Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Discuss political news items / current events.
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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

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Published on
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
byCommon Dreams
Student Activism Pushes UMass to Become First Major Public University to Divest
University president recognizes power of students to make societal change

Thirty-four University of Massachusetts- Amherst students were arrested in April for occupying a campus building during a nonviolent divestment protest. (Photo: Divest UMass)
University of Massachusetts students—who just over one month ago were arrested for demanding that their school divest from fossil fuels—were validated on Wednesday after it was announced that the school would become the first major

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh »

Edwin Jewett is a Massachusetts blogger
who just posted a invaluable data base of links.

Use them wisely
If you go to the original link
seen here you will find all
his website links activated.

http://www.occurrencesforeigndomestic.c ... -the-news/" onclick=";return false;

If you are viewing this, I have withdrawn substantially from the World Wide Web and am busy packing up my household. I may return sporadically with excerpts from old blogs (the more things change, the more they remain the same). I will try to keep myself informed but will at least temporarily stop posting what I found.

In my absence, some readers may want some guidance on how to assemble a digest of the day’s global news. If you are a long-term reader of Occurrences, you probably have a solid sense of how I do it, and you probably have developed your very own approach. Wonderful. Every act, expression or experience here is merely a starting point for you, ingredients for your own creations.

When you first enter “the kitchen of your day” to wonder about what you should prepare for dinner, you have to do a couple of things as preliminary steps. The first is to wake up. Make a really good cup of coffee. Take care of your personal ablutions. Eat something. For me, a cup of coffee and some juice or a cold seltzer/lemonade mixture is always at hand. Two basic links you should know about:" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false; 

Think first about what you “ate” yesterday. What are the top issues of the day politically, in terms of foreign interactions and policies, in terms of cultural movements, or in terms of threats? Yesterday’s diet informs today’s meal choices, sometimes in need for follow-up, sometimes in need for avoidance or change. Sometimes there are leftovers. So you look into the pantry and fridge to see what you have to work with. Pay special attention to your choice of both aperitif and digestif.

For me, the news equivalent of this is to check Google News and/or other actively-updating news aggregation services. Your first mental task is to consider the flavors and biases that come with your choices. Maybe the cooking metaphorical equivalent is that you will want to blanch the asparagus in cold water and lemon juice, and then bring it slowly to a low heat and let it sit before you grill it in olive oil. Google is an extension of the US government and the mind control/panopticon but, for sheer volume and timeliness, it’s hard to surpass. These kinds of sites can let you know what is happening, though you will want to use many sites to find their interpretation. There are others beyond Google. In time I will name some of them. My bias is that I live in America and speak English; I also love jazz, love to cook, hate war and violence, and would prefer to empower people, have a dialogue with them, and break bread together. I rarely read foreign press unless it is prepared with an English equivalent; I look for people who understand and can speak to issues and perspectives that are European (and Europe has many shades on its palette), Russian, and Asian. Russia has several windows through which one can peer. Asian countries have far less. Let us not forget Africa, or Eurasia, or the Indian sub-continent. If you are a reader from a non-US location (and I know I have many such readers), then you must add those sources that you know about and I don’t, especially in regards to local issues, news, events, etc. I’d like you to tell me what the best ones are that you’ve found. Quite obviously, everyone’s tastes and preferences are going to be different; to extend the cooking and recipe metaphor, choose ingredients and spices that are going to be attractive and palatable in your community. 

Part of the game here is the degree to which any country allows its citizens free expression, or has set up barriers to the flow of information. Welcome to the kitchen; the linen closet is in the corner. The dishwashing systems and staff are in the back room.

One of the more popular things I have here at Occurrences is this guide to online news. Mine and yours need regular updating.

Fairly quickly, I open a file. I use templates or master files and always have one ready. I create a new blank and start on it immediately right after I post but before I turn in for the night.

A look at a couple of news aggregators will tell you how the news “meal” will shape up for the day. I go then almost immediately to look at what’s available at I find Wayne refreshing and highly accurate in many ways. As an investigative journalist, he is not afraid to look into dark corners and speak to what he has found. WMR requires a paid subscription but, with his permission, I sometimes package his reports into pdf’s. I try to be judicious about this so as to not take income away; there’s always more at WMR than I extract. Sometimes the bargains are in the basement, and some of his subscribers provide links and are astute and experienced.

I check my e-mail for feeds from other sources. I subscribe for free to I also regularly check out Breaking I believe in taking in as wide a scan of the world as I can, including reading and watching governments, agencies, news outlets, pundits etc. which I find anathema. You are not informed if you do not know where and how they are spending 54 percent of all US federal discretionary spending, if you do not know how and where their resources are being deployed.

I then turn to Kenny’s Sideshow where I can link into his substantial blogroll and that of others. Kenny is dead now but his web site maintains itself neatly. It was through Kenny’s blogroll, which leans heavily towards pro-Palestinian perspectives, that I discovered, whose own daily review I rarely miss; it gets to places I don’t, and it offers up seasoned commentary.

I’d known about Kevin Flaherty’s Cryptogon for years. He is a role model for the rest of us. Some of these web sites I make sure are saved as “favorites” separately lest they fail to update on blogrolls. Quickly you come to understand that many people read the same sources but time lets you see that they found things you didn’t know about. There are also independents like Stephen Lendman who at times can be counted on to crank out two, three or even four columns a day.

The Intercept comes up early as I go down my list, Lots of people are pissed off about their particular style and method of journalism, but they tackle tough topics with stellar writing, and I’m a sucker for stellar writing. In time, I reject those who have been ascertained to be “gatekeepers”, especially those who refuse to discuss or entertain controversial topics, or who berate those who do.

One simple test is the degree to which I am treated in making comments at any given site. I’ve long ago refrained from making widespread comments, There is a overwhelming amount of both ego and reactive antipathy on the World Wide Web.

I rarely miss checking out naked capitalism; morning “links” are usually up by 10 AM and the afternoon version (“Water Cooler”) is up by 2 PM, including weekends for “links”, plus or minus additional stories and commentary. I usually focus on the political stuff, but they also watch economic indicators, stats, trends, monetary policy, etc. They draw from a wide readership who send links and these are from a solid variety of mainstream sources. But lately it’s become obvious that the proprietors there don’t have information about the validity and veracity of those sources which they ought to know, and the commentary is beginning to tilt, and the technical standards in links functionality has sliiped. It is today’s example in how our attitudes toward sites change over time. I’m sure the readers I have today are not the readers I had two months ago.

Everyone (including me) disparages the MSM but, underneath the surface of the glossy propaganda and obvious bias, you can find veins of decent and solid journalistic writing.

Joachim Hagopian has unique credentials and an angry voice and he does good research on topics the mainstream media won’t touch with the proverbial vaulter’s pole. and other sites are always worth a look and some reading. You can’t get poisoned by reading something; an open mind is also one which can cleanse and repair itself. That, in part, is what your glial cells are for.

Places like,," onclick=";return false;," onclick=";return false;,," onclick=";return false;,, and are worthwhile news aggregators." onclick=";return false; offers a distinct Libertarian focus. But…

As is always the case, caveat lector; recently blacklistednews posted a salacious item whose sourced tracked back to Sorcha Faal. If you don’t know who Sorcha Faal is, you are a newbie or are complicit. Snuffy posts a lot of material that comes in from Establishment, CFR and similar sources; nevertheless, she is intelligent and widely-read and nuggets can be found.

If you are “watching” Russia, then you should consider,,, the Saker, and The Kremlin Stooge is at the top of my list; I receive e-mail feeds; Mark Nesop’s writing is regularly outstanding. And don’t forgot John Helmer. ought not to be missed, though he can be somewhat irregular; generally, every other day he posts a new, long and well-honed list of links. covers global warming and the end of the world as we know it from New Zealand, as well as other news, dominantly from sources inside the British Commonwealth circle. covers weather and plate tectonic issues, HAARP games, et alia. My son-law is a marine biologist active at high levels and he agrees with me that global warming is a tool of those with an agenda.

Mike Rivero’s is always worth a glance, but my experience is that some of his feeds from “members” need to be cross-checked. Caveat lector. And his site is littered with “auto-run” pop-up ads. I know it’s expensive to live in Hawai’i but I personally find any intersection of news and profit to be at least a difficult challenge; the best example used to be the ironic and humorous juxtaposition of some ads with some news stories. Today the advertisers control the news product. That’s why I don’t take ad income nor solicit donations.

Professor Michel Chussodovsky’s Center for Research on Globalization, on the other hand, is a noted and trustworthy site with some discernible but minimized bias. is also an excellent site but, along with Global Research, the two stand as examples of sites for which you should become familiar with their rules on re-posting their material.

The left side of the political aisle is well-covered by (which is weekend-heavy),, &

The Corbett Report almost stands alone, though often he stands with Sibel Edmonds.

Catherine Austin Fitts’ is not to be missed. (See also

I used to feel the same way about They are spotty, perhaps because they employ numerous authors. They often have a lot of important and interesting stuff, but …

Information Clearinghouse is solid and always gets a review.

It is difficult to tell at this point who speaks for the Liberty movement or on behalf of the Second Amendment or the Constitution;" onclick=";return false; & sipseystreetirregulars both exist but have been through some tough times and are still transitioning. OathKeepers has written me off several times and in several ways." onclick=";return false; stays stable and offers up good articles. By mid-June, cohesion may have improved. David Codrea, on several sites, intersects and ties in.

It is also difficult to determine the best source of information about 9/11, though research findings, articles and videos appear regularly and haven’t much been refuted by anyone, though there are “arguments” about technologies used; the possibility of infiltration sometimes raises its ugly head in many corners. Watch out for the sayanim. Make sure you have a filter in place to snag the stobor.

News as seen by former military intelligence personnel is covered by several sources; these include and, among others.

In that same vein, but decidely different, is has a focus on the Mideast and Muslim issues and conflicts.

I follow the Twitter feed for Kris Millegan because I’ve read many of the books he’s published at 

I check regularly and

I also get regular e-mail updates from" onclick=";return false;, as well as 

It will serve you well to develop a sense over time as to when and how often these web sites are updated, when they come onto the net with fresh content, etc. You should consider that there is often duplicate posting and coverage.

You should employ a well-maintained “crap detector”. The simplest method is to take a statement or a story and throw it back into a search engine and see who and how it is echoed, was initiated, or if there are counter-claims, and then re-evaluate. I use the old Chinese method: if two sources disagree, you have a diference of opinion; if multiple sources disagree, you have a controversy or maybe a propaganda war; if multiple sources come to the same conclusion over time, you are near the doorway to the truth; keep turning over rocks.

I have often suggested that there be a weekend summit or tele-conference among a small select group of bloggers and alternative media journalists for the purposes of assessing the veracity and validity of sources that are frequently encountered in our system of tubes that, for openers, is heavily controlled and influenced by governments and their paid shills.

I recently encountered James Corbett’s recorded Q&A interview as part of a research project on ‘Mainstream Media Bias and Propaganda’ which, alas, James has seen fit to park behind a paywall. His earlier now-archived podcast episode on “The Myth of Journalistic Objectivity” will have to suffice unless you would like to join his community.

In a similar vein, Bernie Suarez talks with James Tracy [no payment necessary] about “the history and modern dynamics of mass media and propaganda as they relate to government intrigue. James and Bernie also consider how corporate news media function as essentially public relations conduits to present unusual occurrences such as 9/11 and many recent mass shooting events absent any real journalistic inquiry.” “In addition to being a musician, Bernie Suarez is the creator of the Truth and Art TV project, an exciting site combining multimedia with research and analysis of deep issues and events, including geoengineering and the United Nations’ Agenda 21. He is a former US Marine and holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and a doctorate in medicine. Suarez is also the author of a new book, The Art of Overcoming the New World Order.”

If you are reading news and op-ed for yourself, all of this alone is worth some of your time, and takes a lot of it too.

If you are serving news and op-ed to others, then you must take a lesson from some TV cooking shows and think about “presentation” and “plating”. I let the ingredients and the content tell me how to go about this; sometimes I edit for grouping and order. I try to chose main graphics, music and the eventual title almost entirely on what will be included. Sometimes the article has the obvious graphic. I sit down and type out a list of tags for the major articles, then assemble them in order if that isn’t already clearly evident, decide on the lead, fit the music to the lead, and pick the “title” or key word. Somewhere as the process comes to a close for the day, I let serendipity intrude a bit, especially with regard to the choice of featured graphic and musical inserts.

How the blog entry of the day shows up on your computer, android, mobile device, etc. is decided entirely by the WordPress design characteristics which are designed to be mobile-friendly and fit most browsers. I do include a built-in translation widget for foreign readers. I’ve also just added the Feedjit so everyone can monitor the traffic; a good deal of the vistors are bots. Apparently there are a lot of folks doing archival research.

Finally, you will have to address the issues surrounding use of the social media. I tend to go light, as I find most social media to be time-consuming, specious, and bordering on worthlessness. I don’t use sharing buttons or promote the use of most social media platforms since the social media are used to track you or define you for the corporate, advertising and governmental/political interests.

However, if you are going to share and publish what you are doing, you have to pay attention to search engine optimization and you will want to befriend, or at least not reject or offend, those readers who operate as nodes for other communities. It is clear that search engines are used as tools for information management and sometimes downright censorship. Your product design must be mobile-friendly; the extent to which you find success at that is dependent wholly on the open source or proprietary software systems you choose to use.

I hooked up with BlueHost almost three years ago and haven’t been unhappy. WordPress and a veritable army of open source free designers handle the technologies and the aesthetics and they deserve plaudits and cash contributions. The Blue Host package is eminently affordable and is less than the cost of a fancy-schmanzy coffee a day when spread over time. (They do require that you pay it up front.) But the BlueHost/WordPress combo has been effective, helpful, friendly and also stays on top of cybersecurity issues.

By the way, has anyone been watching the Feedjit plug-in I installed that tracks the last 10 viewers by location? It’s clear that I have a global audience. I can’t take the time to identify who these people are, but my best guess is that it reflects a readership that is about 40% interested commoners from many countries, about 20% of people who re-post or mirror some of the links inside their quiet local bulletin boards, about 10% who are connected in some sense with what would be called ‘foreign intelligence’, about 5% from such places as CNN and Google who probably monitor to see what others are looking at, and about 5% from US officials from around the globe, including those in the Beltway, at West Point, perhaps in embassies in foreign countries, probably playing light or semi-serious cyber-security games, or folliwing other leads for counter-intelligence. Folks, I’m not actively part of that. I’m just a news reader, and have been since high school and college. There’s a homemade Inuit fishing spear that once hung ceremoniously behind the desk of my high school AP English teacher that will attest to that, and I was doing rip-and-read newscasts when I was 19. I have a bachelor’s degree in the field.

And given the degree to which everyone is being surveilled and given the degree to which, increasingly, web sites that focus on truth and counter the propaganda and lies are the target for DDOS attacks and malware, if not outright hacking, the jury will remain out on whether or not I continue Occurrences or not.

Frankly, there is serious doubt as to whether I make any difference, given the degree to which governments and extremely-wealthy private entities are engineering the movement toward global war, one-world government and death or impoverishment for the rest of us. See Sullen Bell (“insidiously incremental”) and BoyDownTheLane (“Creativity and Transformation”).

In between packing and practice development of photography skills, I may do mini-data dumps of material gleaned from my old blogs before I switched to BlueHost mixed with the really important current stuff but, sometime around Independence Day, I will likely withdraw to contemplation, writing, photography, cooking, jazz and the last part of my life. I won’t be settled into my new home until close to Labor Day.

Something like Occurences has to be a task for a collaborative team; it takes too much time for an individual to maintain. Millionaires are funding campaigns and news sites, but I do what I have done out of my own pocket, without ads or without holding out a cookie jar for contributions.

This has been my contribution.

Frankly, the maintenance of the flow of information from many points of view and untarnished by propaganda, information engineering and censorship must be a major concern for any society and culture. 

But that fellow Jefferson already said that, didn’t he? And Jeffersonian thinking is seen as a source of poor health in a world run by parasites.

I will be likely without TV or internet for much of the month of July, so take special note of these dates:

Jul 18-21 GOP convention/Cleveland

Jul 25-28 Dem convention/Philly

9/26 1st debate 10/4 VP debate

10/9 2nd debate

10/19 3rd debate

11/8 election

Keep in mind that political conventions are formally designated as “national special security events” so “The State” will be on florid display in those cities and around those events. To what ends remains to be seen.

As more and more governments and private parties become involved in the exercise of news censorship, or news management, the valid sources for news, op-ed and overall situational awareness will be operated like mobile food trucks. ... s-plan.jpg" onclick=";return false;

image source 


Siracha aoli on that, sir?

We will return to the concept of wandering minstrels and mystics." onclick=";return false;  


Good luck and God speed.

Buena suerte y la velocidad de Dios.

حظا سعيدا والسرعة الله.


Bonne chance et vitesse Dieu.

Viel Glück und Gott Geschwindigkeit.

Καλή τύχη και την ταχύτητα του Θεού.

מזל טוב ומהירות אלוהים.

Ádh mór agus Dia luas.

Buona fortuna e Dio velocità.


행운을 빌어 요 하나님 속도.

Lykke til og Gud hastighet.

Powodzenia i prędkości Bogiem.

Boa sorte e velocidade de Deus.

Удачи и скорость Бог.

Beannachd leat Dia agus luaths.

İyi şanslar ve Tanrı hız.

Успіху і швидкість Бог.

Chúc may mắn và tốc độ của Thiên Chúa.

גוט גליק און גאָט גיכקייַט.

Inhlanhla nesivinini uNkulunkulu.


May you have a fair wind and a following sea." onclick=";return false;

digesting the news
June 27, 2016 Uncategorized biases, cultural news, economics, foreign policy, global news, government control and influence, infilitration, investigative reporting, journalism, military affairs, monetary policy, politics, social media, writing
digesting the news

If you are viewing this, I have withdrawn substantially from the World Wide Web and am busy packing up my household. I may return sporadically with excerpts from old blogs (the more things change, the more they remain the same). I will try to keep myself informed but will at least temporarily stop posting what I found.

In my absence, some readers may want some guidance on how to assemble a digest of the day’s global news. If you are a long-term reader of Occurrences, you probably have a solid sense of how I do it, and you probably have developed your very own approach. Wonderful. Every act, expression or experience here is merely a starting point for you, ingredients for your own creations.

When you first enter “the kitchen of your day” to wonder about what you should prepare for dinner, you have to do a couple of things as preliminary steps. The first is to wake up. Make a really good cup of coffee. Take care of your personal ablutions. Eat something. For me, a cup of coffee and some juice or a cold seltzer/lemonade mixture is always at hand. Two basic links you should know about:" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

Think first about what you “ate” yesterday. What are the top issues of the day politically, in terms of foreign interactions and policies, in terms of cultural movements, or in terms of threats? Yesterday’s diet informs today’s meal choices, sometimes in need for follow-up, sometimes in need for avoidance or change. Sometimes there are leftovers. So you look into the pantry and fridge to see what you have to work with. Pay special attention to your choice of both aperitif and digestif.

For me, the news equivalent of this is to check Google News and/or other actively-updating news aggregation services . Your first mental task is to consider the flavors and biases that come with your choices. Maybe the cooking metaphorical equivalent is that you will want to blanch the asparagus in cold water and lemon juice, and then bring it slowly to a low heat and let it sit before you grill it in olive oil. Google is an extension of the US government and the mind control/panopticon but, for sheer volume and timeliness, it’s hard to surpass. These kinds of sites can let you know what is happening, though you will want to use many sites to find their interpretation. There are others beyond Google. In time I will name some of them. My bias is that I live in America and speak English; I also love jazz, love to cook, hate war and violence, and would prefer to empower people, have a dialogue with them, and break bread together. I rarely read foreign press unless it is prepared with an English equivalent; I look for people who understand and can speak to issues and perspectives that are European (and Europe has many shades on its palette), Russian, and Asian. Russia has several windows through which one can peer. Asian countries have far less. Let us not forget Africa, or Eurasia, or the Indian sub-continent. If you are a reader from a non-US location (and I know I have many such readers), then you must add those sources that you know about and I don’t, especially in regards to local issues, news, events, etc. I’d like you to tell me what the best ones are that you’ve found. Quite obviously, everyone’s tastes and preferences are going to be different; to extend the cooking and recipe metaphor, choose ingredients and spices that are going to be attractive and palatable in your community.

Part of the game here is the degree to which any country allows its citizens free expression, or has set up barriers to the flow of information. Welcome to the kitchen; the linen closet is in the corner. The dishwashing systems and staff are in the back room.

One of the more popular things I have here at Occurrences is this guide to online news . Mine and yours need regular updating.

Fairly quickly, I open a file. I use templates or master files and always have one ready. I create a new blank and start on it immediately right after I post but before I turn in for the night.

A look at a couple of news aggregators will tell you how the news “meal” will shape up for the day. I go then almost immediately to look at what’s available at I find Wayne refreshing and highly accurate in many ways. As an investigative journalist, he is not afraid to look into dark corners and speak to what he has found. WMR requires a paid subscription but, with his permission, I sometimes package his reports into pdf’s. I try to be judicious about this so as to not take income away; there’s always more at WMR than I extract. Sometimes the bargains are in the basement, and some of his subscribers provide links and are astute and experienced.

I check my e-mail for feeds from other sources. I subscribe for free to I also regularly check out Breaking . I believe in taking in as wide a scan of the world as I can, including reading and watching governments, agencies, news outlets, pundits etc. which I find anathema. You are not informed if you do not know where and how they are spending 54 percent of all US federal discretionary spending, if you do not know how and where their resources are being deployed.

I then turn to Kenny’s Sideshow where I can link into his substantial blogroll and that of others. Kenny is dead now but his web site maintains itself neatly. It was through Kenny’s blogroll, which leans heavily towards pro-Palestinian perspectives, that I discovered, whose own daily review I rarely miss; it gets to places I don’t, and it offers up seasoned commentary.

I’d known about Kevin Flaherty’s Cryptogon for years. He is a role model for the rest of us. Some of these web sites I make sure are saved as “favorites” separately lest they fail to update on blogrolls. Quickly you come to understand that many people read the same sources but time lets you see that they found things you didn’t know about. There are also independents like Stephen Lendman who at times can be counted on to crank out two, three or even four columns a day.

The Intercept comes up early as I go down my list, Lots of people are pissed off about their particular style and method of journalism, but they tackle tough topics with stellar writing, and I’m a sucker for stellar writing . In time, I reject those who have been ascertained to be “gatekeepers”, especially those who refuse to discuss or entertain controversial topics, or who berate those who do.

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh » ... l-warming/" onclick=";return false;
Clouds of Denial Clear as Rising Storm Tops, Middle Latitude Drying Found to Speed Global Warming
“The data shows major reorganization of the cloud system… I consider this as the most singular of all the things that we have found, because many of us had been thinking the cloud changes might help us out, by having a strong feedback which is going the other way instead of amplifying it.” — climate scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan

“Our results suggest that radiative forcing by a combination of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and volcanic aerosol has produced observed cloud changes during the past several decades that exert positive feedbacks on the climate system. We expect that increasing greenhouse gases will cause these cloud trends to continue in the future, unless offset by unpredictable large volcanic eruptions.” — Evidence for Climate Change in the Cloud Satellite Record (emphasis added).

Scientists now have a satellite record of cloud behavior over the past few decades. What they’ve found is that, in response to Earth warming, cloud tops are rising even as clouds are forming at higher altitudes. This traps even more heat at the Earth’s surface. In addition, storms are moving north toward the poles, which means more sunlight hits the temperate regions near 40 degrees latitude both in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This northward movement of storms also causes the Earth to warm more rapidly. In the past, scientists had hoped that changes in clouds would shelter the Earth from some of the greenhouse gas warming caused by fossil fuel emissions. What we are finding now is that the opposite is true. The way clouds change as the Earth warms appears to be increasing the intensity of greenhouse gas warming.

Sowing the Clouds With Doubt, Denial and False Hope

Will the impacts of human-caused climate change be as bad or even worse than we feared? Will the Earth warm as rapidly or more rapidly than climate models suggest?

These are critical questions. Ones that revolve around the issue of how sensitive the Earth is to the added heat build-up initiated by a large and growing pulse of human-emitted greenhouse gasses. One whose answer will have lasting consequences for all those currently alive today and for many of the generations to follow. For if the answer to this question is yes, then we have responded too slowly to what is now a swiftly worsening global climate crisis (and, according to a new observational study, that answer appears to be, with growing certainty, YES).

(A new study has found that human forced warming drives the storm track toward the poles. This increases drought risk for places like the US Southwest. It is also a part of a larger cloud feedback that is found to have caused the Earth to warm more rapidly. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

In relation to these questions is a noted relevant scientific uncertainty over the behavior of clouds in response to warming. Mainstream science has long produced state of the art climate models showing that changes in clouds due to Earth’s warming was likely a heat-enhancing (positive) feedback overall. And paleoclimate studies have tended to support the kinds of Earth System sensitivity to heat forcing that would result. But due to the fact that cloud behavior is difficult to model (and confirm through observation), there was a decent level of uncertainty in the science over the issue. And it is this seeming gap in our physical understanding that has spurred a big controversy circulating among climate change skeptics/deniers and the

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh » ... -1.2723228" onclick=";return false;
Matt Damon is bigger hero than ‘Jason Bourne’ off screen
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Saturday, July 23, 2016, 8:28 PM

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Post by msfreeh »

Police plan protest of Black Lives Matter banner at Somerville City Hall

July 26 2016 ... -city-hall" onclick=";return false;

After Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone denied a request from a city police union to remove a Black Lives Matter banner from City Hall, the union announced it will hold a rally to protest the banner’s “disrespectful” message, according to a release from the Somerville Police Employee’s Association.

“In the face of the continuing assassination of innocent police officers across the country as an apparent offshoot of the BLM movement, it is irresponsible of the City to [publicly] declare support for the lives of one secto

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh » ... nald-trump" onclick=";return false;

Details of Investigations into Donald Trump

Vice News and an MIT doctoral student filed suit against the Secret Service on Tuesday in hopes of receiving documents about the agency’s investigation of Donald Trump and his campaign.

The news agency also filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI after Trump made two inflammatory statements about Hillary Clinton.

In two separate statements, Trump appeared to suggest violence against Clinton for her position on gun control – one that the Republican candidate has mischaracterize as an attempt to abolish the Second Amendment.

Trump also called on Russia to leak hacked documents of Clinton’s emails.

Vice News wrote:

VICE News and Shapiro submitted a FOIA request to the Secret Service August 18 for records pertaining to its investigation of Trump’s statements, and sought expedited processing. We asked for “disclosure of any and all records that mention or refer to the matter” and “any records compiled as part of any investigation into the referenced matter.” The Secret Service didn’t even acknowledge the request.

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh » ... mid-1970s/" onclick=";return false;

CIA Director: I Was a Supporter of Communist Party in Mid-1970s

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling

CIA Director John Brennan revealed that he was once a communist sympathizer in the mid-1970s because he was disgusted by Watergate and the political landscape that helped produce it.

Brennan was in college at the time and voted for Communist Party nominee Gus Hall, New York Magazine reports. 

By 1980, Brennan said he was no longer a Communist sympathizer and realized that capitalism was a far better system.

Brennan said he “froze” when he was taking a polygraph test when entering the CIA.

“This was back in 1980, and I thought back to a previous election where I voted, and I voted for the Communist Party candidate.”

Brennan added, “I said I was neither Democratic or Republican, but it was my way, as I was go

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh »

Diary of an Eco-Outlaw
An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth
By Diane Wilson
Foreword by Derrick Jensen

Diane Wilson is an activist, shrimper, and all around hell-raiser whose first book, An Unreasonable Woman, told of her battle to save her bay in Seadrift, Texas. Back then, she was an accidental activist who worked with whistleblowers, organized protests, and eventually sunk her own boat to stop the plastic-manufacturing giant Formosa from releasing dangerous chemicals into water she shrimped in, grew up on, and loved.

But, it turns out, the fight against Formosa was just the beginning. In Diary of an Eco-Outlaw, Diane writes about what happened as she began to fight injustice not just in Seadrift, but around the world-taking on Union Carbide for its failure to compensate those injured in the Bhopal disaster, cofounding tPink to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, attempting a citizens arrest of Dick Cheney, famously covering herself with fake oil and demanding the arrest of then BP CEO Tony Hayward as he testified before Congress, and otherwise becoming a world-class activist against corporate injustice, war, and environmental crimes.

As George Bernard Shaw once said, "all progress depends on unreasonable women." And in the Diary of an Eco-Outlaw, the eminently unreasonable Wilson delivers a no-holds-barred account of how she-a fourth-generation shrimper, former boat captain, and mother of five-took a turn at midlife, unable to stand by quietly as she witnessed abuses of people and the environment. Since then, she has launched legislative campaigns, demonstrations, and hunger strikes-and generally gotten herself in all manner of trouble.

All worth it, says Wilson. Jailed more than 50 times for civil disobedience, Wilson has stood up for environmental justice, and peace, around the world-a fact that has earned her many kudos from environmentalists and peace activists alike, and that has forced progress where progress was hard to come by.

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh »

Bonus read from Ross Gelbspan
see his book on the FBI here

Break-Ins, Death Threats and the FBI : The Covert War Against the Central America Movement: Ross Gelbspan: 9780896084124: ... › Break-Ins-Death-Threats-...
This report tells an infuriating story of FBI misconduct leading all the way to the Reagan White House. Gelbspan, a Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist now with the ...

Fears of a dictatorship are well-founded ... dMore_Pos7" onclick=";return false;

  NOVEMBER 12, 2016
FEW COMMENTATORS seem to understand the potential for a Donald Trump presidency to profoundly undermine American democracy. In his Nov. 9 column (“Shocking, yes. Dictatorship? No.Jeff Jacoby argues that the new president will be held in check by “entrenched constitutional prerogatives.” Not necessarily.

Many of Trump’s campaign proposals are clearly unconstitutional — for now. But Trump will have the opportunity to choose at least one or more new Supreme Court justices. It seems clear that these choices will make the late Justice Antonin Scalia look like a centrist on the issue of executive power.

With a new Trump-picked Supreme Court in place, what is unconstitutional today could easily become standard administration policy tomorrow. This is just one of many changes that will mark the end of the American era.

Ross Gelbspan

Jamaica Plain

Heat is Online ... he-puffin/" onclick=";return false;

From the Bering to Maine, Hot Oceans Are Killing the Puffin
“The Bering Sea has been off-the-charts warm. We’ve never seen anything like this. We’re in uncharted territory. We’re in the midst of an extraordinary time.” Nate Mantua, an ecologist at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Santa Cruz, California in this National Geographic article.


Some have claimed that the effects of global warming are only gradual and mild. That the impacts to the Earth’s weather systems, its oceans, its lands, its web of life do not now represent a crisis that risks global catastrophe and mass human tragedy. That, somehow, the growing die-offs now inflicted on key species amounts to some kind of pleasantly quiet background noise that we should rationally, coldly, consider, but that should not increase our level of concern or, perish the thought, alarm. And when the very real harms that are now escalating as a result of climate change are realized more fully by human civilization, the fact that these voices did not warn us more strongly, that some of these voices attacked those of us who were rationally concerned, will stand in history as stark evidence to the harms of pandering to the false comfort of an unwarranted reticence.

(Today, sea surfaces in regions surrounding the Arctic are between 2 and 10.5 degrees Celsius above average. These waters are so warm now that they are less able to support a vital food chain. And the impact to Puffins has been considerable. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

If they could speak, a lovable breed of northern bird would tell us their own tale of tragedy and loss at the hand of global heat. And if we could hear the sad tale of their own great plight, our hearts and minds might not be so hard or so cold. For in and near the Arctic there is every indication that winter is dying and along with it, the Puffins.

Mass Puffin Die-Off Underway

Northern waters are rich with life. Or they were, at least, until recently. High oxygen content, cold water, high nutrient content all help to form a basis for the teeming life of this region. However, as atmospheric carbon levels increase and as oceans warm, these waters become less able to support life. They hold less oxygen. They become more acidic. And they tend to become more stratified. The food chain is disrupted and winnowed down. And such a winnowing can have a terrible impact on all kinds of life forms.

For the Puffin, such ocean warming related food losses have become a subject of growing alarm among researchers. In the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia, both National Geographic and Digital Journal have compiled reports of severe loss of life to both adult birds and young. In parts of the Bering sea, adult Puffins are dying at 200 times the normal mortality rate. Nesting rates, normally at 60 percent, have plummeted to 12 percent. And the few chicks that do manage to hatch from eggs are emaciated.

(Charismatic Puffins imperiled by climate change are now subject to an increasing extinction pressure due to this man-made crisis. Image source: NRDC.)

Over on the Atlantic side, a similar mass die off of Puffins has occurred in the Gulf of Maine even while stresses to the birds have been increasing into Scotland, the Barents Sea and Iceland. Die offs further south in Maine began to become widespread during 2014 as the waters off the US East Coast hit extreme levels of warmth. By 2016, the mass mortality had extended to Iceland where more than 80 percent of Puffin chicks were reported dead.

To researchers, there’s no mystery as to what’s killing the birds. They’re starving. But the root cause of the great loss among Puffins is even more disturbing. Julia Parrish, a University of Washington professor who coordinates a West Coast volunteer bird-monitoring network noted to National Geographic:

“Clearly something very weird is going on. It’s basically every year now we’re getting some huge mass-mortality event. It seems that the bottom-up changes provoked by the atmosphere are creating massive, massive changes in marine ecosystems. And the forage fish that everything depends on are taking it in the shorts.” (Emphasis added)

In other words, the fish that Puffins feed on are dying due to global climate change and so the Puffins are dying too.

Conditions in Context — We All Rely on Bountiful Oceans

If we are unable to escape the stresses of our own lives, or step back from our own individual difficulties to take account of the larger trajectory of our race, the plight of Puffins starving in the North Atlantic or Bering Sea may seem a remote or minor concern. However, when one realizes that, like the Puffins, human beings also rely on the bounty of the oceans as a primary food source, the matter strikes much closer to home. And in this case, Puffins join a long list of ocean-dependent wildlife — corals, seals, fish, polar bears, walruses, lobsters and so many more — who are sending us an increasingly loud warning as they perish.

Life in the world’s waters is in peril due to the warming we are causing. And because life on land is ultimately connected to what happens in the waters, not paying attention, not responding to what’s happening by halting the fossil fuel emissions that have created this terrible extinction pressure, is a wretched road to follow.


Puffins are Starving to Death Because of Climate Change

Puffins Starve to Death in High Numbers off the Gulf of Maine

Something is Seriously Wrong on the East Coast and it’s Killing all the Baby Puffins

Huge Puffing Die-Off May Be Linked to Hotter Seas

Global and Regional Food Consumption


Link du jour ... n-pictures" onclick=";return false;

http://www.occurrencesforeigndomestic.c ... an-contra/" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false; ... lect-trump" onclick=";return false;
November 3, 2016: Apologies in advance for such a stress-inducing headline, but let’s talk about the 900 pound orangutan in the room: What if we wake up on Wednesday to Donald J. Trump as president elect of the United States of America?
Since everyone is on pins and needles about it, let’s have this conversation.
The first thing: Life as we knew it and expected it to unfold will never be the same. American fascism will have arrived and the worst, most violent elements in society will feel emboldened to harm everyone they consider as “the other” with impunity. The burning of the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi this week by Trump supporters is merely the opening salvo. The internal conflict within the FBI in public view right now will afflict every police agency, federal, state and local, as openly authoritarian elements attempt to seize control. Hate crimes will rise against women, people of color and the LGBT communities precisely as law enforcement turns a blind eye to much of it. Look for entire new demographic groups to be targeted, too: Those 20 million who newly have health care, many of whom had preexisting conditions, people living with disabilities and others will be added to the list of national scapegoats. The attempt to repeal Obamacare will be a literal death sentence for many of us.
Those of us who have lived in countries under authoritarian rule have spent recent months having our own conversation about what is happening in the USA. We do it in whispers because most of you will not believe us no matter how loudly we shout about what a Trump election would bring down the ‘pike. We shake our heads and feel a great wave of pity for most Americans who have no idea what tyranny really looks or feels like. Tyranny – contrary to popular myth – is asymmetric. It hits from all sides, crevices, nooks and crannies, from the dark places, the shadows. The figurehead’s power above merely provides it cover. It has the same paramilitary logic of what was endured in Latin America’s dirty wars and the dictatorships across the sea that gave rise to the Arab Spring. When Donald J. Trump praises strongmen leaders across the globe he is giving his “tell” of how he would govern – with a clenched fist.
Worse, the response from that part of America that defines itself as “the left” (I am speaking of the white and academic “left” since so few organized people of color are foolish enough to claim an already discredited mantle) is totally unequipped to address it yet they will attempt once again to place themselves at the vanguard of resistance without any lived experience leading an actual resistance, much less winning one. Senator Sanders’ “Our Revolution” PAC will seek to fundraise off every injustice as aggressively as it has over the Native American resistance to the pipeline in the Dakotas. The remnants of “Occupy” now under a thousand new names will call for demonstrations without guidelines, training or discipline and that in the name of “diversity of tactics” allow any @#$#%@! who wants to call himself “Black Bloc” to don ski masks and toss trash cans through store windows. President Trump is gonna love those demonstrations because it will allow him to sell all kinds of repression to his base. White men will vault to the front of these groups saying, “follow me!” Yet they have not a clue as to how a real movement is built or won. They feel entitled to it anyway. It will be more of the same attempts to re-center whiteness and maleness with the cheerleading of Jacobin magazine, some writers at The Nation, Democracy Now and Reddit dudebro forums.
The election of Trump will mark the exact moment of failure of manhood in America. The only possible new leadership will have to come from women, especially women of color, who already live in Trump’s America and have more experience navigating such a world, far more than we guys can learn in the short time we’ll have to build an authentic resistance. Mexican-American and Muslim-American women will be the first hit and instead of letting the dudebro aspirants set the tone it will be up to all of us to follow those women into battle instead.
The only authentic resistance to the policies of a Trump presidency will make nonviolence its watchword, and unapologetically so. To participate, you’re going to have to get training in nonviolent civil resistance. I’m not speaking of the “express trainings” by dudebro groups like “Democracy Spring” with fawning celebrity dilettantes like Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, but, rather, sessions that last a minimum of eight hours or, ideally, an entire weekend or more and are led and organized by women of experience at it and especially women of color.
Many of these will have to take place in Mexico, which will take on a special role as a Trump-free zone with the support of the general population. Learning Spanish would be a real good idea for any American who really wants to chase dictatorship back down its rabbit hole.
The resistance will not be led by the Green or Libertarian Parties, “Occupy” activists or any similar fringe: Their brands of “leadership” are what got us into this mess in the first place.
The revolution will be authentically multi-racial, a true partnership, women-led and nonviolent or there will be no chance of success at all.
Finally, we’re going to have to say goodbye to some former “allies” who spent this election dragging down the one woman who stood in the way of a Trump presidency. I can say, for example, that the School of Authentic Journalism we hold in Mexico won’t ever be inviting any of them down: that would disrespect our Mexican hosts whose families will bear the biggest brunt of an America under Trump. (Thankfully, out of five hundred to whom we have given scholarships over the past thirteen years, only three have jumped that shark, and one just loudly recanted, begging people to disregard every asinine thing he’s written over the past year about this election! That happened today.)
Me? I’m ready to play an auxiliary role in a women and women of color-led resistance to a Trump’s America. They’re the only reason we have a candidate with a chance of defeating him on Tuesday. They’ve saved America once already this year. It’s time for us boys to start taking orders instead of barking them while wagging our finger at the gals. And it’s the only possible guarantee against Trumpism infecting the movement against his policies. Real men – like President Obama – will know just how to play that supportive role. He’ll be doing it from an organizing academy out of the coming Obama Museum in Chicago – and win or lose this election I expect to see y’all there, too.
If you’re reading these words and thinking, “Gee, Al makes it sound so much fun, maybe we need a Trump regime to kick our asses!” Nope. Millions of lives will be ruined, many ended prematurely. One of them might be yours. People you love will be crushed under it. This scenario is the most un-fun thing imaginable. And the chances of success will be greatly stacked against us. The American people are not prepared to be soldiers in a nonviolent war to reclaim the country. It would take decades, probably generations, to turn back the tide. In the meantime, there will only be pain and suffering.
Americans have it pretty damn good today. That’s why people from all the other lands want to come and live and work in it. Don’t blow it, America, out of a misguided and purely academic theory that things have to get worse before they can get better. That’s children’s talk. And history has never happened that way.
If you don’t like the truths I’ve just thrown at you, there are still four days of phone banking, door knocking, data entry and driving people to the polls left to make for a different and better reality, one in which fascist law enforcement agents don’t run amok and where black churches and Muslim and Jewish and Spanish language temples don’t get regularly burned to the ground. I can think of no clearer imagery to visualize what a Trump presidency would be like. Forewarned is forearmed. Vote. The country – and world – you live in will be decided on Tuesday.
(The newsletter, Al Giordano's América, goes to donors of $70 or more to The Fund for Authentic Journalism during the calendar year in which the donation is made.) ... -1.2869073" onclick=";return false;

KING: We should not wait and see what a Trump administration does

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ... 31912.html" onclick=";return false;

The Impact of Comey’s Unconstitutional Intervention In The Election
11/12/2016 06:12 pm ET ... -america-/" onclick=";return false;

EDITORIAL:God help America!
Southern Star Newspaper
The timing of the latest revelations led to allegations of unwarranted political interference by the FBI man which was wholly inappropriate and, even though he ... ... ed-man.php" onclick=";return false;

Cincinnati judge declares mistrial in officer-involved shooting of ...
Lynch stated [JURIST report] that the DOJ, including the FBI, ATF, and US Marshals Service and US Attorneys Office were conducting an investigation into the ... ... y-swinging" onclick=";return false;

Mother Jones Blogger Directs ‘F**k You’ at Comey For Allegedly Swinging the Election
By Tom Johnson | November 12, 2016 | ... istration/" onclick=";return false;

Surveillance Self-Defense Against the Trump Administration
The Intercept
Make sure you set a long, random passcode — it should be at least 6 digits, and it should be 11 digits if you think an agency like the FBI may invest resources ... ... aphy-sites" onclick=";return false;

The FBI ran nearly half of all known dark web child pornography sites
The Week Magazine-
Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union reveal the FBI took over and operated 23 child pornography websites out of a government facility in ...

The Franklin Cover-Up by John DeCamp - Educate Yourself › franklincoverupe...
"Franklin Case Witnesses Implicate FBI and U.S. Elites in Child-Torture and Murder ." ... Since the 1992 publication of John DeCamp's book, The Franklin Cover-Up, ... ... non_7A.htm" onclick=";return false;
DeCamp - Bush Stole 04" onclick=";return false; › bushfascism
Fluent in six languages and a law school graduate, John DeCamp, a native of ... He is author of the Franklin Cover-Up, which inspired the video that was made for ...

Sheriff's department unable to file charges in cross-burning incident
The Daviess County Sheriff's Department has concluded its investigation into a October incident where a cross was burned in front of a home of a black family in ..." onclick=";return false;
Blue by Day, White by Night - Link Law | Philadelphia, PA › blue-by-day-white-b...
Feb 26, 2015 - This is Part 1 of the trial recap showing how my investigation as a criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia uncovered a controversial KKK ...

Blue by day, white by night: Organized white supremacist groups in law enforcement agencies: Michael Novick: Books › Blue-day-white-night-sup...
Blue by day, white by night: Organized white supremacist groups in law enforcement agencies [Michael Novick] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying ...

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh »

Link du jour" onclick=";return false; ... in-heater/" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false; ... on_warrant" onclick=";return false;

L.A.-based Holocaust claims lawyer sues FBI over Clinton warrant

Posted on Dec. 7, 2016 at 4:16 pm

E. Randol Schoenberg. Photo courtesy of E. Randol Schoenberg
E. Randol Schoenberg was confused when he read a New York Times article in the waning days of the presidential election reporting the FBI had obtained a warrant to seize new material in the Hillary Clinton email case.
“I thought, ‘What does that mean?’” he told the Journal. “Normally you have to show probable cause. That’s what it says in the Fourth Amendment.” 
Schoenberg, 50, gained international prominence by reclaiming Jewish-owned art looted by the Nazis, most notably in the Maria Altmann case made famous by the 2015 film, “Woman in Gold.” 


He is a former president of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, and the leader in its revitalization. And on Dec. 7 he took on another major cause by filing suit against the FBI, hoping to get the agency to turn over the warrant it used to seize the computer of Anthony Weiner, estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
“Countless American citizens, including Secretary Clinton, believe that [FBI Director James] Comey’s announcement and the re-opening of the investigation might have single-handedly swayed the election,” Schoenberg alleges in the suit.
[Click here to download a copy of the complaint]
By the time the FBI reopened the investigation, it had already spent months investigating the Clinton emails.
“It’s like somebody’s been to your house and searched ten times and says, ‘Oops, there’s a drawer I missed. Can I go back in?’” Schoenberg said.
The New York Times article was the last time Schoenberg saw mention of a search warrant in the press. So he decided to file a request on Nov. 12 under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to review the warrant. Two days later, the FBI acknowledged receiving his request.
The transparency law allows government agencies twenty days, excluding holidays and weekends, to determine whether it will comply with the request and notify the petitioner. When that time period elapsed, Schoenberg contacted David B. Rankin, a Manhattan-based attorney specializing in FOIA requests, and filed suit in the United States District Court of Southern New York.
In an interview with the Journal, Schoenberg speculated one of two things happened to allow the FBI to obtain a search warrant: Either a lax judge didn’t care enough to scrutinize the warrant application, or “it could be something more nefarious."
Not unlikely, by his estimation, is that somebody provided the FBI allegedly incriminating information that turned out to be untrue.
In the course of his Holocaust-related work, he said, he’s worked with law enforcement and U.S. attorneys, persuading them to investigate or file suit.
“You’re allowed to give them information and encourage them to start investigate or file lawsuits,” he said. “That’s totally fine as long as it’s correct. But what if it’s false?”
Part of the reason he filed suit in New York (other than the fact that Weiner’s computer was there) is that he suspects somebody in the Manhattan orbit of then-candidate Donald Trump may have provided a false lead to the FBI, he said. 
In the interview, he named New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, all Trump allies, as potential sources for the FBI's investigation. 
Shortly after filing the FOIA request, he laid out in a Jewish Journal op-ed what could be at stake if incriminating information comes to light.
“This is potentially very serious, something that if traced back to Donald Trump might even lead to impeachment,” he wrote.
 Nine days after re-opening the case, and two days before Election Day, Comey announced the FBI hadn’t found sufficient evidence to reconsider its original decision. For Schoenberg, that was only further proof there was never ... hing.shtml" onclick=";return false;

Wed, Dec 7th 2016 3:36am

9th circuit, fbi, fisc, mohamud osman mohamed, own plot, section 702, sting operation, surveillance

Convicted FBI Sting Target Challenges Investigation, Domestic Surveillance; Ends Up With Nothing
from the entrapment-will-continue-until-national-security-improves dept
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld [PDF] a terrorism conviction, despite its own concerns about the government's behavior during the investigation. (h/t Brad Heath)
Mohamed Osman Mohamud appealed his conviction for attempting to detonate a bomb during a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, raising several arguments -- one of those being entrapment. But the court had this to say about the FBI's sting operation.
The panel held that the district court properly rejected Mohamud’s defense of entrapment as a matter of law. The panel could not say that no reasonable jury could have concluded that Mohamud was predisposed to commit the charged offense. Rejecting Mohamud’s alternative argument that the case should be dismissed because the government overreached in its “sting,” the panel wrote that while the government’s conduct was quite aggressive at times, it fell short of a due process violation.
As we've noted here before, courts have given the government plenty of leeway in its investigations. Entrapment is a popular defense but even the DEA's predilection for setting up desperate rubes to rob fake stash houses (and asking for sentences based on imaginary quantities of nonexistent drugs) has seldom been troubled by defendants' challenges. The courts have also ordained much, much more questionable tactics, like the FBI's creation of a child porn ... h_way.html" onclick=";return false;

DEC. 6 2016 12:30 PM
The FBI Debunked These UFO Documents in the Most Childish Way Possible ... _click=rss" onclick=";return false;

House votes to boost protection for FBI whistleblowers

By AL WEAVER (@ALWEAVER22) • 12/7/16 6:05 PM
The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to give more protections to whistleblowers at the FBI.

In a 404-0 vote, the House passed H.R. 5790, which was sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. The bill would broaden the protections for whistleblowers so they are not retaliated against by supervisors, putting them in the same position as other protected federal workers in other areas of the government.

"We have great respect and admiration for the FBI. They do wonderful work," Chaffetz said. "It's because I respect the FBI and it's agents that I helped introduce this bill ... The whistleblowers protections in the FBI have really not kept up with the rest of government, and that's why we need a change here. The whistleblowers at the FBI should be treated the same as they are within the rest of the federal government."

Chaffetz introduced the bill after a 2015 report found that protections for FBI whistleblowers were not as strong as those enjoyed ... 0Q_AUIBygB" onclick=";return false;

House committee approves FBI headquarters funding despite ...
Washington Business Journal
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has endorsed setting aside $834 million in federal funds for a new FBI headquarters to ... ... als-court/" onclick=";return false;

FBI Policy Of Manufacturing Terrorism Plots Reaffirmed By Appeals ...
Shadowproof (blog)-Dec 5, 2016
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that provides further support for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its policy of ... ... -paranoid/" onclick=";return false;

Attorney: FBI agent who shot at officer was paranoid
(WOOD) — The FBI agent who allegedly fired shots at a Grand Rapids police officer Tuesday felt paranoid at the time of the incident, his attorney said
Taxpayers still funding FBI Public Relations Program ... red-by-fbi" onclick=";return false;

For promoting tolerance, Norwich Sikh honored by FBI
Swaranjit Singh Khalsa, center, a community leader in Norwich, shakes hands with FBI Community Outreach Specialist Charles Grady, left, after receiving the ... ... more-13336" onclick=";return false;

What is plagiarism?
Posted on December 5, 2016 by Daniel Hopsicker
Have you ever noticed how the CIA never gives up, on certain things, even if there’s no chance they’re going to change anyone’s mind? How they’re still pushing the Oswald-acted-alone meme, for example, or the phony war on drugs?

MCA-Universal has prepared a preemptive strike against crucial bits of America’s recent history— the part that’s got to do with drugs—in a new movie starring the world’s most famous Scientologist.

Fit at fifty-year old Tom Cruise portrays Barry Seal, a man who outweighed him by more than a hundred pounds, in a movie that was at first called “Mena,” before recently changing its name to “American Made” while pushing back its release date a year.

The movie is being directed by director Doug Liman, who also just happens to be the son of the lawyer for the Kerry Commission Iran Contra investigation in the late 1980’s, which did a reasonably effective job at keeping a lid on the contra cocaine scandal until Republicans were no longer in office.

It was me who dragged those ‘crucial bits’ about America’s biggest and most famous drug smuggler into the light.  It was me who discovered that drug smuggler Seal —and probably not coincidentally—had also been a life-long CIA pilot, going back to the mid-50’s.

My book, “Barry & the boys,” the only full-length biography of Seal, is by far the go-to book on Seal. And it’s also the uncredited basis for Doug Liman and Tom Cruise’s Barry Seal movie.

Unless, of course, it isn’t. The following is a true story, which appears only on my website. There is no other source for it. If the story turns up in someone else’s book, is it plagiarism?

A lot going on beside just The Wedge 

In the 10 years I spent living in Newport Beach I had never met a spook, a spy, or anyone in intelligence, until one day an occasional associate producer working on the business news show I was producing at the time brought a tanned, older but still vigorous man into our offices to meet me. He had an  interest—in a puttering offhand way, he indicated, in a documentary I’d begun shooting on drug smuggler Seal.

He was the president of one of Newport Beach’s service clubs, like the Exchange Club, he explained. He thought I might want to come to speak to one of the Club’s weekly lunch meetings about my adventures.

Later I would learn that the man who stood in front of me with a genial sm ... coalition/" onclick=";return false;

From Patriots to Panthers, a New ‘Rainbow Coalition’
December 7, 2016 12:24 p.m.
#Imagine what would happen if someone wore a Confederate flag button with clasped black and white hands (pictured) to a Trump or Black Lives Matter rally. Given what we have seen on the media, the person would likely be met with indignation, insults and perhaps physical violence.

#This button, which the Southern Student Organizing Committee developed in the 1960s, symbolized a unique partnership between the Black Panther Party, the Young Patriots Organization and the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican national group. I learned their story at the Black Panther Party's 50th-anniversary celebration in Oakland, Calif., where many of the founding leaders gathered. There I learned about the original Rainbow Coalition began in Uptown Chicago, known as "Hillbilly Harlem," because of its population of poor southern whites and African Americans.

#"I thought conditions were bad in Tennessee," Hy Thurman, a self-professed hillbilly, said of the 1960s. "In Uptown Chicago, housing conditions were so bad that neighbors were literally freezing to death. The cops referred to us as a 'swarm of locusts' who were backwards, dumb, immoral and violent." Thurman, Marilyn Katz and others formed the Young Patriots Organization to mobilize their community. YPO used the Confederate flag as their symbol, less as a racist statement but as a "symbol against Northern aggression."


#Elsewhere in Uptown, local Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Bobby Lee were organizing their community. Jose "Cha Cha" Jimenez, an immigrant from Puerto Rico and a member of the Young Lords gang, was doing the same thing, with more unlawful methods.

#In April 1969, the three organizations joined to form the Rainbow Coalition of Revolutionary Solidarity. "It took some time to build trust among the communities," Thurman said. "Once we broke the ice, we were able to identify their needs and get them help. Many were surprised to hear that the Black Panther Party played a major role in getting medical personnel and equipment for the Young Patriot Health Clinic and provided food for kids before they went to school. We'd walk into our redneck bars with our rebel-flag vests and 'Free Huey Newton' buttons, and our friends wouldn't know what to do with us."

Photo courtesy Kevin Fong
#"YPO provided security detail at each of our BPP functions," Aaron Dixon said. "I can't tell you how many times having a white boy standing next to me saved my @#$ from getting arrested."

#Mayor Richard Daly and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover made it their top priority to dismantle the coalition. YPO's William "Preacherman" Fesperman said, "We are the living reminder that when they threw out their white trash, they didn't burn it." In December 1969, the Chicago police, working with the FBI, arranged for the murder of BPP leader Fred Hampton Jr., who was the torchbearer for the coalition. Hampton's murder galvanized the community.

#The Rainbow Coalition lasted for several more years before the Daly administration and the FBI dismantled it. "They found ways to frame us and throw us in jail," Cha Cha Jimenez said, "tearing the very fabric of our coalition apart."

#Harold Washington, Chicago's first Black mayor (1983-1987), built his platform on the shared ideals of the coalition. Later, Jesse Jackson Sr. formed the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, with no affiliation with the original Rainbow Coalition. "We can trace Obama's rise to the presidency back to the Rainbow Coalition," YPO leader Marilyn Katz said.

#As the panelists, now in their 60s and 70s, gathered on stage for a photo, I wondered how we can come together today. The true work of social change and healing needs to stem from ordinary people at the local level. My friend Lloyd Dennis, from New Orleans, wrote in a post: "If the poor and struggling white folk who support Trump would wake up and understand that the very wealthy, like Trump, are the reason working people carry this country on their backs, they would find common ground with folks of color, and the real revolution would begin."

#The key is finding common ground, and we attain that through engagement in trust, love, story and struggle. "Serve the people. Love the people. Have faith in the power of the people," Pam Tau Lee said.

#I hope we all follow the example of the Black Panthers, Young Patriots, and Young Lords to love, serve, and have faith that the power of kindness and humanity will emerge as the true winner.

#Visit Kevin Fong's website at ... -1.2902360" onclick=";return false;

Michigan man says he was restrained by police and beaten so badly that he lost consciousness and can no longer fully see with his left eye.

Frankie Taylor was arrested for drunken driving in Detroit suburb Eastpointe last August, and said that officers made him sit in a restraint chair after he fell down during booking.

A lawsuit filed earlier this year says that one officer put on a rubber glove before hitting Taylor with a closed fist at least 10 times as he lost consciousness. ... -cold-war/" onclick=";return false;

Neo-McCarthyism and the New Cold War
The Nation
Democratic Senator Harry Reid, for example, following in McCarthy's footsteps, insisted that the FBI investigate two of Trump's American supporters for their ... ... asmea-odeh" onclick=";return false;

Judge orders new trial for Rasmea Odeh
The Electronic Intifada (blog)-
The indictment followed 2010 FBI raids on the homes of community and political activists in Chicago and other cities, leading to the subpoena of Arab American ... ... asmea-odeh" onclick=";return false;


Judge orders new trial for Rasmea Odeh
Charlotte Silver
7 December 2016

Rasmea Odeh Ali Abunimah
Rasmea Odeh will have a new trial in January.

In a written decision on Tuesday, US District Judge Gerswhin Drain swept aside the objections by US government prosecutors to clinical psychologist and torture expert Dr. Mary Fabri’s credibility as an expert witness.

His decision was issued a week after a hearing on the matter was scheduled to take place but cancelled by Drain at the last minute.

In November 2014, a jury found 69-year-old Palestinian American community leader Rasmea Odeh guilty of immigration fraud after a week-long trial in federal court in Detroit.

In March 2015, Drain sentenced Odeh to 18 months in prison, which she would serve before being stripped of her citizenship and deported.

In February 2016, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Drain had erred by barring Fabri or Odeh from testifying during the trial about Odeh’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as part of her defense.

Prosecutors had argued against allowing for a new trial with Fabri’s testimony, asserting that it would be irrelevant and that Fabri was not qualified.

But Drain refuted each of the government’s arguments, at one point describing them as “puzzling.”

His decision clears the way for a new trial, scheduled to begin in a month.

Fishing expedition
In October 2013, federal prosecutors indicted Odeh, associate director of the Chicago nonprofit the Arab American Action Network, for unlawful procurement of naturalization, nine years after she became a US citizen and just one year short of the statute of limitations.

The indictment followed 2010 FBI raids on the homes of community and political activists in Chicago and other cities, leading to the subpoena of Arab American Action Network records. Six years after the raids and subpoenas to about two dozen individuals, no indictments have ever been filed against any of the original targets.

Though Odeh was not one of the original subjects of the broad investigation, her 45-year-old record from Israel was discovered in thousands of documents the US government obtained from Israeli authorities.

In 1969 Odeh was convicted by an Israeli military court of helping to coordinate a series of bombings in Jerusalem that killed two young men. She served 10 years in Israeli prison before being released in a prisoner exchange.

Odeh’s lawyers have maintained that she was convicted based on a confession that followed prolonged torture.

When Odeh filled out an application for US citizenship in 2004, she answered “No” to a series of questions asking if she had “ever” been arrested, charged, convicted or imprisoned.

Torture expert and psychologist, Dr. Mary Fabri examined Odeh over the course of several months in 2014 and concluded that Odeh suffers from PTSD as a result of torture, including rape by Israeli interrogators nearly 50 years ago.

Based on that examination, Fabri believes Odeh could have filtered out the traumatic memories when she filled out her immigration and naturalization applications.

Odeh’s legal team is arguing that as a result of her PTSD she understood the questions to be asking whether she had any criminal record in the United States.

Succesful appeal
In her first trial, Judge Drain refused to allow Odeh to mention her torture or PTSD in court.

A federal appeals court disagreed with Drain’s restrictions on Odeh’s defense, holding that Fabri’s testimony is “potentially admissible because it is relevant to whether Odeh knew that her statements were false, which is an element of a prosecution.”

“Because the government must prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt … a defendant’s righ

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh » ... -1.3003397
 ... -1.3003397

Here's what Jimmy Breslin wrote about Donald Trump decades ago
Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017, 2:55 PM

Jimmy Breslin took a look at one of New York’s biggest characters, Donald Trump, and saw a chump.

The legendary columnist, who died Sunday, was an original champion of the working class, using his space in the Daily News and other papers to spotlight heroes and villains for ordinary New Yorkers.

And many years before Trump’s unprecedented rise to the presidency, Breslin summed up the fellow Queens boy as an enemy of the people.

In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Breslin saw through Trump’s worst instincts — his bullying and bragging, his cheapskate scams, his abuses of the press and the public — while most metro media marveled at the real estate mogul as a symbol of success.

Legendary Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin dead at 88
One of Breslin’s earliest mentions of Trump avoided even using the name that would soon be screamed from front pages and skyscrapers worldwide.

In a 1982 Daily News column, Breslin brushed past “a young builder named Junior with a Big Ego,” who had recently made a famous but fruitless bid to buy the newspaper.

“His civic responsibility in the past consisted of getting tax abatements,” Breslin mused about the man who would become a daily fixture in the city’s tabloids.

Jimmy Breslin died Sunday at 88.
In a series of Newsday columns years later, which the paper republished Sunday, Breslin unleashed harsh truths about Trump that have only gained more currency since the tycoon took the White House.

Jimmy Breslin to join N.Y. Journalism Hall of Fame
“Trump, in the crinkling of an eye, senses better than anyone the insecurity of people, that nobody knows whether anything is good or bad until they are told, and he is quite willing to tell them immediately,” Breslin wrote in a 1988 column about Trump’s purchase of an airline, which turned out to be one of his biggest business failures.

Breslin saw Trump as a Queens guy running “crap games” while a hungry public admired him for “t

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh »

A long time coming, we know. But we wanted to make certain the first public offering from the Legislative Drafting Institute for Child Protection was correct on all counts and complete in all respects before its release. We'll say no more ... we'll let the material speak for itself: ... For shortcuts, go to Best Practices, then Legislative Proposals.

This is the larger issue. And this is first step toward testing the concept that, if armed with the right tools, an outraged public will ACT. The next move is ours.


USA Track & Field (USATF) was the first organization to approach LDICP with a research project. In support of the USATF’s mission to keep the children who participate in their programs safe, LDICP has assembled a comprehensive report and model legislation on Combating Sexual Abuse of Participants in Youth Sports.

The research reports and accompanying documents are posted below.

Part I: Best Practices for Combating Sexual Abuse of Participants in Youth Sports

Part II: Legislative Proposals for Combating Sexual Abuse of Participants in Youth Sports

Part III: Presentation to USATF

Part IV: LDICP Legislative Surveys of the United States and Its Territories
Circle of Trust Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse: Maximum Penalties by State
Employee and Volunteer Background Checks for Those Working with Children: Laws by State
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse: Laws by State

Complete Report Package (all parts): LDICP Research Package (131 pages)

©2016 LDICP All Rights Reserved • Call Us: 225-317-9357
7515 Jefferson Hwy, #243, Baton Rouge, LA 70806-8308 Donate

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh » ... l-warming/

Scorching 129 Degree (F) Temps Hit Iran; Severe June European Heatwave Attributed to Climate Change; Satellite Data Confirms Rapid Global Warming

In a slew of climate change related news this week, Iran’s city of Ahvaz saw temperatures hit near the highest readings ever recorded on Earth, a new scientific model study has found that climate change made the recent heatwave that hit Europe this June two to ten times more likely, and climate change deniers lost a major cherry-picked talking point as the most recent satellite data now confirms the rapid global temperature rise that ground stations have been reporting all along.

129 F in Iran — Near Record for Globe, But Not a 35 C Wet Bulb Reading

On Thursday, in Ahvaz, Iran, temperatures hit a blazing 53.7 degrees Celsius or 128.66 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures were just shy of the 54 C (129.2 F) global records in Mitribah, Kuwait on July 21, 2016 and in California’s Death Valley on July 30, 2013 identified by Chris C Burt of Weather Underground. The reading was also the hottest temperature ever recorded in Asia.

This very severe high temperature came just one day after the thermometer struck 52.9 C (127.2 F) on Wednesday and is the strongest temperature spike of a broader Middle Eastern heatwave that has been baking the near-Persian-Gulf-region for many days. Such severe heat did not, however, tip wet bulb readings above the 35 C human self-cooling threshold despite an extremely hazardous heat index near 142 F. A combined dew point of 72 F, a 129 F temperature, and 995 hPa pressure resulted in wet bulb readings of around 30.2 C for the city — quite dangerous, but not beyond the human limit for temperature self-regulation.

June European Heatwave Attributed to Climate Change

As the Middle East was testing new all-time high temperature records for planet Earth, Europe was also sweltering under combined severe heat and drought. Throughout June, dry weather and high temperatures have plagued Europe. Extreme record heat sweltered the UK, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Belgium — setting off heat emergencies and forcing some regions to ration water. Belgium as a country saw its highest night-time temperature readings on record. England endured its hottest day since 1976. Meanwhile, the heat and extreme dryness set off wildfires that resulted in the tragic loss of 64 lives in Portugal while 1,500 were forced to evacuate from similar extreme blazes in Spain.

(June heat set off a rash of extreme conditions across Europe. World Weather Attribution has linked this extreme event to climate change. Image source: Climate Central.)

This kind of heat is becoming more typical around the world as global temperatures have increased, on average by around 1.2 C since the 1880s. And a recent climate change model attribution study has confirmed that this particular heat wave was a lot worse than it otherwise would have been without the added kick provided by human-forced warming. For a study by World Weather Attribution found “clear and strong links between June’s record warmth and human-caused climate change.”

According to the new study:

“These high temperatures are no longer rare in the current climate, occurring roughly every 10 to 30 years depending on the country. The team found that climate change made the intensity and frequency of such extreme heat at least twice as likely in Belgium, at least four times as likely in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and central England and at least 10 times as likely in Portugal and Spain.”

Satellite Data Confirms Rapid Global Warming

In another climate science related development, remote sensing researchers at the University of California have significantly revised their lower troposphere temperature record. The revision corrected for orbital decay in satellites that caused the world to appear to warm more slowly than actual trends. As a result of these revisions, a significant subset of the satellite data now largely confirms the more accurate land based temperature record showing significant global warming over the past few decades.

(Satellite data revised to correct for orbital decay now basically confirms land-based observations of global temperature increase. Image source: Carbon Brief. Data Scource: RSS and NASA.)

Dr Carl Mears, a co-author of the new findings, in a statement to Carbon Brief noted:

By correctly accounting for the changes in satellite measurement times, the new satellite data are in better agreement with the surface data.

Carbon Brief goes on to add that:

Unlike the satellite temperature record, where only a few satellites are measuring temperatures at any given point of time, there is a large amount of redundancy in surface temperature observations, with multiple independent sets of data producing consistent results. Therefore, it is not too surprising that corrections to problems with satellite data would move them closer to surface records.

Climate change deniers (self-labeled skeptics), have long pointed to satellite data showing the Earth warming at a slower rate than land-based measures. These ‘skeptics’ have then gone on to falsely claim that such data throws the whole issue of human-caused climate change into doubt. But this same group has failed to acknowledge the fact that orbital decay, as pointed out by the very researchers that run the satellite sensors, tends to result in artificially cool readings.

The recent reworking of satellite data to account for orbital decay along with researchers’ direct acknowledgement of the higher accuracy of land-based data removes the rational scientific basis for this line of ‘climate skeptic’ argumentation and renders past assertions in this vein mostly moot.


Mercury Tips Record 53.7 C in Iran

World Weather Attribution

Europe’s Extreme June Heat Clearly Linked to Climate Change

Chris C Burt

Major Correction to Satellite Data Shows 140 Percent Faster Warming Since 1998

Hat tip to wili

Hat tip to bostonblurp

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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, July 4, 2017, 11:13 AM ... c31552c66f

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← Trump, Khashoggi, & Germany’s Criminal Deutsche Bank
GOP operative soliciting Russian hackers was bagman for ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’
Posted on July 2, 2017 by Daniel Hopsicker
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The GOP operative leading a team looking for Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails—the same ones Donald Trump had publicly implored Russia to find—was active as a Republican bagman in what Hillary Clinton famously called the “vast right-wing conspiracy” during the Bill Clinton-era Troopergate sex scandals.

Chicago financier and leading GOP donor Peter W. Smith last year launched a well-funded quest for Clinton’s missing emails, according to a pair of stories by Shane Harris in the Wall Street Journal.

During his hunt for the stolen emails Smith told computer specialists he approached that he was working with Michael Flynn, then a top Trump foreign policy adviser, as well as Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon.

Smith, an old Clinton foe and an enthusiastic backer of Trump, died of undisclosed causes less than two weeks after talking to the Journal.

Corroboration for the story came from a former British government intelligence official who said he was approached last summer by the veteran Republican operative to help verify hacked Hillary Clinton emails from a mysterious and most likely Russian source.

The incident, recounted by Matt Tait, who was a information security specialist for British intelligence (GCHQ) and now runs a private internet security consultancy in the UK, sheds new light on pathways used by the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election in Donald Trump’s favour.

Tait’s account, published on the Lawfare national security blog, shows Republican operative Peter Smith’s willingness to collude with the Russians, as well as possible collusion by Trump aides.

Troopergate bagman revealed

In his efforts during the campaign last year, Smith reprised a role he first played in 1992 as a Republican bagman, passing out an estimated $ 80,000 cash while trolling for dirt on Bill Clinton.

“Chicagoan was trooper bagman” was the headline of a United Press International report on March 31, 1998.

“A Chicago banker says he played a pivotal role in getting the so-called ”Troopergate” story into print. Investment banker Peter W. Smith says he paid out $80,000 to two Arkansas troopers and their lawyer as part of a plan to bring sexual misconduct allegations against President Clinton into the mainstream press.

“The story led to the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit against Clinton, which led to the special prosecutor’s sex-and-cover-up investigation involving former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and others.”

A revealing April 10, 1995 story in Crain’s Chicago Business headlined “NEWT’S DOLE: HIS ILLINOIS PATRONS” stated:

“When Newt Gingrich talks, a lot of people listen these days. What a lot of people don’t know is that when Peter W. Smith talks, Newt Gingrich listens.

Smith started his own political efforts in 1988, organizing the Republican Candidates for the Future Political Action Committee (PAC). Shortly thereafter he met Newt Gingrich.

“I was introduced to him by some people from Goldman Sachs in New York,” said Smith. ”I became a supporter pretty much on the spot.”

“In addition to his support for GOPAC, Mr. Smith is a major backer of the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based conservative think tank, as well as a contributor to various GOP candidates for Congress.

“He also hosts lunches in his Wrigley Building offices every month or so for visiting GOP luminaries, such as Mr. Gingrich, Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, and noted Republican strategist William Kristol.

“In 1992 Smith began an effort to dig up dirt on Clinton to help re-elect George Bush president. Although the White House contended there is an anti-Clinton network, Smith said he worked alone.

Another lone wolf financier?

Yet there is ample evidence this was not the case, and that Smith was assisted by operatives who were also officials in the Republican party.

For example, Richard W. Porter, a law partner in Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s private practice, provided advice and shared information with Smith’s covert investigation of President Clinton’s sex life conducted between 1992 and 1994.

At the time that Porter first began assisting Smith, he had been directing an opposition research effort against Clinton for the Bush reelection campaign,” Salon magazine reported. Billing records showed Porter was paid for “legal strategy” and prepared a memo on “investigative leads” that could embarrass Clinton.

That Richard W. Porter, a key player in Smith’s efforts, was also Kenneth Starr’s law partner was never admitted in Starr’s statements to the attorney general’s office, which supported Clinton’s assertions that a perjury trap had been set for him.

During the 1992 presidential race, then-President George Bush suggested that Clinton might have done something unpatriotic, saying that Clinton should disclose to voters “how many demonstrations he led against his own country from a foreign soil.”

Salon magazine reported that Smith discussed underwriting an investigative effort to obtain information about a college trip that President Clinton made to the Soviet Union in 1969.

Sources said Smith discussed probing Clinton’s Soviet trip in a meeting with other conservative activists. The sources, two of whom participated in the discussions, said that Clinton’s trip was only one of a number of issues that Smith thought worthy of investigation.

“Condolences on your recent death”

Anyone who suspects that the Trump campaign’s defense will be to paint Peter Smith as a “lone wolf financier” may find it profitable to check out the encomiums to Smith that have been left on a ‘Life Tributes’ page at Reuland & Turnbough Funeral Directors in Smith’s hometown of Lake Forest, Illinois.

The first to leave a message of condolence was conservative columnist Charles K. Ortel, who wrote “Peter was a great American patriot who helped me enormously in an ongoing investigation of the Clinton family charity frauds.”

Ortel, who a financial writer calls “A Harvard MBA Guy out to Bring Down the Clintons,” has often been featured on Breitbart. A story headlined “Al-Jazeera, Global Jihad, and the Suicide of the West” noted “Cliff Kincaid is holding another one of his amazing press conferences at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.”

“One speaker, Jerry Kenney, an independent television producer, has uncovered evidence of public television stations illegally turning over their airwaves to foreign propaganda channels, including Al-Jazeera and Russia Today (RT) television. He has filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over this illegal activity and will tell us all about it.”

Another one of the featured participants was Charles Ortel, “who’s been warning that many initiatives launched by the Obama Administration constitute a “War on Capitalism.”

The War on Capitalism aside, Ortel was obviously out of sympathy with expressions about “public television stations illegally turning over their airwaves to foreign propaganda channels, including Al-Jazeera and Russia Today (RT) television.”

“Vault 7: Plan 9 from outer space for nerds

Because when Russia’s Sputnik News wanted to stir up comment about whether the release of WikiLeaks’ “Vault 7” would contain anything comparable to the Iraq War Logs or the Podesta emails, Ortel was only too happy to share his views “on the mysterious “Vault 7″ and secret materials which may find their way out in the near future.”

Ortel responded to Sputnik with what some might say sounds like a winking aside.

“I am happy to try answering your questions with the caveat applying to each of my answers that I am joining you in making educated guesses — I have no connection, direct or indirect, with WikiLeaks or with anyone connected to WikiLeaks.”

“I suspect that the next set of WikiLeaks papers may drop earlier than this coming April — if they are extensive, they may need many days to disseminate this information to the general public,” Ortel said.

Then he serves the main course, noting:

“If Vault 7 is a reference to the 7th Floor at the US State Department (which it may or may not be), then it is possible that the forthcoming release will document more intervention in foreign elections and referenda and show previously unseen communications and deliberations involving US government personnel, possibly including Hillary Clinton, her aides, and other members of the Obama Administration.”

Bagman with a mean streak

Republican moneyman Smith was spreading cash around in Arkansas in 1992 in hopes of securing some devastating sex stories. Yet when Hillary Clinton responded to the Monica Lewinsky meltdown by positing a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” she was widely mocked as an X-files-type fantasist.

Journalists also sniffed at disclosures by Salon magazine and elsewhere tracing hundreds of thousands of dollars in conservative money into the pockets of anti-Clinton investigators and operatives like Peter W. Smith.

An In These Times story headlined “Was Hillary Correct? Right-Wing Conspiracies & Hardball Politics” by reporter Robert Perry reviewed reports of Smith’s efforts to catch Bill Clinton with his pants down, then offered an unexpectedly poignant passage:

“At the time Hillary Clinton told confidants she did not believe any of the troopers’ allegations.

“The troopers’ stories were circulated after one of the troopers was caught by his wife with the telephone number of a woman in his pocket while doing her husband’s laundry, the first lady told friends.

“When the trooper’s wife demanded an explanation, according to the first lady’s version of the story, he falsely said that he had obtained the phone number for the governor. After the incident, Hillary Clinton told her friend stories began to circulate about the troopers assisting Clinton in meeting women.

“Said the friend who was told the story: “You listen to the story and you know that it’s not plausible. But you don’t have the heart to say anything.”

Then, more than 20 years later, it happened again.

That the same Republican moneyman who helped finance the sex scandals during Bill Clinton’s presidency was leading a search more than 20 years later for Russian hackers who could deliver Hillary Clinton’s missing emails for public consumption is, for Clinton,

By this time next year, CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling will be out of prison. But in the meantime, Jeffrey and his wife Holly continue to endure a very painful ordeal.

For both of them, you’re been a lifeline -- signing petitions in support of Jeffrey, maybe donating to the Sterling Family Fund, maybe writing to Jeffrey. Whatever you’ve done has been vitally important, lifting their spirits.

Now, please read the new message from Holly below.

-- The Team


Dear Friends,

The anticipation of the appellate court issuing its decision is over. On June 22, the court upheld the unjust convictions of my beloved husband Jeffrey. An entire judicial system failed him yet again. We are grieving another horrific loss and miscarriage of justice that has been allowed to continue for so many years. We always maintained the hope and belief that the truth would prevail and true justice would be delivered; instead we are devastated and reliving the nightmare of the conviction once again.

The start of this summer also marked completion of the second year of Jeffrey's incarceration. He had this to share reflecting on this tragedy:

"Two years of imprisonment have given me ample time to reflect on the circumstances in which I find myself today. I often retrace my steps, carefully recalling each conversation I had and action I took that landed me in this prison. However, in the two years that I have served, my position has never wavered. I know who I am, and I know what my values are. My name is Jeffrey Alexander Sterling, and I am an innocent man who has been wrongfully convicted of espionage after dedicating my life to serving the U.S. government.

"I was convicted of espionage against the U.S. government for being in communication with a reporter. The CIA accused me of offering New York Times journalist James Risen classified national defense information regarding Operation Merlin, a top-secret operation that targeted Iran’s nuclear program, which Risen later described in his book ‘State of War.’

“Though I have persistently maintained that I never disclosed any classified information to Risen and was only in touch with him regarding my discrimination case against the CIA, I was nonetheless convicted of espionage based solely on metadata from phone calls and emails we had exchanged. Despite the lack of any direct evidence proving I was the source for Risen’s book, I am now entering the third year of my three-and-a-half-year prison sentence.”

Jeffrey and I are beginning to look forward to and preparing for his return home as his official release date is June 14, 2018.

Please continue to support and assist us in those preparations:

** Your help for the Sterling Family Fund would continue to grant me the privilege of visiting Jeffrey in Colorado and provide funds for essential preparations. You can make a donation by clicking here. Contributions of any amount are a real help and gratefully received.

** Please continue to send words of support and encouragement to my beloved husband. Your sentiments will lend much-needed support and strength handling the news of this latest injustice. You may write letters and/or send cards to him at the following address:


Jeffrey and I continue to find solace in your unwavering support. We remain eternally grateful as you have remained by our side through this seemingly endless nightmare. Thank you to each of you for your warm sentiments and overwhelming generosity. All of you are in our thoughts and we wish you continued health, happiness, and peace.

Your friend,
Holly Sterling

PS from the Team: We hope that you can write to Jeffrey and/or click here to make a contribution to the Sterling Family Fund. The thoughtful letters and the donations, no matter how short or how small, loom large for providing vital ongoing support to Jeffrey as a CIA whistleblower who is paying a steep personal price for his courage.

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>> BBC News: "Jeffrey Sterling's Trial by Metadata"
>> John Kiriakou: “CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling Placed in Solitary Confinement”
>> ExposeFacts: Special Coverage of the Jeffrey Sterling Trial
>> Marcy Wheeler, ExposeFacts: "Sterling Verdict Another Measure of Declining Government Credibility on Secrets"
>> Norman Solomon, The Nation: "CIA Officer Jeffrey Sterling Sentenced to Prison: The Latest Blow in the Government's War on Journalism"
>> Reporters Without Borders: "Jeffrey Sterling Latest Victim of the U.S.' War on Whistleblowers"
>> AFP: "Pardon Sought for Ex-CIA Officer in Leak Case"
>> Documentary film: "The Invisible Man: NSA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling"
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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Gay Equality is Coming Quickly

Usually public opinion on important and emotional subjects shifts gradually. The realization that discrimination against African Americans and women was wrong came very slowly. For more than a century, Americans spoke out against sexism and racism. In the 19th century, they were considered radicals, advocating unpopular political positions against traditional beliefs in white male superiority. By the 20th century, opinion in America was split and some discriminatory laws were changed, but common practices based in prejudice persisted.

Only after World War II did majority public opinion shift away from entrenched discrimination, but even then progress was halting. The two Supreme Court decisions that declared school segregation (1954) and laws against mixed-race marriages (1967) unconstitutional were 13 years apart, and they were just way stations along a much longer journey toward equality. In both cases, defenders of discrimination used religious arguments to oppose equal treatment for blacks and women, citing Biblical verses written thousands of years ago to claim that God had declared the superiority of white men for all time.

Change comes more quickly in modern society, as we can see in the technological innovations which replace each other with bewildering rapidity. In 1999, Ray Kurzweil proposed the “The Law of Accelerating Returns”; he believed that change in a wide variety of evolutionary systems, including technology, would come with accelerated speed. We might see this “law” operating in the third great shift in public opinion about traditional discriminatory practices, the acceptance of homosexual people as normal and deserving of equal rights.

Data from the Pew Research Center shows a dramatic recent shift in American public opinion on same-sex marriage, which may be taken as an indicator of more general attitudes about homosexuality. After years of relative stability, in the last 8 years the proportion of Americans who oppose gay marriage dropped from 54% to 32%, as the number who favor it rose from 37% to 62%. That same amount of opinion shift on inter-racial marriage took about twice as long.

The popular shift has been rapid, but not smooth. After Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003, 12 states passed constitutional amendments outlawing it in the next year alone, and eventually 30 states passed such backlash legislation. The Supreme Court decision in 2015 that rights guaranteed by the Constitution to all citizens included the right to get married came four years after support for same-sex marriage reached majority status.

Like many shifts in social attitudes, this was led by young people. The latest Pew survey shows 18- to 29-year-olds against discrimination by 79% to 19%, while Americans over 72 remain opposed to this change by 49% to 41%. But every demographic group, whatever their attitudes were a few years ago, has shifted towards acceptance. Opposition remains concentrated among white evangelical Protestants, conservative Republicans, and the oldest Americans, groups which considerably overlap. Those who demonize their neighbors who have a different sexual orientation continue to use arguments derived from Christian tradition as justification.

What caused this rapid shift in public opinion? When Pew asked why people had changed their minds, the most common answer was that they knew someone who is homosexual. Visibility has been a significant factor in the increasing acceptance of gays in America. While race and gender are usually obvious, homosexuality was not.

I grew up in an America where homosexuality was queer, meaning strange and unnatural. It was dangerous for a gay person to reveal their orientation, which could cost them their jobs. Homosexual relations were criminal across the country, until Illinois was the first state to decriminalize same-sex relations in 1962. So I didn’t know any homosexuals. I, like most Americans, had no evidence from life experience that gay people were not as they were portrayed in medical practice (sick), in official propaganda (dangerous), and in common talk (weird).

Over the course of 30 years, the proportion of Americans who said that someone they knew revealed to them that they were gay rose from 24% in 1985 to 75% in 2013. Since it is unlikely that the incidence of homosexuality has changed significantly, what did change was the realization that there are gay people in everyone’s social circle.

The end of discrimination against homosexuality is determined by changing public opinion and political practice, which differ from country to country. Germany, in many ways more officially opposed to discrimination of all kinds than the US, just legalized gay marriage last week. A recent poll showed that 83% of Germans approved of same-sex marriage, much higher than in the US. But the politics of the conservative party, the Christian Democrats, who have led the government since 2005, prevented any vote on the issue until now.

Bigots will keep using religion as a cover for prejudice, as in the so-called religious freedom laws. But the shift toward acceptance of homosexuality will continue, as older opponents are replaced by younger advocates. Because our gay relatives and friends do not fit the prejudicial stereotypes, discriminatory impulses will lose their persuasive power.

Happy birthday, America.

Steve Hochstadt
Springbrook, WI
Published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, July 4, 2017

Level 34 Illuminated
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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

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Link du jour ... t-williams ... -al-pacino ... ts-1004567 ... age-voice/

Read Frank Serpico’s Blistering 1975 Letter to the Village Voice
After the release of the hit film about his life, the hero cop who exposed corruption in the ranks sent a letter to his hometown paper

July 8 2017

Al Pacino in Sidney Lumet’s “Serpico” (1973)
Starting this week, Film Forum is presenting “Ford to City: Drop Dead — New York in the ’70s,” a series devoted to the classic, history-making movies made during some of the city’s darkest years. To go with the retrospective, we will be sharing some of the stories and reviews that ran in the Village Voice during this time.

Al Pacino and Sidney Lumet’s hit 1973 film, Serpico, about the undercover cop who exposed police corruption and criminality in the NYPD in the late Sixties and Seventies, was one of the seminal movies of this era. And in its February 3, 1975, issue, the Voice ran a lengthy letter from Frank Serpico himself, who at that time was living in the Netherlands. In the letter, written with the help of the Voice’s Lucian K. Truscott IV, Serpico offers his thoughts on the film, the politics of the day, his fellow cops’ response to him, and the issues of police brutality and racism that continued to plague the force, and in many ways still do so today.

The piece also included a sidebar by Truscott about the circumstances that led to the Serpico letter. It also featured some of the correspondence Serpico had himself received, including a threatening one, filled with racist invective, from an “Ex-policeman in New York.”

Welcome to the Arizona Center for Investigative Journalism, is the primary website for The Arizona Center for Investigative Journalism, Inc.

The Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit Arizona corporation and will not engage in any form of political advocacy. The Center received formal approval from the IRS in January 2014 and all contributions are fully tax deductible.

The Center’s mission is to conduct independent investigative reporting on matters of the highest public interest and disseminate the information to the general public through the website, documentary films and published reports.

A recent example of investigative reporting supported by the Center is InvestigativeMEDIA’s investigation of the Yarnell Hill Fire that killed 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots on June 30, 2013.

The Center will help fill the increasing void of investigative reporting resulting from the collapse of the traditional newspaper industry.

The Center may enter into agreements with major media outlets and university journalism schools to conduct joint investigative reporting projects for publication on the Center’s website and with media and university partners.

The Center will also provide an important training ground for young journalists on state and federal public records laws, open meetings laws and access to business information.

The Center will focus on major investigative reporting projects and will not cover day-to-day events. However, the Center will report on the underlying issues that shape much of the daily news coverage.

Energy production and distribution, natural resource exploitation, water supplies and distribution, environmental issues, urban growth and development, transportation, international trade, immigration policies, criminal justice issues, public and private education and campaign finance are among the topics the Center will ... em-failed/

Assistant Sheriff in Orange County Says the System Failed

July 7, 2017
SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) — For years, the sheriff’s department in Orange County, California, had a “failed system” that allowed deputies to use jail informants to violate the constitutional rights of criminal suspects, an assistant sheriff testified Thursday.

“During that period of time, we had a failed system,” Assistant Sheriff Adam Powell told Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals. “We had no policy and worse protocols.”

Powell’s testimony came in an evidentiary hearing to determine whether convicted mass murderer Scott DeKraai should be spared the death penalty for killing his ex-wife and seven others at a beauty parlor in 2011.

DeKraai’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders, says the sheriff department’s improper use of informants to obtain incriminating statements justifies the restriction on sentencing.

Sanders’ allegations against the sheriff’s and the Orange County district attorney’s offices — which he first laid out in a 505-page motion in January 2014 — set off a continuing controversy in the county and led Judge Goethals to remove the district attorney as DeKraai’s prosecutor in November last year. The California Attorney General’s Office has taken over the case.

Powell’s testimony in some ways contradicted that of his boss, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, who testified Wednesday that while “a few” deputies in the jails may have violated the law, the practice was not widespread.

“There is no jailhouse informant program … that is not in accordance with the rules,” Hutchens testified.

But Powell told Goethals that the department’s “whole process [for informants] was failed.”

He said the deputies in the jails’ Special Handling Unit, who cultivated and developed informants, were doing what their supervisors wanted them to do.

“Deputies were working on their assigned duties and doing their job, and, as you very well know, they received accolades,” he told Sanders in court. ... -violence/

Protester Gets Prison Time for Inauguration Day Violence

July 7, 2017 ... -1.3313668

Witness claims California cop used N slur during traffic stop

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Sunday, July 9, 2017, 8:37 PM ... -1.3313397

House oversight committee investigates HUD Brooklyn housing co-owned by Trump for possible conflicts of interest
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Sunday, July 9, 2017, 5:56 PM ... -institute

Koch-funded Ex-GOP Congressman Tim Huelskamp to Lead Climate Science Denial Group Heartland Institute
By Graham Readfearn • Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 11:26 ... -1.3313298

Iowa woman who believed election was rigged pleads guilty to voting twice for President Trump
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Sunday, July 9, 2017, 4:33 PM ... -1.3309724

The most dangerous man in the White House is not who you think it is
DAILY NEWS CONTRIBUTOR Friday, July 7, 2017, 6:30 PM

The most dangerous man in the Trump administration isn't Steve Bannon or Jeff Sessions or even the President himself.

Instead, it's a sleazy, creepy lawyer who died 30 years ago, and his name is Roy Cohn.

It's not nice to criticize the dead, but in Cohn's case, I'll make an exception.

Back in the 1950s, Cohn was chief counsel for Senator Joe McCarthy, when McCarthy was destroying the lives of thousands by claiming they were Communists.

There’s nothing funny about this Bill Cosby show
Cohn's next stop was the espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Were they spies? Probably. Did they deserve the death penalty? Historians say it's an open question, but most agree that Roy Cohn's improper actions during the trial led the Rosenbergs to their electrocution.

At parties in Manhattan, Cohn would tell people that when he was a kid, he used to swim in the Hudson River.

"But it's so disgusting and dirty!" his listeners would exclaim.

To this out-of-towner, NYC pedestrians seem almost suicidal
He would reply with a sly grin, "How do you think it got that way?"

Fast-forward two decades and this same sleazeball becomes the attorney for none other than a young Donald Trump.

In 1973, the Justice Department accused the Trump Organization of violating the Fair Housing Act by denying African Americans the opportunity to rent apartments.

Roy Cohn, Trump's attorney and a notorious counterpuncher, sued the government for $100 million, claiming the charges were baseless.

Can a recovering alcoholic be a great dad? The answer is ‘Yes’
The lawsuit failed, but the strategy won.

Trump skated.

He also learned a tremendous lesson — if somebody hits you, hit him back ten times harder, even when you're wrong.

Especially when you're wrong.

Sound familiar?

When Trump was just a businessman, how he behaved didn't matter — except, of course, to the businesses he fleeced while alternating between growing his empire and going bankrupt.

We saw vestiges of Roy Cohn in Trump's presidential campaign, where he would ignore potential opponents until they attacked him, and then he would attack them with endless brutality.

We're seeing the same thing today — the same brutal counterpunching tactics Trump learned at Roy Cohn's feet.

The biggest victim in all of this?


We are turning into a nation of Roy Cohns, snarling first and asking questions later.

It's not just celebrities, like the alleged comedienne who tweeted a photo of a decapitated Trump, or the Public Theater, turning Julius Caesar into a play about wishful thinking of the death of the President.

It's in the way regular people treat each other.

And it's not just one deranged gunman trying to mow down Republican Congressmen on a baseball diamond.

It's all of us.

It just feels like civility is vanishing from society.

It seems like wherever you go, on the highway, on Manhattan sidewalks, everywhere, people have less patience for each other.

Trump recently described the House bill to replace Obamacare as "mean."

But what's really become mean is we, the people.

It's just ugly out there.

I can't point to statistics and surveys. I can just tell you what I'm seeing.

People are emulating our President.

They're getting nasty.

They're getting short with each other.

As the President himself would tweet, sad.

So as ... ent-energy

Sunday, July 9, 2017 - 06:58 • BEN JERVEY
Yet Another Koch Cadet Hired to Push Fossil Fuels at Trump's Energy Department
Trump and his Cabinet
The Koch brothers have landed yet another of their trusted fossil fuel think tank veterans in the Trump administration’s Department of Energy (DOE). Alex Fitzsimmons was Manager of Policy and Public Affairs at the Institute for Energy Research (IER) and its advocacy arm, the American Energy Alliance (AEA), while also working as a “spokesman” and communications director for Fueling US Forward (FUSF), the Koch-funded campaign to bolster public opinion of fossil fuels.

Fitzsimmons will be joining former IER colleagues Daniel Simmons and Travis Fisher at the DOE. ... -la-riots/

Dakota Access Security Firm’s Top Adviser Led Military Intelligence Efforts for 1992 LA Riots

Retired Major General James “Spider” Marks chairs the advisory board for TigerSwan, a private security firm hired by Energy Transfer Partners to help police protests of the Dakota Access pipeline — an approach for which Marks has shown vocal support.

DeSmog has found that Marks also headed up intelligence efforts for the task force which brought over 10,000 U.S. military troops to police the 1992 riots following the acquittal of Los Angeles Police Department members involved in beating Rodney King. In addition, Marks, a long-time military analyst for CNN, led intelligence-gathering efforts for the U.S.military’s 2003 “shock and awe” campaign in Iraq, which was dubbed “Operation Iraqi Liberation.”

In recent months, Marks has endorsed Dakota Access and its southern leg, the Bayou Bridge pipeline. He has shown this support by writing op-ed pieces published in various newspapers and on the website of a pro-Dakota Access coalition run by a PR firm funded by Energy Transfer Partners.

“I spent a good portion of my adult life in Iraq, and I must tell you that the similarities are stark,” Marks said in November of the anti-Dakota Access encampment set up by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Marks, according to The Washington Times, traveled to Standing Rock “as an adviser to the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now” (MAIN), a pro-pipeline front group run by the Republican Party public relations firm, DCI Group.

“General Marks is still an adviser to the coalition. He is given a modest stipend for his time and expertise,” DCI Group’s Craig Stevens told DeSmog of Marks’ relationship with MAIN. “TigerSwan is not a member of the Coalition nor does the Coalition receive any funding from them.” Stevens manages public relations efforts for MAIN and is the crisis management lead for DCI.

In February, Marks traveled to Louisiana to speak in favor of the Bayou Bridge pipeline at a Louisiana Department of Natural Resources hearing.

Neither Marks nor TigerSwan responded to requests for comment for this story. TigerSwan has recently come under fire by the North Dakota Private Investigative and Security Board for operating in the state without a permit, with the Board filing a legal complaint about the matter. Energy Transfer Partners says TigerSwan is no longer working on its behalf in North Dakota.

Pentagon Pundits

Among his numerous public appearances, writings, and television pit stops, Marks has failed to disclose his advisory board position for TigerSwan. Failure to disclose affiliations, though, is not unusual for Marks.

As a military pundit for CNN, both The New York Times and the watchdog group Public Accountability Initiative (PAI) have documented that Marks has often appeared on cable TV while not disclosing his ties to military weapons companies. The 2008 New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation — “Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand” — covered Marks and explained that he and over 75 others were paid by the George W. Bush administration to give seemingly independent, pro-Iraq War analyses on cable TV outlets beginning in early 2002.

The catch: The public was never informed that these pro-war pundits were on the Pentagon’s payroll and often on the payroll of military weapons companies as well.

“To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as ‘military analysts’ whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world,” wrote The Times. “Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance.”

The thousands of documents obtained for The New York Times investigation were organized and published online in a searchable format by the Center for Media and Democracy. Those memoranda, emails, and other materials offer an insightful window into the cozy relationships among the upper echelons of the U.S. media, the U.S. military, and the U.S.government. General Marks fits neatly in the intersection of these three entities.

In an email to Major General Donald Shepperd, Joy DiBenedetto, then Vice President of Network Booking and Research at CNN Worldwide, thanked Shepperd for putting her in contact with General Marks. She wrote, “you can always contact me for any CNN reason, and if I’m not the right person, I can certainly get you to the right person.”

In 2006 Marks traveled on a pro-Iraq War trip during his capacity as a Pentagon pundit. That trip was convened by the U.S.Department of Defense, and the Pentagon tried to have Marks ask CNN to foot his bill for travel expenses. Along with other retired military men-turned-analysts, Marks was part of a roundtable meeting with General David Petraeus in 2007, and participated in conference call discussions with Defense Department officials. Marks had his media appearances reviewed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

In PAI’s 2013 report, “Conflicts of interest in the Syria debate,” the watchdog group named 22 people serving as commentators on the issue of whether or not the U.S. should attack Syria for using chemical weapons on its own citizens. That report, paralleling The New York Times’ findings on the Iraq War, found numerous cases of undocumented conflicts of interest. The group of men, which once again included Marks, landed mainstream media pundit gigs on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX and wrote op-eds for Bloomberg and The Washington Post.

PAI noted in its report that out of 111 total appearances by the pundits in October 2013 alone, only 13 had mentioned their relationships to the defense industry. Marks appears on the list identified as the former Commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center. The list ties him into the defense sector by noting his position at Willowdale Services, a boutique consulting firm for the energy and national security industries.

In the documents obtained by The New York Times, a picture emerges of Marks’ advocacy for military intervention in Syria long before 2013. When asked by CNN in February 2007 to speak about the failed bombing attempt on Vice President Cheney, he told the network to “bear in mind you have Syria, which is to the west of Iraq, which is a safe haven for the introduction of new ideas and an opportunity for insurgents to go across that border, and refit, regroup, and reintroduce themselves into the fight.”

And just hours later on another CNN show, Marks made similar remarks about Pakistan, telling CNN’s Brian Todd that “what is significant is the proximity of Bagram Air Base to Pakistan, which is as the crow flies only 70 miles, as you can see right here from Bagram to Pakistan. The region right here is Waziristan. This is the root of the challenge.”

Marks also serves as a source for the private security firm Stratfor (Strategic Forecasting Inc.), according to a roster leaked to and published by Wikileaks. Stratfor’s past client list has included the American Petroleum Institute.

1992 LA Riots

Marks also headed up the Joint Task Force Los Angeles, assigned with cracking down on the violent 1992 riots which erupted in the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict. The task force operated under the authority of an executive order issued by then-President George H.W. Bush. ... uper-smart

Messy, always late and swear like a sailor? It just means you’re super smart
Arwa Mahdawi ... -australia

Philip Morris cigarettes charged millions after losing plain packaging case against Australia
Court of arbitration finds Philip Morris Asia case to be ‘an abuse of rights’ and says it must pay Australia’s multi-million dollar legal costs ... -lifetime/

Family of 4 with Maine roots drops anchor in Portland after journey of a lifetime
Since 2011, Tucker and Victoria Bradford sailed around the world with their children. ... 2015-2016/

Project Censored
The presentation of the Top 25 stories of 2015-2016 extends the tradition originated by Professor Carl Jensen and his Sonoma State University students in 1976, while reflecting how the expansion of the Project to include affiliate faculty and students from campuses across North America has made the Project even more diverse and robust. During this year’s cycle, Project Censored reviewed 235 Validated Independent News stories (VINs) representing the collective efforts of 221 college students and 33 professors from 18 college and university campuses that participate in our affiliate program.

A Note on Research and Evaluation of Censored News Stories
How do we at Project Censored identify and evaluate independent news stories, and how do we know that the Top 25 stories that we bring forward each year are not only relevant and significant, but also trustworthy? The answer is that each candidate news story undergoes rigorous review, which takes place in multiple stages during […]

Continue Reading…
25. NYPD Editing Wikipedia on Police Brutality
In March 2015, Kelly Weill reported in Capital New York that computers operating at One Police Plaza, the headquarters of the New York Police Department (NYPD), had been used “to alter Wikipedia pages containing details of alleged police brutality,” including the entries for Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo. As Mother Jones subsequently reported, […]

Continue Reading…
24. India’s Solar Plans Blocked by US Interests, WTO
The United Nations Conference on Climate Change, held in December 2015 in Paris, featured lofty rhetoric about international cooperation to tackle climate change, including overtures by the US and other nations to include India. Anticipating the Paris summit, World Trade Organization (WTO) director-general Roberto Azevêdo wrote, “The challenge is not to stop trading but to […]

Continue Reading…
23. Modern-Day Child Slavery: Sex Trafficking of Underage Girls in the US
In December 2015, D. Parvaz published “Selling American Girls,” a seven-part investigative report for Al Jazeera America that documented sex trafficking in the US. Each part of her report examined a different role in the sex trafficking trade and its enforcement, from the prostitutes and their buyers, pimps, and advocates, to law enforcement officers and […]

Continue Reading…
22. Department of Education Cooperates with ALEC to Privatize Education
The Department of Education and school districts throughout the US are working with billionaire families such as the Waltons and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to undermine public education, Dustin Beilke reported for PR Watch in January 2016. Instead of defending public education in pursuit of equity for all students, the Department of Education (DoE) is […]

Continue Reading…

Level 34 Illuminated
Posts: 7755

Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh »

Link du jour ... born-case/ ... stigators/ ... 41fdee40b7 ... pope-visit

Gilbert Baker met with FBI in full drag before 1987 Pope visit
by Timothy Rawles - Community Editor for SDGLNARTS & CULTURE ... -well-keep

Why the Ninth Circuit Got It Wrong on National Security Letters and How We’ll Keep Fighting

JULY 18, 2017
In a disappointing opinion issued on Monday, the Ninth Circuit upheld the national security letter (NSL) statute against a First Amendment challenge brought by EFF on behalf of our clients CREDO Mobile and Cloudflare. We applaud our clients’ courage as part of a years-long court battle, conducted largely under seal and in secret.

We strongly disagree with the opinion and are weighing how to proceed in the case. Even though this ruling is disappointing, together EFF and our clients achieved a great deal over the past six years. The lawsuit spurred Congress to amend the law, and our advocacy related to the case caused leading tech companies to also challenge NSLs. Along the way, the government went from fighting to keep every single NSL gag order in place to the point where many have been lifted, some in whole and many in part. That includes this case, of course, where we can now proudly tell the names of our clients to the world.

No matter what happens with these particular lawsuits, we are not done fighting unconstitutional use of NSLs and similar laws.

Making sense of a disappointing ruling

National security letters are a kind of subpoena issued by the FBI to communications service providers like our clients to force them to turn over customer records. NSLs nearly always contain gag orders preventing recipients from telling anyone about these surveillance requests, all without any mandatory court oversight. As a result, the Internet and communications companies that we all trust with our most sensitive information cannot be truthful with their customers and the public about the scope of government surveillance.

NSL gags are perfect examples of “prior restraints,” government orders prohibiting speech rather than punishing it after the fact. The First Amendment embodies the Founders’ strong distrust of prior restraints as powerful censorship tools, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly said they are presumptively unconstitutional unless they meet the “most exacting” judicial scrutiny. Similarly, because NSLs prevent recipients from talking about the FBI’s request for customer data, they are content-based restrictions on speech, which are subject to strict scrutiny. So NSL gags ought to be put to the strictest of First Amendment tests.

Unfortunately, the Ninth Circuit questioned whether NSLs are prior restraints at all. And although the court did acknowledge they are separately content-based restrictions on speech, it said the law is narrowly tailored even though it plainly allows censorship that is broader in scope and longer in duration than the government actually needs. As a result, the court held the government’s interest in national security overcomes any First Amendment interests at stake.

The ruling is seriously flawed.

Not-so-narrow tailoring

In order to find that the law satisfied strict scrutiny, the court overlooked both the overinclusiveness and indefinite duration of NSL gag orders. Narrow tailoring requires that a restriction on speech be fitted carefully to just what the government needs to protect its investigation and that no less speech-restrictive alternatives are available.

But NSLs are often wildly overinclusive. For example, they prevent even a company with millions of users like Cloudflare from simply saying it has received an NSL, on the theory that individual users engaged in terrorism or espionage might somehow infer from that fact alone that the government is on their trail.

The court admitted that a blanket gag in this scenario might well be overinclusive, but it simply deferred to the FBI’s decisionmaking. But of course, under the First Amendment, decisions about censorship aren’t supposed to be left to officials whose "business is to censor.” And here, we know that NSLs routinely issue to big tech companies with large numbers of users like both Cloudflare and CREDO, and only in rare circumstances does the FBI allow these companies to report on specific NSLs they’ve received.

Similarly, the FBI often leaves NSL gags in place indefinitely, sometimes even permanently. Indeed, the FBI has told our client CREDO that one of the NSLs in the case is now permanent, and the Bureau will not further revisit the gag it imposed to determine whether it still serves national security. Here again, the court acknowledged that at the least, narrow tailoring requires a gag “must terminate when it no longer serves” the government’s national security interests. But instead of applying the First Amendment’s narrow tailoring requirement, the court declined to “quibble” with the censoring agency, the FBI, and its loophole-ridden internal procedures for reviewing NSLs. Nevertheless, these procedures “do not resolve the duration issue entirely,” as the Ninth Circuit understatedly put it, since they may still produce permanent gags, as with CREDO. As a result, the court suggested that NSL recipients can repeatedly challenge permanent gags until they’re finally lifted.

The problem of prior restraints and judicial review

However, that points to the other fundamental problem with NSLs: they are issued without any mandatory court oversight. As discussed above, prior restraints are almost never constitutional. The Supreme Court has said that even in the rare circumstance when prior restraints can be justified, they must be approved by a neutral court, not just an executive official. But the NSL statute doesn’t require a court to be involved in all cases; instead, judicial review takes place only if NSL recipients file a lawsuit, like our clients did, or if they ask the government to go to court to review the gag using a procedure known as “reciprocal notice.”

The Ninth Circuit had two responses to this lack of judicial oversight.

First, it wrongly suggested the law of prior restraints simply does not apply here. The theory is that unlike cases involving newspapers that are prevented from publishing, NSL recipients haven’t shown a preexisting desire to speak, and when they do, they’re asking to publish information they supposedly learned from the government. But as we pointed out, that’s inconsistent with case law that says, for instance, that witnesses at grand jury proceedings—which are historically both secret and subject to court oversight—cannot be indefinitely gagged from talking about their own testimony. NSL gags go much further.

Second, the court suggested that even though the burden is on NSL recipients to challenge gags, this is a “de minimis” burden that doesn’t violate the First Amendment. When Congress passed the USA FREEDOM Act in 2015, it gave recipients the option of invoking reciprocal notice and asking the government to go to court rather than filing their own lawsuit. That’s simply not good enough; the First Amendment requires the government be the one to go to court to prove to a judge it actually requires an NSL accompanied by a gag. Not to mention that forcing companies that receive NSLs to fight them in court and defend user privacy may actually be a heavy burden.

Big progress nonetheless

Despite these considerable errors in the Ninth Circuit’s opinion, we shouldn’t lose sight of progress made along the way. Nearly all of the features of the NSL statute that the court pointed to as saving graces of the law—the FBI’s internal review procedures and the option for reciprocal notice most notably—exist only because Congress stepped in during our lawsuit to amend the law.

So what’s left to providers that receive NSLs? Push back on the gags early and often. The “reciprocal notice” process, which the government says only requires a short letter or a phone call, should be done as a matter of course for any company receiving an NSL. And since the Ninth Circuit said that courts retain the ability to re-evaluate the gags as long as they remain in place, gagged providers should ask a court to step in and make sure the FBI can still prove the need for the gag—potentially over and over—until the gag is finally lifted. EFF wants to help with this, and we’re happy to consult with anyone subject to an NSL gag.

We’ve also encouraged technology companies to make the best of the reciprocal notice procedure as part of our annual Who Has Your Back? report. If the government continues to argue that recipients don’t necessarily “want to speak” about NSLs, we can now point to the growing trend of major tech companies—Apple, Adobe, and Dropbox, among others—that have committed to invoking reciprocal notice and challenging every NSL they receive.

Finally, we’ve seen other courts question gag orders in related contexts, and we’ve supported companies like Facebook and Microsoft in these fights. We’re confident that in the long run, these prior restraints will be roundly rejected yet again. ... 5f893e1b02

Scott Ritter, Contributor
Author, ‘Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West’s Road to War’
The Difference Between Watchers And Doers
07/18/2017 09:56 am ET

As a Chief Weapons Inspector with the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq, I often found myself in the media limelight, as the work of the inspectors became fodder for the media. One of these media organizations was Al Jazeera based out of Doha, in Qatar. Al Jazeera began its operations in 1996, in the midst of inspection-derived controversy in Iraq that quickly became one of the lead stories covered by that outlet. In 2001, following my resignation from the UN, I produced and directed a documentary film, In Shifting Sands, about the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Al Jazeera was the first outlet for this film, broadcasting it in its entirety to a large Middle Eastern audience; I also did a number of interviews with Al Jazeera from its Baghdad bureau. Later, in 2004, I began writing a regular opinion column for Al Jazeera’s English-language web site. I often appeared on Al Jazeera’s international and American outlets as an expert commentator on issues pertaining to Iraq and the Middle East. It was, in my opinion, a mutually beneficial relationship.

I imagine that one of the reasons I was attractive to Al Jazeera and other media outlets was the fact that I possessed a wealth of first-hand experience in the topics I was asked to comment on. The Middle East was awash in conflict; as someone who trained for, planned and fought in a Middle Eastern war, my experiences were relevant to the dialogue Al Jazeera wished to pursue. The same could be said for arms control, weapons of mass destruction, and the complex political relationships that existed among the major players of the region—I had direct personal experience, at the highest levels, in all of these areas. When I wrote or spoke on a topic, it was from the point of view of someone who had spent his adult life doing that which he now commented on.

In 2004, about the same time I began writing for Al Jazeera’s English language web site, a young man named Muhhammad Idrees Ahmad was finishing up his studies at The American University in Dubai, where among other things he captained the school tennis team and was recognized for his appreciation of jazz music. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Idrees Ahmad—a citizen of Pakistan who was born in Chitral and raised in Abbottabad and Peshawar—attended the University of Strathclyde, where he earned his PhD. While a doctoral candidate, Idrees Ahmad began blogging on global political issues, and several prestigious outlets, including The London Review Blog and Le Monde Diplomatique, picked up his work. He has been a frequent contributor to Al Jazeera International, and currently works as a professor of digital journalism at the University of Stirling (he has also been a contributor to HuffPost.)

On July 12, 2017, Dr. Idrees Ahmad published an opinion piece in Al that took umbrage with the recent reporting by the Pultizer Prize-winning journalist, Seymour Hersh, in the German daily, Die Welt, as well as earlier articles published in The London Review of Books. Idrees Ahmad also maligns the intellect and integrity of a group of experienced intelligence professionals, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). I am a member of VIPS, whom Idrees Ahmad dismisses as merely a group of “disgruntled former employees of the government.” The professionals who populate VIPS includes Ray McGovern, a retired CIA analyst who used to prepare the Presidential Daily Briefing, considered one of the most sensitive and important pieces of analysis in the US Intelligence Community. Coleen Rowley, a career FBI Special Agent who exposed flaws in the government’s investigation of the 9/11 terror attacks, is also a member. Larry Johnson spent years serving his country honorably in both the CIA and State Department doing things he can never talk about, and which the likes of Idrees Ahmad will never know. The same can be said for Philip Giraldi, William Binney, Elizabeth Murray and the many other intelligence veterans who are VIPS members. These are accomplished professionals with serious resumes that go far beyond playing college tennis and enjoying jazz music; in short, these are people who have decades of firsthand experience actually doing what Idrees Ahmad has only partially observed from afar.

Billions of dollars’ worth of arms against Syria
by Thierry Meyssan
Over the last seven years, several billion dollars’ worth of armament has been illegally introduced into Syria – a fact which in itself is enough to disprove the myth according to which this war is a democratic revolution. Numerous documents attest to the fact that the traffic was organised by General David Petraeus, first of all in public, via the CIA, of which he was the director, then privately, via the financial company KKR with the aid of certain senior civil servants. Thus the conflict, which was initially an imperialist operation by the United States and the United Kingdom, became a private capitalist operation, while in Washington, the authority of the White House was challenged by the deep state. New elements now show the secret rôle of Azerbaïdjan in the evolution of the war. ... -1.3336692

Former NYPD sergeant guilty of tossing semen on female co-worker
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 10:33 PM

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why Americans Voted for Trump

I have been reading about why so many Americans voted for Trump. Simple ignorance is a partial answer. Many Medicaid recipients who voted for Trump did not know that their benefits were due to the Democrats’ health care legislation that he vowed to repeal.

Some voters just believed Trump’s promises to help Americans who suffered economically, even though there was no evidence in his history or the history of the Republican Party that he actually help cared about them. Many former Obama voters who switched to Trump thought that Democrats were more likely to enact policies that favored the wealthy. Now that we can see what Trump and congressional Republicans want to do about taxes and health care, it’s clear how wrong they were.

But support for Trump is about more than ignorance or deluded hopes. An extensive analysis of white working-class voters, about one-third of Americans and a group who favored Trump by a 2-1 margin, shows their unhappiness with today’s America. About two-thirds of them believe “American culture and way of life has deteriorated since the 1950s.” That time frame coincides with the civil rights and women’s movements that have shifted power away from traditionally dominant white men. They express this idea by saying that the US is losing its identity, that immigrants threaten American culture. They believe that America’s best days are in the past. No wonder Trump’s slogan about making America great again had such resonance.

Perhaps related to this pessimism about their country is a tendency to favor authoritarian leaders. A remarkable 56% of white working-class evangelical Protestants were rated as “high authoritarian”, another explanation for supporting Trump. An earlier survey confirms the authoritarian tendencies of Trump voters. People who wanted to raise their children to be “respectful, obedient, well-behaved and well-mannered” were much more likely to be Trump voters than those who wanted children to be “independent, self-reliant, considerate and curious”.

Although the views of the white working class are often labeled racist, I think this misses the mark. About half of them believe that discrimination against whites is as bad as discrimination against minorities, with older people even more sure of this idea. Nearly half of white working-class seniors believe that Christians face a lot of discrimination. This is nonsense, as shown by every study which actually compares treatment of white versus black. But it has this kernel of truth – black Americans and non-Christians have more power than they did in the 1950s. This may be the source of white belief that America has lost its identity and American culture has deteriorated.

A survey taken more than a year ago during the primaries already showed these characteristics of Trump voters: nearly all of them agreed that “my beliefs and values are under attack in America”. The label of “values voters” for white evangelicals was perhaps never accurate. Their votes for Trump, whose personal life represents a rejection of these values, show they are better named “nostalgia voters”, whose vision of a white-male-dominated America no longer represents reality.

A more complex comparison of presidential votes and moral beliefs shows that Trump voters were likely to be motivated by ideas of group loyalty, respect for authority, male dominance, and traditional social norms than by compassion for those who are suffering and desire for equal justice.

The other side of Trump supporters’ worries about fading white male power is their disparaging attitude about people different from them. The calls at his rallies to lock up Hillary Clinton and attack journalists, the desire to deport millions of immigrants, the anger at the legalization of gay marriage are signs of a meanness of spirit that Trump himself exemplifies.

Here is a local example of meanness. Catholic Bishop Thomas Paprocki in Springfield issued a “Same Sex Marriage” decree in June: people in same-sex marriages may not participate in communion or receive a Catholic funeral. Paprocki’s decree does not punish adulterers, thieves, liars, or those who disobey their parents. His isolation of gay couples is political malice, unique among American bishops. Bishop Patrick McGrath of San Jose explicitly rejected Paprocki’s nasty version of religious intolerance.

It is possible to value self-reliance and hard work without trying to cut food stamp aid to poor families. One can believe in the virtue of raising oneself out of poverty without trying to cut Medicaid for poor people in bad health. Taking a hard line on punishing criminals does not require assuming that all immigrants are law-breakers. We can deplore terrorists without discriminating against Muslims.

Too many Trump supporters take their beliefs in what is right as license to be hateful toward people who are not like them. Combine that with nostalgia for a time when blacks had to defer to whites, men could grope women, and gays stayed in the closet, and you have a Republican Party which cuts health insurance for millions of Americans, which keeps foreign students from returning to their American universities, which cuts federal programs for Americans in need. So far these attempts have failed, but Trump and his allies show no signs of letting up.

That’s what I call mean.

Steve Hochstadt
Springbrook, WI
Published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, July 11, 2017 ... ng_orders/

It's A-OK for FBI agents to silence web giants, says appeals court
One step back – but several steps forward possible in battle against NSL gagging orders

By Iain Thomson in San Francisco 18 Jul 2017 at 20:21
Gagging orders in the FBI's National Security Letters are all above board and constitutional, a California court has ruled.

These security letters are typically sent to internet giants demanding information on whoever is behind a username or email address. Crucially, these requests include clauses that prevent the organizations from warning specific subscribers that they are under surveillance by the Feds.

Cloudflare and Credo Mobile aren't happy with that, and – with the help of rights warriors at the EFF – challenged the gagging orders. Despite earlier successes in their legal battle, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled [PDF] on Monday that the gagging orders do not trample on First Amendment rights.

“We are disappointed in the Ninth Circuit’s decision and are considering our options for next steps,” Credo CEO Ray Morris told The Register in a statement. “At CREDO, we know what an uphill battle challenging these gag orders can be, and feel that the court missed an opportunity to protect the First Amendment rights of companies that want to speak out in the ... stigation/

How a Top Senate Republican Is Creating an Alternative Trump-Russia Investigation
In this one, the president is the victim.

JUL. 18, 2017 7:23 AM

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) oversees a June 28, 2017 judiciary committee hearing.Tom Williams/CQ/Roll Call via ZUMA Press

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week on Christopher Wray’s nomination to head the FBI, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) quickly brought up President Donald Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey. But the committee chairman didn’t fault Trump for Comey’s dismissal. Rather, Grassley defended Trump’s right to let him go. “There are no restrictions on the ability of any president to fire any director,” he said in his opening statement.

Grassley’s comment was significant because he heads what could wind up being the most consequential of the congressional investigations related to the Trump-Russia scandal: a probe of Trump’s firing of Comey and collusion between the Trump camp and Russia. The inquiry presumably will examine whether the president obstructed justice by axing the official leading the FBI’s investigation of interactions between the Trump camp and Russia and its related probe of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser. The House and Senate intelligence committees are examining various aspects of the Trump-Russia controversy, and the FBI’s investigation is now proceeding under the leadership of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who may also be examining Trump’s dumping of Comey.

But the Judiciary Committee, unlike these other outfits, operates mostly in public, and, more important, it can actively pursue the case of Comey’s firing—and Trump’s possible obstruction of justice—whether or not that episode involved any violations of the law.

The intensity and extent of the committee’s investigation of the Comey firing and other aspects of the Russia scandal depend on Grassley. And so far it looks like the 83-year-old Iowan is more interested in developing a counter-narrative to the Trump-Russia storyline by conducting a series of alternative investigations into tangential subjects. These inquiries seem designed to minimize the culpability of Trump and his aides and to deflect attention from the core issues of the controversy.

Grassley has sent a stream of letters to government agencies and private parties demanding information that is barely or loosely related to the Comey dismissal or Trump-Russia contacts. The letters suggest wrongdoing by those investigating Trump or imply equivalence between the actions of the Trump gang and the Obama crew. Put together, they offer a rough conservative narrative of government officials and others colluding and conspiring to take down Trump. At the least, Grassley’s missives appear aimed at undermining the credibility of agencies or people who have uncovered information on Trump.

Meanwhile, Grassley is reluctantly moving ahead on the main issues. That’s due in part to careful coaxing by Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. The committee’s ranking member, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and other Democrats on the panel know they need Grassley on board for the committee to pursue a thorough investigation of the Comey firing and other Trump-Russia matters. Aware that Grassley resents criticism and revels in a nonpartisan image, they have mostly avoided accusing him of covering for Trump. The Democrats have also more or less accepted his alternative inquiries as the price of doing business and winning Grassley’s cooperation in the collusion and obstruction probes.

Feinstein tells Mother Jones that this strategy of nonconfrontation led to a deal, ratified last Tuesday in an exchange of memos between Democratic and Republican committee staffers, which ensures the committee will investigate alleged obstruction and collusion by Trump and his aides.

There is “agreement to look into issues related to Russian interference in the election and possible obstruction of justice,” Feinstein spokesman Tom Mentzer wrote in an email. Mentzer, though, declined to elaborate on specifics of the arrangement, which judiciary aides say replaces a less formal working agreement that had lacked clarity on what Grassley had agreed to investigate. Grassley’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

After the deal was reached, Grassley announced he would call former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to appear before the committee. He also agreed to Feinstein’s request that the committee ask Donald Trump Jr. to testify publicly before the panel regarding his June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer and an email exchange showing top Trump aides agreed to cooperate with what seemed to be a secret operation mounted by the Putin regime to disseminate negative information on Hillary Clinton to help Trump.

But while he moves ahead on those fronts, Grassley is also pushing his parallel probes and maintaining an idiosyncratic and at times truculent investigative approach.

Grassley has sent at least five letters this year to the Justice Department and the FBI asserting that Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s acting director, should have recused himself from the bureau’s probe into Trump campaign contacts with Russia because his wife received campaign contributions from the political action committee of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Clinton ally, during her unsuccessful 2015 Virginia state Senate bid. Grassley has cited reporting by the conservative news site Circa to assert McCabe should have also have recused himself from the bureau’s investigation of Flynn because Flynn wrote a letter supporting an FBI agent who had alleged she faced retaliation after filing a sex discrimination complaint in 2012.

Grassley said at the Wray nomination hearing last week that McCabe “was named in a sex discrimination case.” That’s a stretch. The report cited in Grassley’s letter says McCabe knew of an investigation into the FBI agent that she claimed amounted to retaliation—not that McCabe was personally accused of discrimination. Without presenting evidence, Grassley also called McCabe a “potential” suspect behind leaks of information on Flynn, a charge that McCabe has denied.

Grassley has tried to link McCabe and another entity he has portrayed as suspicious: Fusion GPS, the Washington, DC, firm that retained former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to produce memos detailing allegations of secret ties between the Kremlin and Trump. Grassley has issued a series of committee letters demanding the firm hand over information on its clients and details of Steele’s work arrangement, including whether the FBI once planned to pay him for providing intelligence to the bureau.

Grassley has suggested that McCabe employed Steele as part of some anti-Trump effort. “The American people should know if the FBI’s second-in-command relied on Democrat-funded opposition research to justify an investigation of the Republican presidential campaign,” Grassley wrote in multiple letters. The letters, which include footnotes, do not document any contacts between Steele and McCabe.

But Grassley’s questions were picked up by conservative media outlets dismissive of the Russia scandal. “Chuck Grassley Asks If the FBI Helped Create Trump-Russia Allegations,” said in a March 29 headline.

Grassley similarly helped fuel conservative talking points with a July 11 letter asking the State and Homeland Security departments how Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr. and others in Trump Tower, had entered the United States after she was previously denied a visa. The query led to errant reports that the Justice Department had okayed an exemption for Veselnitkskaya, including a Drudge Report banner: “Obama DOJ Let the Russian In.” (The Homeland Security Department says the State Department issued her a visitor’s visa in 2016.) Other pro-Trump sites incorrectly claimed former Attorney General Loretta Lynch personally approved of the exemption, a claim President Trump parroted during a press conference in Paris on Thursday. “Somebody said that her visa or her passport to come into the country was approved by Attorney General Lynch,” Trump said.

Grassley is also not done with Clinton’s emails. He wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on March 30 asking if the department had concluded that Clinton’s email management was careless and whether it had launched a review into her “mishandling of classified information.”

Even as he pursues these disparate targets, Grassley has not sought to compel Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify before his committee to explain Sessions’ false claim—made under oath at his confirmation hearing—that he had no contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. Nor has Grassley pressed Sessions, his former committee colleague, to explain how he squares his recusal from the Russia probe, which resulted from Sessions’ undisclosed meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, with his role in Comey’s firing.

Democrats, no surprise, grouse that these Grassley moves are overly partisan. “It’s a mistake,” says Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) a former Judiciary chairman. “The committee is more and more controlled by politics.”

A part-time pig farmer, Grassley, the first chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee without a law degree, won a reputation for independence after joining the Senate in 1981. He drew notice for pressing Republican and Democratic administrations to curb spending and protect whistleblowers. He developed an experienced team of investigators that earned a reputation as an effective, free-ranging oversight force that ran probes on a variety of issues, from federal contracting to drug pricing.

Democrats who have worked with Grassley say his nonpartisan bonafides began to decline in 2009, when he acceded to heavy pressure from GOP leaders and conservative activists and dropped out of bipartisan negotiations with Democrats regarding President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Grassley ended up endorsing the false claim that Obamacare would create “death panels,” recalls Jim Manley, a onetime spokesman for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and late Sen. Ted Kennedy. “He made his bed with the right and he’s been playing that game ever since,” Manley says.

Still, Grassley is no Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the hapless House Intelligence Committee chairman who was forced to recuse himself from the panel’s Russia probe after a ham-handed effort to bolster Trump’s false charge that the Obama administration had wiretapped him. Nor is Grassley taking the approach of House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who has refused to even question the Trump administration on Comey’s firing or Sessions’ conduct.

Committee Democrats appear intent on playing to Grassley’s self-image as a fair and balanced chairman, ignoring his conspiratorial focus on events involving Fusion GPS and McCabe. Feinstein and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the top Democrat on the crime and terrorism subcommittee, even signed onto Grassley letters regarding former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s actions in connection to the bureau’s investigation of the Clinton email controversy.

Democrats remain cautious as they work to nudge Grassley forward. Feinstein is quick to praise his forthrightness in their dealings. But when asked if his investigative zeal is hampered by a desire to avoid damage to the Republican president, she tersely says, “I think that’s right.” But she quickly adds, “I really like him, because he’s very clear. Things are either bad or good. He’s very direct and honest with me.”

Still, it is anyone’s guess just where Grassley is headed. Feinstein says she’s not sure how he will navigate the obstruction and collusion probe and the various tangents he is pursuing: “I don’t know what’s going on

FBI Octopus ... l-children

West Fargo Police Chief sets focus on safety of local children
WEST FARGO—West Fargo's new police chief, Heith Janke is setting his priorities, as he settles into the new role. The former FBI Agent says one of his top ... ... osing.html

War Crimes Office May Be Closed in State Dept. Reorganization
July 18, 2017

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson in Istanbul this month. A State Department spokeswoman said decisions on restructuring were not yet
WASHINGTON — The State Department office charged with combating war crimes may become the latest casualty of Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson’s plans to restructure his department, former American officials said on Tuesday.

Human rights advocates seized on the proposal as another example of what they assert is the Trump administration’s indifference to human rights outside North Korea, Iran and Cuba.

They also say that shutting the Office of Global Criminal Justice, as the war crimes bureau is officially known, would hamper efforts to publicize atrocities and bring war criminals to justice.

“The promise of ‘never again’ has proven hard to keep,” said Stephen J. Rapp, who led the office during the Obama administration. “If this Office of Global Criminal Justice closes, it will become even more difficult.”

Level 34 Illuminated
Posts: 7755

Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh » ... n-fbi-jfk/

August 2, 2017
Jim Garrison’s incendiary JFK probe protected him from fraud charges
New Orleans DA’s accusations against the U.S. government temporarily inoculated him against an FBI investigation

One of the documents released by the FBI is both redacted and very blurry, making it difficult to read. For clarity and ease of reading, some excerpts below instead reference an original, unredacted and far more legible copy of the same document.

While popular media has often portrayed Jim Garrison, the New Orleans District Attorney behind the infamous Clay Shaw trial, as having been targeted by the federal government for retribution, a look at his FBI file reveals the exact opposite - according to the documents, Garrison’s investigation was considered so toxic and aggressive that Director J. Edgar Hoover ordered no agents have any contact with him. When third parties began providing the FBI with evidence that Garrison had engaged in fraud against the government, the Bureau cautioned against investigating him, precisely because of how Garrison would inevitably frame it.

As early as February 1967, the FBI Director had ordered the Bureau’s agents to avoid all contact with Garrison and his investigators. Just days before a KGB planted story would appear in the Italian newspaper Paese Sera and redirect Garrison’s investigation to obsess over CIA connections, Hoover identified Garrison as “a person not to be contacted without prior Bureau approval.” This was the explicit result of Garrison’s already inflammatory investigation and accusations.

The next day, the Special Agent in Charge for New Orleans dutifully passed on the instructions, adding that no member of his investigation’s staff was to be contacted nor were any Bureau personnel to respond to the media with anything more than “no comment.”

Aaron Kohn, who headed the Metropolitan Crime Division in New Orleans, was positioned to keep his ear to the ground and report to the FBI. According to an FBI document dated May 5, 1967, Kohn provided the Bureau with information about Garrison’s activities, his wrongdoings and a heads up about pending publications. The day before the document was written, Kohn had informed the Bureau that Newsweek was going to publish an article about Garrison’s investigation, detailing attempts by Garrison’s staff to intimidate witnesses. Kohn’s information was completely correct with only one minor error - the Newsweek article was published a week later than he predicted.

According to Kohn, whose version of events would be confirmed by other investigators and an audio recording, Garrison’s investigators’ had attempted to bribe a potential witness into providing false testimony. As on part of their effort to get what would appear to be incriminating evidence against David Ferrie included an attempt to bribe Alvin Beaubouef, “a close friend of Ferrie” to provide false testimony.

When the investigators were tricked into allowing themselves to be recorded while repeating their offer, they apparently returned to threaten Beaubouef into signing a statement that the offer was not a bribe.

The tape recording, the contents of which would be confirmed by multiple witnesses, leaves little doubt, however. “Well, he can’t fill in the missing links if … he doesn’t know. And that is what the deal is predicated on.” In that investigator’s own words, “we could put $3,000 on him just like that [snaps his fingers], you know … I’m sure we would help him financially and I’m sure … real quick we could get him a job … Al said he’d like a job with an airline and I feel the job can be had, you know.”

Regardless, the issue was not a federal one and the tape was provided to another local District Attorney who would later confirms its contents to the Bureau. According to Kohn, however, this was not the only threat that Garrison had apparently responsible for. Carlos Quiroga had apparently reported that Garrison had told him his life would be in danger if he didn’t testify for Garrison. When called to testify before the Grand Jury, Quiroga repeatedly stated he’d been threatened with perjury if he testified.

Quiroga’s accusations were similarly out of the Bureau’s federal jurisdiction - but one accusation relayed by Kohn wasn’t. According to Kohn, Garrison claimed to have resigned from the National Guard as an alternative to facing military charges. Garrison had reportedly falsified his drill duty certifications for roughly six months, resulting in fraudulent pay from the government.

This, as noted by an earlier memo, fell fully within the FBI’s jurisdiction.

Nor was Kohn the first person to provide them with this type of information. The Bureau had previously received similar reports from the district director of the U.S. Customs Service in New Orleans.

After the Bureau received the initial report from Huff, they referred the matter to the Assistant Attorneys General of the Criminal Division and the National Security Division, apparently without highlighting the possible fraud violation. The only comment the Bureau apparently offered was that any investigation of Garrison was likely to be presented by Garrison as the FBI attempting to interfere with his investigation.

When the Bureau received a second report that seemed to corroborate their initial source, they decided that nothing had changed. If they attempted to investigate Garrison, it was inevitable that it would become known in the area and word would leak to Garrison. “Rightly or wrongly, the Bureau would be accused of trying to intimidate Garrison and engaging in the same tactics which are currently being charged to Garrison himself.” As a result, the Bureau concluded that it wouldn’t be in their best interest “to voluntarily institute a fraud investigation of Garrison at this time.” Instead, they simply referred the matter to the Assistant Attorneys General again.

Years later, Garrison would be swept up in an organized crime and gambling probe. Unlike the prior fraud allegations, these didn’t center on Garrison exclusively. Two New Orleans police officers “and seven other persons” were arrested as a result of a months long investigation which was summarized in a 113-page affidavit and supported by tape recordings. For his part, Garrison had long argued that there was no such as the mafia and nothing wrong with him receiving gifts from those associated with the Marcello crime family.

You can read part of the FBI’s release below, or the rest on the request page.

Welcome to the Historic Homestead
of Scott & Helen Nearing
The mission of the Good Life Center is to perpetuate the legacy of Helen and Scott Nearing. The Good Life Center, through its programming and preservation of the historic Forest Farm homestead, advocates for simple and sustainable living skills, social and economic justice, organic gardening and the non-exploitation of animals.

Stalking Sociologists: J. Edgar Hoover's FBI Surveillance of American Sociology
By Renee C. Fox

Book Description Taylor Francis Inc, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Until recent years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation enjoyed an exalted reputation as America s premier crime-fighting organization. However, it is now common knowledge that the FBI and its long-time director, J. Edgar Hoover, were responsible for the creation of a massive internal security apparatus that undermined the very principles of freedom and democracy they were sworn to protect. While no one was above suspicion, Hoover appears to have held a special disdain for sociologists and placed many of the profession s most prominent figures under surveillance. In Stalking Sociologists, Mike Forrest Keen offers a detailed account of the FBI s investigations within the context of an overview of the history of American sociology. This ground-breaking analysis history uses documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Keen argues that Hoover and the FBI marginalized sociologists such as W. E. B. Du Bois and C. Wright Mills, tried to suppress the development of a Marxist tradition in American sociology, and likely pushed the mainstream of the discipline away from a critique of American society and towards a more quantitative and scientific direction.He documents thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars dedicated to this project. Faculty members of various departments of sociology were recruited to inform on the activities of their colleagues and the American Sociological Association was a target of FBI surveillance. Keen turns sociology back upon the FBI, using the writings and ideas of the very sociologists Hoover investigated to examine and explain the excesses of the Bureau and its boss. The result is a significant contribution to the collective memory of American society as well as the accurate history of the sociological discipline. This ground-breaking book documents in meticulous detail decades of harassment and surveillance of major American sociologists by the FBI. The misuse of power.will outrage all Americans and raise significant professional issues within the social sciences. --Mary Jo Deegan, professor of sociology, University of Nebraska.

"Keen raises important questions about academic freedom and whether the fear of "subversive" ideas shaped the direction of American sociology, leading to the marginalization of Marxism and to the hegemony of quantitative and statistical analyses."-Choice

Keen raises important questions about academic freedom and whether the fear of "subversive" ideas shaped the direction of American sociology, leading to the marginalization of Marxism and to the hegemony of quantitative and statistical analyses.?-Choice

"Based on research of FBI files on some of America's most eminent sociologists, Mike Keen's Stalking the Sociological Imagination extends our understanding of the politics of FBI surveillance, the social costs of Cold War anti-communism, and the origins of McCarthyism."-Athan Theoharis Professor of History Marquette University

"This ground-breaking book documents in meticulous detail decades of harassment and surveillance of major American sociologists by the FBI. This misuse of power, public funds, and national trust will outrage all Americans and raise significant professional issues within the social sciences."-Mary Jo Deegan Professor of Sociology University of Nebraska

"Mike Keen has published a stimulating book that adds new grist to the mill of sociological theory and history of American sociology....[H]e has produced a book that is of interest to students of social theory and the experts who teach them. Students will find his clear and comprehensive discussion informative and engagingly written, and professors will glean new insights into topics and theorists that they know well....Because of the novelty of the information and the quality of prose, this book will have wide appeal."-Barry V. Johnston Professor Department of Sociology Indiana University Northwest

Read more
About the Author
MIKE FORREST KEEN is Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Sociology at Indiana University South Bend. He teaches classical and contemporary social theory, sociology of science, and environment and society. His previous work includes numerous scholarly articles and Eastern Europe in Transformation: The Impact on Sociology (Greenwood, 1994) edited with Janusz L. Mucha.

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Senate passes “right to try” bill to help terminally ill patients get experimental drugs ... hree-hours ... ransition/

A Beautiful Machine to Change the World — Model 3 to Transform Global Automobile Markets, Open Pathway For Rapid Energy Transition
“The Tesla Model 3 is here, and it is the most important vehicle of the century. Yes, the hyperbole is necessary.” — Motor Trend.

“The arrival of Tesla’s Model 3 signals a new chapter in automotive history, one that erases 100-plus years of the gas engine and replaces it with technology, design, and performance hot enough to make electric vehicles more than aspirational – to make [electric vehicles (EVs)] inspirational.” — Wired.

“[T]here isn’t anybody who’s going to sit in the driver’s seat of this car and not want it. The Model 3 stokes immediate desire, and the lust lingers. That truly changes everything.” — Business Insider.

(The Tesla Model 3 entered low rate initial production in July of 2017. There has likely never been a more anticipated, desired, or better reviewed automobile. Image source: Tesla. )


More than half a million.

That’s the number of pre-orders Tesla’s Model 3 has racked up since its 2016 product announcement and through its July 2017 launch. And it’s possible that there’s never been a car that’s so anticipated, so desired by the public. People are literally clamoring for this best-in-class, long-range, all-electric vehicle. Elon Musk is getting harassed on twitter by followers anxious to know when their Model 3 will be ready for purchase. And it’s questionable if Elon’s plan to go through ‘mass production hell’ to reach 500K per year annual production rates by end 2018 will ever come close to satiating demand for what is far more than just an amazing automobile (Tesla reports it is still accumulating reservations at a rate of 1,800 per day net, or more than 12,000 per week).

If we were to tap into what drives Model 3 customers, what fuels this particularly virulent brand of Tesla-mania, we’d probably find a dynamic combination of desire, aspiration, and fear. Desire for what is hands-down an absolutely awesome vehicle. Aspiration to contribute to a public good through a meaningful purchase. And a growing fear that we need to move very swiftly away from fossil fuels to confront the rising crisis that is human-caused climate change.

Beautiful Machines

The vehicle itself is just simply extraordinary. For 35,000 dollars you can get a car with a 220 mile all-electric range. For 44,000, the car’s renewable legs lengthen still further to 310 miles. This graceful beast can rocket from 0-60 in less than six seconds. And her interior is wrapped in the kind of bubble cockpit, due to glass roofing, that most fighter pilots would envy. She’s a vehicle that gives a nod to the simplicity of earlier times with her gadget-less dash board. Her liquid exterior a reflection-in-form of the plasma-producing energy of a futuristic, but quietly purring, all-electric drive train.

(Tesla’s beautiful machine launches. Top down view shows iconic glass roof. Image source: Tesla.)

Elon Musk has delivered to us the exact opposite of a clunky automobile made up of all the worst excesses of a stinking smokestack civilization. The Model 3 comes across as a bold and proud creature of air and light. A hopeful machine designed in the pursuit of a better future day, a better way forward.

Changing the World for the Better

And this is what brings us to the heart of the matter. The crux of the reason why hunger for the Model 3 is quite possibly without cure, without limit. People in advanced civilizations these days are tired of being the butt of blame. And they are more than a little worried about what may be coming down the Keystone XL pipeline of climate change. They don’t want to contribute to the great death and harm that is worsening climate disruption with their purchases. They no longer want to be consumers captive to the unforgiving, smog-belching yoke of fossil fuels. They want the vehicular equivalent of the paladin’s white horse. They want to buy into a liberation from an age of pain and heartbreak and endless bad choices with no visible way out. And with each Model 3 purchase — that’s exactly what they are doing.

(Tesla aims for 5,000 vehicle per week Model 3 production ramp by late fall. Image source: Tesla.)

For if Tesla is able to meet this visceral demand for a truly renewable vehicle, if the company is able to ramp up to 20,000 + vehicle per month production rates, it will, by itself, more than double the size of the U.S. Electrical vehicle market in just 1-2 years. The batteries the elegant Model 3 relies on will form a basis for extending the reach of already affordable wind and solar energy (as we are seeing this week in a new wind + battery deal off Massachusetts). And the seismic ground wave produced by the Model 3 will drive a major spike in demand for other, similar electrical vehicles from an expanding array of automakers.

The Model 3 is thus the tip of the spear for speeding an energy transition in the U.S. and in many other countries. And she couldn’t have come at a better time. ... -life-raft

A second Brexit referendum? It’s looking more likely by the day ... jones-fcc/

August 1, 2017
You can’t make this up, folks! InfoWars fans take to the FCC to defend Alex Jones
“If Infowars is considered conspiracy theory news or propagandist, then what is Washington Post, CNN, New York Times, and Fox News considered?”
Written by Caitlin Russell
Edited by JPat Brown
There are so many hilarious, red faced, shirt tearing, pants-on-head-crazy Alex Jones moments that of course there should be a treasure trove of outraged FCC complaints about him.

But of course, dreams are made to be broken, and the world is a terrible place.

A request for FCC complaints for normal website InfoWars turned up a handful of indignant Jones fans furious that their fearless leader was so rudely disrespected by the hosts of other shows.

There’s death threats against “legitimate” news networks …

unfounded accusations of racism …

which, while we’re on the subject, white people are the real victims of …

and this somewhat salient point …

that’s undercut by the fact that while mainstream media is far from perfect, but none of the outlets mentioned above ever claimed to have evidence of Hillary Clinton birthing an alien lifeform out of her mouth.

Read the full complaints embedded below, or on the request

The planet edges closer to a major tipping point
Climate change will almost certainly heat the world so much it can never recover, major study finds

There's only a 10 per cent chance we'll avoid widespread drought, extreme weather and dangerous increases in sea level

The Independent (U.K.), Aug. 1, 2017
The scientists looked at 50 years of data on world population and economic activity to come up with their forecast. One factor taken into account was "carbon intensity", the amount of carbon emitted for each dollar of economic activity.

The approach is different from that taken by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose most recent report included future warming rates based on four carbon emission scenarios.

Professor Adrian Raftery, who led the University of Washington team, said: "The big problem with scenarios is that you don't know how likely they are, and whether they span the full range of possibilities or are just a few examples. Scientifically, this type of storytelling approach was not fully satisfying.

"Our analysis is compatible with previous estimates, but it finds that the most optimistic projections are unlikely to happen. We're closer to the margin than we think.

"Overall, the goals expressed in the Paris Agreement are ambitious but realistic. The bad news is they are unlikely to be enough to achieve the target of keeping warming at or below 1.5 degrees."

The findings are published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

A separate study in the same journal found that even if all fossil fuel emissions were halted this year, global temperatures were very likely to be 1.3C higher than pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.

There was a 13% chance that the Earth was already committed to 1.5C warming by 2100, said the authors led by Dr Thorsten Mauritsen, from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany. ... 69641.html

We only have a 5 percent chance of avoiding ‘dangerous’ global warming, a study finds

The Washington Post, July 31, 2017

In recent years, it has become increasingly common to frame the climate change problem as a kind of countdown — each year we emit more carbon dioxide, narrowing the window for fixing the problem, but not quite closing it yet. After all, something could still change. Emissions could still start to plunge precipitously. Maybe next year.

This outlook has allowed, at least for some, for the preservation of a form of climate optimism in which big changes, someday soon, will still make the difference. Christiana Figureres, the former head of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change, recently joined with a group of climate scientists and policy wonks to state there are three years left to get emissions moving sharply downward. If, that is, we’re holding out hope of limiting the warming of the globe to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures, often cited as the threshold where “dangerous” warming begins (although in truth, that’s a matter of interpretation).

Yet a battery of recent studies call into question even that limited optimism. Last week, a group of climate researchers published research suggesting the climate has been warming for longer than we thought due to human influences — in essence, pushing the so-called “preindustrial” baseline for the planet’s warming backwards in time. The logic is clear: If the Earth has already warmed more than we thought due to human activities, then there’s even less remaining carbon dioxide that we can emit and still avoid 2 degrees of warming.

Two new studies published Monday, meanwhile, go further towards advancing this pessimistic view which asserts that there’s little chance of the world will stay within prescribed climate limits.

The first new study calculates the statistical likelihood of various amounts of warming by the year 2100 based on three trends that matter most for how much carbon we put in the air. Those are the global population, countries’ GDP (on a per capita basis), and carbon intensity, or the volume of emissions for a given level of economic activity.

The research finds that the median warming is likely to be 3.2 degrees Celsius, and further concludes that there’s only a 5 percent chance that the world can hold limiting below 2 degrees Celsius and a mere 1 percent chance that it can be limited below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). That will come as bad news for vulnerable small island nations in particular, which have held out for a 1.5 degree target, along with other particularly vulnerable nations.

“There is a lot of uncertainty about the future, our analysis does reflect that, but it also does reflect that the more optimistic scenarios that have been used in targets seem quite unlikely to occur,” said statistician Adrian Raftery of the University of Washington, Seattle. Raftery conducted the study, which was just published in Nature Climate Change, alongside colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Upstart Networks.

The research is significant because 2 degrees Celsius has often been regarded as the threshold for so-called “dangerous” climate change. Figueres herself put it this way in an interview with CBS News: “Science has established for quite a while that we need to respect a threshold of 2 degrees, that being the limit of the temperature increase that we can afford from a human, economic and infrastructure point of view.”

The second new study, meanwhile, takes a different approach, analyzing how much global warming the world has already committed to, since the warming due to some emissions has not yet arrived. Nonetheless, with the planet at a so-called energy imbalance, that warming is inevitably coming, and the study — conducted by Thorsten Mauritsen of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany and Robert Pincus of the University of Colorado, Boulder — finds that it probably pushes us several slivers of a degree beyond where we are now.

The upshot is that we may already have firmly committed to 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming even if emissions were to stop immediately and entirely (which is not going to happen). One scenario presented in the study finds a 13 percent chance that 1.5 degrees is already baked in; another finds a 32 percent chance. And again, the margin for avoiding 2 degrees C narrows accordingly.

Glen Peters, a climate policy expert at the Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, is on the record stating that he thinks there’s little chance of holding warming to 2 degrees Celsius unless we come up with so-called “negative emissions” technologies that allow us to actively withdraw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere later in the century.

Somewhat surprisingly, though, Peters actually felt that the first new study, finding only a 5 percent chance of staying below 2 degrees, might be a tad too negative. It takes into account past climate policies, he notes, but not the possibility of a major upsurge in global climate action in coming years, unlike what we’ve seen previously. Indeed, the study notes that “Our forecasting model does not explicitly incorporate future legislation that could change future emissions.”

“Less than 2 degrees of warming is unlikely if we don’t try,” said Peters. “I’m one that says that 2 degrees is not likely anyway — but if we try, at least it’s an option that we can get to 2 degrees.”

(Raftery, speaking about this aspect of his study, noted to me that “I think it’s possible that the future might be completely different, and there’ll be a sudden big jump forward, but past data would suggest that’s being a bit optimistic.”)

However, at the same time Peters also admitted that the study about committed warming reinforced a troubling conclusion, since “it’s in a sense impossible that we’re not going to emit any more.” The upshot is that “We’re starting from 1.5 and going up from there in the future emissions that we have,” he said.

This again means that negative emissions, based on technologies that don’t exist yet at the relevant scale, would probably be required at some point in the future. The new research “emphasizes the importance of removing carbon from the atmosphere,” said Peters.

The upshot of all the latest research, however, is that while limiting warming to 2 degrees is seeming unlikely, and 1.5 degrees nearly impossible, staying within something like 2.5 degrees still seems quite possible if there’s concerted action. And who knows whether in thirty years, negative emissions may appear much more feasible than they do now, providing the option of cooling the planet back down again at some point.

In sum, climate pessimism has indeed had a strong run lately — but you have to keep in context. It’s pessimism that we’ll hit our current goals. It’s not fatalism, or the idea that we’ll accomplish nothing, or that present momentum doesn’t matter. ... 87271d4a1a ... ined-in-us

Briton who stopped WannaCry attack arrested over separate malware claims
Marcus Hutchins arrested over his alleged role in creating Kronos malware targeting bank accounts ... layers-mlb

The long decline – and possible revival – of the African American baseball star
Players such as Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays helped shape baseball, and America. So why has the number of black players halved since the 1980s? ... ropaganda/

August 3, 2017
Former House Majority Leader worked with the CIA to use a Congressional investigation for propaganda - and it backfired
Agency felt investigation into Soviet war crimes might have led to charges of U.S. biological warfare in Korea
Written by Emma Best
Edited by JPat Brown
Declassified CIA documents describe the Agency’s agreement to work with a Senator’s plan to use a 1952 Congressional investigation into Soviet war crimes for propaganda purposes. Congress was looking into the Katyn massacre in which the KGB’s predecessor’s, the NKVD, murdered thousands of Polish prisoners of war and which the Soviet Union denied responsibility for until 1990. In 1952, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives sought to use the investigation of very real Soviet war crimes as a propaganda opportunity, and while it may have worked in the short run, documents indicate that both CIA and State Department personnel believe it may have backfired, and led to charges the U.S. was using biological weapons in Korea.

According to the formerly TOP SECRET CIA document describing the February 28, 1952 Director’s Meeting, then Deputy Director Allen Dulles was approach by John Mitchell, the Counsel of the Committee which was investigating Katyn (no relation to Nixon’s John Mitchell). Mitchell, who discussed the matter with Congressman McCormack, hoped the Agency would be cooperative with the probe to their mutual benefit.

However, those attending the Director’s Meeting had some concerns -someone whose name is redacted, likely Mitchell or McCormack, was seen as “unreliable” and not worth trusting with Agency operational details. Previously, the Agency had expressed concern that Mitchell would ask them to provide a lot of assistance with the probe. Regardless, the Agency’s senior staff decided they couldn’t let the opportunity go by “in view of its propaganda value.” As a result, Deputy Director of Plans Frank Wisner agreed to “follow through” on the matter. While a memo was apparently written from Dulles to Wisner memorializing the conversation with Mitchell, it has not yet been declassified.

Wisner had earlier recommended against working with Mitchell or any Congressional investigation. Several months earlier, Mitchell had approached Wisner when he first became the Counsel for the Committee investigation. According to a formerly SECRET memo from Wisner to the Department of State, Mitchell had approached Wisner about cooperating on the probe with no apparent mention of propaganda except a desire to avoid investigating “government officials (presumably of G-2)” who had been accused of “having suppressed certain highly relevant documents.” Wisner appropriately referred him to the Office of Legislative Counsel without commenting. In his memo, Wisner added that he did “not consider it appropriate for this Agency to become involved in Congressional investigations” - Wisner felt that was this was the Department of State’s jurisdiction.

According to another formerly SECRET memo, which had curiously been referenced two days before it was written, Congressman McCormack followed up with CIA’s Legislative Counsel when the hearings had all but concluded, with only two days and five of eighty-one witnesses still to testify, to discuss the Katyn propaganda effort. While he wanted to know how CIA evaluated the overseas propaganda value of the Congressional Committee investigating the Katyn Massacre, he felt that it “had been extremely successful from the standpoint of favorable United States propaganda.”

While neither the hearings nor Mitchell’s liaising with CIA had come to an end, Congressman McCormack already his eye on the future. To his view, the effort had been more than successful enough to warrant considering doing the same thing again. McCormack openly speculated “as to whether it might not be helpful if other Congressional investigations might be undertaken with a view towards utilizing them for psychological warfare purposes.” Where the cooperation over the Katyn investigation had coalesced around an already existing effort on the part of Congress, McCormack now suggested forming new committees with that explicit expectation. In particular, he was considering “a special Congressional Committee to investigate atrocities against American soldiers in Korea, with broad enough authority to include examining into [sic] the germ warfare charges.”

In response, CIA Director General Walter Bedell Smith responded that the Agency “should have no interest in this matter.” The Director’s refusal to cooperate may have had several motivations. The first may have simply been a refusal to create Congressional investigations for propaganda purposes - using an existing investigation into war crimes as an opportunity for propaganda was one thing, but creating Congressional investigations with that purpose in mind was something altogether different.

Assuming that McCormack had meant investigating Communist use of biological weapons in Korea, then the Agency had a major obstacle to pursuing that propaganda angle. According to the formerly TOP SECRET record of another Director’s Meeting held soon after, the Agency already had a proposed propaganda plan involving Communist bacteriological warfare in Korea. The problem was that the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff had disapproved of the plan since the Agency had been unable to prove there was a Communist bacteriological warfare unit in Korea.

There was another reason for the Agency to “show no interest” in the matter - some staff members of CIA and the State Department believed that the propaganda relating to the Katyn investigation had backfired. According to a formerly SECRET issue of the Current Intelligence Digest from April 12, 1952, the Italian Embassy reported that the Communist press was “continuing an intensive propaganda campaign” that alleged U.S. use of biological warfare in Korea. The Embassy believed that the campaign may have been designed “in part to draw public attention away from the investigation of the Katyn massacre.”

The Embassy and the CIA analysts reviewing their information weren’t the only ones to see such a link as plausible. A declassified Psychological Strategy Board memo written several months later describes an October 1952 conversation between John Elliott and Charles Bohlen, who was then the Counsellor to the State Department and would be named, several months later, as the Ambassador to the Soviet Union. In their discussion, Bohlen brought up the U.S.’s past propaganda against the Soviet Union. In Bohlen’s mind, the propaganda tended to be “too strident and shrill.” Bohlen believed that this resulting in alarming the U.S.’s allies more than any intimidation to the Kremlin. Worse, the “sharp attacks” reinforced the “incipient impression lurking in the minds of the peoples of the democratic world that the U.S. was a warmongering nation trying to incite hostilities with the Soviet Union.” Creating this image, Bohlen noted, was a goal of Soviet propaganda - one that the U.S. had inadvertently been helping them with.

Bohlen cited that Katyn massacre investigation as a specific example of this. He felt that the barrage of propaganda released in connection with the investigation had backfired. Like the Embassy staff members several months earlier, Bohlen felt that it “may have been responsible for the launching of the Communist bacteriological warfare charges against the United States in reprisal.”

Perhaps the Agency should have listened to Frank Wisner in 1951.

You can read additional CIA documents discussing Katyn here, the seven volumes of Congressional hearings here, the interim report here and the final report here. The Director’s Meeting memo is embedded below.


captain of 1,000
Posts: 1690

Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by gardener4life »

I'm not really sure where this is going? What is this post supposed to be about? I think the point was 'tangent-ified' somehow.

Level 34 Illuminated
Posts: 7755

Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh » ... ton-common

Here’s what happened at the ‘free speech’ rally and counter-protests on Boston Common

“I’m really impressed,” he said. “We probably had 40,000 people out here, standing tall against hatred and bigotry in our city, and that’s a good feeling.”Boston Police Commissioner Evans ... eech-rally

Saturday 19 August 2017 15.48 EDT First published on Saturday 19 August 2017 12.54 EDT

Donald Trump described anti-fascist and anti-racist demonstrators who converged on Boston as “anti-police agitators” on Saturday, in a tweet that seemed destined to revive the still simmering controversy over his remarks equating the far right and anti-Nazis in Charlottesville last weekend.

“Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston,” Trump tweeted. “Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you.”

SIGNS FROM BOSTON COMMON ... -in-boston ... -1.3426142

Port Authority Police candidates with law enforcement jobs failing psych test at alarming rate

Saturday, August 19, 2017, 8:55 PM

They’re good enough to wear an NYPD or state police shield, but they’re mentally unfit to guard the Holland Tunnel.

More than 70% of the men and women hoping to join the Port Authority Police Department and who have passed the written exam are being turned down because, the agency says, they failed the psychological exam — even though many of the applicants already have jobs in the New York Police Department, the state police and other law enforcement agencies, the Daily News has learned.

The reject pile numbers in the thousands.

“They are dropping people left and right and blaming it on the psychological exam,” said a high-ranking law enforcement source with knowledge of the Port Authority’s vetting process. “Some of the people being dismissed are already cops. What does that say about the agency that hired them?

“If you’re coming up with numbers like that, you really need to look at yourself — there is something wrong with your system,” the source said.

The massive failure rate on the psychological test has been trending for several years, sources said.

Historically, upward of 20,000 applicants a year take the Port Authority Police Department written exam to be part of the force that protects people using the airports, PATH trains, Midtown bus terminal and bridges and tunnels linking New York to New Jersey.

Many want the job because of the huge amounts of overtime and generous benefits that are historically better than those of other police departments.

The exam is graded on a curve, depending on how many people the Port Authority needs, but 65% of the test-takers usually pass — about 13,000.

Unlike the psych exam, 65% of applicants pass the Port Authority Police written exam
Out of that number, about 9,100 are usually dismissed from the running for failing the agency’s psychological exam, sources said.

“(That’s) double or triple that of any other law enforcement agency that we are aware of,” said Paul Nunziato, president of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association. “It seems almost impossible that there could be a legitimate medical need to fail that many candidates.”

The psychological exam is a standard questionnaire based on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a test used throughout the country to gauge mental health, followed by an interview with a psychologist.

Many of the people the Port Authority found to be too off-balance to keep traffic moving at the George Washington Bridge include New York and New Jersey cops — sparking a major ethical concern.

“If they determine that someone is unfit to be a Port Authority police officer and they already carry a gun, they should be obligated to inform the agency that person works for, but they don’t,” the high-ranking source said.

Those being dismissed also include decorated veterans, according to Robert Egbert, the benevolent association’s spokesman.

“We are concerned about the lack of veterans becoming Port Authority police officers,” Egbert said. “It seems the Port Authority is hiding behind a subjective exam and saying to these courageous men and women, ‘You are not good enough.’”

John, a New Jersey cop drummed out of the Port Authority Police Department vetting process, said he “didn’t know what to think” when he was given the news that he failed the psychological exam.

No sales to daily newspapers except in the U.S. and U.K.
The Port Authority Police guard people using the airports, PATH trains, Midtown bus terminal and bridges and tunnels linking New York to New Jersey. (CHRIS HONDROS/GETTY IMAGES)
The shock was understandable: John, who asked that his last name be withheld, works in his department’s special victims unit, where he investigates sexual assaults and interviews rape victims.

“I already work in probably one of the most stressful units in law enforcement and they tell me I’m not cut out for this job,” he said. “It just didn’t add up. Why wouldn’t they hire someone who has experience in stressful situations?”

The Port Authority initially refused to comment on the odds-defying trend, demanding The News seek answers through the Freedom of Information Law. A FOIL request for documents regarding Port Authority Police Department vetting was quickly denied.

On Friday, the Port Authority acknowledged that “failure numbers in the most recent class were higher than average.”

“(It’s) a reflection of some reforms put in place to date,” the agency said in a statement. “The Port Authority’s ambition is to have the highest-quality police force possible. In pursuit of that ambition, the agency has been reviewing the selection process for police recruits.

“The review and revision process for police recruitment standards is currently midstream, with multiple aspects still being studied and under consideration,” the PA said. “Medical and psychological standards are among those still being reviewed, with the goal of implementing a revised set of standards in early 2018.”

The Port Authority outsources psychological testing to a private company, the name of which is a closely guarded secret.

“We have no idea who they are. The police are not involved in that side of it at all,” said the high-ranking source. “If we ask, the Port Authority tells us, ‘It’s none of your business.’”

Experts say outsourcing the psych exams could lead to the skewed test numbers.

“Private companies have a vested interest in accommodating their clients. What happens, unfortunately, is that they may target certain answers and weed out candidates that a psychologist steeped in the law enforcement culture may see differently,” said Daniel Rudofossi, a licensed psychologist who was once clinical director for the NYPD Medical Division’s Membership Assistance Program.

When John was told he was medically barred from becoming a Port Authority cop, he appealed. He was then sent a form letter claiming he did not “meet the psychological requirements.”

“This does not mean you are not qualified for other positions within or outside of the Port Authority or any other endeavors you choose to pursue,” the letter said.

“I don’t understand it,” the high-ranking source said about the failure rate. “They’re just molding their applicant numbers to whatever they think they need that given year.”

The Port Authority can be overly selective because it hires so few applicants. Only 120 cadets were welcomed into the Port Authority Police Academy in January. After 26 weeks of study and physical training, 83 of them graduated July 28.

The Port Authority currently has 1,657 rank-and-file police officers. The entire Port Authority Police Department — including supervisors — tops out at 2,045.

Eugene O’Donnell, a retired NYPD cop and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said the Port Authority shouldn’t use the psych exam as a catch-all excuse for dismissing candidates. ... -1.3426223

Hundreds march in rally over police violence against people with mental illness in Brooklyn
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Saturday, August 19, 2017, 9:59 PM ... -1.3426173

NYPD school safety agent busted after allegedly attacking boyfriend amid brawl in Brooklyn apartment

Saturday, August 19, 2017, ... -1.3426317

Dick Gregory, comedy legend and civil rights activist, dead at 84

Saturday, August 19, 2017, 11:11 PM

He was 84.

Gregory died in Washington D.C. two days after his son revealed that he was hospitalized with a “serious but stable medical condition.”

“It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend and civil rights activist Mr. Dick Gregory departed this earth tonight in Washington, DC.,” his son Christian Gregory wrote on Instagram.

Muhammad Ali embraces Dick Gregory, comedian, social activist and nutritionist, after a workout in New Orleans, Sept. 13, 1978 .
“The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

Born in St. Louis, Gregory first started performing stand-up comedy in the army in the 1950s.

His major break came in 1961 when he was spotted by Playboy founder Hugh Hefner performing before an all-white audience at the Roberts Show Bar in Chicago.

In memoriam: Remembering the famous figures we lost in 2017
“It was the first time they had seen a black comic who was not bucking his eyes, wasn’t dancing and singing and telling mother-in-law jokes,” Gregory said in a 2000 Boston Globe interview. “Just talking about what I read in the newspaper.”

Gregory instantly shot to fame, landing gigs at the country’s top clubs and raking in as much as $25,000 a night.

At the same time, the civil rights movement was gathering momentum and Gregory bravely injected himself into the cause, trading stage performances for sit-ins and marches.

Gregory became a major figure in the civil rights movement, marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King
Some critics called him out for allowing his demonstrating to interfere with his comedy career.

“My career is interfering with my demonstrating,” Gregory shot back.

A friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, he was shot in the leg during Los Angeles’ Watts Riots in 1965 and even ran for president as a write-in candidate in 1968.

Gregory's major break came in 1961 when he was spotted by Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.

“He taught us how to laugh. He taught us how to fight. He taught us how to live,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson. “Dick Gregory was committed to justice. I miss him already. #RIP.”

TV One host Roland Martin described Gregory as “honest, truthful, unflinching, unapologetically black.”

“He challenged America at every turn.” Martin added.

The death of the comic giant even prompted Bill Cosby to issue a rare public statement.


https://www.americanswhotellthetruth.or ... ck-gregory

Dick Gregory Portrait by Robert Shetterly
c Robert Shetterly/Americans Who Tell The Truth
Dick Gregory
Comedian, Social Activist, Writer : b. 1932

"…to be forced to vote for the lesser of two evils is really to have no choice at all. …Under such circumstances the only real choice a person has is to exercise his right not to vote; to boycott the polls and refuse to participate in a process that mocks the concept of free elections." ... -1.3425792

Frank Serpico, NYPD cops raise their fists, take a knee for team-less Colin Kaepernick at Brooklyn rally
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Saturday, August 19, 2017, 3:03 PM ... -1.3425701

Inside the support house assisting deported U.S. veterans living in Mexico

Nearly 60 veterans who have served in the U.S. military have been sent to Tijuana, Mexico upon the end of their service due of their lack of citizenship status and, for some, their criminal record. The Deported Veterans Support House, however, has stepped in and given many of them food, shelter, clothing, and a lifeline to the legislation fighting to get them back in the U.S. ... -coworker/

Two Denver jail sergeants fired for failing to report intoxicated co-worker ... 882366.php

Next week's striking New Yorker cover shows Trump traveling with the KKK
Michael Cavna, The Washington Post Published 2:52 pm, Thursday, August 17, 2017 ... 944379.php

Evacuation orders affect hundreds in California, Oregon
Updated 4:35 pm, Saturday, August 19, 2017

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Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh » ... rs/232815/

Judge Greenlights Lawsuit Against FBI Over Surveillance Of Barrett Brown Supporters
A judge ruled that the lawsuit plausibly alleged that the government abused its subpoena power to unmask identities of unnamed donors who raised money for the jailed journalists legal defense.

A federal judge Tuesday refused to dismiss a lawsuit claiming the FBI used an unconstitutional subpoena to spy on anonymous supporters of jailed journalist Barrett Brown.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James found the lawsuit plausibly alleged that the government abused its subpoena power to unmask the identities of unnamed donors who raised money for Brown’s legal defense.

“Defendants have failed to articulate any facially reasonable explanation for requesting donors’ identities,” James wrote in her 26-page ruling.

Brown was arrested in September 2012 and sentenced to five years and three months in prison after he shared an online link to files stolen in the 2011 hack of the security and intelligence contractor Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor.

Related | Government Reaches New Lows In Its Crusade Against Barrett Brown

Kevin Gallagher, who started an online fundraiser for Brown’s legal defense, and an anonymous donor filed a class action against the government in February this year. They claim the FBI violated donors’ privacy, the First Amendment, and the Stored Communications Act.

Gallagher and Donor No. 1 claim Dallas-based FBI agent Robert Smith and Candina Heath, an assistant U.S. attorney in Texas, used a subpoena to “unlawfully identify, target and surveil” anonymous supporters of Brown.

The government says those donors have no expectation of privacy for transaction records retained by a third party. But the plaintiffs say the records were protected political speech and that revealing their identities violates their rights to engage in anonymous political speech. ... il/232827/

Report: Without Taxpayer Subsidies, Fossil Fuel Companies Would Fail
A new report found that industry subsidies cost U.S. taxpayers more than $20 billion each year, $14.7 billion at the federal level and $5.8 billion at the state level. ... aster-aid/

Texas Churches Fight FEMA for Right to Disaster Aid
The Federal Emergency Management Agency asked a federal judge Tuesday to dismiss claims from three Texas churches that FEMA’s disaster aid policies unconstitutionally discriminate against religious organizations. ... nd-claims/

Florida Supreme Court Clears Path for Civil Action on ‘Stand Your Ground’ Claims
ALEX PICKETTFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email September 29, 2017
(CN) – A person declared immune from criminal prosecution under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law can still face a civil action, the Florida Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

The unanimous decision is yet another twist in the interpretation of one of the state’s most controversial laws. ... -gun-laws/

October 4, 2017
Could you purchase a gun in Nevada? Probably.
In the case of Stephen Paddock, existing gun laws didn’t fail - they’re just that lenient
Written by Vanessa Nason
Edited by JPat Brown
So, you decided to purchase a gun in Nevada.

1. The first step, unless you know a private dealer willing to sell you a gun, is to go to a Federal Firearm Licensed (FFL) Dealer.

If you’re in the Las Vegas area, you’re in luck - there are roughly 300 holders of this license. You can buy a machine gun - provided it was manufactured before 1986 - just 20 minutes outside the Las Vegas Strip.

2. Once you’ve found the firearm you want, the store will run a background check on you.

All FFLs are required to run a background check prior to a gun sale. You complete ATF Form 4473, which asks 16 questions, including, “are you a fugitive from justice?” And “are you an alien illegally in the United States?” The store will then contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), run by the FBI, giving them your answers and social security number. A permit may also be required, but this varies depending on state and type of firearm.

3. A firearm will be denied on criteria outlined by federal law and state laws.

The 10 federal disqualifications, given to us as part of a request with the Nevada Attorney General, are:

Extra disqualifications vary from state to state. In Nevada, there are two:

According to the FBI, the NICS returns an immediate response more than 90 percent of the time. To check even more records, states can opt to run their own background checks in addition to the federal NICS. Only 21 states take this extra precautionary measure. There are now three possible outcomes:

1. You were given the instant OK by the FBI.

Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a firearm. This can mean different things. Clark County, where Las Vegas is, used to have a required 72 hour waiting period before taking your new gun home.

2. You were denied.

Too bad. Try a different state, or buy an antique online.

3. The FBI wants more information.

If the results of your background check came back inconclusive, and the FBI wants to further look into your case, they legally have three days to do so. If they have not reached a determination by the end of those three days, you will automatically be sold the firearm in what’s known as a default proceed. Most infamously, this is how Dylan Roof was able to purchase a Glock and murder nine people at a church in Charleston, despite a previous drug offense.

The dealer is not required to notify the FBI when a sale has been made via default proceed. If the FBI later determines the gun sale was illegal, they are obligated to send a retrieval order to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The ATF then works in conjunction with local law enforcement to confiscate the gun. Keeping with what we’ve found so far, the data surrounding default proceeds and successful retrievals is murky. The FBI says they issue an average of 3,000 retrieval orders each year. There is no information on how many of those are successful. We’ve been filing to find out how many guns are sold as a default proceed each year, and while our requests to find this information have so far been futile, the same data that was denied to us was released to Think Progress earlier this year. Their data shows more than 300,000 firearms were sold as default proceeds last year.

The Las Vegas shooter was legally sold a gun. According to the New York Times, the 65-year-old man had stockpiled 23. He passed the routine background checks. So what went wrong?

In this case, it wasn’t that the system failed - it was that the system is just that lenient.

Gun law advocates have given Nevada an F rating. The state doesn’t require any permits, licenses, or registration on rifles and shotguns. And while it’s technically illegal to purchase a modern machine gun, Mother Jones reported in 2012 on how easy, and legal, it is to rig your semiautomatic to fire just like one. The Las Vegas shooter had his own modified gun, which may have been the cause of his rapid fire shooting that left 59 dead and more than 500 injured. 90 shots were fired in 10 seconds.

Is that really “the price of freedom?”

Read Nevada’s firearms policies embedded below, or on the request page.

Image by Michael Saechang via Flickr and licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0. ... old-bureau

Schorman on Cecil, 'Branding Hoover's FBI: How the Boss's PR Men Sold the Bureau to America'

Matthew Cecil
Rob Schorman

Matthew Cecil. Branding Hoover's FBI: How the Boss's PR Men Sold the Bureau to America. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2016. 344 pp. $29.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-7006-2305-1.

Reviewed by Rob Schorman (Miami University of Ohio Regionals)
Published on H-FedHist (October, 2017)
Commissioned by Caryn E. Neumann

Matthew Cecil, in Branding Hoover's FBI: How the Boss's PR Men Sold the Bureau to America, lays out a case that the prestige and public trust enjoyed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during most of J. Edgar Hoover’s tenure resulted not so much from the agency’s investigative prowess as from a finely tuned public relations apparatus that began operation only a few years after the term “public relations” was coined. As Cecil puts it: “The bureau practiced, at an early stage in the development of the field, sophisticated public relations techniques on a nationwide scale” (p. 15). Cecil sees the success of this effort as the achievement of specific, talented individuals. He suggests that had they not been on the scene, the agency would have fared much differently in the public estimation from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, and that had they not departed, the agency might have avoided its precipitous fall from grace in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In-depth coverage is given to the careers of both Louis Nichols and Cartha “Deke” DeLoach, the two most prominent overseers of the agency’s PR efforts, the former from 1935 to 1957 and the latter from 1959 to 1970. Nichols established the template for agency policies, and the book details the manner in which he led efforts to control its image in popular radio shows, fought to head off critical findings from a presidential commission, strategically leaked information on alleged Communist sympathizers to force them from public office, and recruited liberal “moles” to offer intelligence about such organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union. DeLoach followed the template but with a different style. Whereas Nichols was a sometimes subtle manipulator of a vast network of media contacts—both friend and foe—DeLoach focused his attention on “managing upward” and influencing decision makers in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Justice Department, and White House (p. 263).

Nichols and DeLoach are well-known figures, although their methods have never been examined with such care. Perhaps even more valuable, the book provides an equally detailed appraisal of the contributions of agency staff members who are never more than bit players in standard FBI histories. These include Milton Jones, who for almost thirty years was personally responsible for maintaining the content standards for thousands of letters, memos, speeches, articles, and reports the agency produced, and Fern Stukenbroeker, who among other things was the chief ghostwriter for publications that appeared under Hoover’s name, ranging from law journal articles to the best-selling book Masters of Deceit: The Story of Communism in America and How to Fight It (1958), which sold more than two million copies. The book includes readable character sketches of these people and many others with whom they interacted, along with analysis of their activities.

Cecil’s work has an impressive research base, most notably an extensive review of the FBI’s own files of correspondence, memos, and handwritten notes. At its peak, the FBI department responsible for public relations employed almost two hundred people and in a single year responded to about seven thousand letters a month, placed dozens of articles in national magazines, wrote hundreds of speeches and official statements for bureau employees, and performed thousands of “name checks” for the White House. For the network television series The FBI (1965-74), it rewrote scripts, vetted cast and crew members (blackballing “subversives”), and had two agents permanently assigned to the set while filming occurred. Censure, probation, demotion, and reassignment were penalties imposed on agency personnel for offenses as small as a typographical error on a letter that went out on the agency’s letterhead.

The book also covers the tsunami of criticism that led to a decline in the FBI’s reputation at the end of Hoover’s tenure. By that time, the health and vigor of Hoover and his top aide, Clyde Tolson, were in decline, and Nichols and DeLoach had moved on. Cecil states: “It seems likely that the Bureau could have weathered the kinds of public relations challenges it faced in the late 1960s and early 1970s had its leadership team been at full strength” (p. 252). I suppose that’s possible—certainly he provides examples of inept and inadequate response by the agency during this period. He also notes, however, that by the late 1960s the “FBI represented mainstream 1950s values in a counterculture America” (p. 214), and one wonders if any PR effort could have countered the rising suspicion and scrutiny of public institutions that were fueled by civil rights and Vietnam protests, the culture of scandal and investigative reporting that began to permeate Washington media, and the collapse of the Cold War consensus that had dominated public perception and discourse since World War II.

Branding Hoover’s FBI is well done in every respect. The book is well written and organized, its use of both primary and secondary sources is excellent, and overall its argument is convincing. It is a valuable addition to our understanding of the internal workings of the FBI.

Printable Version:

Citation: Rob Schorman. Review of Cecil, Matthew, Branding Hoover's FBI: How the Boss's PR Men Sold the Bureau to America. H-FedHist, H-Net Reviews. October, 2017.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Former FBI special agent reveals possible profile of Vegas shooter
FOX 13 News, Tampa Bay-
TAMPA (FOX 13) - A former FBI special agent painted a picture of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock as a walled-off, complicated subject for ... ... 728983001/

FBI expert: Motive in Las Vegas shooting will surely surface
Naples Daily News-
The lead FBI agent for the Oklahoma City bombing said the motive behind the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history will become clear. “You can't tell me that ...

Attorney: Ashcroft Gagged Nichols From Exposing McVeigh's OKC Bombing Conspirators |
9/11 Blogger › news › attorney-ashcroft-...
Feb 22, 2007 - Trentadue dropped the bombshell that Attorney General's Ashcroft's office gagged Nichols from speaking ... "McVeigh said he believed Potts was manipulating him and forcing him to 'go off script ...

PATCON, Oklahoma City, and Jesse Trentadue's Lonely Crusade for Justice | The Libertarian Institute
The Libertarian Institute › justice › patco...
Apr 19, 2017 - On the basis of what he had told Trentadue, Matthews was expected to describe how the FBI was ..... for the OKC bombing videos, Jesse Trentadue contacted by convicted co-conspirator Terry Nichols, ...

'Multiple accomplices' ID'd by Terry Nichols - › 2007/02
Feb 26, 2007 - Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue secured Nichols' signed and sealed declaration as part of his ... As Nichols recounts his conversation with McVeigh, “Potts had something to do with the change ... ... -massacre/


Georgia cop who lied about receiving a Purple Heart medal gets probation
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, October 3, 2017, 8:28 PM ... ess-20225/

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

A copy of report DODIG-2015-157, "Assessment of the Nuclear Warhead Unsatisfactory Report Process (Project No. D2014-DINT02-0199.000)"

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.


Shawn Musgrave ... -1.3540681

Lauren Hart, Flyers anthem singer and mother of four adopted black children, says protest’s message of Police Cruelty is being lost
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 10:35 AM

"If you are offended at the kneeling say so, and then ask yourself, how do I make this better so a grown man doesn't have to kneel down in front of all of America just to be heard?" she said. "Protest and patriotism are what this country was founded on. Despite our hopes, we are not all treated as equals. Until we face that truth nobody's 'team' wins." ... -survival/

Agency Asks Anglers to Aid Fish’s Survival
RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLEFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email October 3, 2017

Bjorn NORDENSTROM first person to map body's electrical system

Electrochemical Treatment of Cancer

Dr.Bjorn Nordenstrom, a Chairman of the Nobel Prize Selection Assembly, discovered how to use electricity to shrink lung and breast cancer tumors with no side effects. His work was ignored.


During the 1950's, a brilliant, inquisitive and highly innovative Swedish radiologist and surgeon, Dr. Björn E.W. Nordenström (second photo) became interested in streaks, spikes and coronas that he saw in X-ray images of lung tumors (third photo, from: "Exploring BCEC-Systems," Nordic Medical Publications, Stockholm (1998)). When Dr. Nordenström discussed his observations with other physicians, many of his colleagues saw nothing. Others attributed the phenomena to artifacts in the image.

Dr. Nordenström was quite familiar with negative reactions from his colleagues. As his accomplishments grew, he became Head of Diagnostic Radiology at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. He also authored or co-authored more than 150 publications in radiology, electrobiology and pharmacology. He was a member of the Nobel Assembly from 1967 through 1986, and served as President of the Assembly in 1985. Even with these credentials, many of his ideas, such as needle biopsy and balloon catheterization were initially met with significant amounts of opposition by his peers.

In 1965, Dr. Nordenström began a scientific investigation into the subtle anomalies that he observed in lung tumor X-ray images. After years of very careful experimentation and analysis, he came to the conclusion that the streaks, spikes and coronas that could be seen in X-ray radiographs of lung tumors were the result of water movement, movement of ions and restructuring of certain tissues due to the influence of various electrical and electrochemical phenomena.

As his research activities progressed, Dr. Nordenström proposed a closed loop, circulatory, self regulating model for healing that was much more detailed and complete than conventional wound healing models. Dr. Nordenström's model involves various Biologically Closed Electric Circuits (BCEC), capable of utilizing a number of physiological pathways and influencing structure and function for a variety of tissues and organs. In essence, he described another circulatory system where continuous energy circulation and circulating electrical currents support healing, metabolism, growth, regulation, immune response, etc.

Using his BCEC theory, Dr. Nordenström developed electrochemical therapy (EChT), a minimally invasive electrotherapeutic technique for the treatment of cancer and hemangioma tumors. EChT assists the body's normal BCEC electrochemical healing processes by complementing and assisting the naturally occurring endogenous electric fields and currents that support the process of healing.

EChT povides a low-cost, patient friendly and highly effective technique for the treatment of localized tumors. EChT is highly complementary and can be administered with other therapeutic modalities. EChT does not have the serious side effects associated with conventional therapies, and experience has shown that EChT does not exhibit a significant therapeutic resistance with repeated applications, as is often the case with conventional therapies.

An extensive overview of BCEC and EChT (and how they relate to wound healing and other electrotherapeutic applications), and the more appropriate designation for EChT as NEAT- EChT, can be found in the book: "Electrotherapeutic Devices: Principles, Design and Applications" (Artech House, Boston, MA (2007)) by IABC Emeritus President, Dr. George O'Clock (Also, refer to Dr. O'Clock's October 23, 2008 University of Minnesota Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Colloquia Presentation titled "Electrotherapeutic Principles: Applications in Cancer, Wound Healing, and Visual System Disease can be viewed at A DVD of this colloquium presentation is available from the U of MN ECE Department. Dr. O'Clock appears to have written the first scientifically rigorous (yet accessible and relatively easy to understand) book on electrotherapeutic devices that combines essential technical, biological, legal and clinical background with some guidelines for treatment protocols. Two of the chapters discuss magnetotherapeutic principles and devices. This book was dedicated to Dr. Nordenström.

As indicated in the previous paragraph, Dr. Nordenström's theories and clinical results are not confined to cancer. Much of what he has done also applies to wound healing and special branches of wound healing that are associated with various forms of visual disease (macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt's disease, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, neuropathy, etc.). The results of recent FDA guided and supervised clinical trials that have been successfully completed are incorporated into the following website: This website was updated during the Summer of 2009 and should have more technical information by August-September of 2009.

From: B.E.W Nordenström, Biologically Closed Electric Circuits, Nordic Medical Publications, Stockholm (1983); B.E.W Nordenström, The American Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol. 12, 1989; B.E.W. Nordenström, The European Journal of Surgery, Supplement 574, 1994; G.D. O'Clock, Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Biologically Closed Electric Circuits, October 26-29, 1997; B.E.W. Nordenström, Exploring BCEC-Systems, Nordic Medical Publications, Stockholm (1998); Y.L. Xin, et. al., Journal of the IABC, Vol. 1, January-December, 2002; G.D. O'Clock, German Journal of Oncology, Vol. 33, 2001; G.D. O'Clock, Electrotherapeutic Devices: Principles, Design and Applications, Artech House, Boston, MA (2007); G.D. O'Clock and J.B. Jarding, "Electrotherapeutic Device/Protocol Design Considerations for Visual Disease Applications," Proceedings of the 31st International IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Conference, EMBC '09, Minneapolis, MN September 2-9, 2009.

For more information on the books published by B.E.W. Nordenström, contact:


Understanding BCEC requires the use of some high school math and physics, along with an appreciation for history. Over 140 years of research in wound healing has shown that an injury site has a positive electric potential with respect to the surrounding uninjured tissue. Björn Nordenström has also determined that the electric potential at the center of most tumors is positive with respect to the normal tissue surrounding the tumor. He realized that a wound, or tumor, had a considerable amount of cell degradation (lysis) occurring at it's center, making this region positively charged and highly acidic. Therefore, in relation to the surrounding normal tissue, the wound or tumor site had the properties of a wet cell battery, producing a positive potential between the center and periphery of the wound or tumor.

The positive electric potential at the center of the wound or tumor can produce a current in an electrically conductive medium. As the conductivity of the medium increases, the electrical resistance, that tends to "impede" or restrict current flow (impedance), decreases.

Thomasset provides a picture (first figure, from: Journal of the IABC, Vol. 1, January-December, 2002) showing high frequency electrical currents flowing through cells, and the lower frequency electrical currents flowing within the interstitial fluid around various cells. If the source of the electrical potential is an injury site or tumor, the resulting current will be more of a direct current. In this case, most of the current will flow around the cells within the interstitial fluid medium, and the impedance will be relatively high. Also, if the electric current consists primarily of ions in motion, the size of the ion would also be an impedance consideration with respect to it's capabilities of traveling through cell membranes, or it's limitations if it is restricted to conductive pathways within the interstitial fluid medium.

While current is flowing due to the presence of the injury site or tumor site potential, other electrically dependant functions are being influenced by the electrical potential. Like most cells, white blood cells possess a negative surface charge. From the standpoint of immune function, the positive potential at the center of the injury or tumor tends to assist immunological response by attracting white blood cells to that location. The electric field produced by the positive potential of the central region of the injury site or tumor also has an effect on capillary porosity (contraction, which closes the pores of the capillary), as indicated by the second figure.

With cancer, as long as the tumor exists, lytic reactions at the center of the tumor site will promote the continued existence of the positive potential and electric field in the region of the tumor. As indicated by the second figure, with the tumor acting as a wet cell battery; a conductive path for the flow of a variety of ions (including hydrogen and phosphate ions) exists in various electrically conductive pathways near the tumor site, through interstitial fluids between cells, to porous capillaries, to veins and arteries and back to contracted capillaries near the tumor.

The primary electrical conduction mechanism is ionic in a large part of the the electrically conductive pathway. Electron transfer occurs in the membranes of the capillaries that are under the influence of electric field induced contraction. Under the influence of the positively charged center of the tumor, the transport of charged ions and white blood cells continues, promoting various activities in the healing process.

As shown in the second figure (from German Journal of Oncology, Vol. 33, 2001), a closed-loop circulating current and energy flow is accomplished by the transport of charged particles (ions and electrons), producing slowly varying electric currents in the human body, utilizing various conductive pathways (interstitial fluid, blood vessels, nerve fiber, muscle, etc.). The healing currents are slowly varying with respect to time (essentially, they are direct currents). This fact verifies that a Biologically Closed Electric Circuit is involved. A biologically open circuit cannot support direct current.

In many of his published papers and books, Dr. Nordenström points out that BCEC activities have a profound influence on structure and function. The influence of BCEC on function is relatively easy to describe. Once the injury site or tumor site produces an electric field, immune system function is influenced by the attraction of white blood cells. Capillary function (porosity reduction due to electric field induced contraction) is influenced by the presence of the electric field produced by the lytic activity near the center of the site. Function is also influenced by the movement of ions to and from the injury or tumor site.

Structure can also be influenced by BCEC activity. The photo marked "a" (from: Exploring BCEC-Systems, Nordic Medical Publications, Stockholm (1998)) shows soft tissue radiograph of mammary fat tissue before a 10 V source is applied. Over a 10 day period, with 10 V and 1.75 mA of current, some endogenously developed fibrosis has disappeared (arrows in "a"), while large amounts of new fibrous tissue have developed (photo "b"). In this case, the application of an electric potential, electric field and electric current have contributed to a change in the internal structure of the soft tissue.

The transport of water by electroosmosis, at the tumor site, can influence structure and function. The movement of water around various lung tumors contributed to the structural changes Dr. Nordenström first noticed in his X-ray radiographs, that resulted in his development of BCEC theory (see Home page, third photo). As water is drawn away from the tumor by electroosmosis, the tumor is deprived of nutrients and liquid, and the tumor cells and vascular structure of the water starved region begin to deteriorate.

Significant changes in cellular structure can also occur with the application of voltages and currents that can occur in BCEC systems. Dr. Nordenström shows significant changes in mammalian red blood cell morphology with the application of currents at the 1 mA level. Becker reported evidence of electrically induced dedifferentiation of immature red blood cells at current levels that were in the fraction of a nA range. O'Clock shows photos of immature red blood cell dedifferentiation at 1 µA, where, over a period of time, the red blood cells make the transition from concave and spoked, to elliptical in shape and finally to a flat amoeboid morphology. O'Clock and Leonard also show evidence of necrobiosis and loss of cell aggregation properties for lymphoma cells at current levels of 9 µA.

One of the reasons why BCEC theory is so important is that it predicts the fast transport times observed with immune system response. Conventional chemotaxis models, based on diffusion, are much too slow. For example, an estimate of the diffusion time (T) that is required for white blood cells to travel 0.2 cm. from a capillary to an injury site can be obtained from the following diffusion equation:

v = dL/dT = (D/L),

where v represents an instantaneous velocity (that is a function of distance) for the white blood cell, L is the distance traveled and D is the diffusion constant. This relationship was taken from Mombach and Glazier, "Single Cell Motion in Aggregates of Embryonic Cells," Physics Review Letters, Vol. 76, 15 April, 1996. Using a diffusion constant of 1/100,000 and a distance of 0.2 cm, the estimated velocity of 0.0001 cm/sec., from the equation shown above, would result in a transport time of 2000 seconds (or, approximately 33 minutes) for a cell traveling 0.2 cm. to an injury site. Using the cell velocity relationship involving chemotaxis coefficient, and attractant gradient, from Farrell, et. al. (Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton, Vol. 16, 1990); the cell's chemotactic velocity is even slower. We know the immune system response is much faster than the velocities and resulting transport times predicted by these particular mathematical relationships involving standard diffusion and chemotaxis. Therefore, another physiological/immunological model for cell motion in healing and regulation is needed, to predict more realistic cell transport velocities and transport times.

Dr. Björn Nordenström's BCEC theory provides the right mix of physiological structure and function to yield a mathematical expression that predicts more realistic cell velocities and response times for the immune system. Referring to the second figure, the lytic activity at the tumor site can produce an electric potential of 30 mV over a distance of 1 mm. We can assume that the surface charge density of a 20 µm diameter white blood cell is approximately - 2 Coulombs per meter squared. Combining elecric field theory with fluid mechanics, the following BCEC cellular transport relationship can be derived:

F = (Q)(E) = n(v/d)(A),

Where F is the force on the charged cell due to the injury site electric field, Q is the product of cell surface charge and cell surface area, n is viscosity (approximately 1/1,000 kg./m-sec. for a body fluid medium), A is the cross sectional area of the cell perpendicular to the direction of travel, v is the cell velocity and d is the boundary layer thickness for the 20 µm diameter cell traveling in a fluid medium (in this case, approximately 0.3 µm for laminar flow fluid dynamics). Applying these numbers to the BCEC cellular transport equation, the resulting velocity (v) of 0.1 cm./sec. allows the white blood cell to reach the injury site in approximately 2 sec. This transport time is within the range of observed immune system response times for tissues and organs, and is much faster (by a factor of approximately 1,000) than the transport times predicted by chemotaxis models that rely on diffusion and physiological/immunological concepts that are more than 150 years old.

From: A.L. Thomasset, Lyon Médical, Vol. 21, 1962; R.O.Becker and D.G. Murray, Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 29, 1967; B.E.W. Nordenström, Biologically Closed Electric Circuits, Nordic Medical Publications, Stockholm (1983); G.D. O'Clock, Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Biologically Closed Electric Circuits, October 26-29, 1997; B.E.W. Nordenström, Exploring BCEC-Systems, Nordic Medical Publications, Stockholm (1998); G.D. O'Clock, German Journal of Oncology, Vol. 33, 2001; G.D. O'Clock and T. Leonard, German Journal of Oncology, Vol. 33, 2001; B.E.W Nordenström, Journal of the IABC, Vol. 1, January-December, 2002; A.L. Thomasset, Journal of the IABC, Vol. 1, January-December, 2002; P.J. Rosch and M.S. Markov (eds), Bioelectromagnetic Medicine, Marcel Dekker, New York, NY (2004); G. D. O'Clock, Electrotherapeutic Devices: Principles, Design and Applications, Artech House, Boston, MA (2007).

Link du jour ... 501&sig=39 ... challenge/

Bees, Birds and Beetles Inspire Federal Pesticide Challenge
DANIEL W. STAPLESFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email October 4, 2017
WASHINGTON (CN) — Fighting to prevent the extinction of 26 endangered species — from woodpeckers and bumblebees to frogs and dragonflies — conservationists brought a federal complaint Tuesday to vacate the registrations of neonicotinoid pesticides.

“Neonics pose significant adverse consequences to threatened and endangered species,” the complaint states. “Yet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved hundreds of neonic-containing pesticide products without consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as required under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.”

Filed in Washington, Tuesday’s complaint is led by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The group notes that spraying a plant with a systemic pesticide like a neonic makes everything inside the plant toxic to pests and other wildlife. When it rains, the NRDC says, a pesticide’s neonic active ingredients — acetamiprid, dinotefuran, and imidacloprid — then leach into the soil and work their way into groundwater.

Taylor's Checkerspot Butterfly (Photo via Washington Fish and Wildlife) Streaked Horned Lark (Photo via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) A rusty-patched bumblebee on Culver’s root in the arboretum at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. (Photo by SUSAN DAY via UW-MADISON ARBORETUM)
Dozens of endangered species whose continued survival is threatened by the ubiquity of neonics are listed in the complaint.

“The collapse of bee and other pollinator populations in the last decade, like that of the endangered rusty patched bumble bee, is one consequence of this contamination,” it says. “The chronic presence of neonics in ground and surface water also threatens aquatic species.”

Introducing the court to eight members who make it a point to observe creatures like the American burying beetle and the San Bruno elfin butterfly, the NRDC says its interests “are and will be directly, adversely, and irreparably affected by defendants’ violation of the law.”

Claiming that the failure of the EPA to consult with Fish and Wildlife about the pesticide registrations violates the Endangered Species Act, the environmentalists want those registrations vacated until the required consultations occur.

The NRDC is represented by in-house counsel Aaron Colangelo.

Oregon Spotted Frog (Photo via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Oregon branch) Yellow-billed cuckoo (Photo via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Oregon branch) Hine's emerald dragonfly (Photo credit: P. Burton via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
“EPA ignored endangered bees, butterflies, and birds when it approved the widespread use of neonics,” Rebecca Riley, a senior attorney with NRDC out of Chicago, said in a statement. “Massive pollinator die-offs across the country show that these pesticides cause serious harm to wildlife. It’s time for EPA to do its job and make sure our most vulnerable species are protected from the products it approves,”

In addition to the rusty-patched bumble bee and the San Bruno elfin butterfly, endangered species mentioned in the complaint include the black-capped vireo, Taylor’s checkerspot, the Oregon silverspot butterfly and the Oregon spotted frog, several species of yellow-faced bees from Hawaii, and two blue butterflies.

The dwarf wedgemussel, the vernal pool fairy shrimp, the rabitsfoot mussel, the Hine’s emerald dragonfly, the yellow-billed cuckoo, the streaked horned lark, the red-cockaded woodpecker and the pallid sturgeon are each mentioned as well.

A representative with the EPA has not responded to a request for comment on the lawsuit. ... alifornia/

Crabbing Blamed for Whale & Turtle Deaths in Calif.
The state of California lets Dungeness crab fishermen inadvertently kill endangered whales and sea turtles by authorizing fishing gear that traps the threatened creatures, environmentalists claim in a new lawsuit.

Level 34 Illuminated
Posts: 7755

Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh » ... watergate/
Former FBI Agent: Liberals, Relax. Flynn's Guilty Plea Isn't the Next Watergate. ... ille-fired

Cop who wrote ‘Hahaha love this’ after Charlottesville fired

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. A Massachusetts police officer has been fired for writing “Hahahaha love this” on Facebook in response to a story about a car striking and killing a counter-protester at a white supremacist rally in Virginia in August. ... rime-data/

NOV. 30, 2017 AT 12:24 PM
Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data

As Trump tweets, government acts. Welcome to Meanwhile, our recurring look at what federal agencies are up to and how their work affects people’s lives.

When data goes missing, researchers take notice. On Tuesday, a research alliance representing two professional associations of criminologists lodged a formal statement of concern with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and acting FBI Director Christopher Wray over a number of data tables that were missing from the FBI’s 2016 Crime in the United States report. FiveThirtyEight obtained a copy of the letter, which was signed by Peter Wood, chair of the Crime & Justice Research Alliance, a joint project of the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and which called for the FBI to “immediately revise the 2016 report to make this data available.” (You can read the full letter here.)

FiveThirtyEight first reported in October that the 2016 report, the first of its kind to be put out under the Trump administration, was missing numerous data tables. The FBI claimed that the removal of data tables had been in the works for years, but further reporting found that there was little evidence to back up that argument.

The Crime & Justice Research Alliance’s letter to Sessions and Wray noted that the report’s reduction in data tables “has significant implications for the justice research community.”

“Given this administration’s public statements about addressing violent crime, victims’ rights, the opioid epidemic and terrorism,” the letter states, “it is unfortunate that the 2016 report removes key data about these topic areas.” The letter goes on to point out that data used to track intimate partner violence, gang homicides, and arrests relating to narcotics — including heroin and synthetic opioids — is now missing from the report.

The ranking members of the House and Senate judiciary committees and members of the House and Senate subcommittees on commerce, justice and science appropriations were also sent the letter.

The statement of concern from the criminologist community came as President Trump announced that the new head of the Bureau of Justice Statistics will be Jeffrey Anderson, a former professor of political science with no apparent statistical background besides helping create a system to assess the strength of college football teams, adjusted for their schedule difficulty.1 In May, Anderson, a former fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank, was appointed to be the director of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services. The White House’s announcement of his posting to the Bureau of Justice Statistics noted that in his previous role he led efforts “to reduce insurance premiums, regulatory burdens, and opioid abuse.”

Anderson’s appointment comes after five former heads of the Bureau of Justice Statistics sent a letter to Sessions this spring urging him to appoint a director of the BJS who had “scientific skills; experience with federal statistical agencies; familiarity with BJS and its products; visibility in the ... -to-death/

Disabled Florida inmate was gassed to death after begging for medical help, lawsuit says

November 30, 2017 at 8:10 pm
Randall Jordan-Aparo spent four days begging for medical help. He suffered from a severe blood disorder and was showing signs of a dangerous flare-up: rapid heart beat, fever and debilitating bodily pain. He needed to go to a hospital, he said.

Medical staff were dismissive at the Carrabelle, Florida, prison where Jordan-Aparo was serving a 20-month sentence for credit card fraud. Drink water, take some Tylenol and get some rest, they told him, court records show.

When the 27-year-old protested, correctional officers put him in an isolation cell, then sprayed him with a “chemical restraint agent,” according to court documents. Inmates would later testify that they heard him scream, “I can’t take the gas.” ... -dismissed

6,000 drug cases tainted by lab scandal to be dismissed ... -1.3671333

Benghazi panel paid $150G in taxpayer money to aide allegedly axed for not investigating Hillary Clinton ... s-untested
Indiana police uncertain why 2,500 assault kits untested

INDIANAPOLIS At least 2,500 untested rape kits are languishing for reasons unknown at police departments and in evidence rooms across Indiana, according to an audit released Friday by law enforcement officials. ... -1.3670807
SEE IT: Amazon delivery driver caught on video pooping in front of home
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, December 1, 2017, 2:50 PM ... pons-theft
Former Colorado police chief pleads guilty to weapons theft

LEADVILLE, Colo. — A former police chief in a small Colorado town has pleaded guilty to charges of stealing weapons from his department and its evidence room and then selling them to pawn shops. ... ping-case/

King County Sheriff won’t face charge over alleged groping

SEATTLE — Prosecutors won’t file criminal charges against King County Sheriff John Urquhart based on a former deputy’s accusation that Urquhart groped him in 2014 outside a restaurant. ... eprimanded
Officers assigned to light rail system reprimanded

Link copied!
CLAYTON, Mo. — An internal investigation by St. Louis County police has resulted in written reprimands for 11 officers assigned to patrol the region’s light rail system.

Police announced the reprimands on Friday following a 16-week investigation. Some of the reprimands are for loitering in security offices for MetroLink, while others are for covering security cameras inside those offices.

Link du jour ... egal-drugs ... 395703.php ... -bullying/ ... -1.3669268 ... -piercing/ ... 399257.php

Wants justice for Negron
Connecticut Students for a Dream (C4D) stands against the criminalization of communities of color.... ... g_pol.html
Charges dropped for cop accused of siccing dog on woman

TOMS RIVER, N.J. Charges against a New Jersey police officer accused of commanding his dog to attack a 58-year-old woman during a traffic stop have been dropped. reports authorities on Thursday dismissed an indictment against 35-year-old Tuckerton police officer Justin M. Cherry after his lawyer argued that prosecutors never told a grand jury that the woman was never treated for dog bites.

Officials say the woman failed to stop her car when Cherry tried to pull her over in 2014.

Prosecutors say that Cherry didn’t need to let the dog loose and then he allegedly lied about the incident on police forms. ... entat.html

Cleveland police union's tentative contract may clash with city's court-enforced reform efforts

Updated 10:06 PM; Posted 6:11 PM ... complaints
NAACP seeks Tulsa police records on use-of-force, complaints

TULSA, Okla. — The NAACP has filed an open records request with the Tulsa police department seeking documents related to use-of-force incidents and complaints it’s received from citizens.

The country’s oldest civil rights organization announced the request Friday, and is also seeking copies of training manuals, community policing guidelines and records on stops and searches of suspects.

The nonprofit says it has been monitoring citizen concerns about excessive force since last September, when a white Tulsa police officer fatally shot an unarmed black man.

The officer, Betty Jo Shelby, was charged with manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher and was acquitted in May by a jury. ... -hatch-act
Grassley suggests deputy FBI director may have violated Hatch Act
12/01/17 09:49 PM EST
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is raising questions about whether FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe violated a law barring federal officials from using their offices to campaign for or against political candidates.

In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Friday, Grassley suggested that McCabe may have used his government email account to advocate for his wife Jill McCabe's 2015 Virginia state Senate campaign.

Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that could constitute a violation of the Hatch Act, pointing to Justice Department guidance forbidding employees from using "any e-mail account or social media to distribute, send or forward content that advocates for or against a partisan political party."

"However, the e-mail communications released by the FBI show that Mr. McCabe did precisely that during his wife’s Virginia Senate campaign," Grassley wrote.

"For instance, in an August 19, 2015, e-mail from his FBI e-mail account to an undisclosed recipient, he wrote: 'Jill has been busy as hell since she decided to run for VA state senate (long story). Check her out on Facebook as Dr. Jill McCabe for Senate.'"

Grassley has long pursued McCabe for possible conflicts of interest. In another letter to Rosenstein earlier this year, Grassley called McCabe's independence into question while he was serving as the FBI's acting director. ... rovocation
Lawsuit: Police used stun gun on man without provocation


A black man says in a federal lawsuit that police officers in a Cleveland suburb used a stun gun and pepper spray on him without provocation.

The civil rights lawsuit filed Thursday by 36-year-old Lamar Wright says two Euclid police officers lied and falsely charged him with crimes after he pulled into a driveway to use his cellphone in November 2016. Police claimed they suspected Wright of being involved in drug trafficking and feared he had a gun.

No drugs or weapons were found in Wright’s rental car.

The lawsuit is the latest accusation of excessive use-of-force against Euclid police. A police officer was fired in October after dash cam footage showed him repeatedly punching an unarmed black man during a traffic stop. The family of 23-year-old Luke Stewart, who was black, sued Euclid in October after an officer fatally shot him while they struggled for control of a car.

“I filed this case to stand up against police brutality, and to stand with other victims of senseless attacks by officers from the Euclid Police Department,” Wright said in a statement. “These officers’ illegal treatment of people in the city must stop.”

The lawsuit accuses the officers of violating his civil rights. It also accuses the Euclid Police Department of engaging in a pattern of excessive use of force and malicious prosecution, especially against black people, along with a failure to hold officers accountable for misconduct.

Police spokesman Mitch Houser said the city doesn’t comment on pending litigation. He said neither of the officers involved in Wright’s arrest, Kyle Flagg and Vashon Williams, were disciplined afterward.

Wright feared the two officers, dressed in street clothes, were carjackers and started to drive away but stopped and raised his hands when he realized who they were, the lawsuit said.

Body camera footage shows Wright immediately complying when Flagg opens the driver’s door and orders Wright to turn off the engine. Flagg is then seen grabbing Wright’s left arm and pushing him against the steering wheel.

Wright can be heard yelling that Flagg was hurting his arm while Flagg orders him to show his right hand. The lawsuit claims Wright tried to tell the officers he had a colostomy bag and staples in his stomach when Flagg uses a stun gun on him and Williams squirts him in the face with pepper spray. Wright, who had surgery several weeks before the incident, is then seen getting out of the car and dropping to the ground.

Level 34 Illuminated
Posts: 7755

Re: Blogging is not truth, behavior is truth

Post by msfreeh » ... 69787.html

Formerly-‘Gagged’ FBI Whistleblower Details Congressional Blackmail, Bribery, Espionage, Corruption in Remarkable Videotaped Deposition

By Brad Friedman
Sibel Edmonds’ full under-oath testimony transcript from Ohio election case, details explosive allegations against key members of Congress and other high-ranking State and Defense Department officials...

Just over two weeks ago, FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was finally allowed to speak about much of what the Bush Administration spent years trying to keep her from discussing publicly on the record. Twice gagged by the Bush Dept. of Justice’s invocation of the so-called “State Secrets Privilege,” Edmonds has been attempting to tell her story, about the crimes she became aware of while working for the FBI, for years.

Thanks to a subpoena issued by the campaign of Ohio’s 2nd District Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate David Krikorian, her remarkable allegations of blackmail, bribery, espionage, infiltration, and criminal conspiracy by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and agents of the government of Turkey are seen and heard here, in full, for the first time, in her under-oath deposition. Both the complete video tape and transcript of the deposition follow below.

Though there was much concern, prior to her testimony, that the Obama Dept. of Justice might re-invoke the “State Secrets Privilege” to keep her from speaking, they did not do so. Nor did they choose to be present at the Washington D.C. deposition.

The BRAD BLOG covered details of some of Edmonds’ startling disclosures made during the deposition, as it happened, in our live blog coverage from August 8th. The deposition included criminal allegations against specifically named members of Congress. Among those named by Edmonds as part of a broad criminal conspiracy: Reps. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA), as well as an unnamed, still-serving Congresswoman (D) said to have been secretly videotaped, for blackmail purposes, during a lesbian affair.

High-ranking officials from the Bush Administration named in her testimony, as part of the criminal conspiracy on behalf of agents of the Government of Turkey, include Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Marc Grossman, and others.

During the deposition — which we are still going through ourselves — Edmonds discusses covert “activities” by Turkish entities “that would involve trying to obtain very sensitive, classified, highly classified U.S. intelligence information, weapons technology information, classified Congressional records...recruiting key U.S. individuals with access to highly sensitive information, blackmailing, bribery.”

Speaking about current members of Congress during a break in the testimony, Krikorian told The BRAD BLOG that “for people in power situations in the United States, who know about this information, if they don’t take action against it, in my opinion, it’s negligence.” (More video statements from Krikorian, Edmonds and attorneys from all parties, taped before, during, and after the 8/8/09 testimony, are available here.)

Edmonds’ on-the-record disclosures also include bombshell details concerning outed covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson’s front company, Brewster Jennings. Edmonds alleges the front company had actually been shut down in August of 2001 — three years prior to Bob Novak’s public disclosure of the covert operative’s identity — following a tip-off to a wire-tap target about the true nature of the CIA front company. The cover was blown, Edmonds alleges, by Marc Grossman, who was, at the time, the third highest-ranking official in the U.S. State Department. Prior to that, Grossman served as ambassador to Turkey. He now works “for a Turkish company called Ihals Holding,” according to Edmonds’ testimony.

An unclassified FBI Inspector General’s report, released on her case in 2005, declared Edmonds’ classified allegations to be “credible,” “serious,” and “warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI.” In 2002, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), then the senior members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, co-wrote letters on Edmonds’ behalf to Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and DoJ Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, calling on all of them to take action in respect to her allegations. And in a 2002 60 Minutes report on Edmonds’ case, Grassley noted: “Absolutely, she’s credible...And the reason I feel she’s very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story.”

The 8/8/09 deposition was brought by Krikorian as part of his defense in a case filed against him before the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) by Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH). The 2nd district Congresswoman has accused Krikorian, an Armenian-American who ran against her as an independent in 2008, of “false statements” during the campaign last year alleging that she had accepted “blood money” from Turkish interests. Krikorian says that Schmidt, co-chair of the Congressional Turkish Committee, accepted more money from Turkish interests during last year’s campaign than any other member of Congress, despite few, if any, ethnic Turks among her local constituency. He has suggested she may have been instrumental in helping to hold off a Congressional vote on a long-proposed, much-disputed resolution declaring the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians during WWI as a “genocide” by the Turks.

Edmonds herself happens to be a Turkish-American, though she was recently attacked by the Turkish Lobby, following her long-sought, long-blocked testimony.

The complete transcript of Sibel Edmonds’ under-oath testimony, may now be downloaded here [PDF]. The complete video-taped testimony follows, in five parts, below...

PART 1 (appx. 51 mins) - Direct

PART 2 (appx. 35 mins) - Direct continues

PART 3 (appx. 17 mins) - Direct continues

PART 4 (appx. 43 mins) - Cross

PART 5 (appx. 54 mins) - Redirect & Recross ... ckmailing/


There Is A Long History Of Elected Officials Being Spied On By US Intelligence And There Are Indications It Is Going On Today
David Sirota – When I asked U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) if the NSA was keeping files on his colleagues, he recounted a meeting between NSA officials and lawmakers in the lead-up to a closely contested House vote to better regulate the agency:
“One of my colleagues asked the NSA point blank will you give me a copy of my own record and the NSA said no, we won’t. They didn’t say no we don’t have one. They said no we won’t. So that’s possible.”

Grayson is right: presumably, if the NSA wasn’t tracking lawmakers, it would have flatly denied it. Instead, those officials merely denied lawmakers access to whatever files the agency might have. That suggests one of two realities: 1) the NSA is keeping files on lawmakers 2) the NSA isn’t keeping files on lawmakers, but answered vaguely in order to stoke fear among legislators that it is.

Regardless of which of these realities happens to be the case, the mere existence of legitimate fears of congressional surveillance by an executive-branch agency is a serious legal and separation-of-powers problem. Why? Because whether or not the surveillance is actually happening, the very real possibility that it even could be happening or has happened can unduly intimidate the legislative branch into abrogating its constitutional oversight responsibilities. In this particular case, it can scare congressional lawmakers away from voting to better regulate the NSA.

Washington’s Blog – During the Vietnam war, the NSA spied on two prominent politicians – Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker – as well as critics of government policy Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, and a Washington Post humorist.

A recently declassified history written by the NSA itself called the effort “disreputable if not outright illegal.”

The main whistleblower who revealed the Vietnam-era spying was Christopher H. Pyle. Pyle told Rob Kall of OpEdNews:

“If the NSA was targeting people like Sen. Frank Church, who were in a position to oversee the NSA — is that happening now? That is, are people like intelligence committee chairs Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and other congressional leaders — who are supposed to be providing oversight themselves — compromised in some way by the NSA? If so, as seems quite certain from the recent Edward Snowden revelations, then how can they conduct genuine oversight of the NSA with their committees?”

The NSA has been tracking people’s porn in order to discredit them. The New York Times reports that this type of behavior has been going on for a long time: “J. Edgar Hoover compiled secret dossiers on the sexual peccadilloes and private misbehavior of those he labeled as enemies — really dangerous people like … President John F. Kennedy, for example”.

A high-level NSA whistleblower says that the NSA is spying on – and blackmailing – top government officials and military officers, including Supreme Court Justices, high-ranked generals, Colin Powell and other State Department personnel, and many other top officials

Another very high-level NSA whistleblower – the head of the NSA’s global intelligence gathering operation – says that the NSA targeted CIA chief Petraeus

And it’s not just the NSA.

Last year, Eric Holder refused to say whether the Department of Justice was spying on Congress.

Wikipedia – The Lavender Scare refers to the fear and persecution of homosexuals in the 1950s in the United States, which paralleled the anti-communist campaign known as McCarthyism. Because the psychiatric community regarded homosexuality as a mental illness, gay men and lesbians were considered susceptible to blackmail …. Former U.S. Senator Alan K. Simpson has written: “The so-called ‘Red Scare’ has been the main focus of most historians of that period of time. A lesser-known element . . . and one that harmed far more people was the witch-hunt McCarthy and others conducted against homosexuals.”

NY Times – J. Edgar Hoover compiled secret dossiers on the sexual peccadillos and private misbehavior of those he labeled as enemies — really dangerous people like … President John F. Kennedy, for example.

Alfred McCoy, Tom’s Dispatch – In the Obama years, the first signs have appeared that NSA surveillance will use the information gathered to traffic in scandal, much as Hoover’s FBI once did. In September 2013, the New York Times reported that the NSA has, since 2010, applied sophisticated software to create “social network diagrams…, unlock as many secrets about individuals as possible…, and pick up sensitive information like regular calls to a psychiatrist’s office, late-night messages to an extramarital partner.”

…By collecting knowledge — routine, intimate, or scandalous — about foreign leaders, imperial proconsuls from ancient Rome to modern America have gained both the intelligence and aura of authority necessary for dominion over alien societies. The importance, and challenge, of controlling these local elites cannot be overstated. During its pacification of the Philippines after 1898, for instance, the U.S. colonial regime subdued contentious Filipino leaders via pervasive policing that swept up both political intelligence and personal scandal. And that, of course, was just what J. Edgar Hoover was doing in Washington during the 1950s and 1960s.

Washington’s Blog – FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds alleged under oath that a recently-serving Democratic Congresswoman was secretly videotaped – for blackmail purposes – during a lesbian affair. There have been allegations of blackmail of gay activities within the U.S. armed forces for years.

NSA whistleblower Bill Binney said his agency targeted “Supreme Court Judges, other judges, Senators, Representatives, law firms and lawyers, and just anybody you don’t like … reporters included”

Washington’s Blog – NSA whistleblower Russell Tice (akey source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the Bush administration’s use of warrantless wiretapping), says:

The NSA is spying on and blackmailing its overseers in Washington, as well as Supreme Court judges, generals and others
The agency started spying on Barack Obama when he was just a candidate for the Senate
Washington’s Blog – The Washington Post’s report shows that the NSA also collected information on President Obama, both as president-elect and as president:

A “minimized U.S. president-elect” begins to appear in the files in early 2009, and references to the current “minimized U.S. president” appear 1,227 times in the following four years.

…Of course, the NSA has pretty much admitted to spying on Congress. And see this.

…..The NSA is spying on and blackmailing its overseers in Washington, as well as Supreme Court judges, generals and others

The agency started spying on Barack Obama when he was just a candidate for the Senate. ... in-public/

Cities and volunteers clash over feeding homeless in public ... 453299.php

Status quo versus shakeup for cop commission

Sunday, December 24, 2017

BRIDGEPORT — The debate over whether the city’s police commission answers to citizens or the political powers-that-be is coming to a head.

Last week, Mayor Joe Ganim forwarded the names of four of the seven members — Daniel Roach, Matthew Cumminotto, Thomas Lyons and Edwin Farrow — to the City Council for reappointment.
While the council’s public safety committee must review the request before they are re-seated, critics of the police department and its oversight body worry that reappointing long-time commissioners supports a status quo they say has failed the community.
Some activists and council members, galvanized by the shooting death of 15-year-old Jayson Negron last May by a rookie cop, have wanted a more pro-active and engaged police commission. They see an opportunity for a shake-up — or, at the very least, a chance to hold the commissioners more accountable and demand more of them.
“I have not seen a robust oversight, a deep-level questioning,” by commissioners of Police Chief Armando “A.J.” Perez and his department, said Callie Heilmann, founder of civic group Bridgeport Generation Now, echoing general complaints from other residents, who also want to see reforms to equipment and training for Bridgeport’s ... ?nw&mobile

Police chief charged with assault, theft

: Fri, December 22, 2017 @ 10:55 p.m.

A former Lowellville police chief assaulted his then-girlfriend multiple times and stole $2,500 from a home while picking up a body as a coroner’s investigator, according to an indictment.

Richard Jamrozik, 41, of Campbell faces three counts each of felonious assault and possession of criminal tools and two counts each of tampering with evidence and theft in office.

A Mahoning County grand jury secretly indicted Jamrozik on those charges Thursday.

The indictment accuses him of striking his live-in girlfriend in the head with a golf club, splitting open her skull; hitting her in the face and head with a piece of furniture, causing her to loose a tooth; and striking her in the ear with a long lighter causing hearing damage. ... -but-true/

Traitorous but true

By THE WASHINGTON TIMES - - Sunday, December 24, 2017

Although it’s been more than 53 years since President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the questions and conspiracy theories persist regarding what, if any, involvement the FBI and American intelligence agencies had in that murderous act. Similarly, regarding the emails of FBI and Justice Department employees conspiring to undermine the will of the American people in a free and constitutional election, to what ends were these traitors willing to go to ensure President Trump was never seated as the 45th president of the United States? ... elegation/

U of L student part of iGEM delegation

DECEMBER 24, 2017.

A University of Lethbridge student has joined a group presenting at a biological weapons convention.

The U of L iGEM team fared very well at November’s annual iGEM jamboree in Boston, providing the springboard for one U of L student to participate on the world stage.

Chris Isaac is a biochemistry master’s student who has participated in the International Genetically Engineered Machine — or iGEM — since he was a Grade 11 student at Chinook High School.

He said the iGEM team’s project focused on ways to make synthetic biology safe and available for everyone.

“We presented these results in Boston and we drew the attention of iGEM itself, the FBI and the Dutch Institute for Public Health,” he stated in a recent news release. “Our team was trying to develop a cell-free synthetic biology system to bring this technology to as many people as possible and make sure that it’s democratically spread out.

“Then we realized that this tool, as useful as it is, also opens up unforeseen biosecurity risks.”

The iGEM ambassador to Latin America approached Isaac who was asked to apply to the iGEM delegate program.

He did, and was chosen to be part of the iGEM Foundation’s delegation to the Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva from Dec. 4 to 8.

Isaac was one of five students in the delegation. They attended the plenary sessions and presented to delegates from around the world at a side event.

“We spoke to delegates over lunch and talked about our experiences in iGEM and how they relate to biosecurity and provided our thoughts about how to make biosecurity practices better,” stated Isaac.

There are theoretical risks to making genetically recoded cell-free systems, but, according to Isaac, the tools are on the horizon given advancing technology.

While cell-free synthetic biology has the possibility of doing great good, there is also the potential for great harm if proper controls are not in place.

“The issue that we’ve identified with this technology is that it might allow individuals to bypass current screening procedures in terms of DNA synthesis, which is a service that researchers around the world rely on extensively,” he stated.

When researchers request a certain DNA sequence from a bioscience company, the company’s software analyzes the request and will deny it if the requested sequence is too close of a match to a toxin, such as anthrax or botulinum toxin (botox).

Using a novel genetic code to interpret a sequence would allow a request to bypass the current screening protocols in place at synthesis companies. ... wn-sister/

LBJ killed his own sister


After 50 years, the sad truth is revealed…
Unknown to the general American public and never mentioned in history books is the fact that a Texas Grand Jury has officially indicted and found Lyndon Baines Johnson guilty as a co-conspirator (from his association with Malcolm Wallace, Billie Sol Estes and Edward Clark) in the following nine (9) murders:

The killing of Henry Marshall (the Agriculture Secretary)
The killing of George Krutelnik (an FBI informant who worked for Estes)
The killing of Ike Rogers and his secretary
The killing of Harold Orr (an FBI informant who worked for Estes)
The killing of Coleman Wade (an FBI informant who wqorked for Estes)
The killing of Josefa Johnson (LBJ’s own sister!)
The killing of John Kinser (Josefa’s boyfriend)
The killing of President John Kennedy

Read the complete article here(several pages):

Here’s an interesting quote from LBJ:

“Control of space means control of the world. From space, the masters of infinity would have the power to control the earth’s weather, to cause drought and flood, to change the tides and raise the levels of the sea, to divert the gulf stream and change temperate climates to frigid. There is something more important than the ultimate weapon. And that’s the ultimate position. The position of total control over the Earth that lies somewhere in outer space.”

Future President Lyndon Johnson, Statement on Status of Nation’s Defence and Race for Space, January 7, 1958

TAP – That quote matches well with David Icke’s view that earth is controlled by a Saturn-Moon matrix under Archontic control. Archontic human crossbreeds are able to do dastardly deeds with no conscience. The so-named bloodlines. Killing your now sister would fit in with the psychopathic profile.

If me or you started babbling like this, people would think we’d gone a little bonkers; Lyndon Baines Johnson spoke the above words, not even in private, but in public. Then, a few years later, he’s made U.S President…after murdering the previous U.S President. ... of-the-fbi

FBI Director Hoover’s Dirty Files: Excerpt From Ronald Kessler’s 'The Secrets of the FBI'
The FBI director kept infamous files on politicians’ sex lives—including a new book’s revelations of RFK’s secret meetings with Marilyn Monroe. ... 23538.html

Native American Awakes From War Trauma Speaking Russian, Paints Like Dead Russian Artist
By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
July 29, 2014 3:09 pm Last Updated: July 29, 2014 3:09 pm ... el-unesco/

Israel to Quit UNESCO

BY PESACH BENSON DECEMBER 24, 2017 ... ur-laptop/

Micah Lee
December 22 2017, 7:00 a.m. ... omen-62264

Slow death: Is the trauma of police violence killing black women?
July 11, 2016 9.58pm EDT ... -1.3720379

Granny who says she was held hostage by cops inside Brooklyn home for 10 hours plans to sue
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, December 25, 2017, 4:29 PM ... -1.3720639

Police remove hate group’s ‘shrine’ for Australian woman shot dead by Somali-American cop
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, December 26, 2017, 12:56 AM ... -1.3720459

SEE IT: Topless activist tries to steal baby Jesus statue at the Vatican
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, December 25, 2017, 7:05 PM ... ast-texas/

FBI pushes for hiring diversity in East Texas
Longview News-Journal
The FBI is taking an "aggressive stance" to diversify hiring in Texas and in this region, a different philosophy than that taken by Longview police in filling its ranks. "We want to look like the communities we serve," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric Jackson, who oversees the Dallas division of the FBI, which includes East ... ... -standing/

The Tragedy and Triumph of Geronimo Pratt
by Jack Olsen

The affecting story of Geronimo Pratt, an innocent man confined in California’s roughest prisons for 26 years.

Pratt’s life divides, roughly, into two parts: the first ends with his murder conviction in 1972, the second concludes with his release from prison in 1997. Olsen (Hastened to the Grave, 1998, etc.) begins in Morgan City, Louisiana, where Elmer Gerald Pratt was born in 1947. With six siblings, an industrious and principled father, and a mother who preached education, Pratt seemed headed to college. But the community elders, anticipating racial violence and seeing a shortage of young African-Americans with military training, encouraged Pratt to join the armed forces. He signed on with the 82nd Airborne and fought bravely in two tours in Vietnam. After his return stateside he enrolled at UCLA, where he became friends with “Bunchy” Carter, the founder of the Southern California Black Panther Party. Carter nicknamed Pratt “Geronimo”—not after the American Indian, but from an African tribal name meaning “warrior.” Around this time the Black Panthers were under heavy surveillance; the LAPD harassed their community work, while the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) planted spies, fomented internal dissension, and finally, the author claims, framed Pratt for the murder of a white woman in 1968. While the author’s focus is on Pratt, his background sketches of Vietnam and L.A. in the late 1960s are vivid and fascinating. Represented by Johnnie Cochran and Stuart Hanlon (who, along with Pratt, are the author’s main sources), Pratt was convicted and sent to jail. Hanlon appealed the sentence for 26 years—during which time two men confessed to the murder, the leading witness for the prosecution was found to have links to the FBI, and credible sources reaffirmed Pratt’s alibi. But the courts did nothing. Finally, a last appeal succeeded in 1997.

A powerful story of individual fortitude and bureaucratic pigheadedness. ... ue-kenneth

Oklahoma City bombing centre stage in brother's court battle
The Guardian-Jul 27, 2014
The Freedom of Information Act lawsuit was brought by a Salt Lake City attorney, Jesse Trentadue, against the FBI. He says the agency will not release security camera videos that show that a second person was with Timothy McVeigh when he parked a truck outside the Oklahoma City federal building and ... ... yone-care/

DECEMBER 22, 2017
The Electrical Abuse of Women: Does Anyone Care?

Many Americans are unaware that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)—more commonly known as electroshock—continues to be widely utilized by U.S. psychiatry. In the current issue of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, psychologist John Read and co-author Chelsea Arnold note, “The archetypal ECT recipient remains, as it has for decades, a distressed woman more than 50 years old.”

In a comprehensive review of research on ECT, Read and Arnold report that there is “no evidence that ECT is more effective than placebo for depression reduction or suicide prevention.” They conclude, “Given the well-documented high risk of persistent memory dysfunction, the cost-benefit analysis for ECT remains so poor that its use cannot be scientifically, or ethically, justified.”

This begs the question of why this brain-damaging electrical abuse of predominantly middle-aged women, unlike the sexual abuse of younger women and girls, is not today addressed by most high-profile feminists. One renowned feminist who did speak out against ECT was Kate Millett (author of the 1990 book Loony Bin Trip), but she died in September 2017 after receiving little attention in recent years. There continues to be women such as psychologist Bonnie Burstow (author of the 2006 article “Electroshock as a Form of Violence Against Women”) who do see ECT as a hugely important issue for women, but Burstow is renowned only among ex-patient “psychiatric survivor” activists and dissident mental health professionals.

Today, many self-identified feminists, like most other Americans, apparently have uncritically accepted the American Psychiatric Association’s proclamation that “extensive research has found ECT to be highly effective for the relief of major depression”—a promulgation that has no scientific basis. In recent years, psychiatry’s assertions have been uncritically accepted, perhaps because the APA has quite effectively marketed the idea that questioning psychiatry is like challenging evolution, global warming, and science itself.

The reality is that the APA and mainstream psychiatry has, for quite some time, disregarded science, specifically the standard scientific methodology by which treatments such as ECT are evaluated. Standard scientific methodology requires a placebo-control group, without which it cannot be determined as to whether the treatment itself or mere patient expectations result in positive outcomes. Psychiatry has long abandoned studying ECT utilizing a placebo-control, no doubt because in the past such methodology showed ECT to be ineffective.

Prior to 1986, there were 10 placebo-controlled experiments done on ECT use on depressed patients. The placebo utilized in these studies was a simulated ECT (SECT) in which the general anesthetic is applied but the actual electricity is withheld. Read and Arnold report that none of these studies showed ECT effectiveness beyond the end of treatment.

Among these 10 placebo-controlled studies, 6 reported immediate benefits for a minority of ECT recipients (perceived as benefits sometimes only by psychiatrists and not by other raters), and 4 studies reported there were no immediate differences between ECT and SECT. Most importantly, none of the 10 studies reported any differences in effectiveness between ECT and SECT beyond treatment. Only 4 studies followed participants beyond the end of treatment, and none of these studies found differences between ECT and SECT subjects.

It is troubling that since 1985 there have been no placebo-controlled studies examining whether ECT has any benefits for depression beyond the treatment period. In that last 1985 study, researchers found no differences in effectiveness between ECT and SECT groups at either 1 month or 3 months after treatment. While there have been studies done on ECT for depression since 1985, none have been placebo-controlled, so they do not allow for scientific conclusions on effectiveness. (Recent ECT studies have commonly looked at predictors of ECT responses, including examining procedural differences in ECT delivery.)

While psychiatry quotes studies stating a high percentage of patients improved with ECT, lacking a placebo-control, these studies are scientifically meaningless. A significant number of patients with depression will report improving with any kind of treatment. Much of the effectiveness of any depression treatment has to do with faith, belief, and expectations. That is why it is critical to compare a treatment to a placebo so that it can be teased out what part of improvement had to with the treatment itself vs. faith, belief, and expectations. In a similar vein, one can find many patient testimonials for ECT, as one finds testimonials for any treatment; but in science these testimonials are referred to as anecdotal, and mean only that a person believed a treatment worked for them, not that the treatment has been proven to be scientifically effective.

Psychiatry is well aware of ECT’s negative public image, so today the administration of ECT is not as painful to observe. Patients are administered an anesthetic and given oxygen along with a muscle relaxant drug to prevent fractures. However, the goal of ECT is to create a seizure, and these ECT “procedural improvements” raise the seizure threshold, thereby necessitating a higher and longer electrical charge, potentially resulting in even greater brain damage. The standard “electrical dosage” is from 100 to 190 volts but can rise to 450 volts. Thus, while ECT no longer appears quite as torturous to observers as it appeared prior to these procedure changes, ECT’s effects on the brain are as—or more—damaging than ever.

Even ECT advocates such as the APA recognize ECT’s adverse effects on memory, but the APA tends to minimize the extent of this damage. However, in 2007, the journal Neuropsychopharmacology reported a large-scale study on the cognitive effects (immediately and six months later) of currently used ECT techniques. The researchers found that modern ECT techniques produce “pronounced slowing of reaction time” and “marked and persistent retrograde amnesia” (the inability to recall events before the onset of amnesia) that continue six months after treatment.

Just how widespread is ECT treatment? In 2009, the Journal of Psychiatric Practice reported, “approximately 100,000 people in the United States and over 1,000,000 worldwide receive ECT.” However, this is only an estimate. Not all U.S. states require ECT reporting, but Texas does require it and documented earlier this year: “In fiscal year 2016, 22 of the 25 facilities in Texas with registered ECT equipment performed treatments and provided the required patient reports to the state. There was a 1.1 percent increase in the number of treatments in fiscal year 2016 compared to 2015.” Texas reports 2,675 “aggregate quarterly reports of patients who received ECT” (if patients received ECT in multiple quarters over the course of the year, they may have been counted more than once). There is wide variation of ECT use within the United States, as the journal Brain and Behavior reported in 2012 that, among the Medicare population in the United States, ECT treatments were twice as common in urban areas as in rural areas, and ECT was more common in the Northeast than the West.

“Women are subjected to electroshock 2 to 3 times as often as men,” notes Bonnie Burstow. There is no controversy that women are far likelier to receive ECT treatment than men. The 2016 Texas report noted females received 68% of the ECT treatments. While men too are treated with ECT, similar to the statistics on sexual abuse, men receive ECT at a much lower rate. With respect to age, Texas reported that 61% of those who received ECT were 45 years and older (age within gender was not broken down in the Texas report). ... ethod=Full

Volcanic activity increases with warming: scientists
Climate Change Likely To Increase Volcanic Eruptions, Scientists Say, Dec. 22, 2017

A warming planet due to human-induced climate change will likely contribute to an increase in volcanic activity, according to a recent study in the journal Geology.

While a relationship between climate and volcanism might seem counter-intuitive, it turns out that pressure exerted by thick glaciers on the Earth's crust — what geologists call "surface loading" – has an impact on the flow of magma below the surface.

The correlation affects "magma flow and the voids and gaps in the Earth where magma flows to the surface as well as how much magma the crust can actually hold," the study's lead author Graeme T. Swindles, an associate professor of Earth system dynamics at the University of Leeds, wrote in an email to Scientific American.

In the study published last month, Swindles' team examined the geologic record of eruptions of Icelandic volcanoes 5,500 to 4,500 years ago – a period in Earth's history when the climate was cooler, but still not a full-blown ice age. The level of volcanic activity was discerned by looking at the record of ash that settled on the peat bogs and lakes that fell over Europe, Swindles says.
Comparing the volcanic record with glacial coverage, the team found that the number of eruptions dropped significantly as the climate cooled and ice cover increased. The eruptions that did occur also tended to be smaller in magnitude.

"There's a big change in the record in the mid-Holocene [epoch], where we see no volcanic ash in Europe and very little in Iceland," says Swindles. "This seems to overlap with a time where there's cold climate conditions, which would have favored glacial advance in Iceland."

Swindles says his team found about a 600-year lag between advancing glaciers and diminished volcanic activity. "That's because it takes a long time to grow ice masses," he told the magazine.

In reverse, the team found that as the climate warmed and glaciers melted, there were more and bigger eruptions.

"After glaciers are removed the surface pressure decreases, and the magmas more easily propagate to the surface and thus erupt," Swindles says.

There was also a lag between retreating glaciers and increased volcanic activity, but it was shorter, the team found — although the study cautions there could be other climate-related factors that contributed to the compressed lag time. ... ntists-say

Link du jour ... year-2017/ ... n-the-dust ... -1.3721617

Utah newspaper calls on Orrin Hatch to step down, criticizes him for 'lack of integrity'
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, December 26, 2017, 12:13 PM

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