

"Ante la colectivización de nuestras voluntades el Estado lo tiene muy difícil"


          Comment on "Mark Zuckerberg Explains Why Globalist Billionaires Are Your Moral Betters" by Steve Sailer   
Most people ignore politics because they have a tiny impact on outcomes, they figure the ups and downs will even out and they'll be just fine. So they just go with the zeitgeist, which is whatever the media is pushing. Usually, they are right. Usually.
          Are Democrats Thinking Their Way Out of Victory?   

Would you mind if Democrats learned to be mindless?

Nevada Democrats do seem to have their acts together. They kept their heads in 2016 when everyone around them was losing theirs, and accomplished a good deal of what they wanted at the 2017 legislature. And 2018 seems to be coming into focus.…

Representative Jacky Rosen will run for the Senate after only a few months in Congress, and the Democrat could face a serious primary challenge. Whoever wins faces a vulnerable Republican, Dean Heller, the only GOP Senator up for reelection in a state Hillary Clinton carried. Heller has managed to defend the Republican lack of transparency on health care legislation after falsely claiming Democrats did much the same thing on Obamacare. He also said both yes and no on how he’s going to vote on the un-Christian and anti-life bill his white male colleagues generated without a woman or person of color being involved before finally saying he wouldn’t vote for the bill in its current form with Governor Brian Sandoval standing next to him—because Heller is not only bipartisan, but brave.

County Commissioner Steve Sisolak has declared his candidacy for governor. He may face a Democratic primary—his commission colleague Chris Giunchigliani is making noises (this could make the commission meetings must-see-TV). The winner of that contest will face Adam Laxalt, grandson of a major Nevada political figure. He’s also the hirer of outside lawyers who charge the state hundreds of thousands of dollars to do legal work that Laxalt’s people would be able to do if they were members of the Nevada bar, and he is a defender of Sheldon Adelson’s interests to the point that a Gaming Control Board chairman who’s never had the whiff of a taint of a sniff of a scandal attached to him decided he’d better record a conversation with Laxalt.


Democrats think when they should act, and Republicans act when they should think.


These campaigns will unfold with Trump registering the lowest approval ratings of any president at this point in an administration since polling was done with an abacus. But Republicans have won each special election so far, so why not think it can continue?

Well, let’s be fair. In each election, the Democratic candidate did far better than she or he normally would. In Georgia and South Carolina, in blood-red districts, the Democratic House candidate came within three points of the Republican.

But Republicans still won, and the reason is simple. To quote Charlie Pierce, America’s best political blogger (well, my favorite, anyway): “Through decades of constant and unrelenting pressure, and through finagling with the franchise in a hundred ways in a thousand places, the Republicans have compressed the votes they need into an unmovable, diamond-hard core that will vote in robotic lockstep for whoever it is that wins a Republican primary. In American politics today, mindlessness is one of the strongest weapons you can have. Republicans vote for Republicans in Republican districts.”

That Democrats lack mindlessness can be proved even without referring to certain lefties in 2016. Consider the response to recent Democratic defeats from D. Taylor, the Unite Here leader who was the driving force behind the Culinary in Las Vegas for so many years. Besides properly attacking the president, the speaker, the Senate majority leader and the GOP congressional caucus, he declared, “Hope is not a strategy and ‘resisting’ is not a plan. The Democratic Party is out of excuses on its electoral performances.… In red states or blue states, Democrats should be able to compete—and win.”

As Pierce shows, some of that point is debatable, but then we recall his union didn’t do all it could in 2014, out of displeasure with some provisions of Obamacare and the lack of movement on immigration reform. The Culinary Union was being mindful when it needed to be mindless.

Heller is in the Senate because in 2012, Shelley Berkley ran 85,000 votes behind Barack Obama while Heller ran 26,000 ahead of Mitt Romney. She won Clark County by 60,000 while Obama took it by 100,000. Obama carried Washoe County by 7,000, Heller by 20,000. Both large counties bear some credit or blame, depending on your political views.

Berkley faced attacks over ethics, but also Washoe choosing the northerner over the southerner, regardless of party. Did Democrats ask themselves who would most strongly support Obama, or was more “acceptable”? A minimal number of Republicans ask those questions. If more did, we might have a more mindful president.

Laxalt’s grandfather ran smart campaigns. But he won his first statewide race, for lieutenant governor, when Democrats refused to unite behind his opponent because of previous political battles. They were mindful when they should have been mindless, and have paid for it ever since.

And thereby hangs the tale. Democrats think when they should act, and Republicans act when they should think. If Democrats don’t want Senator Heller and Governor Laxalt, they need to grasp that distinction.

Michael Green is an associate professor of history at UNLV

The post Are Democrats Thinking Their Way Out of Victory? appeared first on Vegas Seven.


          New country classifications by income level: 2017-2018   

Updated country income classifications for the World Bank’s 2018 fiscal year are available here.

The World Bank assigns the world's economies into four income groups — high, upper-middle, lower-middle, and low. We base this assignment on GNI per capita calculated using the Atlas method. The units for this measure and for the thresholds is current US Dollars.

At the Bank, these classifications are used to aggregate data for groups of similar countries. The income-category of a country is not one of the factors used that influence lending decisions.

Each year on July 1st, we update the classifications. They change for two reasons:

1. In each country, factors such as income growth, inflation, exchange rates, and population change, influence GNI per capita.

2. To keep the dollar thresholds which separate the classifications fixed in real terms, we adjust them for inflation.

The data for the first adjustment come from estimates of 2016 GNI per capita which are now available. This year, the thresholds have moved down slightly because of low price inflation and the strengthening of the US dollar. Click here for information about how the World Bank classifies countries.

Updated Thresholds

New thresholds are determined at the start of the Bank’s fiscal year in July and remain fixed for 12 months regardless of subsequent revisions to estimates. As of July 1 2017, the new thresholds for classification by income are:

Threshold GNI/Capita (current US$)
Low-income < 1,005
Lower-middle income 1,006 - 3,955
Upper-middle income 3,956 - 12,235
High-income > 12,235

Changes in Classification

The following countries have new income groups:

Country Old group New group
Angola Upper-middle Lower-middle
Croatia High-income Upper-middle
Georgia Upper-middle Lower-middle
Jordan Upper-middle Lower-middle
Nauru High-income Upper-middle
Palau Upper-middle High-income
Samoa Lower-middle Upper-middle
Tonga Lower-middle Upper-middle

The country and lending groups page provides a complete list of economies classified by income, region, and lending status and links to previous years’ classifications. The classification tables include all World Bank members, plus all other economies with populations of more than 30,000. The term country, used interchangeably with economy, does not imply political independence but refers to any territory for which authorities report separate social or economic statistics.

Tables showing 2016 GNI, GNI per capita, GDP, GDP PPP, and Population data are also available as part of the World Bank's Open Data Catalog. Note that these are preliminary estimates and may be revised. For more information, please contact us at data@worldbank.org.


          Reading the Office of Legal Counsel on Emoluments: Do Super-Rich Presidents Get a Pass?    

 

I wrote last November that the Foreign Emoluments Clause “is on its face a national security provision designed to the protect the country from officers too enmeshed with foreign interests.” If the Justice Department’s recent court filing is to be believed, that protection is exceedingly limited. This new position marks a decisive break from the more conscientious approach long espoused by both the Comptroller General and the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).

At the heart of the emoluments controversy is President Trump’s refusal to liquidate his business holdings. He has instead maintained ownership of the Trump Organization, a multibillion-dollar umbrella company with thousands of domestic and international investments, and placed the assets in a revocable trust managed by his sons Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump. Trump now faces three lawsuits alleging that he is profiting from his business empire in violation of the Constitution. Three days after his inauguration, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government accountability watchdog group, filed the first suit in the Southern District of New York. This month, two more complaints were filed by the attorneys general of Washington D.C. and Maryland and 196 congressional Democrats, in federal district courts in Maryland and the District of Columbia, respectively.

All three suits center on the meaning and scope of the Foreign Emoluments Clause, which provides that “no person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept any present, Emolument, Office or Title of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign state” (U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 8). Citing Trump's business dealings with state governments and federal agencies, such as its lease on the Old Post Office Building that now houses the Trump International Hotel, two of the suits also allege violations of the Domestic Emoluments Clause. This provision applies specifically to the president and provides that he shall receive “for his Services” a fixed compensation during his tenure and not “any other Emolument from the United States, or any of [the states]” (U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 7).

Serious procedural challenges like standing notwithstanding, given the House and Senate’s failure to address head-on the risks posed by Trump’s financial conflicts pose, the lawsuits could prove important in forcing a much-needed conversation: Is Trump taking in profits in violation of the Constitution? And just as critically, are future presidents entitled to pull a Trump—or does the Constitution dictate that they, like Jimmy Carter, must sell their family peanut farms as a condition of taking office?

No Article III court has ever rendered an opinion on how either Emoluments Clause should be interpreted, though the Supreme Court has offered interpretations of the term “emoluments” as it appears in Foreign Emoluments Clause-related statutes periodically enacted by Congress since 1881. Because of the limited judicial precedent, the internal memoranda from the Comptroller General and the Office of Legal Counsel that have been made public over the years are among the most important sources of guidance we have on emoluments issues. And though these memoranda do not directly address the question posed by the Trump business empire, making some amount of inference and legwork necessary, in critical respects they quite clearly contradict the sweeping defense that the Justice Department put forward this month in its 70-page motion to dismiss the CREW case against Trump.

The key issue in these suits—once you get behind a set of justiciability questions that may prove dispositive—is what constitutes an emolument (though with respect to the Foreign Emoluments Clause there’s also some disagreement about what kind of entity constitutes a “foreign state”). In plain English, we are looking at an exotic presidential twist on the biggest and oldest challenge to enforcing any anticorruption law: What counts? Do the forbidden “emoluments” cover only goodie boxes, blatant quid pro quo arrangements, and employment-related compensation? Or are the profits that Trump enjoys by way of his business transactions also prohibited when they come from foreign states and domestic government entities? And if the latter, more expansive definition is the appropriate one, are the profits prohibited only when the take is in excess of  “fair-market-value”—and if so, does that definition serve as a meaningful limitation when at issue are luxury goods whose value or sales may be inflated by the fact that Trump is president and the products are prominently branded with his name?

Predictably, the dispute has taken the form of a battle for the original meaning of “emoluments.” An array of historical materials support both a limited and broad definition. The two possible interpretations are well summed up by the Oxford English Dictionary, which provides two definitions dating back to the Founding: “1. Profit or gain arising from station, office, or employment . . . . 2. Advantage, benefit, comfort.”

The Justice Department, like Trump’s lawyers at Morgan Lewis, latches onto the first definition  to argue that “the Emoluments Clauses apply only to the receipt of compensation for personal services and to the receipt of honors and gifts based on official position.” That is, President Trump is precluded only from receiving benefits in exchange for services provided to a foreign state in his official capacity as president, or—and this is crucial, given the subject matter of the OLC opinions—services provided “in a capacity akin to an employee of a foreign state.”

The plaintiffs in the three suits, on the other hand, argue for the much more expansive definition. Marshaling its own set of historical evidence, CREW asserts that emoluments are "anything of value, including money, permits, approvals, tax benefits, any other benefits, and anything else monetary or nonmonetary, regardless of whether it is given in exchange for goods or services, and regardless of whether it is part of a transaction at, above, or below market rates."

A close examination of the relevant Comptroller and OLC opinions reveals that the current Justice Department is reading the Emoluments Clauses too narrowly, while CREW and the other plaintiffs are reading them too broadly. None of the opinions approves the receipt of benefits that can even arguably be attributed to the prestige or influence conferred by an office, and together they do not support the Justice Department’s claim that presidents may, as a categorical matter, collect profits from business transactions with foreign entities and domestic government entities as long as fair value is extracted on both sides. But notwithstanding the plaintiffs’ hard pull in the other direction, the opinions also suggest that presidents may in limited cases accept certain fixed benefits—as I will explain, these might be pensions from the U.S. state that used to employ them or money damages from a foreign country against which, in a past life, they successfully won a judgment. The key is that those benefits cannot be subject to foreign or domestic government manipulation or adjustment in connection with the presidential office.

This happens to be a sensible position that accords with what the opinions repeatedly underscore as the purpose of the Emoluments Clauses and the ultimate touchstone for interpreting their meaning: “to prevent corruption and foreign influence” and to bar “payments which have a potential of influencing or corrupting the integrity of the recipient.”

 

Why Language About Emoluments Is Easily Misused

A threshold issue before turning to the OLC literature is the confusion created by cherry-picking historical materials without consideration of their factual context. For example, in its motion to dismiss, the Justice Department followed the lead of some scholars in pulling some Supreme Court language that suggests the term “emoluments” applies only to salary and other duty-related benefits. Most notably, in Hoyt v. United States, 51 U.S. 109 (1850), the Court defines emoluments as “every species of compensation or pecuniary profit derived for a discharge of the duties of office” (emphasis added).

But in Hoyt, the Supreme Court was specifically asked to decide what constitutes an “emolument of office” per a statute governing Treasury Department collectors in their official capacity; the case did not require the Court to consider or rule on the existence of emoluments of other kinds. This is a key point for purposes of properly construing any Comptroller or OLC opinion that cites Hoyt and regurgitates its definition of “emoluments.” These opinions, like Hoyt, have to be read with an eye to their facts: they do not assert that “emoluments” must derive directly from discharge of duty; rather, the kind of emoluments at issue in those opinions was the kind derived for discharge of duty. As a consequence, the reliance on Hoyt in these opinions does not serve as evidence of a limiting principle for emoluments in general.

In short, as pointed out by the plaintiffs and by assorted scholars, the proper question for purposes of discerning the historical scope of “emoluments” is not whether the term could be interpreted in a restricted way, to refer only to benefits derived from discharging the duties of an office, but whether it was necessarily so interpreted at the time the Emoluments Clauses were drafted. As John Mikhail has painstakingly documented, the answer is no—and we don’t have to look at secondary sources, however authoritative (e.g., Black’s Dictionary) to draw that conclusion. Consider, for example, some of the constitutions ratified during the first of two major waves of state constitution-making in the Founding decade. Several included “common benefits clauses” that used the word “emoluments” in a way that simply defies narrow interpretation. The Pennsylvania Constitution (1776) provides: “That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community; and not for the particular emolument of advantage of any single man, family or sett [sic] of men, who are a part only of that community[.]” Very similar language appears in the Virginia (1776), Vermont (1777), and New Hampshire (1784) constitutions. Far more elaborate historical arguments demonstrating the broad uses of the term have been presented elsewhere: see here, here and here. The bottom line is that there is an abundance of primary Founding-era material making use of the broad definition of emoluments, so it is wrong to use language from fact-bound case law to assert that the term is an inherently limited one.

 

The Plaintiffs Define “Emoluments” Too Broadly

Does that mean, as plaintiffs assert, that all types of benefits conferred on the president by foreign countries and U.S. states are prohibited emoluments? According to the Comptroller and OLC opinions, clearly not.

A number of opinions explain that officers do not need to forego fixed benefits to which they are entitled for reasons manifestly unrelated to and uninfluenced by their office. This is a common-sense interpretation of the Clauses that avoids rigidity for rigidity’s sake, where denial of benefits would do nothing to serve the Clauses’ anti-corruption, anti-influence purpose.

For instance, the Comptroller and the OLC each independently concluded that President Ronald Reagan could collect ordinary retirement benefits from California, where he had served as the state governor, without violating the Domestic Emoluments Clause’s prohibition against the receipt of “emoluments” from a State. In its 1983 opinion, the Comptroller determined that President Reagan’s pension from California “cannot be construed as being in any manner received in consequence of his possession of the Presidency.” Coming to the same conclusion in its earlier 1981 opinion, the OLC also noted that “those [retirement] benefits are not emoluments in the constitutional sense” and their receipt does not “violate the spirit of the Constitution.” To support its reasoning, the OLC in turn relied on a 1964 opinion (not published) where it similarly decided the estate of President Kennedy was entitled to the naval retirement pay that had accrued during his presidency. Interpreting the Foreign Emoluments Clause “in the light of its basic purposes and principles,” it concluded he could receive payments to which he was entitled as a matter of law “prior to his taking office.”

The same principles support allowing officers to collect on certain kinds of money judgments, even from foreign powers. In a 1955 opinion, the Comptroller decided that an attorney in the Justice Department could receive a lump sum payment and lifetime annuity from the German government for his wrongful removal from the judgeship he held before he emigrated to the United States, as provided by German indemnification legislation. The Comptroller reasoned that those payments did not constitute emoluments from his former office, but rather “represent damages payable as a direct result of a moral and legal wrong.” Turning to its “spirit of the Constitution” analysis, the Comptroller had no trouble determining the payments were not problematic: they were “obviously . . . not intended to influence him as an officer of the United States,” were made under laws not specific to him, and were not payments voluntarily made by the German government but rather mandatory indemnification required by the Allied powers. In a 1954 opinion on the same matter, the OLC came to a slightly different place—the payments were not permitted to the extent they amounted to German retiree benefits—but like the Comptroller, it found that damages intended to redress injury were not prohibited emoluments.

Note what these opinions have in common: they generally allow the officer in question to collect payments or benefits that, patently, have nothing to do with and cannot possibly have been affected by his U.S. office. That 1983 Comptroller opinion put it best, and contains a line worth repeating: President Reagan was entitled to his pension because it “c[ouldn’t] be construed as being in any manner received in consequence of his possession of the Presidency.”

Applying this general rule, it makes sense that presidents are permitted to invest in U.S. Treasury bonds; and the rule also explains why wealth management solutions like blind trusts have long been accepted as workable resolutions to problems of conflict of interest. But it certainly doesn’t provide clearance for all profits derived from discretionary, “fair-market-value” transactions where the president is obviously and individually on one end of the sale.

 

The Justice Department Defines “Emoluments” Too Narrowly

A key move in the Justice Department’s brief is to rely heavily on a point of dubious significance: it asserts that “in every published OLC or Comptroller General opinion in which proposed conduct was determined to involve prohibited emoluments, the determination involved an employment relationship (or a relationship akin to an employment relationship) with the foreign government.”

If you think about it, there’s at least one common-sense explanation for the limited precedent: In general, the government employees on whose behalf these opinions were sought probably didn’t own hotel chains, lucrative licensing agreements, or hundreds of trademarks from which they derived significant foreign-based or domestic government-based income. Their thing of value, as civil servants, was their skill set, and thus the relevant question was whether they were constitutionally permitted to lend out that skill set to foreign governments or organizations with foreign state ties for payment.

A 1986 OLC opinion written by then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General Samuel Alito cuts against the assertion that whether the profit in question is derived from employment or personal services should be, by itself, dispositive. There, Alito determined that a NASA employee could indeed accept a fee for reviewing a PhD candidate's thesis for an Australian university. To get to this conclusion, Alito made two significant moves. First, uncertain as to whether a public university should be regarded a "foreign state," Alito instead decided to turn to the features of the proposed consultancy and consider whether they "raise[d] the kind of concern . . . that motivated" the prohibition’s enactment. This marks a functional, purpose-driven approach to the question of permissible benefits. Second, he suggested the following facts weigh against finding the fee a prohibited emolument: (1) the NASA scientist was not selected because of his position with the U.S. government, (2) the fee was an ordinary amount given the service to be rendered, (3) there was no reason for the officer to have "direct contact" with the university officials, and (4) the consultancy was "limited both in time and in substantive scope," and no "continuing relationship" was anticipated.

Note that the fact the scientist would be acting in an employment or personal services capacity did not automatically render the payment an emolument. This is the key takeaway from this opinion, and it is at odds with the Justice Department’s claim that employment is the make-or-break issue when it comes to determining whether a benefit or payment is an emolument. Second, consider the implications of the first and fourth points Alito highlighted. The scientist’s selection for the job and associated payment had nothing to do with his U.S. office, which is not a conclusion that can be readily drawn about the services purchased by foreign and state government employees newly flocking to Trump International Hotel. It may suggest the permissibility of accepting profits from truly routine transactions by truly routine hotel customers, including some government diplomats—but this possibility is undercut by Alito’s reference to the extremely limited nature of the permitted relationship and transaction in question.

The Justice Department is understandably leaning hard on the idea that an emolument must be received specifically as a function of office or employment. After all, without this very specific qualification, its argument for the permissibility of accepting profits from ordinary transactions falls apart. Two OLC opinions make this clear.

A 1982 OLC opinion determined that the Foreign Emoluments Clause barred an employee of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from working on his leave time for an American firm contracted by a Mexican government agency to review the design of a government-owned nuclear power plant. And a 1993 OLC opinion concluded that law firm partners serving as non-government advisors on the Administrative Conference of the United States could not accept partnership earnings “where some portion of that share is derived from the partnership’s representation of a foreign government” without triggering the constitutional prohibition. In the 1993 opinion, the OLC actually dismissed the argument that the conference member was not subject to the foreign government's “control” as “not decisive.” Instead, the OLC concluded that the portion of partnership profits the conference member would receive "would be a function of the amount paid to the firm by the foreign government," such that "the partnership would in effect be a conduit for that government." Acceptance of that portion of income was therefore a prohibited emolument (OLC reconsidered this opinion in 2010, but only with respect to whether the members held an “Office of . . . Trust” for purposes of the Foreign Emoluments Clause).

In these opinions, the OLC simply did not care that there was nothing out of the ordinary about the payments in these cases from a transactional or fair-market perspective. This runs contrary to the crux of the Justice Department’s argument for the innocuousness of Trump’s business-related foreign and domestic government income.

The textual kicker in all this is that even accepting the Justice Department’s insistence that “emolument” is best read to mean “profit arising from an office or employ” (Barclay’s A Complete and Universal English Dictionary on a New Plan (1774)), it doesn’t follow that all ordinary business transactions are okay: What if those transactions are, in number or value, enhanced by the prestige of the president’s office? Couldn’t the profit thereby derived then constitute “profit arising from an office or employ”? [Update, 5:17 pm: This is a line of argument that Marty Lederman compellingly and more thoroughly details here.]

It is to prevent this reading that the Justice Department argues that prohibited benefits must arise not just from the office but from the provision of services pursuant to that office. But this argument relies on a stunted conception of the power that an "Office of Profit or Trust" confers. To lift an example wholesale from Ben Wittes: If Trump owned a nondescript hotdog truck outside the White House that charged the same price for hotdogs as any other foodtruck and sold them to some incidental foreign customers, that would not be problematic under this definition of emoluments. If the truck were Trump-branded and either charged inflated prices or enjoyed inflated sales because Trump is president, and Saudi potentates lined up to put cash in his register, that would seem to constitute impermissible “profit arising from an office,” as a textual matter and in view of the historic Comptroller and OLC perspective.

At base, this is what plaintiffs are claiming—that the profits Trump is enjoying “aris[es] from” his office—so “aris[e] from” may be a definitional phrase the Justice Department is interpreting too narrowly. Trump’s status as the most powerful man in the world affects his business transactions, which are self-branded to boot. Not only is he enjoying booming business at his exclusive properties, in part thanks to foreign guests reportedly seeking to get in the president’s good graces, but he has also won Chinese trademark protection that, according to plaintiffs, he would not have received had he not become president.

Finally, on a practical note, notice the perverse upshot of the Justice Department’s fixation on employment and personal services as the place where the river divides. This assertion that payment for goods and business-related services is permissible but payment for employment and “personal services” is not means that a president can’t profit off his brain or body when it comes to cash from foreign sources or U.S. government entities, but can, without limitation, profit off the brains and bodies of those he can afford to employ in his private capacity. It’s what you might call a constitutional free pass for super-rich presidents.

The Comptroller and OLC opinions do not support such a result. They repudiate it.

***

Ultimately, the Justice Department’s view of emoluments marks a departure from the public Comptroller and OLC opinions in at least two critical respects. First, the new position is a clear abrogation of the practical “spirit of the Constitution” analysis on which the Comptroller and OLC have consistently relied to ensure a stringent rather than forgiving interpretation of what constitutes an impermissible benefit or undue influence (see, e.g., 1955 Comptroller Opinion, 1981 OLC Opinion, 1983 Comptroller Opinion; see also OLC 1962, noting “the sweeping nature of the constitutional prohibition”; OLC 1980, citing 1902 Attorney General Opinion stating the Foreign Emoluments Clause is “directed against every kind of influence by foreign governments upon officers of the United States” and the “prohibition should be given the broadest possible scope and application”). Second, the Justice Department’s quite specific argument that the president can profit from employing people to do business with foreign countries and government entities in the United States amounts to a strange carve-out, one that allows extremely wealthy officers with people in their employ to cash out as they wish on the advantages that the prestige of their office confers, without any consideration whatsoever of the sources of that cash. This interpretation is flatly at odds with executive branch tradition: I have yet to see a single opinion that has permitted an officer to collect profits even arguably enhanced by the power of his office, much less categorically benefit from discretionary, price-indeterminant transactions that foreign governments and U.S. government entities may enter into at will.

Note the issues I did not address here. What is not (yet) a point of debate in these particular lawsuits is whether these constitutional provisions apply to the president at all. The Domestic Emoluments Clause applies to the president by its express terms, and in its recent motion, the Justice Department doesn’t dispute CREW's claim, or the OLC’s preexisting determination, that the more obliquely phrased Foreign Emoluments Clause applies to the president as well (and notwithstanding the occasional argument to the contrary).

In addition, as the suits proceed in federal court, we can expect much of the legal discussion to focus on jurisdictional hurdles. There’s a strong argument that the courts don’t have a role to play, and that presidential corruption rising to the level of an emoluments violation is a political question whose resolution properly lies with Congress. Though the congressional suit spearheaded by Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representative John Conyers, Jr. alleges that Trump has failed to come to Congress for requisite permission in accepting foreign emoluments, Congress’s best recourse be impeachment proceedings. (Or if it so chose, Congress could avail itself of a lot of options short of impeachment, but in the words of Charles Black, Jr., circa 1974, “what an enormous if.” Recall that the House of Representatives has the power to demand Trump’s tax returns but has not exercised it.)

But as for the substantive question of whether the Comptroller and OLC of yore would have signed off on the Justice Department’s blessing of all monies flowing in by way of business transactions, the answer is “no.”


          Radically Distinct Radio with Jenn Morgan - Be Your Most Powerful Brand: Socially Responsible Citizenship and The Importance of Immigrants in the US With Special Guest Kripa Uypadhyay   
EpisodeOn this episode of Radically Distinct Radio, Jenn interviews immigration attorney and Managing Partner of Orbit LAW, Kripa Upadhyay, to talk about cultural differences between Southeast Asia and America, why there are so many Southeast Asian tech workers and how growing up in a very politicized household shaped the perspective she brings to her law practice and the legal field.
          Radically Distinct Radio with Jenn Morgan - Be Your Most Powerful Brand: Breaking Through the Good Old Boys Club with Kirk Utzinger   
EpisodeJenn sits down to talk with Kirk Utzinger, an experienced Executive Director who specializes in turning struggling non-profits around. Find out how his musical talents have helped him navigate the world of foundation politics!
          Simone Veil, iconic European feminist politician, dies at 89   
PARIS (AP) -- Simone Veil, a survivor of Nazi death camps and a European Parliament president who spearheaded abortion rights as one of France&apos;s most prominent female politicians, died Friday at 89, her family said....
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "3 Day Auction (shipping $10 total no matter how many games you win)"    

by RobRicky

An item Board Game: TPOC: The Politics of Cannibals has been added to the geeklist 3 Day Auction (shipping $10 total no matter how many games you win)
          What Time Of Day Is Best To Take L-carnetine   
"They make magic with the money ..."


I found the following comment, signed Corto , in an article Francis Velen (Blog from the rostrum of Geneva), about the volatile situation in Libya:


What Europeans do not see is that what happens in the 'nations' Arab is one thousandth of what the West will will take on the donut!

The Arab world and the West are just two sides of the same coin, you do not see that one side, some produce and other cars, they have oil!

You do not see that at the time the two would finally agree with a U.S. president pro-Arab, or rather pro-Iranian, is busting his nose while on the asphalt still warm in history.

You are all blind and you will see that this is just the beginning and it is not always the one who put the first goal wins the match. Frankly blindness among Arab and Western cowardice is white-hat-white hat and that he will happen if the Arabs come in a huge and incomprehensible civil war, millions of refugees in a Europe brink of bankruptcy. Here is the menu of this new century, a huge confusion in which, not only policies have no solution but did not see it coming so they anchored in corruption. Reread the comments Corto 2 years and you'll see that everything is there!

Personally when I see the UN, the European military powers did not intervene in Libya, so that everything passes was more than likely, I is not nothing wrong with Arab, on the contrary, they had the courage to confront their kleptomaniac monsters, bloodthirsty soulless and supported by the Swiss banks, but I see the sky of the Mediterranean does not planes Italian, French (Land of Human Rights) Domestic ( for once they have been used), or any civilized nation known as the Libyan civilians are being slaughtered, I even shame not to be an Arab!

Is Israel going to do the job? Ban ki Moon has 10,000 soldiers in an attempt to declare a civil war in Côte d'Ivoire, can not, this dog, sending its planes to Libya to calm things down?

We are in Geneva, a city where all the money from Qaddafi sleeps badly bloodied and where the UN welcomes daily catering trucks from Richmond, and nobody has exploded this puppet theater on a budget of tens of billion per year!

This world is screwed up, they screwed up is because you're not even fucking show your frustration on the net! it is fucked because tonight there is not much fats 10'000 Geneva outside the gates of the UN that trap these pests from reality!

A Federal Councillor who wore the headscarf of shame and not even his friend Gaddafi condemned the massacres of civilians, while she wept for not seeing the funds placed Gaddafi in Geneva migrate other paradise!

He would do what the Libyans are in Geneva and all the dictatorships in the world are buried! All the dirty money that junk sleep in Geneva!

Another little surprise, a film sponsored by Polanski on Switzerland, 23 minutes of normal madness! Here, the cultural genius is not subsidized.

A month ago wikileaks should publish documents involving Swiss banks in the dirty business, no one knows why nothing came officially break the web, but copies exist! Revenge is a dish best eaten warm.

Friends Libyan, Egyptian and Tunisian peoples all future free from the grip of dirty money and looted, remember the pressure on the Swiss political, they make magic with the money, they transform the billions millions when it comes to make the people!

Example; marcos would leave 70 million in Swiss banks, the reality was quite different, marcos left several billion! but they are gone as soon as they were to return to the Filipino people!

Corto

The
21/02/2011

          What Do You Put On A Ham To Make It Sweet   
Hayat is the guest of February 17, 2011

issue
second strand PJ Proudhon
How part Proudhon in his time, what his thought maintains links with the construction of the labor movement: not how his thinking has "influenced" the rising labor movement, but rather how Proudhon defined its report to the class struggle, the State, politics, by observing the first steps of the labor movement. Why our guest Samuel Hayat made a small return on the report to the state of the labor movement of the 1830s and 1840s, then it shows that the "anarchism of Proudhon" arises from a theory this report specifically to the state workers, particularly in light of the failure of workers in 1848. "

          Herpes Pubic Hair Under Arms   


Your help to free a person who dares to denounce violations of human rights by

Choupinette Choupi Tuesday February 15, 2011, 16:54

http://vendemiaire.over-blog.org/article-appel-pour-la-liberation-de-la-poetesse-et-journaliste-angye-gaona-65698316.html

The poet and journalist Angye Gaona was arrested. The Colombian government wants to silence her to keep the darkness of genocide. Angye Gaona Poet and witness stopped to think, Colombia, the country where the state has converted the act of thinking a crime. Angye Gaona, it is part of the committee organizing the International Festival of Poetry of Medellín.

Urgent international action is by his release and to denounce the Colombian state maintains more than 7,500 people jailed for "crimes of opinion" we are facing a real dictatorship camouflaged.

is an intolerable situation: each day they stop, are murder or disappearance of a political opponent, student union, a sociologist, a peasant ... Repression by the Colombian State against the Colombian people to appease his social claims is brutal.

It is urgent that the world moves in solidarity!


Signatures should be sent to: Aurora

Tumanischwili : a_tumanoff@yahoo.com.ar

With only:

.. . I sign for the release of the poet Angye Gaona.

... With your first and last name, your "professional", your city and your country.

No link, but an email.

summary translation of this text : http://www.bolinf.es/wp/?p=28935



Colombia is a country untouchable. The country is run by the American right. Unfortunately, once again, politicians, men of straw of the American right and wrong we want to do, with some exceptions, the international community avoid criticizing the Colombian Government. The international community silent all the abuses committed in Colombia the field of human rights.

A sampling of recent abuse of Colombian politics:

Have 7,500 political prisoners;
Dispose of Cabinet members involved in drug trafficking;
Having a connection between government and paramilitary groups;
Having a president also denounced for buying journalists
To win some voters, they believe they killed terrorists while the military has murdered innocent young people.

would have thought the international community if another country such as Ecuador, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, etc.. This area had committed such acts?

Colombia is the only country in South America where U.S. bases are located and the Americans as corrupt Colombian politicians to believe that the Americans provide development assistance but this is false. Today, after the nightmare of Alvaro Uribe, Juan Manuel Santos chairs the country, the very man who chose to continue the policy of his predecessor. He was Minister of Defence under President Uribe with an army guilty of corruption and connections with the paramilitaries.

Day by day, human rights are trampled.

In the second week of January, the Government continued to imprison citizens opponents. One of felonies was the last stop Angye Gaona , Colombian poet and journalist, a woman who contends with the lowest single offense was to denounce the excesses that are discussed above. The government also as the prior art practice of Uribe's arrest disable members of associations which are respect for human rights. Angye was arrested with two students and a trade unionist.

Their technique: First they imprison people without charge, they keep them imprisoned for a year or so, to release them, saying they are innocent. In this way, they succeed to dismantle the social movements.

As for Kabila, we join the demand for the immediate issuance of Angye Gaona and all political prisoners who meet the Colombian jails. And we ask the Community Internationalequ'elle an end to excesses against human rights committed by the Colombian Government.

Other links:
http://poesiedanger.blogspot.com/search/label/Angye% 20Gaona
http://delitdepoesie.hautetfort.com/archive/2011/02/15/en -a-bra-angye gaona.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIEfIxZRlSA
http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=195577683785572
          How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Great White Shark   
In the Arab world, Islam and Western democracy means dictatorship

by Abdenur Prado - posted Friday, February 11, 2011
Source: UMMA . COM

The West finances dictators in the Middle East and the Arab world for over a century.
pro-democracy demonstrations against dictatorships supported by the West in the Arab world, shows once again the immense hypocrisy of our leaders. Which side Western governments are, with the demonstrators or the dictators? The answer is simple: the side of those who generate millions for the benefit of Western multinational corporations.

But that does not surprise anyone. It is well known that the West has funded more than a century of dictatorships in the Middle East and the Arab world because it is through the autocracies that [the West] were able to control the resources of this region. Even if this leads to the exploitation and misery of people facing decommissioning, orchestrated by the International Monetary Fund, their social services in order to repay foreign debt generated by the millions in arms purchases in the West ... As the aspirations of civil society, increasing poverty, torture and repression, lack of civil liberties and human rights ... No Western leader does not care at all. And all have shown, continuously, without exception, for over a century. Remarks made recently by Henry Kissinger are revealing in this regard: "We've had five presidents who have considered Hosni Mubarak as the best ally of the U.S. objectives in the region. "

Just out of the archives all the statements of Western leaders who praise the Arab tyrants: their economic policies, their continued political stability, their contributions to international security, that they safeguard secularism and prevent the advance of Islamist movements ... In short, for submission to the dictates of Western financial markets and the International Monetary Fund.

This overview does only one variable: whether or not the connivance with the State of Israel. This underscores the critical role of Israel vis-à-vis the maintenance of dictatorships in the Arab world, a fact corroborated by the comments made by Netanyahu in support of Ben Ali and Mubarak as well as decades of collusion with the family Royal Saudi monarchy and other issues of colonialism. No surprise then to learn that Israeli diplomacy has done everything possible to save Mubarak. It is true that Israel has cause for concern, not only for the danger posed by the rise of political Islam, but also because the democratic governments that might arise would maintain not only their country's complicity in the genocide of the Palestinian people. The open border between Gaza and Sinai is crucial for the survival of the Palestinian people. This is a convincing argument in favor of democracy in Egypt and the Middle East! And
"Islamism" in all this? It serves as a bogeyman to justify the support of dictatorships "secularists." However, it obscures the fact that the majority of parties "Islamists" in the Arab world accepted the idea of parliamentary democracy.
An example of this paradigm is that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. In 1944 the founder, Hassan al-Banna, supported the participation in parliamentary elections, saying that the Egyptian constitution was "Islamic" because it recognized that the authority resides in the people, ensured the decision-making through consultation (Shura) and respect for individual freedoms. In some of his writings, he defends parliamentary democracy: "The bases of political organization based on the system of parliamentary representation does not contradict the fundamental principles that Islam has set in organization of power. "Since its founding, the Muslim Brotherhood have repeatedly stated that their intention is not to take power, but to educate society and to influence the system for Islamic ideals in justice being implemented. Despite this, they are portrayed as villains by the media manipulation and by Western governments. (I'm not a fan of the Muslim Brotherhood, but I am against their demonization. For their positions, see their website in English).

There is talk now of returning to Tunisia Rachid al-Ghannouchi, founder and historic leader of the party-Nahda in Tunisia, after 22 years of exile. According Ghannouchi, Islam provides a more fertile than that of the West to carry out democracy. There is a book of Azam Tamimi, where he studied his thought in detail, Rachid Ghannouchi: A Democrat within Islam, published by Oxford University Press. Among his ideals: "an Islamic system based on the will of the majority, free elections, free press, minority protection, equality between laity and religious parties, and achieving complete women's rights in all areas, participation in elections to the freedom to dress as they wish, the right to divorce, and even the right to be head of state. The role of Islam is to provide an ethical system. "

An ethical system that necessarily involves the abolition of usury Financial, which provides a minimum of social services for the entire population and the establishment mechanisms that prevent the accumulation of capital in the hands of a few individuals. An equally valid for Spain than for Egypt.

In Brief: Islamist movements are champions of democracy against tyranny corrupt funded by the West. It is curious to see how the terms were reversed at the point of passing the opposition, which demands democracy, for ... absolutists, and dictators that suppress civil liberties as saviors. The world upside down? The world seen through a mass media manipulation. That is to say, from a perspective of the interests of major Western financial corporations.


Translation: Amy Fetchman

          Best Temperature To Run Wood Stove   
18 - Alexis Dabin This Proudhon and mutualism February 10, 2011

Play issuance
Tier 1 PJ Proudhon
Proudhon's philosophy from what appears to be the two essential principles of his thought: Justice and mutuality.
These two concepts form the grid reading of the whole of his work . Proudhon envisaged as interpersonal relationships, economic or political relations in through the prism of these two principles. They allow him to navigate the maze of social issues and give concrete answers to the many problems affecting society.
The French Revolution is a milestone in the history of law. In the Old Regime, the society was organized hierarchically, with men were seen as inherently unequal. Proudhon said that with the French Revolution, "the spirit of morals and legislation [change] from top to bottom. More subordination of man to man, therefore more hierarchy, more church, more than dogma, more faith. " According to him, with the proclamation in 1789 of the principles of freedom and equal rights, social order is virtually transformed.

But if the Revolution was formally abolished the old social order and established the principles of a new organization of society, the revolutionaries could not deduce any practical consequences. They were unable to identify the specific rules of organization of society that guarantees everyone the freedom and equality rights. The law has not been reformed in all its branches according to newly proclaimed principles. Since this reform has not been fully resolved, the company remains the nineteenth century, in large part, subject to rules of the old legal order. The arbitrary standards, the system of privileges and social inequality that we hoped to have abolished, continue, still more virulent than under the old regime.
.............



          Avery Table Tents 5305   
Mohamed Hassan: "the causes of the revolution far beyond Tunisia Ben Ali and his party. "

Tunisians brought down the dictator Ben Ali. Today, they continue to fight against his men to head the transitional government. In this new chapter of our series "Understanding the Muslim world," Mohamed Hassan * ((photo-cons) explains the implications of the revolution of Tunisia and its root causes: how nationalism Liberal advocated by Tunisia under Bourguiba interests Western, plunging people into poverty, how a repressive state has put in place to maintain this system, why dictatorships in the Arab world are caused to fall, and how Islam became the condom imperialism




http://w41k.info//48669

(Gregory Lalieu Michel Collon)


In December 2010, riots broke out in Tunisia. A month later, President Ben Ali fled the country after twenty-three year reign. What are the causes of this revolution? And why is it popular movement succeeded in bringing down the dictator where other attempts have failed?

For there to be a revolution, it is necessary that people refuse to live as before and that the ruling class is no longer able to govern as before. On December 17, 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a young seller of fruits and vegetables, has sacrificed out of desperation after police had confiscated his goods himself, and that local authorities have to stop working. The conditions were ripe for a revolution broke out in Tunisia Bouazizi and suicide was the trigger.

Indeed, the Tunisians did not want to live as before: they were not accepting corruption, police repression, lack of freedom, unemployment, etc.. Moreover, the ruling class could no longer govern as before. Corruption under Ben Ali had taken a phenomenal amount while the majority of the population had to face insecurity. To maintain this status, police repression would be higher but it had reached its limits. The ruling elite was completely disconnected from the people for whom there was no interlocutor. Therefore, when popular revolts broke out, the ruling class had no choice but to quell the violence. But with the determination of the people, the repression reached its limit. This is one of the keys to the success of the popular revolution of Tunisia: it managed to reach all segments of society, including members of the army and police who sympathized with the demonstrators. The repressive apparatus could no longer function as before either. If a revolt occurs but is not able to combine different segments society, it can not lead a revolution.

Even after the departure of Ben Ali, the protests continue. The situation that Tunisians refuse is not the result of one man? For

signs "Ben Ali emerges" signs were followed by "CDR releases. Tunisians are attacking the president's political party because they fear that one of his men to take power. But in reality, the root causes that led to revolt Tunisians far outweigh Ben Ali and the RCD. It is not enough to turn the president for the people earns his freedom and improves living conditions.

corruption, unemployment, social inequality ... What are the effects of imperialist domination of the West over Tunisia. For Tunisia, after independence, became a project of the United States.

What do you mean by imperialism?


Imperialism is the process by which capitalist powers politically and economically dominated by foreign countries. Western multinationals plunder the resources of Africa, Latin America and Asia. They find opportunities for capital they will accumulate and exploit cheap labor market. I say that multinationals are not buying as they plunder the resources at their fair value and the local people not benefiting from these riches. And this looting would not be possible if these countries operated, there were no leaders to defend the interests of multinationals. These leaders are getting richer in the process. They constitute the so-called comprador bourgeoisie. They have no political vision for their own country does not produce wealth and do not develop a real economy. But personally enriched by trading resources their countries with multinationals. Obviously, the people are the biggest victim in all this!

When you're a nationalist anti-imperialist cons, you are looking to develop for yourself. You nationalize key sectors of your economy, rather than leaving the management to foreign companies. This will create a national economy in the country and you allow it to grow on the basis of independence. That's what I call a national democratic revolution: national independent because of the imperialist powers, democratic as against feudalism and the elements reactionaries in the country.

However, Bourguiba, Tunisia's first president, was considered a socialist. And during his reign, the state played a very important role in the economy.


Bourguiba's political party was socialist in name only. If the state played an important role, it was only for the benefit of an elite only. This is called state capitalism. In addition, Bourguiba has systematically eliminated all the progressive elements and anti-imperialist in his party. So that this party became the party of one man, completely subject to U.S. imperialism.

Habib Bourguiba , great actor in the struggle for independence, was president of Tunisia from 1957 to 1987


What Was Tunisia important for the United States?

To understand the importance of that country to the U.S. strategy, we must analyze the political context of the Arab world in years 50 and 60. In 1952, officers overthrew the monarchy of King Farouk of Egypt and proclaim a republic. With Nasser at the helm Egypt becomes the basis of Arab nationalism inspired with revolutionary ideas of socialism. As evidenced by the nationalization of the Suez Canal, Nasser's arrival in power is a blow to the West because the Egyptian president's policy is totally at odds with the hegemonic Western powers in the Near and Middle East. Worse still: the anti-imperialist ideas of Nasser are emulated in the region. In Yemen for example, where in 1962 a revolution divided the country, the South becoming a bastion of Arab revolutionary movement. The same year, the independence of Algeria sends a strong signal to Africa and the Third World, the imperialist powers put on alert. Libya also note the Qaddafi coup in 1969. The colonel took power and nationalized major sectors of the economy, to the chagrin of the West. The same year, the Islamic revolution in Iran toppled the Shah, one of the most important pillars of U.S. strategy in the Middle East.

short, at that time, an anti-imperialist movement defies strong strategic interests of the United States in the Arab world. Fortunately for Washington, all countries in the region do not follow the path of Nasser. It the case of Tunisia. In 1957, a year after the independence of Tunisia, Bourguiba was one of the first Arab leaders to send U.S. in the prestigious journal, Foreign Affairs. The title of the article? Nationalism best antidote to communism. For the United States who want to counter the influence of Nasser is a godsend! Bourguiba wrote in his article: "With the regard, Tunisia has chosen to make unequivocal its way into the free world from the West." We are in the Cold War. The Soviets argued that Nasser's influence grows in the region. And the U.S. needs pro-imperialist agents Bourguiba as not to lose strategic control of the Arab world.

Nasser announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956

Can we be both nationalist and pro-imperialist?

Bourguiba was a liberal nationalist with anti-communist ideas which led him to join the imperialist camp in the West. In fact, I feel like George Padmore Bourguiba Arabic. Padmore was a leading Pan-Caribbean origin. In 1956 he wrote a book called Pan-Africanism or Communism: The battle ahead in Africa. Like Bourguiba, he fed anti-communist ideas and even if he declared himself a nationalist, his political vision was largely subservient to the interests of imperialist powers. Nationalism served as a cover, their policy is far from being independent. Padmore had a great influence on the first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, one of the instigators of the African Union. Its pro-imperialist ideas were able to spread across the continent with the result that we see today is celebrated around the golden jubilee of independence in Africa, but many Africans know they have never become independent. President Nkrumah himself later regretted having taken the advice of Padmore.

In Tunisia too, the submission to imperialist interests has quickly been felt and it turned out that nationalism advocated by Bourguiba was a facade. In the 70s, for example, the President has passed a series of measures intended to attract foreign investors: tax exemption on company profits for ten years, exemption from all duties and taxes for twenty years, exemption from Tax Income property values, etc.. Tunisia has become a vast workshop of Western multinationals in recent repatriation of profits.

Tunisia did she not still been some good progress under Bourguiba?

Yes, there have been positive developments: education, status of women, etc.. First, because Tunisia were the progressives in his elite players, but they were quickly dismissed. Then, because Tunisia was to be dressed in his finest dress. Indeed, this country played a major role in the strategy of the United States to counter the influence of communism in the Arab world. But what had you on the other side? Progressive revolutionary movements that had toppled backward and monarchies who enjoyed popular support. You could not counteract this movement by advocating a feudal system. Saudi Arabia has done so because it could use its oil money for that. But Tunisia, unable to rely on such resources, should provide some progressive image. In the fight against communism, it was supposed to represent a successful Third World countries have chosen the path of liberal nationalism.

But behind the scenes was less flattering. As I said, Bourguiba has systematically eliminated the progressive elements that do not follow his steps. The anti-imperialists who wanted an independent Tunisia both economically and politically, those who wanted to assert their own position in the Third World and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, all were opposed. Tunisia has in fact been used as a laboratory of the imperialist powers. And what was supposed to represent the success of liberal nationalism has become a dictatorship.

When Ben Ali Bourguiba succeeded in 1987, he continues on the same track?


Absolutely. One can even say that the submission to Western interests has grown. Ben Ali was a pure agent of U.S. imperialism. In 1980, as ambassador to Poland, he even served as a liaison between the CIA and Lech Walesa, the union leader who fought against the Soviet Union.

In 1987, when Ben Ali assumed the presidency of Tunisia, the country was deeply in debt by the capitalist crisis of 1973. Moreover, at that time, the ideas of Milton Friedman and his Chicago Boys were very popular. These ultra-liberal economists believed that the market is an entity capable of regulating themselves and that the state should certainly not interfere in the economy. The technical elite Tunisian largely from U.S. schools were highly influenced by theories of Friedman. Ben Ali then left the state capitalism in effect at the beginning of the era Bourguiba. Under the supervision of the IMF and World Bank, he began a privatization program much more massive than what his predecessor had already begun in the 70s.

What were the effects of this new economic policy?


First, privatization of the Tunisian economy has allowed Ben Ali and his wife's family, Trabelsi, personal enrichment. Corruption has reached a very high level, Tunisia has become a country totally subservient to imperialism, headed by a comprador bourgeoisie. Obviously, Ben Ali and his clan did not have many raw materials to selling out to Western multinationals. But they took advantage of the education system established under Bourguiba to develop a service economy. Indeed, the Tunisian workforce is highly educated and inexpensive at a time. It therefore attracts foreign investors.

Tourism has also developed strong as to become the mainstay of the Tunisian economy. Here we see the lack of political vision of the elite. Indeed, no country can develop its economy based on tourism if not first developed a national economic base. The tourism industry consumes a lot but reported very little to the Tunisian people. Imagine: while Western tourists consume hectoliters of water to bask in pools, Jacuzzis or golf course, the poor peasants in the south face of the drying soil.

But it's not just the farmers who have suffered from this policy. Overall, the social conditions of the Tunisian people deteriorated while the president's entourage has amassed a huge fortune. Everyone knew the regime was corrupt. So to maintain this system, the system should prevent any disputes. The repression became even more brutal penny Ben Ali simple criticism or even the desire for modernity and openness were not allowed. Such a situation could lead to popular revolt. Moreover, trying to monopolize his clan the wealth of the country, Ben Ali has also drew the ire of some of the traditional bourgeois Tunisia.


You say that political repression was very strong. Is there anyway today, opposition forces can guide the people's revolution now that Ben Ali has fallen?

Genuine opposition parties were banned under Ben Ali. However, some continued to exist underground. For example, the first Tunisian Communist Party could not live openly and organize like any political party in a democracy. But he continued to operate secretly through associations of civil society (teachers, farmers, doctors, prisoners ...). The PGWPP was able to form a social base and fired a solid experience of this period. It is exceptional in the Arab world.

I think two major challenges now await the opposition parties. First, they must come forward and make themselves known to the general public in Tunisia. Then they must organize a united front of resistance to imperialism. In fact, the imperialist powers seek to maintain the system without Ben Ali Ben Ali. We see now with the Union government National rejected the Tunisians, which is very positive. But the imperialist powers will not stop there. They will certainly seek to impose an International Electoral Commission to support candidates who defend to their best interests. It is therefore necessary to resist interference by creating a united front to build a true democracy.


Opposition parties are they able to overcome their differences to create such a front?

I know that some political parties were reluctant to associate Islamo-nationalist movement Ennahda. This movement emerged in the 80s. He advocated an anti-imperialist line and in fact, has suffered political repression. Why not combine Ennahda in front of resistance to the interference of foreign powers? Tunisia is a Muslim country. It is normal that a political force emerges with an Islamo-nationalist trend. You can not prevent that.

But each of these movements must be studied separately, with its own specificities. This was done by the communist PGWPP. They studied scientifically objective conditions that apply Tunisia. Their conclusion is that the Communists and Islamo-nationalists have been victims of political repression and that even though their programs differ, they share common ground: they want an end to dictatorship and the independence of Tunisia. The Communists have proposed an alliance with the Islamo-nationalists long ago. Of course, the PGWPP does not make Tunisia a Islamic state. Its political agenda is different from that of al-Nahda. But it is the Tunisian people who will judge these differences democratically. Elections should be a contest open to everyone. That is true democracy.

Precisely opposition parties gathered in front of 14 January to fight against the interim government of Mohamed Ghannouchi, a henchman of former President Ben Ali. A hopeful sign?

Absolutely, Tunisia is on the right track: all opposition parties banned so far have created a united front to prevent the system is maintained without Ben Ali Ben Ali. Also underline the role played by the base of the union UGTT. The head of the union authorized under Ben Ali was corrupt and working with the state police. But since the basis of the union put pressure on its leaders and members who UGTT were part of the transitional government have resigned. Although much remains to be done, democracy wins Tunisian institutions under pressure from the people.

Western powers opposed to that. They want to impose democracy in Tunisia where only low-intensity "good" candidates would be allowed to stand for election. If you look at the type of democracy that the United States enjoy, you come across Ethiopia. The U.S. government has provided $ 983 million to countries in the Horn of Africa for the year 2010. That same year, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, in office since 16 years, was reelected with 99.5 percent of the vote! It's even better than Ben Ali! The reality is this: behind their rhetoric in support of the Tunisian people, the Western powers continue to actively support many other Ben Ali in the world.

The United States could not they support other candidates pro-imperialist, but in the eyes of Tunisians, were not associated with the Ben Ali era?

It would be difficult. There is a part of the comprador bourgeoisie which was lésinée by the corrupt system of Ben Ali. But this elite is not strong enough control the popular movement and not enough grounding in the Establishment to win.

The United States had also thought of another strategy: a few months ago, while Ben Ali was still in power, the U.S. ambassador has visited a Communist leader in prison. Officially, a simple observation visit in the framework of respect for human rights. Unofficially, the U.S. anticipated the departure of Ben Ali and wanted to test the waters. Their goal was to get the Communists against the Islamo-nationalists, divide the resistance to imperialism to weaken more. But the Communists Tunisia does not fall into the trap. They are very familiar with the strategy developed by Henry Kissinger in the 80s in the Middle East. They published a very good study on the subject and know they should not take orders from outside or adhere to ideologies manufactured by foreign powers.

Why the U.S. have they abandoned Ben Ali? Had he gone too far in personal enrichment? According to a cable Wikileaks, the U.S. ambassador was very critical of the system of quasi-mafioso Tunisian president, organized corruption are obstacles to investments by foreign companies.

This is not the problem. The United States does not care about corruption. Instead, it is a key element of the system of domination on the U.S. South. In fact, Washington was aware of the internal situation in Tunisia and knew that Ben Ali would not be able to govern. The West must now ensure that the replacement of Ben Ali will continue to defend their interests. The stakes are high. The capitalist crisis is causing serious problems in the West. Besides this, China is getting stronger and now provides more loans than the World Bank and other imperialist powers combined. She even wants to buy a significant portion of the debt of the euro area partly because it has economic interests with European countries, on the other imperialist powers to divide, the EU is historically associated with states USA.

In such a context, the Tunisian people's movement, under the auspices of a revolutionary leadership, could establish an independent government and take advantage of this situation of a multipolar world. The imperialist powers fear that countries that were traditionally under his rule become economically independent, turning also to China. Tunisia could build relationships with the Asian giant to develop its commercial ports. And it would seriously question the concept of the Mediterranean Dialogue, this expansion of NATO to the countries of the Mediterranean that is not a dialogue but a mere instrument of Western domination.

Another country that seems to fear democracy in Tunisia and in the region, Israel. Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said shortly after the fall of Ben Ali that the development of democracy in Arab countries threaten Israel's security. This country often called only democracy in the Middle East, would he be afraid of competition?

Under a democratic facade, Israel is a fascist, apartheid state. In the region, it can not ally with repressive dictatorial states, led by comprador bourgeoisie that weaken the body of the Arab nation. Currently, these Arab states are rich countries inhabited by poor people. But if a democratic government in the full sense of the term emerges, it will increase economically the Arab nation as a whole. And this economic development will lead to an alliance of Arab countries against the state racist oppressing the Palestinians. Israel fears this course.

Moreover, there is a very big gap between the official positions of Arab dictatorships and the popular sentiment about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since Egyptian President Sadat visited Israel in 1977, Egypt's position is "we want peace." But it is a position imposed by force to the population. And the current Egyptian government is not content to maintain peaceful relations with Tel Aviv. It participates actively in the strangulation of Gaza, while the majority of Egyptians in solidarity with Palestinians.

It's the same alignment of Arab dictatorships on Washington politics. Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are allies of the United States while the populations of these countries are anti-imperialists. I was in Egypt when Muntadhar al-Zaidi, a journalist in Iraq, threw his shoes on George W. Bush. The Egyptian population was celebrated as a hero. I heard of fathers wanting to marry their daughter with the reporter. Still, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is one of the most faithful allies of Washington.

Do you think the revolution Tunisia a domino effect could cause the downfall of other dictatorships in the Arab world?

70% of the population in Arab countries is less than thirty years and knows that unemployment, police repression and corruption. But all these young people want to live. And to live, they need change. This is the reality of each country. It is therefore not even need a domino effect, the objective conditions are ripe for further revolutions erupt.

People no longer want to live as before. But for their part, the ruling classes are they unable to govern as before?

course. And we see in Egypt today. There are police everywhere in this country. But it is impossible to control everything. A state police has its limitations and the Arab world have reached.

Furthermore, information plays a very important role today. Tunisians, Egyptians and peoples of the Third World are better informed through Al-Jazeera as part of an Internet and social networks on the other. The evolution of information technology has increased the level of education and consciousness of people. The people no longer a mass of illiterate peasants. You have a lot of very smart young people, with a certain practical sense, able to circumvent censorship and of mobilizing the Internet.

there in these countries the opposition forces can guide the popular revolutions?

Why Punishment is so important if these dictators were not in danger? Why the comprador bourgeoisie, so greedy, she would spend so much money in the repressive apparatus if she was not afraid to be reversed? If there was no opposition, all this would not be necessary.

the side of Western observers, many fear that the collapse of these regimes Arab favors the rise of Islamism. As summarized so finely Christophe Barbier, editor of L'Express, "Ben Ali is better than the bearded." These fears proved on of Islamism are they based?

Islamism became the condom of imperialism. Western powers justify their strategy of domination in the Arab-Muslim world under the guise of fighting against Islam. There are Islamists everywhere today. Soon, we shall find even traces of Al-Qaeda on Mars if it is useful to the imperialists!

In reality, the West has always needed to invent an enemy to justify its hegemonic designs and incredible military spending (financed by taxpayers). After the fall of the Soviet Union and the demise of the communist enemy is Islam and Al Qaeda who have played the roles of villains villains.

But the West has no problem with Islamism. It adapts very well to this trend in countries like Saudi Arabia. Moreover, he himself fostered the rise of Islamist movements to counter the Arab nationalism at a time. The real problem for the West is anti-imperialism. That's why he tries to discredit any popular movement in the Arab world who is opposed to its interests by affixing the label "Islamist."

Finally, it should not be very smart to think that the Arab dictatorships are bulwarks against the rise of religious fanaticism. Instead, these repressive regimes have led some of the population to be radicalized. Who could afford to say that such and such people have no right to democracy? In a truly democratic country, different political forces may emerge. But the bourgeoisie comprador ruling in the Arab dictatorships can not convince people. She can not even face to face. To defend the imperialist interests, you must prevent other political forces to emerge because they are likely to convince the people against a corrupt elite. The West has always sought to maintain dictatorships that served its interests by waving the specter of Islamism. But the Arab peoples need democracy. They claim it today and nobody can not go against these claims.

Source: www.michelcollon.info
          How To Repair A Torn Couch   
Lures & Revolutions

What happens in the Maghreb, Egypt is probably a prelude, predators waiting for their time: these insurgencies are for them, as once were the struggles of American countries South, a field of experimentation. Become cumbersome, the Ben Ali Mubarak and other (member of the International Socialist! As DSK, as Ségolène!) Will be replaced by Democrats on their own blessed by the IMF and technocrats dismal. As we will rely on the current economic system will not change anything in depth because it is the source of deadly disturbances of humanity as a whole.

All cases we defend not they come here? Address the profound evil does he not return to drastically change my lifestyle? Give yourself the luxury of denying that the neighbors poor, hitherto ignored, can live decently. Solidarity that is shared, like bread, like a handshake, like a poem, like ideas and wealth too. Let's start by sweeping our doorstep. Globalization? I felt like an illusion, an ideology of standardization and formatting of the masses. An insurgency is not a revolution: the first is the result of a situation had become intolerable while the second, in essence, is the long term, by mobilizing more than the civic conscience which should be central to any process and any political action. The game of global governance that is taking place is to discredit political thought (which has nothing to do with an ideological construct). Let us not forget that capitalism is the result of an ideology (with its strategies, policy makers and police), and in this respect is comparable to Stalinism which was only a state capitalism totalitarian. And this is capitalism, we do not too worried, is not it, when rampant in the Arab and African held an iron fist by dictators orders of multinational corporations, guided by foreign secret services. Dream holiday in Hammamet Marrakech or for a nominal price, which in the wings, has a price in human lives.

unbridled consumption, a synonym for huge profits, which suck the vast majority of people, today revealed its limitations and the risks it is incurring imminent future generations. Market forces, as we bombard the singers of the single thought, were only dressing a hateful ideology has continued to crush the living beauty of the values common to all cultures.

" That the Earth is pretty " said the poet Armand Robin, "No need also flowers!"


G. Hadey
          Zumba Before And After Picutures   
Democratic Transition in Tunisia

"Tunisia is between radical and authoritarian democracy"
EROS BY SANA (January 31, 2011)

Source: http://www.bastamag .net/article1401.html

How to build the democratic transition in Tunisia? Vincent Geisser, a researcher at the Institute for Research and Studies on the Arab and Muslim world, analyzes the role played by different actors in Tunisia - political opponents, former regime of Ben Ali, "Islamist" party, army, police - and foreign powers. It describes possible scenarios of democratic consolidation in the coming weeks. Maintenance.

Basta! : Where is the revolution in Tunisia? What are the strategies of the opposing forces to build the "transition Democratic?

Vincent Geisser [1]: The "democrats" Tunisians who supported and accompanied the revolution are deeply divided over the future of the protest movement. There are those who feel the need to strengthen the nascent democracy by putting a definitive end to the protest process. They are supporters of a certain security standards, based on a historic compromise between the "doves" of the former regime, opponents and independent representatives UGTT single union (the General Union of Tunisian Workers). They want to consolidate the democratic transition, including by dealing with the army and the party more "healthy" of the security apparatus, as well as some former bosses of the regime known for their "openness." This is the position advocated by Najib Chebbi (Democratic Progressive Party), former opponent in Ben Ali, currently Minister of the transitional government.

Others want to eradicate all traces of the old regime and the party-state, and reject any compromise. This is where supporters of Marzouki (Congress for the Republic) and members of the Communist Party of Tunisian Workers (POCT). And of course leaders movement of "unemployed graduates" of the interior. They wish to push through the "democratic revolution" to give birth to a new political, economic and social development. Both camps have no real difference in political culture, they are animated by democratic ideals. What separates them fundamentally, the strategy of rupture and especially the "democracy agenda".

What remains of the old regime?


There is some disappointment today protesting actors, quite understandable - I think particularly young people "unemployed graduates". But there is no objective risk of returning to the old regime or system restore mafia. A break has occurred. The dictator is gone. This is a crucial element when it is known that while Tunisia was around him, with extreme personalization of power. mafia clans and profiteers - families Ben Ali, Trabelsi and others - have fled. Darkest segments of the security apparatus were largely dismantled.

If we can legitimately understand the disappointment of " radical democrats, "as Marzouki, Hammami, Nasraoui, and unemployed graduates who feel that their revolution was stolen, the former regime is ousted. We are in a transition phase. But this transition can lead to a regime that bastard would an independent candidate access to presidential power, with new elements but also with elements of the old regime. This will lead to reinforce a kind of "authoritarian democracy" or "democratic authoritarianism".

What role did the Tunisian army played in the revolution and what role can it play in the future?

The army has been in recent weeks a fundamental role, not supporting the plan of repression of Ben Ali. She clearly rejected the extreme policies of the supreme leader, and instead played a protective role players protesters. The reason? The army is not connected with the mafia and clan interests of power. Unlike Egypt, Syria or even Algeria, Tunisia army has no direct interest in industry or in the management of oil revenues. It is an army of about 35,000 men, composed of employees, officials, technicians and engineers.

should not be provided to paint a romantic portrait. The Tunisian army played a repressive role in 1978 to channel the social movements, and in 1981 and 1984 to quell the "bread riots". This time, she refused the role because the sources of legitimacy of the regime were exhausted. Ben Ali was discredited, corruption was widespread. Faced with this stalemate, the military has understood that the only solution was to replace the dictator.

This reaction - some would say "Republican" - is primarily dictated by pragmatic: generals and senior officers are convinced that a crackdown could lead to chaos and their own demise. As the "political fluidity" present, the Tunisian army can play a more important role in the constitutional process and the "pacification" social, oscillating between registry and registry security mediation with the forces of the country.

"security apparatus" Tunisia is it still present and operational?

France has 60 million inhabitants, Tunisia 9 million. Yet both countries have almost the same number of police officers: 135.000. is huge! Tunisia is one of the countries with the most police per capita. The security apparatus, through the Ministry of Interior is fully engaged in repression. Part of the police fired into the crowd with live ammunition. It is the security apparatus of Ben Ali who is responsible for nearly 70 deaths officially deplored and thousands injured. But the whole apparatus police is not corrupt: the "rotten" mafia of the security apparatus was largely dismantled.

There is more to fear from areas of the Department of the Interior directly to the clans and Ben Ali Trabelsi. They are currently in hiding. I do not believe in a return of "old demons" even if the future Tunisian democracy can deal with safety trends similar to those we see now in France with Nicolas Sarkozy. In this sense there is a danger of creating in Tunisia in the coming months an "authoritarian democracy".

What role can the "Islamists" in the democratic process?


The "Islamists" Tunisians have long been integrated into "democratic forums." They are "fundamentalists embedded" in the democratic debate in exile. They participated in Paris, London, Marseille numerous opposition rallies, alongside the left, communist, socialist, even anti-Islamic. Many leaders of the left Tunisian 'secular' leaders have frequently met with "Islamists". In many ways the 'fundamentalists' are already integrated into the political game of Tunisia.

For the party Ennahdha (Renaissance) Rached Ghannouchi, the model is not radical Islam or Islamism Salafi Saudi-style, but the AKP, which currently leads Turkey. This means accepting the parliamentary game and advocating economic liberalism tinged social, and especially a certain pragmatism with other Democrats. There is a huge myth about "Islamists" of Tunisia. The party Ennahdha is more of a liberal conservative party, which is not at all in a process of creating an Islamic state or Islamic theocracy. The Islamists classic "Tunisians are now looking to Ankara, they did nothing" green fascists. " How

react today Western countries and Arab neighbors?


The United States has played a leading role in the departure of Ben Ali.
support President Barack Obama to the social movement, even if he was shy, was much sharper than that of France. Beyond this symbolic support, it would seem that the Obama administration has given its support to the Tunisian army and "doves" of the regime (Mohamed Ghannouchi, Prime Minister and Kamel Morjane, the Minister of Foreign Affairs) to sacrifice Ben Ali. It is clear that the United States supported the transition scenario.

Regarding the Arab countries, we can really worry that some plans make every effort to derail the democratic process in Tunisia. Saudi Arabia, Libya, Algeria has no interest in a democracy can arise in the Arab world. A "loose coalition" of Arab dictators could be to sabotage or disrupt the democratic process in Tunisia.

Support from U.S., EU and France to Tunisian Democrats is essential. Either you play the card of democracy in the Arab world or, rather, play an ambiguous role and promotes the perverse game of Saudi Wahhabis, the megalomaniac dictatorship of the regime of Gaddafi and Algerian generals. In this case, we should not complain about the progress of the Salafist jihadist ideology!

How Does France have made such errors of analysis on the situation of Tunisia?

The official position of France was not based on an error analysis, but on a political logic of total and blind support for Ben Ali regime. Interpret the statements of Michele Alliot-Marie as a political mistake is wrong. This is not a political mistake, this is a failing policy. France has always supported authoritarian regimes . She believes that one does diplomacy in relations between States and civil societies are not important.

The United States have both supported Ben Ali and developed concrete relations with unions and all the dissidents of the regime. In contrast, France has always prohibited its diplomacy to have any contact with everything that could affect the quality of its relations with Ben Ali. This blindness is the logic of French policy towards the Arab world: "We support dictators against the risks of destabilization! It seems that France has included a number of mistakes. Hopefully it reorients its policy towards Tunisia openly supporting the democratic process.

What are the possible scenarios in the weeks and months ahead?

Tunisia has a choice between two options. Either authoritarian democratic consolidation that would lead the country until elections, with a broad coalition around an opponent as independent Nejib Chebbi (PDP), with some elements of former regime elements and the trade union left. In this case, the elections will certainly be "democratic" (at least in appearance), but the scenario is first "programmed" the government candidate will have particular ways superior to those of its opponents. This scenario of "managed democracy" is intended to protect Western interests and pursue the integration of Tunisia in the "world economy" in the footsteps of the Bank World Bank and the IMF. A scenario where the candidate would be a sort of "Tunisian Ouattara.

Another assumption: the pressure of the street continues or increases and pushes the government to resign or to go much further, with the dissolution of the party of Ben Ali (RCD), the establishment of a genuine process with the constitutional election of a constituent assembly. Total semi-democracy or democracy? Radical break with the old regime or consolidation autoritaro-democratic? This is how I would put the political future of Tunisia. A future which, in all cases, will be without Ben Ali.

Interview by Eros Sana



Notes [1] Vincent Geisser is a sociologist and researcher at the CNRS and the Institute for Research and Studies on the Arab and Muslim world (IREMAM). He is author, with Marzouki, dictators on borrowed time. A democratic path in the Arab world, editions of L'Atelier, 2009.

          Copper Pipe Freezing Point   
Paris on the Nile

To keep a little of that light, sunshine and sweetness, columns, plant, tops and bas-reliefs of sphinxes, which dream ... I ' I ran Paris to find traces of Egypt, I found it and ready to smile sometimes, follow me!

the 17th century already ...
A Pierre Aubert, responsible for collecting tax on salt, the salt tax partnership building in the Marais a mansion . Built between 1656 and 1659 , the scenery is especially entrusted to the brothers Marsy. It Hotel Salé (5 rue de Thorigny, Paris 75004), Picasso museum since 1985.
Two sphinxes (lion body and bust of woman), with front paws crossed . A garland covers the sides and nemes (Egyptian headdress) is topped with crenellated towers
(I admit not having seen such Egypt ...)
Here is one who watches!

Not far away, along the Seine , 2a Wharf Celestine, 4 th arrondissement, the hotel door Fieubet (Gaspard Fieubet, Chancellor of Queen Marie-Therese) is guarded by two sphinxes,
that as the left wing and courtyard garden on the back cover are from the time of construction and renovation by the Sweat and Vicott on plans by architect Jules Mansart Hardoin in the years 1676 - 1681 . For the rest, since 1857 the hotel is a pastiche of Baroque Italian-English.


Along the Seine - stop at the Louvre, Egyptian Antiquities destination, if the desire is there, of course! - You can reach the garden of Tuileries (75001), near la Concorde to find " the Nile," marble, by Lorenzo Ottone ( 1688 - 1692)

This Italian sculptor (1658-1736) is best known for its baroque statues religious (cons-reform) in Rome.

In the next century, 18 th , and a long way to go to the park Bagatelle (Bois de Boulogne Route de Sevres to Neuilly and Allée de Longchamp , Paris 75016). Sphinxes ... by two, before the castle (18th century Folly built by the Comte d'Artois in 1777 after a bet with Queen Marie-Antoinette) ...

Oops! these, the garden, are well suited ... Egyptian character really, is not it?

A pair, controlled by Lhuillier 1778 by Belanger, architect of the Comte d'Artois to the steps of the castle. Lhuillier subcontracted in sculpture at Philip Lawrence Rolland (1746-1816) and fought in 1781.

And ... Bonaparte and then the campaign and the shipment Egypt (1798-1801).
A fighter, Maximilian Cafarelli, General (Engineering) to the wooden leg , scholar and philosopher, who held a key role in preparing the expedition will give Egypt as far his talent to improve the protection of Cairo, facilitate liaison between Alexandria and the Nile, participate in the creation of the Institute of Egypt. Creations of bread ovens, construction of windmills, water supply, irrigation, urbanization, conservation of "objects antique ", etc.. its activities are manifold.
He follows Napoleon en route to Syria, attended the massacre of Jaffa, and died before St. Jean d'Acre: the failure of Bonaparte the end of the dream of the Orient!
Even if little known, a street named after him, close to Temple Street (75003)

Part of Toulon, the expedition took with her soldiers but also 167 scientists, engineers and artists Members of the Commission of Science and Arts: Dolomieu geologist, mathematician Gaspard Monge (a founder of the Ecole Polytechnique), the chemist Claude Louis Berthollet , Vivant Denon, the mathematician Jean-Joseph Fourier, physicist Etienne-Louis Malus , naturalist Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire , engineer Nicolas-Jacques Conté the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers are part of the trip, the sculptor Jean-Jacques Castex ...
Dolomieu Scientists (since 1879), Malus (since 1879), Berthollet, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and Monge have a street in their name in the 5 th Borough Street Monge constituting a sort of central axis.

Deodat Dolomieu (1750-1801), is recruited by the chemist Berthollet January 4, 1798 to participate in the expedition to Egypt. Upon landing on Egyptian soil, he undertook the verification of spatial data he had read in ancient authors, Greek and Latin . At the same time, following his experience in Malta he set up and monitor mills, grinding wheels, gears, flour and ovens for the manufacture of rolls of the army of General Bonaparte East. Urged by his friend Sucy, chief officer of the army of the East, returning to France with him, refuses Dolomieu, as two more months living in Egypt are necessary for the study of the Nile delta. This in turn will be captured in Calabria by Queen of the Two Sicilies. Stripped of its collections and manuscripts, it survives very painfully in a cell with almost no light with a few books he has managed to hide. This prison, as a criminal State in a dark dungeon of Messina in Sicily, will last 21 months. Dolomieu owed his deliverance to the military victory of Bonaparte at Marengo, June 14, 1800. Marked by his captivity, he died 17 months later.
It owes its name to the sustainability of mineral and rock that he discovered, dolomite.

Etienne-Louis Malus , physicist and mathematician (1775-1812) working to study Light . He participated in the expedition and became a member of the Institute Egypt

Claude Louis Berthollet (1748 - 1822) chemist , hand in Egypt in the Committee of Science and Arts, where he joined the Institute Egypt in the physics section and was elected vice president. He was elected president the following year. He made important research on natron to enable it to develop his theory on the affinities. In 1802 he was appointed chairman of the committee responsible for preparing the Description of Egypt .

During the expedition, Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire , French naturalist (1772 - 1844) passion for archeology to zoology as well as because he found in some graves animal mummies. He studied diligently birds, monkeys, crocodiles
(in Paris it!)
and snakes of Egypt, collected many specimens and made many communications various topics. After the surrender of French troops (August 1801), he played bitterly to the English collections he had so much trouble to set up and managed to return them intact in France they are so rich that their inventory it takes several years


Gaspard Monge (1746-1818) was a mathematician whose work touches to descriptive geometry, infinitesimal analysis and analytic geometry. After playing a major role in the French Revolution, both politically and in terms of establishing a new education system, He is responsible for mission in the expedition to Egypt (1798-1799).

Jean-Jacques Castex , (1731-1822), sculptor and is part of the Expedition to Egypt.
In January 1799, he accompanied the geographer Bertre engineer in his trip to Fayoum and is part of the commission led by Girard, who share Cairo March 19, 1799 for Upper Egypt . He creates a wax model, reduced to a third of Dendera Zodiac.
He is still famous to be carved on the great temple of Philae , registration
"year 6 of the Republic on 15 Messidor / a French army / commissioned by Bonaparte, / is down in Alexandria. / The army has taken twenty days, / the Mamelukes at the Pyramids on the run, / Desaix, commanding the first division, / has on undergraduate beyond the cataracts, / where he arrived on 13 of Ventose year 7. / The brigadiers / Davoust, Friant and Belliard, / Donzelot Chief of Staff, / Latournerie comm. of artillery / Eppler, Chief the 21st light / 13 Ventôse 7 of the Republic / March 3, year of Christ 1799. / Engraved by Castex sculptor.
Pphilae
Castex Street is close to the Rue St Antoine and bd Henri IV (75004)

" County has all the sciences in the head and all the arts in hand. " said Monge.
Nicolas Jacques Conte (1755-1805), invented the pencil as we know even today, consisting of a graphite mine and clay inserted in a body made of cedar wood. He was also one of the organizers of National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts . He took part in the expedition to Egypt with the dual capacity as head of brigade balloonists and director of engineering workshops. As such, it has created and is creating all sorts of instruments and tools.
From August 22, 1798, Conte was a member of the first Institute of Egypt, commissioned by the then government to lead the creation of great work that the commission would publish Egypt, Description Egypt.
Street County is in the 3 rd district, very close to the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers
Mentioned several times, the engravings of the Description of Egypt is exciting and always consult a reference. Do not hesitate, just one click! careful surveys that are the source of these illustrations are due mostly to two boys, Prosper Jollois and Edouard Devilliers . These two men, engineers fresh out of the Ecole Polytechnique, arrive in Egypt in 1799. Members of the subcommittee that studied the regime of the Nile and the irrigation system, they are much more passionate for ancient monuments they discover. Soon completed their tasks, they "devour" the monuments. "The temples of Dendera, Esneh, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Philae, Luxor and Karnak and Thebes, the ancient Antinoe" erected by the Roman emperor Hadrian, come alive in their pencils.

Enthusiast entry Bonaparte in Cairo, Paris gave in 1799 the name Passage of Cairo, and Cairo Street (75002) tract newly created site of the former convent of the Filles-Dieu sold in batches to the revolution.




































Here the facade of the building au, 2 place in Cairo (75002), of style "return from Egypt", unique in Paris tree and surprising! Oh! Beautiful Hathor!






















A fountain 'return from Egypt "Is the fountain of Fellah at 42 rue de Sevres (75007), right beside the metro station Lapwing. This fellah, it would Antinous, a young favorite of the Roman emperor Hadrian.
A semicircular basin collects water flowing from two amphorae he holds in his hand. At the bottom of the fountain, a grotesque head of a lion. A Napoleonic eagle dominates all under the roof of the fountain.

Designed by Jean-François Bralle (1750-1832) and sculpted by Pierre Nicolas Beauvallet, it dates from 1806 .




Directorate on 19 th borough and at 211 Avenue de la Villette The fountain of lions Nubian . Built Place du Chateau d'Eau (now Republic Square) in 1811, it was renovated and transferred to the slaughterhouses of La Villette, where she served as a watering place for animals, when enlargement of the square in 1867. architecture was made by engineer Pierre Simon Girard (1765-1835), designer Ourcq canal, and the realization by the workshops at Le Creusot.
It has its place today at the Grande Halle de la Villette.


Jean-Francois Champollion (1790-1832) decipher the hieroglyphics on September 27 1822.
At Pere Lachaise Cemetery (75020), it lies beneath an obelisk .
It is very close to his friend the mathematician Jean-Joseph Fourier, who participated in the expedition to Egypt ...
friendly hands still lay stones and beetles ... double click on the picture to zoom , and look carefully on the edge of the base! Then the cursor on the back arrow at the top left of the screen in front of you, and click to go back on the blog!
the Père Lachaise cemetery if eclectic, there are also pyramids !























Between the Louvre and Opera, Underground station Pyramids


Seen in a window on the Rue de la Paix ...

Well no!
"The body of a goddess" of the Middle or new empire (2033-1069 BC), now in the Louvre, a gallery of Egyptian antiquities. Beautiful, is not it?


the center of the Place de la Concorde (75008) the obelisk of Luxor, offered to France in 1831 by the Viceroy of Egypt, Muhammad Ali, arrived and erected in October 1836.
Transportation of this monolith of pink granite, 230 tons and 23 meters tall, was an epic: it took two and a half years to ship , specially created for this event, arriving in France.


























Originally, the obelisk and its Twin carved there are over 3000 years were placed on each side of the door of the Temple of Thebes, Luxor in Upper Egypt .


The cartridge Ramses II ...


must pass through the Tuileries Gardens to meet a Sphinx on the intersection of the Quai des Tuileries, Avenue du General Lemonnier . It arrived in Paris in 1855 with the spoils of war taken in Sevastopol by General Pélissier. (source loisirs.over-my-blog.com)














On your way into the garden, you can cross this another sphinx, seated in front of marble the "Venus Callypige, after the antique" Francis Barois (1656-1726)

can certainly look back towards the Louvre pyramid superb which I do not dwell in deference to his architect, M . Pei who rejects Egyptian inspiration ... It's like you want!

To reach the Place du Chatelet 75001, just not from the bridge ... but along the Seine ... here the fountain of Palm!
Napoleon I shaved the Grand Châtelet in 1802, and there built a fountain by Jean-François Bralle, between 1806 and 1808 to commemorate his victories and give free drinking water to Paris .





Circled ring bearing the names of the campaigns in Egypt and Italy, the column the fountain is decorated with palm leaves that give it its name Palmier fountain.













The four sphinx crouching in foot of the basement, which feeds the lower pool, were designed by Gabriel Davioud (1824-1881), architect and collaborator of Haussmann, and sculpted by Jacquemart in 1858.



The Luxor is a cinema located in the 10 th arrondissement of Paris, built by the architect Henry Zipcy decorated by Amedeo Tiberi and inaugurated in 1921 located at the corner of Boulevard Magenta and the Chapel. Long abandoned (1983), it is now being restored .

(c) lesamisdulouxor.fr

Finally, the icing on the cake, then see the program of the Paris Opera! earlier Egyptian ...




Do you know that you can make a trip to Egypt on Blog
" Parisienne truant?



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          PORTUGAL À SOMBRA DE AMBIGUIDADES AINDA NÃO ULTRAPASSADAS – VIII   



Em saudação aos 60 anos do MPLA, aos 52 anos da passagem do Che por África e aos 43 anos do 25 de Abril… e assinalando os 50 anos do início do “Exercício ALCORA” e os 50 anos do início da Guerra do Biafra.

15- O fascismo e colonialismo do Estado Novo, em função dos problemas que criou, tornou-se praticamente indigente no que ao armamento e equipamento militar dizia respeito: e vassalo nas obrigações internacionais no quadro da NATO e do Exercício ALCORA, uma vassalagem que não parou com o 25 de Abril de 1974.

Em Goa, Damão e Dio, ficou evidente que a capacidade militar do colonialismo português praticamente não existia e no campo da NATO, muito poucos tinham interesse em ajudar essa indigência avassalada, inclusive o aliado Grã-Bretanha.

Logo em 1961 relativamente a Angola, era essa a impressão do cônsul-geral da África do Sul em Luanda e por isso os portugueses recorreram desde logo ao “apartheid” para criar comunicações que levassem a futuros entendimentos com a África do Sul.

Se a vassalagem era impotente em relação à NATO, iriam buscá-la noutras paragens.

Em Setembro de 1963, a África do Sul ofereceu assistência militar e um ano depois, os portugueses manifestaram ao “apartheid” que estavam interessados num acordo permanente para o fornecimento de peças e outros serviços de apoio para os helicópteros Alouette III.

Em 1967 os dois países deram mais um passo no sentido do fornecimento por parte da África do Sul de material militar, algo que agradava ao “apartheid”, que além do mais se ia apercebendo que Portugal iria ficar em dependência em relação ao seu poderio e interesses.

Em 1968 os enlaces derivaram no sentido de se criar as bases do acordo do âmbito do Exercício ALCORA, sendo definida a entrada das SADF e Polícia sul-africana no sudeste de Angola, a pretexto do “apartheid” se juntar aos portugueses e dar caça simultaneamente às guerrilhas da SWAPO e do MPLA.

Em ambos os casos o “apartheid” aproveitou para estreitar laços com a PIDE/DGS, uma vez que o conceito e a doutrina dos Flechas às ordens de Óscar Cardoso lhes interessava, tanto como a Operação Madeira.

De entre os equipamentos que a África do Sul se comprometeu a fornecer nesse ano, estavam 5 helicópteros Alouette III, 33 autometralhadoras Panhard AML e 283 rádios TR 28C.

Algum desse armamento foi parar aos “Dragões” instalados no Bié, o que é um indicativo da percepção que o colonialismo português tinha sobre a importância geoestratégica da Região Central das Grandes Nascentes em Angola.

Para efeito desse fornecimento, os sul-africanos solicitaram ao Estado Novo que pedisse autorização aos franceses, uma vez que eram eles os produtores desses meios e o “apartheid”, que sob licença os produzia no seu território, respeitava os compromissos existentes com a França…

Portugal acedeu e os fornecimentos a partir de então passaram a ter plena garantia.

A França passou a ser um fornecedor de material de guerra que supria as necessidades do“apartheid”, no âmbito da internacional fascista que renitentemente se erguia em armas na África Austral e por tabela do colonialismo português, em especial nos teatros operacionais de Angola, Moçambique e Guiné Bissau.

É evidente que isso não teria sido possível sem que houvesse fortes laços entre os interessados da internacional fascista, ao abrigo do “Le Cercle”, um dos mentores mais reaccionários das políticas de então, unindo as tendências fascistas e colonialistas na Europa, na América Latina e em África, com respaldo das sucessivas administrações estado-unidenses.

O “Le Cercle” haveria de ter muitos êxitos nos seus “bons ofícios” na “defesa da civilização judaico-cristã ocidental” e entre eles os resultantes dos papados no Vaticano dum polaco (João Paulo II – 22 de Outubro de 1978 a 2 de Abril de 2005) e dum alemão (Bento XVI – 24 de Abril de 2005 a 28 de Fevereiro de 2013)…

As mais “conservadoras” doutrinas da Igreja Católica Apostólica Romana, impactaram em Angola nos anos da “glasnost”, nos anos de chumbo, precisa e sincronizadamente na mesma altura dos impactos do capitalismo neoliberal após o desaparecimento do socialismo real da Europa e essa, sob o ponto de vista ideológico, é uma das explicações das aproximações que em função de Bicesse se fizeram a Angola, por via de partidos como o CDS, PSD e PS, até aos nossos dias… coisas de agenciados social-democratas do âmbito da “civilização judaico-cristã ocidental” e dos negócios que ela tão bem propicia, já se vê…

Antes era nesse mesmo esteio que se movia a “Aginter Press”, no quadro das “redes stay behind” da NATO e do “Le Cercle”, acima das capacidades operacionais dos serviços de inteligência de Portugal, Rodésia e África do Sul, ainda que tivesse ficado sem efeito a Concordata do Estado Novo com o Vaticano…

O apoio da França foi garantido e a África do Sul teve luz verde para continuar o fornecimento de material militar ao Estado Novo, o que reforçou o seu relativo domínio na definição, formulação e organização das tarefas e missões implícitas no acordo do Exercício ALCORA.

O Estado Novo foi ficando cada vez mais avassalado ao “apartheid”, à medida que progredia a instalação do Exercício ALCORA.

As políticas de Richard Nixon para África por seu turno, deram outra cobertura às iniciativas em prol do Exercício ALCORA e no leste de Angola, a África do Sul desencadeou a Operação Bombaim, contra as guerrilhas do MPLA e da SWAPO, dando início a uma prolongada “border war” que só iria terminar em finais da década de 80 do século XX, quando a Linha da Frente passou irreversivelmente do paralelo de Brazzaville – Dar es Salam, para o paralelo da fronteira sul de Angola, Zâmbia e Moçambique, dando posteriormente origem à criação da “Southern African Development Community”, SADC.

O Exercício ALCORA teve início formal entre 4 e 7 de Dezembro de 1971, permitindo um aumento dos fornecimentos de material de guerra por parte da França e da África do Sul ao Estado Novo.

Em 1973 e 1974 o estudo dos riscos e ameaças, em função das informações colhidas em Kinshasa no âmbito do Exercício ALCORA (que envolveu também a “antena diplomática” que dava pelo nome de António Monteiro), apontava para a eminência dum ataque a Cabinda e norte de Angola, sob orientação do apêndice da CIA, Mobutu, Presidente do Zaíre, reforçado por outros países africanos.

O Zaíre havia adquirido armamento e os programas de acção contra o colonialismo português em suporte das FLEC e da FNLA, começaram a ganhar corpo.

A escalada de fornecimento de material de guerra em 1974, por parte do “apartheid” ao colonialismo português, subiu uma vez mais a fasquia: os sul-africanos iriam fazer reconhecimentos aéreos em Cabinda e norte de Angola, “a fim de detectar indícios de preparativos de concentração de forças inimigas”, estimularam o fornecimento de mísseis Crotale e prepararam um acordo financeiro, com uma ampla política de crédito disponível.

O 25 de Abril de 1974 inviabilizou alguns dos fornecimentos militares e o reconhecimento aéreo acordado, não terá inviabilizado o financiamento (que lhe terá sido anterior também por causa do Plano do Cunene e Cabora Bassa), mas o aproveitamento das iniciativas de Mobutu na direcção de Cabinda e do norte de Angola, estimuladas pela CIA no encontro “secreto” entre o general Spínola e Mobutu na ilha do Sal, ficaram proteladas para o quadro das disputas relativas à independência de Angola a 11 de Novembro de 1975.

Foi assim que o aproveitamento das iniciativas de Mobutu, passaram a integrar a Operação IAFEATURE, da “CIA contra Angola”, conforme a denúncia de John Stockwell.

De entre esses aproveitamentos esteve o Exército de Libertação de Portugal, ELP, um resultado dos compromissos do general Spínola, que depois de ultrapassar a hesitação de alinhamento directo com o “apartheid”, acabou por alinhar na operação da “CIA contra Angola”, tendo à frente o Coronel Santos e Castro, um profundo conhecedor das áreas a norte de Luanda (Caxito e Dembos).

O ELP aglutinou alguns sectores ligados à Frente Unida de Angola, FUA e à Frente Revolucionária de Angola, FRA (criado por Jaime Nogueira Pinto), entre outros, cujos programas levavam à independência de Angola de acordo com as ideias de Ian Smith na Rodésia e de forma a “repescar”em tempo oportuno o Exercício ALCORA.

Em “Jogos africanos”, Jaime Nogueira Pinto (membro assumido do “Le Cercle”), revela:

“… Com a partida de Silvério Marques e a chegada de Rosa Coutinho a situação agravou-se muito em todos os sectores.

O Almirante Vermelho, que logo se fizera rodear de uma segurança nunca vista, mostrava-se frio e eficaz no prosseguimento dos seus objectivos.

Achei que era tempo de passar a formas superiores de luta.

AGITPROP.

Tive então a ideia de criar a FRA – Frente Revolucionária de Angola.

O conceito era simples.

Se fôssemos fazer uma coisa de raiz, nós, os miúdos, os militares metropolitanos, não teríamos qualquer hipótese de ser levados a sério pelos civis locais.

Por isso achámos melhor recorrer à acção psicológica e à agitprop, criando um mito, uma lenda.

Engendramos então uma organização secreta – a FRA.

Redigíamos os panfletos originais da dita organização e fazíamos como se nos tivessem vindo parar às mãos.

Depois fotocopiávamos os panfletos e distribuíamo-los por círculos de activistas, onde estavam o Engenheiro Pompílio da Cruz, o capitão Seara e outros.

O Mariz Fernandes era a única pessoa, para além de mim e do Nunes, que sabia da coisa.

A ideia que passávamos era a de que existia uma forte organização secreta de resistência ao MFA e que quem aderia a essa sofisticadíssima rede clandestina passava a fazer parte duma poderosa máquina subversiva.

Assim a FRA funcionou, teve adesões, recrutou militantes e fez até algumas operações.

Era o que importava: não estar quieto, tentar coisas contra o apocalipse que se aproximava”…

…Por aquela altura já estava eu incorporado no Movimento Democrático de Angola (MDA) que, antes da chegada do MPLA a Luanda, sob orientação da Drª Maria do Carmo Medina e de Antero de Abreu, se contrapunha às influências da FUA e do FRA.

O ELP tinha influências também no sul de Angola, (Huíla, Namibe e em Benguela), com resíduos que foram permanecendo até hoje, com influência nos sectores económicos e sócio-políticos daquelas províncias, e intimamente associados a outros intervenientes dentro e fora de Angola, nomeadamente em Portugal e na África do Sul.

Era nesse cadinho que a BOSS/NIS recrutava agentes, como os que foram mais tarde detectados e neutralizados pela segurança angolana; Amílcar Fernandes Freire, Francisco Alberto Abarran Barata e Dongala Kamati, (meados da década de 80)… eu fui um dos oficiais instrutores do processo que lhes foi correspondente em defesa dasegurança e soberania de Angola… mal sabendo eu que em breve seria acusado, julgado e condenado por “golpe de estado sem efusão de sangue”(Processo 76/86)…

Foi assim também que o “apartheid”, tacitamente, desencadearia a Operação Savana, em apoio a Savimbi, em simultâneo à Operação da “CIA contra Angola” e na perspectiva de Holden e Savimbi alcançarem o poder em Luanda, a 11 de Novembro de 1975…”border war” já se vê…

… E foi assim que Portugal (onde já se vivia o após 25 de Novembro de 1975), retardou o reconhecimento da República Popular de Angola, (só o fez a 22 de Fevereiro de 1976 e foi o 83º país a fazê-lo) na espectativa de sua inviabilização!

É evidente que à medida que a aristocracia financeira mundial assumia o domínio, todas as peças da “civilização judaico-cristã ocidental” se iam encaixando na sua estrutura em pirâmide, cada vez mais avassaladora, preparando a hegemonia unipolar.

16- A passagem da linha da frente progressista e informal, para a Linha da Frente contra o“apartheid” a sul de Angola, acompanhou a trajectória da evolução do Exercício ALCORA até ao seu colapso.

Em Brazzaville, sucederam-se vários governos progressistas, fora da órbitra das redes de Jacques Foccard e para tal muito contribuiu a ajuda internacionalista da 2ª coluna do Che, que teve em Jorge Risquet um dos seus principais dirigentes.

Instalada a partir de 1965, a 2ª coluna do Che, que continuou mesmo depois da passagem do Che pelo Congo na espectativa dos sucessos da guerrilha de Mulele, vocacionou-se também e desde logo no apoio ao Movimento de Libertação em África, nomeadamente no apoio ao MPLA.

No livro “El  Segundo Frente del Che en el Congo – Historia del Batallón Patricio Lumumba”, Jorge Risquet Valdés dá conta do papel da iniciativa solidária e internacionalista para com África, nos termos da linha da frente progressista informal que se instalou entre Dar es Salam e Brazzaville, narrando com detalhe as acções e citando uma nota do Comandante Fidel de Castro de 30 de Dezembro de 1966:

“Informa a nuestros compañeros en esa,

A nuestros instructores militares, que han permanecido meses alejados de nuestra pátria, cumpliendo misión histórica de solidariedade com pueblos hermanos de África y que han puesto mu yen alto el prestígio de la Revolución cubana envio un caluroso y bien merecido Saludo en estes dias de fiestas navideñas.

La actitud firme y decidida de ustedes, combatientes revolucionários, de permanecer voluntariamente junto a pueblos hermanos, amenazados y agredidos por el imperialismo, demuenstra el alto espiritu de internacionalismo proletário y de solidariedade revolucionaria que há alcanzado nuestro Pueblo. En esse gesto está presente el ideal revolucionaria de Camilo y la decisión inquebrantable de lucha del Che.

Nuestro partido, las fuerzas armadas revolucionaias y nuestro Pueblo, que se apresentan a festejar el octavo aniversario de nuestra Revolución, se sienten orgullosos de ustedes, abnegados jóvenes por la disposición de ofrendar sus vidas si fuere necessário por la causa justa de los pueblos oprimidos, conscientes de que com ello sirven a la pátria y a la humanidade”.

Muita capacidade operativa do MPLA e do PAIGC foi forjada nessa conjuntura, inclusive as três colunas que partiriam em socorro da Iª Região Política Militar do MPLA, cercada e vulnerável
a incursões militares e de inteligência por parte do colonialismo português.

Para o MPLA foi também muito importante para reverter as situações vividas com a sua expulsão do Zaíre.

As colunas do MPLA, Camilo Cienfuegos, Cami e Ferraz Bomboco foram apenas um dos resultados dessas iniciativas progressistas a partir de Brazzaville, além da continuidade da guerrilha de Pierre Mulele e da própria consolidação do poder progressista no Congo (Brazzaville).

Os guerrilheiros angolanos forjados nessas lutas inquebrantáveis, foram utilizados depois para a abertura da Frente Leste do MPLA já no início da década de 70 do século XX, fazendo progredir em direcção a sul a Libertação em África, tendo como rectaguarda o território zambiano e ponto de apoio logístico principal Dar es Salam; muitos dos chefes estiveram na proclamação das FAPLA.

A abertura da Frente Leste foi determinante para o “apartheid” se decidir a envolver no Exercício ALCORA, dando início à “border war” em 1968 e presença de suas forças no sudeste angolano, facto que por si comprova quanto era negativamente avaliado o poder militar do Estado Novo em Angola.

A abertura da Frente Leste obrigou por outro lado a internacional fascista (com Mobutu incluído) a reforçar as linhas etno-nacionaistas da FLEC, da FNLA e da UNITA…

Com o 25 de Abril de 1974, o Exercício ALCORA desmorona-se dos termos previstos pela internacional fascista que incluía Portugal, a Rodésia, a África do Sul e alguns aliados africanos infiltrados pelo seu sistema e pela CIA.

O plano de Mobutu para assaltar Cabinda e o norte de Angola, foi então “reconvertido”, o que só por si era um obstáculo à progressão em direcção sul das linhas progressistas a partir de Dar es Salam e Brazzaville.

Com a data de independência de Angola à vista, Mobutu “fazia-se ao bife”, sob os auspícios da CIA e tacitamente alinhado com o “apartheid”, enquanto os portugueses, perdidos nas lutas internas do MFA entre o 25 de abril de 1974 e o 25 de Novembro de 1975, iam respondendo conforme cada tendência política.

O Governador de Cabinda de então, Themudo Barata, veladamente alinhou com Mobutu e a FLEC, por efeito das políticas do general Spínola, conferindo à FLEC uma representatividade que não era internacionalmente reconhecida, numa polémica que é sustentada até nossos dias, com muitas entidades portuguesas a seguirem a trilha spinolista desde o 25 de Novembro de 1975.

As FLECs contam com apoios desse tipo em Portugal desde então.

Na aproximação do 11 de Novembro, Mobutu apoia a FLEC e a FNLA, de forma a intervir em Angola ao abrigo da CIA, pelo que angolanos e cubanos tiveram de travar as batalhas decisivas de Cabinda, Quifangondo e Ebo, a fim de ser proclamada a República Popular de Angola.

Em Cuba o Comandante Fidel apercebeu-se da importância de defender a capital angolana e simultaneamente Cabinda, pois sem isso seria impossível a progressão da linha da frente infrmal entre Dar es Salam e Brazzaville, para a Linha da Frente que mis tarde daria origem à SADC.

Pouco relevo se tem dado à batalha de Cabinda, mas o general de corpo de exército das Forças Armadas Revolucionárias de Cuba, Ramón Espinosa Martin, elaborou um relato completo dos acontecimentos no seu livro “La Batalla de Cabinda”.

Desse livro destaco uma das lições geoestratégicas do Comandante Fidel em África.

“Mensage de Salida nº. 58

Destino: Luanda.

Al: 1er. Comdt. Arguelles- Gondin.

El comandante en Jefenos há pedido les trasmitamos el seguiente texto:

Para Angola se envio todo lo solicitado e incluso más.

Se decidió reforzar Cabinda com recursos absolutamente adicionales.

Se envio também personal que estuviera en disposición de combatir.

Cabinda es el punto más débil y peor defendido.

Si se pierde Cabinda no lo podran recuperar más.

Angola sin Cabinda no podrá consolidar su independenciaporque alli están los recursos económicos fundamentales.

Mobutu quiere apoderar-se de Cabinda y tarde o temprano la va a agredir, sobre todo si sabe que está indefensa.

Es necessário que ustedes entiendan esto y se lo hagan compreender al MPLA.

Se acordo además enviar a Angola el personal necessário para la técnica soviética.

Por esto no lo creemos que se deba continuar debilitando Cabinda.

Si ya bajaron los morteros 120 en Bengela, úsenlos entonces en Angola pero no reduzcan más los medios destinados a Cabinda.

Debemos atenernos a los planos acordados.

Ahora se lucha en Angola pero no sabemos lo que puede ocurrir en Cabinda y no debemos dejar nuestro personal alli debilitado, ya que en caso de ataque por fuerzas d Zaire tendrán que luchar muy duramente y prácticamente solos.

En Angola tienen ya bastantes médios.

Estan recebuiendo además el material de otros países y se puede continuar reforzando desde aqui com personal cubano.

Si Hay peligro real en Luanda es mejor reforzar esa dirección com médios de las otras escuelas antes que descuidar Cabinda.

Ustedes tienen ahi varias opciones posibles cuando lo consideren realmente necesario.

Los ruego analicen com serenidade estos hechos.

Si se gana la guerra en Angola Y se pierde en Cabinda, se habra perdido mucho.

Hay que tratr de obtener los objectivos completos en ambos puntos.

Saludos, Fidel.

Firmado: Colomé.

18.10.75”.

A Operação Carlota estava lançada e a RPA levaria a linha da frente para a sua própria fronteira sul, o que obrigaria o “apartheid” a reinventar e reconverter a “border war”, nunca desperdiçando o que quer que fosse dos “bons ofícios” à portuguesa no quadro dos sucessivos governos de após 25 de Novembro de 1975, tendo em conta a absorção de muitos conceitos e práticas do colonialismo português e dos nexos de inteligência que todos eles propiciavam.

Isso perdurou não só enquanto esteve em vigência o “apartheid”, mas também quando as políticas hegemónicas unipolares incentivadas pela “civilização judaico-cristã ocidental” se fortaleceram e impactaram da maneira mais terrível (choque neoliberal entre 1992 e 2002), quanto da maneira mais “persuasiva” (quando se foi evidenciando a terapia neoliberal em Angola, de 2002 aos nossos dias)… para esse efeito a inteligência económica dos sucessivos governos de Portugal, vassala dos poderosos, tal como do Bilderberg, esperaram a sua hora!

Em relação a Angola, por alturas do passamento físico do Comandante Fidel, foi justo o que escrevi na Embaixada de Cuba enquanto “soldado do MPLA” e antigo combatente angolano, face à fotografia do Comandante, insigne lutador pelas mais justas causas libertárias de África:

“… De Argel ao Cabo…

Cavalgando com Fidel!

… Levando o ardor progressista desde contra o baluarte do colonialismo francês no Norte de África…

… Até contra o bastião mais retrógrado e fascista que existia à face da Terra após a IIª Guerra Mundial, em seu perverso domínio em toda a África Austral…

… Precisamente no sentido inverso ao projetado pelo império anglo-saxónico sob inspiração de Cecil John Rhodes… do Cabo ao Cairo…

… Em 55 anos foi de facto um vulcão libertário que sacudiu África e se distendeu, um vulcão libertário cuja energia tem aqui e agora, no berço da humanidade, oportunidade para muito melhor se refletir, se equacionar e inteligentemente aproveitar!...

… Quanto os africanos não têm saudavelmente absorvido do legítimo contributo e histórica responsabilidade revolucionária cubana, por via das armas enquanto houvera que ser, por via da educação e da saúde enquanto nesses 55 anos o foi, o é… e o será no porvir!?

Vencido o colonialismo pelas armas… vencido o apartheid pelas armas… vencidas algumas de suas sequelas pelas armas… quando face às bombas nucleares nenhum combatente progressista recuou… a paz, a harmonia e a luta contra o subdesenvolvimento tornou-se mais possível que nunca!...”

A consultar de Martinho Júnior:
Eleições na letargia duma colónia periférica – http://paginaglobal.blogspot.com/2013/10/eleicoes-na-letargia-duma-colonia.html 
Programa soft power da CIA contra Angola, passa por Portugal – http://paginaglobal.blogspot.com/2017/01/programa-soft-power-da-cia-contra.html 
Neocolonialismo em brandos costumes e dois episódios – http://paginaglobal.blogspot.com/2017/03/neocolonialismo-em-brandos-costumes-e.html 
Portugal à sombra de ambiguidades ainda não ultrapassadas – I – http://paginaglobal.blogspot.pt/2017/04/portugal-sombra-de-ambiguidades-ainda.html 
Portugal à sombra de ambiguidades ainda não ultrapassadas – II – http://paginaglobal.blogspot.pt/2017/04/portugal-sombra-de-ambiguidades-ainda_30.html 
Portugal à sombra de ambiguidades ainda não ultrapassadas – III – http://paginaglobal.blogspot.pt/2017/05/portugal-sombra-de-ambiguidades-ainda.html 
Portugal à sombra de ambiguidades ainda não ultrapassadas – IV – http://paginaglobal.blogspot.pt/2017/05/portugal-sombra-de-ambiguidades-ainda_8.html 
Portugal à sombra de ambiguidades ainda não ultrapassadas – V – http://paginaglobal.blogspot.pt/2017/05/portugal-sombra-de-ambiguidades-ainda_14.html 
Portugal à sombra de ambiguidades ainda não ultrapassadas – VI – http://paginaglobal.blogspot.pt/2017/05/portugal-sombra-de-ambiguidades-ainda_18.html


          HORA DE ENFRENTAR FACEBOOK E GOOGLE?   


Punição da União Europeia e estudo independente reconhecem: os dois gigantes querem cercar a internet e eliminar sua diversidade. Mas como frear seu poder?

Rafael A. F. Zanatta | Outras Palavras

Essa semana, Google e Facebook – dois dos maiores gigantes do capitalismo de vigilância contemporâneo – sofreram duros golpes em suas reputações corporativas, abrindo um debate mundial sobre a ética de suas ações e as vulnerabilidades de nossa dependência a esses monopólios da era digital.

Na terça-feira (27/06), a Comissão Europeia impôs uma multa de quase 9 bilhões de reais ao Google por “abuso de posição dominante como motor de busca” e “por dar vantagem ilegal a seu próprio serviço de compras comparativas”. Trata-se da maior punição antitruste a uma única empresa já realizada na Europa.

As investigações foram conduzidas por Margrethe Vestager, comissária da União Europeia para defesa da concorrência (e forte liderança do Partido Social-Liberal da Dinamarca). Ela revelou que oGoogle situava sistematicamente em lugar destacado seus próprios serviços de compras comparativas, “colocando em lugar pior os serviços de comparação rivais nos resultados de busca”. Para a comissária, o Google “ocupa uma posição dominante nos mercados de busca de internet no Espaço Econômico Europeu” e, com suas práticas de manipulação, “abusou da posição dominante dando a seus próprios serviços uma vantagem ilegal”.

Em um processo de investigação sigiloso, realizado desde 2014, Vestager reuniu um amplo conjunto de provas, incluindo 5,2 terabytes de resultados de busca (1.700 milhões de consultas), experimentos e estudos que demonstravam a visibilidade e o comportamento de consumidores em número de cliques, dados financeiros da Google e seus competidores e o declínio de acessos em websites europeus.

Para analistas do Financial Times, a decisão é um divisor de águas na regulação antitruste aplicada à “nova geração de empresas de tecnologia dominantes dos Estados Unidos”. Um terço da receita do Google com publicidade em buscas na Europa vem dos anúncios de compras que foram analisadas pela União Europeia. A decisão, enfim, “abre o coração do mecanismo de busca do Google” e possibilita o debate sobre como outros poderão utilizar seu mecanismo para conseguir uma melhor exposição.

Para quem se recorda do chamado de Richard Sennett de 2013 para “quebrar o poder de mercado do Google”, a decisão reabre um debate sobre monopólios na era digital. “A dominação é real e deve ser combatida”, dizia Sennett, por mais que essas empresas nos pareçam boazinhas.

Na quarta-feira (28/06), o centro independente de investigação ProPublica divulgou documentos internos do Facebook sobre o modo como seus 2 bilhões de usuários têm seus discursos avaliados, passando por filtros de censura sobre o que poderia configurar “discurso de ódio”.

De acordo com a denúncia do ProPublica, os algoritmos – fórmulas matemáticas que executam ações e comandos – do Facebook geram resultados socialmente questionáveis, assegurando os direitos de grupos com posições sociais asseguradas (como homens brancos) e desprotegendo grupos minoritários (crianças negras, por exemplo). Documentos internos vazados da empresa mostram que revisores de conteúdo eram orientados a trabalhar com uma fórmula simples (protected category + attack = hate speech). “Sexo” e “identidade de gênero”, por exemplo, são consideradas categorias protegidas, ao passo que “idade” e “ocupação” não. Como a fórmula exige uma dupla combinação de categorias protegidas (PC + PC = PC), discursos voltados a mulheres motoristas não são considerados de ódio, pois há uma categoria não protegida, que é ocupação (PC + NPC = NPC).

O simplismo de fórmula matemática do Facebook e a tentativa de “proteger todas as raças e gêneros de forma igual” despertou a crítica de acadêmicos. Denielle Citron, da Universidade de Maryland, argumentou que as regras do Facebook ignoram o espírito do direito e a análise contextual da proteção. O Facebook saiu em defesa própria, alegando que as políticas não possuem resultados perfeitos e que é “difícil regular uma comunidade global”.

Em ensaio para revista Wired, Emily Dreyfuss analisou a denúncia da ProPublica e argumentou que o problema é maior é que o Facebook é “muito grande para ser deletado”. Ao conectar um quatro da humanidade, as pessoas que precisam de uma plataforma para expressão não são capazes de sair – mesmo se forem alvos de censuras arbitrárias ou desproteções, como o caso dos algoritmos de “discurso de ódio”.

Isso leva a uma situação paradoxal. Ativistas em defesa da privacidade e lideranças do movimento negro – que atacam práticas realizadas pelo Facebook, como coleta maciça de dados e tratamento tecnológico desigual para brancos e negros – dependem do Facebook para compartilhar informação, pois as perdas são muito grandes ao deletar sua conta e isolar-se da rede de Zuckerberg. “São poucos os que podem se dar ao luxo de abandonar o Facebook e utilizar outras redes”, afirma Dreyfuss.

Renata Mielli, ativista integrante da Coalizão Direitos na Redeem ensaio para o Mídia Ninja nesta quinta-feira (29/06), foi perspicaz no diagnóstico: “O Facebook está sugando a internet para dentro de sua timeline”. Ele é o “maior monopólio privado de comunicação do mundo”, colocando em cheque as bases de nossa democracia.

Retomamos, assim, à grande provocação de Richard Sennett: se sabemos que esses gigantes devem ser quebrados e se estamos cientes dos aspectos prejudiciais desses monopólios sociais, o que podemos fazer?

A The Economist, em matéria de capa no mês de maio1, surpreendeu os progressistas ao oferecer uma crítica ao poder do Google e Facebook. A revista inglesa argumentou que é necessário “repensar radicalmente” os instrumentos antitrustes para os gigantes de coleta de dados (Google e Facebook), pois os reguladores ainda estão presos a conceitos de era industrial, ao passo que os instrumentos de análise devem ser voltados a empresas de tecnologia focadas em dados.

A Economist também propôs duas ideias embrionárias: aumentar a transparência sobre como os dados pessoais são coletados e monetizados (aumentando poder de barganha dos “fornecedores” – ou seja, nós mesmos) e redefinir conceitos jurídicos aplicáveis a essa nova indústria, tratando os data vaults (bancos de dados modelados para fornecer armazenamento histórico de longo prazo) como “infraestrutura pública”, forçando o compartilhamento de dados para estimular a competição.

Seriam ideias viáveis? Talvez. O mais importante, nesse momento, é mobilizarmos essas perguntas e forçarmos uma discussão sobre alternativas políticas e institucionais.

1Regulating the internet giants: the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data

* Rafael A. F. Zanatta é pesquisador em direito e sociedades digitais. É mestre em direito e economia política pela International University College of Turin e mestre em sociologia jurídica pela Universidade de São Paulo, onde foi coordenador do "Núcleo de Direito, Internet e Sociedade"


          Vince Cable sets out his views on Brexit, immigration and freedom of movement   
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          Trump's Brain   
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          Specialista Gastronomia - SMA Spa - Milano, Lombardia   
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          Should We Kill The Dollar Bill?    
Our story begins last month inside a busy Washington, D.C. subway station plastered with posters of giant dollar bills. One of them says: "Tell Congress to stop wasting time trying to eliminate the dollar bill." Another asks: "Do you heart the dollar?" Political fights in the nation's capital normally involve billions or even trillions, not single dollars. What's going on here? This being Washington, there's a back story. The $70,000 ad blitz was part of a small lobbying war over the fate of the dollar bill. On one side, leading a legislative charge to eliminate the dollar bill and replace it with a dollar coin, are Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and John McCain, R-Ariz. "The most important thing is it's just more efficient. It's way more efficient than a paper dollar," Harkin says. "Canada has a coin that's worth $2 ... Switzerland has one worth about $5... And yet, what have we got? We got a 25-cent piece." It's worth noting that Harkin and McCain both represent states that are home to
          Empowerment Radio with Dr. Friedemann Schaub: The Toxic Temptation of Prejudice   
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          Does Auckland have the infrastructure capacity to host the America's cup? Alex Tarrant reviews two of the Mexican stand-offs involving central government, the Auckland Council, the Airport and Watercare   

By Alex Tarrant

Emirates Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup win has certainly fired up the Auckland infrastructure debate (as if it needed more fuel). Every interested party is now reviewing their wish list trying to figure out whether their pet project could be completed in four years. Rail, roads, houses and water pipes.

The 2021 event (Auckland will also hold the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that year) might be a Godsend for getting even more Auckland infrastructure work on the move (if we can find the labourers needed – don’t mention foreigners!).

But the multiple Mexican stand-offs between the Government, Auckland Council and other parties like Auckland Airport and Watercare need to be resolved. The key in each dispute is who pays for what, when, why and how.

This (rather long) column focuses on two of those stand-offs. Rail to Auckland Airport from the CBD, and cheaper, faster provision of water services for new housing in Auckland – including boosting incentives for cheaper densification. On Rail, there is a simple answer to get things moving if the project would indeed lead to benefits. On water, revised legislation debated in Parliament last week provides some hope.

Rail to the airport

Politicians were quick to jump on the success of ETNZ earlier this week and the expected economic benefits to Auckland from holding the Cup in 2021. The Green Party used the occasion to question the Transport Minister on whether Auckland would have capacity to host the event.

“Will the government start building rail to the airport sooner, if Auckland hosts the next America’s Cup regatta, or will Aucklanders still have to wait 30 years?” Julie Anne Genter asked Simon Bridges.

Bridges’ answers focussed on the current plan of protecting a sole purpose route that will originally be marked out for a busway to the Airport. This showed the government was prioritising the project, he claimed, being careful to add it was difficult to explain what the timeframe could be for progressing to rail. This would be driven by demand and usage numbers, Bridges said.

So why not just kick-start the project of rail to the airport? If central government were to lead on funding, couldn’t others like the Council be given time to come up with their share? The reason this National-led government isn’t making any firm commitments like this is down to the principle of, whoever benefits should pay.

Steven Joyce, Simon Bridges and other Ministers have in recent months been talking more about the use of value uplift taxes to help fund new projects – rates will be higher in areas that profit from increased transportation links, for example. These could be residential rates paid by homeowners in areas with improved access to the CBD from a new road, which would have boosted the value of their property. They could also be imposed on commercial businesses that benefit from more foot-traffic due to being closer to, say, a new train station.

The government openly admits that a value uplift tax would have been a perfect fit for Auckland’s inner-city rail loop. But, because the loop was announced before Ministers could start spraying the idea around, they feel it would be a bit rude (think a vote-loser) to suddenly turn around and clamp such a tax on business owners close to where the new stations would be, regardless of the economics.

They have to find a project that hasn’t yet started, and which would clearly benefit the areas linked by the project. Penlink has been talked about. I also give you the Airport-City rail link.

However, Bridges and Joyce are engaged in a stand-off with Auckland Airport. ‘If you come to the table, then we will too.’

Auckland Airport would clearly benefit from any rail link with the city. So, Bridges et al are waiting for them to come to the party. If we’re talking light rail – trams – then Dominion Road businesses and residential properties should also benefit in value uplift.

It’s a stand-off though. If the airport argues against paying more because the benefits won’t be that great, then the government can turn around and say, ‘ok well that’s a good argument for not needing to build the new connection’. If the government just starts funding the link itself, then it runs the risk of no-one else coming to the party. They also don't want to be seen starting the project with inclusion of value-uplift taxes that no-one agrees on - that's not the way this government wants to work.

In effect, the sticking point is a matter of principle. It’s a principled Mexican stand-off. Or a prisoners’ dilemma in a low-security prison.

Water pipe dream

The next stand-off is a key component in Auckland’s housing debate. Water pipes. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how the National Cabinet would love to take a swipe at the monopolistic, not-for-profit Watercare in Auckland. They’re getting nearer to it.

The Local Government Amendment Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) was introduced last year by former Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga. And boy was it popular. The Local Government Select Committee heard nearly 200 submissions on the Bill. They’ve now reported back with amendments. The Bill received a second reading last week.

The stand-off between local and central government on water pipes can best be summed up by a conversation between media and Local Government New Zealand a few weeks back. A lot of New Zealand’s water pipe infrastructure was put in in the 1960s, we were told. Those pipes had an expected lifetime of 60 years, so we’re heading towards an exponential renewals curve over the next 15 years for assets worth over $100 billion.

A couple of the journalists (including this correspondent) were a tad miffed by this. Did local councils know there was only a 60-year life span? “Yeah, they did,” was the reply. ““The renewals curve is not a surprise. But it’s here, now.”

So why haven’t councils planned over those 60 years to put replacement funds aside? The problem, we were told, was that in the 1960s a lot of the pipes were paid for by central government. Now, technically only local government is on the hook. “Under our current funding model, it’s rates and debt [to pay for it]. The issue becomes, is that a sustainable position? Our view is it is not.”

That’s why local government is calling on central government to agree to a co-funding model for the replacement of water pipes nationwide that are coming to the end of their working life (even though this was all known about for 60 years).

I asked Local Government New Zealand chairman Lawrence Yule whether they’d had any indications from central government that this could be done. He said central government had always indicated a willingness to look at it “but only once you’ve made sure what you’re doing currently is being done as efficiently as it can be.”

It’s a stand-off. Local government is refusing to consider how to fund replacement pipes until central government agrees to a co-funding model. Central government won’t agree to a co-funding model until local government gets its own house in order and ensures water services operations are as efficient as possible.

The issue got to a point where central government decided to try and take the initiative. This is where the Local Government Local Government Act Amendment Bill (No 2) comes in. Central government clearly believes things aren’t being done as efficiently as possible.

The Bill will allow various councils to band together to create Transport and Water Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) to provide services across several local authorities. Scale. It will also give greater scope for re-organisation of CCOs. As now-Local Government Minister Anne Tolley put it in Thursday’s second reading, it provides “an opportunity for the sector to show their local strategic leadership, which may require hard decisions about difficult options in order to secure a positive future for their communities.”

Let’s take Watercare. In its submission on the Bill (co-submitted with Auckland Council), it argued that since its first fully operational year in 2011/12, it has reduced the cost of water delivery to Aucklanders compared the rag-tag pricing run previously by individual councils pre-Super City.

That’s true. The $1.30 per thousand litres was below the range of $1.31-$3.50 encompassing Rodney, North Shore, Waitakere, Auckland, Manukau and Franklin. Job well done. Scale worked. But since then, that cost has risen each year to $1.44 per thousand litres in 2016/17. That’s not what central government (or Auckland residents) wanted to see.

A 2015 Cabinet paper introducing the Amendment Bill reveals what some Cabinet Ministers really wanted to do. The Local Government Minister at the time highlighted the potential benefits of requiring Watercare to have to pay a dividend (“distribute surpluses”) to the Council. This could encourage more efficient pricing of water services and allow it better access to finance.

However, due to the prospect of the move not being supported by “the community,” the idea was not included. Indeed, when the Local Government Select Committee reported the Bill back to the House in June, Section 70 was there prohibiting the distribution of surpluses by water services CCOs.

A pity. There is some exciting stuff in there, though. Central government is aiming to be imposing a number of requirements that I’m told are aimed at drastically changing the way Watercare operates.

The Productivity Commission’s 2016 report, Using Land for Housing, helped. Looking at Watercare from a housing supply lens, the Commission raised a number of concerns and recommendations which will partly be tackled by the Bill.

Firstly, Watercare’s Infrastructure Growth Charges (IGCs) do not recover the full costs of growth (new pipes for new housing), the Commission pointed out. Although initially this could produce benefits for new home buyers not paying the full cost for water infrastructure, deficits will need to be recovered from somewhere. Recovery from existing residents will reduce community acceptance of growth, limiting the supply of infrastructure-enabled land, therefore contributing to higher house prices.

Watercare needed to change how it calculates charges to better reflect the underlying economic costs of supply in different locations and for different types of dwelling, the Commission said. This linked in with criticisms of Watercare’s model of charging flat fees.

“To the extent that certain types of development result in lower infrastructure costs than others, a flat charge will result in a cross-subsidy between different types of dwelling. This might result in a situation in which smaller and more affordable dwellings are cross-subsidising larger standalone dwellings.”

The Bill requires Watercare to shift away from the IGC model to a development contribution model. It has until 30 June 2018 at the latest to figure out how to best make the switch.

Meanwhile, the Commission urged Watercare to consider development agreements, which would enable private developers to take responsibility for building trunk infrastructure. It referenced research that developers may be able to provide infrastructure solutions at lower costs than Watercare, particularly due to ‘over specification’ required by Watercare.

“Watercare notes that development agreements have a range of advantages (eg, they provide a mechanism for bringing in private capital into the provision of public infrastructure) and disadvantages (eg, the time required to prepare and finalise the agreements, especially if more than one developer/landowner is involved). The obligation to consider requests from a developer to enter into development agreements and provide the developer with a written response would not compel Watercare and other CCOs to enter agreements where there are good reasons not to. But a requirement to set out in writing why a development agreement may not proceed would provide clarity and transparency about the reasons for the decision.”

The Bill doesn’t appear to go as far as the Commission would have hoped, but it does provide legislation for Watercare to be able to enter into development agreements.

Finally, the Commission appeared horrified that for both Auckland Transport and Watercare, “supply of infrastructure to support growth is not reflected in either organisation’s performance measures.”

“While the primary accountability documents for Watercare and Auckland Transport (the Statements of Intents) are broadly aligned with the Auckland Plan vision, they do not give effect to the specific objective in the Auckland Plan to increase the city’s supply of new dwellings,” it said.

“Auckland Transport and Watercare’s SOIs should be amended to include performance measures relating to the efficient roll-out of new infrastructure to support an increased supply of new dwellings.

“The regulatory and institutional framework around the water sector can be improved. Discipline and transparency around the pricing of water services, and better performance monitoring, would improve the ability of the water sector to support urban growth,” the Commission said.

The Bill includes provision for Council input on CCO statements of intent and for performance monitoring. Each CCO – ie Watercare – must provide its shareholders the opportunity to influence the direction of the organisation, and must provide a basis for the accountability of the directors to their shareholders for the performance of the organisation.

And that performance monitoring? A local authority must undertake regular performance monitoring to evaluate a CCO’s contribution to the achievement of the authority’s objectives for the organisation, the desired results set out in its SOI and the overall aims and outcomes of the local authority.

What’s yet to be seen, however, is whether the changes would have such an effect as to fix the pending funding crisis for water pipe replacement and extension. I would think not. But with this Bill, central and local government will both be able to tap the argument that councils and their organisations have reached, or will soon reach efficiency limits.

And that’s the trigger for central government coming to the funding party.


          Steve Bannon Designed “An Entirely New Political Movement”   

Steve Bannon Designed “An Entirely New Political Movement” “I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist,” Bannon tells THR media columnist Michael Wolff as the controversial Breitbart News chief turned White House advisor unleashes on Hillary Clinton, Fox News and his critics. In late summer when I went up to see […]

The post Steve Bannon Designed “An Entirely New Political Movement” appeared first on Live Trading News.


          Comment on An argument from “The Standards of Faith of the United Methodist Church” part 2 by Gary   
Then ask yourself the question, "What is the tipping point to split the UMC?" If 10% of UMC members are gay, but only 10% of them want change or else, then you are destroying the UMC for 1% of the LGBTQ Methodist membership. If UMC doesn't accept gay marriage, then we are in the same boat as the Catholics. Not that bad off. Super-liberal, politically motivated, left wing activists ought to go bug the Catholics more, and leave the Methodists alone.
          Comment on An argument from “The Standards of Faith of the United Methodist Church” part 2 by Gary   
In light of this 2017 report, things don't look all bad. http://s3.amazonaws.com/Website_Interpreter/magazine/2017/2017_State_of_the_Church.pdf Sure, there is a 12% drop in membership in North America in 10 years. But there is an overall increase worldwide by 12%. And interestingly, on Paid on Apportionments to All General Funds, 1994-2016* Only 84.4% paid in 1994. But 91.9% paid in 2016. So members must think something is better, or they are just doing better economically. So, the obvious questions to ask directly of the LGBTQ community in the Methodist Church - "What % of members are in the LGBTQ category? What % of those just can't live with the current status quo? What % are so upset, that they just can't accept status quo? What % are satisfied with a civil marriage, and what % just have to have a church wedding? What % are clergy or Bishops?" I would like to see a survey like that taken by this "Way Forward" group. Plenty of time, since they have till 2019 to decide their findings. The survey should be of LGBTQ Methodist members only. NOT the none-LGBQT members. I have a feeling that the majority of very militant advocates of this are either outside advocates (non-UMC), or - excuse the phrase - super liberal, self-perceived do-gooder types, that want to burn the house down to save the "principle" of acceptance of all. This, considering that "all" are already accepted, including taking communion. We are talking only of the expansion of clergy, and gay marriage within the church. Nothing else. I would also like to see a question included in a survey of LGBTQ Methodist members only, that asks, "Eliminating the phrase 'homosexual lifestyle is contrary to Christian teaching' from the BoD, if it results in the breakup of UMC as it currently stands, do you favor or oppose the change?" My guess is that the answers to the survey will only include a small % of the LGBTQ Methodist community that wants to burn the house down to eliminate the phrase. BTW - I still favor gay marriage within UMC, and gay clergy. But not at the expense of destroying a good thing (UMC). I suspect the majority of the gay Methodist may feel the same way. I suspect that the agenda for "change or else", is coming from mostly non-members, or members that are not gay, but think they are on a holy crusade. Either way, I think it would be important to get anonymous survey data from the actual LGBTQ Methodist community, and not just from politically driven "do-gooder" members, and non-members. My 2 cents worth.
          REPORT: After Phoenix Dropped Sanctuary City Status, Crime Rate Fell   

When the City of Phoenix ended its sanctuary city status crime began to fall, the Arizona Police Association reports. Their statement contrasts sharply with politically motivated chiefs of police from around the country.
          In Theresa we trust: Prime Minister IS the leader to deliver Brexit, poll declares    


THERESA May is the leader the public wants to deliver Brexit, a poll has revealed.
          Corbyn surge? Shock poll gives Labour SIX point lead over Tories   


A SHOCK new poll has given Labour a six point lead over the Tories.
          'She must go!' John McDonnell calls for Theresa May’s head to make way for Labour    


JOHN McDonnell has called for Theresa May's head in an all-out attack on her minority government at today's protest.
          Italy's EU minister confirms secret talks underway for 'when UK reverses Brexit decision'   


ITALY'S EU Minister Sandro Gozi has confirmed that the major countries in the bloc are preparing for a shock reversal decision on Brexit.
          When Empires Fail: 3 Books That Predict The Crash   
It begins with a political leader or a businessman who hits on a powerful new idea, one that puts him miles ahead of everyone else. It could be a new innovation, like the financial derivative, or a new way of doing business, like Microsoft selling software. It could be something destructive, like Hitler's blitzkrieg, which ran over France in two months. No matter the specifics, it leaves everyone else flat-footed and looking foolish. Our man (it's usually a man) is now indestructible and untouchable. With nothing in his way, he is, for a while, an irresistible force. Until he takes one step too far. You can usually see it coming. And then things start to collapse, often with profound or humiliating consequences. It's like a good disaster movie — the crash is the best part. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Politicians and masters of business beware: with great wealth and power often comes a great temptation to overstep. Author Tim Wu recommends
          The Sidney Awards, 2005   
An award, named after the philosopher Sidney Hook, honoring the best political and cultural essays of the year....
          Fidel Castro, the man who challenged the US on its doorstep   

Fidel Castro remained a major force in Cuban politics even after ill health forced him out of office. He inspired loyalty in his fans and fear in his detractors.


          "What political prisoners?" Castro refutes challenge beside Obama   

Cuba has traditionally denied having any political prisoners. In a rare press conference during which he stood alongside US President Barack Obama, Cuban leader Raul Castro turned the question around: "What political prisoners?"


          Pope, Russian Orthodox patriarch "like brothers" in historic meeting   

Havana/Vatican City (dpa) - Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, discussed religious and political affairs during a historic meeting Friday in Cuba to overcome a rift that had lasted over 1,000 years.


          Melayu Boleh! Phenomenal   
The phenomenal growth of Malaysia under the leadership of its previous prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad has brought about a patriotic sense of achievement amongst its people especially Melayu

The Government has led the way to show that Malay can (Melayu boleh) excel in whatever they put their minds to, and this, in no small way, has produced a society that tries to outdo itself (sometimes at ridiculous levels, if truth be told) in the endeavours it pursues.

Embodying this spirit is the slogan "Melayu Boleh!" which loosely translated means "Malays Can Do It!" How this slogan came to be the "battle cry" of a Malay politic party is rather sketchy but the general belief is that it was the slogan used by a health beverage in its marketing campaign in the 80s until now.

It caught on and soon cries of Melayu Boleh! Were heard, first only at political events like the Malay Politic Conference then later everywhere else as it was embraced wholeheartedly by the Malay people as a means to push them to endure and accept challenge, to set targets, to excel.

The "Melayu Boleh!" spirit has since produced many achievers and achievements, and has been a cornerstone of the success story that is the new Malaysia.

Source taken from http://sexmelayuboleh.blogspot.com

          Pakistani journalist arrested under cyber crime law   
QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan authorities have arrested a journalist under a new electronic crime law aimed at combating terrorism and preventing blasphemy but which critics say is used to suppress political dissent.

          If there's a smart path to single payer healthcare in California, we haven't found it yet - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

If there's a smart path to single payer healthcare in California, we haven't found it yet
Los Angeles Times
Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) would create a first-in-the-nation state insurance program to replace all private insurers and, if possible, public programs as well. Its laudable goal is to make healthcare in California ...
California Today: The Fight Over Single PayerNew York Times
Single payer health care was destined to fail in California | The ...Sacramento Bee
California Universal Healthcare Bill Taken Off Life SupportTownhall
The Mercury News -The San Diego Union-Tribune -Pacific Standard -California Legislative Information - State of California
all 104 news articles »

          In blocking a bad single-payer healthcare bill, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon was not 'cowardly' – quite the ... - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

In blocking a bad single-payer healthcare bill, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon was not 'cowardly' – quite the ...
Los Angeles Times
Many Democrats would have lost politically regardless of how they sided on this pipe dream — angering taxpayers satisfied with their current insurance if they voted for the bill, or riling the potent California Nurses Assn. if they opposed it. Rendon ...
California Single-Payer Organizers Are Deceiving Their Supporters. It's Time to Stop.The Intercept
Death threats directed at Assembly leader over universal health care billSacramento Bee
What Killed Single-Payer In California?New Republic
Science 2.0 -ThinkProgress -PJ Media -The Mercury News
all 103 news articles »

          California Is Inching Closer to Single Payer Health Care. Is It Already Doomed? - Fortune   

Los Angeles Times

California Is Inching Closer to Single Payer Health Care. Is It Already Doomed?
Fortune
On Thursday, the California state Senate overwhelmingly passed a "single payer" health care bill (the vote was 23-14) that supporters claim would lead to universal coverage and lower medical costs for consumers. But the landmark legislation still has a ...
If California goes single-payer, what happens to insurance workers?89.3 KPCC
Single-payer healthcare plan advances in California Senate — without a way to pay its $400-billion tabLos Angeles Times
California's Single-Payer Healthcare Clears Hurdle Despite Unclear FinancingForbes
The Nation. -National Review -The Mercury News -Mic
all 213 news articles »

          Single-payer healthcare advocates protest at Capitol with a message for California's Assembly speaker: 'Shame on you!' - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

Single-payer healthcare advocates protest at Capitol with a message for California's Assembly speaker: 'Shame on you!'
Los Angeles Times
Backers of a measure to establish a single-payer healthcare system in California rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday to renounce Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount), who shelved the bill last week. Several hundred demonstrators, many ...
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort files as foreign agent for Ukraine workWashington Post
Manafort registers as foreign agentPolitico
Lobbyists Directed By Manafort Firm Register Under Foreign Agents Law – Talking Points MemoTalking Points Memo
Politico -New York Times
all 121 news articles »

          California politics updates: Faulconer decides against running for governor - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

California politics updates: Faulconer decides against running for governor
Los Angeles Times
Progressive activists are angry with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon who shelved a proposal to creates a single-payer healthcare system in California, calling it "woefully incomplete." Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more, or subscribe to our free ...

and more »

          After Defying Trump On Climate Change & Immigration, California Clears Way For Universal Healthcare - Forbes   

Forbes


          Essential Politics: Two very different healthcare battles - Los Angeles Times   

Essential Politics: Two very different healthcare battles
Los Angeles Times
As Friday news dumps go, the California Legislature shelving its single-payer healthcare proposal was a big one. Melanie Mason reported that the surprise decision from Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon came as several key details about the legislation— ...


          Assembly Democrats denounce threats made after single-payer healthcare bill was sidelined - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

Assembly Democrats denounce threats made after single-payer healthcare bill was sidelined
Los Angeles Times
It's theoretically possible for a Republican to get elected governor in California next year but it's not very likely. ... There's no guarantee the landscape for Republicans will be better in 2022 than it will be next year, but it certainly couldn't be ...

and more »

          Worried about losing health care? You're in good company - Sacramento Bee   

Sacramento Bee

Worried about losing health care? You're in good company
Sacramento Bee
Californians have a message for Republican-controlled Washington as the U.S. Senate continues work to overhaul the health care system: We like what we've got. A new statewide poll found that Golden State supporters of the Affordable Care Act, also ...
With Obamacare, More California Latinos Sought Care for HypertensionNBCNews.com

all 7 news articles »

          Mahathir And Daim Should Not Politicise Their Crime   

But now the game has changed This is no longer about normal business losses or about being stupid This time a real crime has been committed and it can be proven So Mahathir and Daim are going to pay for that crime And this is what Mahathir ...
          Another terrorist attack in London on June 3, 2017   
– Nasir Khan, June 4, 2017 Whatever reasons and political grievances any followers of Islamist ideology may have, their latest attack on innocent people on London Bridge was an act of indiscriminate killing of innocent people. If the facts are as reported in the media, and no false flags are involved, then I condemn this […]
          Instability and chaos in the Middle East are the axis of US-Israeli power politics   
Nasir Khan, May 23, 2017 All those who are interested in understanding the quagmire of war, violence, the victimisation of Palestinians by Israel, rampant abuse of human rights, etc., in which the whole region of the Middle East is enmeshed will readily appreciate the soundness of the views of President Rouhani. What he says is […]
          Modernity in European history   
Nasir Khan “The point of modernity is to live a life without illusions while not becoming disillusioned.” ― Italian Marxist thinker and politician Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) Modernity means many things to different people. But in learned discourse, it refers to the collective body of particular socio-cultural norms and attitudes that emerged when the medieval period […]
          Selfiemployment, nuovi requisiti di accesso   
Selfiemployment

A partire dal 12 settembre 2016 sarà più facile accedere al Fondo SELFIEmployment, la misura gestita da Invitalia, sotto la supervisione del Ministero del lavoro e delle politiche sociali, che prevede finanziamenti agevolati senza interessi e non assistiti da nessuna forma di garanzia reale e/o di firma, a sostegno di iniziative di autoimpiego ed autoimprenditorialità.

Le domande di agevolazione potranno essere presentate a Invitalia anche da giovani Neet fino a 29 anni, che hanno aderito al Programma Garanzia Giovani, indipendentemente dalla partecipazione al percorso di accompagnamento finalizzato all’autoimprenditorialità. In sede istruttoria, ai giovani destinatari che abbiano concluso il percorso di accompagnamento, sarà comunque attribuita una premialità di 9 punti sul punteggio complessivo che concorre alla determinazione della soglia minima di accesso al finanziamento.

Nello specifico le agevolazioni finanziariedel Fondo consistono in un finanziamento senza interessi e senza garanzie personali, che può arrivare alla copertura del 100% del programma di spesa. Il finanziamento si può articolare in 3 modalità: Microcredito, per iniziative con piani di spesa inclusi tra i 5.000 ed i 25.000 euro; Microcredito esteso, per iniziative con piani di spesa inclusi tra i 25.000 ed i 35.000 euro;
Piccoli prestiti, per iniziative con piani di spesa inclusi tra i 35.000 ed i 50.000 euro.

Le domande di accesso al Fondo SELFIEmployment può essere presentata dai soggetti Neet in forma di imprese individuali, società di persone, società cooperative con un numero di soci non superiore a nove, associazioni professionali e società tra professionisti.

Sono ammesse le società costituite da non più di 12 mesi rispetto alla data di presentazione della domanda, purché inattive o non ancora costituite, a condizione che vengano costituite entro 60 giorni dall’eventuale ammissione alle agevolazioni.

Le associazioni professionali e società tra professionisti costituite da non più di 12 mesi rispetto alla data di presentazione della domanda, purché inattive.

 

L'articolo Selfiemployment, nuovi requisiti di accesso è un contenuto originale di 01net.


          01/07/2017: FRONT PAGE: Labour politician voted Cosla chief   
GERRY BRAIDEN hold the post, said she had secured the job she “relished”. The leader of the council’s Labour group, Ms Evison was elected president of the organisation following a meeting of its full convention in Edinburgh yesterday morning. She...
          Coming to a TV Near You: Trump’s America   
Tales detailing the plight of America's disillusioned middle class and the realities of life in the rural United States are making their way to a TV near you. Sitcom writers are now grappling with how to best reflect the slice of the electorate that voted for Donald Trump, and delve into the deep cultural and political divides exposed during the 2016 presidential race, according to television and film experts. The television industry will likely start developing new shows based on this political reality later in the year or early next year, said Eric Deggans, an award-winning author and television critic...
          Liberals may hate Trump’s first 10 days, but GOP base loves it   
Many of the dominant images from President Trump’s first 10 days in office make it look as if the country is turning on him. The millions who protested him at women’s marches across the country. The thousands who jammed airports over the weekend to support immigrants and refugees hurt by his travel ban. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely any of this early backlash will mean much to the swing-state voters who sent Trump to the White House to deliver a message that the political system wasn’t working for them. “Is the white, blue-collar voter in Pennsylvania going to be upset by all...
          Barbara Boxer: We Have To Make The Middle Class Understand That Trump Is Not Their Friend   
In a roundtable interview with MSNBC's Chris Jansing that included Hollywood actors and other political leaders, former Sen. Barbara Boxer said "we" have to "make" the middle class understand that Trump is not their friend. The panel included Jamie Lee Curtis, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D), a Black Lives Matter activist, and Tony Goldwyn, star of ABC's Scandal and grandson of MGM studio mogul Samuel Goldwyn. "I want to jump in with something specific that he did on the very first day that didn't get that much coverage," Boxer said. "There was an order that was signed that...
          Cat-licking and 'Dirty Jobs': Mike Rowe nails why Trump won   
"These two candidates were the choices we gave ourselves, and each came with a heaping helping of vulgarity and impropriety. Yeah, it was dirty job for sure, but the winner was NOT decided by a racist and craven nation – it was decided by millions of disgusted Americans desperate for real change. The people did not want a politician. The people wanted to be seen. Donald Trump convinced those people that he could see them. Hillary Clinton did not." - Mike Rowe
          Everyone thinks they are middle class: The false perceptions many Americans hold.   
In 1971 70% of Americans were middle class. A clear majority. Today the middle class is now a minority. It is interesting that within one generation we have pushed the middle class into minority status yet most people still think they are middle class when the data clearly states otherwise. This misperception is probably at the root of a lot of the political anger this year. If everyone is middle class and you are struggling, surely it is the system to blame. Forget about the cronyism on Wall Street and the deep capture of big money in D.C. – the...
          In Theresa we trust: Prime Minister IS the leader to deliver Brexit, poll declares    


THERESA May is the leader the public wants to deliver Brexit, a poll has revealed.
          Corbyn surge? Shock poll gives Labour SIX point lead over Tories   


A SHOCK new poll has given Labour a six point lead over the Tories.
          'She must go!' John McDonnell calls for Theresa May’s head to make way for Labour    


JOHN McDonnell has called for Theresa May's head in an all-out attack on her minority government at today's protest.
          Italy's EU minister confirms secret talks underway for 'when UK reverses Brexit decision'   


ITALY'S EU Minister Sandro Gozi has confirmed that the major countries in the bloc are preparing for a shock reversal decision on Brexit.
          Saturday News: Alec Baldwin as George Washington as Donald Trump; Hans Von Spakovsky is Baaaaaack; “Trump, Melting Under Criticism”   

by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, July 1. GOP Activist Who Sought Clinton Emails Cited Trump Campaign Officials At least 25 states resist sweeping data request by voting commission (I can’t believe any state would comply with this lunacy.) Why we should be very afraid […]

The post Saturday News: Alec Baldwin as George Washington as Donald Trump; Hans Von Spakovsky is Baaaaaack; “Trump, Melting Under Criticism” appeared first on Blue Virginia.


          Head of Domestic Data & Analytics   
Michael Page - Birmingham - Role Summary: Head of Data & Analytics. You will be accountable for the leadership, management, governance and quality of all data... navigate the complexities and politics that may arise. Description Key Responsibilities: The Head of Data & Analytics is a senior member...
          Inhumans Trailer; Supes: Red Son Film?; Jay-Z Release-The Grind@6pm ET   
It's the Independence Day weekend, citizens!  In between stuffing your faces with barbecue, why not check out the latest musings of Afronerd Radio's Grindhouse podcast, airing this Saturday at 6pm ET?  Listen to your favorite podcast "crew of the Serenity" wax about the following pulp/op issues: our impressions of the highly anticipated Inhumans TV trailer which hit the internets a few days ago; Fox is allegedly planning to forge ahead with a kids inspired Fantastic Four reboot (really?); WB might explore an Elseworld storyline (Superman: Red Son) for the Man of Steel sequel; hip hop icon, Jay-z releases a new album that some listeners/supporters are likening to a "conscious" and/or political thematic outing;  and speaking of being the epitome of conscious rap, legendary rap group, Public Enemy also releases their album this weekend; a Jetsons live action film appears to be in the works; Wonder Woman is tracking to become the DCEU most successful film per its domestic box office take; 
          Comment on What Trump Can Expect from Putin by Alexandr   
OK. Here what I made for now. Unfortunately I cannot dub it right now. It is just impossible for me to get suitable environment at the moment and I simply unable to keep pace with the speakers in the program. I mean they are saying so fast sometimes and I cannot reproduce it in English. Anyway, I did my best with the subtitles. Unfortunately the program is completely outdated but I guess it is useful for you GUYS to get an example of our political talk-shows. Another thing is accuracy of the translation. Sorry for any mistakes though. Don't judge too strict. I will do my best trying to dub it later, but cannot guarantee anything. This is the first part because Vimeo is not allow to upload more than 500MB per week with Free Account. Thus, I will upload the final 30 minutes next week. If you know any other way to display it for all who interested let me know, please. Thanks and be well! https://vimeo.com/223910524
          Special Counsel Robert Mueller Had Been On White House Shortlist To Run FBI   
The Trump White House had been considering Robert Mueller as a top candidate to lead the FBI before the deputy U.S. attorney general changed course and tapped Mueller to serve as special counsel investigating Russian interference in last year's election, two sources familiar with the process told NPR. Mueller had gone so far as to meet with Justice Department leaders and White House officials about the FBI job, which opened after President Trump fired Director James Comey on May 9. But that idea went by the wayside after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein instead reached out to Mueller to run the politically sensitive Russia probe, which is examining ties between Russians and Trump campaign aides, the sources said. Mueller has long been considered one of Washington's most indispensable men. He served in top roles at the Justice Department and became President George W. Bush's FBI director only days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks devastated the country. President Barack Obama
          Countdown Clocks, Morning Cocktails As Former FBI Director Prepares To Testify   
TV networks have deployed countdown clocks. People are tweeting about places to watch and whether they'll offer morning cocktail specials. Congressional aides report that demand for seats inside the Senate hearing room has reached levels not seen for decades. Anticipation is building for testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey, not least in the White House, where the president and his aides worry the telegenic former law enforcement leader could inflict both political and legal wounds. What Comey might say Friends and associates of the former FBI director described Comey as shocked that news of his firing came from a television screen, while he was speaking to agents in California last month. Just three years into a 10-year-term, Comey's associates said he had no inkling he was on the verge of losing his job, especially not while the Bureau was in the middle of investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential contest. Comey did, however, have an uneasy feeling about
          'It's Falling Out Of The Trees,' Former Prosecutor Says Of Obstruction Evidence   
Hours after a news report that President Trump had asked the FBI director to back away from an investigation, Democrats seized on the information to accuse the White House of a serious crime. "We are witnessing an obstruction of justice case unfolding in real time," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a former state attorney general. "On its face, this is a textbook prima facie case of an attempt to obstruct justice," concluded Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a former U.S. attorney. He added: "Whether there are mitigating circumstances remains to be seen." It's far too soon to make a definitive judgment about whether any laws have been broken in connection with the president's contacts with James Comey, the FBI director he fired a week ago. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has demanded memos, recordings and other materials that Comey may have prepared, with a deadline of next week. Lawmakers from both political parties said they want to hear Comey testify in
          DAYS OF LOT: German Parliament approves same-sex marriage   
DAYS OF LOT: German Parliament approves same-sex marriage
We are truly living in the last days.  Do you recall the fire and brimstone which came down from heaven killing off the sodomites?  Guess what Planet X will be "kicking in"?  70 pound fiery space rocks will eventually fall from the sky like hail.  God is not amused...
SOURCE

Apocalypse 8: 8:11  And the second angel sounded the trumpet: and as it were a great mountain, burning with fire, was cast into the sea, and the third part of the sea became blood: And the third part of those creatures died, which had life in the sea, and the third part of the ships was destroyed. And the third angel sounded the trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, burning as it were a torch, and it fell on the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters: And the name of the star is called Wormwood. And the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she voted against same-sex marriage because she believes the country’s law sees it as between a man and a woman, but that the opposite view must be respected.
Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage in a snap vote Friday. Lawmakers voted 393 for legalizing “marriage for everybody” and 226 against with 4 abstentions. Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001, but same-sex marriages remained illegal.
Bringing the measure to a vote in Friday’s session, the last before September elections, was fast-tracked after Merkel said Monday lawmakers could take up the issue as a “question of conscience,” freeing members of her conservative coalition, which has been against same-sex marriage, to individually vote for the measure.
She says “for me marriage as defined by the law is the marriage of a man and a woman” but she continues to see the interpretation as a “decision of conscience.”



All of Merkel’s potential coalition partners after the September 4 election, including the center-left Social Democrats of her challenger, Martin Schulz, have been calling for same-sex marriage to be legalized.
The measure, which is expected to see legal challenges, also opens the door for gay couples to adopt - which Merkel says she supports.
Archbishop of Berlin, Heiner Koch, said he “regretted” the parliament “gave up the essential content of marriage” in passing the new law. The archbishop heads the family life committee for the German bishops’ conference.
In a statement, he lamented the abandonment of “a differentiated perception of different forms of partnership,” adding that “differentiation is not discrimination.”
Koch also said “marriage did not deserve” to be caught “in the wheels of political tactics,” referring to the snap vote on the issue.
He concluded his statement by saying the bishops will now intensify their efforts to promote “the vitality of the Catholic understanding of marriage,” which he affirmed would be unaffected by the decision in parliament.




LGBT Mega-Donor Reveals Next Goal: ‘Punish the Wicked’ Gay Marriage Opponents


A prominent LGBT activist who has donated more than anyone else to LGBT causes has said that “wicked” people who advocate for laws protecting the religious freedom of conservative Christians to act in accordance with their views on marriage and sexuality need to be “punished.” The Rolling Stone recently published a lengthy profile piece examining the
contributions of Tim Gill, a software entrepreneur who has quietly been at the forefront of the push for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights in the United States over the past several decades. The article explained how Gill, who is gay, has spent over $422 million to advance the LGBT cause and explained the impact that his associated organizations such as the Gill Foundation, Gill Action, and OutGiving have made on LGBT advocacy in America. READ MORE




DAYS OF LOT: Canadians Choose a Gay, Transgender or Atheist Leader Over an Evangelical


Canadians are more likely to vote for an atheist, gay or transgender person than an evangelical Christian to lead their country, according to a Canadian research institute. The Angus Reid Institute survey, conducted in May with a sample size of 1,533 Canadian adults and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, found that 85 percent said they would vote for a party that is led by a gay man; 84 percent would back a lesbian; 80 percent, an atheist; and 69 percent, a
transgender. Meanwhile, 65 percent said they would support an evangelical Christian. Evangelicals fared better in the United States, with 72 percent of Americans saying they would vote for an evangelical presidential candidate. Americans are less likely to vote for a gay man or lesbian, at 63 and 62 percent, respectively. And atheists and transgender individuals are near the bottom of the U.S. list, at 52 and 50 percent, respectively. READ MORE




DAYS OF LOT: YouTube channel seeks to teach kids about dressing in “Drag and Transgenderism”


“Queer Kid Stuff,” a YouTube channel geared toward teaching children about sexual preferences, homosexuality, transgenderism, and more, celebrated “Pride Month” by releasing a video talking to kids about people dressing in drag. The producer and host of “Queer Kid Stuff,” Lindsay Amer, created the channel in June 2016 to help children ages 3-7 better understand the LGBT community, according to the show’s website.
“Young queer people need to see themselves represented in their media and that is exactly what I aim to do,” Amer wrote. In the videos, she and her co-host Teddy, a stuffed bear, invite guests on to explain various parts of the LGBT community, including the definitions of “gay,” “gender,” and “intersex.” They also discuss the subject of consent and include a sing-along video to go with it. Additionally, the channel discusses the Disney movie, “Frozen,” and how Elsa is allegedly homosexual.  READ MORE

RELATED on the COMET to HIT US:
http://tradcatknight.blogspot.com/2014/10/st-hildegard-america-in-catholic.html


If Doomsday Asteroids were to Hit Earth(full documentary)


Apocalypse: Wormwood, Poleshift & Prophecy



          Spiritual Wickedness in High Places: Malachi Martin on The End of Religion (As We Know It)   
Spiritual Wickedness in High Places: Malachi Martin on The End of Religion (As We Know It)
SOURCE
(Note: The following was one of the last interviews by Malachi Martin before his death in 1999.)

      Ever since Nimrod and the Tower of Babel, the Power Elite have never given up on their feverish dream of a One World Government.

      Former Jesuit Malachi Martin's novel, Windswept House (Doubleday/ Main Street Books), offers a lurid behind the scenes look at a cabal of Vatican insiders who want to use the Roman Catholic Church as a foundation for a politico-religious New World Order.

      The plot of the novel involves a group of Church officials who scheme with a group of like-minded corporate executives to manipulate the Church into a ready-made infrastructure for a One World Religion -- a universal umbrella for everybody from Episcopalians to voodoo practitioners.

      The new ecumenicalism is clothed in Globalist garb. The agenda includes promoting issues like population control, environmentalism and secular humanism, which the plotters hope will eventually lead to the complete secularization of religion. 


      The most outrageous and controversial premise of the novel -- described in great detail in the prologue -- is that a ceremony was performed in the Vatican in 1963 -- an occult ritual which enthroned the fallen archangel Lucifer as the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

      Does Dr. Martin believe that this enthronement actually took place in his novel, which could liberally be described as a roman a clef?

      "Yes, it did," he says emphatically. "Beyond a shadow of a doubt in my mind. But now the place, time, hour etc., are all obfuscated to protect the guilty and save the innocent."

      Was it common knowledge in the Vatican at the time? "Not common knowledge," explains Martin. "But I found out about it by being a member of the Vatican circles that learned these things. It's like everything else. I'm sure there are people floating around Washington, and they know an awful lot about what's going on. Someone says, 'how do you know that'? Well, it's just... we know it."

      The story ofWindswept House continues in present day Europe as an international group of conspirators spanning Church and State plots a one world government on behalf of Lucifer. So are readers to infer that no matter what happens, the Pope and the Church hierarchy are bound to serve the fallen angel?

      "No," explains Dr. Martin. "What it means is that for the moment, Lucifer the biggest archangel, the leader of the revolt against God, has a big in with certain Vatican officials. Enthronement doesn't mean that he rules. It means that they did their best to put him there. The ideal would be to have their man as Pope. In that case then Satan would be enthroned."

      The book goes on to describe how two brothers, one a priest and the other an investment banker, grapple with these awesome consequences as pawns in the game. Meanwhile the cabal of Globalist-oriented Vatican officials and European-based internationalists try to corner the Pope into voluntary resignation so that they can get their man in the Chair of Peter.

      This theme coincidentally is also the basis, albeit in non-fiction form, of Martin's book The Keys of This Blood: Pope John Paul II Versus Russia and the West for Control of the New World Order.

      The upshot? A One World Government is a fait accompli, he infers. What Dr. Martin calls the "millennium endgame" is a competition for a new global hegemony by the key Globalist players. What's interesting is that the novel appears to be a seamless transition from his previous non-fiction work. The reader then is put in the position of concluding that the New World Order is a done deal, that a One World Government is here and now and, as the expression goes, it's all over but the crying.

      But you wouldn't expect Globalist agit-prop from a former Jesuit. Or would you?



The Enthronement of Lucifer in the Vatican

 

And Who Is Malachi Martin?

      Author of 15 books on religious and geo-political topics, Malachi Martin is highly regarded and respected as a world renowned scholar.

      Trained in theology at Louvain, he received his doctorates in Semitic Languages, Archaeology and Oriental History. He subsequently studied at Oxford and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. From 1958 to 1964, he served in Rome, where he was a close associate of the Jesuit cardinal Augustin Bea and Pope John XXIII, as well as a professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute.

      Malachi Martin is the author of many best-selling books including Vatican, Hostage to the Devil, The Jesuits, The Final Conclave, and The Keys of This Blood. Also he was a Roman Catholic priest of the Society of Jesus until 1964 when he left the Jesuits. Why?

      "It was a grave decision," he says. "I could see the way the Church was going, the way churchmen were going in their decisions and all the anchors I had for morality and zeal were being undone. Then when the Vatican Council started in 1962, I could see the way the flow of opinion was going in the Vatican by a group of cardinals from Belgium, Germany and France. They were maneuvering the Church into totally new ecclesiology. I couldn't accept this."

      As an advisor to three Popes, Dr. Martin has had his fair share of romanita, that uniquely Roman methodology of connivance and power politicking. "I started off as an advisor on Judaism," he continues. "I was trained in Semitic languages and I spent a year and a half studying the Talmud... Then my superiors in Rome also found that I understood Judaism very well. They wanted someone to explain it, since they were studying the whole question of Jewish-Christian relations. So I was drafted into helping with that."

      And the outcome? "They produced a document in which they sort of absolved the Jewish people of the death of Christ."

      Based on his research? "No, not on my research," argues Martin. "I was only a cog in the wheel. I didn't agree with the final document either. It went too far. And then there were conclusions about the need for Catholics to study Judaism and get to know them better."

So this was the ecumenicalization of the Church that was going on?

      "That's it in one word," concurs Martin. "And I couldn't agree with the total effect of all that because I thought they went too far."

      Dr. Martin was also involved with Vatican intelligence. What did he do? "Just assessing things in Israel, whatever anti-Christianity there was amongst the Israelis. There was and still is. And what was the position of the Arabs. I used to live in Jordan and Lebanon and Egypt. I knew those places very well and could assess the position of the Church and the various Christian communities."

      The many-talented Dr. Martin is also known as a practicing exorcist and has even written a book about the subject called Hostage to the Devil.

      He says he came up against evil as a force in the world in an uncontrovertible undeniable way in his first exorcism.

      "I was in Cairo and it was evil," Dr. Martin recalls.

      "You know you only have to enter its presence, or for it to enter your presence to know that you are in the presence of something which is summarily evil."

      "It's invisible. You can't see it. But you know it wants you dead. Dead. Dead. And in a horrible way," he repeats in a hypnotic voice. "It's touching your very bones by its presence."

      So how does he explain the phenomenon of demonic possession? "Free will", says Dr. Martin. "For the first time in the work we have been doing for thirty-one years in this corner of the globe, during the last ten years or so, we have found young men and women thirty-somethings or twenty-somethings coming forward and saying, 'Listen I made a pact with the devil. I wanted this woman. I wanted this man. I wanted this job. I wanted this money. I wanted this, this, this, and I made a pact and he gave it to me and now I can't get free of him. He dominates my will. Please liberate me. And then people get to it by means of things like a ouija board or by spiritual seances or channeling."

      Malachi Martin is also known as a serious scholar of apocryphal writings, having authored a book called The Scribal Character of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

      (As an impressive mark of his erudition, Malachi Martin even knew about the alternative Abraham and Isaac story in one of the so-called Pseudepigrapha, the Book of Jubilees. In this unsanctioned version of Genesis, Abraham is commanded to kill his son, but not by God. Instead it is Mastema, a fallen angel known as "the accusing angel" as well as the Tempter and Executioner, who tells the Hebrew patriarch to do the dirty deed. To his credit, of course, Abraham doesn't slaughter his firstborn. When asked why the Genesis version omits details of the fallen angel Mastema as the instigator of Abraham's test, however, even Malachi Martin admits ignorance.)

Bernard Janzen "Fr. Malachi Martin: Camouflaged Apostasy"


The Globalist Imperative

      Like the prissy intellectuals of the 1930s enamored by National Socialism (as well as Fabian Socialism), the current fin de siecle version of internationalists are likewise paving their own road to a Globalist hell with good intentions.

      Using the Hegelian model of history, first there was Capitalism (thesis), then Communism (antithesis), and now there's the New World Order (synthesis), risen from the ashes of the Cold War and the formerly 'competing' ideologies.

      International socialism or corporate fascism (aka Globalism) is, in fact, the trendy philosophy for the end of the millennium. In his book Megatrends 2000, Olympian futurist John Naisbitt calls it "free market socialism," a hybrid economic system that combines welfare state policies with multinational corporate business on a global level.

      Globalism, however, as a secular religion, has a dogma all its own. Its primary belief system is based on the notion that the usefulness of the nation-state is over. In other words, national sovereignty is a thing of the past and a One World Government is inevitable. But... this effort, at least for now, must be couched in cryptic language for the unwashed masses. Otherwise they'd get too upset.

      Globalist spokesman Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Columbia University professor, President Carter's former National Security advisor, and founder of the Trilateral Commission spoke at the Gorbachev Foundation's State of the World Forum in 1995, "We cannot leap into world government in one quick step," he said. "(It) requires a process of gradually expanding the range of democratic cooperation." In plain language, that means people must be further indoctrinated.

      Eurocrat Jean-Marie Guehenno hints at this global hegemony or one world totalitarianism calling it an "empire without an emperor." Guehenno wrote The End of the Nation-State (1995) which was called La fin de la democratie (The End of Democracy) in the original French version. Since nation states are obsolete, he claims, "'wise men' capable of thinking through the finite world that has become our common lot" must be entrusted to guide us into what he calls an 'Imperial Age'." Presumably Guehenno counts himself as one of the ranks of "The Wise Men."

      Most striking though is a chapter in Guehenno's book called "Religions without God", which evokes the image of the humanist shaking his fist at an empty sky. The ultimate reduction of this conundrum for the internationalists is to hint at a "global politburo" to run the world as posited by Paul Mazur in Unfinished Business (1979).

      According to Dr. Martin's nomenclature, Guehenno is one of the Transnationalists -- bureaucrats who believe that Globalism is based on "the development of new and ever wider interrelationships between the governments of the world".

      On the other hand, the Internationalists are "individuals who operate from a power base of finance, industry and technology". Together these groups are the Globalists, the social engineers conniving for the convergence of East and West in the so-called New World Order.


Luciferian Geo-Politics

      For a Churchman, Malachi Martin shows a remarkable familiarity and understanding of Luciferianism, a belief system which hold human wisdom, secular humanism if you will, as its paragon and the fallen archangel Lucifer as the Prince who will rule the world.

      Readers ofWindswept Houseare given the impression that the old traditional Catholic Church is good because the protagonists, Christian Gladstone and his mother are defending it, while we know that the Church has been dedicated to Lucifer. Faced with these two alternatives, the conclusion is that the Roman Catholic Church run by Lucifer is good -- a classic (and incredibly sophisticated) double bind, which is constantly reinforced in the reader's mind throughout the 646 pages of the novel.

      "Well, the Church itself has not been given to Lucifer," argues Dr. Martin. "He was enthroned in the Vatican by Vatican officials. That doesn't mean he possesses the Church yet. The Church anyway is an ambiguous term because it either means the actual physical bloc of churches, convents, libraries, academies, parish houses and cathedrals, the physical plant. Or it means the group of faithful in the state of grace whether they are alive in Purgatory or in Heaven. That is the body of Christ."

      "There has always been, since the fourth century, this organization set up by the Emperor Constantine. But that is not essential for the Church. The Church can exist without it. So that mystical body of Christ has not fallen into Lucifer's hands. The organization to some degree has. That's the difficulty."

      What about the book putting his readers in a double bind? You're presented with two choices. Either A. The Luciferian-controlled Roman Catholic Church. Or B. The Luciferian-controlled New World Order. So where does Malachi Martin find himself?

      "The New World Order is definitely won by Luciferian believers," says Dr. Martin. "There's no doubt about that."

      And then he starts to rationalize their modus operandi.

      "But these are men who came to be and are in their actions at least, humanitarian and philanthropic. They want to wipe out hunger and disease. They want to limit the population of the world. They believe the world is headed for mass starvation. They also want to enter into education. They would like to have an alliance with the Roman Catholic Church and with another pope. This one -- they know would stand in their way in regards to population control because he is deadstart against abortion, contraceptives, genetic engineering."

      And what about "The Process" he refers to in his book?

      Dr. Martin replies that it's the "Luciferian Process" of secularizing every religious mind so that the common mind today would be one which regarded the earth as a planned paradise to be built up. There is no God above the skies, no heaven, and there is no hell beneath the earth. It's complete secularization."

      (John Lennon's classic rock anthem "Imagine" comes to mind. "Imagine there's no country," he sang. "It isn't hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion too.")

      But do the Luciferians have a timetable?

      "We are now according to the official doctrine of the Luciferians in what they call "the Availing Time". They have a tradition that in these years they can avail of the time to install the Prince, who is Lucifer, as the greatest power on earth in charge of human civilization and adored by men."

      And to what end?

      "To exalt the power of Lucifer. That is the end in itself. It's the Luciferian purpose. If they don't do it in these years, then it is put off sine die, without resolution. They are very keen on getting it done."

      And what are the next steps in this "Process"?

      "The purpose is to secularize education completely," continues Dr. Martin. "And to eliminate from considerations of life and death -- medicine, sociality, finance, birth, development etc., to free that of any religious presumption whatever. To free it from the superstition of religion so that man is dealt with scientifically and humanly. And that is 'the Process'. 'The Process' is to make the human mind accept that... 'The Process' is whereby all education, primary secondary and higher, college university and all public activity is completely rid of all religious presumptions."

      "There is a layer of satanism, of satanist ritual which prepares people for perfect Luciferian adoption. They have covens and sacrifices and rites. The Luciferians have no rites, you know."

      So dabbling with satanism in these rituals leads to a different form of "commitment" which is Luciferianism?

      "It is a preparation for Luciferianism and there are reversals sometimes," claims Dr. Martin. "You will find a crowd of Luciferians having a satanic ritual as a reminder of things. But they have all passed through in a sense and that involves three things: the infliction of pain without flinching, the infliction of death without flinching, and the use of fire."


Windswept House — Message and Subtext

      In Windswept House, Christians and Luciferians clash over the remains of the Roman Catholic Church. It's a controversial and provocative story, a political thriller with metaphysical implications. It delves into the depths of treachery, intrigue and Machiavellian politics at the highest levels of the Church. As a fact-based novel with frequent lengthy asides on real historical geopolitical events like the fall of the Soviet Empire and the Helsinki Accords,Windswept House is a vehicle for one simple message -- the New World Order is here and now.

      While a group of cardinals scheme to force the Pope to resign his office so they'll be able to install a man who will do the Luciferians' bidding, a priest, Christian Gladstone is called to Rome. Cardinal Maestroianni, a power player and one of the leaders of the cabal, enlists the priest to poll bishops regarding closer ties with the European Economic Community. In fact, however, the Cardinal is assessing the timing for a conclave in which the Slavic Pope would be forced to resign because he has become a stumbling block in the Luciferians' plans.

      From the business side, Paul Gladstone, Christian's brother and an expert in international relations working at a Globalist law firm, is also unknowingly recruited to bring the Luciferian plan to fruition. When the brothers find out they are both being unwittingly used in the schemes of the Luciferians, they join forces. Christian then must reach the Pope to tell him that he is being manipulated to abdicate the Chair of Peter.

      Will the Pope resign? And will he exorcise the Church in time?

      The subtext? It doesn't really make a hell of a lot of a difference. 

Father Malachi Martin: End of Christian Civilization



The Future of the Church Militant

      In his novelWindswept House Malachi Martin expostulates his readers regarding the reasons why the "Slavic Pope" (Pope John Paul II) is so ineffectual. But what is the Pope's agenda as he sees it?

      "I think that from the very start John Paul II for whatever reasons, has sought after one thing and one thing only," says Dr. Martin. The formation of what now appears to be in his mind, a universal assemblage of Catholics at the core; grouped with them the Protestant denominations, sects and churches; grouped around them believing Jews, believing Muslims, believing Hindus, believing Buddhists. And that would be a universal religious assembly that could have a powerful dynamic kick in civilization and in solving the problems of men and women today. That is the only thing you can really say this man has sought heart and soul and body with all his travelling. When he went to churches all over the world, member churches of the Catholic Church in all the countries, he was bolstering the reputation of the papacy and he was speaking Catholic dogma, Catholic belief, Catholic morals. But in reality he was reaching out to everybody. He wanted to make friends with everybody."

      And what about the widespread homosexuality, pedophilia and satanic rituals in the Church, common knowledge he avers known to all Vatican insiders? Since as he wrote Christ is no longer honored in the tabernacle, what does he think will happen?

      "Once the tabernacle is emptied of Christ's real presence, then the Church ceases to be holy and therefore it's going to be entered by the opposite power, Lucifer," says Martin. "And this is taking place now. Not widespread, but it is taking place. There's no doubt about that."

      So will the Church fall on its own? "It's disintegrating slowly," says Martin. "As an organization, it's being marginalized sociopolitically and culturally. And religiously, it's weakening and decaying, obsolescing..."

      "If you look at any country today there are three identifiable components of that State. One, the government. Two, there is industry. Third, there are what we call NGOs, the non-governmental organizations. That's everything from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers to the Catholic Church. And they're just simply lumped together, voluntary associations with as much power as they can grasp but of no special importance. Now fifty or seventy years ago, when an ethical or moral question arose, people and governments looked to the churches. Now they don't any longer."

      And yet another sensitive question. Something doesn't add up. Malachi Martin's a priest. He's supposed to fight evil. Yet his bookWindswept Houseis clear evidence that he's thrown in the towel.

      "Well I don't see evidence of having thrown in the towel," protests Dr. Martin. "Because there's a lot I'm being made to pay for, in the sense that the writer obviously likes and reveres this Pope even though he disagrees with him. The writer also believes in the blessed sacrament. He believes in the Pope's infallibility. He believes in salvation. He believes in hell. He believes in the evil of the devil."

      So why doesn'tWindswept Houseend with Christ victorious in the book?

      Does Dr. Martin believe that the Luciferian forces have won already?

      "No. No. No," insists Dr. Martin. "This is an interim book. It ends in a big doubt -- everybody waiting." This must be what they call the European ending -- as opposed to the American ending where all the loose ends are tied up.

      Then the story shifts into "The Devil, Er, I Mean the Editor Made Me Do It". "The publisher said, 'listen the story isn't finished yet,'" says Dr. Martin. "I had a lovely glorious ending. I had a vision. I had a marvellous thing over the Alps. He cut it out."

      This is an actual editorial decision? "Yes," says Dr. Martin.

      But with all due respect, it almost sounds like Luciferian tampering. Not that anyone wants a saccharine ending. So are readers to conclude that the Luciferians won because of the passivity of the Pope in defending the Church?

      "Well, they haven't won yet," says Dr. Martin on a slightly upbeat note. "We're waiting for this man to do something. He's the Vicar of Christ. I know I'm defending him but..."

      "Readers who call me or write me say, what do we do now? I say, read my next book," he continues.

      With Martin's death on July 28, 1999, his suggestion seems to be a moot point.

      "So perhaps editorially," he concludes, "it was the right decision, but religiously it was the wrong decision. I don't know."

      It's been said that "by their fruits, ye shall know them." Malachi Martin's assent to the so-called "process" is the tangible "fruit" of Windswept House.

      Is the novel a prophecy? Or is it just a warning?

      In any case, the New (Luciferian) World Order that Martin describes puts a religious spin to the whole "process" of history.

It's also clear -- the book is a Luciferian masterpiece.  


TradCatKnight in the media: THE SATANIC VATICAN DECEPTION 


          This Popular Island Destination Is Exporting Monkeys for Cruel Experiments   
Mauritius is one of the world's largest suppliers of non-human primates for inhumane medical experiments.

Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean, is a dream holiday destination for tourists from all over the world. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, lagoons, tropical climate, heritage sites, lush forests and wildlife. Yet, this idyllic location is also infamous for a sinister reason—the cruel exploitation of its population of monkeys. Mauritius is one of the world’s largest participants in the cruel trade of supplying non-human primates for experiments. In 2016, 8,245 long-tailed macaques were exported from Mauritius to the USA, Canada and Europe with 3,522 imported by the USA, the largest importer of monkeys from Mauritius.

In Mauritius, the long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) lives freely. However, the species is not considered indigenous, despite having been well-established on the island for about 400 years. Although the species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), there exists no legislation to protect the primates of Mauritius. Instead, they are widely persecuted and exploited.

Historically, monkeys were trapped in the wild to be shipped overseas. Following international condemnation of the trade in wild-caught primates, tens of thousands of primates are now held in farms across Mauritius. Many of these animals were captured from the wild and are now imprisoned in these farms and used for breeding. Denied their freedom in the lush foliage of their jungle homes, these individuals spend their lives behind bars, on concrete. Their offspring are transported as ‘cargo’ in small wooden crates on airplanes to laboratories around the world to feed the international research industry.

Tourism is a key pillar of the economy of Mauritius and contributes significantly to the economic growth of the island. Mauritius is also promoting the island’s image as a green, eco-friendly tourist destination. The reputation of Mauritius as a country where the environment is valued is being put at risk by the export of monkeys for cruel experiments. Added to this is the introduction of recent regulations that will, for the first time, allow such experiments to be carried out on the island itself. The main species to be used in the research will be the country’s population of long-tailed macaques.

It cannot be argued that the economic benefits of the monkey trade and potential revenue from experiments are more important than tourism. Even a brief glance at the figures shows this controversial trade, worth less than 2 percent of Mauritian export, is economically insignificant compared with the income that Mauritius receives from its tourism industry. It is well-established that if a country develops a reputation for unkind treatment of animals, it has a very strong negative effect on tourism.

An additional factor to consider which is equally puzzling is that Hinduism is the largest religion in Mauritius. The country has the third highest percentage of Hindus in the world after Nepal and India. Lord Hanuman, the monkey god, is one of the most popular idols in the Hindu religion and is worshipped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion. The trade in primates on Mauritius clearly is contrary to the very concept of Hindu culture and society which emphasises the spiritual equality of all living beings.

There are concerns that the introduction of animal experiments to Mauritius is primarily to provide a new market for the primate breeding companies and a reaction to problems with airlines refusing to transport primates for research purposes, moves to impose tighter restrictions on the import of primates within the European Union and a growing public concern about the use of primates in research. Animal researchers and companies may be looking to travel to Mauritius to carry out research that would not be allowed to take place in their own country.

A glance at the new regulations governing the experiments shows that substantial sections have simply been taken from EU and UK legislation, but this has not been consistently done, so there are significant gaps and contradictions. For example, there is no provision for governmental inspections of laboratories. Nor are there any rules in the regulations about the housing, environment and enrichment to be provided to animals. Furthermore, transparency and accountability appear to be absent because, although there is a requirement for researchers to submit records to the government, there is no provision for the government to subsequently put such information into the public domain. 

The long-tailed macaque is the most widely traded primate species for research worldwide and the most widely-traded mammal on the CITES database. In the laboratory, these primates may suffer substantially, including the effects of poisoning (such as vomiting, internal bleeding, weight loss, organ failure and even death) after being forced to consume large quantities of chemicals or drugs in toxicity tests or face being subjected to major brain surgery, their skulls cut open and devices implanted into their brains.

Examples of recent research carried out on long-tailed macaques in the USA makes disturbing reading: 1) experiments that have attempted to mimic traumatic military injuries; 2) forced addiction to recreational drugs such as alcohol and cocaine; 3) injections with phencyclidine (PCP or ‘angel dust’) and 4) forced inhaling of cigarette smoke several hours a day (for some monkeys it was the equivalent of a person smoking four packs of cigarettes a day).

The development of alternative methods to using animals is a growing and pioneering field. There is now a wide range of more human-relevant and humane approaches and animal tests are being replaced in areas such as toxicity testing, neuroscience and drug development. These alternatives include cell, tissue and organ cultures; methods using chemistry, computers or imaging machines; and ethical and highly effective studies using human volunteers.

Cruelty Free International is dedicated to ending this cruel exploitation of the Mauritius monkeys. We believe that the focus for Mauritius should instead be on these new technologies for non-animal experiments and we are urging Mauritius to become a forward-thinking country that adopts humane and cutting-edge alternatives. Mauritius’ image abroad is already tarnished because of its role in the cruel international trade in monkeys for research. Allowing animal experiments to take place will have a further negative impact and likely result in further widespread protest.

Our campaign has received widespread support from around the world, including in Mauritius, by scientists, wildlife experts, politicians and socio-cultural groups as well as members of the public. Indian politician Maneka Gandhi and internationally renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall have also voiced their concerns.

There are three actions you can take to support our campaign to protect the monkeys of Mauritius and let government officials know that what they are doing is unacceptable:

1. Send an email/letter to the Mauritius Embassy in Washington:

mauritius.embassy@verizon.net

washingtonemb@govmu.org

H. E. Mr S. Phokeer

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Mauritius Embassy

1709 N. Street, NW

Washington D.C. 20036

2. Send an email/letter to the Minister of Tourism in Mauritius:

mtou@govmu.org

The Hon Anil Kumarsingh GAYAN, SC

Minister of Tourism

Ministry of Tourism

Level 5, Air Mauritius Centre

John Kennedy Street

Port Louis

Mauritius

3. Sign this petition.

 

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          Protests in India Against 'Cow-Protecting' Vigilantes Succeed in Breaking Prime Minister's Silence   
Do some Indian lives matter more than others? The Modi government seems to think so.

On June 29, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi gave a long-awaited (though mild) admonishment of violent “cow protection” vigilantes who have been let loose in the streets of India, on its trains, buses and village and city public spaces, lynching Indians (almost always Muslims or Dalits, members of the lowest caste). Modi, who is normally outspoken, has previously been mum on the spate of killings, conveying an overall climate of immunity to murderous mobs. What appears to have broken this studied silence are the spontaneous protests that finally erupted all over India and coalesced on July 28 when citizens, including celebrities, in 12 cities took over public squares and promenades after a spontaneous call by Delhi-based filmmaker Saba Dewan in a Facebook post.

Though they took some time in coming, the protests appear to have had their desired effect, temporarily at least. Not only has Modi spoken, but the normally distanced Indian commercial television channels have given space to this democratic expression of outrage.

The immediate provocation was the lynching of a Muslim teenager named Junaid Khan on a train, shortly after it departed from Delhi. The men who stabbed Junaid also left his brothers seriously injured. The incident occurred on June 23, the last Friday of the holy month of Ramzan (Ramadan), when the auspicious Alvida Namaaz(prayers) are read and which has a special significance for the devout.

At SabrangIndia, we reported the train incident following an unusually prompt press release from the Communist Party of India, whose politbureau members had visited the site of the incident. We commented in our report that India would soon need its very own “Lynch Calendar.” What we could not report until three days later was that on the same Friday, some 1,088 kilometers away in Chatra Jharkhand, 24-year-old Mohammad Salman was shot and killed in cold blood by men in uniform who simply entered his home, shoved him outside and ordered their subordinates to commit the crime.

In the same eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, there have been a spate of horrific killings, including lynchings, that still haunt public memory—particularly the March 2016 hangings of dairy farmers Mazloom Ansari and 12-year-old Imteyaz Khan in a deserted public village. What has faded away from the current outrage and even the media commentary is the fact that the National Commission for Minorities (a statutory body set up specifically to protect the rights of minorities) had been compelled to send a team to investigate.

The report of the Commission severely indicted the Jharkhand police and the political class for failing to “rein in the cow protection groups who are taking law into their own hands.” The NCM also recorded in its report that “Deep and widespread communalisation of sections of the Jharkhand police force, and slogans like ‘go to Pakistan’ were frequently used by the local police against the Muslims, pointing toward a larger communalisation of the state police.” That report was from May 2016. Today the NCM stands discredited with political appointments by the Modi government who have put into position representatives who have no background in terms of autonomy and rights and are simply toeing a majoritarian government’s line.

Noted activist Shabnam Hashmi returned her 2008 NCM Award on Tuesday, making a strong public statement. She said in her open letter:

“I am returning it [the award] in the memory of the innumerable innocent victims lynched by marauding mobs. Mob Lynching of Muslims and Islamophobia have taken over India. Even before the community can mourn its dead, the next incident takes place. There is an atmosphere of fear and terror. Under the present Government, the marginalization of minority groups has become the norm.

“The design of turning India into a Hindu Rashtra [nation], which began decades ago with calling Muslims dirty, having too many children and being illiterate moved on to excluding them from residential spaces, targeting them as terrorists, has now reached its pinnacle where all public spaces and all means of livelihood are becoming unsafe for the Muslim community.

“Similar to Hitler’s Germany, Muslims are being projected as the biggest enemy of the state and the people of the country. There is legitimization of the communal ideology by the State and the media, [which] has led to acceptance of prejudices and stereotyping without questioning them in popular consciousness, deep infiltration of hate in the minds and hearts of ordinary people and apathy on the part of a large section of the society especially ‘educated’ middle classes.”

The list of assaults is gruesome: The Muslim Maulvi (cleric) who was beaten in April 2017, on a day supposedly important for devout Hindus (Ram Navmi, the birthdate of Lord Ram), in Jharkhand; the beating death of cattle farmer Pehlu Khan from Mewat while he was on agrarian business in Alwar Rajasthan in April 2017; or the lynch mob murder of political activist Zafar Hussain of the Communist Party of India, also in Rajasthan. Each of these murders is happening in the name of faith by the mob proponents of the Hindu nation, who believe the cow to be more precious than human life. The militarized march to a Hindu nation is laden with such dutiful tasks as cleansing the nation of the “dirty,” be it Dalits, Christians, Muslims or Communists.

Countries around the world need to better understand this: If the protests on June 28 drew Indians out of a numb fear that appeared to have gripped even opponents to this ideal, they need to continue and intensify. At the first instance of such an episode in September 2015, a similar dam of protest had broken. Writers led by the eminent Nayantara Sahgal returned their national awards in a powerful protest that embarassed the Modi government and put it on the defensive. Dozens of writers in over a dozen Indian languages, all winners of awards and powerful cultural commentators in their own right, followed by filmmakers, joined in this powerful symbolic protest. But life went on, and the killings continued. It would be tedious to list all the dead, and the circumstances in which they were lynched—most for rumors or frenzied hysteria about transporting cows or bullocks or eating beef, some for marrying a Hindu.

What is crucial to emphasize is the chain of command of culpability in this climate of impunity and lynchings. They began after the Modi government came to power and were aided and abetted by those in power within the government who spewed venom against Indian Muslims and Christians even while holding senior constitutional posts. They were further emboldened when governments run by the same party Modi represents, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), passed unconstitutional “beef laws” to curtail the slaughter, consumption and transportation of beef. They got greater pats on the back when their parent organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), spoke of the Holy Cow and its protection. The nail in the coffin was the recently introduced ban on the sale of cattle passed by the Modi government.

Indian newspapers have extensively reported recently, as they also did a year ago, that despite Modi’s apparent regrets about the lynchings, in his previous position as Gujarat chief minister, he was a firm proponent not just of cow protection, but against beef exports. The Indian Express recalls Modi statements of 2013, 2012 and 2014, when he attacked the previous Congress-led government for allowing the export of beef. That politicians indulge in the proverbial doublespeak, before and after a campaign, is only part of the problem. The other is more substantive.

As I have argued:

“For years now, since distributions of trishulsthrough trishul dikshaprogrammes, since violent arms trainings by the RSS and Bajrang Dal, since the terror unleashed by the Mobs on the Street—ever available at the blow of the metamorphical whistle—be it the Mob that lynched Christians (there were over 75 attacks between 1999 and 2002 documented by the All India Christian Union and published by Communalism Combat)or the Mob that attacked Naroda Patiya or Gulberg Society or Odh or Sardarpura villages (Gujarat 2002) or the Mob terror unleashed in Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Baghpat and Meerut (September 2013)—we have been arguing, with and to the political class and law enforcement agencies: treat Mob terror and Bomb Terror on Par. Do not look at these equally debilitating and vicious kinds of violence that impact innocent lives, differently.”

When there is the terror of the mob attacking a neighborhood, or lynching people, there is a section of the populace, including law enforcement, that participates through its silence, simply looking on. It is this majority participation, through the silence of complicity, that ensures selective outrage and token utterances from the powerful. No wonder then that the Modis, and the Venkaiah Naidus and even law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad only speak selectively and occasionally. Do some Indian lives matter more than others?

Unfortunately it seems that they do. The killers of Mohammad Ayub in Gujarat, lynched on the eve of Modi’s visit to his home state, were given bail by the higher courts; the killers of Mazloom Ansari and Imiteyaz in Latehar also got out on bail six months ago. On the other hand, those accused, even falsely, of acts of bomb terror do not get bail, often until the final acquittal. They remain incarcerated. This imbalance, even prejudice or bias—privileging mob terror over bomb terror—must stop. The Indian establishment must look at them as two sides of the same coin, or else we are perpetrating an injustice of our own.

That the numbness has finally broken is a good beginning, even if it comes somewhat late. It needs to go further, however, to assert, again and again, in public discourse, that mob terror is as vicious as bomb terror, and to ensure that every police station, every district collector, every railway policeman functions as the Indian Constitution requires him to, with equality before the law and non-discrimination as his credo.

To end with hope, it’s worth reproducing this Facebook post from a mother, which went viral on Thursday. With the picture of an Indian woman holding the holy book of India, its Constitution, she writes:

NOT IN MY NAME

Junaid was lynched by a mob of cruel human beings. I don’t care what religion those lynchers belonged to. Nor do I care what religion Junaid belonged to. I only care about one thing. A group of mean, cruel human beings killed a teenager and assaulted three other young men brutally!
Junaid was 16.
My elder son will turn 16 next year.
My heart breaks for Junaid’s mother.
Not only did a group of cruel human beings kill Junaid, another group of cruel human beings egged them on. Junaid was also killed by those cruel people who witnessed the insanity & chose to remain silent.
There are some cruel people who justify this lynching.
Yes! Hate allows for all sorts of justification.
There has been a long list of these lynchings. It has become so common that no one talks about it. Nobody asks questions about what happened to the perpetrators. Whether they were caught & given the strictest punishment or whether they were released to unleash more violence!
I cannot fathom how anyone can kill unarmed, innocent human beings!
I cannot fathom how people can justify this horrific violence!
Instead of taking law into their own hands why are police complaints not made?
Is it because the lynch mob knows that there is no reason behind what they have done?
All they want to do is to kill in the name of hate.
Whichever religion, ideology, language, ethnicity you belong to, lynching done in any name cannot be condoned!
We’ve suffered so many riots, terrorist attacks, pogroms, lynchings but we haven’t learnt anything.
The bottom line is that innocent human beings become the target of that hate. They are usually poor. They are usually those who are incapable of fighting back. It is really too, too disheartening.
Innocence dies when hate rules!
I cannot be a part of those who encourage hate.
I was with the Ekta Manch marching from Parel to Azad Maidan singing “Hum hongey kaamyaab….” to promote brotherhood between fellow citizens of all faiths in 1993 after the horrendous riots followed by the heinous bomb blasts in Mumbai.
I marched to the Gateway of India to protest the utter failure & crass mishandling of 26/11 by the then Congress Govt in the State and the Centre in 2008.
I supported the Anna Hazare anti corruption movement when he waged the civil battle against the UPA 2 Govt at the Centre.
I was vocal about women’s safety after the horrendous rape & murder of Jyoti Singh as well as Pallavi Purkayastha as well as the sickening hacking of Swathi.
Today I stand firmly against the lynch mentality that has an active political patronage in our country.
I do not belong to any political party. I am a citizen of one of the finest democracies in the World. That is why it is so important for all of us to respect & protect the tenets of our Constitution.
I, as a proud citizen of India, do not conform to the views of anyone who actively or passively supports this lynching.
My allegiance lies with the Constitution of India.
If the Govt or any other body does anything to undermine the basic tenets of democracy in our country, I will vocally oppose it.
I so wanted to be a part of the peaceful civil protest at Carter Road today but I can’t. But I will not be a part of this hate!
I do not want my children to inherit this hate.
I will not have the blood of innocents on my hands.

NOT IN MY NAME!

 

 

 

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          By 2100, Refugees Would Be the Most Populous Country on Earth   
Poverty and deadly wars are the major drivers of displacement.

The UN Refugee Agency has announced the new figures for the world’s displaced: 65.9 million. That means that 65.9 million human beings live as refugees, asylum seekers or as internally displaced people. If the refugees formed a country, it would be the 21st largest state in the world, just after Thailand (68.2 million) and just ahead of the United Kingdom (65.5 million). But unlike these other states, refugees have few political rights and no real representation in the institutions of the world.

The head of the UN Refugee Agency, Filippo Grandi, recently said that most of the displacement comes as a result of war. "The world seems to have become unable to make peace," Grandi said. "So you see old conflicts that continue to linger, and new conflicts erupting, and both produce displacement. Forced displacement is a symbol of wars that never end."

Few continents are immune from the harsh reality of war. But the epicenter of war and displacement is along the axis of the Western-driven global war on terror and resource wars. The line of displacement runs from Afghanistan to South Sudan with Syria in between. Eyes are on Syria, where the war remains hot and the tensions over escalation intensify daily. But there is as deadly a civil war in South Sudan, driven in large part by a ferocious desire to control the country’s oil. Last year, 340,000 people fled South Sudan for refugee camps in neighboring Uganda. This is a larger displacement than from Syria.

Poverty is a major driver of displacement. It is what moves hundreds of thousands of people to try and cross the Sahara Desert and then the Mediterranean Sea for European pastures. But most who try this journey meet a deadly fate. Both the Sahara and the Mediterranean are dangerous. This week, the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Niger rescued 600 migrants from the Sahara, although 52 did not survive.

A 22-year-old woman from Nigeria was among those rescued. She was on a pick-up truck with 50 people. They left Agadez for Libya. ‘We were in the desert for ten days,’ she says. "After five days, the driver abandoned us. He left us with all of our belongings, saying he was going to pick us up in a couple of hours. But he never did." Forty-four of the migrants died. The six who remained struggled to safety. ‘We had to drink our own pee to survive,’ she said.

Getting to Libya is hard enough. But being in Libya is perilous. Violence against vulnerable migrants inside Libya continues to occur. The IOM reports the presence in Libya of ‘slave markets.’ Migrants who make it across the Sahara into Libya have told investigators that they find themselves in these slave markets where they are bought to be taken to private prisons and put to work or else sold back to their families if they can raise the high ransom payments. UNICEF reports incidents of rape and violence against women and children in these private prisons. One 15-year-old boy said of his time in a private prison, "Here they treat us like chickens. They beat us, they do not give us good water and good food. They harass us. So many people are dying here, dying from disease, freezing to death."

Danger lurks on the sea as well. This year already IOM reports least 2,108 deaths in the sea between Libya and Italy. This is the fourth year in a row that IOM has counted over 2,000 deaths by mid-year. Over the past five years, this averages out to about 10 deaths a day. Libya, broken by NATO’s war in 2011, remains a gateway for the vulnerable from various parts of Africa, countries damaged by IMF policies and by warfare. There is no expectation that the numbers of those on the march will decrease.

In a recent paper in The Lancet (June 2017), Paul Spiegel, formerly of the UN Refugee Agency suggests that the "humanitarian system was not designed to address the types of conflicts that are happening at present." With over 65 million people displaced, the various institutions of the UN and of the NGO world are simply not capable of managing the crisis.

"It is not simply overstretched," Spiegel wrote of the humanitarian system, "it is no longer fit for purpose."

These are shattering words. One problem Spiegel identifies is the assumption that refugee flows are temporary, since wars will end at some point. What happens when wars and occupations are permanent? People either have to live for generations in refugee camps or they will seek, through dangerous passages, flight to the West. He gives the example of Iran, which absorbed over a million Afghan refugees without using the camp strategy. They simply allowed the Afghans into Iranian society and absorbed them by putting money into their various social schemes (such as education and health). Spiegel also points out that refugees must be part of the designing the process for humanitarian aid. These are good suggestions, but they are not going to be possible with the limited funds available for refugees and with the crisis level of activity that detains the humanitarian agencies.

Spiegel does not deal with one of the great problems for humanitarianism: the persistence of war and the theory that more war—or the current euphemism, security—is the answer to humanitarian crises. This January, over 1,000 people tried to scale the large barrier that divides Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. Looking at that barrier, one is reminded of the idea that walls will somehow prevent migration, a view driven by President Donald Trump. Violence met the migrants, a mirror of the violence that was visited among migrants along the spinal cord of Eastern Europe last year. Walls, police forces and military interventions are all seductive to an imagination that forgets why people migrate and that they are human beings on the run with few other options. There is a view that security barriers and security forces will raise the price of migrant and deter future migrants. This is a silly illusion. Migration is dangerous already. That has not stopped anyone. More humane thinking is necessary.

It is important therefore that the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told a meeting on the Sahel on June 28 that the world leaders need to "avoid a disproportionate emphasis on security" when dealing with the multiple crises in the Sahara region and north of it. "No purely military solution" can work against transnational organized crime, violent extremism and terrorism, nor against poverty and hopelessness. Underlying causes are not being addressed, and indeed the surface reactions—to bomb more—only create more problems, not less.

In the July issue of Land Use Policy, professors Charles Geisler and Ben Currens estimate that by 2100 there will be 2 billion refugees as a result of climate change. These numbers are staggering. They are an inevitable future. By then, refugees will be the largest country on earth—nomads, seeking shelter from destruction of climate and capitalism, from rising seas and wars of greed.

 

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          Yo Voy Estudiar Para Maestro - Mederos 1971   
An absolute classic of Cuban poster design, this image by Rene Mederos is beautiful and very simple with only a few colours and very simple shapes to illustrate the young Cuban girl who plans to study to be a teacher. Working with silkscreen printing compelled the Cuban designers to use flat colours and simple shapes in their designs. And although this poster is offset printed it has the look of some of the best Cuban silkscreens. It was commissioned by Editora Politica. EP poster 1971 yo voy estudiar para maestro
          Hiroshima - Unknown 1972   
This is another great poster from OSPAAAL using simple pop art graphics, in this case by an unknown artist, to recall the bombing of Hiroshima in August 1945 by the American forces. The Cuban government's choice of August 6th for its day of world solidarity with the struggle of the Japanese people highlighted American aggression during a period when the Vietnam war was escalating. However in 1972 Japan, in contrast to a number of communist and socialist countries, had a democratic general election (won by the Liberal Democratic Party), a booming economy, and high levels of personal freedom. The Japanese people of 1972 may not have recognised the struggle represented by this poster.
solidarity with hiroshima ospaaal poster political japanese people
          Solidarity with the Japanese People - Garcia 1971   
August 6th 1945 was the day that the US air force dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan, striking Hiroshima and killing up to 160,000 of the city's inhabitants, most of whom were civilians. The mortality rate continued to rise for months from radiation and disease but the primary cause of death was from burns. Daniel Garcia's artwork for this 1971 OSPAAAL poster is sombre and thought provoking, making use of the partially obscured face of a young Japanese citizen and burnt paper to remind the world of the horror of that day. The Cuban government's anti-American stance features heavily in its poster output but the subject matter generally focuses on the politics and events of the day. This poster recalls the events of 25 years earlier to highlight the aggression of the American government midway through the conflict in Vietnam and at a time when the American bombing was intensifying.
solidarity with japan hiroshima ospaaal poster political
          Inverno en Llamas - Raymundo 1968   
A touch of San Fran psychedelic art lightens up this poster the way that flames light up churches in Răscoala, a Romanian film that highlights the struggle between rich and poor, religious and sectarian. A simple poster from Raymundo with a major contrast between the understated graphics of the church and the dramatic and in your face flames.
icaic movie raymundo poster political

          Solidarity with Latin America - Perez 1970   
Asela Perez's classic design for this OSPAAAL poster looks like it was designed as a silkscreen with simple flat colours and shapes. The Cuban government believed that revolution would occur throughout Latin America, mirroring the experience of Cuba, and the design of this poster presents a unified continent, its power represented in the clenched fist and the revolutionary spirit in the rifle, held aloft. This classic image has been reused in a number of other Cuban posters.
solidarity with latin america ospaaal poster political

          LBJ - Reboiro 1968   
LBJ is a surreal documentary by Santiago Alvarez which mixes photo montage with footage of Lyndon B Johnson's background and political life. With moments of Monty Python style animation and crude juxtaposition the film attempts satire and humor while portraying LBJ as a merchant of death. The poster is a classic using the same style of photomontage, objectifying and ridiculing. Reboiro also worked on the film's imagery and is credited in the titles.
hasta la victoria siempre


Here's the film:

Alvarez - LBJ (1968) by simpleappareil
          Pieza Inconclusa para Piano Mecanico - Reboiro 1979   
Channelling the surrealists, Reboiro makes good use of his trademark etching style mixed with a 70s pop art feel to illustrate this Cuban poster for the Soviet film Neokonchennaya Pyesa dlya Mekhanicheskogo Pianino (Unfinished Piece for the Player Piano). This is a Chekov-style family love story featuring an undercurrent of political themed support for the rights of peasants and workers. It is rich in philosophy and symbolism with some strange surrealist touches. I don't know the significance of the hand holding up a hand with a hole in it but the design is superb and this is a classic poster.
icaic pieza inconclusa para piano mecanico reboiro

          7/2/2017: EDITORIAL: Online politics lacking   
If you are reading this in the newspaper, chances are you learned a lot from Bryce Edwards’ article today on the role social media is playing in politics. If you are reading this on our website, chances are you know already. The coming election will...
          7/2/2017: EDITORIAL: Lessons to learn for those who voted for Todd Barclay too   
The Todd Barclay debacle deserves to be disposed of in the political wastebasket but not without a few lessons being learned by those responsible. One might have expected a seasoned party hack to be anointed as the successor to favourite son Bill...
          7/2/2017: Front Page: EXCLUSIVE   

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he sympathises with Tony Abbott after ousting him as leader, but has vowed to quit politics if he loses the prime ministership. Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Herald Sun on the first anniversary of his narrow...
          The Oil Industry's Deceitful Promise of American Energy Independence   
Faced with increasing political obstacles to oil and natural gas exploration in many countries around the world, the oil industry is focusing again on the United States. The industry is using the deceitful promise of energy independence to cajole Americans and their policymakers into relaxing environmental...
          7/2/2017: Front Page: Bishop offering Liberals a lifeline   
THERE is a bleak consensus among the realists on the Liberal side of politics that Malcolm Turnbull is a nowhere man with no chance of victory; that the destructive Tony Abbott has neither the numbers nor voter appeal to provide an alternative and that...
          Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer / Deputy Head of Office (TJO) [Temporary]   
Level : P-5
Job ID : 80516
Job Network : Political, Peace and Humanitarian
Job Family : Humanitarian Affairs
Department/Office : Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Duty Station : MULTIPLE DUTY STATIONS
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          CHIEF OF SERVICE, POLITICAL AFFAIRS [Temporary]   
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Job Family : Political Affairs
Department/Office : Department of Peacekeeping Operations
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Staffing Exercise : N/A
Posted Date : 6/30/2017
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          RULE OF LAW OFFICER    
Level : P-4
Job ID : 81711
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Job Family : Rule of Law
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          Programme Assistant [Temporary]   
Level : G-5
Job ID : 81738
Job Network : Political, Peace and Humanitarian
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          Comment on India to China: ‘This is not 1962’! by rehmat1   
Usually the criminals and idiot call TRUTH 'conspiracy theory'. Tibet is already occupied by China just like Muslim Eastern Turkistan. the US and India have been creating troubles in Tibet via CIA agent Dalai Lama. https://geopolitics.co/2016/12/19/mainstream-media-confirm-dalai-lama-is-a-cia-asset/ Mongolia owes its political sovereignty to Russia, therefore, it's not friendly toward China. Pakistani dictator Gen. Zia-ul-Haq was crown by Washington to defeat Red Army occupying Afghanistan. After he completed his assignment in Afghanistan - he told military command that he wanted to do the same to Indian army occupying 60% of Jammu and Kashmir state what he did to Russia. That was against US-Russia interests in the region. So, CIA-Mossad killed Zia along with American Jewish ambassador in Islamabad. Zulifqar Ali Bhutto was an Indian creep. Indira Gandhi used to call him UNCLE. He was a alcoholic-womanizer bastard. He was hanged like an ordinary criminal for helping India create Bangladesh and murder of an important opposition political leader. Hanging only happened only when both the US and India refused to give Bhutto political asylum. Gen. Haq is known as Butcher of Palestinian in Jordan. During the King Hussein's massacre PLO fighters and supporter on the behest of Israel - Brig. Gen. Zia-ul-Haq was a military adviser to King Hussein of Jordan - the most beloved Arab leader by the Israeli Jews. King's burial was attended by Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu and several Zionist rabbis.
          Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Officer [Temporary]   
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          Those Calling for secession are corrupt – Kogi Speaker   

The Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Honourable Umar Ahmed Imam has criticized those calling for secession , stating emphatically that they are corrupt officials who emanated from a product of a corrupt society. Imam while speaking on the political development of the country called on Nigerians to reflect on the process of nationhood by [...]

“The post Those Calling for secession are corrupt – Kogi Speaker appeared first on FOR LATEST BREAKING NIGERIAN NEWS HEADLINES TODAY, TOP ONLINE NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS.”


          Jay Sekulow and the culture of non-profit impunity   
If Sekulow hadn’t gotten involved in the all-encompassing political fustercluck that is the Trump-Russia investigation, almost certainly he would have happily kept on raking in the millions from unsuspecting small donors, without consequence.
          WWD Law Review: O’Neil v. O’Neill and Trump v. Aquazurra   
New York-based men’s wear brand Thaddeus O’Neil is the latest brand to face off against a larger, older one with a similar name, highlighting a consistent concern in the fashion industry. In political fashion, a New York federal court judge has ordered Ivanka Trump to testify under oath in the latest development in the closely watched copying lawsuit filed against her by Aquazzura. And in China, authorities have taken to lashing out against reports that it is the source of the majority of fake goods in the European Union and a threat to U.S. intellectual property. The Name Game A battle between New York-based men’s wear brand Thaddeus O’Neil and Southern California-based surfwear company O’Neill is shedding light on the ever-present legal issues surrounding brand names. According to O’Neill’s opposition to Thaddeus O’Neil’s pending trademark application for the Thaddeus O’Neil name, the men’s wear designer’s mark “is likely to cause confusion with [O’Neill’s own] registered marks.” The surf brand has also alleged that it “believes it will be damaged by registration of the [Thaddeus O’Neil] mark,” especially given the surf-inspired nature of his brand. The matter is an apt reminder that designers are not legally entitled to use their own names in a commercial […]
           Brooklyn streets named for Confederate generals raise ire    
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           N. Ireland power-sharing deal unlikely in coming days, Sinn Fein says    
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           Polish leader says other nations envy Trump visit to Warsaw    
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           Ruth Davidson sparks backlash with Gillian Anderson tweet    
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          Pillole di Storia – Lorenzino de’ Medici: un delitto in famiglia   

Lorenzino de’ Medici, invidioso per la preminente posizione politica concessa al cugino Alessandro, figlio di papa Clemente VII, sembra circondare di affetto quel suo parente poco incline a dividere il potere di duca di Firenze. Il suo affetto, però, sa di veleno. E’, infatti, il mezzo per non destare sospetti prima del progettato, brutale omicidio […]

L'articolo Pillole di Storia – Lorenzino de’ Medici: un delitto in famiglia sembra essere il primo su InLibertà.


          Social movements and science denial   
The University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Social Movements is hosting a dialogue on science and politics, and I’m rather pleased with my contribution: “Will Climate Change Denial Inherit the Wind?” Do check out the other essays in the dialogue, especially Jeffrey Guhin’s discussion of some results from his observations of creationist Muslim…
          Trump says states are 'trying to hide' things from his voter fraud commission. Here's what they actually say. - Washington Post   

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          Trump proves to be an unreliable ally to Republicans in the health-care fight - Washington Post   

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          When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world - Washington Post   

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          'Morning Joe' Hosts and Trump Bring National Enquirer Into Their Feud - New York Times   

New York Times

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          New Jerseyans feeling impact of state government shutdown - Washington Post   

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States Miss Budget Deadline, Go Into Full Or Partial Shutdown ModeNPR
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Philly.com -NBC 10 Philadelphia -NorthJersey.com -NBC New York
all 156 news articles »

          3 Beneficiaries Of Amnesty Programme Graduate With First Class From Belarus.   

45 student delegates of the Presidential Amnesty Programme have graduated from two universities in Belarus with three of them clinching first class honors in Information Technology from the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics. While a total of 29 majored in various fields from the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics, 16 others […]

The post 3 Beneficiaries Of Amnesty Programme Graduate With First Class From Belarus. appeared first on Liveofofo.


          50 Nigerian Students Sponsored By Aregbesola Graduate As Doctors In Ukraine   

A journey of about 8 years successfully came to an end yesterday for 50 of ‘stranded ‘UNIOSUN medical students who had their medical studies stagnated for over two years as a result of non-availability of a teaching hospital for the Osun State University.They became medical doctors after a successful medical studies at the V.N. Karazin […]

The post 50 Nigerian Students Sponsored By Aregbesola Graduate As Doctors In Ukraine appeared first on Liveofofo.


          Osinbajo Commends Man Who Refunded Stipends Paid To Him After Leaving N-Power   

Acting President conmends Mr. Daniel Joshua for refunding N60, 000.00 paid to him despite leaving N – Power programme on securing employment.

The post Osinbajo Commends Man Who Refunded Stipends Paid To Him After Leaving N-Power appeared first on Liveofofo.


          Zainab Atiku Bagudu Cries At The Hospital (Photo)   

Her personal photographer, Aisha Augie-Kuta, who shared the photo online wrote “Wife of the Governor of #Kebbi State, Dr. Zainab Atiku Bagudu @drzus emotionally walks away from a mother of two & her ill children at a hospital in Kebbi State. During the visit, she gave financial support to over 300 patients in three different […]

The post Zainab Atiku Bagudu Cries At The Hospital (Photo) appeared first on Liveofofo.


          POLITICS   
I love the latest Rumblings! We received good information about some individuals that have been nominated for offices. In full disclosure I personally...
          Professional truck drivers offer 4th of July safe driving tips   

The Virginia Trucking Association offers tips urging to travelers to focus on safe driving habits throughout the busy holiday weekend.

Augusta Free Press - Shenandoah Valley News, Sports, Weather, Arts, Events, Politics


          Top things to take care of before starting your own business   

Starting your own business can be scary, challenging but also exciting and very rewarding.

Augusta Free Press - Shenandoah Valley News, Sports, Weather, Arts, Events, Politics


          The different benefits of using a cordless phone for home or work   

Telephones have improved dramatically over the years in a multitude of ways.

Augusta Free Press - Shenandoah Valley News, Sports, Weather, Arts, Events, Politics


          Virginia Tech expert offers tips to defend yourself against future ransomware attacks   

Virginia Tech computer science expert Gang Wang says cyberweapons remain a national concern and offers tips to prevent future attacks.

Augusta Free Press - Shenandoah Valley News, Sports, Weather, Arts, Events, Politics


          D/CO adds creative muscle to political, corporate services with Abbie Meyer   
Fast-rising political (and corporate) consulting firm D/CO added a team member this week, Abbie Meyer. The Denver-based. Colorado Springs-connected firm says Meyer handle accounts, client
          Route 29 Solutions Traffic Alerts: July 3-7   

The following work is scheduled, weather permitting, on the Route 29 corridor in Albemarle County and the city of Charlottesville.

Augusta Free Press - Shenandoah Valley News, Sports, Weather, Arts, Events, Politics


          Comment on A Boy’s Sweet Life In Italy by Wes   
Virtue over winning in politics? Only the Right falls for that.
          Comment on A Boy’s Sweet Life In Italy by Christoph Allin   
@Nate, 'Who was it again that has spent the last 5 decades telling us that truth is an illusion? That the very nature of right and wrong is unknowable at best or a lie at worst? That there is little to our shared heritage and culture worth glorifying or conserving? That all institutions are rooted in some vague, evil forces (whether the patriarchy, or colonialism, or whatever)? Who has told us that man is but a nihilistic piece of material whose purpose in life is pretty much just to let loose all his sexual energy on anything he wants and then die and rot in a hole? That the only politics that exist are those of tribal identity above the merit of the individual or the importance of shared language, culture, and foundational principles? Who led us to our fractured post-truth present?' Oh yeah that was Jon S, all of it. Can you believe that guy?
          Comment on A Boy’s Sweet Life In Italy by Michelle   
<i>So, here comes Trump, who has learned to fight like a leftist – who spun a certain type of identity politics to his electoral advantage – and is taking the space afforded to him by the vacuum of our post-truth society. </i> Big Tweet learned how to fight from his daddy and learned how to appeal to the anger and angst of his base from the talk radio right. Nothing Tweet has said hasn't been said before by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, and such. They're equally outrageous and have made millions off rightwing resentment. In Tweet's mind: Winners! He had no need to look to the left for inspiration. As for his latest misogynist twitter rage--the leopard doesn't change its spots. What's nauseating about the whole thing is the line up of women like Sarah Huckabee-Sanders and Elaine Chao to defend the obvious lies of a man-baby who hates women. Wonder how much evangelical Sarah got for her soul? Sure hope it was worth the degradation.
          Gioacchino Agnarelli   

Gioacchino Agnarelli
1 maggio 1945
Savona
Sembrava una mattina come le altre, ma non lo era, alle 9 del 1° maggio del 1945, sul pontile di ferro arrugginito, dell'ILVA di Savona stava per avere luogo una delle tante esecuzioni sommarie, un gruppo di uomini armati in uniforme da partigiano, stava trascinando sino all'estremità del molo artificiale, un uomo alto e snello, con addosso una tuta da operaio, con dei sottili baffetti , le mani legate dietro la schiena.
All'estremità opposta del pontile c'era un pubblico composto da un centinaio di uomini, dal volto segnato dalla fatica, tutti operai dell'ILVA, erano tutti immobili ad osservare, terrorizzati, la scena brutale.
L'uomo nonostante fosse legato e violentemente spintonato dagli uomini armati, continuava a voltarsi verso gli spettatori muti, urlando con disperazione e chiedendo aiuto nella speranza che qualcuno di quegli operai, suoi compagni di reparto, facesse qualcosa, qualunque cosa, per aiutarlo, ma nessuno alzò un dito per tentare almeno di bloccare quello che stava per accadere.
I boia, raggiunta l'estremità del pontile lo allontanarono con forza da loro, spingendolo, gli puntarono i mitra contro e gli piantarono in corpo una dozzina di pallottole in rapida successione.
Colpito dalla sventagliata di raffiche il corpo cadde in mare, rimanendo a galleggiare a faccia in giù, sballottato dalle onde e nessuno cercò di recuperarlo, forse per paura .
Chi era lo sventurato, vittima dei carnefici partigiani ? Si trattava di Gioacchino Agnarelli, di 50 anni, caporeparto all'ILVA di Savona, e gli operai che avevano assistito al suo assassinio erano suoi compagni di lavoro, gente con cui egli aveva lavorato, gomito a gomito, sino a pochi giorni prima, e nessuno di loro aveva detto una sola parola in sua difesa lasciando che si compisse l'atto infame del suo omicidio.
Agnarelli era sì iscritto al Partito Fascista Repubblicano, ma nonostante la sua fede politica aveva nascosto dalla polizia politica repubblichina un partigiano, salvandolo dal plotone di esecuzione. Insomma Agnarelli era una persona moderata, ma all'interno dell'ambiente di lavoro qualcuno dei suoi colleghi lo odiava, in primis, in quanto caporeparto e poi come fascista, la solita vecchia storia di rancori mai sopiti e riesplosi dopo, nel momento migliore per poter compiere le proprie vendette.
Agnarelli, tuttavia, avendo la coscienza tranquilla, quando cade il Regime Fascista Repubblicano non scappa e neppure si nasconde.
All'indomani del 25 aprile 1945, due operai dell'ILVA, in divisa da partigiano lo vanno a prelevare e lo accompagnano al carcere di S. Agostino, dove erano detenuti molti fascisti in attesa di essere giudicati dai tribunali del popolo.
Qui è interrogato, ma nulla emerge a suo carico e la polizia ausiliaria partigiana è costretta, obtorto collo, a rilasciarlo. La moglie e il figlio tredicenne, lo vanno ad aspettare al rilascio, abbracciandolo con grande gioia.
Sono tutti convinti di aver scampato un grave pericolo ma non è così. Dopo appena due giorni i soliti noti pieni di rancore per la sua liberazione, ritornano a casa sua, nel centro storico di Savona e lo riprendono senza alcuna procedura o mandato, questa volta non si recano al carcere ma direttamente all'ILVA, sul vecchio pontile rugginoso e in disarmo, famigerato luogo di esecuzioni.
Qui Gioacchino Agnarelli sarà ucciso con la solita crudeltà. Il suo corpo crivellato dalle raffiche, verrà recuperato solo dopo cinque giorni, assieme ad altri corpi di persone ammazzate dai partigiani comunisti e tumulato in una grossolana cassa di ferro. Nel 1956, finalmente, le sue spoglie verranno sistemate dalla famiglia in una vera bara funebre.
Poco prima di assassinarlo, i suoi carnefici gli presero gli spiccioli che aveva in tasca, e gli sfilarono degli anelli che portava alle dita.

Gioacchino era un fumatore e nella tasca teneva un accendino, quasi per crudele ironia, quelli che lo uccisero riconsegnarono ai famigliari l'accendino, solo quello, forse perchè loro non fumavano.

          l'omicidio di Silvio Poggi   
L'omicidio di Silvio Poggi
Sono le 22 da poco passate del 21 maggio 1945 a Vado Ligure, tempi bui e oscuri, in cui vigeva il Far West, Silvio Poggi, classe 11886 esce da un bar dove si è soffermato con alcuni amici a bere un bicchiere di vino e a fare quattro chiacchere. Qualcuno lo ferma e lo porta in periferia di Vado Ligure, poi più nulla, il suo cadavere viene trovato in Via Sabazia, una strada interna poco frequentata a quell'ora. Qualcuno lo ha colpito con due colpi di arma da fuoco senza ucciderlo sul colpo infatti il suo corpo viene trovato ad una ventina di metri da una larga chiazza di sangue. Evidentemente Poggi colpito a morte, si è trascinato a breve distanza per poi morire. Anche in questo caso, si tratta delle solite vendette a fine guerra. Poggi infatti non ha mai nascosto le sue simpatie per il regime Repubblicano e quindi solo per questo orientamento politico ha pagato con la vita.
Roberto Nicolick



          Světový unikát: Křečci dostali své vlastní město, mají domy i vězení!   
Do nejmenších detailů propracovanou vesničku jako z pohádky dostali křečci z Georgie. Najdete tu domečky s vlastními pokojíčky, obchody a dokonce i vězení. A protože i křečci jsou podobně jako lidé různých povahových vlastností, nechybí zdi na několika místech pokreslené graffiti, politické plakáty i nejrůznější hnutí. Vytvořit takové maloměstečko, jako dostali křečci z Tbilisi, zabere opravdu hodně času, výsledek je ale ohromující! O projektu umělkyně Sophie Antidze nyní mluví celý svět.
          Delhi University releases second cut off list, details here   

Delhi University (DU) has released the second cut off list and this year too beat top in the sought after colleges have already filled up. Lady Shri Ram College of Women has shut admission process for subjects like Economics, History, Sociology, BCom, Mathematics and Statistics in the unreserved (UR) category. Likewise BA (Hons.) Economics admission is over for the UR category at Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), and the second cut off for OBC category is 95.75.

DU Second Cut Off List: Many Top Colleges/Courses Have More Than 95 Per Cent Cut Off

Cut offs for BA Honors English, Journalism, Political Science and BA Honors Psychology in Lady Shri Ram College for Women are 97.5 and 98.25 respectively. At Shri Ram College of Commerce, the cut off for BCom Honors course is 97.5. The same trend can be found at other leading colleges like Miranda House, Hansraj College, Ramjas College and Hindu College.

SRCC is one of the top ranked commerce colleges in the nation and has been in the spotlight for last couple of years for setting unusually high cut off for B.Com. (Honors). This year, however, the cut off has not reached the touchdown mark of 100% similar to the case in 2011. This year in its first cut off for B.Com. (Honours) and BA (Hons) Economics which was published on June 23, SRCC kept the marks at 97.75%. Read: SRCC Releases Second Cut-Off, 0.25 Dip For BCom Honors

The post Delhi University releases second cut off list, details here appeared first on NewsCrab.


          Box office: 'Despicable Me 3' sets $83 million heist, 'Baby Driver' in second   
Everything seems to be going to Universal's plan as "Despicable Me 3" eyes an $83 million opening. The fourth film in the Minions universe is expected to easily win Independence Day weekend over fellow new entries, "Baby Driver" and "The House."

Illumination-Universal's animated threequel ended Friday with an impressive $29 million from 4,529 theaters, meaning it could end the holiday weekend with as much as $83.5 million. With $4.1 million coming from Thursday night previews alone, if the third "Despicable Me" movie continues on this course, it could open as the sixth highest-grossing domestic project of 2017 -- behind "Beauty and the Beast," "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," "Wonder Woman," "Fate of the Furious," and "Logan."

"Despicable Me 3" stars Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, and franchise newbie Trey Parker ("South Park") as '80s-obsessed villain Balthazar Bratt.

Also on track for an impressive debut is Edgar Wright's "Baby Driver" from Sony. The action IP over-performed on Friday, taking in just under $6 million from 3,226 locations. Ansel Elgort has already clinched second place, but if he keeps up this momentum, "Baby Driver" could end Sunday at $19 million. It's also well on its way to being a career-best for director Wright.

While both "Baby" and "Despicable" have A- CinemaScores, the former is a critical darling with a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as opposed to the latter's 63 percent.

Unfortunately, Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler were not able to raise the roof as much when it came to "The House." The Warner Bros., New Line, and Village Roadshow comedy only raked in $3.3 million on Friday, putting it at No. 5 for its first frame. But don't bet against them completely -- "The House" is still expected to at least hit eight digits with just over $10 million by end of day Sunday.

"Transformers: The Last Knight" and "Wonder Woman" continued to show their summer box office dominance, placing third and fourth, respectively, in their second and fifth frames. Both films took in about $4.5 million on Friday, but "Transformers" is expected to come out on top this weekend with $16 million, over "Wonder Woman's" $15 million.

"Cars 3," "47 Meters Down," "The Beguiled," "The Mummy," and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" round out the top 10.

© 2017 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Gru (STEVE CARELL) and the Minions return in "Despicable Me 3." Illumination, who brought moviegoers "Despicable Me" and the biggest animated hits of 2013 and 2015, "Despicable Me 2" and "Minions," continues the story of Gru, Lucy, their adorable daughters—Margo, Edith and Agnes—and the Minions as one former super-villain rediscovers just how good it feels to be bad. from Image.net
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          Nepotism Prevail Over Merit In Punjab Law Officers Appointment   

Wife of Punjab advocate general (AG) Atul Nanda, kin of some politicians and at least six former judges are among the 121 names announced by the Punjab government

The News Nepotism Prevail Over Merit In Punjab Law Officers Appointment appeared first on Sikh Siyasat News.


          States miss budget deadline, go into partial shutdown mode   
New Jersey, Maine and Illinois couldn't resolve budget impasses, while Washington and Alaska managed eleventh-hour deals.
          Cult springs up around Hungary's WWII leader   
They came in droves — war veterans and far-right politicians, Hussars on horseback and guardsmen in camouflage. About 1,000 people gathered in this village over the weekend to unveil a bronze bust of Admiral Miklos Horthy, Hungary's ruler between 1920
          GOP bill would let churches endorse political candidates   

In this Sept. 29, 2014, file photo, Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, speaks in Independence, Ohio.


          "California: Senate Passes Package To Offset Trump On Environment"   

"California's Senate yesterday stepped up promised efforts to push back against the Trump administration, passing a package of bills to protect federal standards in the Golden State, even if rules are repealed or softened nationally."

Source: ,

          تیراندازی در ایرانشهر و قتل یکی از اعضای شورای روستای سرکهوران   


سرنشینان خودرو پژو 405 روز شنبه با تیراندازی در بلوار بلوچ ایرانشهر در جنوب سیستان وبلوچستان یک نفر…


          Può esistere una disciplina ecclesiastica che contraddice il Magistero?    
Ringraziamo Giuseppe Fallica che ci invia il testo pubblicato di seguito. È importante tener desta l'attenzione sul concetto errato propugnato da coloro - compreso il papa regnante - che tentano di “emancipare” la pastorale dalla dottrina.


Alcuni teologi tengono a  sottolineare che la proibizione della Comunione ai divorziati risposati non è un dogma della fede cattolica ma una disciplina ecclesiastica, mutabile per ciò stesso dal Papa nell’esercizio del suo ministero.

Si tratta di una precisazione certamente vera e opportuna, ma che richiede alcune puntualizzazioni.
La disciplina ecclesiastica finora vigente, quella insegnata da San Giovanni Paolo II in "Familiaris consortio", n. 84 e da Papa Benedetto in "Sacramentum caritatis" (ovvero di escludere dalla riconciliazione sacramentale e dall’Eucaristia chi essendo legato da un vincolo sacramentale valido e indissolubile di matrimonio e vivendo in una seconda unione, non si impegna a comportarsi “come fratello e sorella”) è fondata su ragioni di ordine scritturistico, tradizionale e magisteriale, ed  è ovvio che una nuova disciplina ecclesiastica su questa materia, necessita a sua volta di fondarsi (o almeno di non contraddire) le Scritture, la Tradizione e il Magistero.

Nello specifico, appartiene all’insegnamento definitivo della Chiesa il fatto che è possibile ricevere lecitamente l’Eucaristia solo nello stato di Grazia santificante e che per ottenere validamente l’assoluzione sacramentale occorre il pentimento e il proposito di emendarsi. Appartiene altresì all’insegnamento definitivo, il fatto che Dio non permetta mai che alcuno, in qualunque circostanza possa trovarsi, sia tentato oltre la propria capacità di resistenza.

Pertanto (mettendo da parte i casi già considerati di coloro che esprimono il fermo proposito di vivere come fratello e sorella), una nuova disciplina ecclesiastica che ammetta in alcuni casi i divorziati risposati alla Comunione, deve muoversi necessariamente  dentro questi paletti.

La conseguenza è che questa nuova disciplina deve fondarsi su due postulati non dimostrati:
  1. che esistono certamente (e non solo come mera possibilità) casi in cui determinate circostanze attenuanti possono ridurre la colpa del divorziato risposato (more-uxorio) sino alla venialità, e
  2. che questi casi possono essere individuati con un ragionevole grado di certezza morale.  
Il primo postulato è generalmente ammesso da tutti sul piano teorico, ma è opportuno sottolineare che il Catechismo parla di semplice possibilità (1735 L'imputabilità e la responsabilità di un'azione possono essere sminuite o annullate dall'ignoranza, dall'inavvertenza, dalla violenza, dal timore, dalle abitudini, dagli affetti smodati e da altri fattori psichici oppure sociali.), e una possibilità non necessariamente si traduce in realtà.
Gli scienziati per esempio dicono che in altri pianeti con caratteristiche favorevoli può esistere la vita, ma fino a quando essa non verrà individuata rimarrà appunto una mera ipotesi non dimostrata.

Il secondo postulato invece è oggetto di varie critiche perché molti si chiedono come possa il confessore, chiamato a giudicare il caso specifico, raggiungere una ragionevole convinzione  morale e obiettiva (ovvero una convinzione che non sia figlia di opinioni ideologiche o di schieramenti politico-ecclesiali) circa la riduzione della colpa fino alla venialità, sulla base di circostanze o fattori attenuanti, soprattutto se si considera che ci si trova in assenza del proposito di non ricadere nella colpa, elemento che il Magistero ha sempre considerato fondamentale per determinare il pentimento del soggetto.
In questa situazione gli elementi in gioco, cioè i condizionamenti, le tentazioni e la (più o meno buona) volontà, conducono una “battaglia” nella coscienza del soggetto che solo Dio può soppesare in tutti i sui intimi risvolti.
[E in ogni caso vengono a cadere tutti gli elementi oggettivi che consentono di affermare cosa è male e cosa è bene senza cadere nella casuistica e cioè nell'etica della situazione -ndR]
Giuseppe Fallica

          In Photos: Silence Cloaks Darjeeling as Strike Continues   

In Photos: Silence Cloaks Darjeeling as Strike ContinuesLife has been at a standstill in the hilly town of Darjeeling since June 15 when the strike began.. Read more on Politics by BloombergQuint.



          Japan, EU on cusp of free trade agreement after U.S. TPP rebuff   

Japan, EU on cusp of free trade agreement after U.S. TPP rebuffJapan and the European Union are on the cusp of a wide-ranging free trade agreement that could help blunt the forces of protectionism sparked by U.S. President Donald Trump's trade policies. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said she was "quite confident" that a broad agreement can be announced at a summit on July 6 with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as both sides finalise the reduction of tariffs on autos and agricultural goods. Clinching a deal would offer Japan and Europe an important political victory and could raise questions about the U.S. government's influence on the agenda for the global economy.



          Duterte rolls out legacy projects   
While the Duterte administration has courted near-constant division over its polices on politics, security and foreign policy, it has unified critics and allies alike on the country's crucial need for infrastructure.   On its first year, the administration made clear that the implementation of its projects --- from new roads, airports and railway lines --- would shift drastically from the policies of the Aquino government.   Described by Duterte officials as a "golden age of infrastructure," the "build, build, build" program calls for about P8 trillion in public and private spending over the period of the President's term until 2022.   Among the so-ca...

Keep on reading: Duterte rolls out legacy projects
          Robredo learns the art of war   
When her daughter Tricia was running for valedictorian honors in high school a few years ago, Leni Robredo did away with motherly words of encouragement. Instead, according to her eldest Aika, she gave her second-born a copy of Sun Tzu's "Art of War."   It's a classic that one might find on Robredo's bedside table these days, given that she has slowly and painfully been learning the ways of political warfare as she strikes a delicate balance between her official role as constitutional successor to President Duterte, and as opposition leader, being the titular head of the Liberal Party (LP).   One year into office, and the outsider Vice President has had to move ...

Keep on reading: Robredo learns the art of war
          Trump says states are 'trying to hide' things from his voter fraud commission. Here's what they actually say. - Washington Post   

Washington Post

Trump says states are 'trying to hide' things from his voter fraud commission. Here's what they actually say.
Washington Post
More than two dozen states have refused to fully comply with a sweeping and unprecedented White House request to turn over voter registration data, including sensitive information like partial Social Security numbers, party affiliation and military status.
Trump on states rebuffing his voter fraud effort: 'What are they trying to hide?'CNN
Trump voter-fraud panel's data request a gold mine for hackers, experts warnPolitico
Trump questions why some states won't comply with 'voter fraud panel' requestsABC News
NBCNews.com -The Hill -CBS News -HuffPost
all 524 news articles »

          Trump proves to be an unreliable ally to Republicans in the health-care fight - Washington Post   

Washington Post

Trump proves to be an unreliable ally to Republicans in the health-care fight
Washington Post
President Trump is more than his own worst enemy. The damage he has inflicted during his first five months in office has undermined Republican congressional leaders, frustrated members of his Cabinet, exasperated top advisers and strained relations ...
Trump Warms to Old Idea: Kill Health Law Now, and Replace It LaterNew York Times
Cruz and Lee play inside game in health fightPolitico
Trump is killing his party's health billCNN
Fox News -NBCNews.com -ABC News -Los Angeles Times
all 5,745 news articles »

          When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world - Washington Post   

Washington Post

When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world
Washington Post
Ivanka Trump's office: clean, white, quiet. A zone of punctual start times and promptly-offered water bottles, and a conference table at which she conducts meetings. A short, winding walk away from her father's Oval Office downstairs. She does not ...
White House says Spanish-version website still comingThe Hill
More than 4 in 10 Trump White House staffers earn six-figure salariesCBS News
Trump Wants To Rewrite Obama's Overtime ReformsHuffPost
New York Daily News -Washington Examiner -MarketWatch -Roll Call
all 167 news articles »

          'Morning Joe' Hosts and Trump Bring National Enquirer Into Their Feud - New York Times   

New York Times

'Morning Joe' Hosts and Trump Bring National Enquirer Into Their Feud
New York Times
President Trump mocked Mika Brzezinski, a co-host of MSNBC's “Morning Joe,” on Thursday. Joe Scarborough responded on Friday. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times. President Trump remained embroiled in a rumpus with two cable talk-show hosts on ...
AP News in Brief at 6:04 pm EDTWashington Post
Defiant Trump resumes attacks on 'Morning Joe' hosts, despite bipartisan criticismCNN
Trump ignores backlash in ongoing feud with the mediaThe Hill
Salon -HuffPost -Politico -New York Daily News
all 2,427 news articles »

          Going to a New Jersey State Park or Beach? Not This Holiday Weekend - New York Times   

New York Times

Going to a New Jersey State Park or Beach? Not This Holiday Weekend
New York Times
Park rangers patrolled the New Jersey coastline along the Island Beach State Park border on Saturday. State parks and beaches were closed because a budget impasse led to a government shutdown. Credit Tom Brenner for The New York Times. ISLAND ...
New Jerseyans feeling impact of state government shutdownWashington Post
New Jersey government shuts down in budget standoffCNN
States Miss Budget Deadline, Go Into Full Or Partial Shutdown ModeNPR
NJ.com -Philly.com -NBC 10 Philadelphia -NorthJersey.com
all 156 news articles »

          Pan Ki-mun bude členom prominentnej Rady starších   
Rada Starších je apolitická skupina bývalých štátnikov a prominentných osobností, zameraná na podporu mieru, spravodlivosti a ľudských práv vo svete, ktorá upozorňuje na často zanedbávané problémy.
          Indigenous protesters confront Carolyn Bennett at Canada Day picnic   
CANADA-POLITICS/150

The uncomfortable disparity between the vision of Canada being celebrated Saturday and the lived realities of many in Indigenous communities was on sharp display in Toronto on Saturday.


          Trump says states are 'trying to hide' things from his voter fraud commission. Here's what they actually say. - Washington Post   

Washington Post

Trump says states are 'trying to hide' things from his voter fraud commission. Here's what they actually say.
Washington Post
More than two dozen states have refused to fully comply with a sweeping and unprecedented White House request to turn over voter registration data, including sensitive information like partial Social Security numbers, party affiliation and military status.
Trump on states rebuffing his voter fraud effort: 'What are they trying to hide?'CNN
Trump voter-fraud panel's data request a gold mine for hackers, experts warnPolitico
Trump questions why some states won't comply with 'voter fraud panel' requestsABC News
NBCNews.com -The Hill -CBS News -HuffPost
all 524 news articles »

          Trump proves to be an unreliable ally to Republicans in the health-care fight - Washington Post   

Washington Post

Trump proves to be an unreliable ally to Republicans in the health-care fight
Washington Post
President Trump is more than his own worst enemy. The damage he has inflicted during his first five months in office has undermined Republican congressional leaders, frustrated members of his Cabinet, exasperated top advisers and strained relations ...
Trump Warms to Old Idea: Kill Health Law Now, and Replace It LaterNew York Times
Cruz and Lee play inside game in health fightPolitico
Trump is killing his party's health billCNN
Fox News -NBCNews.com -ABC News -Los Angeles Times
all 5,745 news articles »

          When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world - Washington Post   

Washington Post

When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world
Washington Post
Ivanka Trump's office: clean, white, quiet. A zone of punctual start times and promptly-offered water bottles, and a conference table at which she conducts meetings. A short, winding walk away from her father's Oval Office downstairs. She does not ...
White House says Spanish-version website still comingThe Hill
More than 4 in 10 Trump White House staffers earn six-figure salariesCBS News
Trump Wants To Rewrite Obama's Overtime ReformsHuffPost
New York Daily News -Washington Examiner -MarketWatch -Roll Call
all 167 news articles »

          'Morning Joe' Hosts and Trump Bring National Enquirer Into Their Feud - New York Times   

New York Times

'Morning Joe' Hosts and Trump Bring National Enquirer Into Their Feud
New York Times
President Trump mocked Mika Brzezinski, a co-host of MSNBC's “Morning Joe,” on Thursday. Joe Scarborough responded on Friday. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times. President Trump remained embroiled in a rumpus with two cable talk-show hosts on ...
AP News in Brief at 6:04 pm EDTWashington Post
Defiant Trump resumes attacks on 'Morning Joe' hosts, despite bipartisan criticismCNN
Trump ignores backlash in ongoing feud with the mediaThe Hill
Salon -HuffPost -Politico -New York Daily News
all 2,427 news articles »

          Going to a New Jersey State Park or Beach? Not This Holiday Weekend - New York Times   

New York Times

Going to a New Jersey State Park or Beach? Not This Holiday Weekend
New York Times
Park rangers patrolled the New Jersey coastline along the Island Beach State Park border on Saturday. State parks and beaches were closed because a budget impasse led to a government shutdown. Credit Tom Brenner for The New York Times. ISLAND ...
New Jerseyans feeling impact of state government shutdownWashington Post
New Jersey government shuts down in budget standoffCNN
States Miss Budget Deadline, Go Into Full Or Partial Shutdown ModeNPR
NJ.com -Philly.com -NBC 10 Philadelphia -NorthJersey.com
all 156 news articles »

          Sara Hernández (PSOE) reivindica la igualdad "con independencia de con quién nos acostemos y a quién amemos"   

La secretaria general del PSOE Madrid y alcaldesa de Getafe, Sara Hernández, ha reivindicado este sábado "como mujer progresista de izquierdas", la igualdad "con independencia de con quién nos acostemos y a quién amemos".


          Sara Hernández reivindica la igualdad "con independencia de con quién nos acostemos y a quién amemos"   

La secretaria general del PSOE Madrid y alcaldesa de Getafe, Sara Hernández, ha reivindicado este sábado "como mujer progresista de izquierdas", la igualdad "con independencia de con quién nos acostemos y a quién amemos".


          Уязвимые войска: конгресс США намерен защитить военных от «пропаганды» Москвы   

Уязвимые войска: конгресс США намерен защитить военных от «пропаганды» Москвы
Фото: SIDOROV EVGENII / shutterstock.com

Сенатор США от Демократической партии Элизабет Уоррен внесла на рассмотрение конгресса законопроект о защите американских военнослужащих от «российской пропаганды» в соцсетях. Кроме того, глав Пентагона и Госдепа обяжут отчитываться о доходах высшего звена ведомств. В конгрессе намерены таким образом проверять, не получали ли чиновники деньги от «иностранных правительств». О том, какие стороны американской армии, по мнению демократов, наиболее уязвимы, — в материале RT.

Американский сенатор Элизабет Уоррен направила на рассмотрение в конгресс законопроект «о противодействии зарубежному влиянию на Вооружённые силы США». Цель акта сформулирована так: «Защитить служащих ВС США от влияния со стороны России и других зарубежных государств».

«Агенты Кремля»

Как говорится в документе, главу Пентагона обяжут ежегодно отчитываться по вопросу влияния России на американских военных. Каждый подобный доклад будет публиковаться в открытом доступе.

«Надлежит представить на рассмотрение комитетов конгресса по обороне доклад о совершённых за прошлый год умышленных действиях со стороны Российской Федерации, а также иностранных граждан, действовавших в интересах или от лица Российской Федерации, направленных на распространение среди американских военнослужащих поддерживаемой Россией пропаганды и дезинформации с помощью социальных сетей и схожих онлайн-средств с возможной целью нанести урон Соединённым Штатам или принести выгоду Российской Федерации», — говорится в документе.

Сердечные симпатии

Ранее об угрозе российской пропаганды для американской армии заявило издание Politico. В материале авторы назвали «подозрительным» то, что некоторые сайты для ветеранов армии США настроены «пророссийски». Периодически они размещают тексты российских онлайн-изданий, в том числе посвящённые Сирии и Украине.

В статье также приводится пример, как американские военные в соцсетях восхищались подвигом Героя России старшего лейтенанта Александра Прохоренко. 25-летний российский офицер спецназа погиб во время наведения авиаударов по террористам близ сирийской Пальмиры в 2016 году.

В публикации высказывается мнение о том, что подобные симпатии к России — это результат последовательной кампании со стороны Кремля.

Кроме того, по данным Politico, «российские агенты» якобы знакомятся с американскими военными в интернете, например, через соцсеть Facebook, под видом красивых женщин и пытаются добыть у них информацию.

В случае принятия закона глав военных ведомств и госсекретаря США обяжут отчитываться о доходах сотрудников высшего звена с тем, чтобы проверить, не получали ли американские чиновники деньги от «иностранных правительств».

Согласно статье 1 раздела 9 Конституции Соединённых Штатов, федеральным чиновникам запрещается получать подарки и вознаграждения от иностранных государств без согласия конгресса.

Как отмечается в документе, материалы должны готовиться для комитетов по делам вооружённых сил, международным делам и для комитета по ассигнованиям сената и палаты представителей США.

Закон Мёрфи

Помимо Элизабет Уоррен с антироссийской инициативой выступил ещё один сенатор от Демократической партии — Крис Мёрфи. На конференции Атлантического совета он предложил увеличить расходы на противодействие «российской пропаганде».

По заявлению политика, «сотни и сотни троллей, финансируемых Россией», ежедневно распространяли фейковые новости, чтобы повлиять на выборы в США. Примечательно, что Мёрфи попросил удвоить бюджет на борьбу с «российской пропагандой» в ближайшие пять лет. В то же время никаких официальных доказательств влияния России на президентские выборы в США 2016 года так и не было представлено.

Также сенатор подверг критике бюджет на 2018 год, в котором значительно сокращены расходы Госдепартамента на продвижение демократических ценностей.

«Выделять на военные нужды в 20 раз больше средств, чем на содействие демократии и развитию, едва ли целесообразно, поскольку в современном мире угрозы, стоящие перед США, всё меньше напоминают обычные военные угрозы», — заявил сенатор.

Лимпомо и Лукоморье

Ранее в июне американские законодатели Дэвид Чичиллине и Мэттью Гаец внесли инициативу, которая, как они отмечают, направлена против деятельности RT. Акт позволит Минюсту США привлекать к ответственности компании, пытающиеся «незаконно влиять на политический процесс в стране». Дэвид Чичиллине заявил, что благодаря внесённому законопроекту, «режим Владимира Путина не сможет распространять фейковые новости с такой лёгкостью, как он это делает сегодня».

Предложение конгрессменов прокомментировала главный редактор RT Маргарита Симоньян, призвавшая поторопиться с принятием законопроекта:

«Мой совет уважаемым сенаторам: принимайте свой закон скорее, а то пока вы тянете, мы успеем завоевать не только Лимпопо, но ещё и Лукоморье!»

Своё мнение о решении американских парламентариев высказал и заместитель председателя комитета Совета Федерации по международным делам Дмитрий Новиков, назвавший законопроект «элементом тоталитаризма через контроль информационных потоков».

http://politikus.ru/articles/96361-uyazvimye-voyska-kongress...



          Fox News Legal Expert: SUSAN RICE COMMITTED AT LEAST 3 CRIMES (VIDEO)    
One, it’s a crime to lie about your masking request.
Two, it’s a crime for you to use your office for political purpose.
Three, it’s a crime to leak unmasked details.

She better get herself a good criminal defense attorney Gregg Jarrett says.


FOX News Legal Expert Gregg Jarrett dropped a bomb on Susan Rice when he said she likely committed three crimes. Jarrett was on with Sara Carter of Circa News when he made the claim of criminal behavior by Rice.

Gregg Jarrett: Susan Rice, whose got a lot to answer for. She is sort of the Queen of the False Narrative which is a polite way of saying “lie.” She not only lied about the Benghazi case and Bowe Bergdahl but then she hauls off and tells Judy Woodruff, “I don’t know anything about incidental collection” and then when she gets caught red-handed she says, “OK, I knew all about it, but I never asked for the unmasking on Trump Transition officials.” Well now the NSC has the goods on her and that appears to be a lie as well. So she may have actually committed three potential crimes here.



          Van Jones CAUGHT ON VIDEO Saying, 'RUSSIA THING is a NOTHING BURGER'   
FAKE NEWS commentator Van Jones is asked on hidden camera about Russia


Project Veritas'
CNN continues today with a video of left-leaning political commentator Van Jones caught on camera plainly stating that “the Russia thing is just a big nothing burger.”



           Jeffrey Toobin: 'Almost No Chance' Trump Will Be Impeached   
Here's a disappointed Jeffrey Toobin on Conan's show on TBS talking politics, Trump and whether he'll be impeached. At the end of the video, Toobin says that Dems need something else other than, 'Donald Trump is corrupt' if they plan on winning.

Watch:






          MSNBC Analyst: Supporting Trump is Like 'Hugging a Suicide Bomber'   
Trump hatred never stops-


Political analyst Elise Jordan remarked on MSNBC that defending President Trump is like "hugging a suicide bomber" given that so many of his statements turn out to be untrue.

“My advice would just be to Republicans who do cozy up to him — it’s like hugging a suicide bomber," she said. “He blows you up in the process with him.”

'That's a little strong, Elise," host Craig Melvin replied



          Dem Party Posts Worst Fundraising Numbers in Month of May Since 2003   


weaselzippers
The Democratic National Committee raised only $4.29 million in May, the organization’s worst fundraising performance in that month since 2003, according to data from the Federal Election Commission.

In May 2003, the DNC raised $2.7 million, but since that time, the party’s worst totals in May had previously been $4.5 million in both 2005 and 2015. It is common for fundraising totals to dip in the year following a presidential election race.

This comes one month after the DNC posted its worst April in terms of fundraising since 2009, hauling in just $4.7 million.

more here...




           Dershowitz: Dems Falling All Over Themselves to Find a Statute That They Can Only Apply to Donald Trump   
Alan Dershowitz talks to Tucker Carlson and said, President Trump had the constitutional right to fire Comey, had the constitutional right to tell Comey to stop investigating Flynn, so where's the Obstruction?

Dershowitz calls the Trump probe nothing but partisan politics and that Dems are looking for a statute that they can use against Trump, even if they have to expand the definition.

Watch:




          Nesi’s Notes: July 1   
THE WEEKEND MUST-READ // Your weekly briefing on RI politics.
          Common Just Freestyled About Race-Related Issues And Shut It Down   

“The color of my skin, they comparing it to sin.”

Common appeared on Sway in the Morning and dropped the mic with a freestyle that addressed social and political issues affect black Americans.

youtube.com

He started off by remembering Sandra Bland and really saying her name.

He started off by remembering Sandra Bland and really saying her name.

YouTube / Via youtube.com

He then paid tribute to black artists who have inspired people of color.

He then paid tribute to black artists who have inspired people of color.

YouTube / Via youtube.com

He then called attention to the deaths of Trayvon Martin and other black teens...

He then called attention to the deaths of Trayvon Martin and other black teens...

YouTube / Via youtube.com


View Entire List ›


          It's Time Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander People Were Recognised In The Australian Constitution   

A moving new video is calling on all Australians to help remove racial discrimination from our Constitution.

When the Australian Constitution was created, it completely excluded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

When the Australian Constitution was created, it completely excluded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Recognise This / Via youtube.com

To this day this exclusion has not been remedied, but all political parties have agreed on the need for Constitutional reform.

To this day this exclusion has not been remedied, but all political parties have agreed on the need for Constitutional reform.

Recognise This / Via youtube.com

Recognise This is a youth-led campaign encouraging all Australians to learn more about the issue and push for reform to be made a priority.

Recognise This is a youth-led campaign encouraging all Australians to learn more about the issue and push for reform to be made a priority.

Recognise This / Via youtube.com

A joint select committee of Parliament has been established to finalise a model of Constitutional reform that will be put to a referendum, which all Australians will vote on.

A joint select committee of Parliament has been established to finalise a model of Constitutional reform that will be put to a referendum, which all Australians will vote on.

Recognise This / Via youtube.com


View Entire List ›


          From Cyborgs to Hacktivists: Postfeminist Disobedience and Virtual Communities   
by
Carolyn Guertin
2005-01-27

For many the term postfeminist might call to mind the vanilla pleasures of metrosexuality, webcams, online soaps, and blog culture, but, for me, a 40-something cyberfeminist scholar, curator and some time activist, the politically-minded feminist texts I work with are in fact dyed-in-the-wool postfeminist ones that occupy a different place on the postfeminism continuum from those more loudly-lauded, lighter confections. Usually given a bad rap by the media, postfeminism has been accused of being antifeminist, whereas it is instead what the next wave of second wave feminism has become. Its name is not a marker or movement that intends to imply that feminism is dead and gone, any more than Donna Haraway’s “postgender” and N. Katherine Hayles’ “posthuman” mean the death of those old shoes. As Ann Brooks puts it in Postfeminisms, “the concept of `post’ implies a process of ongoing transformation and change” (1). Postfeminism is that indicator that shows us the organism formerly known as feminism has grown into something far more complex than its liberal origins would lead us to expect.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, second wave feminism, which had spoken predominantly from and to a position of white middle class privilege, began to fracture to include a broader chorus of voices, classes, and races. Postfeminism or, more exactly, postfeminisms have expanded to include a multitude of situated perspectives within the context of postmodern thinking, and have swelled to embrace the new emphasis on what Michèle Barrett identified in 1992 (the year that the World Wide Web was born) as “fluidity and contingency” - features that are the trademark stock in trade of the cyber age. Barrett believed feminism’s paradigm shift to be the result of a new interest in culture that in turn gave rise to a whole new collectivity of subjectivities. It is no accident that this shift coincided with the advent of a technology that foregrounded networked communications. It was only a few years earlier, in the fledgling days of the personal computer back when the Internet was still a vehicle predominantly for hackers and technogeeks, that Haraway first articulated a politics of connectivity for women in the context of these new technologies. In her “Cyborg Manifesto” Haraway’s half-woman, half-machine revels in the confusion of body boundaries and fractures all sense of an originary unity or simplex gender through embracing the cyborg as a model: a being who revels in discursivity, multiplicity, hybridity, and perversity. As the Web has evolved, it has become something of a gene pool for creative explorations of sexualities, subjectivities and identities - and has proved to be as liberating for men as for women in that regard. Cyberfeminist scholar Sadie Plant even argues for the feminizing influence of technology in a connected age. Without a doubt, though, this new technology’s most important role has been that of facilitating communication.

 “cyberfeminism is post-feminist” (76) Cyberfeminism was born at a particular moment in time, 1992, simultaneously at three different points on the globe. In Canada, Nancy Paterson, a celebrated high tech installation artist, penned an article called “Cyberfeminism” for Stacy Horn’s Echo Gopher server. In Australia, VNS Matrix (Josephine Starrs, Julianne Pierce, Francesca da Rimini and Virginia Barratt) coined the term to label their radical feminist acts and their blatantly viral agenda: to insert women, bodily fluids, and political consciousness into electronic spaces. That same year, British cultural theorist Sadie Plant chose the same term to describe her recipe for defining the feminizing influence of technology on western society and its inhabitants.

-Judy Wajcman

Connectivity has been called the genius of feminism by theorist Robin Morgan (53), and this genius is being realized in electronic spaces and texts in more complex ways than in any other medium to date. Connectivity is the poster child of the postfeminist universe, which is why the first cyberfeminist collective, VNS Matrix, chose the image of the matrix - the cosmic womb - as its symbol The Australian collective VNS Matrix announced its inception with a rallying cry called the “Cyberfeminist Manifesto”:
__________
We are the modern cunt
positive anti-reason
unbounded unleashed unforgiving
we see art with our cunt we make art with our cunt
we believe in jouissance madness holiness and poetry
we are the virus of the new world disorder
rupturing the symbolic from within
saboteurs of big daddy mainframe
the clitoris is a direct line to the matrix
VNS MATRIX
terminators of the moral code
mercenaries of slime
go down on the altar of abjection
sucking the visceral temple we speak in tongues
infiltrating disrupting disseminating
corrupting the discourse/we are the future cunt
(http://www.obn.org/reading_room/manifestos/html/cyberfeminist.html)
__________
Its separatist nature bears a resemblance to philosophies put forward by hackers.
. Another cyberfeminist collective, the Old Boys’ Network, defined its local chapters as “nodes” that “collide, disintegrate, regenerate, engage, disembody, reform, collapse, renew, abandon, revise, revitalize, and expand” (OBN FAQ 7). These structural and mechanical concerns are not accidental. Postfeminisms do not inhabit a network; they are the network of feminist discourse in virtual space and they are at their best when they are helping to forge communities of practice. In its incarnation most familiar to ebr ‘s readers, the electronic, hyperlinked text is both a narratological structure and the means of navigation in space and time. In the webbed space of hyperlinked fiction, the pregnant gaps between the nodes are at least as important as the textual nodes themselves. The nodes exist in conjunction with the dynamic space of the journey and cannot be discussed in isolation. So with the newest literary forms of the postfeminist universe. They cannot be separated from the communities and material praxes that they both engender and nurture on and off the Web.

In the cyberfeminist corner of the postfeminist universe, girl gamers such as Brenda Laurel and Mary Flanagan immediately spring to mind; so too do techno-performers such as Laurie Anderson and Coco Fusco, and new media artists such as Mez or Olia Lialina, but the most important and distinctive Web-native postfeminist form is, I would argue, hacktivism. The term was first coined in 1998 The rallying cry of hackers has long been “information wants to be free.” to describe an emerging hybrid form that united the best attributes of peaceful social protest - activism - and tech-savvy online civil disobedience - hackerism The term “hacktivism” has been attributed to a Toronto-based hacker who goes by the handle of Oxblood Ruffin.. It is a solution-oriented form of political action that inserts bodies and media-based dissent into real time material concerns. It should not be confused with its adolescent and illegal cousins, cractivism - code cracking, vandalism, data blockades (DDos) and the loss of digital data - or cyberterrorism - acts and agents of wanton destruction including worms and viruses. One of its trademark features is that the Web cannot contain hacktivism’s flows, allowing it to spill out into the world in the form of political protest at WTO and G8 events, for example, and in books, pamphlets, net.art, and performance art.

Hacktivism as a praxis was born in December 1997 when Critical Art Ensemble Critical Art Ensemble has been very much in the news lately since one of its members, Steve Kurtz, a professor in the Department of Art at SUNY Buffalo, was arrested on 12 May 2004 and charged with bioterrorism under the American Anti-Terrorism Act. These trumped up and widely protested charges have resulted in the FBI appropriating CAE’s materials and equipment used for testing for the presence of genetically- modified DNA - the tools CAE uses in creating their political art. member and software engineer Carmin Karasic was so appalled by the events of the Acteal Massacre - 45 Zapatistas were murdered at the hands of the Mexican government - that she set out to create a Web interface that would perform political protest as an aesthetic act. Three other Critical Art Ensemble members joined her in forming a new collective they named the Electronic Disturbance Theatre. (The group’s name is drawn from the concept of civil disobedience first proposed by Henry David Thoreau.) Their electronic civil disobedience engine is named FloodNet; funded by RTMark and launched in September 1998, it is Karasic’s brainchild in her war against injustice. Filling the browser page with the names of the dead, this activism tool “would access the page for Mexico’s President Zedillo seeking bogus addresses, so the browser would return messages like “human_rights not found on this server” (Cassell). Unlike the attacks launched by cracktivists, no damage is done by this software agent. When the Electronic Disturbance Theatre alerts its “online activists to `commence flooding!’” they visit EDT’s website and click on FloodNet’s icon (Harmon). The software then directs their browser to the target, and cues the same page to load over and over again.

As a postfeminist work, it is no accident that FloodNet must function as a community-based performance:

FloodNet’s action only drew its validity from the number of people showing support. “It was only actualized through thousands and thousands of participants,” she remembers. “It was meaningless without the masses.” Popular support transforms a random act of vandalism into a show of presence, Karasic argues. “This is an important difference between the single hacker/hacktivist who takes down a server with a single script” (qtd. in Cassell).

Similar to the disruptive aestheticization of codework by the Dutch trio jodi.org, Karasic sees her collectivity interface as something more closely akin to “conceptual art” than to cyberterrorism (Harmon). No one and no data are harmed in these `attacks,’ but websites are effectively shut down while the protest is being transmitted.

Advancing human rights through the electronic media is also the purview of another collective, a cyberfeminist one called subRosa. It is currently comprised of Laleh Mehran, Hyla Willis, Steffi Domike, Lucia Sommer, and Faith Wilding. It was also formed in the fall of 1998 - around the same time that Karasic was vowing to respond to Mexican excesses with FloodNet. Donna Haraway was the first to identify science as one of the most insidious cultural forms women needed to address to regain control of their bodies; subRosa follows in that tradition. subRosa uses its art to critique “the relationships between digital technologies, biotechnologies and women’s bodies/lives/work” (Griffis). The goal of these hacktivists, akin to the Electronic Disturbance Theatre’s, is the creation of communities, what they call “female affiliations that respect difference and create productive projects in solidarity with others who are working on similar ones” (Griffis).

Embracing bell hooks’ definition of feminism as that which seeks to eradicate ideologies of domination (qtd in Griffis), subRosa undertakes projects of activism and public education on topics as wide-ranging as eugenics, Frankenfoods, stem cell and cloning research, and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). Seeing their purpose as a pedagogical one, they launch inclusive electronic campaigns, publish pamphlets and books, and travel out into (particularly third world) communities to perform their topical art. These are what they call resistant projects, tactical cyberfeminist ones, and situational information theatre: “As cyberfeminists and artists we are using the framework of participatory performance as an information theatre of pedagogical art that models various tactics for intervening and commenting on the seductive representations of the flesh machine” (subRosa). One of the keys to their successful distribution of information is their willingness to mix media and cross boundaries, producing their art and materials in a plethora of formats contextually situated for their audiences. Like FloodNet’s participatory form, subRosa’s mode of information distribution is reproducible, for it argues “[i]n the digital age, resistant cultural producers can embrace recombinance for subversive ends” (subRosa).

All of this may seem somewhat removed from the electronic book and literary traditions, but when postfeminisms meet the new media they encourage these kinds of pleasures in the confusion of boundaries between bodies, texts, technologies, politics, and cultures. In a hyperlinked age when the only true path through a text is a personal journey, the many roads of postfeminism show that comminglings of radical politics and material concerns are alive and well in both the virtual and real worlds. How effective these hacktivist actions are is difficult to measure, but they are remarkable as tools for global mobilization and peaceful protest. It is clear that they are very effective at allowing women’s voices to be heard.

*

Postfeminist Artists and Groups

Electronic Disturbance Theatre. http://dpa.ntu.ac.uk/dpa_search/result.php3?Project=290

Flanagan, Mary. The Adventures of Josie True. http://www.josietrue.com/

Fusco, Coco. Coco Fusco’s Virtual Laboratory. http://www.thing.net/%7Ecocofusco/

Karasic, Carmin. FloodNet. http://www.thing.net/~rdom/ecd/ZapTact.html, http://www.xensei.com/users/carmin/wlajfa/pledge1.htm, and Karasic’s Homepage: http://www.xensei.com/users/carmin/

Lialina, Olia. http://art.teleportacia.org/

Mez. The Data][h!][Bleeding Texts. http://netwurkerz.de/mez/datableed/complete/index.htm

subRosa. http://www.cyberfeminism.net

*

Works Cited and Consulted

Barrett, Michèle and Anne Phillips, Eds. Destabilizing Theory: Contemporary Feminist Debates. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1992.

Brooks, Ann. Postfeminisms: Feminism, Cultural Theory and Cultural Forms. London and New York: Routledge, 1997.

Critical Art Ensemble. http://www.critical-art.net/

Critical Art Ensemble Defense Fund. http://www.caedefensefund.org/

Cassel, David. “Hacktivism in the Cyberstreets.” AlterNet. 30 May 2000. 16 June 04. http://www.alternet.org/story/9223

Griffis, Ryan. “Tandem Surfing the Third Wave: Part 3, interview with subRosa.” YOUgenics. 2003. 16 June 04. http://yougenics.net/subRosaInt.htm

Haraway, Donna. “The Cyborg Manifesto.” Simians, Cyborgs and Women. New York: Routledge, 1991. [1985] 149-181.

Harmon, Amy. “`Hacktivists’ of All Persuasions Take Their Struggle to the Web.” New York Times on the Web. 31 Oct 1998. 16 June 04. http://www.thehacktivist.com/archive/news/1998/Hacktivists-NYTimes-1998.pdf

Hayles, N. Katherine. How We Became Posthuman. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1999.

jodi.org. 17 June 04.

metac0m. “What is Hacktivism?” thehacktivist.com. Dec 03. 16 June 04. http://www.thehacktivist.com/hacktivism.php

Morgan, Robin. Demon Lover: On the Sexuality of Terrorism. London: Methuen, 1990.

Old Boys’ Network (OBN). “FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions.” 16 June 04 http://www.obn.org/inhalt_index.html

Plant, Sadie. Zeros and Ones. New York: Bantam, 1997.

subRosa. “Tactical Cyberfeminism: An Art and Technology of Social Relations.” 16 June 04. http://www.artwomen.org/cyberfems/subrosa/

VNS Matrix. “Cyberfeminist Manifesto.” 1992. 17 June 2004. http://www.obn.org/reading_room/manifestos/html/cyberfeminist.html

Wajcman, Judy. TechnoFeminism. Cambridge and Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2004.

Wray, Stefan. “Electronic Civil Disobedience and the World Wide Web of Hacktivism: A Mapping of Extraparliamentarian Direct Action Net Politics. Nov 1998. 16 June 04. http://thehacktivist.com/archive/edt/wwwhack.html

*

 


          Comment on July 1st – 2017 Presidential Politics – Trump Administration Day #163 by Howie   
Howies Believe it or not....This Sousa march was named for The 'Old' Washington Post. When it was an American newspaper. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mxrh1CrMmTY#t=63.785147223
          Comment on July 1st – 2017 Presidential Politics – Trump Administration Day #163 by patrickhenrycensored   
No Survivor Fanatical Island
          New Third Party in American Politics?    
Could there be room in American politics for a new political party? That is the question. But if you think it is time to consider another major political force, where should it posture it's self. Would a center right party be an effective place to start? Or perhaps it could be t …
          Into the West   
A thorough, well-wrought political history of James K. Polk’s presidency and the triumph of Manifest Destiny....
          Comment on George Washington and the Barbary Coast Pirates by Tina Marie Stinnett   
The author of this piece does not mention at all anything about ISLAM. It is a fact that the Barbary pirates read the Koran and followed the deeds and words of Mohammed. Shame on you for your political correctness. People need to know the truth. We've had enough of these omissions which amount to no less than lying about our American history.
          Comment on Red Rover, Red Rover, send Republican Women with Brains over by pm317   
Whoever the mastermind behind putting Trump up to this, had figured out how to stoke racism, sexism, bigotry, all the wrong stuff within the Republican party and Trump was a perfect vehicle. I didn't think there were enough such people to elect him but again, whoever were the mastermind, figured out the swing state electoral politics to a tee also. Good people were robbed in broad daylight. This thing has not been talked about at all. Why didn't Obama administration or the Democrats do more to respond to voter suppression projects like crosscheck, gerrymandering, or voter ID laws when it was happening?
          A sign to go slow on raising minimum pay to $15 an hour   

The University of Washington report on the effects of Seattle’s minimum wage law should give pause to the activists and politicians who want a nationwide $15 minimum wage.
          Cruising the Web   
For all those people who think that Trump's tweets are brilliant at reaching the public and throwing his opponents off balance or whatever other bit of analysis used to show that somehow he's playing three-dimensional chess while the rest of the world can't even set up the checker board, is this really a set of tweets that makes you proud that he's your president?




These morning tweets follow other tweets touting ones supporting policy actions by his administration and the GOP. Does he think anyone will pay attention to any of that when he's tweeting comments on a morning show's appearance and the show's ratings? It's as if he's taken a master a class on self-sabotage.

Isn't he supposed to be in the middle of trying to help a GOP repeal of Obamacare?

Remember when conservatives ridiculed Obama interview talking to GloZell, the woman who is mainly known for eating cereal while sitting in a bathub of milk or going on Between Two Ferns? Well, was any of that less respectful of the office of the presidency than such tweets? I have come to regard Trump's tweets as a verbal expression of his id. That is the level he operates at and we get a glimpse at what impulses control him through Twitter. All his advisers urging him to focus on policy and presenting an image of gravitas are the ego trying to mediate between those impulses and reality. They might win out for hours, even days sometimes, but the id is there ready to take over.

There used to be a time when Republicans claimed that character mattered in the presidency. Today...not so much.

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Canada thinks it can control the Internet.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled against Google on Wednesday in a closely-watched intellectual property case over whether judges can apply their own country's laws to all of the Internet.

In a 7-2 decision, the court agreed a British Columbia judge had the power to issue an injunction forcing Google to scrub search results about pirated products not just in Canada, but everywhere else in the world too.

Those siding with Google, including civil liberties groups, had warned that allowing the injunction would harm free speech, setting a precedent to let any judge anywhere order a global ban on what appears on search engines. The Canadian Supreme Court, however, downplayed this objection and called Google's fears "theoretical."
Charles C. W. Cooke comments,
That amusing episode of The I.T. Crowd notwithstanding, “the Internet” is not a single black box somewhere in London, but a massively decentralized network of networks that, while conforming to a few agreed-upon technical specifications, gives new meaning to the word “diffuse.” Or, put another way, “the Internet” is a patchwork quilt of cables, satellites, switches, service providers, cell phones, desktops, laptops, web-servers, and protocols that, taken together, forms the sprawling web to which we are all so accustomed. The beauty of this arrangement is that anybody can participate. Want to be the next Facebook? To start with, at least, all you’ll need is a domain name, an internet connection, and a computer, and . . . that’s it. Though there are certain breakpoints (IP allocation, root DNS, etc.), there is no central permission structure that newcomers have to navigate. It’s open. It’s wild. It’s wonderful.

Now, this is not to say that censorship is impossible. It’s not. If a government wishes to block access to a particular site within the physical borders over which it has jurisdiction, it can do so. Likewise, websites and services that contradict local law can be legally removed, and, if it so wishes, a government can demand that any organization operating on a network within its borders must conform to its rules. What it can’t do, however, is export those judgments abroad.

Suppose that I, a permanent resident of the United States, were to host a website that contained speech that was banned in, say, Germany. Certainly, the German authorities could prevent Germans from seeing my site. And, if anyone chose to mirror my site on server inside Germany, they could shut that person down quite quickly. But they couldn’t have me shut down in America, and they couldn’t prevent people in other countries from accessing my site over the web. My server would be in America, connected to a network in America, subject to the law in America, and guaranteed the protections to which Americans are entitled. The German government, annoyed as it might be, would have to accept that....

And that, ultimately, is why the Canadian Court’s decision is so hilarious. I understand why people are worried about the idea — if taken seriously, it would give any less-free-than-America country an effective veto over the First Amendment. But they shouldn’t fret too much: The judges can say what they like, but their edict is simply unenforceable. If it wishes to do so, the government of Canada can prevail upon Google to abide by its rules within Canada. In addition, it can regulate the web in Canada to prevent access to sites it dislike. But it can’t force Google in America or France or Australia or Singapore to do a single goddamned thing. And thank goodness for that, eh?
I hope that he is correct, but we've seen the EU slapping a $2.7 billion fine on Google because the EU thinks it violates antitrust for Google to promote Google Shopping sites over other shopping sites. I'm not sure what there is about a FREE service like Google that the Europeans don't understand. Are European citizens actually hurt by Google giving them a free shopping search engine and then putting their items at the top? Would they prefer to pay for their search engines? Please, just keep your hands off Google. As more countries try and figure out ways to make money off of fining Google, they should consider the unintended consequences.
“The EU has effectively decided that some companies have become too big to innovate,” Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, said in a statement following the Google Shopping decision. “The EU’s actions have created a cloud of uncertainty that will make large tech companies overly cautious about making changes to the user experience and service offerings that would benefit consumers.”

Jonathan Tobin applies Occam's Razor
to explain why Obama didn't do more about Russia's attempts to interfere in our election last year.
But the real problem here is not so much Barack Obama’s failure to act as the most plausible reason for his inaction: Vladimir Putin’s capers didn’t impact the election results.
Despite the efforts by Democrats to blame Russia for Hillary Clinton's loss and their frustration that Obama didn't do more about it, there really is no evidence that the WikiLeaks revelations from John Podesta's emails had any effect on the course of the election.
But there’s a simpler, even more plausible explanation for Obama’s inaction: The president saw that the hacking was having almost no impact on the course of the campaign and thus wasn’t going to mess with the results. Far from the crime of the century, it was, at worst, a minor annoyance to Clinton that Obama obviously felt didn’t warrant a major dustup with Putin.

It’s true that Russia’s actions were outrageous and deserved a strong US response, both then and now. It can also be argued that the public had a right to know about it. But it was only after Clinton lost and she and her supporters began searching for excuses that Russia’s actions were considered an important factor in the outcome.

While Putin was way out of line, the impact of the WikiLeaks document dumps on Clinton’s candidacy was marginal at best.

The contents of the Democratic National Committee e-mails were embarrassing to Podesta and then-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who wound up losing her job after proof of DNC collusion with Clinton against Bernie Sanders was produced. But there was almost nothing in those documents that related directly to Clinton, let alone being enough to influence voters.

Every WikiLeaks story was also almost immediately overshadowed by other, more damaging gaffes or revelations about Trump, such as his attack on a Gold Star family or the release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape. Nothing the Russians did matched the damage done by either of those Trump disasters.
Instead of looking for some external events or action, just admit that Hillary was a lousy candidate. That should actually be comforting to the Democrats. With such a compromised candidate whom so many Americans just never liked, they still won the popular vote and came really close to winning the states that put Trump over the top. If they can pick a better candidate in 2020, and can make an appeal for the voters they lost in the Rust Belt, chances are pretty strong that they'll win that year. They should be more concerned about forging a message that doesn't repel independents and those voters they lost in 2016. That's their real challenge and focusing all the time on Russia, Russia, Russia won't help them achieve that goal.


Good to know.
Tell your friendly environmentalist activist. But they're not really interested.
The benefits of fracking far outweigh its costs not only economically, but environmentally, a Stanford University geophysicist said Friday.

After teaching geophysics at Stanford for 30 years Mark Zoback took the helm of Stanford's new Natural Gas Initiative three years ago, he said, because of gas's environmental benefits.

"We did it because there were so many important and obvious environmental benefits to the utilization of natural gas," Zoback said. "So it’s somewhat ironic to be asked to argue for the notion that these benefits outweigh the environmental costs, when it’s the environmental benefits that got me into this business in the first place."

Zoback's remarks opened the annual debate at Stanford's Silicon Valley Energy Summit, and were swiftly challenged by representatives of the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Counci
Zoback argued that natural gas can replace coal and "dirty diesel" at significant scale throughout the world, supporting economic growth while slashing carbon emissions. (When burned, natural gas emits about half the CO2 that coal does).

The Senate has some really dumb rules. And the minority party can use them to slow everything down to a standstill. Chuck Schumer is taking advantage of every tool that the rules provide.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer used an upper chamber procedure Wednesday to block a national security briefing hosted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, irritating Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley.

The rule that Schumer had invoked, which he has been exercising the use of over the past two weeks, blocks Senate committee business from happening two hours after the Senate convenes session for the day. Schumer has consistently used the procedure as a way to delay business in Senate to make demands on Republicans on the health care bill.

The rarely-used tactic has cut short a committee hearing on free speech, stopped a hearing on Russian meddling in the U.S. elections and blocked a mark-up to advance bipartisan anti-human trafficking legislation....

Grassley had sent a joint letter with subcommittee judiciary chairman Lindsey Graham to the FBI Tuesday requesting all documents related to the FBI FISA surveillance requests on the Russia investigation.

“Today, the Judiciary Committee was set to hear from senior intelligence officials about highly sensitive intelligence gathering authorities that will soon require action from Congress. It’s disturbing and reckless for the Minority Leader to block the briefing. We’ve seen too many recent reminders of how unsafe the world is today. This is no time to play politics with our national security,” he said.
If they could use the nuclear option to get rid of a much more prominent rule concerning filibusters of Supreme Court nominees, why not use it to get rid of this stupid rule. If it's a "rarely-used tactic," no one except the angry members of the minority party will miss it.


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I had so much fun last night. I'm visiting my daughters in D.C. and we went to the Nats-Cubs game. I haven't seen a live baseball game in about 50 years since I was a kid and we'd go to the Cubs games. So I scheduled my trip to catch the game. After falling behind in the seventh inning, I thought it was pretty hopeless for the Cubs based on the way they've been playing this year. But they rallied in the ninth inning to go ahead on a triple by Jon Jay. It was so exciting and I could celebrate with all the other Cubs fans in the stadium including a cute little girl, about 10 years old, sitting with her family of Cubs fans in front of me who told her parents that John Jay had written five of the Federalist Papers. Exactly right and the Cubs' Jon Jay was a hero tonight. Go Federalists!


What a blast! And then as walked out of the stadium and came back on the Metro and hear all the Nationals fans complaining about the Nationals' bullpen. Eh, they're still doing well. I'm just hoping that the Cubs are recovering their mojo. At least their closer, Wade Davis, another historically relevant name on the Cubs roster


          The House That Tommy Built – House of Hardcore: Melbourne   
“No Politics, No BS, Just Wrestling,” is the mantra of ECW legend Tommy Dreamer’s wrestling promotion, House of Hardcore. But
          Lobby voor eigenbelang is achterhaald   

‘Dus jij bent lobbyist?’…. is een vraag die gesteld wordt met vaak een mengeling van ongeloof, nieuwsgierigheid en afkeuring. Lobby, door de beoefenaars hardnekkig public affairs genoemd, staat in een slecht daglicht. Dat gaat ver terug. Het wordt in verband gebracht met een schimmig spel tussen politici en belangenvertegenwoordigers waar waarschijnlijk een etentje, mogelijk drank

Het bericht Lobby voor eigenbelang is achterhaald verscheen eerst op Marieke van der Werf.


          Morning Joe and Trump Saga Exposes Everything That Is Wrong With Media/Politics   
As you probably know, I am very much on record about not being a fan of President Trump. I have also been extremely critical over the years of MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, partly for his support of Trump during the GOP primaries, and also for suddenly becoming a liberal sellout back when he got ...
          Is Trump driving Canada's rising internationalisation?   
Many believe that this is Canada's moment - an opportunity to increase the inflow of international talent into Canadian higher education. Politics and economics have been part of this narrative.
...
          Communist Party stresses leadership over universities   
A meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee last week emphasised the party's authority over higher education institutions, reports Xinh ...
          Links with Turkey vital amid clampdown, academics say   
Recent political developments in Turkey - where thousands of academics have been dismissed and some detained in jail over the past 18 months - have had a profound effect on academic cooperation wi ...
          Academics emerge as key players in upcoming elections    
As Kenya goes to the polls in August this year, university lecturers are playing central roles in the heated electoral process.

While some dons are offering consultancy services to political pa ...
          Episode 58.0: "The Cool Don't Mindo Being Cool"   
0:00 Bienvenidos! 5:05 Housekeeping: This is how to stalk us via email, Twitter and various other things 7:23 Emails: Mexican League, hating Michael Vick, and much more 39:05 The politics of ranking prospects 50:32 Watching very young players in Arizona 1:04:05 Checking out the Staten Island Yankees 1:13:02 Special Guest: Rocco Baldelli on his playing career and transitioning into scouting 1:42:04 Special Guest: Qamar Zaman, former play-by-play voice of the Lake County Fielders 2:10:13 Musical Guest: Sybris 2:12:11 What Are You Drinking? (Warning: worst WAYD segment ever) 2:13:50 Pop Culture Moment: The brilliance of turntable.fm 2.17.17 The Week Ahead/In Review
          7月1日(土)のつぶやき その1   

3月のニュースだけど、この全銀協のブロックチェーンとSBI主導のRippleはどうなるんだろう。競合しているという状況なのかな?→
仮想通貨技術で銀行連携 送金サービスなど開発  :日本経済新聞 nikkei.com/article/DGXLAS…

— マタドール (@FXtradenote) 2017年7月1日 - 05:37

4月の全銀協の告知。→ニュース&トピックス詳細 - 全国銀行協会 zenginkyo.or.jp/news/detail/ni…

— マタドール (@FXtradenote) 2017年7月1日 - 05:41

昨年12月の全銀協の告知→
「ブロックチェーン技術の活用可能性と課題に関する検討会」の設置について
zenginkyo.or.jp/news/detail/ni…

ここには全てのメガバンクとSBIも入っている。SBIは、全銀協のこの動きを出し抜く形でコンソーシアムを始めたんだな。

— マタドール (@FXtradenote) 2017年7月1日 - 05:51

3月の告知→
内外為替一元化コンソーシアムにおいて「RCクラウド」の構築完了及び実証実験実施のお知らせ (SBIホールディングス,SBI Ripple Asia)|ニュースリリース|SBIホールディングス sbigroup.co.jp/news/2017/0302…

— マタドール (@FXtradenote) 2017年7月1日 - 05:57

なるほど、全銀協の動きを出し抜くためにSBIは焦りまくって、急いでこの発表をしたのか。

— マタドール (@FXtradenote) 2017年7月1日 - 05:59

銀行業界でどんな死闘が繰り広げられているのか知らないけど、リップルというブロックチェーン以前のシステムが主導権を取ったら、日本はまたガラパゴス化してしまうんじゃないか、と心配だ。せっかく日本がブロックチェーン技術で世界をリード出来るかも知れないのに。

— マタドール (@FXtradenote) 2017年7月1日 - 06:07

増田俊男氏のレポート。2025年に金本位制に移行する。その前に現在の金融・財政制度は破綻する。
ニッケイは、今年10月から年末にかけて調整。FRB株購入解禁ニュースから上げ相場。4万円へ。円高・株高。
来年、ピークから半値押しまで暴落。そこから金の本格的上昇が始まる。

— マタドール (@FXtradenote) 2017年7月1日 - 06:26

暗号通貨の時代が来るのではないか、と・・。 twitter.com/BDRGON/status/…

— マタドール (@FXtradenote) 2017年7月1日 - 06:45

classicetherumwallet.comがハイジャックされました。絶対に使わないように。使うとコインが盗まれます。 twitter.com/eth_classic/st…

— Tetsu UASF 大石哲之 (@tyk97) 2017年6月30日 - 22:56

ECBを直接の震源とする超金融緩和修正の波が債券市場から株式市場に伝播した形になった。全体状況を見ると、米国とEUだけでなく英国やカナダの中銀も同様の文脈の発言を発信している。日本を除く?G7中銀が協調しているのではないか。サブプライムから10年経ち正常化を図らねばということか。

— Cafe_Forex(テムズ川の流れ) (@UponTheThames) 2017年6月30日 - 10:28

ここが発信する情報はうまーくスキャんでる案件をぶっ込んで来ますから十分にご注意を。

ブロックチェーンビジネス研究会(BBC)のプロフィール:ブックマーク一覧 - connpass connpass.com/user/bbc/bookm…

— ほよよ(詐欺コインレーダー) (@uhohoiarale) 2017年6月30日 - 15:54

ちょっとまって志茂さん…

この写真の左手前に髪をかき分ける暗号通貨女子みたいなデパートの一階みたいな良い匂いしそうな女性いるんですが twitter.com/consensus_base…

— タヌ神の帰還 (@GodTanu) 2017年6月30日 - 22:15

モスクワの非常事態省は、モスクワで6月30日午後、強風、雨、雷、雹が予想されていると伝えました。モスクワでは約100年ぶりとなる強い雨が降る見込みです。
モスクワやモスクワ郊外にお住いの「スプートニク」の大切な読者の皆さん、どうぞ… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

— Sputnik 日本 (@sputnik_jp) 2017年6月30日 - 19:15

ブロックチェーンという言葉は使わなくなったな。→
日本-タイ王国間で初の分散台帳技術(DLT)を活用した送金サービス開始のお知らせ(SBIレミット, SBI Ripple Asia)|ニュースリリース|SBIホールディングス sbigroup.co.jp/news/2017/0630…

— マタドール (@FXtradenote) 2017年7月1日 - 07:15

ダイヤモンドは産出量が、めちゃくちゃ多く、本質的な価値はあまりないのに、デビアスという会社の価格統制とマーケティングによって値段がついています。
ちょっと、なんかのアルトコインに似てるよね。

— Junya UASF Hirano (@junya_1991) 2017年6月30日 - 21:52

ICO購入代行という名の詐欺トークン購入斡旋、アービトラージ()、AIによる自動トレード()、が今後の詐欺トレンドになってきますね。 twitter.com/shumai/status/…

— タヌ神の帰還 (@GodTanu) 2017年7月1日 - 01:17

米で携帯電話料金が急激に下がっている理由 #通信料 #スマホ on.wsj.com/2tQpALY

— ウォール・ストリート・ジャーナル日本版 (@WSJJapan) 2017年7月1日 - 08:08

おはようございます、現実的に考えてビットコインは下落しかない
昨晩日にち変わってからの一時的な上げは消費税分を狙ったショート勢が一斉に買い戻した上げなのか、、
とりあえずショートで追っていく。
三角持ち合い崩れてくるまではしばらく… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

— 響@個人トレーダー (@Whiskey_bonbon_) 2017年7月1日 - 07:57

BTCJPY、日足。普通なら下方ブレイクの暴落を期待するところなのだが、崩れないんだなあ、これが・・。ショートを狙っても消耗するだけだと思う。のんびりロングを待つ。 chart jp.tradingview.com/x/gmCFZ017/ via tradingview.com

— マタドール (@FXtradenote) 2017年7月1日 - 08:51

このシステムが、人件費込みで約100万円で構築できたことは驚く人も多いでしょう。周辺開発を加えたとしても、ブロックチェーンでの投票が信頼性を保持した上で劇的にコスト安に構築できることを実証できたと考えています。 #インフォテリア infoteria.com/jp/news/press/…

— Pina Hirano (平野洋一郎) (@pinahirano) 2017年7月1日 - 07:00

アマゾン・キャンペーンのお知らせ! 2冊目の本が出ます☆  londonfx.blog102.fc2.com pic.twitter.com/sKuD81JKjY

— Yoshiko Matsuzaki (@LondonFX_N20) 2017年6月30日 - 23:32

前の続きです。今井氏の判断によると、円キャリートレードで勝負をかけているファンド勢は当然、トレンドを壊したくないので円安が暫く続くのではないかとのことです。

ボクは米国はデフレであり、円高方向となるのが大局的なので、これは勝負ですね。

— スライムベス (@yomogi7s) 2017年6月30日 - 20:51

記者ともあろうものが偏った考えに陥っている。
彼女が記者をやっていること自体が間違い。 twitter.com/_manyou_shuu/s…

— ritsuko tamura (@Rin40Tamura) 2017年6月30日 - 22:36

採掘可能でプレマインなしの通貨ランキングです。
モナコインは時価総額、25位。
coinmarketcap.com/currencies/vie…

— もなこいにすた★@monacoin (@monacoinista) 2017年7月1日 - 01:01

このような理不尽なたかりと強請り、一国の国会議長の口から吐かれるとは信じられない。あるいはかの国、国会議長はそのままヤクザの親分なのか。私の最新刊のサブタイトル「中国人ですら韓民族に関わりたくない本当の理由」はここにあるのだ! sankei.com/politics/news/…

— 石平太郎 (@liyonyon) 2017年7月1日 - 07:06

完全にアタマおかしい。→韓国の丁世均議長が大放言! 「平昌五輪、日本人観光客少なかったら東京五輪に1人も行かせない」「日本企業は韓国の若者を引き受けろ」…大島理森衆院議長らと会談で - 産経ニュース sankei.com/politics/news/… @Sankei_newsさんから

— マタドール (@FXtradenote) 2017年7月1日 - 09:06

イギリスはEU離脱の理由と動機。
見失ってしまったように見えるね。
押し寄せる難民か。
納得のいかないEUへの負担金か。
EUという巨大な市場を失うことはないし、世界があるさという考えか。
イギリスはイギリス。独自の生き方、政治、外交、何でイギリスは決められないんだという動機か。

— 佐渡島三郎 (@Sadogashima123) 2017年7月1日 - 08:36

香港返還20年。習氏が閲兵、表は歓迎のムードで、実は厳重な警戒態勢を、現場で韓国サムスン携帯と電池全て使えず、爆発に怖がる。諷刺。習は「祖国を信じる」の裏は「→必ず武器で弾圧する、必ず民主がない、必ず言論を封鎖する」、香港人にとっ… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

— ☆Chris*台湾人☆ (@bluesayuri) 2017年7月1日 - 00:07

まさにって話。これまでは変革の対象が社会や産業だったけど、次は生命や現実の版。 / 【堀江×高城】「ヒューマン3.0」の時代が来る
npx.me/hBaZ/Xnu1 #NewsPicks

— Katsuaki Sato (佐藤航陽) (@ka2aki86) 2017年6月30日 - 13:51

プロ障害者・・ twitter.com/io302/status/8…

— マタドール (@FXtradenote) 2017年7月1日 - 10:39
          Emerging Markets: What has Changed   
(from my colleague Dr. Win Thin)

  • Chinese President Xi visited Hong Kong for the first time.
  • The US has proposed $1.3 bln of arms sales to Taiwan.
  • The Egyptian government raised fuel and cooking gas prices. significantly as part of the IMF program.
  • South Africa’s parliament has scheduled the no confidence vote on President Zuma.
  • Brazil’s central bank lowered its inflation target.
  • Brazil after President Temer was charged with corruption.

In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Brazil (+2.9%), Russia (+1.5%), and Turkey (+0.9%) have outperformed this week, while Czech Republic (-3.0%), Hungary (-1.2%), and Chile (-0.9%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM fell -0.1% this week while MSCI DM fell -0.3%.

In the EM local currency bond space, Brazil (10-year yield -13 bp), Colombia (-6 bp), and China (-5 bp) have outperformed this week, while South Africa (10-year yield +27 bp), Philippines (+17 bp), and Hungary (+17 bp) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, the 10-year UST yield rose 14 bp to 2.28%. 

In the EM FX space, ILS (+1.3% vs. USD), BRL (+1.0% vs. USD), and SGD (up 0.8% vs. USD) have outperformed this week, while ARS (-2.5% vs. USD), ZAR (-1.4% vs. USD), and COP (-1.0% vs. USD) have underperformed. 

Chinese President Xi visited Hong Kong for the first time.  The visit commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong handover. Xi stressed that the “one country, two systems” framework remains successful.  USD/HKD traded at its highest level since January 2016.

The US has proposed $1.3 bln of arms sales to Taiwan.  The package would reportedly contain early warning radar, anti-radar missiles, and naval torpedoes.  It was approved by the Defense Department and will move forward unless Congress blocks it within 30 days.  Of course, Chinese officials objected.

The Egyptian government raised fuel and cooking gas prices significantly as part of the IMF program.  Prime Minister Ismail said inflation (29.7% y/y in May) was likely to accelerate 4-5 percentage points as a result of the price hikes.  After a 300 bp hike in conjunction with the EGP float, the central bank remained on hold until it hiked 200 bp more to 16.75% in May.  

South Africa’s parliament has scheduled the no confidence vote on President Zuma.  After several delays, the vote will be held on August 3.  Parliament added that it has not yet decided on whether the vote will be done via secret ballot.

Brazil’s central bank lowered its inflation target.  The central bank will now target inflation at 4.25% in 2019 and 4.0% percent in 2020, down from the 4.5% target that has been in place since 2005.  The tolerance band was kept at +/- 1.5 percentage points, which came into effect this year.  
 
Politics is taking center stage again in Brazil after President Temer was charged with corruption.  This is connected to the recent secret recordings of an alleged conversation between Temer and Joesley Batista.  The charges now need to be approved by two thirds of the lower house in order to proceed.  Even if he survives the vote, the reform agenda will be delayed, if not derailed.   








Disclaimer




          Vysoké hry ruské mafie – 4: Expanze -dokument   
Dokument Gennadije Kajumova o historii organizovaného zločinu v bývalém SSSR a jeho úspěšném exportu nejen do České republiky. Historie ruského organizovaného zločinu se datuje od prvopočátků sovětského státu a důležitou roli v ní hrají koncentráky tzv. Gulagu, kde se represivní složky spojily s profesionálními zločinci, aby kořistily z práce milionů nevinně odsouzených politických vězňů. Každá […]
          Career Geoscientist Launches Charity Fundraiser with New Christian Sci-fi Novel   
Contact: Drew Boudreaux, 504-319-2537 COVINGTON, La., Nov. 21, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- A Christian novel about geology and climate change? You bet. The debate over the reality of climate change continued to fuel political divides over the last election cycle. But are these divides rooted in something deeper? Perhaps a stark disagreement between Christians and secularists about the validity of scientific theories and their role in policy? Source: Independent Author
          CPAC Turns Left with Pro-Homosexual, Pro-Atheist Groups   
Contact: John Ritchie, 717-495-5427 WASHINGTON, March 3, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is under fire this year for accepting the sponsorship of Log Cabin Republicans, an LGBT activist group that promotes Bruce Jenner, same-sex "marriage," and open homosexuality in the U.S. Armed Forces. CPAC has also welcomed Atheist Voter as an exhibitor at its March 2-5 event at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center south of Washington, D.C. Source: Tradition, Family and Property (TFP)
          P&P Blogger Profile: Derrick Story   
Derrick Story of The Digital Story
(Photo Credit: George Jardine)

Derrick Story runs the popular photography blog titled, “The Digital Story” and writes for O’Reilly as their Digital Media Evangelist. He’s also a contributing writer for Macworld Magazine and author of several books on digital photography. His photography business, Story Photography, is based in Santa Rosa, CA.

Why do you blog?
Blogging is the most efficient way for me to share information on a daily basis. On TDS for example, I can write and publish a helpful tip in about 20 minutes (that thousands of people can read almost immediately). That’s fairly efficient. I like the blogging platform because it lets me focus on the message and not get too bogged down in the tools.

If you only had time to read three blogs a day, which ones would they be?
Aside from the blogs I oversee (TDS, Inside Aperture, Inside Lightroom, etc.), I enjoy scanning Engadget, PhotographyBLOG, and I must admit, I like The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs.

How long have you been using Photoshop/been a photographer?
I’ve been a photographer since my teenage years working for the local newspaper. I got hooked on Photoshop 2.5, and have been using the application ever since.

What type of camera(s) do you shoot with?
My assignment camera is a Canon 5D DSLR, and my favorite lenses are the 16-35 f/2.8 L II and the 70-200 f/4 L. But I like compact cameras too, especially ones that shoot good video also. My current pocket camera is the Canon PowerShot SD700. It takes great pictures, has image stabilization, and records clean video.

Mac or PC?
Intel Mac - MacBook Pro 17”

What is your favorite piece of photo or computer equipment (other than your camera)?
I think the iPhone is a great tool for photographers/bloggers on the go. I find that I’m doing a much better job of keeping up with email, monitoring my web sites, and communicating with clients and coworkers. Plus, it’s absolutely great for showing off photos, uploading images directly to Flickr, watching videos, and oh yeah, it’s a good music player too.

What piece of equipment would you most like to get but don’t have?
I would absolutely love to have the new Canon 1Ds Mark III, but I don’t see one in my near future. Anyone out there have a spare body they can lend me?

What advice do you have for a novice creative professional/photographer?
Get a photo buddy and/or become part of a photography community. If you have someone to go shooting with, and who will look critically at your photos, you will shoot more and improve faster. As for community, the nickname for The Digital Story is “your virtual camera club.” It’s a place for photographers to come together, learn new techniques, show off their pictures, and get feedback on their work. Being part of a community helps us improve as artists and craftsmen.

What inspires you to create?
I like to have things to show for my efforts. When I was working my way through college, I couldn’t generate enough income as a photographer only, so I mowed lawns too. Believe it or not, I found that work very satisfying because I could stand back and admire my work after I finished working on a yard.

Today, I can support myself making pictures and writing, and I find it very satisfying to create new things out of thin air.

What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
Don’t take yourself too seriously. It inhibits growth and gets in the way of learning new things. Much better to have an open mind and be humble.

Where would you most like to live (other than where you live now)?
I live in a great place now (Sonoma County, CA), but I wouldn’t mind having an apartment in Vancouver BC too. I love the combination of Canadian-Pan Pacific culture with great outdoor activities.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m a walker. It’s a great form of exercise and allows me to clear the cobwebs out of my head.

What talent would you most like to have?
Wish I could sing...

From Inside the Actors Studio:
What is your favorite word? Fabulous
What is your least favorite word? Arrogant
What turns you on? Curves
What turns you off? Moody
What sound or noise do you love? Love to hear the sound of coffee brewing (the smell is not too bad too)
What sound or noise do you hate? Smacking lips and loud eating sounds.
What is your favorite curse word? Asshole
What occupation other than your own would you like to attempt? Always wanted to be a tour guide in exotic locations.
What occupation would you not want to participate in? Politician
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Whew, you just made it under the wire!

*Note: If you there is someone you would like to see as a part of the P&P Blogger Profile series, please email Jason with their blog's URL. Also, be sure to check out the P&P Weekly every Monday for news about this site and a roundup of what other Photoshop & Photography Blogroll members are posting.


          Word To The President: 'Professionalism'   
A chorus of distinguished names from President Trump's own party have condemned his personal attack on Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough of MSNBC. I'd rather not repeat the president's words, which are ugly. A number of Republicans told Trump his tweets have been beneath the dignity of the presidency. "This has to stop," Sen. Susan Collins of Maine tweeted. "– we all have a job – 3 branches of gov't and media. We don't have to get along, but we must show respect and civility." Based on his campaign and five months in the White House, I do not know if calls for respect, civility and dignity reach President Trump. Please let me try another word: professionalism. I like to think New Yorkers in particular respect professionalism, when they see it in a Broadway singer, a billionaire, a politician, police officer, a street vendor, or Derek Jeter. Professionals respect the public. They treat each other with respect. They do their jobs and don't kvetch when other professionals do theirs.
          Strike Force Is Created To Combat Chicago Gun Violence    
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit SCOTT SIMON, HOST: More than 1,700 people have been shot in Chicago or harmed in acts of violence there this year. More than 300 people have died. The city's homicide crisis continues. And President Trump tweeted that, quote, "killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in federal help." The attorney general announced a Chicago gun strike force of more than 20 Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents will be sent to the city, where they'll prosecute gun crimes and work with local police and prosecutors. We're joined now by Carol Marin, political editor at NBC5 in Chicago. She's also on WTTW. Carol, thanks so much for being with us. CAROL MARIN: My pleasure, Scott. SIMON: Are Chicago officials eager to see this strike force? MARIN: They're willing to see the strike force. Nobody objects to having more manpower. But I hasten to say 20 ATF agents does not an army make. And therein is part of the problem. SIMON
          The Impact Of The 'Summer Of Love' Still Reverberates   
Copyright 2017 KQED Public Media. To see more, visit KQED Public Media . SCOTT SIMON, HOST: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love in San Francisco. For people in Northern California, the commemorations are inescapable as are the predictable critiques of those claiming it wasn't really all that great. Who knows because as the saying goes, if you remember the '60s, you weren't there. But as KQED's Rachael Myrow tells us, the politics of that time are still with us. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHITE RABBIT") JEFFERSON AIRPLANE: (Singing) One pill makes you larger. And one pill makes you small. RACHAEL MYROW, BYLINE: By many accounts, the Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967 launched the Summer Of Love. That's when Bay Area acts like Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin shot to international fame with three days of loud, riotous rock. Ben Fong-Torres, one of the top music journalists of the era, says it was impossible to avoid getting swept up in the energy
          An Innovative Leader in a New Generation of Young Politicians   

As a business owner, a candidate running for Wilmington City Council At Large, and all around do-gooder, Rysheema Dixon has always been busy.  She finds relaxation in Basketball, TD Jakes on Sunday mornings, and gospel music. Spending time with family and friends makes her happy, but what really brings her to her happy place is...

The post An Innovative Leader in a New Generation of Young Politicians appeared first on Rysheema Dixon.


          Political newcomer to run for Wilmington council   

With a goal to help attract more businesses and community entrepreneurs to Wilmington, city consultant Rysheema Dixon announced she will run for a city council at-large seat. Dixon, 29, said, if elected, she hopes to cultivate a vibrant business hub in downtown Wilmington and in its neighborhoods. “I am wanting to focus more on community...

The post Political newcomer to run for Wilmington council appeared first on Rysheema Dixon.


          Fluxo de dados terá grande impacto na economia mundial   

big data

Na era digital, dados, metadados, sejam eles pessoais ou não, são as novas matérias-primas da economia. Coletá-los, minerá-los, transformá-los em informações úteis, nos vários campos da ciência, da economia, da vida cotidiana, gerarão as cadeias de valor do futuro.

Os exemplos são muitos e já onipresentes na nossa vida. Metadados oriundos de milhares de carros, por exemplo, como localização e velocidade permitem aos motoristas aperfeiçoarem seus trajetos e melhoram o fluxo do tráfego nas grandes cidades.

O livre fluxo de dados permite e permitirá ao Brasil acessar e continuar acessando, desenvolvendo e exportando tecnologias e serviços de ponta, colocando o país nas novas cadeias de valor mundiais, não só no mercado global de Tecnologia da Informação e Comunicação, mas em todas as atividades econômicas.

A inovação e a competitividade das empresas brasileiras dependem cada vez mais do livre fluxo de dados, que tem o processo construído em cima de uma ampla e complexa arquitetura global que coleta, armazena, trata e transfere dados globalmente. 

Discute-se no Brasil o sério problema da Privacidade dos Dados Pessoais, e o Brasil tem que fazer algumas escolhas.

As mesmas pessoas que pedem mais privacidade divulgam toda a sua vida pessoal nas redes sociais, não querem que seu smartphone colete dados da sua localização geográfica, mas, em seguida, quando estão no trânsito, pedem a ajuda de aplicativos que dependem justamente dessas informações.

Privacidade depende de vários fatores, o primeiro é a transparência de quem está coletando os dados: precisa estar claro no “contrato” entre o usuário e as empresas quais dados estão sendo coletados e com quem serão compartilhados.

O segundo é a segurança dos dados, que vai desde a coleta, armazenamento e compartilhamento. A empresa que coleta os dados precisa estar em conformidade com regulações nacionais, mundiais e mesmo privadas, como o PCI, que é a Norma Mundial Privada para a coleta e armazenamento de dados de Cartões de Crédito.

A privacidade, antes de tudo, visa limitar a possibilidade do roubo de identidade, depois proteger a intimidade das pessoas.

A maior parte dos casos que aconteceram no Brasil tem origem nas próprias “vítimas”, que se deixaram flagrar em momentos de intimidade ou descortinaram sua localização e atividade presente e futura em sites de mídia social.

No Brasil, o número de identificação mais importante para o cidadão, o CPF, está exposto, não criptografado, não mascarado, na internet. A falta de norma brasileira sobre a proteção de dados prejudica o cumprimento de qualquer outra norma de privacidade que venha a ser adotada.

Dito isto, voltamos à inserção do Brasil no fluxo mundial de dados, cuja restrição sem critérios objetivos enfraquecerá o setor produtivo no que diz respeito à inovação e competividade.

Restrições brasileiras ao fluxo de dados, pelo princípio da reciprocidade, gerarão restrições de outros países ao mesmo fluxo. 

Um exemplo disso é como será afetada a “computação em nuvem”, serviço de processamento e armazenamento de dados oferecido por acesso remoto, que se passa em escala global. Só a nuvem consegue escalar muito rapidamente as necessidades de armazenagem e potência de computação a preço baixo. 

Um exemplo é o processamento de notas fiscais, em que um dos associados ABES (Associação Brasileira das Empresas de Software), que processa 500 mil notas por dia, teve a grata surpresa de, no Black Friday, ver sua demanda atingir 2 milhões de notas fiscais no dia, e a infraestrutura de computação em nuvem acompanhar instantaneamente esse aumento de demanda.

Os serviços públicos também terão interferência direta, pois a limitação do fluxo de dados também pode prejudicar a inovação e a melhoria de oferta. Nessa categoria podemos encaixar aplicativos como Uber, Waze, Google, que dependem do compartilhamento e tratamento de dados.

Estudo feito pelo European Centre For International Political Economy (ECIPE) estima que essa alteração na dinâmica do fluxo de dados poderia reduzir o crescimento do PIB global em até 2%. Já no plano local, tem potencial de diminuir o PIB do Brasil em cerca de 1%, surtindo efeito direto nos setores que dependem desse livre fluxo.

No que diz respeito ao desempenho econômico nacional, outro impacto ocorrerá na exportação de serviços de TIC, que gerou cerca de US$ 2 bilhões em 2016, de acordo com dados do Banco Central. 

Uma das discussões atuais no Brasil é se a nossa legislação deve se aproximar da adotada pela União Europeia, que limita o livre fluxo de dados pessoais a países que adotam a norma europeia ou da americana, com muito menos regulações e entraves. 

A escolha da estratégia correta é fundamental para o Brasil. 

Os EUA são hoje o maior parceiro comercial do Brasil, responsáveis por 46,8% da compra de serviços e aplicações tecnológicas. Uma possível solução seria as adoções de cláusulas padrão mínimas, que nos permitam continuar operando com os EUA e, ao mesmo tempo, abrir as portas do mercado europeu.

Defender a manutenção do livre fluxo de dados significa seguir no caminho do desenvolvimento sustentável global, baseado na economia de serviços, geradora de riqueza e prosperidade para os povos. Nesse contexto, o estímulo de boas práticas para a proteção de dados pessoais, transparência e segurança, deve ser objeto de esforços multilaterais ou pluriregionais.

A ABES começou a iniciativa Brasil Pais Digital justamente para discutir esse e outros assuntos de interesse da economia digital, à qual aderiram muitas entidades da sociedade civil e que explica, em termos não técnicos, para a população em geral, os grandes dilemas tecnológicos pelo qual passamos: www.BrasilPaisDigital.com.br


          Cum a murit Benjamin Constant?   
CONSTANT (Benjamin) – Scriitor şi om politic francez Data morţii : 10 decembrie 1830 (la 63 de ani) Cauza : stop cardiac Locul : strada d’Anjou 29, Paris (Franţa) Înhumat : cimitirul Pere-Lachaise, Paris  Benjamin Constant a murit acasă, la câteva ore după ce i se făcuse rău la baia publică din strada Saint-Lazare. În […]
          News Briefing for May 30   
TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Choosing between Big Brother and the Bill of Rights (Op-ed) “Around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, there was a seismic shift in the U.S. Congress. As the Senate deadlocked over what to do about several expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, it became clear that political momentum had moved away from surveillance and secrecy […]
          Political Map of Asia   
Political Map of Asia
          Franqueza politicamente incorrecta em lugar da mentira ou ilusão politicamente correcta   
none
          Top Tories in revolt against May over public spending   
Jeremy Hunt and Justine Greening tell PM it is time to ease austerity as poll shows party leader’s popularity plummeting

Theresa May is facing a chorus of Tory demands for a radical overhaul of state funding for public services as cabinet ministers and senior Conservative MPs back higher pay for millions of NHS workers, more cash for schools and a “national debate” on student debt.

The prime minister’s waning authority was highlighted as her health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and education secretary Justine Greening lobbied for an easing of austerity and senior Conservative MPs insisted public services would be in growing peril without an urgent loosening of the purse strings.

Continue reading...
          Fears grow for reciprocal rights of EU citizens and Britons abroad   
On eve of Brexit talks, Brussels officials suspect that Theresa May’s ‘generous offer’ will fall short

Theresa May’s promised “generous offer” on EU citizens’ rights at the start of the Brexit talks this week will fall short of protection of the status quo, meaning a difficult start to the negotiations, officials in Brussels fear.

The British government is yet to provide any documents relating to its proposal regarding the 3.1 million EU citizens living in the UK, but initial talks between the two sides have prompted concerns that Britain will make an underwhelming opening bid. Senior EU sources said the result would be a slow start to the already delayed negotiations.

Continue reading...
          The Hill   
The Hill is a non-partisan American political newspaper published in Washington, D.C. since 1994. It is owned by News Communications, Inc., which is owned by Capitol Hill Publishing, Chairman James A. Finkelstein. Focusing on the intersection of politics, policy, business and international relations, The Hill coverage includes Congress, the White House and federal campaigns. It has policy verticals on Cybersecurity, Defense, Energy & Environment, Finance, Healthcare, National Security, Technology, and Transportation.
          Trump Insult Generator   
Feeling left out of the political fray? Use this app to get the classiest, most luxurious insult from the Master himself.
          Re: Tribes respond to Zinke's grizzly delisting   
Stinkie is an evil, lying, opportunistic, politically ambitious, amoral, egotistical SOB. He fits right in with the rest of the Drumpf cabal.
Posted by alf
          Broad Swath of S. Africans Meets on Nation's Future    

THE broadest spectrum of parties ever to come together for political talks in South Africa gathers here today to plan a resumption of negotiations on the country's transition to democracy.

Ten months after multiparty talks broke down, the groups are returning to the table with a new sense of urgency. Three months of bilateral talks between the ruling National Party and the African National Congress (ANC) have cleared the way for a resumption of full negotiations.

"They're back at the table at last and this time there are more of them and the chemistry is looking good," says a Western diplomat monitoring the negotiation process.

Today's meeting, which will set a date for the resumption of full-blown multiparty talks, for the first time will include white right-wing parties and radical black rivals to the left of the ANC.

Participants are expected to include 23 delegations from 21 political groups - four more than the 19 delegations that attended the Convention for a Democratic South Africa, which deadlocked last May after five months of deliberations. Wide spectrum of parties

Among the attendees will be the militant Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), which failed to reach agreement with the government in talks this week about the suspension of the armed struggle being waged by its radical military wing, the Azanian Peoples Liberation Army.

The right-wing Afrikaner Volks Unie, which broke away from the more hard-line Conservative Party last year, will take part in a six-party committee chairing the meeting. This marks the first direct involvement of a right-wing party in steering multiparty talks.

There is also cautious optimism that Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), is preparing to put his full weight behind multiparty talks.

Today's meeting will be attended by chief negotiators rather than political leaders. A delegation from the semi-autonomous KwaZulu homeland could provide the mechanism for the Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini, to attend the next round of talks.

There is still disagreement over the boundaries, powers, and functions of South Africa's regions and whether they should be bound in a federation or a looser arrangement. But consensus is growing among the parties that the new constitution will need to provide for a high degree of autonomy for regional governments to prevent secessions that could fragment the country.

In the past three months, the ANC has made major concessions in the direction of a federal-type system and ANC leader Nelson Mandela has gone out of his way to recognize the principle of self-determination in talks with white right-wing leaders.

Multiparty talks, which could be held this month, must reach agreement on the powers and functions of a Transitional Executive Committee (TEC), an independent Electoral Commission, and an independent Media Commission that will have the task of leveling the political playing field.

The TEC, a multiracial super-advisory body, will function with sub-councils that will establish multiparty management of the security forces during the run-up to the elections. The three commissions should be established by June, by which time the multiparty forum is expected to have agreed on an election date.

"I think by the time we get to July it will be all systems go for the election," says ANC Electoral Commission head Popo Molefe.

The talks take place in the wake of the March 2 massacre of six school pupils in the violence-racked hills around Pietermaritzburg, which has served as a grim reminder of the bitter war still raging between supporters of the ANC and the IFP in that province.

The killing of the pupils has evoked national outrage across the political spectrum and Law and Order Minister Hernus Kriel has offered an $80,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu visited the bereaved community with other church leaders yesterday in a bid to calm political passions and prevent revenge killings.

Figures published Wednesday by the Human Rights Commission, a civil rights group that monitors political violence, indicate that deaths this year from political violence have dropped to levels well below the 300-a-month average for 1992. Coalition government

Today's talks will take place against the backdrop of an understanding reached last month between the government and the ANC that the drafting of a democratic constitution after the first democratic ballot will be followed by a period of coalition rule lasting up to five years.

The coalition government will include all parties that win at least 5 percent of the vote. According to recent polls this is sure to include the ANC and the National Party and is likely to include the PAC, the IFP, and possibly the right-wing Conservative Party.

"One could say that the real challenge of the ballot will be about whether South Africa can hold a peaceful election rather than who will win the election," says Larry Garber, an official of the National Democratic Institute in Washington, which helps run a South African voter education program.

The major challenge prior to the election will be to educate an estimated electorate of 21 million - about 16 million of whom are blacks who have never voted before - in the basics of democracy and electoral procedures.

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          The Laura Longley Show: Where authentic change takes flight Creating Trust in a Fear-Based Environment with Sister Jenna from the Meditation Museum   
GuestThere are many pieces of fear within our souls and when we are threatened in areas like job insecurity, infidelity in relationships, health concerns and struggling to trust our politicians to do the right thing, our trust factor, which is a natural innate thermometer, goes cold. If a society of folks has collectively been doing this for centuries, we will eventually approach a period where, deep within the subconscious area of our souls, we know it's a matter of time until this old system of ...
          Skandal 1MDB: Peguam Negara tidak perlu dirujuk dalam saman DoJ    


Apakah peguam negara benar-benar tidak mengetahui bahawa beliau tidak perlu dirujuk oleh Jabatan Kehakiman Amerika Syarikat (DoJ) dalam saman sivil berkait dana 1MDB yang diselewengkan ataupun beliau hanya berpura-pura tidak tahu bertujuan mempertahankan perdana menteri.
Malah tuduhan Tan Sri Apandi Ali bahawa DoJ 'berniat politik' kerana tidak menghubungi beliau sebelum tindakan saman sivil itu diambil sangat mengecewakan pelbagai pihak dan dilihat sebagai 'membodek' untuk 'menyelamatkan' perdana menteri atau MO1 (dalam laporan DoJ), kata pengarah strategi Amanah Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
Apandi Ali"Ada tiga tafsiran boleh saya berikan terhadap komentar Apandi ini. Pertama, sememang Apandi tidak membaca laporan 251 muka surat 'complaint' DoJ itu.
"Kedua, kalau beliau sudah terbaca maka Apandi perlu kembali 'disekolahkan'.
"Ketiga, beliau sememang buat-buat bodoh dan buat-buat tak tahu. Dengan kata lain punya niat jahat menuduh DoJ mengambil tindakan ini semata-mata atas alasan 'politik' untuk menggugat atau apa pun 'niat politik DoJ'!" tegas beliau.
Dr Dzulkefly juga mempersoalkan sama ada Apandi atau para pegawainya tidak membaca laporan DoJ sehingga tidak mengetahui kewujudan istilah 'in rem' yang digunakan berulang kali dalam laporan DoJ.
Menurut beliau, di muka surat 7 di bawah tajuk 'Nature of Action' (Sifat Tindakan Saman) laporan terbaru DoJ tentang 1MDB menyatakan:
This is a civil action 'in rem' to forfeit assets involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misapproptiated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1-MDB)...
"Kalau Apandi telah membaca istilah 'in rem' dan bukan 'in personan' yang digunakan DoJ, lalu kekal bertegas dengan kenyataan bahawa DoJ berniat 'political' dalam membawa saman sivil ini, maka jelasnya Apandi tidak layak memegang jawatan Peguam Negara kerana beliau tak faham apa makna istilah 'in rem' tersebut," katanya.
Beliau bagaimanapun penuh yakin peguam negara memahami maksud 'civil action in rem' yang digunakan DoJ iaitu segala tindakan undang-undang yang akan dijalankan dan dikelolakan pihak Mahkamah (Pendakwa/DoJ), tidak akan melibatkan pemilik dana iaitu 1MDB.
Sehubungan itu, beliau yakin Apandi sengaja memain emosi rakyat bahawa DoJ berniat jahat dan bermotif politik kerana tidak merujuk Kamar Peguam Negara (AGC).
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          Laois TD calls on transport authority to slow traffic on busy Portlaoise roundabout   

Portlaoise is famous for its roundabouts and the town even has one which you can possibly drive through at 100kms an hour. At least that is what road sign tells you as you approach but a local politician wants something done about it.


          The Swinging Revolution 1966   

                    

This sartorial vision of a young Ossie Clark (centre), along with Niel Winterbottom (left), photographed in their finery against the incredible Antony Little fin de siecle style backdrop inside Hung On You on Cale St in 1966 by Terence Spencer for Life International, quite possibly makes this my personal favourite cover story by the magazine from the period! Inside, you'll find an eight page report on the continued rise and rise of the revolution in menswear emanating from London. And although some of the content had previously been used in an editorial which the magazine had published on the revolution in male clothes just two months earlier, I would still imagine that when this particular subscription arrived through their parents letter box over fifty years ago, that it merely succeeded in reinforcing the thoughts that many a teenage son already had about getting 'The Look' and heading to where the action was coming from!





LONDON EXPORTS ITS FASHION REVOLUTION

                                                       So Long Sad Sack                                                          
It all began with the teen-age ''mods'' (Life International, July 27, 1964) who spent most of their pocket money on flamboyant clothes. Now the frills and flowers are being adopted in other strata of Britain's society, and the male fashions born in London have joined the theater among the British exports that aren't lagging. The way-out styles already have appeared in such disparate metropolises as Paris and Chicago and may eventually change the whole raison d'être of male dress. Photographed by Terence Spencer, the sartorial sights of London and Paris shown on these pages—exemplify the clothes that threaten the staid ''sad sack'' which European and American males have considered de rigueur. The explanation? The new clothes, says John Taylor, editor of London's Tailor and Cutter,'' are based on the sexual excitement principle rather than on the respectability and security motif.''


                                                                   

                                                                         LONDON
Peering through the art nouveau window of Biba's (designed by Antony Little), one of London's most popular boutiques, Model Richard Asman is investing in a common costume of the London Look—a checked version of British battle dress with Bob Dylan cap (unrumpled). Photograph by Terence Spencer. 



                                                                   
                                                                                   PARIS
In Le Duke of Bedford pub (like British clothes, British pubs are ''in''), Actor Horst Buchholz is wearing a tight, white Rudy Valentino-style suit bought from the leading avant-garde male couturier of Paris, Pierre Cardin, who closely watches London's styles. Photograph by Terence Spencer.





                                                                           CHICAGO
The garish London garb has crossed one ocean. American teen-agers, like the Chicago boys above, are shedding their blue jeans for checked pants, dazzling shirts—though now and then retaining local flavor with a cowboy hat. Photograph by Henry Grossman.




                  ‛If  You’re Not Way Out‚ You’re On Your Way Out’
The man who fomented London's male fashion revolution revolution is 29-year-old John Stephen, who five years ago opened a small shop on Carnaby Street. Since that time, he has opened eight more men's shops on that street, 14 others in the London area, and is $15 million richer. Stephen created the Carnaby Street Look which emphasizes, among other things, wide op-arty ties, turtle-neck sweaters and flowered shirts, boots and tight checked trousers. One secret of his success is the determination of London's young men to dress differently from their bowler-hatted elders. As one boy said in a boutique called Hung On You: ''If your clothes aren't way out, you're on the way out.''



In typical new-look attire, turtle-neck sweater and checked jacket, John Stephen lounges with customers on his purple and gold Cadillac parked outside one of his Carnaby Street shops. Photograph by Terence Spencer.


Brandishing this summer's latest Carnaby Style (solid-color shirt, white collar and cuffs, op-art tie). Baron Nikolai Soloviev lunches with Jenny Philips in the Guys and Dolls coffee shop. Photograph by Terence Spencer.





Michael Chaplin, son of comedian and the author of ''I Couldn't Smoke the Grass on My Father's Lawn,'' poses in 1920s garb at Granny Takes a Trip shop with (Nigel Waymouth) one of the owners. Photograph by Terence Spencer.


The Kinks, a popular rock 'n' roll group, created top hit song ''Dedicated Follower of Fashion'': He thinks he is a flower to be looked at...He flits from shop to shop just like a butterfly.''  (*Dave Davies wearing an incredible pair of thigh-high leather boots!). Photograph by Terence Spencer





                      Elegant Edwardian Attire of Chelsea's Aristocrats
London's fashion revolution is not all teen-agers and pop singers in op-arty ties and thigh high boots. A new aristocratic tailoring establishment such as Blades (below) is being influenced by the Carnaby Look, and Lord Snowdon and the Duke of Bedford wear styles of the way-out boutiques of Chelsea's King's Road as well as Carnaby Street. The Chelsea shops offer several elegant variations on the new attire such as a 1920s Silent Movie Look and an increasingly popular Edwardian Look like that flaunted by the two youths opposite, and by Christopher Gibbs. Says Gibbs, who is male fashion editor of Vogue and high priest of the Edwardian Look: ''We were revolted by the ugliness of suits of the regular 'good' tailor. We encouraged friends to dig into their heirlooms, to wear old clothes, to turn their backs on ugliness and conformism.''



Actor David Hemmings is being fitted in a Carnaby-like, flowery-lined jacket by Eric Joy, co-owner and top designer of Blades, a new London couturier that caters to the upper classes. Photograph by Terence Spencer.




Three young london elegants take their lunch in a popular Victorian pub, the Salisbury. Michael Williams (left), who lives ''only for my car and my my clothes.'' wears a long, velvet-collared 19th Century jacket over patterned trousers. Ossie Clark (see cover) sports a wildly patterned tie, a revival from the '30s. Niel Winterbottom, dressed in battle jacket on the cover, wears a floral Oscar Wilde-an tie with oversized knot while his date, Julia Cooke, adds to the period flavor with a fur boa. Photograph by Terence Spencer.






                                                Christopher Gibbs -  Photograph by Terence Spencer.




Trinidad-born designer Christopher Lynch, (second from left) discusses the new ''Chelsea Look'' for this summer: The Victorian Suit, double-breasted, cinched, and above all, white.'' (*Although uncredited, on the far left, is Michael Fish of Mr Fish and on the far right David Mlinaric). Photograph by Terence Spencer.


















                                   Fashions Out of This World
France's rival to John Stephen is Pierre Cardin, who last year made $6 million on his ready-to-wear clothes alone. Cardin's line include everything from the tightly fitted suits (below left) that appeal to diplomats and businessmen to fashions that parallel the Carnaby Street and Chelsea themes - checked trousers with an Edwardian stripe down the side and long checked double-breasted jacket (below). Seeing the soft, accordion-pleated boots on the youth below, a journalist remarked that they made the wearer look like a spaceman. ''Yes,'' said Cardin, ''You might say they're out of this world.'' 

The male fashion revolution has also ''switched on'' parts of the U.S., as shown in the photographs opposite. By fall John Stephen's clothes wil be selling in 17 American stores. ''The English influence is the biggest thing in men's clothes since the Ivy League Look,'' said the vice president of a New York store. ''As long as it's from London or looks like it, it will sell.'' What do the English think of the revolution they've started? Some, like political commentator Henry Fairlie, suggest it's a sign that Albion is about to sink giggling into the sea and that the only hope is a Puritan revival. Others, like Julie Christie, think ''isn't it nice that men can look beautiful and smell nice nowadays without being called sissies!''


                              Photographs (left page) by Terence Spencer, (right page) Henry Grossman.



                                                              IMAGE CREDIT & LINKS
All images scanned by Sweet Jane from LIFE International 11th July I966, Cover photograph by Terence Spencer, all other photographs by Terence Spencer and Henry Grossman (see individual photo credits above). You'll find further information about Antony Little & Biba in one of my previous posts here. A transcript of an industry discussion about the future of tailoring from a 1971 issue of The Tailor and Cutter which includes contributions from Eric Joy, designer and co-owner of Blades here. Discover more about antiques dealer and collector Christopher Gibbs here. David Hemmings, actor, director, and sometimes singer here. View some examples of the lesser known John Stephen womenswear range in one of my previous posts here.  An interview with Julie Christie from the documentary film - 'Tonight let's all make love in London' (1967) here. And finally, an interview with Michael Chaplin, (son of Charlie) and author of I Couldn't Smoke the Grass on My Father's Lawn, here.

          North Dakota Economic Development Foundation Announces New Board Members   
Commerce Commissioner Jay Schuler announced five new members of the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation board today, Perry Miller, a business leader from Wahpeton; Tommy Kenville, founder of Tglobal Inc.; Gene Veeder, McKenzie County Commissioner; Jared Melville, former Vice President for the North Dakota Student Association; and .
 
“This group of individuals brings a wealth of experience and understanding of the business community and will be a great addition to our board.” Schuler said. “I am confident our new members will provide private-sector guidance, helping us to create strategic plans to strengthen and broaden North Dakota’s economic development."
 
Miller, a native of Wahpeton, works with the purchase, renovation and management of apartments, hotels and other commercial properties. Miller has served as a township supervisor and Richland County commissioner and is a current member of the Wahpeton City Council. In addition, he is a board member for the Wahpeton Community Development Corporation, Richland-Wilkin United Way, Wahpeton Recreation Committee and ND Farmers Union Policy Committee.
 
Kenville of Grand Forks, is the founder and president of Tglobal Inc. He is also a consultant with Center for Innovation as Rainmaker and VP of Development. Kenville established T-Kort LLC and founded Unmanned Applications Institute International. He serves as Managing Member for University Hotel Development LLC and chairs the Valley Angels investment fund.
 
Veeder of Watford City, is a county commissioner and served as the Executive Director of McKenzie County Job Development Authority and Tourism Bureau. Veeder serves as President of the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway and is on the board of directors for McKenzie County Water Resource District and the Western Area Water Supply. He has been recognized as the Governor’s Choice Economic Developer of the Year and for Outstanding Achievement in County Government from the North Dakota Association of Counties.
 
Melville, a native of Fargo, is the former Vice President of Governmental Relations for the North Dakota Student Association. A third-year student studying Business Administration and Political Science at North Dakota State University, Melville now serves as the Chief Justice of the NDSU Student Government’s Student Court. Melville has received awards on the regional and national level for competing in collegiate forensics as the President of the NDSU Lincoln Speech & Debate Society.
 
Batcheller of Fargo, is the Chairman and CEO of Appareo Systems LLC. He has been involved in the startup of six successful companies and has served as director of technology growth at Deere & Co. Batcheller has served on the boards of Xata Corporation, MeritCare (now Sanford Health), and the Fargo-Cass County Economic Development Corporation. He is a past president of the NDSU Alumni Association Board of Directors, and is currently serving on the boards of the NDSU Research and Technology Park and Amity Technology LLC.
 
The North Dakota Economic Development Foundation is a private foundation established by the Legislature in 2001 to provide private-sector guidance and oversight of the state's economic development efforts. The Foundation board helps create strategic plans to strengthen and broaden North Dakota’s economic development.
 
The Foundation establishes and maintains a strategic plan for economic development managed by business leaders from all corners of the state. The board meets quarterly to monitor progress toward economic development goals, to discuss major business and economic issues, and to offer suggestions for improving North Dakota's business climate. Each member of the board serves a two-year term.
 
The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
 
For more North Dakota news and information go to www.NDCommerce.com.

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          Renaissance Zone Debate Sees Revival   
By The Bismarck Tribune
Changes to North Dakota’s downtown development incentives drew attention in a Senate committee last week. Supporters of the tax breaks pushed back against the notion that most of the benefit went to the state’s larger cities.

The bill under consideration in the Senate Finance and Tax committee would end the income tax exemption for developers of property in Renaissance Zones.

Rep. Rick Becker, a Bismarck Republican, argued that the income tax exemptions aren’t appropriate, since the loss of revenue has to be made up statewide. The other incentives, property tax exemptions, are made up locally.

The argument resonated in the House, which passed the bill, HB1182, by a vote of 48-41.

The hearing before the Senate Finance and Tax Committee didn’t focus on the philosophical argument, however, but on the economic impact.

And much of it came from small towns.

Carol Goodman, Cavalier County Jobs Development Authority, argued that the income tax exemption helped attract developers for the 66 projects approved in Langdon, the county seat. That’s more projects than in much larger cities, such as Grand Forks, which has 53 approved projects. It also rivals the number of projects in Watford City, an oil boom town, which has 67, and in West Fargo, the state’s fastest-growing community, which has 73 projects.

Statewide, a total of 55 communities have Renaissance Zone projects, according to Rikki Roehrich, Renaissance Zone program manager for the state Department of Commerce. Fargo has the most, 210. The cities of Cavalier, Hillsboro, Lakota, Munich and Park River have one each. Hope, population 258, has 13.

In her testimony, Roehrich argued that taxing income from leases would have a statewide impact.

“While lease projects can be a great tool to attract a diverse commercial base in downtown cities, we should not forget that these projects often serve to simply retain or allow for smaller rural communities to attract businesses that provide vital services to their population,” she said.

“Without the lease and leasehold improvement tax incentives, I believe you will see a substantial drop in the number of leases and commercial projects in downtown districts across the state. Those in less populated areas may never happen and those in the larger cities may move to the city’s peripheries, where rent is less expensive.”

Roehrich also warned that the legislation could affect other development incentives, including the historic preservation and renovation tax credit.

Fargo City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn said the incentives had a major impact on downtown Fargo. ESPN wouldn’t have brought its Game Day programs to a “dilapidated downtown,” he said, and Fargo and the state would have missed out on the favorable publicity the programs generated.

Borrowing a sports analogy, he urged, “Let’s keep running the football.”

Bernie Dardis, a Fargo businessman, told the committee that the incentives have ramifications.

“When you go to downtown Fargo, you don’t get to eat where you want to, drink where you want to or park where you want to," he said of the busy downtown Renaissance Zone.

Opponents of the incentives pushed the policy question: Is it fair to ask voters statewide to make up the taxes lost through these incentives?

That’s what the Senate must decide. Senators could pass the bill, sending it to Gov. Doug Burgum, who has benefited from Renaissance Zone tax exemptions. They could kill it, ending the issue for this session, at least. Or they could amend it. The last would force a conference committee with the House.

Renaissance Zone Debate Sees Revival - The Bismarck Tribune

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          New Federal Regulations for Small Drones Receive Positive Feedback from North Dakota Industry Members   
By Grand Forks Herald
The Federal Aviation Administration debuted a set of long-awaited regulations governing the use of unmanned aircraft Tuesday that were met with fanfare from local and national members of the industry.

The rules are targeted at small unmanned aircraft, also known as drones, used for commercial and public applications and contain requirements for their operation and qualifications for their pilots.

David Dvorak, CEO of Field of View in Grand Forks, has been waiting years for the FAA to finalize regulations for unmanned aircraft.

"The level of restriction up until this point has been pretty horrendous so this seems like a walk in the park compared to what we have been working under," he said of the new requirements.

The rules, formally known as Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, will take effect in late August, and will apply to drones weighing less than 55 pounds.

These regulations pave the way for commercial operations utilizing unmanned aircraft, which currently are prohibited unless an exemption is obtained from the FAA. The agency had granted more than 5,000 exemptions prior to the unveiling of Part 107 — about 20 of which have gone to North Dakota-based companies.

Industry experts say the rules' release spells good news for the economy, with estimates predicting more than 100,000 jobs could be created and $82 billion generated over the next 10 years as a result.

Drone operations by public agencies such as sheriff and police departments also are included in the new regulations. Previously, these groups needed to acquire a certificate of authorization that spelled out conditions for flight.

"We are part of a new era in aviation, and the potential for unmanned aircraft will make it safer and easier to do certain jobs, gather information and deploy disaster relief," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement Tuesday.

Requirements

The first draft of the rules for small unmanned aircraft was published last year, but regulations in general have been a long-awaited by those in the industry.

In 2012, the FAA received a congressional mandate to integrate UAS technology into national airspace by September 2015. The deadline came and went with no rules finalized, leaving the industry to await this week's release.

Dvorak and others predict the news will inspire more confidence in the technology and produce an uptick in economic activity as businesses prepare for the rule to become active.

"As a company that provides software and hardware for drone operators, I'd imagine this release will give a lot more people confidence to start investing in equipment, training and software in the next 60 days," Dvorak said.

Come August, drone pilots can fly at an altitude of 400 feet or less, cannot fly directly over people not involved in a flight operation and must maintain a safe distance from airports unless permission is received from the facilities in Class B,C, D and E airspace.

Part 107 prohibits flying unmanned aircraft in Class A airspace, which spans from 18,000 to 60,000 above sea level. Flights are allowed in Class G airspace, which is considered uncontrolled airspace, without permission from air traffic control.

Drone pilots must be certified and at least 16 years old unless supervised by someone holding a remote pilot certificate.

The certificate would be obtained by passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at a FAA-approved knowledge testing center or through other means if a person has an existing non-student Part 61 pilot certificate. Background checks on all remote pilot applications would be conducted by the Transportation Security Administration prior to issuance of a certificate.

Other requirements include always operating a drone within line of sight, flying during the day, not exceeding a groundspeed of 100 mph and avoiding reckless operations.

Missing pieces

Though Part 107 lays groundwork for the continued growth of unmanned industry, some found there still are important provisions missing from it.

"While the approved regulations are a step in the right direction for the drone industry, we still have a long way to go, specifically when it comes to long-distance or beyond-visual-line-of-sight drones," Tero Heinonen, CEO of Sharper Shape, said in a statement.

Heinonen, whose company operates out of Palo Alto, Calif., and Grand Forks, and others see beyond-line-of-sight as crucial to the continued development of drone technology.

Those wishing to conduct operations beyond line of sight or at night need to receive a waiver from the FAA, but it's likely that will be a temporary fix much like the commercial exemption process.

"With this new rule, we are taking a careful and deliberate approach that balances the need to deploy this new technology with the FAA's mission to protect public safety," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement. "We're already working on additional rules that will expand the range of operations."

Overall, reaction to the rule's release has been favorable with advocacy groups such as the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the Academy for Model Aeronautics commending the FAA in allowing the industry to continue advancing.

Easier access to the industry does spell more competition for those already established within it.

"The challenge isn't over, it's really just beginning," Dvorak said. "Now everyone is kind of on an equal playing field. There have been companies that have come and gone over the years here, but now everyone has the opportunity to generate income from day one.

"It'll be interesting to see how the market handles that."

New Federal Regulations for Small Drones Receive Positive Feedback from North Dakota Industry Members - Grand Forks Herald

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          Inside Fargo, America's Most Undervalued Tech Hub   
By Fortune
Editor's Note: Congratulations to the many Fargo-area businesses mentioned in this article. Many of them have participate in ND Commerce programs such as Innovate ND, Centers of Excellence and Centers of Research Excellence, Research ND and the North Dakota Development Fund.

It gets 50 inches of snow a year and is so cold that its bikeshare moves inside for the winter. But its homegrown tech community is on fire.

The morning of Nov. 12, 2014 was well below freezing in Fargo, the largest city in North Dakota. By the time Shawn Muehler took the stage before an audience of 150, the theater, located just a few blocks west of the Red River, had warmed up. Entrepreneurs, students, professors and business leaders shuffled down the aisles with free cups of coffee. For the audience, it was time for Fargo’s 1 Million Cups, a robust startup community-building initiative from the Kaufman Foundation that’s a kind of church for entrepreneurs. For Muehler, it was time to talk about drones.

Standing on stage with one of his drones, Muehler—a Fargo native, Air Force officer, and seasoned pilot—had six minutes to present his business idea, the result of several months of white-board calculating, late-night brainstorming, and endless code tinkering. He described the collision risks found in an airspace that is increasingly crowded with aircraft and drones. The software that he and his small team of pilots, developers, and engineers wanted to build, he explained, would create a safety net for drone pilots, enabling them to track their unmanned vehicles in real time using existing cellular networks.

Muehler’s presentation was followed by vigorous applause and a round of questions. As is tradition at 1 Million Cups, the entrepreneur was asked one final query: “How can we as a community help you succeed?” And so he answered. Within five days, Muehler tells Fortune, he had five funding opportunities from people in the community. The ensuing $500,000 seed investment allowed him to double his workforce and move to a larger office downtown.

Last spring the company, now called Botlink, launched the beta version of its drone-tracking application, which it says is the world’s first commercially available drone safety and control platform. In June, Botlink announced a joint venture with Fargo’s power management company, Packet Digital, to raise $15 million on the same day that it co-hosted Fargo’s inaugural Drone Focus Conference. By this fall, the company had launched its first product: a piece of data-processing hardware that’s compatible with every drone on the market.

When I visited the Botlink office in September, the staff had just returned from a drone conference in Las Vegas where they’d run out of brochures the first day and flummoxed some West Coast startups who didn’t realize they had competitors in Fargo. Half-empty containers of drones now littered the floor around the reception desk, making the office look like the home of a robot family unpacking from a long trip. In the workshop down the hall, a plane with a 14-foot wingspan sat on a desk, and Muehler, wearing a Batman t-shirt, was one of the first to tell me what makes Fargo special.

Well before I arrived in Fargo, I’d heard about Silicon Prairie—the Heartland’s version of Silicon Valley—with noteworthy startup activity in larger cities like Omaha, Des Moines, and Kansas City. I knew Fargo was on the eastern border of the state, far from the oil activity in the Bakken region. I’d read that it’s home to the country’s third-largest Microsoft  MSFT 0.65% campus and nearly 30,000 college students. The average age of Fargo residents is 31. Its unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation. I had already grasped enough about this city of 105,000 to easily dismiss the Siberia-esque picture painted in the 1996 Coen brothers film of the same name. I envisioned a burst of Technicolor popping from a vast expanse of plains.

The tech scene that I visited in September was markedly different from the one I had first heard about in 2013. Two years ago Emerging Prairie, a startup news and events organization, was beginning to establish itself; today it co-organizes wildly popular events such as 1 Million Cups, TEDxFargo, and a monthly gathering called Startup Drinks. Thanks to local startup Myriad Mobile, which spun out of a student-run incubator, Fargo has begun hosting the annual Midwest Mobile Summit. A nonprofit has started offering coding classes for women. Meetups have launched for hackers, gamers, developers, geeks, and even bitcoin enthusiasts.

Fargo companies are also beginning to appear in the national spotlight. Intelligent InSites, which provides tracking real-time operational intelligence for the healthcare industry, is experiencing explosive growth. So is Appareo Systems, a leader in electronic and computer products for the aerospace and defense industries. A handful of gaming companies have surfaced in the area; one is developing a virtual reality horror game and another is building a woodland survival adventure game called On My Ownfor Xbox One. A team from North Dakota State University has engineered an affordable, 3D-printed prosthetic arm. Two locals have started a funeral webcasting service. Another startup has developed an autonomous tractor.

With all of this activity, how does a place like Fargo end up as one of the most undervalued, overlooked tech communities in the United States? That’s why I wanted to meet Greg Tehven, the executive director and co-founder of Emerging Prairie and affectionately known as Fargo’s ambassador, when I visited the city this fall. On a warm Sunday afternoon, I found him at a community lunch for new Americans, set up for several hundred on a basketball court on the west side of town. Characteristic of the region, the wind blew like it was trying to prove something; strong guests sent naan cartwheeling across curry vegetables and off paper plates. Young Bhutanese girls danced barefoot on the asphalt in sequined dresses the color of Gerber daisies.

Tehven is a soft-spoken, dyed-in-the-wool millennial, a fifth-generation Fargoian who grew up on a farm and came of age during the Buffalo Commons era, when people debated a proposal to let buffalo take over the Great Plains. Tehven left Fargo for college, wandered around, felt unfulfilled and returned, determined to build the type of community he wanted to call home. Today, he travels around the country speaking about community-building and teaches social entrepreneurship in India.

“Barriers are being eliminated to contribute to the community here,” he told me. “People who have moved away know they can come back here and do things quickly.” He talked about a radically inclusive culture that has an extraordinary speed of trust. In economic terms, what’s happening in Fargo is that a magnetic downtown is attracting and retaining talent. But Tehven contends that it’s really about love.

“It’s about increasing the amount of love in our community,” he said, noting that it’s hard to be successful on your own. “There’s a co-dependence here.” He said people need each other, whether it’s for harvesting crops or recovering from a flood. If emotional support is absent, innovation will falter.

The next morning, I met Tehven at Prairie Den, a new coworking space in the center of town, above a Chinese restaurant called King House Buffet. Until this summer, it was run by Minneapolis-based CoCo, but they didn’t last a year, Tehven said, because they didn’t embrace the philosophy of giving before getting. Shortly after they left, the space was resurrected as the Den, a funky, art-filled workspace that’s home to Emerging Prairie and a couple start-ups. Hearing the story of this rebirth made me think of the new growth that quickly emerges in forests after controlled burns.

One of the reasons Emerging Prairie was created was to act as a publicity machine for locals who think it’s uncouth to celebrate one’s own achievements. The organization, which is in the process of becoming a nonprofit, now has a staff of four, including a writer, Marisa Jackels, who produces daily stories about the startup scene. She never runs out of content. Tehven has each new staff member read Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City by Foundry Group co-founder Brad Feld.

If Fargo had to limit itself to a single story, it would be that of Great Plains Software, a fledgling startup built by North Dakotan Doug Burgum over nearly two decades and acquired by Microsoft in 2001 for $1.1 billion. Today, Microsoft is located on the south side of town and has grown to four buildings with more than 1,500 employees—the company’s third-largest campus in North America.

Burgum went on to found Kilbourne Group, a downtown redevelopment company, and co-found Arthur Ventures, a venture capital group that’s investing in software companies out of a $45 million fund raised in 2013. He’s as close to a godfather as the humble Fargo community will allow. Incidentally, it wasn’t until well after a conversation with a community leader named Joe—who started a downtown farmer’s market, worked on Uber-friendly legislation and is now building a giant mobile sauna—that I found out he was Burgum’s son.

Burgum said Great Plains employees focused on service and had a lot of humility and gratitude; he sees that today in the dozens of startups that employ Great Plains alumni. Like others, he told me that the region’s land and history play a role in today’s technology growth.

“Every farmer and rancher is an entrepreneur and tinkerer and inventor,” he said, “and there’s some of that DNA here. You wouldn’t have ended up here if you weren’t a risk-taker—moving your family from Sweden to a new land with no electricity and very little infrastructure.”

Shane Waslaski, president and CEO of Intelligent InSites, also grew up in the state and said the strong tech community in Fargo can be attributed to a pioneering spirit and an “altruistic desire to nourish each other.” Tenaciousness and perseverance are rooted in the heritage, he said.

From Prairie Den, Tehven and I walked around downtown, popping into offices and meetings unannounced and intercepting folks on Broadway and Roberts Street—as was his plan. I was reminded of the familiarity and ease with which students can have impromptu and rich conversations while walking across a college quad. Time and again, talking to Muehler and other entrepreneurs, I heard stories that made it easy to root for the underdog that is Fargo. I found a level of enthusiasm typically reserved for young political candidates offering hope and promising change. More than once, I saw someone get choked up talking about the place they call home.

We ran into Drew Spooner, a baby-faced serial entrepreneur who started the Hammock Initiative and speaks deadpan about the health benefits of swaying. He now has sponsors and a national following. Then we ran into the woman behind Unglued, a shop selling locally made crafts; and one of the brewers behind Fargo Brewing Company, which makes Wood Chipper India Pale Ale. Much of the day, Tehven, wearing jeans and flannel, walked around with a cup of coffee in his hand. He told me there’s a sense in Fargo that if you talk about something enough, it will become real—whether it’s a hammocking craze or a spontaneous tailgate party.

Among the challenges in a town with so much startup activity is making sure the entrepreneurs have enough support to get over the first-generation hump and maintain momentum even when the initial spotlight fades.

“In cities like San Francisco, Boston, New York, there’s a lot of experience and expertise,” said Miguel Danielson, another Emerging Prairie co-founder. “That’s great for entrepreneurs because it’s scary to do alone. So a lot of what we do at Emerging Prairie is try to bring these folks together.” He lovingly describes Fargo—remote, hundreds of miles from Minneapolis and Winnipeg—as a Gilligan’s Island of sorts. “You’re stuck with the folks you’ve got in the immediate vicinity, so you better be nice to them,” he said, adding that in a small place, he feels especially blessed when he finds others with common interests.

Danielson grew up in Fargo and left for college and Harvard Law School. If it weren’t for the startup culture—which is helping Midwestern communities fight brain drain–he may never have returned. After practicing in Cambridge for several years, he opened Danielson Legal in Fargo, specializing in technology law, and he created Fargo Startup House, where entrepreneurs can live for free.

In the next five years, Danielson predicts a more robust Fargo tech scene, with a few wild successes and some wild failures. When the city sees its first exit success story of this new era—someone who starts with nothing and ends up with hundreds of millions of dollars—he said that will be “one that looms in the minds of people forever.”

At the end of my day in Fargo, I returned to Prairie Den. Spooner was setting up hammocks for an evening event. An Emerging Prairie Tweet read, “We sway while we work.”

That night, I watched a video of Tehven’s TEDxFargo talk. He was speaking at the Fargo Civic Center in 2014, outside of which sits a stone slab with the Ten Commandments.

“The Coen brothers were wrong,” he told the audience. “It isn’t a place of barrenness. It isn’t a place of cold. It’s a place of the most amazing people in the world.”

The following week I had dinner back home with a friend who works in the technology industry, and I told him I thought he should move to Fargo. Yes, it’s a place that gets an average of 50 inches of snow a year, and it’s so cold that the bikeshare moves inside for the winter. But there’s a lot going on there, I told him. Shortly thereafter, I woke up from a dream in which I was on my way back to Fargo. In it, I was with someone—perhaps my tech friend—and felt a sense of urgency. Eager to find housing, I sped westward, not wanting to miss out.

Inside Fargo, America's Most Undervalued Tech Hub - Fortune.com

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          Dalrymple Highlights North Dakota's Economic Growth, Vision for Future at Economic Summit in Fargo   
By ND Governor's Office
BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Jack Dalrymple, along with the Greater North Dakota Chamber and Valley Prosperity Partnership, today hosted the Governor’s Summit on Economic Growth to showcase the state’s economic diversity and generate ideas for future growth. The one-day event was held at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Fargo and brought together business leaders and entrepreneurs from across the state.
 
Dalrymple kicked off the summit by touting North Dakota’s historic economic success and laying out his vision for future growth and opportunity. He highlighted the economic development strategies that over the past decade have fueled the state’s economic growth and diversification, including an emphasis on job creation, building a strong business climate and targeting key industry sectors such as value-added agriculture, technology, advanced manufacturing and aviation. 
 
The Governor cited North Dakota’s leadership position in several national rankings and studies, including best-run state, growth performer, housing growth and best state for young adults. He stated how North Dakota’s economic growth outpaced all other states in 2014, according to information released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), a position the state has held for four of the past five years. He also focused on North Dakota’s low unemployment, population growth and how the state’s median age is getting younger.

“North Dakota’s economic growth stems from nearly every business sector, with no single industry telling the whole story of our state’s progress,” said Dalrymple. “We have worked hard to diversify our economy and grow our targeted business sectors, while capitalizing on emerging technologies and industries. This summit is a great opportunity to showcase our strengths and successes, and identify visionary and innovative ideas that will chart a course for North Dakota’s future growth.” 
 
During his remarks, Dalrymple spelled out his vision for future growth that includes building on the state’s economic development efforts and focusing on three key themes: people, places and opportunities. This vision will take North Dakota’s progress to the next level with an emphasis on quality of life and livability of communities, attracting a workforce to drive the state’s economic growth and making the state an obvious choice for those seeking diverse opportunities.
 
The Governor’s vision for growth includes such focuses as child care, affordable housing, education, outdoor recreation, Main Street revival, infrastructure enhancements, access to colleges and universities, and capital for business start-ups.
 
In addition to Dalrymple, the summit featured speakers and panelists covering topics such as attracting and retaining a workforce, accessing capital, and fostering innovation and entrepreneurial activity. Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley moderated a panel of business executives outlining a vision for building a workforce for tomorrow’s industries. The event also included a keynote by Joel Kotkin, an internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends. He is the author of the widely praised new book, The New Class Conflict, which describes the changing dynamics of class in America.
 
Other statistics Dalrymple cited detailing the state’s economic progress included:
  • During the 2015 Legislative Session, Dalrymple signed into law an additional $397 million in tax relief. Overall, since 2009, he has worked with the Legislature to reduce property and income taxes by more than $4.2 billion. 
  • Over the past five years, North Dakota’s per capita personal income has increased nearly 42 percent, bringing North Dakota to 121 percent of the national average, according to the BEA.
  • North Dakota had $5.3 billion worth of exports in 2014, an increase of $4.3 billion since 2004 when the total value of exports was $1 billion.
  • Since 2004, North Dakota has created 123,600 net new jobs, an increase of 36.6 percent.
  • North Dakota is ranked first in growth in the number, employment and revenues of women-owned firms since 1997. 

 

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          Land Board Awards $11.5 Million in Latest Round of Energy Impact Grant Funding    
By ND Governor's Office
The Board of University and School Lands (Land Board) today awarded $11.5 million in energy impact grants to local law enforcement agencies, non-profit service organizations and emergency medical services in North Dakota’s oil and gas region.  The Land Board awarded nearly $8 million to support the region’s law enforcement agencies and service organizations, and another $3.7 million for the region’s emergency medical services.
 
“These state funds will further support the region’s local law enforcement agencies, emergency medical responders as well as organizations that provide family support services,” said Gov. Jack Dalrymple, chairman of the five-member state Land Board. “The Energy Impact Grant Program has been very helpful in addressing a wide range of needs associated with the region’s dynamic growth.”
 
Other Land Board members are Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Secretary of State Al Jaeger, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler and State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt.
 
"The goal of these law enforcement grants is to put local law enforcement officers out on the streets and highways, properly trained, adequately equipped and affordably housed,” Stenehjem said.  “In addition, this year’s grants focus on prosecution by providing additional assistance to county state’s attorneys.”
 
Since 2011, the state has appropriated more than a half-billion dollars in Energy Impact Grant funds alone, a small portion of the state’s overall commitment to helping the oil and gas region’s counties, cities, schools and other political subdivisions address the challenges of rapid growth.
 
The nearly $8 million in state grants awarded today to the region’s law enforcement agencies and service organizations include:
  • $904,500 to the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office for new police vehicles, law enforcement training, body cameras and other equipment and housing allowances for deputies, dispatch employees and corrections staff.
  • $596,935 to the Williston Police Department for six police vehicles, other equipment and salary support for three new officers.
  • $77,162 for the Williston Family Crisis Shelter to hire a services advocate and to purchase office equipment.
  • $443,057 to the Watford City Police Department for six new patrol vehicles, duty gear and other equipment, law enforcement training and housing allowances for 20 officers and two support staff.
  • $22,500 to Dickinson’s Domestic Violence and Rape Crises Center toward staff salary and operating costs.
  • $273,000 for the Killdeer Police Department to hire two additional patrol officers; to purchase two vehicles; to purchase new bulletproof vests and other equipment; and to provide officers with housing allowances.
  • $257,000 for the Tioga Police Department to purchase equipment, support officer salaries and housing allowances for three officers and one member of the department’s support staff.
  • $210,514 for the Ward County State’s Attorney Office to support the hiring of an assistance state’s attorney, victim-witness coordinator two additional support staff.
 
The Land Board today awarded 32 grants totaling about $3.7 million in support of the region’s emergency medical services. The grants approved include:
  • $485,000 to the New Town Ambulance Service for the purchase of a new ambulance and staff pay assistance.
  • $369,324 to the city of Williston for a quick-response vehicle, training, emergency equipment and staffing assistance.
  • $272,000 to the city of Tioga for a new EMS building and emergency medical equipment.
  • $332,000 to the Killdeer Area Ambulance District for the purchase of a new building and staffing assistance.
  • $200,000 to the Stanley Rural Ambulance Service District for a building renovation and expansion.
  • $100,000 to the United Rural Ambulance Service in Ward County for the construction of a new EMS building.
  • $92,750 for the Westhope Ambulance Service to complete the construction of a new building and to support staff pay.
  • $50,000 for the Ray Ambulance Service to purchase emergency medical equipment and supplies.
  • $142,200 for the Renville County Rural Ambulance Service to support staffing of ambulance services in the Mohall and Glenburn areas.
  • $60,000 for a new ambulance and emergency medical staffing assistance in Ward County.
 
For a complete list of grants approved by the Land Board today go to www.nd.gov/energyimpact.

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          Land Board Awards $15 Million to K-12 Schools, $1.3 Million to Airports in Western North Dakota   
By ND Governor's Office
The Board of University and School Lands (Land Board) today awarded $15 million in Energy Impact Grant funds to K-12 schools and another $1.3 million to airports in western North Dakota’s oil and gas region.
 
On Wednesday, the Land Board awarded $11.5 million in grants to the region’s local law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services and non-profit service organizations.  Since 2011, the state has appropriated more than a half-billion dollars in Energy Impact Grant funds alone, a small portion of the state’s overall commitment to helping the oil and gas region’s counties, cities, schools and other political subdivisions address the challenges of rapid growth.
 
“Working together, we are making great progress in addressing the impacts associated with a growing economy and population,” said Gov.  Jack Dalrymple, chairman of the Land Board. “These grants are part of a much larger, ongoing commitment to working with our local leaders in western North Dakota so that we continue to build on our advancements.”
 
Other Land Board members are Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Secretary of State Al Jaeger, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler and State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt.
 
The Land Board approved $15 million in state grants for 62 school districts The Land Board will award an additional $15 million in grants to the region’s K-12 schools next year.
 
All of the state funds awarded today will be used for school renovations and other capital improvement projects. The grants awarded today to K-12 schools include:
  • $2.65 million - Williston Public School District #1
  • $1.29 million - Dickinson Public School District #1
  • $830,999 - Killdeer Public School District                                      
  • $1.39 million - McKenzie Co. Public School District #1
  • $950,622 - New Town Public School District
  • $741,165 - Stanley Public School District #2
  • $655.655 - Bottineau Public School District #1
  • $403,754 - Mohall, Lansford, Sherwood Public School District
  • $415,429 - Tioga Public School District #15                                              
  • $581,979 - Beach Public School District #3
  • $276,734 - Bowman Public School District 
The Land Board today also awarded $1.3 million in Energy Impact Grant funds to support capital improvement projects at six airports. Today’s grant awards for airport improvements are:
  • Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport - $642,486 for apron improvements, security upgrades and for the development of a master plan and wildlife hazard assessments.
  • Minot International Airport - $165,878 for phase-two construction of a terminal access road and develop of a master plan.
  • Garrison Municipal Airport - $178,678 for construction of fueling apron and runway rehabilitation.
  • Kenmare Municipal Airport - $157,331for runway light improvements.
  • Washburn Municipal Airport - $64,871 for apron and taxiway expansions.
  • Westhope Municipal Airport - $96,793 for an apron expansion project and development of a master plan. 
For a complete list of grants approved today by the Land Board go to: www.nd.gov/energyimpact.

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          There’s a New Silicon Valley of Drones, and it Isn’t in California   
By MW Market Watch
The “Silicon Valley of drones” is taking shape in a place you probably wouldn’t expect.

With the most open airspace in the country, vast tracts of farmland, infrastructure to test on and the nation’s first unmanned aircraft degree program, it makes sense that North Dakota would be the place for drone technology to spread its wings, and it’s now expanding at an unprecedented rate.

The U.S. has previously been circumspect about allowing companies to commercialize drones; murky rulings from the Federal Aviation Administration and the haphazard enforcement of laws have made it challenging for drone companies to operate in the U.S. — so challenging, in fact, that many operators, including Amazon Prime Air, have expressed an intention to leave the U.S. to work in other countries.

But it’s a different story in North Dakota.

This summer, the nation’s first unmanned airport, the Grand Sky Development Park, opens at the state’s Grand Forks Air Force Base. The project, which has 1.2 million square feet of hangar, office and data space, is being developed by Grand Sky Development Co. A runway will allow for traditional and vertical takeoffs by drones.

The airport is expected to generate about 3,000 jobs by its 2016 completion, including 1,000 permanent jobs on site, 1,000 jobs around the community and 1,000 jobs outside the state, said Tom Swoyer, the project’s developer. Pilots would be able to control drones launching at the site from anywhere in the world.

“It’s going to touch a lot of places,” Swoyer said. “A pilot could be in Southern California and pilot the plane launched from North Dakota.”

It’s an appealing proposition for companies like Northrop Grumman NOC, -0.62%  , which has signed on as the site’s anchor tenant but has its aerospace-systems headquarters in Redondo Beach, Calif.

North Dakota committed $5 million to help bring infrastructure to the site as part of its 2015-17 executive budget and another $7.5 million in grants for runway improvements. With the project expected to cost about $25 million in total, the balance will be covered by private investment, said Swoyer.

“This project evolved here in North Dakota with the right combination of political will and an economy that was growing,” Swoyer said. “It’s a state that is investing in the industry. It’s a community willing to raise their hands and say, ‘Let’s try something completely different.’ ”

A community ‘all focused on unmanned aviation’
In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) considered closing the Air Force base.

“Our performance and safety record in fighter aircraft was unprecedented, but despite that our aircraft were getting old and weren’t going to get replaced,” said Robert Becklund, then commander of the North Dakota Air National Guard.

To avoid a drastic action by BRAC, the base made a bold move — replacing its KC-135 Stratotankers with drones.

“This was a dramatic change going from a single-seat manned fighter aircraft to unmanned aircraft,” Becklund said. “But it was the right thing to do for the nation.”

The base is now the site of the Global Hawk and MQ-1 Predator drone aircraft.

At about the same time, the University of North Dakota established a “center of excellence” for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), offering the nation’s first undergraduate degree program in unmanned aviation. Five students received degrees in 2011, the program’s first graduating class. Today, more than 100 students are enrolled, and the program is one of more than 30 similar degree programs at universities throughout the country.

“We have academia, our military, the Department of Homeland Security and industries in the region all focused on unmanned aviation,” Becklund said.

In 2014, North Dakota was one of six states allowed to develop a test site for commercial drone applications: the Northern Plains UAS Test Site in Grand Forks. The site is part of an FAA program looking toward the safe integration of unmanned aircraft into airspace.

North Dakota’s test site was the first to earn operational designation from the FAA and the first to fly under the agreement. The site covers more than half the state, boasting 45,000 square miles of authorized airspace — the largest such volume of any single state.

“If North Dakota hadn’t been selected as a test site, I would have questioned our country’s decision making,” said Becklund, who now serves as the executive director of the test site.

The state budget allocated $4.2 million in its 2015-17 budget for operating the test site. Of that, $1.2 million goes directly to drone companies in the form of a dollar-for-dollar matching program for those opting to partner with one of North Dakota’s research universities on a project. A related but separate program, Research North Dakota, provides up to $300,000 in matching funds for qualified firms.

But there’s a catch. For major companies to fly at the test site, they have to lease their unmanned aircraft to the site so that they can fly under public domain. That caveat is what may have driven companies like Amazon to explore drone-delivery testing outside of the U.S.

“There is no way these companies will lease their airplanes to us,” Becklund said. “It’s a proprietary machine. Any company developing their own aircraft will not lease that to anyone outside their company.”

That restriction has posed a major problem for test sites trying to attract corporate research.

“The FAA says they are here to support industry, but to [participate at a test site] companies have to lease their aircraft to us,” Becklund said.

Companies could get around the requirement by applying for an experimental certification, but that still restricts them to research — not commercial — applications.

A vibrant startup scene
Despite the challenges, other (often smaller) drone companies benefit from the test site.

Most of those companies are based in Fargo, a city that entrepreneurs say bursts with an energy that’s akin to that of the startup scene in San Francisco. But this scene is dominated by drone-based industries.

“We’re becoming a robust startup community,” said North Dakota’s lieutenant governor, Drew Wrigley. “They are the geek squad over in Fargo. You’ve got technical companies and young, energetic entrepreneurs.”

Appareo Systems builds flight-data recorders and ADS-B, a type of aircraft tracking system. Since 2001, that startup has worked on a project in partnership with NASA and the University of North Dakota to build, design and manufacture the ADS-B equipping the airplanes.

Another company, Packet Digital, combines high-speed power electronics with advancements in solar to double drone flight times. The ultimate goal is to provide drones with unlimited flight.

“Once you extend flight time, you open up the possibility of many more types of applications and uses for drones,” said Terri Zimmerman, Packet Digital’s CEO. Those applications could include agriculture, allowing farmers to fly drones over farmland to monitor their crops.

And as more drones fill the airspace, there’s a company working on technology that gives pilots situational awareness of other drones in the area. Botlink allows operators to control a drone from a tablet and detect other drones flying nearby.

The company was founded by Shawn Muehler. He’s the guy behind DroneFocus, a meet-up group in Fargo that grew to 50 members, including Becklund, local startups and public officials. “We’re bringing the government, the private sector, the commercial side together to cut through the red tape,” Muehler said. “It’s the only meet-up where we get every industry player in one room.” Lt. Gov. Wrigley has been known to attend.

Indicative of the group’s attitude, the whole thing is organized through Meetup.com. That means anyone is welcome; you just click a button to join. When the group huddles, the gathering feels more like a block party than a rigid policy meeting with a strict agenda, according to attendees.

“We just have a different personality out here,” Muehler said. “It’s not about how we can beat our competitors. It’s how we can help each other out to propel this industry forward.”

North Dakota’s drone sector has already blown away industry predictions. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) released an economic report in 2013 (before North Dakota was chosen as a test site) predicting the economic impact of drone integration in the U.S. The data were based on airspace activity at the time the report was created.

They forecast that between 2015 and 2017, California’s drone industry would have the largest economic impact in terms of dollars, and North Dakota’s would have the third lowest.

North Dakota’s Department of Commerce revised those predictions in 2013 based on the assumption that the state would become a test site. Its data showed that North Dakota would have the greatest percentage of drone-related jobs (relative to population) of any state.

“Obviously, California has a number of aerospace companies as well as companies that develop sensors, payloads, software and a variety of different products that fit within this industry,” said Paul Lucy, a director at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “They underestimated the potential for companies to come here and do R&D work with our test site.”

Still, Becklund doesn’t believe North Dakota is a complete replacement for Silicon Valley, he said. There just aren’t enough people working in engineering and technology to fill jobs in a state that already has one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, he said. North Dakota’s unemployment rate in May was 3.1% versus the national average of 5.5%.

“But if those engineers who developed the technologies in Silicon Valley are looking for a place with a low cost of living, a highly educated workforce and a cooperative community — whether that’s the government or financially — probably this is the best place to do that,” he said.

But even if the jobs get filled, there’s still the issue of funding.

“We can’t get funding because the people in the state tend to be fiscally conservative,” Botlink’s Muehler said. His company received $500,000 in seed funding from local investors. But that’s a paltry figure if the state is going to compete with such venture-backed Silicon Valley drone startups as Airware, which has raised over $40 million in five funding rounds, or 3D Robotics, which has more than $100 million in venture capital.

“We’ve been searching for Series A on a local level because we want to keep the money in the state, so we’re looking for funding sources within North Dakota,” said Muehler.

But where these startups lack private capital, the state is trying to foot the bill. Since 2006, North Dakota has allocated $32.5 million in grant funding to companies interested in commercial drone development through 2017. In addition, the state’s Research North Dakota program offers $5 million biannually in grants from research and development to organizations and companies involved in UAS research through state universities.

Those business incentives have drawn companies from around the U.S. to the state. Florida-based drone manufacturer Altvavian announced in February a $3.2 million agreement to manufacture drones at a plant in North Dakota, the first official UAS manufacturing project in the state.

Wrigley said he sees his state as the Silicon Valley of drones. “People look to North Dakota and say they want to emulate this,” the lieutenant governor said. “We’re blessed with the natural conditions that make it easy to expand drone technology, industries that are keen to tie in UAS technology — and on top of that you have people passionate for aviation and emerging technologies. It’s a part of our pioneering culture.”

There’s a New Silicon Valley of Drones, and it Isn’t in California - MW Market Watch

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          Hoeven Introduces Legislation to set Interim UAS Rules   
Grand Forks Herald
Senator John Hoeven, R-N.D., introduced legislation Tuesday to set temporary guidelines for operating small commercial unmanned aircraft systems while the Federal Aviation Administration develops more permanent rules for the new technology.ADVERTISEMENTHoeven introduced the Commercial UAS Modernization Act with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., in an effort to speed up the development process for an industry some see becoming a major part of the North Dakota and national economy. The FAA largely bans commercial use of UAS, but companies can receive an exemption.

"The sooner we allow the broader use of this technology, the more quickly the U.S. will realize the many societal and economic benefits of UAS," said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, in a statement.

The bill would allow UAS operators to certify aircraft and pilots with six federally designated test sites, one of them being in North Dakota, Hoeven said. Operators would have to fly under proposed FAA rules for small commercial UAS, which limit flights to daylight hours, to within an operator's line of sight, and under an altitude of 500 feet.

Hoeven said it could be a couple of years before the FAA rules are finalized.

The bill is "an effort to expedite the process because we're falling behind other countries," Hoeven said in an interview with the Herald. "This uses the test sites to speed up the process so that our companies can move forward with developing unmanned aircraft."

Tests

The six FAA test sites were set up to research integrating unmanned aircraft safely into the national airspace. North Dakota was named one of the sites in late 2013.

AUVSI estimates that the UAS industry will create more than 100,000 new jobs within 10 years of airspace integration. Small UAS are expected to be used in a variety of industries, including agriculture and energy.

The FAA announced its proposed rules for small UAS in February, but some worry that the government is moving too slowly to regulate the industry.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., joined Hoeven in writing a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta last year in part to express concern about delays operators face in getting permission to fly.

"These delays force those manufacturers and operators who play by the rules to sit on the sidelines while they wait for approval while others chance fines and operate without any certification from the FAA, which raises serious concerns about public safety," Heitkamp, Hoeven, Booker and two other senators wrote in November.

Hoeven's and Booker's bill also creates a deputy FAA administrator responsible for the integration of UAS into the national airspace and "builds a reasonable framework for the registration and use of UAS," according to Hoeven's press release. It also requires operators to report crashes to the FAA.

The FAA doesn't comment on pending legislation, a spokeswoman said Tuesday evening.

"The Commercial UAS Modernization Act sets up clear and immediate rules of the road, helping to lay a foundation that will allow us to make cutting-edge progress in a rapidly emerging field," Booker said in a statement.

Hoeven Introduces Legislation to set Interim UAS Rules - Grand Forks Herald

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          Land Board Awards More than $12 Million in Energy Impact Grants   
By ND Governor's Office
The Board of University and School Lands (Land Board) today awarded more than $12 million in Energy Impact Grants for political subdivisions impacted by rapid development in the state’s oil and gas counties. More than 130 grants totaling $12,360,242 were awarded from the Oil and Gas Impact Grant fund to political subdivisions, including cities, counties, townships and park districts.
 
The Legislature provided nearly $240 million in Energy Impact Grants for the 2013-2015 biennium to help western North Dakota address increased growth and activity. More than $18 million of that amount was allocated for political subdivisions without a specific grant round. Other grant rounds include cities, fire districts, emergency medical services, K-12 schools, higher education, airports and law enforcement.
 
“These grants are an important part of our ongoing commitment to help the oil and gas region meet the challenges created by rapid growth,” said Gov. Jack Dalrymple. “This funding will help political subdivisions in western North Dakota address their immediate needs and make the necessary infrastructure enhancements to mitigate the impacts of increased energy development.”
 
Dalrymple is chairman of the five-member Land Board. Other members of the board are Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Secretary of State Al Jaeger, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler and State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt.
 
To date, including the grants awarded today, the Land Board has committed nearly $220 million in state Energy Impact Grants and will award a total of nearly $240 million in grants during the 2013-2015 biennium. The grants are used to address a wide range of needs, including enhancements for law enforcement agencies and emergency services; upgrades to airports, as well as county and city infrastructure; and support for growing schools.
 
In all, the state will invest about $2.7 billion to support the state’s oil and gas region during the current biennium. The state commitment – more than twice the amount of the previous, two-year funding package of about $1.2 billion – includes funding for highway, county and township road improvements; water supply and water treatment projects and the development of affordable housing. Other state commitments include stationing more Highway Patrol troopers in western North Dakota; enhancements to the region’s court system and funding for dust suppression projects.
 
For a complete list of grants approved today by the Land Board, go to: www.nd.gov/energyimpact.

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          Eye on Energy: ND's Roll in International Politics    
By KXNews

Tioga sits in the heart of the Bakken formation - the source of the state's meteoric rise in oil production over the past several years.

It also sits in the middle of an international political and economic power play.

North Dakota's success in becoming the second-leading oil producing state has meant an increase in the world's oil supply.

And last year, Saudi Arabia, the number two oil producing nation in the world - behind Russia - decided not to cut back its production in response to the growing supply.

That decision sent oil prices tumbling downward as the Saudis hoped their ability to produce oil cheaply would force other oil producing regions to cut back on their exploration.

And it placed North Dakota squarely in the center of the ongoing drama.

(Kathleen Neset, Neset Consulting) "We are part of it. Either a participant - actively participating, or collaterally a participant in this. I think it's just exciting to think that Tioga, North Dakota, Minot, North Dakota, these towns are actually on the map and absolutely a vital part of what's going on in this global economy." 

Neset's company has been based in Tioga since 1980 and provides geology and engineering services to oil companies.

Eye on Energy: ND's Roll in International Politics - KXNet.com



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          Governor Dalrymple Delivers 2015 State of the State   
In delivering the State of the State address today, Gov. Jack Dalrymple said North Dakota’s strong economy and sound fiscal management make possible additional tax relief as well as investments in statewide priorities including infrastructure, education and meeting the challenges of growth.
 
“Two years ago I stood before you and reported that the state of our state was strong,” Dalrymple said. “Today, I am pleased to tell you that we’ve made great progress since then, and that North Dakota is stronger than ever.”
 
North Dakota has reduced taxes by $4.3 billion since 2009, and Dalrymple recommended that the legislature make even more tax relief a priority.  The legislature also will have an opportunity to pass a property tax reform bill that provides for more spending discipline, and makes it easier for taxpayers to understand how their tax dollars are used in comparison to other political subdivisions, Dalrymple said.
 
North Dakota has also made great progress on road and highway improvements, water supply projects and should continue to invest in the state’s infrastructure needs.  At the same time, North Dakota remains committed to advancing critical flood protection projects, Dalrymple said.
 
In just the past four years, the state has also leveraged nearly $90 million in tax credits and incentive funds to support the development of about 2,500 housing units reserved for low-to-moderate income residents and for essential service employees in western North Dakota.
 
“Never before in our state’s history have we undertaken such an ambitious, ongoing campaign to improve our roads and highways, expand water supply systems, advance flood control projects and develop affordable housing,” Dalrymple said.  “These projects enhance the quality of our lives and support our growing economy. “
 
Public Safety            
As the state’s population and commercial activity have grown, Dalrymple and the legislature have worked together so that North Dakota continues to be one of the safest states in the nation.    
 
Since 2011, the state has steadily expanded the capabilities of the Highway Patrol, the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the state’s judicial system and the Department of Correction’s parole and probation services.
 
For local law enforcement officers in western North Dakota, the region’s rapid growth has created significant challenges.  Within the last four years, the state has provided about $20 million in impact grants to help equip, train and staff local police departments and sheriff’s offices serving in North Dakota’s oil-producing counties.  The state has provided another $30 million to support the region’s fire and emergency medical services. 
 
Oversight of the Oil Industry
The remarkable amount of commerce throughout North Dakota requires that the state continue to strengthen its health and environmental protections as well as its oversight of the oil and gas industry, Dalrymple said.
                       
Since 2011, the state has significantly expanded its regulatory staff within the Oil and Gas Division and the Department of Health, and Dalrymple has recommended funding for 22 additional positions within the Oil and Gas Division and 19 more within the Department of Health. Additionally, the state has adopted new oil conditioning standards to improve the safety of crude oil for transport; required major reductions in the flaring of natural gas and has revised more than 60 sections of regulatory code to strengthen environmental protections.  Dalrymple has also recommended new positions within the Public Service Commission to augment federal oversight of rail safety and pipeline integrity.

“We should all be proud of the vital role our state is playing to help America strengthen its energy independence,” Dalrymple said.  “We have become the nation’s second-largest oil producer, and as our energy production has increased so has our responsibility.”
 
Education
North Dakota has steadily improved its K-12 education system, putting to rest the challenging issues of funding equity and adequacy.  The state has also significantly reduced the local cost of education by increasing the state’s funding commitment.   Dalrymple said the state has an opportunity to build on its success by maintaining strong funding for K-12 schools, by
investing in early childhood education, and by addressing the extraordinary needs of schools challenged by rapid enrollment growth.
 
North Dakota’s strong revenues also allow for continued investments in higher education, while most other states are reducing their funding.  Working together, the governor and legislature have improved the way North Dakota’s universities and colleges are funded, and have made major investments in capital projects and other improvements.

Moving forward, the state can continue to invest in the university system’s critical infrastructure needs, but should focus on programs that make college more affordable for students, Dalrymple said.

The state’s strong economy and sound fiscal management allow for continued investments in other priorities as well, including workforce development, improvements to the state’s park system and other quality-of-life enhancements.
 
“Here in North Dakota, we continue to drive an agenda for progress and a quality of life that is second to none,” Dalrymple said. “We know that progress comes with its own challenges and there is much work ahead.  But we have every reason to be optimistic about our state and the increasing number of opportunities it provides.” 
 
During his address, Dalrymple also spoke about recent declines in oil prices and the potential impact on state revenues.
 
“It’s important for the people of North Dakota to know that we are committed to a structurally balanced state budget, where ongoing spending never exceeds our available, ongoing revenues,” Dalrymple said.  “There are risks associated with any economy that relies on the value of commodities, and those risks must always be carefully considered.  We guard against these risks in several ways, including directing the vast majority of our oil and gas revenues – about 96 percent – to special reserve funds that are not used for ongoing operations.”

North Dakota’s investments in statewide infrastructure projects and other capital projects require one-time funding that doesn’t have to be repeated should state revenues decline.
In February, a new state revenue forecast will be completed and will help guide the legislature’s work, Dalrymple said.

“If adjustments to our spending plan are needed, I am confident our legislature will make prudent decisions based on the best available projections,” Dalrymple said. “In the end, I expect our legislature will find that we can continue to fund our priorities, maintain healthy reserves and provide even more tax relief.”
 

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          Lukewarm response to RSS event on Kannur violence    
Major political parties skip session
          Fracking Boom has Been a Jobs Boom for North Dakota   
By The Detroit Free Press
Ground zero for America's "shale revolution" in gas and oil production, North Dakota is also the reigning title-holder for lowest unemployment among the 50 states.

There were more unfilled jobs in September than job applications within the state, where oil field workers can make six-figure salaries and even the fast-food restaurants dangle hiring bonuses of $300 or more. The state has been recruiting specifically from Michigan for workers of all stripes and skill levels — hoping to entice entire families to relocate and grow roots.

North Dakota's official 2.8% jobless rate in August is essentially full employment, allowing just about anyone who wants a job to get one. At the same time, Michigan's rate of 7.4% was stuck above the 6.1% national average. (The national rate was 5.9% in September.)

North Dakota's roaring economy has been the envy of state governors and, for proponents of fracking, a shining success story for how an energy boom can produce a job boom, even for workers in professions that aren't directly related to extracting natural gas and oil.

Although Michigan's endowment of shale and oil is considerably smaller than North Dakota's, the state has ample natural gas deposits that can be tapped and many local governments are discovering that small-but-important amounts of money can be made by running mini-oil and gas wells. Early successes in wind energy production and investment could also promote massive investment in the state that could add 20,000 or more jobs a year, according to at least one study.

To be sure, this latest oil and gas rush in North Dakota has created its own set of problems, including pollution, skyrocketing housing costs in some towns and reports of rising crime and drug use. There are even reports of a shortage of single women for the inflowing horde of men.

A new documentary film on the darker side of the North Dakota boom, "The Overnighters," starts hitting theaters this weekend.

North Dakota is now producing over 1 million barrels of oil a day, compared to under 200,000 barrels a day five years ago.

That has been a boon for state government, which gets 11.5 cents for every $1 the oil industry makes and 11 cents of every $1 in the gas industry. The state has been running big budget surpluses and projects another surplus of over $600 million in its current fiscal year, according to the Associated Press.

Much of the state windfall has gone toward infrastructure spending, school trust funds, property tax relief and to local governments near the oil fields, according to the state's Senate majority leader.
 
Recruiting from Michigan

Michigan is one of seven states that North Dakota officials are targeting in their move-here-now advertising campaign, "Find the Good Life in North Dakota." The goal is to attract full families for long-term settlement — not simply more men on temporary work visits who fill up the "man camps," as accommodations in the oil and gas patch are often known.

"If Dad's a petroleum engineer, we've got a job for Mom and a job for their teenagers," Wally Goulet, chairman of the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation, said last week in a phone interview. "There's no problem with minimum wage here, because everybody seems to have to offer $12 or $14 or $15 for starting (pay)."

Energy booms have a history of enticing Michiganders to move. During the Texas oil boom of the 1970s and early 1980s, there were reports of a hot resale market in metro Detroit for Houston newspapers, which were full of help wanted ads at a time when the economy here was slow.

So many Michigan residents were moving to the Lonestar state that, according to the book — "The Reckoning" by the late historian David Halberstam — Texas officials speculated about the political leanings of the new "black-tag vote" in their state, a reference to the black Michigan license plates that were then standard issue.

There were nearly 26,000 reported job openings in North Dakota last month, with 65% of them located out of the state's 17 oil-producing counties. Cities and towns are experiencing a demand and/or shortage of workers in nearly every line of work, including carpentry, day care, truck driving, office work, vehicle and machine repair, and, especially, the service industry, according to Free Press interviews and a North Dakota jobs report.

"What we're finding is we need a lot of service jobs," Goulet said. "Not everybody is going to drive a truck in the oil fields."

There are still jobs to fill at the oil and gas fields across North Dakota's portion of the Bakken formation, especially for positions requiring advanced engineering degrees, but the earlier frenzy has purportedly calmed down.

"When the energy boom started a couple years ago, they really just were getting bodies," said Holly Sand, a public information officer at Job Service North Dakota. "Now they can be more selective on who they take for the jobs."

Fracking Boom has Been a Jobs Boon for North Dakota - The Detroit Free Press

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          10 States With the Best Quality of Life   
By USA Today
The United States is one of the world's most prosperous economies, with a gross domestic product that exceeded that of any other country last year. However, a vibrant economy alone does not ensure all residents are well off. In a recent study from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), U.S. states under-performed their regional counterparts in other countries in a number of important metrics that gauge well-being.

The OECD's newly released study, "How's Life in Your Region?: Measuring Regional and Local Well-Being for Policy Making," compares nine important factors that contribute to well-being. Applying an equal weight to each of these factors, 24/7 Wall St. rated New Hampshire as the best state for quality of life.

Monica Brezzi, author of the report and head of regional statistics at the OECD, told 24/7 Wall St. considering different dimensions of well-being at the regional level provides a way to identify "where are the major needs where policies can intervene." Brezzi said that, in some cases, correcting one truly deficient measure can, in turn, lead to better results in others.

In order to review well-being at the regional level, the OECD used only objective data in its report, rather than existing survey data. Brezzi noted that current international studies that ask people for their opinion on important measures of well-being often do not have enough data to be broken down by region.

For example, one of the nine measures, health, is based on the mortality rate and life expectancy in each region, rather than on asking people if they feel well. Similarly, another determinant of well-being, safety, is measured by the homicide rate rather than personal responses as to whether people feel safe where they live.

Based on her analysis, Brezzi identified one area where American states are exceptionally strong. "All the American states rank in the top 20% of OECD regions in income," Brezzi said. Massachusetts — one of 24/7 Wall St.'s highest-rated states — had the second-highest per capita disposable household income in the nation, at $38,620. This also placed the state among the top 4% of regions in all OECD countries.

However, the 50 states are also deficient in a number of key metrics for well-being. "With the exception of Hawaii, none of the American states are in the top 20% for health or for safety across the OECD regions," Brezzi said. Minnesota, for instance, was rated as the third best state for health, with a mortality rate of 7.5 deaths per 1,000 residents and a life expectancy of 81.1 years. However, this only barely placed Minnesota among the top third of all regions in the OECD. Similarly, New Hampshire — which was rated as the safest state in the country, and was 24/7 Wall St.'s top state for quality of life — was outside the top third of all regions for safety.

Across most metrics the 50 states have improved considerably over time. Only one of the nine determinants of well-being, jobs, had worsened in most states between 2000 and 2013. Brezzi added that not only was the national unemployment rate higher in 2013 than in 2000, but "this worsening of unemployment has also come together with an increase in the disparities across states."

Based on the OECD's study, "How's Life in Your Region?: Measuring Regional and Local Well-being for Policy Making," 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 states with the best quality of life. We applied an equal weight to each of the nine determinants of well-being — education, jobs, income, safety, health, environment, civic engagement, accessibility to services and housing. Each determinant is constituted by one or more variables. Additional data on state GDP are from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and are current as of 2013. Further figures on industry composition, poverty, income inequality and health insurance coverage are from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 American Community Survey. Data on energy production come from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and represent 2012 totals.

These are the 10 states with the best quality of life.

10. Wisconsin
  • Employment rate: 74.8% (9th highest)
  • Household disposable income per capita: $29,536 (23rd highest)
  • Homicide rate: 2.72 per 100,000 people (15th lowest)
  • Voter turnout: 73.6% (2nd highest)
Based on nine distinct well-being measures, Wisconsin is one of the top states in the nation for quality of life. Like nearly all top-ranked states, Wisconsin's housing score was quite high. A typical home had 2.7 rooms per person. Additionally, nearly three-quarters of households had broadband Internet access, both among the higher rates nationwide. Residents are also more politically active than people in a majority of states. The state reported a 74% voter turnout rate, better than almost every other state.

9. Washington
  • Employment rate: 67.8% (21st lowest)
  • Household disposable income per capita: $31,307 (16th highest)
  • Homicide rate: 2.55 per 100,000 people (11th lowest)
  • Voter turnout: 65.6% (16th highest)
Nearly four in five Washington residents had broadband Internet access last year, tied with New Hampshire for the highest rate in the country. Washingtonians also enjoy exceptional air quality and a relatively healthy environment. Just 4.1 mg of airborne dangerous particulate matter per cubic meter was recorded in the state, nearly the lowest level of pollution measured. Washington also leads the nation for renewable energy production, with more than 1,012 trillion BTUs produced in 2012, far more than any other state.

8. Maine
  • Employment rate: 72.7% (11th highest)
  • Household disposable income per capita: $28,333 (22nd lowest)
  • Homicide rate: 1.88 per 100,000 people (8th lowest)
  • Voter turnout: 68.6% (9th highest)
Based on OECD metrics, Maine — which advertises itself as "Vacationland" — is far more than merely a tourist destination. Like more than half of the best states for quality of life, Maine received a nearly perfect score for its housing. Maine homes had an average of nearly three rooms per person, more than all but one other state. Spacious households are likely favored by Maine residents as the state's long winter can keep people indoors for long periods. And while heating costs can be a burden, falling U.S. crude oil prices have considerably reduced the financial strain of buying home heating oil, which is more-widely used in Maine than in any other state.

7. Massachusetts
  • Employment rate: 71.3% (14th highest)
  • Household disposable income per capita: $38,620 (2nd highest)
  • Homicide rate: 2.62 per 100,000 people (12th lowest)
  • Voter turnout: 70.8% (4th highest)
Only one state received a higher income score than Massachusetts. Last year, the state's per capita disposable income was $38,620, more than anywhere else in the United States except Connecticut, and among the top 4% of regions reviewed by the OECD across 28 countries. Massachusetts was also a top state for health, with one of the lowest mortality rates, as well as one of the highest life expectancies, at 80.5 years, in the country. However, compared to all country regions measured by the OECD, Massachusetts' score is barely in the top 40% for health.

6. Colorado
  • Employment rate: 71.2% (15th highest)
  • Household disposable income per capita: $30,999 (18th highest)
  • Homicide rate: 2.90 per 100,000 people (17th lowest)
  • Voter turnout: 70.4% (5th highest)
Colorado residents are active participants in local and state politics, and they have among the best accessibility to services. More than 70% of eligible Coloradans participated in elections last year, among the higher rates in the nation. While Colorado's unemployment rate of 7.7% was not particularly good, its economy has grown relatively rapidly in the past two years. A report released earlier this year by the Colorado Secretary of State showed strong numbers of new business filings and predicted future employment gains.

5. North Dakota
  • Employment rate: 81.8% (the highest)
  • Household disposable income per capita: $31,844 (12th highest)
  • Homicide rate: 2.99 per 100,000 people (18th lowest)
  • Voter turnout: 63.9% (19th highest)
Large economic windfalls, like the recent oil boom in North Dakota, do not necessarily improve a state's well-being. A strong economy, of course, still has many benefits. North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate nationwide, at just 3.3%. And 9.0% of the state's workforce was employed in the agriculture and mining industries, more than all but one other state. The energy boom has also led to exceptional growth rates. North Dakota's economic output has grown faster than that of any other state for several years. In addition to benefiting from an economic boom, North Dakota residents are relatively well educated. More than 91% of the state's labor force had completed at least secondary school last year, among the highest rates in the country.

4. Iowa
  • Employment rate: 78.1% (5th highest)
  • Household disposable income per capita: $30,164 (20th highest)
  • Homicide rate: 1.38 per 100,000 people (2nd lowest)
  • Voter turnout: 69.4% (tied, 6th highest)
The OECD rated Iowa better than all but a few states for its jobs climate and safety. Just 5.2% of the workforce was unemployed last year, and the homicide rate — 1.4 per 100,000 — was lower than every state except New Hampshire. Iowa residents also had the benefit of a productive renewable energy sector, with greater production of renewable energy than all but two other states as of 2012. The majority of renewable energy output came from 476 trillion BTUs of biodiesel produced that year, which was more than any other state.

3. Vermont
  • Employment rate: 79.0% (3rd highest)
  • Household disposable income per capita: $30,102 (21st highest)
  • Homicide rate: 1.39 per 100,000 people (3rd lowest)
  • Voter turnout: 63.3% (22nd highest)
Vermont is among the nation's leaders in several well-being measures. State residents are exceptionally well-educated. Nearly 92% of Vermont's workforce had completed at least secondary school last year, nearly the highest rate nationwide. Vermont was one of a handful of states to receive a close to perfect score for housing. With more than three rooms per person, homes tend to be more spacious than those in any other state. Additionally, just 7.2% of residents lacked health care last year, less than half the rate for all Americans, and lower than all but one other state. Based on a recent survey by Gallup, Vermonters are also the most likely Americans to exercise regularly and consume fresh produce daily, which further contributes to the population's good health.

2. Minnesota
  • Employment rate: 77.3% (6th highest)
  • Household disposable income per capita: $32,256 (9th highest)
  • Homicide rate: 1.68 per 100,000 people (4th lowest)
  • Voter turnout: 73.2% (3rd highest)
Minnesota is one of the top states in the nation by a range of well-being metrics. Notably, the state was tied for second best with Vermont for education, as nearly 92% of the labor force had at least a high school diploma. Minnesota was also a top state for health, with a mortality rate of 7.5 per 1,000 residents and a life expectancy of over 81 years, both among the best nationwide. Per capita household disposable income was also quite high at $32,257, ninth best nationwide. Census Bureau figures also indicate Minnesota compares favorably with other states in ensuring residents are living well. The state's poverty rate of 11.2% was among the lowest nationwide in 2013.

1. New Hampshire
  • Employment rate: 77.0% (7th highest)
  • Household disposable income per capita: $34,208 (7th highest)
  • Homicide rate: 1.11 per 100,000 people (the lowest)
  • Voter turnout: 69.4% (tied, 6th highest)
New Hampshire scored better than any other state for quality of life. No state had a lower homicide rate than New Hampshire, where there was just barely a single murder per 100,000 residents. Additionally, New Hampshire was also the top-ranked state for accessibility of services, with 79% of households reporting they had access to broadband, the highest in the United States. Further, New Hampshire ranked among the best states in most other measures considered by the OECD. The Granite State also had the nation's lowest poverty rate in 2013, according to the Census Bureau, at just 8.7% of all residents.

10 States With the Best Quality of Life - USA Today

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           The Treachery of Wetness: Seamus Heaney, Irish Studies, and the Politics of Parturition?    
Sullivan, Moynagh (2005) The Treachery of Wetness: Seamus Heaney, Irish Studies, and the Politics of Parturition? Irish Studies Review, 13 (4). pp. 451-468. ISSN 0967-0882
          Beyond the politics: when ‘things’ proliferate   
When historians look back, ours may be the age known for embracing materialism without anxieties, without guilt
          London, July 6-9: Marxism 2017   

Come to Central London, UK, to join organizers, intellectuals, and activists in a 4-day political festival of ideas, discussions, debates, art, films, and music! Speakers will include Ian Angus, author of “Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System”…… | more…


          Obama urges end to division in childhood home Indonesia   
“It is very important here in Indonesia, the United States, Europe, everywhere, to fight against the politics of 'us and them',” he said.
          ResoluteReader reviews Ian Angus’s A Redder Shade of Green   

This new collection of essays from one of the world’s leading Marxist environmentalists is an important contribution to discussions about how we can fight for a sustainable world, one where, as Ian Angus says quoting Marx, we live as “a society of good ancestors”. More than this however the book is an important reassertion of how to approach questions of science and politics that strengthen our ability to understand the world and change it.… | more…


          Trump as Neo-Fascist? John Bellamy Foster interviewed on Law & Disorder radio   

Is Trump a neofascist? Analysts on the left, such as Cornel West, Noam Chomsky, and Judith Butler think he is. But mainstream liberal commentators refuse to associate the Trump phenomena with fascism, calling him a “rightwing populist.” Does it really matter what Trump is called? The poet, playwright, and political thinker, Bertolt Brecht, asked in 1935: “How can anyone tell the truth about fascism, unless he’s willing to speak out against capitalism, which brings it forth?” Hear Heidi Boghosian and Michael Steven Smith speak with John Bellamy Foster, editor of Monthly Review, who wrote the review of the month, “This Is Not Populism” in the June 2017 issue.… | more…


          On the road to socialism, Truthout reviews Rethinking Revolution   

Anti-capitalism needs a viable political party. Whether it’s a big one, like the Democratic Party—which Bernie Sanders’ supporters are hoping to influence and dreaming, perhaps, of taking over—or a robust third party that’s openly socialist, it’s clear that without a party that operates in conjunction with left movements, it will be difficult to achieve goals like Medicare for All, free higher education, student loan forgiveness, environmental and climate protection, and substantially shrinking the military and the vast prison system…. ¶ That is precisely what several essays in Rethinking Revolution advocate.… | more…


          New! A Redder Shade of Green by Ian Angus   

As the Anthropocene advances, people across the red-green political spectrum seek to understand and halt our deepening ecological crisis. Environmentalists, scientists, and ecosocialists share concerns about the misuse of natural resources, but often differ on explanations and solutions. Some blame environmental disasters on overpopulation. Some ask if all this worry about climate change and the ecosystem might lead to a “catastrophism” that weakens efforts to heal the planet. Ian Angus responds to these concerns in A Redder Shade of Green, with a fresh, insightful clarity, bringing socialist values to science, and scientific rigor to socialism.… | more…


           La politica religiosa di Graziano    
Humphries, Mark (2005) La politica religiosa di Graziano. Cambridge University Press, 55. pp. 647-648.
          BWW Interview: Matt Redmond Directs 54 SINGS 1776   

FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW, Broadway's Supper Club, presents "54 Sings 1776" on July 3 and July 4, 2017. The Fourth of July meets Broadway in the fourth annual concert staging of the beloved musical, 1776, at Feinstein's/54 Below. Featuring Broadway stars like Carrie St. Louis (Wicked/Rock of Ages) and Kyle Scatliffe (Les Miserables/The Color Purple) you're sure to feel patriotic watching this beautifully staged concert.

I was lucky enough to sit down with director Matt Redmond, a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University, to hear about his experience moving to the Big Apple and working on "54 Sings 1776".

Christopher Castanho: Why don't you start by giving us a little bit of your background, where you're from and where you went to school.

Matthew Redmond: I'm from St. Louis, Missouri and was really lucky to grow up in an environment that supported and honored the arts. I started doing theatre in middle school, and really haven't stopped. I graduated from Oklahoma City University last year with degrees in acting and directing, where I directed many plays and served as the Artistic Director of their Student Run theatre company. Growing up in St. Louis, The MUNY was always a home to me, and I spent last summer Assistant Directing productions of Aida and Mamma Mia!. I worked as a Production Assistant for PENN AND TELLER ON BROADWAY and recently just finished working as the Artistic Intern at Manhattan Theatre Club, through the rest of their season including this year's Tony-Winning JITNEY and THE LITTLE FOXES. This will actually be my directing debut in NYC!

CC: How'd you book the gig?

MR: I did a summer internship two years ago with 54 Below (now Feinstein's/54 Below). I got connected for the internship through a friend from home who I'd known since I was in middle school. I worked in the Programming Department under Jen Tepper, and I credit so much of what I know in this business to her and my time at 54 Below. I was really lucky to get to do a lot of hands-on work with the department, but Jen and the team there are proof of what watching and learning can do.

CC: What's been your favorite part working on this production?

MR: I've loved putting so many different people together in a room and just seeing what happens. I joined the concert after it had been partially cast, and then proceeded to work with the producer and music director to cast the rest of the production. I really wanted to focus on giving the opportunity to younger artists who don't easily get exposure to a New York stage, so it's been exciting watching my peers work with some of Broadway's finest talents. It's really something special to see these people who don't know each other at all come together for four rehearsals and throw something together. It's an obvious lesson in how important it is to be an adaptable and positive member of an ensemble.

CC: How does a concert staging of this show led itself to the overall theme and story?

MR: It's interesting putting this show in concert form, because of how little music there actually is in comparison to the scenes. The total time for music is about 45 minutes, but a fully staged production of 1776 is definitely two and a half hours. To me, it shows just how important that music is. The reason a character sings on stage is because spoken words aren't enough for them in that moment, so concerts are interesting to explore (what should be) the most important and heightened moments that characters are experiencing in any piece. 1776 is obviously about how the Declaration of Independence came to be, but a concert staging exposes us to the moments we musically meet these characters outside of the book. It focuses less on what they are doing (trying to establish or stop independence), and more on who they are and why their stories are important.

CC: What does the story of 1776 mean to you?

MR: We revisit musicals and plays from the past because of what the subject matter has to say today and what we can take out of it that audiences years ago couldn't. A production of 1776 means something entirely different today than it did 30 years ago, or even 3 years ago. For me, 1776 is so relevant today because it's giving us insight to the people who made important decisions for our country. It shows us who wanted our country to succeed and who wanted their party to succeed, which is obviously a relevant topic of interest in our society today. Transparency is so important, and I think people assume we live in such a transparent social and political world because we can get any piece of news at the click of the button. But with the advancement in technology also comes advancement in security and privacy. There is so much that happens that we don't know about because we can get so distracted with the latest article, but in 1776 they didn't have any of that to distract the people. Obviously not everyone knew everything, but I'm going to guess it was a lot easier to figure out if Ben Franklin wanted independence than it currently is to figure out if Donald Trump does or does not believe in Climate Change. It also reminds us that the voices of women and children need to be heard, and makes you wonder where we'd be as a country today if women had been involved in the writing of the Declaration of Independence.


The cast for both nights includes Kyle Scatliffe (The Color Purple, Les Miserables) as John Adams, Carrie St. Louis (Wicked, Rock of Ages) as AbiGail Adams, Julian Decker (Sunset Boulevard, Les Miserables) as Benjamin Franklin, Ryan Vona (Paramour, Once) as Richard Henry Lee, Tally Sessions (War Paint, Falsettos) as Thomas Jefferson, Michael McCorry Rose (Wicked, A Gentleman's Guide To Love and Murder) as John Dickinson, Kim McClay (I'll Be Home for Christmas World Premiere) as Martha Jefferson, Wade McCollum (Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, Wicked) as Edward Rutledge, and Alex Prakken (Newsies National Tour) as The Courier.

Additional casting includes Connor Deane (Les Miserables at the MUNY, Broadway Method Academy Executive Director) as Roger Sherman, Michael Hull (Avenue Q, That Golden Girls Show) as Robert Livingston, Ben Biggers (Elementary on CBS, Aida at the MUNY) as John Hancock, Nathan Goodrich as Charles Thomson (The Fantasticks Off-Broadway), Jordan Jacobs (Peter and the Starcatcher at Oklahoma CityRep) as James Wilson, and Sam Hartley (The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, Beauty and the Beast National Tour).

"54 Sings 1776" plays Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on July 3 and July 4 at 7:00 and 9:30 each night. There is a $25-$40 cover charge and $25 food and beverage minimum. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com. Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00 are only available by calling (646) 476-3551.


           Review of: Fred Powell and Martin Geoghegan, The politics of community development: reclaiming civil society or reinventing governance    
Cox, Dr. Laurence (2005) Review of: Fred Powell and Martin Geoghegan, The politics of community development: reclaiming civil society or reinventing governance. Irish Journal of Sociology, Vol. 14 (1).
          CuboCasa.it - appartamento vendita Perugia   
INVESTIMENTI IMMOBILIARI IN PERUGIA CON ALTO SCONTO SUL PREZZO A seguito di obiettive valutazioni in ordine alle attuali politiche immobiliari, alcuni......
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          Do We Want Another Manhattan Project?   
Some time back, I set up a Google Alert to forward me, on a daily basis, any news stories that mention the phrase "Manhattan Project." The not-terribly-surprising result is that I get to see exactly how often people call for new Manhattan Project-like efforts to solve various technical or political problems of our times. It turns out […]
          Baltuosiuose rūmuose tvyro nerimas dėl Donaldo Trumpo ir Vladimiro Putino susitikimo   
Kitą savaitę Vokietijos Hamburgo mieste vyksiančiame galingiausių pasaulio valstybių dvidešimtuko (G-20) susitikime JAV prezidentas Donaldas Trumpas pirmą kartą susitiks Rusijos vadovą Vladimirą Putiną. Kai kurie Baltųjų rūmų atstovai reiškia nerimą, kad Amerikos lyderis į susitikimą vyksta nepasiruošęs ir nusiteikęs būti itin draugišku Kremliui, rašo politico.eu.
Skaitykite daugiau...

          As July Fourth approaches, Americans debate democracy's fate   
NEW YORK (AP) -- In his 4½ years as a state senator from Manhattan, Brad Holyman has handed out everything from flashlights to T-shirts at political rallies. But for a gathering held soon after President Donald Trump&apos;s inauguration, he decided on something more substantial:...
          Gli svizzeri devono parlare di difesa dei diritti umani ad Astana   
Gli attivisti per la difesa dei diritti umani sono preoccupati dai significati ambigui che le visite dei leader politici svizzeri a Expo 2017 in Kazakistan potrebbero trasmettere. Il Kazakistan è il primo paese dell’Asia centrale ad ospitare un’esposizione mondiale: Expo 2017 Astana, dedicato all’energia del futuro. L’Expo, cominciata il 10 giugno, non ha creato dibattito nei media svizzeri ed europei. Delle discussioni sarebbero però auspicabili dato che la presidente della Confederazione così come alcuni ministri saranno, o sono già stati, ad Astana, rischiando di dare più legittimità a un regime autoritario che viola regolarmente i diritti umani.  Mentre i media europei hanno ampiamente ignorato l’esposizione, l’evento riceve una copertura considerevole da parte dei servizi d’informazione controllati dallo Stato in Kazakistan, dove lettori e telespettatori possono lasciarsi emozionare dalle architetture (e dai costi) dell’Expo. La natura grandiosa dell’esposizione ...
          TYLER, THE CREATOR: il video del nuovo brano “Who Dat Boy”   

Il pezzo vede la partecipazione di A$AP Rocky

L'articolo TYLER, THE CREATOR: il video del nuovo brano “Who Dat Boy” sembra essere il primo su ImpattoSonoro - Webzine musicale e culturale indipendente.


          A BRITISH STORY:   
American Culture: A Story (Bruce Frohnen, May 2017, Imaginative Conservative)

[I]n the interest of brevity, I will skip just a bit further forward, to Mount Sinai. Following Russell Kirk,[1] we can pick the story up here because it set the Israelites apart from their neighbors in a politically crucial way. I refer, of course, to the handing down by God of the Ten Commandments; a transformative, defining moment for the Israelites, and for those whom they influenced.

Some point out that the Ten Commandments were not all that different from other codes, like the Code of Hammurabi. But that is not the point. The point is that it was Hammurabi's code, a law handed down by a supposedly sacred political power, who saw himself as the creator of right and wrong--just as, I would argue, our liberal friends tend to see both law and government. Moses, on the other hand, gave the Israelites God's law, and thereby established a higher law tradition, according to which worldly governors can be judged by standards higher than their own will.

Again in the interest of brevity, I will just mention some other parts of the story: man's discovery of the powers of reason in Greece; our training in the virtues of republican government in Rome; I even will skip over the utterly transformative moment in a later Jerusalem, when God saved man's transcendent humanity by Himself becoming Man, and, through His death and resurrection, making clear our duty to love one another as ourselves. I instead will move to a lesser-known part of the story, set in early medieval Rome. For it was here that the Pope won the struggle with the Holy Roman Emperor, and gained the right to appoint bishops, which formerly had been appointed by the emperor himself.

So what?

So, this victory institutionalized Mount Sinai. It set up a separate religious authority, independent of the state, which would tell kings they were behaving wrongly, even excommunicate them and tell their subjects they owed them no allegiance. That investiture struggle institutionalized the higher law tradition and made natural law the standard of all governments and societies in the west. It made possible the Great Charter of Britain, which guaranteed the rights of the church, of the barons, and of the towns, in the face of a centralizing king. And that charter--and others like it on the continent--made possible the flourishing of towns, guilds, parishes, families, and other associations, which gained their own chartered rights, along with the ability and will to defend them.

Strong associations meant a multiplicity of authorities, protecting both communal and independent action through legal and customary rights. They also constituted a diversity of groups within which one acted, and to which one could look for protection. This diversity, these groups, and these rights came into bad odor in the era of absolutism and centralization. But, for a variety of reasons we need not go into, in Britain in particular there was resistance to this centralizing trend, which said, "There can be only one sovereign, one source of power and authority." Instead, there continued a healthy--though unfortunately difficult and at times bloody--competition among social and political authorities.

It was in the midst of this competition that the first settlers came to America. Many of them were seeking money. They had troubles. Others, for a long time the more successful settlers, were seeking to set up communities of faith and virtue, to follow the way of their Lord in common. Most of the colonies had their own charters, as well as an ocean keeping British authority safely distant, and allowing them to become self-governing local societies, themselves made up of largely self-governing communities. Self-government became second nature.

There was an abortive attempt to change all this, which we tend to forget, but which earlier Americans kept vividly in their minds. In 1688, as he was trying to consolidate power in Britain, James II also sought to consolidate power in America, erasing borders, dismissing legislatures, and assuming full sovereignty. The colonists resisted, fiercely. I skip over the rather nasty anti-Catholicism that was a part of this resistance because that is what adults do; because the fact that a sin was involved does not mean that it was either the cause of, or caused by, the event. The point is, the Glorious Revolution became a defining moment for Americans because it was not simply a British event; it also was American. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 showed, to both peoples, the increasing power of charters, and of petitions of grievances charging kings with violating inherited rights, to defend pre-existing ways of life.


          THE TIES THAT BIND:   
The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians (Matt Tait  Friday, June 30, 2017, LawFare)

A few weeks later, right around the time the DNC emails were dumped by Wikileaks--and curiously, around the same time Trump called for the Russians to get Hillary Clinton's missing emails--I was contacted out the blue by a man named Peter Smith, who had seen my work going through these emails. Smith implied that he was a well-connected Republican political operative.

Initially, I assumed the query must have been about my work on the DNC hack; after all, few people followed my account prior to the DNC breach, whereas my analysis of the break-in at the DNC had received considerably more coverage. I assumed his query about the "Clinton emails" was therefore a mistake and that he meant instead to talk to me about the emails stolen from the DNC. So I agreed to talk to him, thinking that, whatever my views on then-candidate Trump, if a national campaign wanted an independent non-partisan view on the facts surrounding the case, I should provide it to the best of my ability.

Yet Smith had not contacted me about the DNC hack, but rather about his conviction that Clinton's private email server had been hacked--in his view almost certainly both by the Russian government and likely by multiple other hackers too--and his desire to ensure that the fruits of those hacks were exposed prior to the election. Over the course of a long phone call, he mentioned that he had been contacted by someone on the "Dark Web" who claimed to have a copy of emails from Secretary Clinton's private server, and this was why he had contacted me; he wanted me to help validate whether or not the emails were genuine. [...]

Over the course of our conversations, one thing struck me as particularly disturbing. Smith and I talked several times about the DNC hack, and I expressed my view that the hack had likely been orchestrated by Russia and that the Kremlin was using the stolen documents as part of an influence campaign against the United States. I explained that if someone had contacted him via the "Dark Web" with Clinton's personal emails, he should take very seriously the possibility that this may have been part of a wider Russian campaign against the United States. And I said he need not take my word for it, pointing to a number of occasions where US officials had made it clear that this was the view of the U.S. intelligence community as well.

Smith, however, didn't seem to care. From his perspective it didn't matter who had taken the emails, or their motives for doing so. He never expressed to me any discomfort with the possibility that the emails he was seeking were potentially from a Russian front, a likelihood he was happy to acknowledge. If they were genuine, they would hurt Clinton's chances, and therefore help Trump.

When he first contacted me, I did not know who Smith was, but his legitimate connections within the Republican party were apparent. My motive for initially speaking to him was that I wondered if the campaign was trying to urgently establish whether the claims that Russia had hacked the DNC was merely "spin" from the Clinton campaign, or instead something they would need to address before Trump went too far down the road of denying it. My guess was that maybe they wanted to contact someone who could provide them with impartial advice to understand whether the claims were real or just rhetoric.

Although it wasn't initially clear to me how independent Smith's operation was from Flynn or the Trump campaign, it was immediately apparent that Smith was both well connected within the top echelons of the campaign and he seemed to know both Lt. Gen. Flynn and his son well. Smith routinely talked about the goings on at the top of the Trump team, offering deep insights into the bizarre world at the top of the Trump campaign. Smith told of Flynn's deep dislike of DNI Clapper, whom Flynn blamed for his dismissal by President Obama. Smith told of Flynn's moves to position himself to become CIA Director under Trump, but also that Flynn had been persuaded that the Senate confirmation process would be prohibitively difficult. He would instead therefore become National Security Advisor should Trump win the election, Smith said. He also told of a deep sense of angst even among Trump loyalists in the campaign, saying "Trump often just repeats whatever he's heard from the last person who spoke to him," and expressing the view that this was especially dangerous when Trump was away.

          THE BEST IS YET TO COME:   
Latinos key to U.S. economic growth, study finds (Octavio Blanco, 7/01/17, CNNMoney)

In 2015, the 55 million Latinos living and working in the U.S. were responsible for $2.13 trillion -- or 11.8% -- of America's $18.04 trillion gross domestic product, according to a study released Thursday by the Latino Donors Collaborative, a nonpartisan association of Latino business, political and academic leaders.

And those contributions are expected to continue to grow.

By 2020, the researchers estimate that Latinos will fuel nearly a quarter of all U.S. GDP growth, and represent 12.7% of the country's total GDP. Helping to power that growth will be the growing number of young Latinos who will be joining the workforce as an older generation of American workers -- the Baby Boomers -- retire.

          Duluth to host ‘March for Science’ on Saturday   
Duluth to host ‘March for Science’ on Saturday

Duluth’s nonpartisan “March for Science” will be one of more than four hundred marches that are scheduled to take place across the nation on Saturday in support of science.

On Earth Day, hundreds of marchers will take to the Lakewalk to express their support for science. The march will start with a speaker expressing views on the significance of science in the community at 10 a.m. at Leif Erikson Park.

Participants will march along the Lakewalk to the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center’s adjacent lawn, where more speakers will speak and conclude the program.

Geologist Alex Steiner, a co-organizer of the march, said, “It’s important to have informed decisions, especially on things that we have data for. We see this acceptance of ignorance and denial of science in our current political arena from both sides. It's not really acceptable anymore…”

Steiner also criticized funding cuts to various science programs for reasons that just are not true. It may be noted here that President Donald Trump’s administration recently announced notable cuts to various scientific research programs, including climate change programs.

General: 
People: 

          Jeffrey Gildenhorn, colorful D.C. restaurateur and political figure, dies at 74   
Mr. Gildenhorn, D.C.’s onetime boxing commissioner and a mayoral candidate, operated American City Diner.
          R-Star and the Yellen rules   

R-Star and the Yellen rules

Henrike Michaelis, Volker Wieland 03 February 2017

With the new Republican majority in both Houses of the US Congress, the Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization (FORM) Act that was passed by the House of Representatives in November 2015 is receiving renewed attention. Section 2 requires that the Fed:

  1. “describe the strategy or rule of the Federal Open Market Committee for the systematic quantitative adjustment” of its policy instruments; and
  2. compare its strategy or rule with a reference rule.1

Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, is to be complimented for using such comparisons with reference rules in her communication about Fed policy. Just recently, in a speech at Stanford on 19 January, she discussed how current Fed policy compares to several simple policy rules.2

For example, Yellen uses the well-known Taylor rule as a reference point. Additionally, she considers two other rules, which she calls the ‘balanced-approach rule’ and the ‘change rule’. Looking forward, she contrasts the implications of the rules with the FOMC members’ projections for the federal funds rate. She states that such benchmark rules “can be helpful in providing broad guidance about how the federal funds rate should be adjusted over time in response to movements in real activity and inflation.” Yet, as Yellen notes, “the Taylor rule prescribes a much higher path for the federal funds rate than the median of (FOMC) participants’ assessments of appropriate policy”.

Yellen goes on to make the important argument that “if the neutral rate were to remain quite low over the medium term, .., then the appropriate setting for R-Star in the Taylor rule would arguably be zero, yielding a yet lower path for the federal funds rate.” To support her argument, she refers to estimates of this R-Star by Holston et al. (2017).

However, as we show below, if one uses an estimate of potential real activity that is consistent with this R-Star estimate, the argument is turned on its head. Since the consistent estimate of potential real activity is lower than the one considered by Yellen, it implies federal funds rate prescriptions that have been above Fed policy for quite some time. Thus, a consistent use of these estimates indicates that Fed policy has been rather loose relative to such a reference rule.

This is shown in Figure 1. The blue line is the actual federal funds rate. The orange line indicates the prescriptions from the (standard) Taylor rule. The dark green line (labelled the “Yellen Taylor Rule”) uses the lower neutral rate/R-Star estimate suggested by Yellen (2016). Its prescriptions for the funds rate are quite a bit lower. However, once the consistent estimate of potential real activity is used along with the R-Star estimate, the interest rate prescriptions move back up as shown by the light-green line in Figure 1 (labelled the “consistent Yellen Taylor rule”).

Figure 1 Federal funds rate and Taylor rules

R-Star and other ingredients in the reference rules

Let’s take a closer look why this is so. The Taylor rule prescribes a value for the federal funds rate that deviates from its long-run equilibrium whenever inflation deviates from a target of 2% and output deviates from potential (Taylor 1993). Here’s the formula:

Fed Funds Rate = R-Star + Target + 1.5 (Inflation – Target) + 0.5 (Output Gap)

The equilibrium funds rate is simply the sum of the long-term equilibrium real rate, the ‘infamous’ R-Star, and the target rate for inflation. Taylor (1993) puts both at 2%. For inflation, the 2% value actually coincides with the Fed’s longer-run goal made public in 2012 and measured with the PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) Index. For R-Star, Taylor (1993) used trend GDP growth, which stood at 2.2% between 1984 and 1992. Incidentally, the same estimate of R-Star stands even a bit higher between 1984 and 2016.

The standard Taylor rule shown in Figure 1 uses a 2% R-Star, core PCE inflation (green line in Figure 2), and the output gap proposed by Yellen (2016). This output gap (blue line in Figure 2) is based on the unemployment rate using Okun’s law with an estimate of the long-run NAIRU. This output gap measure declines following the outbreak of the financial crisis reaching a trough of -8% in 2010, and it has just been closed in 2016.

Figure 2 Output gap estimates and PCE-inflation (core)

Medium-run equilibrium rates

The Yellen Taylor rule instead uses estimates of the equilibrium real rate based on a methodology as appears in Laubach and Williams (2003) and Holston et al. (2017). (For the calculation, see Beyer and Wieland 2014 and GCEE 2015, 2016.) This is best characterised as a medium-run equilibrium rate. It is estimated within a three-equation model consisting of an aggregate demand curve, an inflation Phillips curve, and a definition linking potential growth and the equilibrium interest rate/R-Star. This setup contains a number of temporary and permament shocks. The estimate of the medium-run equilibrium rate can change substantially within short periods of time. As shown by the orange line in Figure 3, it declined sharply with the recession in 2008/2009 and has hovered near zero since then.

Figure 3 Medium run equilibrium interest rates

Using the estimate of the medium-run equilibrium rate in place of the long-run equilibrium R-Star, the Yellen Taylor rule (green line in Figure 1) results in much lower federal funds rate prescriptions than the standard Taylor rule.

However, the estimates of potential real activity and the output gap obtained with the methodology as in Laubach and Williams (2003) are quite different from those in the Yellen Taylor rule, which are derived from a long-run NAIRU. The medium-run output gap (orange line in Figure 2) declines much less in the 2008/09 recession. The trough occurs at about -2%. The output gap estimate is back in positive territory by 2011. A deeper trough and longer-lasting negative output gap would have implied substantial deflation according to the estimated Phillips curve. Absent deflation, potential is revised down and the output gap is revised upwards. Along with the lower potential and trend growth, the equilibrium rate estimate declines. Consequently, using the consistent medium run estimates of R-Star and the output gap, the federal funds rate prescriptions from the consistent Yellen Taylor rule turns out to be quite a bit higher than when the long-run NAIRU-based output gap is used.

The balanced-approach rule, also considered by Yellen, doubles the coefficient on the output gap to unity. Thus, the interest rate prescriptions from the balanced-approach rule would be even higher. Finally, the change rule uses first-differences, thereby removing R-Star considerations from the formula.

R-Star, reference rules, and Fed independence

In conclusion, with the use of simple reference rules one can illustrate quite clearly the impact of changes in R-Star and potential real activity on the path for monetary policy. In this sense, the comparative approach that would be required under Section 2 of the FORM Act proves quite useful. It also helps pointing out that insisting on consistency in the gap and equilibrium measures has important implications for how to interpret current policy. Specifically, the decline in R-Star estimates does not justify the current policy stance. Rather, consistent application suggests that policy should be tightened. Whether these medium-run estimates, following Laubach and Williams (2003), should really be given so much attention is another question. For one thing, they are extremely imprecise as indicated by the wide confidence bands in Figure 3. They are very sensitive to technical assumptions (Beyer and Wieland 2015, GCEE 2015), as Laubach and Williams (2003) have stressed. Others have pointed to a number of reasons why these estimates may suffer from omitted variable bias (Taylor and Wieland 2016, Cukierman 2016). Thus, it would be better not to use them as key determinant of the policy stance.

Importantly, however, these comparisons of Fed policy to simple reference rules show how such legislation would serve to bolster the Federal Reserve’s independence. Just imagine, if ever a president would try to exert pressure on the Fed to keep interest rates too low for too long in order to boost activity during his or her term and improve chances of reelection. This has a name – it’s a political business cycle. Clearly, by referring to such legislation and appropriate reference rules, the Fed would be able to better stand up to such pressure and more effectively communicate its reasons to the public.

References

Beyer, R C M and V Wieland (2015) “Schätzung des mittelfristigen Gleichgewichtszinses in den Vereinigten Staaten, Deutschland und dem Euro-Raum mit der Laubach-Williams-Methode”, GCEE Working Paper 03/2015, Wiesbaden, November.

Cukierman, A (2016) “Reflections on the natural rate of interest, its measurement, monetary policy and the zero bound”, CEPR Discussion paper 11467.

GCEE (2016) “Time for reforms”. Annual economic report, German Council of Economic Experts, 2 November.

GCEE (2015), “Focus on future viability”, Annual economic report, German Council of Economic Experts, 11 November.

Laubach, T and J C Williams (2003) “Measuring the natural rate of interest”, Review of Economics and Statistics, 85(4): 1063-1070.

Holston, K, T Laubach and J C Williams (2017) “Measuring the natural rate of interest: International trends and determinants”, Journal of International Economics, in press.

Taylor, J B and V Wieland (2016) “Finding the equilibrium real interest rate in a fog of policy deviations”, Business Economics, 51(3): 147-154.

Yellen, J (2016) “The economic outlook and the conduct of monetary policy”, Remarks at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Stanford University, 19 January.

Yellen, J (2015) “Normalizing monetary policy: Prospects and perspectives”, Remarks at the conference on New Normal Monetary Policy, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Endnotes

[1] For more information on the legislation and why the Requirements for Policy Rules of the Federal Open Market Committee are supported by leading scholars of monetary economics see here.

[2] This can be found in the third section of the speech under the heading “Evaluating the appropriate stance of monetary policy” (Yellen 2016).

Topics:  Macroeconomic policy Monetary policy

Tags:  Fed, US Federal Reserve System, Janet Yellen, R-Star, Federal Open Market Committee, Taylor rule


          How bank networks amplify financial crises: Evidence from the Great Depression   

How bank networks amplify financial crises: Evidence from the Great Depression

Kris Mitchener, Gary Richardson 28 May 2016

How financial networks propagate shocks and magnify recessions is of interest to both scholars and policymakers. The financial crisis of 2007-8 convinced many observers that financial networks were fragile, and while reforms are underway, much remains to be learned about how and why connections between financial firms matter for the macroeconomy. Indeed, the complexity and sheer number of linkages has made it particularly challenging to formulate empirical estimates of their role in amplifying downturns.

Economic theory suggests many channels through which networks may transmit shocks (Allen and Gale 2000, Cabellero and Simesek 2013) and empirical research has provided some evidence of contagious failures flowing through interbank markets, particularly for the recent financial crisis in the US and Europe (Puhr et al. 2012, Fricke and Lux 2012). History should have a lot to say about the role of networks in contributing to the severity of financial crises, but it is a surprisingly lightly studied aspect of earlier periods of financial turmoil – even for well-researched episodes such as the Great Depression. This lacuna exists despite the fact that financial networks of the past may be simpler in structure, thus making it somewhat easier to identify empirically how aggregate variables, such as lending, were affected when linkages were disrupted.

In a recent paper, we document how the interbank network transmitted liquidity shocks through the US banking system and how the transmission of these shocks amplified the contraction in real economic activity during the Great Depression (Mitchener and Richardson 2016). The paper contributes to the growing literature on financial networks and the real economy, illuminating both a mechanism for transmission (interbank deposits) as well as a source of amplification (balance-sheet effects). It also introduces an additional channel through which banking distress deepened the Great Depression and complements existing research on how bank distress during the Great Depression influenced the real economy.

We describe how a pyramid-like structure of interbank deposits developed in the 19th century, how the founding of the Fed altered the holdings of these deposits, and how this structure then influenced real economic activity during periods of severe distress, such as banking panics (Mitchener and Richardson 2016). The interbank network that existed on the eve of the Great Depression linked large money centre banks in New York and Chicago to tens of thousands of smaller rural banks throughout the US. The money centre banks served as correspondents holding deposits from institutions in the countryside. Interbank balances exposed correspondent banks to shocks afflicting banks in the hinterland. Interbank deposits were a liquid source of funds that could be deployed to meet sudden demands by depositors to convert claims to cash, and the removal of these deposits from correspondent banks peaked during periods that contemporary commentators described as – and that our detailed statistical analysis of bank suspensions confirms were – banking panics. Although the pyramided system of interbank deposits could handle idiosyncratic bank runs, when runs clustered in time and space (i.e. when panics occurred) the system became overwhelmed in the sense that banks higher up the pyramid were forced to adjust to these changes in liabilities by changing their assets (i.e. lending).

We use the timing and location of these panics to statistically identify the causal relationship between panics, deposit withdrawals, and the decline in lending that occurred in banks in reserve and central reserve cities throughout the US. During periods identified as panics, withdrawals of interbank deposits forced correspondent banks to reduce lending to businesses. These interbank outflows led to a substantial decline in aggregate lending, equal to approximately 15% of the total decline in commercial bank lending in the US, from the peak in 1929 to the trough in 1933.

Ironically, the Federal Reserve System had been created with the purpose of preventing crises such as those that had regularly plagued the banking system in the 19th century. We help to explain why the Fed failed to fulfil this basic responsibility. Because the Fed failed to convince roughly half of all commercial banks to join the system, a pyramided-structure of reserves persisted into the third decade of the 20th century and created a channel through which the interbank deposit could influence real economic activity. In theory, pyramided reserves could have been deployed to help troubled banks, but during the banking panics of the 1930s, just as in the panics of the late 19th century, the total size of these withdrawals overwhelmed correspondent banks, leaving those banks with the choice of either saving themselves, contracting on the asset side of their balance sheets, or borrowing from the Fed. With the Fed unable or unwilling to provide sufficient liquidity to support distressed correspondent banks, they were forced to react to interbank outflows by reducing lending, thus amplifying the decline in investment spending. Although the mechanism is new, our results corroborate other studies on the Depression, which emphasise how banking distress reduced loan supply (Bernanke 1983, Calomiris and Mason 2003b).

What might have alleviated this problem? One solution would have been for the Federal Reserve to extend sufficient liquidity to the entire financial system. The Fed could have done this by lending funds to banks in reserve centres. In turn, those banks could have loaned funds to their interbank clients. To do this, banks in reserve centres would have had to accept as collateral loans originated by non-member banks. Banks in reserve centres would, in turn, need to use those assets as collateral at the Federal Reserve’s discount window. However, leaders of the Federal Reserve disagreed about the efficacy and legality of such action.

Another potential solution would have been to compel all commercial banks to join the Federal Reserve System and require all commercial banks to hold their reserves at a Federal Reserve Bank. Due to powerful political lobbies representing state and local bankers, however, Congress was unwilling to contemplate legislation that would have effected such changes. Had they done so, the pyramid structure of required reserves would have ceased to exist, and the interbank amplifier, as defined here, would have been dramatically diminished. That said, given the inaction of some Federal Reserve Banks during the 1930s, had such changes taken place, they may have magnified banking distress as more banks would have depended on obtaining funds through Federal Reserve Banks that adhered to the real bills doctrine. As we show, the costs of the pyramid in terms of a contraction in lending were substantial, but banks still met some of their short-term needs through this structure during the turbulent periods of banking distress.

References

Allen, F and D Gale (2000) “Financial contagion,” Journal of Political Economy 108:1-33.

Bernanke, B S (1983) “Nonmonetary effects of the financial crisis in the propagation of the Great Depression”, American Economic Review, 73(3): 257-276.

Caballero, R J and A Simsek (2013) "Fire sales in a model of complexity", The Journal of Finance, 68(6): 2549-2587.

Calomiris, C W and J R Mason (2003b) “Consequences of bank distress during the Great Depression”, American Economic Review, 93: 937-47.

Fricke, D and T Lux (2012) “Core-periphery structure in the overnight money market: Evidence from the e-MID trading platform”, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Working Paper No 1759.

Mitchener, K and G Richardson (2016) “Networked contagion and interbank amplification during the Great Depression”, CEPR Discussion Paper 11164.

Puhr, C, R Seliger and M Sigmund (2012) “Contagiousness and vulnerability in the Austrian interbank market”, OeNB Financial Stability Report, No 24, Oesterreichische Nationalbank.

Topics:  Economic history Financial regulation and banking Global crisis

Tags:  US, Great Depression, networks, financial network, banks, banking system, Fed, banking network, liquidity shocks, reserves


          Short-sighted monetary policy and fear of liftoff   

Short-sighted monetary policy and fear of liftoff

Athanasios Orphanides 11 November 2015

Monetary policy operates in an uncertain environment with long and variable lags. Different macroeconomists and policy advisers can reasonably have different views about what would be the most appropriate monetary policy strategy at any moment in time and differ on their views on the appropriate policy setting. This is often cited to justify different views about the stance of monetary policy. There is little disagreement, however, that monetary policy works best when it is systematic and avoids short-sighted, seat-of-the-pants discretionary decision making that places undue importance on perceived short-term gains and ignores larger long-term costs.

The Federal Reserve, like other central banks, has been granted operational independence to protect against political pressures that constitute one source of unsystematic short-sighted policy. The risks are well understood. However, Federal Reserve policymakers retain immense discretionary power and, as the history of the Federal Reserve suggests, Federal Reserve policymakers have often used that power inappropriately, adopting policies that placed excessive emphasis on perceived short-term gains.

The Great Inflation serves as an important example. For over a decade, the Federal Reserve pursued inappropriately-expansionary monetary policy focusing on short-term gains on employment and growth. The excessive focus on employment gains resulted in greater economic instability, higher inflation and lower growth. For a generation following the Great Inflation, under the leadership of Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve followed a more systematic policy approach based on the premise that the best way the Federal Reserve could contribute to long-term sustainable employment and growth was by protecting price stability over the long- term. The Great Moderation, a period of low inflation and greater economic stability reflected in large part the systematic nature of monetary policy.

Post Crisis

Following the crisis, the Federal Reserve has followed a different approach. In the past few years, the Federal Reserve has once again started placing undue emphasis on short-term employment. The sustained reduction in the rate of unemployment appears to have become the guiding principle of monetary policy. Long after the end of the recession, reducing unemployment served as the justification for QE3, a policy that expanded the Fed’s balance sheet by 1.5 trillion dollars over a period of two years. And this year, six years after the end of the recession, and despite larger declines in the unemployment rate than projected by the policymakers themselves, the Fed has been unable to even begin the process of policy normalisation.

A short-termist mentality is the antithesis of systematic monetary policy. The fear of liftoff exhibited in Fed decisions suggests a return to the unsystematic, short-term oriented policy approach pursued before the Great moderation. This should be a cause of great concern.

Current policy

So what’s wrong with current policy? Let’s first reflect on inflation, the one and only thing that the Fed can control in the long run. Since the start of the crisis in 2008, core measures of inflation have been moving roughly sideways. Core inflation has not fallen as much as many feared at the beginning of the crisis and is only slightly below the Fed’s target. This can justify the maintenance of somewhat accommodative monetary conditions. The issue is whether this can be used to justify the continuation of the unprecedented accommodation the Fed has engineered not only during the recession, but since then. The short-term real interest rate has remained significantly negative for many years, much longer than in any recession in the past several decades. In addition, the expansion of the balance sheet has added to this accommodation what may be the equivalent of a few hundred basis points of additional easing.

What about the real economy? The Fed was correct in responding aggressively to the downturn in 2008. In my view, the Fed deserves credit for that policy easing. The problem at present is that the Fed has been unable, unwilling or reluctant to begin the process of normalisation.

The economy recovered from the Great Recession long ago and labour markets are not far from normal. For those who measure slack in terms of deviations of the unemployment rate from measures of the natural rate of unemployment, the economy is very close and perhaps beyond full employment, depending on the estimates. The unemployment rate is at 5.1, within the central tendency of FOMC members, according to the latest Survey of Economic Projections. (The latest survey reports the central tendency as 4.9-5.2 – see Federal Reserve Board 2015.)

There is disappointment that real GDP growth has been subdued, that productivity is lower than what was hoped. However, given the rapid improvement in employment markets, this appears to reflect lower trend productivity and lower potential output growth. We may all wish for better trend productivity and should lobby for better fiscal and structural policies to encourage higher long-term productivity and growth but higher trend productivity is not something the Fed can deliver. The best way the Fed can contribute to long-term growth is by following a systematic policy that defends price stability over the medium and long term.

With the economy close to full employment, the currently massive degree of policy accommodation cannot be justified. The process of policy normalisation should have started long ago. Liftoff is not the end of accommodative conditions. Liftoff was needed to prevent an overheating in labour markets that would threaten longer term stability.

Why would systematic policy need to begin the process of normalisation before inflation concerns become immediate? Is tighter policy justified, given that core inflation measures are somewhat below the Fed’s target?

The Fed should retain a somewhat accommodative stance given that inflation is somewhat below its target.  However, this cannot be used as an excuse to retain the massive accommodation that was engineered to fight the recession years ago.

Monetary policy operates with long and variable lags. According to some Fed models, the maximum effect is around two years after a policy action. The Fed has been adding accommodation with quantitative easing up until less than a year ago, which will continue to stimulate the economy and push inflation upward well into 2016.  Policy needs to be pre-emptive. The degree of policy accommodation should be reduced to avoid an overheated economy which would surely destabilise inflation and make a recession more likely (for a more detailed exposition, see Orphanides 2015).

Concluding remarks

The costs of further delay in normalising policy will not be felt in the next year or two. The success of the Fed under Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan in anchoring inflation expectations serves as a shield. Given the long lags in the monetary policy process, even major mistakes at present are unlikely to have large destabilising effects on price stability in the next year or two. Short-sighted policies always shift costs into the future.

The need for a somewhat accommodative policy cannot be used to defend the current non-systematic policy and excessive emphasis on short-term employment gains. First and foremost, the Fed should take a long view and return to a systematic policy approach that preserves and defends price stability. As Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan kept reminding us over a generation while cleaning up the mess that short-sighted policies created before their chairmanships, this is best way monetary policy can contribute to enhancing growth and employment in the long run.

References

Federal Reserve Board (2015) Economic Projections of Federal Reserve Board Members and Federal Reserve Bank Presidents, September 2015.

Orphanides, A (2015) “Fear of liftoff: Uncertainty, rules, and discretion in monetary policy normalization”, Federal Reserve of St Louis Review, 97(3): 173-96. 

Topics:  Macroeconomic policy Monetary policy

Tags:  Federal Reserve, Fed, central bank, central banking, unemployment, liftoff, monetary policy, macroeconomics, Great Recession, inflation, policy normalisation


          The enduring structure of the Federal Reserve System: Is it time to redraw the map?   

The enduring structure of the Federal Reserve System: Is it time to redraw the map?

Matthew Jaremski, David Wheelock 25 October 2015

The Federal Reserve System was established in 1914 as a confederation of 12 regional districts, each with its own Reserve Bank. A Reserve Bank Organisation Committee (RBOC), comprised of the Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Agriculture, and Comptroller of the Currency, was appointed to select the cities for Reserve Banks and to set district boundaries. The Reserve Banks remain in the 12 cities selected by the RBOC and, except for a few minor adjustments made early in the system’s history, the borders of the Reserve Districts have never been changed.

The selection of cities for Reserve Banks was controversial in 1914 and remains so today. Seen in Figure 1, the RBOC placed four Reserve Banks within just a few hundred miles of one another in the Northeast, and two Reserve Banks in Missouri; and yet single Reserve Banks serve vast territories in the western two-thirds of the nation. Commentators have long called for a redistribution of Reserve Banks, particularly in light of the shift of US population and economic activity to the South and West that has occurred since 1914 (e.g., Bordo 2015). Richard Shelby (R-AL), chairman of the US Senate Banking Committee, introduced legislation on May 12, 2015 calling for the establishment of an independent commission to review and suggest possible changes to the structure of the Federal Reserve System, including to the number and location of Federal Reserve Banks and district boundaries.

Figure 1. Federal Reserve Districts in 1914

Source: RBOC (1914).

It has long been alleged that political considerations strongly influenced the selection of cities for Reserve Banks (e.g., Willis 1923), though recent scholarship has largely concluded that most of cities chosen for Reserve Banks could be justified on economic grounds (e.g., Binder and Spindel 2013, McAvoy 2006). The Federal Reserve System was established to bring stability to the US banking system, primarily by providing a ready source of liquidity to the commercial banks that joined the Fed System. The Reserve Banks were to be on the front lines, holding the reserves of their member banks, lending to them in emergencies, and operating the payments system. In exchange for purchasing stock in and maintaining a reserve deposit with their local Reserve Bank, members received access to the Fed’s discount window and other services, were paid a dividend, and had a vote in the selection of the Reserve Bank’s board of directors.

Because the Fed’s member banks were both the primary customers and the stockholders of the Reserve Banks, the RBOC gave them a strong voice in choosing where the Reserve Banks were to be located. All national banks (i.e., banks with charters issued by the federal government) were asked to name their top three choices for the location of their Reserve Bank, and those votes appear to have strongly influenced the committee’s decisions. In recent research, we estimate several multivariate regressions of the selection of cities for Reserve Banks and branches, and find that the votes largely explain these selections (Jaremski and Wheelock 2015).1 Further, using voting data aggregated at the county level, we find that the votes go a long way to explaining the boundaries of Federal Reserve districts. Even decisions that today seem questionable, such as the placement of two Reserve Banks in Missouri, seem less so in light of the preferences expressed by national banks at the time (Wheelock 2015).

Our research attempts to explain the votes of national banks for the location of Reserve Banks. Although the votes of individual banks are not available, we find that county-level vote totals are explained well by established correspondent banking relationships. In short, banks appear to have voted for cities where they already had correspondent ties. Cities whose banks already provided services to large numbers of national banks tended to receive more votes, and thus were more likely to be awarded a Reserve Bank or branch office than were other cities.

To a large extent, the Federal Reserve System was placed over the old correspondent banking system it was meant to replace. The major cities in the Northeast—especially New York City, but also Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore—had long been important correspondent banking centres. Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City and Minneapolis were important banking centres in the Midwest, and San Francisco was dominant on the West Coast. All of these cities, save for Baltimore, was given a Reserve Bank.2

More Reserve Banks were placed in the eastern half of the nation than in the west for two reasons:

  1. Eastern cities received far more votes from national banks than cities in the West and South; and,
  2. The Federal Reserve Act stipulated that each Reserve Bank have a minimum capitalisation paid in by its member banks.

Given the sparse population of national banks (and people) in the South and West, shown in Figure 2, Federal Reserve districts in those regions had to be larger than those of the Midwest and Northeast simply to amass enough capital to organise a Reserve Bank. Further, the RBOC may have put more Reserve Banks in the Northeast to reduce the dominance of the banks in New York City, the nation’s financial capital.

Figure 2. National bank locations in 1914

Source: Comptroller of the Currency (1915).

Should there be more Reserve Banks in the West and South?

The question remains whether there should now be more Reserve Banks in the West or South, either by moving some from the Northeast or establishing new districts. The shift of population and economic activity to the West and South since 1914 suggests that were the locations of Reserve Banks and district boundaries set today, the Federal Reserve System map would look very different than the one shown in Figure 1.

The Federal Reserve map has not changed significantly in 100 years, but both the mission and the technology of central banking have changed dramatically. In the early days, when the Fed’s interactions with its member banks were conducted mainly in person or through the mail, minimising transportation times between Reserve Bank offices and member banks was crucial for performing the system’s mission as lender of last resort and for operating the payments system efficiently.

Today most of the interactions between the Reserve Banks and commercial banks are electronic, so close proximity to a Reserve Bank or branch is no longer important for most member banks. Moreover, the Reserve Banks now play a significant role in monetary policymaking—a concept not contemplated by the Fed’s founders.

Concluding remarks

Although the Fed’s decentralised structure arguably promotes good policymaking by helping to ensure that different points of view are heard and different regions of the country are represented, modern communications technology reduces the need for physical proximity to a Reserve Bank.

Probably more important than the physical locations of Reserve Banks is the distribution of monetary policymaking authority on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Some argue that the Reserve Banks outside of New York should have a stronger voice on the FOMC (e.g., Fisher 2015), while others propose to weaken or even remove altogether the Reserve Banks from monetary policymaking. Those who favour a continued or expanded role for the Reserve Banks contend that the system’s regional diversity and political independence contribute to better policymaking. A system that is responsive to differing economic conditions that might exist across the regions of a large and diverse nation was certainly a principle on which the Federal Reserve was established.

Disclaimer: The views in this column are solely those of the authors and should not be interpreted as reflecting the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis or of any other person associated with the Federal Reserve System.

References

Binder, S and M Spindel (2013) "Monetary politics: Origins of the Federal Reserve", Studies in American Political Development, 27: 1-13.

Bordo, M D (2015) “Some historical reflections on the governance of the Fed”, presented at a Hoover Institution conference on Central bank governance and oversight reform: A policy conference, May 21.

Comptroller of the Currency (1915) Annual report of the comptroller of the currency, Washington: Government Printing Office.

Fisher, R (2015) "Suggestions after a decade at the Fed”, remarks before the Economic Club of New York, New York City: February 11.

Jaremski, M and D C Wheelock (2015) “Banker preferences, interbank connections, and the enduring structure of the Federal Reserve System”, NBER, WP No. 21553, September.

McAvoy, M (2006) "How were the Federal Reserve Bank locations selected?" Explorations in Economic History, 43: 505-526.

Odell, K A and D F Weiman (1998) "Metropolitan development, regional financial centers, and the founding of the Fed in the Lower South", The Journal of Economic History, 58: 103-125.

Reserve Bank Organisation Committee (1914) Decision of the Reserve Bank Organisation Committee determining the Federal Reserve Districts and the location of Federal Reserve Banks under the Federal Reserve Act Approved December 23, 1913.

Wheelock, D C (2015) “Economics and politics in selecting Federal Reserve Cities: Why Missouri has two reserve banks”, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, 4th Quarter.

Willis, H P (1923) The Federal Reserve System, legislation, organisation and operation, New York: Ronald Press.

Footnotes

1 Odell and Weiman (1998), McAvoy (2006) and Binder and Spindel (2013) also report evidence that the votes strongly influenced selection outcomes.

2 Baltimore is an interesting case. Although national banks had far more correspondent ties to Baltimore than to Richmond, Richmond received more first-choice votes and was selected for the district’s Reserve Bank.

Topics:  Economic history Financial regulation and banking

Tags:  Fed, the Fed, Federal Reserve System, reserve bank, reserve, US, history, banking, population density, monetary policy


          Comment on SBC Seminary enrollment wars and other interesting data points by Louis   
My perception is that each seminary has its own flavor, so to speak, and for me that is fine. There are issues of regionalism, emphasis, and personality that affect all of these things. SWBTS had really high enrollment numbers for years because of the perception that a student could attend there and not be awash in liberalism, which was stronger at Southern and SEBTS. New Orleans, GG, and MWBTS were seen as more regional, I suppose. The founding of the seminary at Baylor had a big impact on SWBTS. Also, Reformed theology is the rage with young people, and SWBTS is decidedly not that. I don't believe the dust ups over hiring and "prayer languages" have really affected SW all that much. I have never met a young person who told me they chose Southern, MW, GG, or SE over SW because of that. They may have chosen more liberal schools in TX over SW for different reasons. But if they did, I would want to know for certain why if I was ever going to hire any of them. The SBC churches should guard their doors very carefully to see that neoorthodoxy and/or some political emphasis that is exchanged for Gospel ministry do not creep back in. In my view, those dangers are very present.
          Comment on We Still Celebrate Independence Day at Church (by Dean Stewart) by Jim Perry   
Hey Dave Miller Todd Benkert Brent Hobbs, this started as a comment on the post about patriotic services, but grew so long in the telling that it seemed less appropriate as such. Would it pass muster as a regular piece on the blog as the other side of the argument? ####### I was a worship leader on staff at a church the last two years. I have seen two 4th's of July come and go, and I never did even one patriotic song. Pastor mentioned it and maybe preached on how to live as Christians in this country, but we didn't do patriotic stuff, and in fact, I never heard a complaint for not doing it. And we're in the middle of Indiana, which is hardly any less patriotic than anyone else. I have said in the past, perhaps glibly, "I'm here to worship God, not America." That's how I see it, personally. But there is so much to deal with on this issue, and it really is a matter of the conscience, certainly not a salvation issue, or perhaps not even a right or wrong issue, though I suppose we only come to positions we believe are right and correct. I don't hate anyone who thinks differently, and I don't get angry over it. But here, perhaps, is a suitable explanation of my perspective. The first principle is that it is incumbent upon those of us in leadership to aim for the higher ideal, closer to the heart of God, and lead our people there. With regard to the "meat sacrificed to idols" topic, much is made of the "brother with the weaker conscience," but wherein is the strengthening of that conscience? If it is permissible to eat that meat, but we abstain from doing it in front of the weaker brother, are we not to educate said brother and strengthen him so that he agrees with the Lord, "Why call unclean what I have made unclean?" I don't believe the Apostle was advocating for leaving said brother in his "weaker" state. We absolutely have to analyze why we think the way we think, in all areas. To find the roots of our sentiments and judge them valid or invalid. First is an appreciation for the undertaking that won us our liberty from Great Britain. I love the Revolutionary War period of history. I will gobble that stuff up. Every 4th of July I make my kids sit down and watch The Patriot, with John Williams' beautiful score (my son's named after the guy), and that overwhelming sense of national pride. This and the founding documents are essential to understanding how and why we became who we are as Americans, and Who through His divine Providence made us free. Second is our contemporary sentiments regarding this country, which are largely generational. We are nearing the time when the veterans of World War II will no longer be among us. It was the last war that I believe we fought on entirely just grounds (save for the first Gulf War, which really was no war, but a brief armed incursion to remove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait). Many thousands of people died to liberate the European continent and the Pacific theater from near global tyranny. The industry of war finally brought us out of the Depression (which FDR had unnecessarily perpetuated with his disastrous economic policies). It brought us together as a nation for a common purpose. It made us proud to be Americans. We were the good guys for real. We did something really GOOD, and that was something to celebrate. The World War II generation may be nearly lost to us, but their children remain. They were raised in a country steeped in this good patriotism. My Grandfather was of the World War II generation, and several of you are Boomers, so we are not so far removed from that time we did something truly good. We know and believe what we are taught, and we naturally gravitate toward the familiar. So it is with no great burden that we dutifully recite the Pledge of Allegiance, we stand for the National Anthem with our hands on our hearts, we vote because we believe we should, and we say our troops our "defending our freedom." However, I am reminded of a couple things from Eisenhower's farewell address. Who better to draw from than a man who embraced, and served with distinction in, all spheres of his life? The first is this: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together." We have been so very fortunate that those at the head of the "military-industrial complex" have not sought misplaced power. Our military brass have respected the chain of command, and I agree that all who have served deserve our honor and respect. The problem is that there has been a "disastrous rise of misplaced power" in our politicians, and all our Presidents since Eisenhower have been looking, in one form or another, for that next great military victory that all Americans can again be unified in celebrating. Trust me when I say that I am not being glib in asking this question, and it is not a reflection on our troops or their commanders, but rather the bureaucrats who command them. Are they really sent to defend our freedom? Were they defending *our* freedom when they were sent to Vietnam, Grenada, Kosovo, Iraq or Somalia? Our military has been sent into action after questionable action, without Constitutionally appropriate declarations of war from Congress, and then when they are sent in, the execution of the action so often becomes subject to political calculation and partisan whim. We all know too well the sins of Vietnam. I now fear my children desiring to serve in the military, and would counsel them against it. I didn't always feel this way. The second Eisenhower quote is this: "As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow." Sadly, the World War II generation gave us a great tragedy along with a great victory. That tragedy was the vast behemoth of FDR's government, which threw out the window every great thing that President Coolidge achieved (or left alone) when he vastly reduced the size, scope and budget of the Federal Government. That World War II generation, and now the Boomers, are beginning to rely on a government program that has itself become insolvent, and may in fact become a "phantom" tomorrow. With the national debt now having increased 800% (!!!!!) since 1980, vastly out-gaining inflation of just over 212%, our government has truly mortgaged the material assets of our grandchildren. By allowing Marxist Socialism into our government and allowing the Federal Government to exceed its Constitutional bounds, we have lost our political heritage. And who would be culpable in a nation that has lost its spiritual heritage? Perhaps the American Church which has largely worshiped our "Christian" Nation? Examine your own hearts in this regard. How many times to we misappropriate 2 Chronicles 7:14 for America? This is not a promise from the Lord to heal our land, but Israel. And under the New Covenant we are spiritually grafted into Israel, which is a *spiritual* Israel. Psalm 81:13 says, "If only my people would listen to me and Israel would follow my ways." God is not going to heal America, no matter how much we ask him. He is interested in the hearts of men and women, and he judged harshly the nations whose god was themselves. So when you raise up America in the focal place where God is worshiped, how can he be pleased? This is what bothers me about Awana or RA’s/GA’s (if anyone does that still). We teach kids not only to do the Pledge of Allegiance–which, secularly speaking, is good insofar as we do not seek to undermine the country whose benefits we enjoy–but then a made-up pledge to the Bible, which the Lord doesn’t command we do, and a made-up pledge for a made-up “Christian” flag, which to me, raising a flag for Jesus that Jesus didn’t institute is an abomination. It's an offensive trivialization of the Faith. We lift up the Savior, not a flag. Yes, we ought to be grateful that God gave us this country to live in, where our ancestors settled to be free to worship as they saw fit. Yes we have been blessed by God, but we have taken that blessing and grown fat and lazy. We have "done evil in the sight of the Lord," and not just "those sinners" who practice abortion and homosexuality, but also "us Christians" who gossip, covet, hate and worship idols. None of this should be taken as hatred for America, but rather we all ought to cultivate a healthy sense of ambivalence to it. And I mean 'healthy.' We have liberties and we should *use* them, even as many of them are slowly eroded away. We must participate in the electoral process, but always demanding the best of our politicians. We should lobby our government for "redress of grievances" as is appropriate. We should not speak evil of her but speak truthfully about the evils within her, and most especially in our own house. We should recognize the erosion of civility with the increase in partisanship and become less partisan ourselves because Jesus is our King, and His is our Kingdom. With the celebration of our founding comes lament in that we have allowed this country to fall so far from it. In conclusion, I do not feel patriotic observances are wrong. It is not sinful to honor the people who have served in our military. Have the picnics. Have the fireworks. Sing the songs, honor those who died in service to another, and celebrate the founding of "the last best hope of man on earth." But consider carefully whether it ought to take the place of our singing to the Lord, and singing of him only, and preaching of his Word rather than overlaying it with a flag. To present this as a function of our worship service is wrong, in my view. It is not hope on earth we are trying to secure, but hope in the life to come.
          Aug 24th: Scottish Government Have Done Us Proud Over Lockerbie But They Need To Go Further   


I'm proud that Kenny MacAskill and the Scottish government stood firm against US threats and bullying (albeit muted threats, and perhaps relief paraded as "outrage" that Megrhai's legal appeal against conviction has been stopped in its tracks before the conviction was overturned in court).

But the Scottish government have only done half the job. If there is no public inquiry into the 1988 Lockerbie bombing then the real bombers of Pan Am Flight 103 will have got away with it, the victims families will have been conned, and the Scottish government will have given in to the US/UK governments pressure to cover up what really happened.

The hidden agenda that led to the UK and US intelligence services framing of Al-Meghrahi and Libya is still being suppressed in the mainstream Scottish media. The real culprits - which most independent investigations have named very specifically as a Palestinian terrorist cell based in Germany and headed by Hafez Dalkamonim (part of Ahmed Jibril's PFLP group as it was back then) have never stood trial for this inhuman crime. Its about time they did if justice is to be done.

I hope the Scottish government press on and bring out the truth in court. It will mean embarrassing the UK and British governments for their complity in fabricating evidence and putting on a show trial in the Netherlands with a pre-arranged verdict. It will also mean putting the CIA and FBI in the dock and unmasking some fairly sordid power games being played out in the Middle East in the late 80/early 90s.

Have the SNP's minority government got the guts to do that in the teeth of international pressure? PLus relentless hostility from the entire Scottish, British and American corporately-owned media? I suspect not but the Scottish government have shown some remarkable resilience and independence of thought this last week so you never know.

A QUESTION...

Why has this important news story in yesterday's Scottish Sunday Mail- which exonerates Megrahi and Libya - been given almost no coverage by BBC Scotland, STV News, and today's Herald and Scotsman?

CIA spook says Megrahi was freed before appeal humiliated justice system (Sunday Mail, 22nd Aug 2009)

Even Murdoch's flagship Sunday smelled a rat: US blamed Iran for Lockerbie bomb (Sunday Times, 16th Aug 2009)

An excellent insightful column today from one of Scotland's best (of a bad bunch admittedly) political analysts: Open season on MacAskill after Megrahi’s release (The Herald, 24th Aug 2009)
          July 23rd: The Great Swine Flu Panic Of 2009   


It seems to me that swine flu has gotten off very lightly when it comes to conspiracy theories. Surely shome mishtake there. Let's help get the ball rolling...

THE FACTS:

1. GlaxoSmithKline announced yesterday that they are raking in £3bilion profits from swine flu drugs this year alone. ("Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline predicts swine flu gold rush" Guardian, 22nd July 2009)

2. The chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, Andrew Witty, said the company had been preparing for a pandemic for the last three-and-a-half years and had spent more than £1bn to ensure its factories could crank up production at short notice. (Ditto above)

3. In November 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush requested that Congress fund $7.1 billion in emergency spending for flu pandemic preparedness (the Senate had already passed an $8.1 billion bill). Bush's plan included $1.4 billion for government purchases of antiviral drugs. (From here).

4. The leading anti-flu drug being stockpiled is Tamiflu - produced by Roche pharmateuticual company and developed by Gilead Sciences. Former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was a former chairman of Roche and is a substantial shareholder in Gilead Sciences. ("Donald Rumsfeld's Controversial links to drug company" Daily Mail, 2nd May 2009)


5. From a purely British perspective, the media isnt talking about MPs expenses, Fred the Shred, executive bonuses, and bank bail outs anymore. The bastards have all got away with lining their pockets at the tax payers expense. The media have swum like a shoal of docile complicit goldfish to the next pond.

THE REALITY?

"Swine flu in Scotland may have peaked" Guardian, 23rd July 2009

A LONE VOICE AMONG THE BEWILDERED STAMPEDING HERD?


"Just two months of swine flu sniffles, and madness reigns" Simon Jenkins, Guardian, 22nd July 2009

THE GREAT BIRD FLU PANIC OF 2005

Anyone remember "bird flu"? A World Health Organisation official predicted 150 million deaths from a bird flu pandemic. ("WHO tries to play down expert warning of 150 million deaths from flu pandemic" Independent, 1st Oct 2005)

Bird flu was going to kill 750,000 of us according to the UK government's chief medical office/panic merchant Sir Liam Donaldson. On his advice the UK government ordered 14.6 million doses of Tamiflu in 2005.

Full credit to Sir Liam though, he cautiously rounded the panic down to just 65,000 deaths for swine flu. ("Swine flu could kill 65,000 in UK, warns chief medical officer" Guardian, 16th July 2009)

PANIC STATIONS! THE ARBROATH CONNECTION

"It emerged yesterday that the Arbroath FC midfielder Robert Urquhart had been diagnosed with swine flu after returning from a holiday in Ibiza."
SCOTSMAN, 4th JULY 2009

"Bird Flu panic hit close to home at the weekend when a flock of 20 hens was abandoned in woods near Arbroath and had to be destroyed."
THE ARBROATH HERALD AND GAZETTE, 14th APRIL 2006

Makes ye wonder.
          July 13th: The best £790 of tax payers money claimed on any MP's expenses   

Scotland's very own village idiot, Lord George Foulkes, has submitted a complaint to the London Parliament's standards commisioner. His beef is about the £790 legal expenses claimed by Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, for his part in the public spirited and very honourable attempt to have Tony Blair impeached for misleading the House of Commons prior to the military attack on Iraq in 2003.

You gotta laugh. This will be the same Lord Foulkes who claimed £45,000 expenses whilst on House of Lords duty (in 2005 & 2006) to stay in a London flat he inherited from his mother! Then, between April 2007 and March 2008, Foulkes claimed a further £54,527 expenses for House of Lords duty. This was at time he was supposed to be representing those who elected him as an MSP to the Scottish Parliament in May 2007 (another huge salary, more expenses).

Lord Foulkes needed the tax payer to stump up right enough. He was skint. During 2005/2006 he only made £400,000 profit from wheeling and dealing on the property market. And with the loose change in his piggy bank His Lordship managed to invest a further £600,000 in two other properties (paid for in cash).

And as for the miserly £50,000 per annum salary he drew for being a director and "political consultant" with Carrick Court Associates? Pah, it was hardly worth getting out of bed for. The £500 per week he was paid for a weekly column in the Edinburgh Evening News writing about Heart of Midlothian? The man was dispensing his words of wisdom on the cheap.

Lest we forget Lord Foulkes is currently still an elected MSP at Holyrood while also serving in the House of Lords. How he finds time to fill in so many expenses forms remains a mystery. How he's got the brass neck to attack Alex Salmond's legitimate claim takes the Kit Kat.
          June 26th: The Industrial Dancebeat Radicalism Of Test Dept.   

My memories of Test Dept. go back to the Miners Strike of 84-85, and the Thatcher era, when their intense clanking metallic tribal rhythms could often be heard at the head of marches and protests and political rallies. They were a radical socialist collective of unemployed Glaswegians at the time.

In the 90s I got to know some of their former members, including, Angus Farquhar and Graham Cunnington. Angus and Graham are two of the most talented and creative individuals I've ever met. Everything they've been involved with since Test Dept has been exceptional.

If I had to choose the most memorable cultural events I've been to in the last two decades at the the top of the list would be Graham's autobiographical show 'Pain' at the Traverse Theatre and Angus's NVA event 'The Path' (May 2000) - a Himalayan midnight extravaganza in Glen Lyon. Unforgettable. Genius. Breathtaking. Such superlatives don't do either event justice.

Over the years I've been searching around online for the music of Test Dept, usually to little avail. But now, thanks entirely to TB at SFRP, I've now got hold of most of the official Test Dept. singles and albums. They still sounds great, bringing back a few memories, and the band's musical evolution between 1981-1997 is both intriguing and groundbreaking.

Just to show how good they were if you go into the Comments you'll find Rapidshare link for the following 12 releases:

Test Dept - Compulsion (1983)
Test Dept - Beating A Retreat (1984)
Test Dept - Shoulder To Shoulder (1984)
Test Dept - Atonal and hamburg live (1985)
Test Dept - A Good Night Out (1987)
Test Dept - The Unacceptable Face Of Freedom (1987)
Test Dept - Victory (1987)
Test Dept - Natura Victus (1988)
Test Dept - Terra Firma (1988)
Test Dept - Gododdin (1989)
Test Dept - Pax Britannica (1990)
Test Dept - Tactics for Evolution (1997)


See Comments for download links. Enjoy.
          Politics | GOP’s Bell Refuses to Provide Info on Spicer Event, Questions Arise About Host and Funding   
RI GOP Chair Brandon Bell, who often berates Democrats for lack of transparency, looks more and more to be taking pages out of the Trump White House game plan this week, refusing basic questions about about upcoming event featuring White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
          Politics | Unfair & Unrealistic Criticism of RI GOP Lawmakers: Guest Mindsetter™ Deckman   
The House Republican caucus recently came under attack for not being more vocal about promoting their pro-taxpayer. pro-small business agenda during the recent budget debate. While I understand the frustration coming from the “audience,” many of who are supporters, I feel compelled to address what I consider to be unfair and even unrealistic criticism. 
          As July Fourth approaches, Americans debate democracy's fate   
In his 4½ years as a state senator from Manhattan, Brad Holyman has handed out everything from flashlights to T-shirts at political rallies. But for a gathering held soon after President Donald Trump's inauguration, he decided on something more substantial: Copies of the Constitution. "My constituents ...
          Hallan graves fallas en pesquisas sobre ejecución arbitraria cometida por soldados en México   

Ciudad de México. Un organismo de derechos humanos en México dijo el viernes que encontró serias fallas en las investigaciones hechas para esclarecer un caso de ejecución extrajudicial ocurrido en 2014 que llevó a la detención de varios soldados y su posterior liberación.

El Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro, conocido como el Centro Prodh, denunció que existen fotografías que muestran la posible manipulación de 19 de los 22 cadáveres que quedaron en el lugar de los hechos, así como la dilación de la fiscalía para esclarecer cuántas personas fueron ejecutadas.

El organismo, que representa a una de los tres sobrevivientes cuya hija fue asesinada junto con otras 21 personas en una bodega del municipio de Tlatlaya (Estado de México), dijo que estas inconsistencias podrían dejar impune el caso.

"Es muy grave que haya una total inacción y omisiones para investigar ... Tenemos claro que hubo una alternación de la escena (del crimen)", dijo a Reuters Gabriela Carreón, una de las abogadas de la organización.

El Prodh denunció discrepancias entre las investigaciones del Ejército y las de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH), entre ellas diferencias en la posición en las que fueron hallados los cadáveres en la escena, así como presencia de armamento aparentemente colocado luego de los asesinatos.

El Ejército no respondió el viernes de inmediato a solicitudes de Reuters para conocer su postura.

El año pasado, un juzgado militar absolvió a seis de los siete soldados involucrados presuntamente en el asesinato de las 22 personas.

Las autoridades mexicanas dijeron en su momento que las personas fallecidas pertenecían presuntamente a bandas de narcotraficantes y que las fuerzas armadas actuaron en defensa propia.

Meses más tarde, medios extranjeros reportaron que había evidencia de que se produjeron ejecuciones extrajudiciales, una versión que después fue ratificada por la CNDH.

Bajada: 
El Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro denunció que existen fotografías que muestran la posible manipulación de 19 de los 22 cadáveres que quedaron en el lugar de los hechos ocurridos en 2014.
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"Es muy grave que haya una total inacción y omisiones para investigar ... Tenemos claro que hubo una alternación de la escena (del crimen)", dijo a Reuters Gabriela Carreón, una de las abogadas de la organización.
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Las autoridades mexicanas dijeron en su momento que las personas fallecidas pertenecían presuntamente a bandas de narcotraficantes y que las fuerzas armadas actuaron en defensa propia.
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          I Gabinete Ministerial Binacional Perú - Chile se realizará en Lima   

Lima. El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores informó este sábado que el Encuentro Presidencial y I Gabinete Ministerial Binacional Perú-Chile se celebrará en la ciudad de Lima el 7 de julio.

Refirió que por motivos de organización y luego de las coordinaciones efectuadas con el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile se adoptó esa decisión. 

El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores detalló que las reuniones técnicas preparatorias a realizarse los días 5 y 6 de julio también se llevarán a cabo igualmente en Lima. 

Como es de conocimiento público, a través de la resolución suprema 132-2017-RE, publicada el 8 de mayo de 2017, se declaró de interés nacional el Encuentro Presidencial y I Gabinete Binacional de Ministros Perú-Chile.

El gabinete binacional entre Perú y Chile fue acordado en la visita oficial que el presidente Pedro Pablo Kuczynski realizó a fines del año pasado a Santiago, donde sostuvo una reunión con su homóloga chilena, Michelle Bachelet.

Bajada: 
La cancillería peruana refirió que por motivos de organización y luego de las coordinaciones efectuadas con el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile se adoptó esa decisión. 
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El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores detalló que las reuniones técnicas preparatorias a realizarse los días 5 y 6 de julio también se llevarán a cabo igualmente en Lima. 
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          Maduro califica de "entrometido" y fracasado" a Santos    

El presidente de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, disparó contra dos sus pares en otro mensaje ante simpatizantes oficialistas, al reclamarle a al estadounidense Donald Trump que “rectifique” sus políticas hacia el país y termine con las “amenazas” y calificar de “entrometido” y “fracasado” al colombiano Juan Manuel Santos.

"¿Podemos hablar? Sí, pero sin amenazas, porque mandan mensajes los funcionarios del Departamento de Estado, 'las cosas están mal y pudieran estar peor', como amenazando. Guárdense sus amenazas, tráguense sus amenazas", dijo Maduro anoche en abierto desafío a Trump.

"Yo le he enviado un mensaje al presidente Donald Trump; sé que ha cometido errores ya en la política internacional, pero no cometa el error que está cometiendo con América Latina y El Caribe, contra Venezuela; rectifique a tiempo su política contra Venezuela, contra Cuba", señaló el mandatario.

En ese mismo encuentro, consignado por las agencias EFE y DPA, Maduro mostró un video en el que se burla del jefe de la Asamblea Nacional (AN, Parlamento), Julio Borges, al que un coronel de la Policía militarizada agredió recientemente, y dijo que esta era la respuesta al "entrometido" Santos.

En el video, también difundido por canales estatales, se alterna la escena ocurrida el martes pasado, en la que el coronel de la Guardia Nacional (GNB) Vladimir Lugo empuja a Borges en la sede del Parlamento con tramos de la serie mexicana “El Chavo”.

"Esa es mi respuesta al Gobierno de Colombia: entrometido, fuera tus manos de Venezuela, presidente Juan Manuel Santos; fracasado", dijo el mandatario.

Bajada: 
El presidente venezolano difundió un video que alterna imágenes de una agresión a un diputado opositor con una escena de la serie méxicana del "Chavo del 8" para arremeter contra el mandatario colombiano.
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"Esa es mi respuesta al Gobierno de Colombia: entrometido, fuera tus manos de Venezuela, presidente Juan Manuel Santos; fracasado", dijo el mandatario.
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          Costa Rica y Nicaragua intentarán resolver sus límites marítimos en Corte Internacional de La Haya   

Costa Rica y Nicaragua se verán desde el lunes y hasta el 13 de julio en la Corte Internacional de Justicia (CIJ) de La Haya, donde buscarán resolver el litigio abierto por una demanda interpuesta por San José sobre los límites marinos en el mar Caribe y en el Pacífico. 

La que se discutirá desde pasado mañana es una nueva querella elevada por el Estado costarricense en febrero del 2014, para que la Corte resuelva las fronteras marítimas ante el fracaso en la búsqueda de un acuerdo bilateral.

Managua y San José consideran que la delimitación que cada uno de los respectivos países estima correcta viola sus soberanías y afecta su espacio marítimo. 

Las diferencias limítrofes entre ambos estados, definidos por algunos de sus líderes políticos como "hermanos siameses", son de vieja data, y se remontan a la puesta en vigencia de los tratados Cañas-Jérez, de 1858.

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Managua y San José consideran que la delimitación que cada uno de los respectivos países estima correcta viola sus soberanías y afecta su espacio marítimo. 
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Las diferencias limítrofes entre ambos estados, definidos por algunos de sus líderes políticos como "hermanos siameses", son de vieja data, y se remontan a la puesta en vigencia de los tratados Cañas-Jérez, de 1858.
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          Cuba dice que su economía marcha de acuerdo con los planes para 2017   

La Habana. El ministro de Economía de Cuba dijo en una reunión del gabinete que la actividad del país marchó en el primer semestre del 2017 de acuerdo con los planes para el año, luego de que en diciembre el Gobierno pronosticó un crecimiento anual cercano al 2%, informó el viernes la prensa local.

Las autoridades cubanas reportaron en diciembre que su economía se contrajo un 0,9% en 2016 debido a que tuvo que lidiar con un menor suministro de petróleo de su principal aliado, Venezuela, una disminución de las exportaciones y la falta de liquidez.

"En aras de cumplir con el Plan, se continúa trabajando en la adopción de medidas para garantizar las actividades priorizadas que aseguran la vitalidad de la economía", dijo el ministro de Economía, Ricardo Cabrisas, citado en los medios estatales.

Diplomáticos occidentales dijeron que aún no hay señales de que los problemas estén disminuyendo. Cuba está enfocada en pagar a los proveedores en tiempo y busca conseguir plazos más largos con sus proveedores.

Se espera que el presidente cubano, Raúl Castro, pronuncie un discurso ante la Asamblea Nacional a mediados de julio en La Habana, en el que informe sobre el estado de la economía.

Cabrisas destacó que sectores como la agricultura, en la cual la producción está aumentando, y el turismo, que continúa creciendo, marchan bien, pese a las estrictas normas de viajes para los estadounidenses anunciadas por el presidente Donald Trump podrían tener un efecto.

Marino Murillo, jefe de la comisión encargada de manejar las reformas para actualizar la economía de estilo soviético, dijo que los agricultores podrían ahora contratar parcelas ociosas de tierra en usufructo durante 20 años en lugar de 10 años.

Desde que el Gobierno decidió en 2008 rentar pequeñas parcelas de tierra ociosas en usufructo a los cubanos, el país ha arrendado 1,9 millones de hectáreas lo que representa el 31 por ciento de las tierras cultivables en la isla, agregó.

Bajada: 
Las autoridades cubanas reportaron en diciembre que su economía se contrajo un 0,9% en 2016 debido a que tuvo que lidiar con un menor suministro de petróleo de su principal aliado, Venezuela, una disminución de las exportaciones y la falta de liquidez.
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"En aras de cumplir con el Plan, se continúa trabajando en la adopción de medidas para garantizar las actividades priorizadas que aseguran la vitalidad de la economía", dijo el ministro de Economía, Ricardo Cabrisas, citado en los medios estatales.
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Se espera que el presidente cubano, Raúl Castro, pronuncie un discurso ante la Asamblea Nacional a mediados de julio en La Haban