Hookers on Sale
Direct [link] to the mp3 file
ShowNotes Archive of links and Assets (clips etc) 522.nashownotes.com
New: Directory Archive of Shownotes (includes all audio and video assets used) nashownotes.com
RSS Podcast Feed
Get the No Agenda News App for your iPhone and iPad
Torrents of each episode via BitLove
NEW! BitTorrent Sync
Hookers on Sale
Executive Producers: Hyperware Technologies, Sir Jeremy Ross, Sir Dwayne Earl of Oregon, Wade Deming, Jason Doolen, Andrew Largeman, Sir Frank Ajzensztat
Associate Executive Producers: Katherine Hammad, Omega Project, Sir Dr. Sharkey, Austin Voss, William Arcand, Sir Kent Baron of Patomac Highlands
522 Club Members: Hyperware Technologies, Jeremy Ross
Titles: Sir Kent -> Baron of the Patomac Highlands
Art By: MartinJJ
ShowNotes Archive of links and Assets (clips etc) 522.nashownotes.com
New: Directory Archive of Shownotes (includes all audio and video assets used) nashownotes.com
RSS Podcast Feed
Get the No Agenda News App for your iPhone and iPad
Torrents of each episode via BitLove
NEW! BitTorrent Sync
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 18:01
Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download and subscribe to No Agenda CD.com by NoAgendaCD.com, get iTunes now.
iTunes for Mac + PCBy NoAgendaCD.com
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.
DescriptionNo Agenda CDs published as Podcasts. Propagate the Formula, Slave!
NameDescriptionReleasedPrice 1You Had Me At 'Conspiracy'--6/11/13FreeView In iTunes2Take The Red Pill--6/11/13FreeView In iTunes
NoAgendaNation Constitution handmade
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 00:10
FATHER'S DAY, 2013
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Each day, men from every walk of life pour themselves into the hard, proud, rewarding work of raising our sons and daughters. And each June, families all across our country pause to say thanks and let fathers know how much they mean to us -- not just as partners or providers, but also as loving parents who never stop striving to give their kids the best life has to offer.
We see that sense of commitment throughout our communities. We see it in our schools, where dads attend assemblies and parent-teacher conferences, and help out with homework. We see it on our playing fields and in our congregations, where fathers instill the life lessons that set our kids on a path to success. We see it in parents working a second job or taking on an extra shift, putting a little away so their children can go to college. And we see it in mentors and tutors and foster dads, taking on the duties of fatherhood for young people in need.
That work is rarely easy. But we know it adds up, building character in our children and instilling in them qualities to last a lifetime: love and hope, courage and discipline, trust in themselves and others. As fathers, teaching those values is our first task. Yet too often, boys and girls are growing up without the support of their fathers. We know our country can do better. So as men in every corner of America keep stepping up and being present in the lives of our children, my Administration will keep striving to support them.
Today, we rededicate ourselves to that important work. And as sons and daughters, let us show our lasting gratitude to the men who have shaped us, who lift our sights, and who enrich our lives with a father's love, day after day.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, in accordance with a joint resolution of the Congress approved April 24, 1972, as amended (36 U.S.C. 109), do hereby proclaim June 16, 2013, as Father's Day. I direct the appropriate officials of the Government to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on this day, and I call upon all citizens to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 00:10
NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS WEEK, 2013
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In America, we believe that anyone willing to work hard and take risks can get their good idea off the ground and into the marketplace. It is a notion that has made our Nation bold and bright, and the best place to do business for generations -- from small-town storefronts to pioneering startups that keep our country on the cutting edge. This week, we celebrate America's entrepreneurial spirit, and we recommit to helping our small businesses get ahead.
My Administration has been a proud partner in that important work from day one. We have cut taxes for small businesses 18 times, broadened their access to capital, and provided billions in loans so they can grow and hire. We have helped companies break into new markets abroad and export their products all over the world. Every step of the way, we have focused on making Government work better for business through initiatives like Startup America and BusinessUSA -- groundbreaking programs that connect entrepreneurs to resources that can spur their success.
Together, we can build on that progress. At a time when abusive patent litigation is stifling economic growth and putting companies of all sizes at risk, my Administration is taking action to protect innovators and keep our patent system strong. To create more opportunities for small businesses to compete and win in the global marketplace, we are moving forward on a Trans-Pacific Partnership that will boost our exports
and level the playing field for American workers. We are implementing the Affordable Care Act so small businesses can make quality, affordable health insurance available to all their employees. And in the months ahead, we will continue pushing for tax reform that supports small businesses and keeps them at the forefront of our economic recovery.
America's small businesses reflect the best of who we are as a Nation -- daring and innovative, courageous and hopeful, always working hard and looking ahead for that next great idea. They are our economy's engine and our biggest source of new jobs. So this week, as entrepreneurs across our country keep striving to turn their dreams into reality, let us keep investing in them and doing everything we can to help our small businesses succeed.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereb proclaim June 16 through June 22, 2013, as National Small Business Week. I call upon all Americans to recognize the contributions of small businesses to the competitiveness of the American economy with appropriate programs and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 07:38
21st Century Wire
No evidence of WMDs'... and still a call for war? Again? This sounds all too familiar. The Bush Administration did the exact same thing in Iraq. There was no evidence then, other than fabricated sexed-up intelligence. The same is true today.
Obama's famous 'red line' on chemical weapons was never red, it was always pink.
This website, along with many others, has already shown its readers who is staging chemical weapons events in Syria and why. The evidence is very clear to see, yet the White House spin doctor and paid foreign policy hack Ben Rhodes has drafted the shape-shifting language for the White House in order to give the appearance legality in this case.
Will Obama sell truth and justice down the river Styx again? It's looks like that is exactly what is happening now, as the White House is desperate to meet their summer time-table to attack and over throw the government in the sovereign national of Syria.
Whether it's running guns and weapons into Syria or US and NATO soldiers (many already positioned around Syria's borders), or implementing a ''No Fly Zone'' and bombing the country back to 1960, as was the case with Libya two years ago, the trifecta of the US, Great Britain and France (with Israel and Turkey hiding in the shadows) are determined to destroy Syria and increase the overall instability in the region '' in order to better control and dominate it economically. If you still think they're doing it for humanitarian reasons, then you are either an intellectual accomplice to political fraud, or you've simply bought into the lies'... again.
Barack Obama's war hawk line is much worse than even George Bush Jr's fraudulent line was back in 2003, because in 2013, even the UN has already given its assessment that it was in fact those US and Saudi/Qatari-backed terrorist 'rebels' fighters '' many professional foreign fighters working in Syria under the al Qaeda banner '' who have been caught red-handed using a type of chemical weapon on the Syrian people '' and not Bashar al Assad's government forces.
So where do the lies end and the truth begin with this administration in Washington? It's so hard to tell right now, as telling the truth has become a taboo practice these days in Washington.
This is exactly what happens when you give corrupt lawyers the keys to the castle. So, so many scandals with this White House, but every single one they claim is ''legal''.
It's clearer than ever now that the corruption in Washington is as foul as ever, and US President Barack Obama feels he has to empower his own Karl Rove-like surrogate to sell the same deception upon the people of America and the world, in order position themselves better for a confrontation with Iran in 2016.
Another pathetic President being used as a minion and tool of the global energy and defense industries and a pawn of the Israeli lobby running Washington's foreign policy '' and another sad day in the 21st century history of the United States of America.
If there are any Democrats with brains and integrity, and any GOP supporters who are able to see through career criminals shilling for war at every turn, criminal like Hillary Clinton and Obama 'family friend' like John McCain '' now is your defining moment. Now is the time to burn your party colours and make your voice known to others.
The Syrian war is a fraud perpetrated by politicians criminal opportunists in the west.
We call it like we see it.
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 00:42
Webster G. Tarpley Ph.D.TARPLEY.net '' World Crisis RadioJune 15, 2013
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 09:14
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 13, 2013
At the President's direction, the United States Government has been closely monitoring the potential use of chemical weapons within Syria. Following the assessment made by our intelligence community in April, the President directed the intelligence community to seek credible and corroborated information to build on that assessment and establish the facts with some degree of certainty. Today, we are providing an updated version of our assessment to Congress and to the public.
The Syrian government's refusal to grant access to the United Nations to investigate any and all credible allegations of chemical weapons use has prevented a comprehensive investigation as called for by the international community. The Assad regime could prove that its request for an investigation was not just a diversionary tactic by granting the UN fact finding mission immediate and unfettered access to conduct on-site investigations to help reveal the truth about chemical weapons use in Syria. While pushing for a UN investigation, the United States has also been working urgently with our partners and allies as well as individuals inside Syria, including the Syrian opposition, to procure, share, and evaluate information associated with reports of chemical weapons use so that we can establish the facts and determine what took place.
Following a deliberative review, our intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year. Our intelligence community has high confidence in that assessment given multiple, independent streams of information. The intelligence community estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date; however, casualty data is likely incomplete. While the lethality of these attacks make up only a small portion of the catastrophic loss of life in Syria, which now stands at more than 90,000 deaths, the use of chemical weapons violates international norms and crosses clear red lines that have existed within the international community for decades. We believe that the Assad regime maintains control of these weapons. We have no reliable, corroborated reporting to indicate that the opposition in Syria has acquired or used chemical weapons.
The body of information used to make this intelligence assessment includes reporting regarding Syrian officials planning and executing regime chemical weapons attacks; reporting that includes descriptions of the time, location, and means of attack; and descriptions of physiological symptoms that are consistent with exposure to a chemical weapons agent. Some open source reports from social media outlets from Syrian opposition groups and other media sources are consistent with the information we have obtained regarding chemical weapons use and exposure. The assessment is further supported by laboratory analysis of physiological samples obtained from a number of individuals, which revealed exposure to sarin. Each positive result indicates that an individual was exposed to sarin, but it does not tell us how or where the individuals were exposed or who was responsible for the dissemination.
We are working with allies to present a credible, evidentiary case to share with the international community and the public. Since the creation of the UN fact finding mission, we have provided two briefings to Dr. ke Sellstr¶m, the head of the mission. We will also be providing a letter to UN Secretary General Ban, calling the UN's attention to our updated intelligence assessment and specific incidents of alleged chemical weapons use. We request that the UN mission include these incidents in its ongoing investigation and report, as appropriate, on its findings. We will present additional information and continue to update Dr. Sellstr¶m as new developments emerge.
The President has been clear that the use of chemical weapons '' or the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups '' is a red line for the United States, as there has long been an established norm within the international community against the use of chemical weapons. Our intelligence community now has a high confidence assessment that chemical weapons have been used on a small scale by the Assad regime in Syria. The President has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has. Our decision making has already been guided by the April intelligence assessment and by the regime's escalation of horrific violence against its citizens. Following on the credible evidence that the regime has used chemical weapons against the Syrian people, the President has augmented the provision of non-lethal assistance to the civilian opposition, and also authorized the expansion of our assistance to the Supreme Military Council (SMC), and we will be consulting with Congress on these matters in the coming weeks. This effort is aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of the SMC, and helping to coordinate the provision of assistance by the United States and other partners and allies. Put simply, the Assad regime should know that its actions have led us to increase the scope and scale of assistance that we provide to the opposition, including direct support to the SMC. These efforts will increase going forward.
The United States and the international community have a number of other legal, financial, diplomatic, and military responses available. We are prepared for all contingencies, and we will make decisions on our own timeline. Any future action we take will be consistent with our national interest, and must advance our objectives, which include achieving a negotiated political settlement to establish an authority that can provide basic stability and administer state institutions; protecting the rights of all Syrians; securing unconventional and advanced conventional weapons; and countering terrorist activity.
The 93,000 Number Meme
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:30
COVENTRY, England '-- Military analysts in Washington follow its body counts of Syrian and rebel soldiers to gauge the course of the war. The United Nations and human rights organizations scour its descriptions of civilian killings for evidence in possible war crimes trials. Major news organizations, including this one, cite its casualty figures.
Yet, despite its central role in the savage civil war, the grandly named Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is virtually a one-man band. Its founder, Rami Abdul Rahman, 42, who fled Syria 13 years ago, operates out of a semidetached red-brick house on an ordinary residential street in this drab industrial city.
Using the simplest, cheapest Internet technology available, Mr. Abdul Rahman spends virtually every waking minute tracking the war in Syria, disseminating bursts of information about the fighting and the death toll. What began as sporadic, rudimentary e-mails about protests early in the uprising has swelled into a torrent of statistics and details.
All sides in the conflict accuse him of bias, and even he acknowledges that the truth can be elusive on Syria's tangled and bitter battlefields. That, he says, is what prompts him to keep a tight leash on his operation.
''I need to control everything myself,'' said Mr. Abdul Rahman, a bald, bearish, affable man. ''I am a simple citizen from a simple family who has managed to accomplish something huge using simple means '-- all because I really believe in what I am doing.''
He does not work alone. Four men inside Syria help to report and collate information from more than 230 activists on the ground, a network rooted in Mr. Abdul Rahman's youth, when he organized clandestine political protests. But he signs off on every important update. A fifth man translates the Arabic updates into English for the organization's Facebook page.
Mr. Abdul Rahman rarely sleeps. He gets up around 5:30 a.m., calling Syria to awaken his team. First, they tally the previous day's casualty reports and release a bulletin. Then he alternates between taking news media calls '-- 10 on a slow day, 15 an hour for breaking news '-- and contacting activists.
He transmits his last e-mail around 9 p.m. and continues monitoring news reports and YouTube videos until at least 1 a.m. But urgent news developments frequently disrupt that schedule.
Recently, for example, rumors of the assassination of Col. Riad al-As'aad, a founder of the rebel Free Syrian Army, erupted about 11 p.m. Mr. Abdul Rahman stayed up contacting activists near the eastern city of Deir al-Zour until 5 a.m. before confirming that the colonel was very much alive, but had lost a leg in a car bombing.
In March, when rebel forces near the Golan Heights kidnapped 21 United Nations peacekeepers from the Philippines, his phones rang incessantly. ''I wanted to shatter my mobile,'' said Mr. Abdul Rahman, who often has a cellphone on each ear.
He said his ultimate goal was to hold accountable those responsible for Syria's destruction. Focusing on human rights will eventually bring the country a better, democratic future, he said.
''We have to document what is going on in Syria,'' he said, because each side is trying to ''brainwash'' the people to accept its version of events. ''The country is headed toward destruction and division,'' he added. ''We have to try to preserve what hasn't been destroyed.''
Mr. Abdul Rahman, who founded the observatory in 2006 to highlight the plight of activists arrested inside Syria, faces constant scrutiny over his numbers.
He has been called a tool of the Qatari government, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Central Intelligence Agency and Rifaat al-Assad, the exiled uncle of Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, among others. The Syrian government and even some rebels have accused him of treachery.
''Rami's objectivity is killing us,'' said Manhal Bareesh, an activist from Saraqib who knew him before the war. But he and other activists in Syria credit him with working hard to document all the cases, and not hesitating to document potential war crimes.
Alexander Lukashevich, the spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, once described him to the state-owned RIA-Novosti news agency as a man with ''no training in journalism nor law, nor even a complete secondary education.''
(In fact, he graduated from high school and studied marketing at a technical school.)
Mr. Abdul Rahman's toll for the Syrian conflict just passed 62,550, somewhat below the United Nations' figure of more than 70,000. March was the deadliest month yet, with 6,005 deaths, he said, more than the combined total of the uprising's first nine months.
''I think our numbers are close to reality, but nobody knows the entire reality,'' he said. ''I make sure nothing is published before crosschecking with reliable sources to ensure that it is confirmed.''
The ultimate toll, he said, may be twice what has been documented, given Syria's size, the number of skirmishes and communications problems.
Activists in every province belong to a Skype contact group that Mr. Abdul Rahman and his aides tap into in an effort to confirm independently the details of significant events. He depends on local doctors and tries to get witnesses. On the telephone, for instance, speaking in his rapid-fire style, he asked one activist to visit a field hospital to count the dead from an attack.
With government soldiers, he consults contacts in small villages, using connections from his youth on the coast among Alawites, the minority sect of Mr. Assad, which constitutes the backbone of the army.
Mr. Abdul Rahman has been faulted for not opening his list up for public access online, but the world of nongovernmental organizations gives him mostly high marks. ''Generally, the information on the killings of civilians is very good, definitely one of the best, including the details on the conditions in which people were supposedly killed,'' said Neil Sammonds, a Mideast researcher for Amnesty International.
The intense workload has taxed Mr. Abdul Rahman's family life. His only child, Amani, 6, springs from bed without so much as a ''good morning,'' said his wife, Etab Rekhamea. ''She asks: 'What is the news from Syria? What is the news about the Nusra Front?' ''
Mr. Abdul Rahman spends so much time locked upstairs in his tiny study that Amani figured out how to Skype him from the living room. Once when he agreed to a picnic, he showed up carrying his two cellphones and his laptop. ''He has taken a second wife,'' his wife said with a groan.
Mr. Abdul Rahman grew up in Baniyas, on the Syrian coast, but would not speak for the record about his family still there, lest that bring further unwanted government attention.
His exposure to politics started at age 7, he said, after his family's landlord hit his sisters for sitting on the building's roof. Neighbors who saw the altercation refused to testify because the landlord was an Alawite with a brother in military security.
Mr. Abdul Rahman owned a clothing store but secretly wrote pamphlets denouncing unfair privileges granted to a few while most Syrians had to line up for basic goods. Born Osama Suleiman, he adopted a pseudonym during those years of activism and has used it publicly ever since.
When two associates were arrested in 2000, he fled the country, paying a human trafficker to smuggle him into England. The government resettled him in Coventry, where he decided he liked the slow pace. He says his main regret is having to drive 30 minutes to Birmingham for a decent Arab restaurant.
Money from two dress shops covers his minimal needs for reporting on the conflict, along with small subsidies from the European Union and one European country that he declines to identify.
The war has dragged on far longer and has been far more destructive than he ever anticipated, and for the moment, he said, his statistics are as much a tactic as a resource.
''The truth will make people aware,'' Mr. Abdul Rahman said. ''Hearing the number of people killed every day will make them ask the government, 'Where are you taking us?' ''
Hala Droubi contributed reporting.
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 07:40
Through this Notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) is extending the existing designation of Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015, and redesignating Syria for TPS for 18 months, effective October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015.
The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 31, 2015 so long as they otherwise continue to meet the terms and conditions of TPS status. The redesignation of Syria allows additional individuals who have been continuously residing in the United States since June 17, 2013 to obtain TPS, if otherwise eligible. The Secretary has determined that an extension and redesignation are warranted because the extraordinary and temporary conditions in Syria that prompted the 2012 TPS designation have not only persisted, but have deteriorated, and because there is now an on-going armed conflict in Syria that would pose a serious threat to the personal safety of Syrian nationals if they were required to return to their country.
Through this Notice, DHS also sets forth procedures necessary for nationals of Syria (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) either to: (1) Re-register under the extension if they already have TPS and to apply for renewal of their Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); or (2) submit an initial registration application under the redesignation and apply for an EAD.
For individuals who have already been granted TPS under the original Syria designation, the 60-day re-registration period runs from June 17, 2013 through August 16, 2013. USCIS will issue new EADs with a March 31, 2015 expiration date to eligible Syrian TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs under this extension.
Under the redesignation, individuals who currently do not have TPS (or an initial TPS application pending) may submit an initial application during the 180-day initial registration period that runs from June 17, 2013 through December 16, 2013. In addition to demonstrating continuous residence in the United States since June 17, 2013 and meeting other eligibility criteria, initial applicants for TPS under this redesignation must demonstrate that they have been continuously physically present in the United States since October 1, 2013, the effective date of the redesignation of Syria, before USCIS can finally grant them TPS.
TPS applications that were filed during the original Syria designation that opened on March 29, 2012, and remain pending on June 17, 2013 will be treated as initial applications under the redesignation. Therefore, individuals who have a pending TPS application will not need to file a new Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821). DHS provides additional instructions in this Notice for individuals whose TPS applications remain pending and who would like to obtain an EAD valid through March 31, 2015.
DATES:Further InformationSUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:Table of AbbreviationsWhat is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?When was Syria designated for TPS?What authority does the Secretary have to extend the designation of Syria for TPS?What is the Secretary's authority to redesignate Syria for TPS?Why is the Secretary extending the TPS designation for Syria and simultaneously redesignating Syria for TPS through March 31, 2015?Notice of Extension of the TPS Designation of Syria and Redesignation of Syria for TPSI am currently a Syrian TPS beneficiary. What should I do?I have a pending TPS application filed during the original Syria TPS registration period that ran from March 29, 2012 through September 25, 2012. What should I do?I am not a TPS beneficiary, and I do not have a TPS application pending. What are the procedures for initial registration for TPS under the Syria redesignation?Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register or Re-Register for TPSBiometric Services FeeRefiling an Initial TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of a Fee Waiver RequestRefiling a Re-Registration TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of a Fee Waiver RequestMailing InformationE-FilingEmployment Authorization Document (EAD)May I request an interim EAD at my local USCIS office?Will my current EAD, which is set to expire on September 30, 2013, be automatically extended for 6 months?When hired, what documentation may I show to my employer as proof of employment authorization and identity when completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)?What documentation may I show my employer if I am already employed but my current TPS-related EAD is set to expire?Can my employer require that I produce any other documentation to prove my status, such as proof of my Syrian citizenship?Note to All EmployersNote to All EmployeesNote Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as Departments of Motor Vehicles)FootnotesExtension of Designation of Syria for TPS: The 18-month extension of the TPS designation of Syria is effective October 1, 2013, and will remain in effect through March 31, 2015. The 60-day re-registration period runs from June 17, 2013 through August 16, 2013.
Redesignation of Syria for TPS: The redesignation of Syria for TPS is effective October 1, 2013, and will remain in effect through March 31, 2015, a period of 18 months. The 180-day initial registration period for new applicants under the Syria TPS redesignation runs from June 17, 2013 through December 16, 2013.
For further information on TPS, including guidance on the application process and additional information on eligibility, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. You can find specific information about this extension and redesignation of Syria for TPS by selecting ''TPS Designated Country: Syria'' from the menu on the left of the TPS Web page.You can also contact the TPS Operations Program Manager at the Family and Status Branch, Service Center Operations Directorate, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2060; or by phone at (202) 272-1533 (this is not a toll-free number). Note: The phone number provided here is solely for questions regarding this TPS Notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries.Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). Service is available in English and Spanish.Further information will also be available at local USCIS offices upon publication of this Notice.BIA'--Board of Immigration Appeals
DHS'--Department of Homeland Security
DOS'--Department of State
EAD'--Employment Authorization Document
FSA'--Free Syrian Army
IDP'--Internally Displaced Persons
INA'--Immigration and Nationality Act
OSC'--U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices
SARG'--Syrian Arab Republic Government
SAVE'--USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program
Secretary'--Secretary of Homeland Security
Syria'--Syrian Arab Republic
TPS'--Temporary Protected Status
UNHCR'--Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
USCIS'--U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country designated for TPS under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), or to eligible persons without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country.During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are eligible to remain in the United States and may obtain work authorization, so long as they continue to meet the requirements of TPS status.TPS beneficiaries may also be granted travel authorization as a matter of discretion.The granting of TPS does not lead to permanent resident status.When the Secretary terminates a country's TPS designation, beneficiaries return to the same immigration status they maintained before TPS, if any (unless that status has since expired or been terminated), or to any other lawfully obtained immigration status they received while registered for TPS.On March 29, 2012, the Secretary designated Syria for TPS based on extraordinary and temporary conditions within that country that prevent Syrian nationals from returning to Syria in safety. See Designation of Syrian Arab Republic for Temporary Protected Status,77 FR 19026 (Mar. 29, 2012), and correction at 77 FR 20046 (Apr. 3, 2012); see also section 244(b)(1)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C). This announcement is the first extension and the first redesignation of TPS for Syria.
What authority does the Secretary have to extend the designation of Syria for TPS? Back to TopSection 244(b)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1), authorizes the Secretary, after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, to designate a foreign state (or part thereof) for TPS.  The Secretary may then grant TPS to eligible nationals of that foreign state (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in that state). See section 244(a)(1)(A) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A).
At least 60 days before the expiration of a country's TPS designation or extension, the Secretary, after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, must review the conditions in a foreign state designated for TPS to determine whether the conditions for the TPS designation continue to be met. See section 244(b)(3)(A) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). If the Secretary determines that a foreign state continues to meet the conditions for TPS designation, the designation is extended for an additional 6 months (or, in the Secretary's discretion, for 12 or 18 months). See section 244(b)(3)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C). If the Secretary determines that the foreign state no longer meets the conditions for TPS designation, the Secretary must terminate the designation. See section 244(b)(3)(B) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(B).
What is the Secretary's authority to redesignate Syria for TPS? Back to TopIn addition to extending an existing TPS designation, the Secretary, after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, may redesignate a country (or part thereof) for TPS. See section 244(b)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1); see also section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(i) (requiring that ''the alien has been continuously physically present since the effective date of the most recent designation of the state'') (emphasis added). This is one of several instances in which the Secretary, and, prior to the establishment of DHS, the Attorney General, have simultaneously extended a country's TPS designation and redesignated the country for TPS. See, e.g., Extension and Redesignation of South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status,78 FR 1866 (Jan. 9, 2013); Extension and Redesignation of Sudan for Temporary Protected Status,78 FR 1872 (Jan. 9, 2013); Extension and Redesignation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status,76 FR 29000 (May 19, 2011); Extension of Designation and Redesignation of Liberia Under Temporary Protected Status,62 FR 16608 (Apr. 7, 1997) (discussing legal authority for redesignation of a country for TPS).
When the Secretary designates or redesignates a country for TPS, she also has the discretion to establish the date from which TPS applicants must demonstrate that they have been ''continuously resid[ing]'' in the United States. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the INA, 8 U.S.C.S 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii). This discretion permits the Secretary to tailor the ''continuous residence'' date to offer TPS to the group of eligible individuals that the Secretary deems appropriate.
The Secretary has determined that the ''continuous residence'' date for applicants for TPS under the redesignation of Syria shall be June 17, 2013. Initial applicants for TPS under this redesignation must also show they have been ''continuously physically present'' in the United States since October 1, 2013, which is the effective date of the Secretary's redesignation of Syria. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(i). For each initial TPS application filed under the redesignation, the final determination whether the applicant has met the ''continuous physical presence'' requirement cannot be made until October 1, 2013. USCIS, however, will issue EADs, as appropriate, during the registration period in accordance with 8 CFR 244.5(b).
Why is the Secretary extending the TPS designation for Syria and simultaneously redesignating Syria for TPS through March 31, 2015? Back to TopOver the past year, DHS and the Department of State (DOS) have continued to review conditions in Syria. Based on this review and after consulting with DOS, the Secretary has determined that an 18-month extension is warranted because the extraordinary and temporary conditions preventing the safe return of Syrian nationals that prompted the March 29, 2012 designation continue to be met. In fact, those conditions have worsened significantly. The Secretary has also decided to redesignate Syria for TPS based not only on the continuing extraordinary and temporary conditions, but also on the ongoing armed conflict in Syria. Furthermore, the Secretary has decided the conditions warrant changing the ''continuous residence'' date so as to provide TPS protection to eligible Syrian nationals who arrived between March 29, 2012 and June 17, 2013. The ''continuous physical presence'' date must be the effective date of the redesignation, which the Secretary has established as October 1, 2013 so that individuals granted TPS under the redesignation will have TPS for the same 18-month period through March 31, 2015 as TPS beneficiaries re-registering under the extension. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of the INA; 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(i).
Conditions in Syria are unstable, volatile and dangerous, and have worsened significantly since the prior designation took effect on March 29, 2012. Acts of violence and human rights abuses have been reported in most major urban centers and have significantly increased over the last year, and access to humanitarian assistance for victims of the ongoing strife continues to be a serious challenge. By mid-July 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross labeled the Syrian conflict a civil war. Economic sanctions continued to cripple the country, making basic goods like medicine difficult to obtain for civilians.
President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Arab Republic Government (SARG) have continued to use indiscriminate and deadly force, including military assaults on cities and residential areas throughout the country. The military continues to fight the opposition, responding with air strikes and heavy artillery to kill and capture combatants, and harming tens of thousands of civilians in the process. With an unrelenting armed opposition, including jihadist elements, and a military-backed government fighting to remain in power, the number of people displaced by violence has continued to rise.
Government-rebel clashes are ongoing throughout the country and, in addition to the ongoing attacks perpetrated by the Syrian government, rebel faction extremists, foreign fighters, and unidentified assailants have killed and abducted civilians, humanitarian workers, and United Nations (UN) personnel. International funding and support for the armed opposition continues to build, enhancing their communications, weaponry, and paramilitary capabilities.
Indigenous and international jihadist groups have emerged among the armed opposition in the fight against the SARG, increasingly employing tactics, including suicide bombings, which have often resulted in civilian casualties. In addition to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Syrian National Army, reports published in 2012 indicate that ''a radical Islamist dynamic has emerged within the opposition.'' The armed opposition has reportedly also been reinforced by foreign fighters.
As of November 2012, the rebels reportedly controlled large areas around Aleppo, Idlib, Haffeh, Muhradeh, Rastan, al Qusayr, Tal Abyad, and Deir ez-Zor. The rebels also carried out sophisticated attacks and takeovers. Clashes between rebels and government forces frequently resulted in civilian deaths.
As of April 2013, based on reports cited by U.N. officials, the estimated Syrian death toll for the duration of the conflict is 70,000, with approximately 15,000 of those deaths occurring in the early months of 2013. Civilians accounted for the majority of those killed. The provinces of Homs, Damascus, Idlib, Hama, Deraa, and Aleppo were reported to have suffered the most casualties. According to Amnesty International, the main cause of civilian deaths has been the armed forces' indiscriminate aerial bombardment and artillery shelling in heavily populated areas. The U.N. Human Rights Council, through the Independent International Commission of Inquiry, stated that scores of civilians have also been killed in explosions caused by suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices.
Among the civilian casualties, 108 people, mostly women and children, died in the Houla massacre in May 2012. The Independent International Commission of Inquiry blamed the SARG for the killings; other sources reported that most were killed by regime-affiliated death squads. Other notable massacres occurred, including an incident in Daraya where more than 500 people were killed in late August 2012. There were also reports that women have been subject to sexual and gender-based violence by SARG forces or pro-government militias at road checkpoints and during house searches.
Observers note that children have been placed at risk as well. In August 2012, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry reported that 125 children died in military offensives, sniper fire, attacks on protests, and massacres. Children have reportedly been used as human shields and placed at risk when combatants take posts at schools.
The UN reports there are approximately 4.25 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Syria. As the SARG military is expected to continue to fight the armed opposition as well as the jihadist groups to retain power of the country, the number of people displaced by violence is only expected to rise. According to an Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) report from December 2012, at least 900,000 persons were displaced in 2012 due to fighting throughout the country.
According to UNHCR estimates, the flow of refugees into Syria's four neighboring states has increased dramatically since May 2012, with approximately 576,000 Syrian refugees registered in neighboring states by the end of 2012 and 1.1 million by early March 2013. In April 2013, an additional 230,000 refugees fled to neighboring countries. UNHCR predicts these numbers could increase to four million refugees and eight million IDPs by the end of 2013.
Based upon this review and after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, the Secretary finds that:
The conditions that prompted the March 29, 2012 designation of Syria for TPS continue to be met. See sections 244(b)(3)(A) and (C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A) and (C).There continue to be extraordinary and temporary conditions in Syria that continue to prevent the safe return of Syrian nationals. See section 244(b)(1)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).It is not contrary to the national interest of the United States to permit Syrian nationals (and persons who have no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) who meet the eligibility requirements of TPS to remain in the United States temporarily. See section 244(b)(1)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).There is an armed conflict in Syria and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of Syrian nationals to Syria would pose a serious threat to their personal safety. See section 244(b)(1)(A) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A).The designation of Syria for TPS should be extended for an additional 18-month period from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015. See section 244(b)(3)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).Based on current country conditions, Syria should be simultaneously redesignated for TPS effective October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015. See sections 244(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2) of the INA; 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2).TPS applicants must demonstrate that they have continuously resided in the United States since June 17, 2013.The date by which TPS applicants must demonstrate that they have been continuously physically present in the United States is October 1, 2013, the effective date of the redesignation of Syria for TPS.There are approximately 2,600 current Syrian TPS beneficiaries who are expected to be eligible to re-register for TPS under the extension.It is estimated that 9,000 additional individuals may be eligible for TPS under the redesignation of Syria.Notice of Extension of the TPS Designation of Syria and Redesignation of Syria for TPS Back to TopBy the authority vested in me as Secretary under section 244 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a, I have determined, after consultation with the appropriate Government agencies, that the conditions that prompted the designation of Syria for TPS on March 29, 2012, continue to be met. See section 244(b)(3)(A) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). In fact, those conditions have deteriorated further. In addition, there is now an on-going armed conflict in Syria that poses a serious threat to the personal safety of nationals of Syria if they were to be required to return to Syria. On the basis of these determinations, I am simultaneously extending the existing TPS designation of Syria for 18 months from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015, and redesignating Syria for TPS for 18 months from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015. See sections 244(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2) of the INA; 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2). I have also determined that eligible individuals must demonstrate that they have continuously resided in the United States since June 17, 2013. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii).
I am currently a Syrian TPS beneficiary. What should I do? Back to TopIf you filed a TPS application during the original Syria TPS registration period that ran from March 29, 2012 through September 25, 2012, and that application was approved prior to June 17, 2013, then you need to file a re-registration application under the extension if you wish to maintain TPS benefits through March 31, 2015. You must also use the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) to re-register for TPS. The 60-day open re-registration period will run from June 17, 2013 through August 16, 2013.
I have a pending TPS application filed during the original Syria TPS registration period that ran from March 29, 2012 through September 25, 2012. What should I do? Back to TopIf your TPS application is still pending on June 17, 2013, then you do not need to file a new Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821). Pending TPS applications will be treated as initial applications under the re-designation. Therefore, if your TPS application is approved, you will be granted TPS through March 31, 2015. If you have a pending TPS application and you wish to have an EAD valid through March 31, 2015, please refer to Table 1 to determine whether you should file a new Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765).
Table 1'--Form and EAD Information for Pending TPS Applications Back to TopIf . . .And . . .Then . . .You requested an EAD during the original registration period for Syria TPSYou received an EAD with Category C19 or A12You must file a new Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) with fee (or fee waiver request) if you wish to have a new EAD valid through March 31, 2015.You did not receive an EAD with Category C19 or A12You do not need to file a new Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). If your TPS application is approved, your Form I-765 will be approved through March 31, 2015.You did not request an EAD during the original registration period for Syria TPSYou wish to have an EAD valid through March 31, 2015You must file a new Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) with fee (or fee waiver request).You do not wish to have an EAD valid through March 31, 2015You do not need to file a new Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765).I am not a TPS beneficiary, and I do not have a TPS application pending. What are the procedures for initial registration for TPS under the Syria redesignation? Back to TopIf you are not a Syrian TPS beneficiary or have a pending application for Syria TPS, you may submit your TPS application during the 180-day initial registration period that will run from June 17, 2013 through December 16, 2013.
Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register or Re-Register for TPS Back to TopTo register or re-register for TPS for Syria, an applicant must submit each of the following two applications:
1. Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821).
If you are filing an initial application, you must pay the fee for the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821). See8 CFR 244.2(f)(1) and 244.6 and information on initial filing on the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.If you are filing for TPS re-registration, you do not need to pay the fee for the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821). See8 CFR 244.17.and
2. Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765).
If you are applying for initial registration and want an EAD, you must pay the fee for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) only if you are age 14 through 65. No fee for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) is required if you are under the age of 14 or are 66 and older and applying for initial registration.If you are applying for re-registration (or have a pending initial TPS application filed during the original designation and you received a previous TPS-related EAD), you must pay the fee for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) only if you want an EAD.You do not pay the fee for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) if you are not requesting an EAD, regardless of whether you are applying for initial registration or re-registration.You must submit both completed application forms together. If you are unable to pay for the application and/or biometrics fee, you may apply for a fee waiver by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and by providing satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the application forms and fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. Fees for the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821), the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765), and biometric services are also described in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1)(i).
Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are required for all applicants 14 years of age or older. Those applicants must submit a biometric services fee. As previously stated, if you are unable to pay for the biometric services fee, you may apply for a fee waiver by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or by submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the biometric services fee, please visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. If necessary, you may be required to visit an Application Support Center to have your biometrics captured.
Refiling an Initial TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of a Fee Waiver Request Back to TopIf you request a fee waiver when filing your initial TPS application package and your request is denied, you may re-file your application packet before the initial filing deadline of December 16, 2013. If you submit your application with a fee waiver request before that deadline, but you receive a fee waiver denial and there are fewer than 45 days before the filing deadline (or the deadline has passed), you may still re-file your application within the 45-day period after the date on the USCIS fee waiver denial notice. Your application will not be rejected even if the filing deadline has passed, provided it is mailed within those 45 days and all other required information for the application is included. Note: If you wish, you may also wait to request an EAD and pay the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) fee after USCIS grants you TPS, if you are found eligible. If you choose to do this, you would file the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) with the fee and the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-756) without fee and without requesting an EAD.
Refiling a Re-Registration TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of a Fee Waiver Request Back to TopUSCIS urges all re-registering applicants to file as soon as possible within the 60-day re-registration period so that USCIS can process the applications and issue EADs promptly. Filing early will also allow those applicants who may receive denials of their fee waiver requests to have time to re-file their applications before the re-registration deadline. If, however, an applicant receives a denial of his or her fee waiver request and is unable to re- file by the re-registration deadline, the applicant may still re-file his or her application. This situation will be reviewed under good cause for late re-registration. However, applicants are urged to re-file within 45 days of the date on their USCIS fee waiver denial notice, if at all possible. See section 244(c)(3)(C) of the INA; 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(3)(C); 8 CFR 244.17(c). For more information on good cause for late re-registration, visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.Note: As previously stated, although a re-registering TPS beneficiary age 14 and older must pay the biometric services fee (but not the initial TPS application fee) when filing a TPS re-registration application, the applicant may decide to wait to request an EAD, and therefore not pay the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) fee, until after USCIS has approved the individual's TPS re-registration, if he or she is eligible.
Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in Table 2.
Table 2'--Mailing Addresses Back to TopIf . . .Mail to . . .You are applying through the U.S. Postal ServiceU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Attn: TPS Syria, P.O. Box 6943, Chicago, IL 60680-6943.You are using a non-U.S. Postal Service delivery serviceU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Attn: TPS Syria, 131 S. Dearborn 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60603-5517.If you were granted TPS by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and you wish to request an EAD or are re-registering for the first time following a grant of TPS by the IJ or BIA, please mail your application to the appropriate address in Table 2. Upon receiving a Notice of Action (Form I-797) from USCIS, please send an email to TPSijgrant.email@example.com with the receipt number and state that you submitted a re-registration and/or request for an EAD based on an IJ/BIA grant of TPS. You can find detailed information on what further information you need to email and the email addresses on the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.
You cannot electronically file your application when re-registering or applying for initial registration for Syria TPS. Please mail your application to the mailing address listed in Table 2.
May I request an interim EAD at my local USCIS office?No. USCIS will not issue interim EADs to TPS applicants and re-registrants at local offices.
Will my current EAD, which is set to expire on September 30, 2013, be automatically extended for 6 months?No. This Notice does not automatically extend previously issued EADs. DHS has announced the extension of the TPS designation of Syria and established the re-registration period at an early date to allow sufficient time for USCIS to process EAD requests prior to the September 30, 2013 expiration date. You must apply during the 60-day re-registration period. Failure to file your TPS application during the re-registration period without good cause may result in gaps in work authorization. DHS strongly encourages you to apply as early as possible within the re-registration period.
When hired, what documentation may I show to my employer as proof of employment authorization and identity when completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)?You can find a list of acceptable document choices on the ''Lists of Acceptable Documents'' for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). You can find additional detailed information on the USCIS I-9 Central Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/I-9Central. Employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new employees by using Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). Within 3 days of hire, an employee must present proof of identity and employment authorization to his or her employer.
You may present any document from List A (reflecting both your identity and employment authorization), or one document from List B (reflecting identity) together with one document from List C (reflecting employment authorization). An EAD is an acceptable document under ''List A.'' Employers may not reject a document based upon a future expiration date.
What documentation may I show my employer if I am already employed but my current TPS-related EAD is set to expire?You must present any document from List A or any document from List C on Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) to reverify employment authorization. Your employer is required to reverify on Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) the employment authorization of current employees upon the expiration of a TPS-related EAD. Your employer should use either Section 3 of the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) originally completed for the employee or, if this section has already been completed or if the version of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) is no longer valid, in Section 3 of a new Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) using the most current version. Note that your employer may not specify which List A or List C document employees must present.
USCIS anticipates that it will be able to process and issue new EADs for existing TPS Syria beneficiaries before their current EADs expire on September 30, 2013. However, re-registering beneficiaries are encouraged to file as early as possible within the 60-day re-registration period to help ensure that they receive their EADs promptly.
Can my employer require that I produce any other documentation to prove my status, such as proof of my Syrian citizenship?No. When completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9), including reverifying employment authorization, employers must accept any documentation that appears on the ''Lists of Acceptable Documents'' for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and that reasonably appears to be genuine and that relates to you. Employers may not request documentation that does not appear on the ''Lists of Acceptable Documents.'' Therefore, employers may not request proof of Syrian citizenship when completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for new hires or reverifying the employment authorization of current employees. If presented with an EAD that is unexpired on its face, employers should accept such EAD as a valid List A document so long as the EAD reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the employee. Refer to the Note to Employees section for important information about your rights if your employer rejects lawful documentation, requires additional documentation, or otherwise discriminates against you based on your citizenship or immigration status, or your national origin.
Employers are reminded that the laws requiring proper employment eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair immigration-related employment practices remain in full force. This Notice does not supersede or in any way limit applicable employment verification rules and policy guidance, including those rules setting forth reverification requirements. For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employers may call USCIS at 888-464-4218 (TTY 877-875-6028) or email USCIS at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls and emails are accepted in English and many other languages including Arabic. For questions about avoiding discrimination during the employment eligibility verification process, employers may also call the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline at 800-255-8155 (TTY for the hearing impaired is at 800-237-2515), which offers language interpretation in numerous languages, or email OSC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employees may call USCIS at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028) or email USCIS at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls and emails are accepted in English, Spanish and many other languages including Arabic. Employees or applicants may also call the OSC Worker Information Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY for the hearing impaired is at 800-237-2515) for information regarding employment discrimination based upon citizenship, immigration status, or national origin, or for information regarding discrimination related to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and E-Verify. The OSC Worker Information Hotline provides language interpretation in numerous languages.
To comply with the law, employers must accept any document or combination of documents from the List of Acceptable Documents if the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the employee. Employers may not require extra or additional documentation beyond what is required for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) completion. Further, employers participating in E-Verify that receive an E-Verify initial case result of ''Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)'' must promptly inform employees of the TNC and give such employees an opportunity to contest the TNC. A TNC case result means that the information entered into E-Verify from Form I-9 differs from Social Security Administration, DHS, or DOS records. Employers may not terminate, suspend, delay training, withhold pay, lower pay or take any other adverse action against an employee based on the employee's decision to contest a TNC or because the case is still pending with E-Verify. A Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) case result is received when E-Verify cannot verify an employee's employment eligibility. An employer may terminate employment based on a case result of FNC. Work-authorized employees who receive an FNC may call USCIS for assistance at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028). Additional information about proper nondiscriminatory I-9 and E-Verify procedures is available on the OSC Web site at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc and the USCIS Web site at http://www.dhs.gov/E-verify.
Note Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as Departments of Motor Vehicles) Back to TopWhile Federal government agencies must follow the guidelines laid out by the Federal government, state and local government agencies establish their own rules and guidelines when granting certain benefits. Each state may have different laws, requirements, and determinations about what documents you need to provide to prove eligibility for certain benefits. Whether you are applying for a Federal, state, or local government benefit, you may need to provide the government agency with documents that show you are a TPS beneficiary and/or show you are authorized to work based on TPS. Examples are:
(1) Your unexpired EAD card;
(2) A copy of your Application for Temporary Protected Status Notice of Action (Form I-797) for this re-registration; and/or
(3) A copy of your past or current Application for Temporary Protected Status Notice of Action (Form I-797), if you received one from USCIS.
Check with the government agency regarding which document(s) the agency will accept. You may also provide the agency with a copy of this Notice.
Some benefit-granting agencies use the USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) to verify the current immigration status of applicants for public benefits. If such an agency has denied your application based solely or in part on a SAVE response, the agency must offer you the opportunity to appeal the decision in accordance with the agency's procedures. If the agency has received and acted upon or will act upon a SAVE verification and you do not believe the response is correct, you may make an InfoPass appointment for an in-person interview at a local USCIS office. Detailed information on how to make corrections, make an appointment, or submit a written request can be found at the SAVE Web site at http://www.uscis.gov/save, then by choosing ''How to Correct Your Records'' from the menu on the right.
[FR Doc. 2013-14101 Filed 6-14-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
1. As of March 1, 2003, in accordance with section 1517 of title XV of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA), Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, any reference to the Attorney General in a provision of the INA describing functions transferred from the Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security ''shall be deemed to refer to the Secretary'' of Homeland Security. See6 U.S.C. 557 (codifying HSA, tit. XV, sec. 1517).
Back to Context
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 16:29
NormaDesmond wrote:When Angelina Jolie came with Brad Pitt for the United Nations in 2009, she was impressed by the first lady's efforts to encourage empowerment among Iraqi and Palestinian refugees but alarmed by the Assads' idea of safety.''My husband was driving us all to lunch,'' says Asma al-Assad, ''and out of the corner of my eye I could see Brad Pitt was fidgeting. I turned around and asked, 'Is anything wrong?' ''
''Where's your security?'' asked Pitt.
''So I started teasing him'--'See that old woman on the street? That's one of them! And that old guy crossing the road?
That's the other one!' '' They both laugh.
The president joins in the punch line: ''Brad Pitt wanted to send his security guards here to come and get some training!''
Vogue (pulled article), Asma al-Assad: A Rose in the Desertcited in: http://www.alaa-alazem.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=242%3Aasma-al-assad-a-rose-in-the-desert&catid=45%3Aothers&Itemid=18&lang=en
Haaahaaahaaaa, the "old guy crossing the road" is security. Funny, funny, funny.
Not so funny is the acknowledgement that: ''the Syrian government conducts intense physical and electronic surveillance of both Syrian citizens and foreign visitors''.
Oh, and that, in the same breath, Vogue whitewashed the oppression of a nation with a gushing "Syria is known as the safest country in the Middle East".
Tell that "safest" rubbish to those being killed on the streets of Syria.
Anyway, the Hollywood bubble-heads do lunch with the Desert Rose & the tyrant ... and discuss their mutual need for hired help.
Gee, Brangie, that's sooooo far removed from the despised, privileged American lifestyle that all those "dull" Hollywood movie stars so enjoy.
But get this: Brangelina, were eager to train their hired help along lines of a Syrian despot's security ... because they're soooooo important, this set-trailer duo.
Wow, it doesn't get any more dull, shallow & narcissistic than this. Kind of like the modern day Edward & Wallis Simpson -- only without the standing (however negligible that was following the abdication).
Were this the era of Adolf & Eva, this "social climbing" American celebrity duo, Brangelina, would surely covet jackbooted SS guards to reflect their "glory".
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:31
Texas is at a crossroads.The Lone Star State is changing '' and with its size and diversity, our state should be a place where all elections '' from local elections all the way up to the President of United States are hotly contested.
To do that, we need Texans in every corner of the state '' from Amarillo to Brownsville and El Paso to Beaumont '' to stand up and say that they're tired of not being heard, tired of not being represented in Austin and in Washington, DC, and tired of the same Republican playbook which is failing our communities and ignoring the needs of countless Texans.
Change will take time '' but together we can make Texas a part of the national discussion.
Grassroots voices are changing this country on a scale that was unheard of just a few years ago.
Over the next several years, Battleground Texas will focus on expanding the electorate by registering more voters '' and, as importantly, mobilizing those Texans who are already registered but who have not been engaged in the democratic process. And we'll use the data-driven, people-focused approach that has helped win grassroots campaigns around the country.
From top to bottom of the ballot '' we can change the face of Texas politics together.
Battleground Texas is a local effort with national implications.
Texans are carrying this movement and its success could change the face of presidential politics in this country as we know it. With 38 electoral votes at stake, a blue Texas would be a surefire road to the White House.
Change does not come easy, but taking the harder road for a better future is what our state is all about.
Texans are ready.
Our organizing strategies will work in Texas.
Battleground Texas will be a people based, metrics driven organization that is dedicated to the idea that volunteers, in their neighborhoods, can and do significantly impact local, state and national elections.
As a people based organization, we are focused on leadership development, training and empowerment. We work with volunteer leaders to ensure they have all the skills they need to successfully recruit new volunteers and register, persuade and turnout voters.
As a metrics driven organization, we understand the importance of accountability. We regularly measure our progress and hold ourselves to the goals we set. We also use data extensively to ensure our programs are having an impact.
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 02:15
The Living Constitution, also referred to as loose constructionism, is a concept in United Statesconstitutional interpretation which claims that the Constitution has a dynamic meaning or that it has the properties of a human in the sense that it changes. The idea is associated with views that contemporaneous society should be taken into account when interpreting key constitutional phrases.
"No society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living." - Thomas JeffersonWhile the arguments for the Living Constitution vary, they can generally be broken into two categories. First, the pragmatist view contends that interpreting the Constitution in accordance with long outdated views is often unacceptable as a policy matter, and thus that an evolving interpretation is necessary. The second, relating to intent, contends that the constitutional framers specifically wrote the Constitution in broad and flexible terms to create such a dynamic, "living" document. Opponents of the idea often argue that the Constitution should be changed through the amendment process, and that allowing judges to interpret the constitution "impoverish[es] democracy." The primary alternative to the Living Constitution is most commonly described as originalism.
Living constitutionThe term originally derives from the title of a 1927 book of that name by Prof. Howard McBain, while early efforts at developing the concept in modern form have been credited to figures including Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Louis D. Brandeis, and Woodrow Wilson.
Judicial pragmatismAlthough "the living Constitution" is itself a characterization rather than a specific method of interpretation, the phrase is associated with various non-originalist theories of interpretation. The most common association is with judicial pragmatism. In the course of his judgment in Missouri v. Holland 252 U.S. 416 (1920), Holmes made this remark on the nature of the constitution.
With regard to that we may add that when we are dealing with words that also are a constituent act, like the Constitution of the United States, we must realize that they have called into life a being the development of which could not have been foreseen completely by the most gifted of its begetters. It was enough for them to realize or to hope that they had created an organism; it has taken a century and has cost their successors much sweat and blood to prove that they created a nation. The case before us must be considered in the light of our whole experience and not merely in that of what was said a hundred years ago. The treaty in question does not contravene any prohibitory words to be found in the Constitution. The only question is whether [252 U.S. 416, 434] it is forbidden by some invisible radiation from the general terms of the Tenth Amendment. We must consider what this country has become in deciding what that amendment has reserved.
According to the pragmatist view, the Constitution should be seen as evolving over time as a matter of social necessity. Looking solely to original meaning, when the original intent was largely to permit many practices universally condemned today, is under this view cause to reject pure originalism out of hand.
This general view has been expressed by the former conservative/now centrist Judge Richard Posner:
A constitution that did not invalidate so offensive, oppressive, probably undemocratic, and sectarian law [as the Connecticut law banning contraceptives] would stand revealed as containing major gaps. Maybe that is the nature of our, or perhaps any, written Constitution; but yet, perhaps the courts are authorized to plug at least the most glaring gaps. Does anyone really believe, in his heart of hearts, that the Constitution should be interpreted so literally as to authorize every conceivable law that would not violate a specific constitutional clause? This would mean that a state could require everyone to marry, or to have intercourse at least once a month, or it could take away every couple's second child and place it in a foster home.... We find it reassuring to think that the courts stand between us and legislative tyranny even if a particular form of tyranny was not foreseen and expressly forbidden by framers of the Constitution.This pragmatist objection is central to the idea that the Constitution should be seen as a living document. Under this view, for example, constitutional requirements of "equal rights" should be read with regard to current standards of equality, and not those of decades or centuries ago, because the alternative would be unacceptable.
Original intentIn addition to pragmatist arguments, most proponents of the living Constitution argue that the Constitution was deliberately written to be broad and flexible to accommodate social or technological change over time. For this proposition, Edmund Randolph's statement in the preamble of the Committee of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 131, No. 3, A More Perfect Union: Essays on the Constitution (Sep., 1987)
In the draught of a fundamental constitution, two things deserve attention:1. To insert essential principles only; lest the operations of government should be clogged by rendering those provisions permanent and unalterable, which ought to be accommodated to times and events: and2. To use simple and precise language, and general propositions, according to the example of the constitutions of the several states.The living constitution's proponents assert that Randolph's injunction to use "simple and precise language, and general propositions," such that the Constitution could "be accommodated to times and events," is evidence of the "genius" of the Constitutional framers. James Madison, principal author of the U.S. Constitution and often called the "Father of the Constitution," said this in argument for original intent and against changing the Constitution by evolving language:
I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that is not the guide in expounding it, there may be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful exercise of its powers. If the meaning of the text be sought in the changeable meaning of the words composing it, it is evident that the shape and attributes of the Government must partake of the changes to which the words and phrases of all living languages are constantly subject. What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense.
Thomas Jefferson is often cited as advocating for a "living document" interpretation, based on a plaque in the Jefferson Memorial, but this "quote" is actually abbreviated, with the original actually being a defense of using the amendment process if the Constitution needed to change...the bold parts following are Memorial version, the plain is the full quote in context:
''I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors...[it] will be said it is easier to find faults than to amend [the Constituion]. I do not think...amendment so difficult as is pretended. Only lay down true principles, and adhere to them inflexibly.''He also warned against treating the Constitution as "a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please." Jefferson's understanding of how the Constitution should be interpreted is made clear in a letter he wrote March 27, 1801, after assuming the Presidency, "The Constitution on which our union rests, shall be administered by me according to the safe and honest meaning contemplated by the plain understanding of the people of the United States, at the time of its adoption,'--a meaning to be found in the explanations of those who advocated (it)...These explanations are preserved in the publications of the time, and are too recent in the memories of most men to admit of question."
Some living Constitutionists seek to reconcile themselves with the originalist view; e.g., one that interprets the Constitution as it was originally intended to be interpreted.
Applying a living constitutionOne application of the living Constitution framework is seen in the Supreme Court's reference to "evolving standards of decency" under the 8th Amendment. This was seen in the 1958 Supreme Court case of Trop v. Dulles:
[T]he words of the [Eighth] Amendment are not precise, and that their scope is not static. The Amendment must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.
While the Court was referring in Trop only to the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, the underlying conception '' namely, that the Constitution is written in broad terms, and that the Court's interpretation of those terms should reflect current societal conditions '' is the heart of the "living Constitution" doctrine.
Equal protection and due process clausesFrom its inception, one of the most controversial aspects of the living Constitutional framework has been its association with broad interpretations of the equal protection and due process clauses of the 5th and 14th Amendments.
Proponents of the Living Constitution suggest that a dynamic view of civil liberties is vital to the continuing effectiveness of our Constitutional scheme. Not only is it currently seen as unacceptable to suggest that minorities or women are not entitled to liberty or equal protection as they were not at the time of the Constitutional ratification, but neither do advocates of the living Constitution believe that the framers intended, or certainly demanded, that their 18th century practices be regarded as the permanent standard for these ideals.
Living Constitutionalists suggest that broad ideals such as "liberty" and "equal protection" were included in the Constitution precisely because they are timeless, due to their inherently dynamic nature. Liberty in 1791, it is argued, was never thought to be the same as liberty in 1591 or 1991, but rather was seen as a principle transcending the recognized rights of that day and age. Giving them a fixed and static meaning in the name of "originalism," thus, is said to violate the very theory it purports to uphold.
Points of contentionAs the subject of significant controversy, the idea of a Living Constitution is plagued by numerous conflicting contentions.
Disregard of Constitutional languageThe idea of a Living Constitution is often characterized by Justice Scalia and others as inherently disregarding Constitutional language, suggesting that one should not simply read and apply the constitutional text.
Jack Balkin argues that this is not the intended meaning of the term, however, which suggests rather that the Constitution be read contemporaneously, rather than historically. Such an inquiry often consults the original meaning or intent, along with other interpretive devices. A proper application, then, involves some reconciliation between these various devices, not a simple disregard for one or another.
Judicial activismAnother common view of the Living Constitution is as synonymous with "judicial activism," a phrase generally used to accuse judges of resolving cases based on their own political convictions or preferences.
The pejorative "judicial activism" is most commonly subjective, so it is not proper to classify all decisions made using the Living interpretation as activist. More properly, it could be argued that a Living interpretation leaves much more room for political bias than other interpretations, thus creating more opportunity for misuses of judicial power.
ComparisonsIn sum, it may be noted that the Living Constitution does not itself represent a detailed philosophy, and that distinguishing it from other theories can be difficult. Indeed, Living Constitutionalists often suggest that it is the true originalist philosophy, while originalists generally agree that phrases such as "just compensation" should be applied differently than 200 years ago. It has been suggested that the true difference between these judicial philosophies does not regard "meaning" at all, but rather, the correct application of Constitutional principles. A Living Constitutionalist would not necessarily state, for instance, that the meaning of "liberty" has changed since 1791. It may be what it always has always been: a general principle recognizing individual freedom. The important change then might be in what is recognized as liberty today, that was not fully recognized two centuries ago. This view was enunciated for the Supreme Court by Justice George Sutherland in 1926:
[W]hile the meaning of constitutional guaranties never varies, the scope of their application must expand or contract to meet the new and different conditions which are constantly coming within the field of their operation. In a changing world it is impossible that it should be otherwise. But although a degree of elasticity is thus imparted, not to the meaning, but to the application of constitutional principles, statutes and ordinances, which, after giving due weight to the new conditions, are found clearly not to conform to the Constitution, of course, must fall.To complete the example, the question of how to apply a term like "liberty" may not be a question of what it "means," but rather a question of what liberties are presently entitled to constitutional protection. Living Constitutionalists tend to advocate a broad application in accordance with current views, while originalists tend to seek an application consistent with views at the time of ratification. Critics of the Living Constitution assert that it is more open to judicial manipulation, while proponents argue that theoretical flexibility in either view provides adherents extensive leeway in what decision to reach in a particular case.
By its nature, the "living Constitution" is not held to be a specific theory of construction, but a vision of a Constitution whose boundaries are dynamic, congruent with the needs of society as it changes. This method also has its critics; in the description of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, it "has about it a teasing imprecision that makes it a coat of many colors."
It is important to note that the term "living Constitution" is sometimes used by critics as an aspersion, while some advocates of the general philosophy avoid the phrase. Opponents of the doctrine tend to use the term as an epithet synonymous with judicial activism. (Itself a hotly debated phrase.) However, just as some conservative theorists have embraced the term Constitution in Exile (which similarly gained popularity through use by liberal critics), and textualism was a term which once had pejorative connotations before its widespread acceptance as a badge of honor, some liberal theorists have embraced the image of a living document as appealing.
Arguments againstThe strongest argument against the doctrine of "Living Constitution" comes not from its moderate use, but when the concept is seen as promoting activism. The term presumes the premise of ''that which is written is insufficient in light of what has transpired since''. This more moderate concept is generally not the target of those who are against the "Living Constitution". The concept considered perverse by constructionalists is "making the law say what you think it should say, rather than submitting to what it does say".
Economist Thomas Sowell in his Knowledge and Decisions argues that since the original designers of the Constitution provided for the process of changing it, they never intended for their original words to change meaning. Sowell also points out cases where arguments are made that the original framers never considered certain issues, when clear record of them doing so exists.
Another argument against the concept of a "living Constitution" ironically, is similar to the argument for it; the fact that the Constitution itself is silent on the matter of constitutional interpretation. The doctrine of the "living Constitution" relies on the concept that the original framers either could not come to a consensus about how to interpret, or they never intended any fixed method of interpretation. This would then allow future generations the freedom to reexamine for themselves how to interpret the Constitution.
This view does not take into account why the original constitution does not allow for judicial interpretation in any form. The Supreme Court's power for constitutional review, and by extension its interpretation, did not come about until Marbury v. Madison in 1803. The concept for a "living constitution" therefore relies on an argument regarding the writing of the constitution that had no validity when the constitution was written.
The views of constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe are often described by conservative critics such as Robert Bork as being characteristic of the ''living Constitution paradigm'' they condemn. Bork labels Tribe's approach as "protean," meaning that it was whatever Tribe needed it to be to reach a desired policy outcome. (Tribe rejects both the term and the description) Such a construction appears to define ''living Constitution'' doctrine as being an ends dictate the means anti-law philosophy. Some liberal constitutional scholars have since implied a similar charge of intellectual dishonesty regarding originalists, noting that they virtually never reach outcomes with which they disagree. (Many academic political scientists believe that justices and appeals judges are willing to alter their outcomes to attain philosophical majorities on certain questions.)
In 1987, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall delivered a lecture, "The Constitution: A Living Document," in which he argued that the Constitution must be interpreted in light of the moral, political, and cultural climate of the age of interpretation. If Judge Bork's formulation of "the living Constitution" is guiding, then any interpretation of the Constitution other than originalism (of one form or another) implicates a living Constitution. If, however, Justice Marshall's formulation is guiding, then it is unclear whether methods derived from law and economics or the Moral Constitution might be implicated.
References to "the living Constitution" are relatively rare among legal academics and judges, who generally prefer to use language that is specific and less rhetorical. It is also worth noting that there is disagreement among opponents of "the living Constitution" about whether the idea is the same as, implied by, or assumed by judicial activism, which has a similar ambiguity of meaning and is also used primarily as an epithet.
Justice Clarence Thomas has routinely castigated "living Constitution" doctrine. In one particularly strongly worded attack, he noted that:
Let me put it this way; there are really only two ways to interpret the Constitution '' try to discern as best we can what the framers intended or make it up. No matter how ingenious, imaginative or artfully put, unless interpretive methodologies are tied to the original intent of the framers, they have no more basis in the Constitution than the latest football scores. To be sure, even the most conscientious effort to adhere to the original intent of the framers of our Constitution is flawed, as all methodologies and human institutions are; but at least originalism has the advantage of being legitimate and, I might add, impartial.Justice Antonin Scalia has expressed similar sentiments. He commented:
[There's] the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break. But you would have to be an idiot to believe that; the Constitution is not a living organism; it is a legal document. It says something and doesn't say other things.... [Proponents of the living constitution want matters to be decided] not by the people, but by the justices of the Supreme Court .... They are not looking for legal flexibility, they are looking for rigidity, whether it's the right to abortion or the right to homosexual activity, they want that right to be embedded from coast to coast and to be unchangeable.""He also said:
If you think aficionados of a living Constitution want to bring you flexibility, think again.... You think the death penalty is a good idea? (Under the formalist understanding of the Constitution, but not under the Living Constitution understanding, you can) persuade your fellow citizens to adopt it. You want a right to abortion? Persuade your fellow citizens and enact it. That's flexibility.
Arguments in favorOne of the arguments in support of the concept of a "living Constitution" is the concept that the Constitution itself is silent on the matter of constitutional interpretation. Proponents of the living Constitution assert that the Constitutional framers, most of whom were trained lawyers and legal theorists, were certainly aware of these debates; they also would have known the confusion that not providing a clear interpretive method would cause. Had the framers meant for future generations to interpret the Constitution in a specific manner, they could have indicated such within the Constitution itself. The lack of guidance within the text of the Constitution suggests, therefore, that either: a) there was no such consensus, or b) the framers never intended any fixed method of constitutional interpretation.
Relating to the pragmatic argument, it is further argued that if judges were denied the opportunity to reflect on changes to modern society in interpreting the scope of Constitutional rights, the resulting Constitution either would not reflect current mores and values, or would necessitate a constant amendment process to reflect our changing society.
Another defense of the Living Constitution is based in viewing the Constitution not merely as law, but as a source of foundational concepts for the governing of society. Of course, laws must be fixed and clear so that people can understand and abide by them on a daily basis. But if the Constitution is more than a set of laws, if it provides guiding concepts which themselves will in turn provide the foundations for laws, then the costs and benefits of such an entirely fixed meaning are very different. The reason for this is simple: if a society locks itself into a previous generation's interpretive ideas, it will wind up either constantly attempting to change the Constitution to reflect changes, or simply scrapping the Constitution altogether. While we remain bound by the rights and powers provided in the Constitution, thus, the scope those rights and powers should account for society's present experiences. "Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., wrote in 1914: 'The provisions of the Constitution are not mathematical formulas....They are organic, living institutions.'"
A prominent endorsement of the Living Constitution concept was heard in the 2000 presidential campaign by the Democratic candidate, Al Gore. One of its most vocal critics is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who argues that if people want new rights, they need only to pass new laws.
The Living Constitution and ActivismOne accusation made against the living Constitution method states that judges that adhere to it are "Activists" and seek to legislate from the bench. What is generally meant by this is that a judge winds up substituting his judgment regarding the validity, meaning, or scope of a law for that of the democratically elected legislature.
Adherents of a living Constitution method are often accused of "reading rights" into the Constitution; that is, they are accused of claiming that the Constitution implies rights found nowhere in the constitutional text. For example, in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court held that implicit within the Constitution was a "right to privacy" and that this right extends to a woman's right to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy. As such, the Court held that the government could only regulate this right with a compelling interest, and even then, only if the regulation was as minimally intrusive as possible. Conservative critics have since accused the Supreme Court of activism in inventing a Constitutional right to abortion. This accusation may be accurate (in that abortion rights indeed had not previously been recognized), but it is also used selectively. For example, few conservatives levy the same claim against the Supreme Court for its decisions concerning sovereign immunity: a term also found nowhere in the Constitution but has been read into the Eleventh Amendment by the Supreme Court and since been expanded by the recent conservative majority.
InternationallyIn Canada, the living constitution is described under the living tree doctrine.
Unlike the case of the United States, the fact that the constitution of Canada was intended from the outset to encompass unwritten conventions and legal principles is beyond question. For example, the text of the constitution does not mention the office of prime minister or that the governor general always grants royal assent to bills. Principles such as democracy, the Implied Bill of Rights, the rule of law, and judicial independence are held to derive in part from the preamble of the constitution, which declared the constitution of Canada to be "similar in principle" to that of the United Kingdom.
The concept of an evolving constitution has notably been applied to determine the division of powers between provinces and the federal government in areas of jurisdiction not contemplated at the time of enactment of the British North America Act. For example, authority over broadcasting has been held to fall within the federal "peace, order and good government" power.
The Supreme Court of Canada, in Re: Same-Sex Marriage (2004), held that Parliament (as opposed to provincial legislatures) had the power to define marriage as including same-sex unions. It rejected claims that the constitutionally enumerated federal authority in matters of "Marriage and Divorce" could not include same-sex marriage because marriage as conceived in 1867 was necessarily opposite-sex:
The "frozen concepts" reasoning runs contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of Canadian constitutional interpretation: that our Constitution is a living tree which, by way of progressive interpretation, accommodates and addresses the realities of modern life.It has been argued that a primary determinative factor in whether a legal system will develop a "living constitutional" framework is the ease with which constitutional amendments can be passed.
See alsoReferences^Winkler, Adam. A Revolution Too Soon: Woman Suffragists and The "Living Constitution". 76 NYULR 1456, 1463 ("Based on the idea that society changes and evolves, living constitutionalism requires that constitutional controversies, in the words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., "must be considered in the light of our whole experience and not merely in that of what was said a hundred years ago.")^Thomas Jefferson (to James Madison), "Popular Basis of Political Authority", Papers 15:392--97, 6 Sept. 1789^McBain, Howard Lee (1927). The Living constitution, a consideration of the realities and legends of our fundamental law, by Howard Lee McBain. the Workers education bureau press. OCLC 459798913 ^Winkler at 1457^Wilson often referred to the Constitution as a "vehicle of life." See Kammen, Michael. A Vehicle of Life: The Founders' Intentions and American Perceptions of Their Living Constitution. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 131, No. 3, A More Perfect Union: Essays on the Constitution (Sep., 1987)^Goldford, Dennis J (2005). The American Constitution and the Debate Over Originalism. Cambridge University Press, Pg. 59. ISBN 0-521-84558-0 ("Harold Koh justifies such a position by distinguishing between a rigid literalism he ascribes to originalism and a flexible pragmatism that views the Constitution as a living document that must adapt to modern times.")^Harold Koh, 41 Duke Law Journal 122, 128 (1991)(note 34).^Posner, Richard (1992) Sex and Reason. Harvard University Press, pg. 328. ISBN 0-674-80280-2^Records of the Federal Convention, available at http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/preambles7.html Retrieved 4/17/07^Letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816, available at http://retirementseries.dataformat.com/Document.aspx?doc=150954811 Retrieved 7/31/12^The Words of the Founding Fathers: Selected Quotations^The Founders' Constitution University of Chicago^Marshall, Lawrence. Contempt of Congress: A Reply to the Critics of an Absolute Rule of Statutory Stare Decisis, 88 Michigan Law review 2467, 2478 (1990)(footnote omitted). ("Consistent with the notion of the Constitution as a living document, definitions and applications of terms like "due process," "cruel and unusual punishment," and "unreasonable search and seizure" evolve over time. The specter of judges inserting content into these phrases is not an unfortunate or inevitable by-product of the framers' poor drafting or lack of foresight; it is a critical part of the process of breathing life into a document originated by those long dead.") Quoted by Goldford^Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86 (1958)^Balkin, Jack. Alive and Kicking: Why no one truly believes in a dead Constitution. August 29, 2005 http://www.slate.com/id/2125226/ Retrieved 4/20/07 ("Original meaning does not mean original expected application. For example, the Constitution bans cruel and unusual punishments. But the application of the concepts of "cruel and unusual" must be that of our own day, not 1791.")^Balkin, Jack. Alive and Kicking: Why no one truly believes in a dead Constitution. August 29, 2005 http://www.slate.com/id/2125226/ Retrieved 4/20/07 ("A living Constitution requires that judges faithfully apply the constitutional text, given the meanings the words had when they were first enacted, applying those words to today's circumstances.")^Amann, Diane Marie (2006). International Law and Rehnquist-Era Reversals. 94 Georgetown Law Journal 1319 ("Living-Constitution doctrines require the Court to render a decision faithful both to constitutional history and to contemporary circumstance. Seldom will the words of a provision'--particularly of an open-textured term like "due process," "cruel and unusual," or, for that matter, "unreasonable" '' prove the final authority. The doctrines thus invite judges to consult additional sources.")^Balkin, Jack. Alive and Kicking: Why no one truly believes in a dead Constitution. August 29, 2005 http://www.slate.com/id/2125226/ Retrieved 4/20/07 ("Living constitutionalists draw upon precedent, structure, and the country's history to flesh out the meaning of the text. They properly regard all of these as legitimate sources of interpretation.")^Balkin, Jack M., "Abortion and Original Meaning" (August 28, 2006). Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 119 Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=925558^Village of Euclid v. Amber, 272 U.S. 365 (1926) http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=CASE&court=US&vol=272&page=365^Sunsetin, Cass (2006). Of Snakes and Butterflies: A Reply. 106 Columbia Law Review 2234. ("In the last decade and more, some (of course very far from all) conservative judges have been reading the Constitution in a way that lines up uncomfortably well with their own political views: to invalidate affirmative action programs, campaign finance laws, and restrictions on gun control; to strike down certain laws protecting the environment and forbidding discrimination on the basis of disability and age; to protect commercial advertising; to permit discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual orientation; to allow government to provide financial and other assistance to religious institutions; to give the President broad, unilateral authority to fight the war on terror; and to contain no right of reproductive choice or sexual liberty. No one doubts that some of these readings of the Constitution are reasonable. But Radicals in Robes was partly designed to show that, for all the talk of "strict construction," and for all the insistence on distinguishing between law and politics, we are in the midst of a period in which some prominent conservatives are attempting to use judicial power for their own political ends. To be sure, judges almost always act in good faith. But it is nonetheless true that references to history, and to the views of the Framers and ratifiers, are sometimes a fraud and a fa§ade.")^Balkin, Jack. Alive and Kicking: Why no one truly believes in a dead Constitution. August 29, 2005 http://www.slate.com/id/2125226/ Retrieved 4/20/07 ("Because the basic jurisprudential claim that original understanding is the only legitimate method of interpretation is overstated, originalists usually make a second, more pragmatic argument: A living Constitution offers insufficient constraints on judicial power. The irony of this charge is that in practice originalism doesn't provide any greater constraint. As we've seen, originalist judges pick and choose when to invoke original understanding and when to rely on existing precedents they like.")^Rehnquist, William.The Notion of a Living Constitution, 54 Texas Law Review 693 (1976), reprinted in 29 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 401 (2006).^Lithwick, Dahlia. Reasons To Go On Living: Does anyone believe in a "living Constitution" anymore? August 23, 2005. http://www.slate.com/id/2124891/ Retrieved 4/20/07.^"How to Read the Constitution". The Wall Street Journal. October 20, 2008. ^Peter Lattman (2006-02-14). "Scalia Assails Living Constitutionalists". Wall Street Journal Law Blog. Retrieved 2007-03-28. ^Sunstein 106 CLMR 2234, 2236 ("The Constitution does not set out the instructions for its own interpretation. A theory of interpretation has to be defended, rather than asserted, and the defense must speak candidly in terms of the system of constitutional law that it will yield.")^James, Leanoard Frank (1964). The Supreme Court in American Life. Chicago: Scott, Foresman. Pg. 159.^"You know, I believe the Constitution is a living and breathing document and that there are liberties found in the Constitution such as the right to privacy that spring from the document, itself, even though the Founders didn't write specific words saying this, this, and this, because we have interpreted our founding charter over the years and found deeper meanings in it, in light of the subsequent experience in American life of the last 211 years of our republic, and a strict constructionist, narrow-minded, harkening back to a literalist reading from 200 years ago, I think that's '' I think that's a mistake. And I would certainly not want to appoint any justices that took that approach." Al Gore interview from the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Public Broadcasting Service. March 14, 2000 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/election2000/candidates/gore_3-14c.html Retrieved 2010-09-12^Antonin Scalia and Amy Gutmann, A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998), 36''41.^Supreme Court of Canada, in its ruling, Re: Same-Sex Marriage, December 2004^Frey, Bruno S. and Stutzer, Alois, Direct Democracy: Designing a Living Constitution (September 17, 2003). Zurich IEER Working Paper No. 167. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=452081External links
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 20:40
Press Contact: Shannon Watts, Founder, Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America; Phone: 404-580-3500; E-mail: email@example.com
Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to reduce drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to demand action from legislators, state and federal; companies; and educational institutions to establish common-sense gun reforms. We are a non-partisan grassroots movement of American mothers demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws, loopholes and policies that for too long have jeopardized the safety of our children and families.
Moms Demand Action is not asking our government to ban guns, nor are we boycotting companies or colleges. We simply support common-sense solutions to the overwhelming and increasing epidemic of gun violence in America. Whether the gun violence happens in urban Chicago, suburban Virginia, or rural Texas, we must act now on new and stronger gun laws and policies to protect our children.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America envisions a country where all children and families are safe from gun violence. Our nonpartisan grassroots movement is made up of more than 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 40 states. We are educating, motivating, and mobilizing moms and families to take action that will result in stronger laws and policies to save lives. Moms Demand Action's common-sense solutions to the escalating problem of gun violence in the United States are straightforward:
1) Require background checks for all gun and ammunition purchases;2) Ban assault weapons and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds;3) Track the sale of large quantities of ammunition, and ban online sales;4) Establish product safety oversight of guns and ammunition, and require child-safe gun technology;5) Support policies at companies and public institutions that promote gun safety;6) Counter the gun industry's efforts to weaken gun laws at the state level.
We are facing a public health crisis: Eight American children are shot and killed every day. Anything else responsible for this many deaths would be immediately investigated and regulated. Not a single federal law has been passed in decades to prevent gun violence '' not after Columbine and not after Newtown.
For too long, those who stand to profit from easy access to guns have controlled the conversation about gun violence. American families are being destroyed and mothers have had enough; we will no longer stand by and let Congress, companies and colleges turn their back on sensible gun laws and policies. We are organizing to effectively lobby and apply pressure that will result in stronger, sensible gun laws and policies that will protect our children and families. The momentum is with us, and we are in this for the long haul.
American mothers are an important voice that, when harnessed, will wield significant change. In just five months, Moms Demand Action has established more than 90 chapters across 40 states and we have hundreds of thousands of members. We may be accidental activists, but we are the wave of change in America. We can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction and on Twitter at @momsdemand.
For more information, please visit the following pages:Join Moms Demand ActionFind Your Local ChapterMake a Donation to Moms Demand Action
With the news media? Click here for press releases.
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 01:43
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is the new astroturf ''grassroots'' gun control movement out there. Yes, one tends to be a tad cynic about these things because of what we have seen in the past.
So where does MDAGSA (MDA for short) comes from. According to their own website, their initial name was ''One Million Moms for Gun Control'' and ''formed within 24 hours of the Connecticut elementary school shooting'' by Shannon Watts. So who is this person? According to the Huffington Post:
Shannon Watts is a 42-year-old mother of five children (two step-daughters, 23 and 19; two daughters, 17 and 16; and a 12-year-old son). For the past five years, Ms. Watts has been a stay-at-home mom in Zionsville, a suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to that, she had a 15-year career as a communications executive for both public relations agencies and Fortune 500 corporations.
Well hell, she is Suzy Homemaker re-incarnated! You noticed that I highlighted (embolden) a section of the Huff Po profile where it mentions that she is a Stay Home mom because it contradicts what her Linkedin profile says:
PresidentVoxPop Public RelationsDecember 2008 '' June 2012 (3 years 7 months)VoxPop Public Relations is a strategic public relations agency that helps individuals, companies and organizations accelerate their growth, profitability, reputation and market presence through media relations, product launches, new media, events and promotions, messaging and media training, and issues management.
So the claim that she was basically doing nothing but staying put at home, baking cookies, attending PTA meetings and chasing the neighbor's dog out of her flower patch suddenly takes a hit by her own words. But things start to get funky. Doing a bit of Google-Fu, the name Shannon Watts does not come associated with VoxPop but the name Shannon Troughton does. In fact, for the rest of the list of institutions where Ms. Watts says she worked, all come back associated with the name Shannon Troughton. Now, she may have had good reasons to change her name, but I am one of those that go by the motto ''In God We Trust, everybody else keep your hands where I can see them'' so let's take a look at the other companies she worked for because it shows an interesting pattern: She is not just Suzy Homemaker or some low-grade employee at a small company but a heavy Public relations hitter, savvy on the ways of media manipulation and making her clients look good. Basically she ''grows'' astroturf for a living.
Vice President, Corporate CommunicationsWellPoint December 2005 '' December 2008 (3 years 1 month)Led communications team for the country's largest health benefits company and provided communications support for the country's highest ranking female chief executive officer. Responsible for enterprise-wide media relations, including investor relations.
Another fast Google-Fu search gives us an article of sudden insurance claim denied by BlueCross to a 13-year-old boy with heavy brain damage. The spoke-person for the parent company of BlueCross (Wellpoint) is Shannon Troughton. There are over 6,000 Google results for the words Shannon Troughton WellPoint.Shannon Troughton/ Shannon Watts was also the Director, Global CommunicationsGE Healthcare from 2004 '' 2006. GE Healtcare is the $14 billion healthcare (medical diagnostics and devices) business within General Electric, again not your local bake sale to raise funds for the school band.
This one is gonna give the hives to many a Hippie out there. For three years Shannon Troughton/ Shannon Watts was the Director of Global Public and Corporate Affairs for none other than Monsanto. She did her bit defending Genetically engineered crops, fought labeling of genetically engineered products and defended the company's lawsuits against farmers.
The first entry of her Linkedin is revealing: Five years as Public Affairs Officer Missouri State Government where she worked for Governor Mel Carnahan, the Missouri House of Representatives, and the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Some older heads will remember that Gov. Carnahan died in a plane crash in 2000 during re-election campaign and that his memorial service became a freak show of political speeches and campaign stumping by Clinton and Gore against then Governor Bush and Senator John Ashcroft who was running against Carnahan and were present at the memorial.
OpenSecrets.org shows that Shannon Watts donated to the Democratic Congressional Committee, Barack Obama (7 times) and Rob Zerban who went against Paul Ryan in the 2012 the 1st Congressional District of Wisconsin. Yes, had to look the guy up.
So, the initial and very amateurish research tells us that Shannon Troughton/ Shannon Watts is far from the image of a traditional mom who was baking cookies the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre and she was so horrified by the actions of Adam Lanza that she ripped off her apron and launched herself on to the streets demanding tougher gun control laws. If anything we have here a very experienced Public Relations operative with 20 years worth of experience in manipulating the message.
If all of this has a ring of familiarity to the Old Gunnies, you are right. You might remember Donna Dees-Thomases, founder of the Million Mom March who was also touted as a Suzy Homemaker who after watching on TV the coverage of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center shooting, felt she needed to do something for Gun Control and founded MMM. What was never mentioned by the Media at the time (with the exception of the Wall Street Journal) was that Donna Dees-Thomases was Dan Rather's publicist, CSB employee and sister-in-law of Hillary Clinton's lawyer and political confidant during the Whitewater scandals.
Basically it seems that they are back to their old tricks.
I am gonna keep digging and see what else I find.
. Bookmark the
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:10
INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Shannon Troughton (http://www.linkedin.com/in/shannontroughton), most recently the Vice President of Corporate Communications for WellPoint, the country's largest health insurer, announced today the launch of a new public relations agency, VoxPop Public Relations, LLC.
VoxPop Public Relations is a strategic public relations agency that helps companies and organizations accelerate their growth, profitability, reputation and market presence through media relations, product launches, new media, events and promotions, messaging and media training, trade show support, and issues management.
"My goal has always been to start my own agency because I enjoy all aspects of helping companies increase their profile while protecting and enhancing their reputation," said Troughton, president of VoxPop Public Relations. "My experience in government affairs, agency and corporate public relations will be put to good use for my clients, which I hope will span a variety of industries."
Current VoxPop Public Relations clients include:
-- dLife (www.dlife.com), the only multimedia network serving the diabetes community;
-- Tego Inc. (www.tegoinc.com), a designer and producer of high memory, passive RFID tags that support applications in aerospace, defense, transportation, and other markets;
-- MDdatacor (www.mddatacor.com), the only company able to extract clinical data from transcription notes and combine it with claims, pharmacy and clinical data, electronic medical records, practice management and labs systems to provide the most comprehensive patient data set in the industry;
-- and a specialty healthcare company in Atlanta that primarily focused in women's health, gastroenterology and anemia.
Today Troughton was also named one of PR Week's 40 Under 40 (http://www.prweekus.com/40-under-40--2008/article/122084/): "PR professionals under the age of 40 who have accomplished much in their relatively short careers, indicating there are even greater things to come."
According to PR Week, "Shannon Troughton recently left a position at the helm of a 30-person corporate communications team at WellPoint, one of the largest health insurers in the US, to start her own healthcare firm, VoxPop Public Relations. She started the firm because she saw a need for boutique agencies that can provide the same service at a lower cost during the recession. At WellPoint, she launched a number of key efforts, such as its Zagats partnership, which allows users to rate their doctors, and the establishment of personalized health records for WellPoint members."
Troughton has worked in public relations for nearly 20 years, specializing in media relations, product promotion, government affairs, and issues and crisis management.
At WellPoint, Troughton led a team of 40 public relations professionals responsible for implementing communications programs for the 14 states in which the company operates, as well as the company's business units.
Previously, Ms. Troughton served as director of Global Communications for GE Healthcare, a $15 billion medical diagnostics and device business within General Electric.
Troughton also served as director of Public and Corporate Affairs for Monsanto Company in St. Louis where she led external initiatives designed to generate positive, proactive media coverage of the company's agriculture biotechnology products.
In addition, Troughton was vice president of Corporate and Public Affairs at Fleishman-Hillard public relations agency in Kansas City, Missouri, where she developed strategic issues and crisis management programs to help protect and enhance the reputation of public and private organizations and corporations.
Troughton began her career as a communications staffer for the administration of the late Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan in Jefferson City and is a graduate of the University of Missouri.
SOURCE VoxPop Public Relations, LLC
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:23
FounderMoms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
December 2012 '' Present(6 months)Indianapolis, Indiana Area
A non-profit organization leveraging the power of American moms to demand action by the White House, Congress and state legislatures to strengthen and create new gun regulations.
Freelance Senior Consultant/CounselorFleishman-HillardPublic Company; 1001-5000 employees; OMC; Public Relations and Communications industry
November 2010 '' June 2012(1 year 8 months)
Freelance consultant/counselor for clients of Fleishman-Hillard.
PresidentVoxPop Public Relations
December 2008 '' June 2012(3 years 7 months)
VoxPop Public Relations is a strategic public relations agency that helps individuals, companies and organizations accelerate their growth, profitability, reputation and market presence through media relations, product launches, new media, events and promotions, messaging and media training, and issues management.
Vice President, Corporate CommunicationsWellPointPublic Company; 10,001+ employees; WLP; Insurance industry
December 2005 '' December 2008(3 years 1 month)
Led communications team for the country's largest health benefits company and provided communications support for the country's highest ranking female chief executive officer. Responsible for enterprise-wide media relations, including investor relations.
Director, Global CommunicationsGE HealthcarePublic Company; 10,001+ employees; GE; Hospital & Health Care industry
2004 '' 2006(2 years)
Led ten-member communication team for $14 billion healthcare (medical diagnostics and devices) business within General Electric, a Fortune 100 company
Director, Global Public and Corporate AffairsMonsantoPublic Company; 10,001+ employees; MON; Biotechnology industry
2001 '' 2004(3 years)
Provided corporate communications strategy and support for Fortune 500 life sciences and agricultural company.
Vice President, Corporate and Public AffairsFleishman-HillardPublic Company; 1001-5000 employees; OMC; Public Relations and Communications industry
1998 '' 2001(3 years)
Directed seven-member team that identified and managed issues and crises for clients, including Monsanto Company, BP Amoco, Bayer Corporation, Firestone, McDonald's, Applebee's, Purdue Pharma, Osco, BASF, and Hallmark, Inc.
Public Affairs OfficerMissouri State Government
1993 '' 1998(5 years)Jefferson City, Missouri
Worked for Governor Mel Carnahan, the Missouri House of Representatives, and the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:21
Hot debate over biotech wheat
FDA's review of product is expected soon
By Mike Lee -- Sacramento Bee (California)December 5, 2003
At a hip bakery in midtown, customers choose from baskets of preservative-free freshly baked bread -- rustic French, multi-grain and honey wheat, to name a few.
But the day is nearing when Andy Smith, the Bread Store's general manager, will have a different choice to make with greater social, political and economic implications: to bake with genetically engineered wheat or continue with conventional varieties.
In a critical step forward for biotech wheat, the Food and Drug Administration soon is expected to complete its safety and nutrition review of Monsanto's latest product, hard red spring wheat -- a favorite of bakers-- that is genetically engineered to withstand doses of the popular weedkiller Roundup.
The FDA's review, while voluntary on the company's part, is the first regulatory sign-off for a product that still is likely a few years from being grown in this country.
But already, the bread loaf has become a battleground between anti-biotech forces and Monsanto, the world's largest maker of genetically modified seeds.
Wheat will be the first test of the company's new list of promises to protect buyers and farmers before it commercializes Roundup Ready wheat.
Skeptics are quick to question how long a publicly traded company that must answer to investors can put precaution before profit.
Wheat also represents a maturing of the biotech industry as it moves from products used for animal feed and processed food ingredients such as corn syrup to grains such as wheat and rice that are mainstays in kitchens around the world.
"Wheat is different," said Carol Tucker Foreman, director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America.
"It's the communion wafer and the matzo crackers. It's the staff of life and the place where food stops being just about nutrition and takes on a sort of symbolic role."
Concerns about biotechnology range widely, from the potential spread of biotech traits into other plants to the ethics of tinkering with life forms and to the implications of giving a handful of big biotech companies control of the world's staple crops.
The benefits may include easier farm management by reducing the number and toxicity of herbicides applied to crops. Chemical weed control also allows growers to till less, which reduces fuel use and soil erosion.
If wheat's rollout goes well, next up is a string of biotech food products that promise consumer benefits such as longer shelf life, along with pharmaceutical compounds grown in plants.
Herbicide-resistant wheat isn't likely to be an immediate issue for the growers of 700,000 acres of wheat in California, because the hard red spring wheat is grown mostly in Montana and the Dakotas.
But given how quickly scientifically modified genes defy efforts to contain them, the implications of biotech wheat reach all corners of the country.
Wheat's fate also has ramifications for California's most economically important food grain -- rice -- for which companies also are developing herbicide-resistant varieties.
The state's rice growers have been cautious about biotechnology largely because of buyer resistance in Japan and fears about compromising the state's organic rice industry.
University of California, Davis, agriculture economics professor Colin Carter warns both rice and wheat growers to be careful about rejecting biotech crops that may reduce chemicals and costs.
"This technology will be commercialized somewhere, most likely in the developing world, and you have to worry about maintaining competitiveness," he said.
At more than 50 million acres, wheat is the third-largest crop in the country behind corn and soybeans, both leaders in the first wave of genetically engineered crops released in the mid-1990s.
Farmers, grain companies and customers -- most notably in Europe -- felt they'd been blindsided by big biotech companies who were moving genes between species in ways not possible with traditional cross-breeding.
And before anyone could stop them, biotech genes from the initial round of crops contaminated some conventional and organic crops through pollen flow, seed mix-ups and segregation systems that weren't designed to strictly separate varieties.
Those failures served as a warning for the U.S. wheat industry, where major associations support biotechnology development but acknowledge that wheat buyer reluctance may prove more important than farmers' desire for weed-free crops.
Biotech companies learned from anti-biotech backlash in the late 1990s that they had to find ways to excite buyers about their products, address their concerns about food safety and help develop segregation systems.
"There has been something of a change in terms of business practices across the industry that I think will make the launch of new technology now better than in the mid-90s," said Christopher Novak, spokesman for Swiss seed and chemical giant Syngenta.
"We know that consumer acceptance ... is going to be critical."
Syngenta is developing a wheat genetically engineered to resist fungal infections called fusarium. Annual losses from the fungi have reached $1 billion.
And company officials are working with the wheat industry to identify potential markets even though fungus-resistant wheat won't be released for another four years at the earliest.
Monsanto also is trying to woo the wheat industry with a six-point pledge for Roundup Ready wheat, issued in January 2002. It includes a promise to wait to release the product until it gains regulatory approval not just in the United States, but in Canada and Japan as well.
The company also promised to identify buyers who wanted the product and to have in place "appropriate" grain handling protocols to "provide a meaningful choice for customers" between biotech and conventional grain.
"We understand that not everyone wants to grow biotech wheat, but there are growers who desperately want this product," said Monsanto spokeswoman Shannon Troughton in St. Louis.
Monsanto's pledge will test company officials' willingness to keep a product out of the market at the same time they are cutting jobs and scrambling to make Wall Street happy.
In Canada, for instance, the government-backed wheat marketing board has harshly criticized Roundup Ready wheat, saying it doesn't trust Monsanto to look out for farmers' interests.
Monsanto officials say they remain committed to the wheat pledge but won't speculate about when the product would be commercialized given that it still must pass an environmental review by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"We have heard the concerns that some people have, and we are going about introducing this in the most responsible way possible," Troughton said.
At his Sacramento bread store, Smith remains curious about such basics as the quality of flour made from biotech wheat for baking as well as its price.
A small percentage of Bread Store patrons care deeply about environmental issues -- some customers, for instance, ask about vegan products. They are the ones likely to reject bread made from Roundup Ready wheat, if they knew they were eating it.
Smith also remains mindful of last summer's protests against genetically engineered foods, when an estimated 2,000 people marched through Sacramento streets during a conference on the topic.
"As for the average guy coming in and getting a turkey sandwich on sourdough," he said, "I am not sure he'd be concerned."
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 16:56
Do Members of Congress have to take an oath-of-office like the President? What do they pledge?
Yes. The Constitution (Article VI, clause 3) requires that Senators and Representatives take an oath of office to support the Constitution. The specific language of the oath has changed several times since it was first administered in 1789. It is set by statute (5 U.S.C. 3331), enacted by Congress. It now reads:
I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
U.S. law requires that Members must be sworn before they can take their seats (2 U.S.C. 21, 25). The rules of the House of Representatives prohibit a Member from voting or introducing a bill until he/she has taken the oath.
The oath is administered to Members-elect on the opening day of each new Congress. In the House, the Speaker administers the oath to the Members present in the chamber all at once, as a group. Members absent on opening day due to illness or other reasons, take the oath later from the Speaker, or another House officer. If they cannot make it to the House, a local justice in their area is usually designated by the Speaker of the House to administer the oath.
In the Senate, the oath is administered by the President of the Senate (the Vice-President of the U.S.), or a Senator is designated to give the oath in his stead. Senators come forward to take the oath in alphabetical order in groups of four on the opening day of a new Congress. They are escorted to the front of the chamber by the sitting Senator from their state.
Senators who join the body later, for example after special elections, take the oath of office alone '' as did Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) who is pictured taking his oath above, accompanied by Senator John Kerry (D-MA), the sitting Senator from Massachusetts. You can read a detailed history of how the language of the oath of office has developed over the years on the U.S. Senate's institutional history website.
CAPITOL CORNER MENU
BACK TO TOP
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 15:19
A security flaw in Adobe Flash thought to be repaired in October of 2011 has resurfaced again with a new proof-of-concept hack that can grab video and audio from a user's computer without getting user authentication. Employing a transparent Flash object on a page to capture a user's click, the exploit tricks a user into clicking to activate the object. The object can then take control of the camera and microphone regardless of the permissions set by the user.
The exploit was demonstrated by developer Egor Homakov and was based on code by Russian security researcher Oleg Filippov. (Note that the demonstration uses images of scantily-claid women and may not be considered safe for work.)
''This is not a stable exploit (tested on Mac and Chrome. I do use Mac and Chrome so this is a big deal anyway),'' Homakov wrote. "Your photo can be saved on our servers but we don't do this in the PoC. (Well, we had an idea to charge $1 for deleting a photo but it would not be fun for you). Donations are welcome though.''
The ''clickjack'' works in a fashion similar to previous attacks against Flash by hiding the dialogue that would prevent a hijack of the camera and mic behind another page element. This demonstration attack apparently needs to be tailored to the target browser, however. Ars has tested the exploit on Mac OS with Chrome and Firefox, Windows 8 with Internet Explorer and Chrome, and on Chrome OS; the exploit only worked consistently in Chrome browsers and not at all on Windows 8.
''The basic problem with Flash is that it doesn't have modal dialogues that pop up outside of the browser, which can alert the user to what's about to happen,'' said Robert Hansen, director of product management for WhiteHat Security, in a e-mail conversation with Ars. ''Because the dialogues are on the same page as the adversary's code, they can overlay things, make it opaque, and so on, to effectively hide the dialogue warning.''
Ars reached out to an Adobe spokesperson for comment on the exploit, but the company has not yet responded.
Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Thomas Jr., 31, of Pensacola, Fla.
Lt. Col. Todd J. Clark, 40, of Evans Mills, N.Y.,
Maj. Jaimie E. Leonard, 39, of Warrick, N.Y.
2nd Lt. Justin L. Sisson, 23, of Phoenix, Ariz.
Specialist. Robert A. Pierce, 20, of Panama, Okla.
Warrant Officer Sean W. Mullen, 39, of Dover, Del.
Pfc. Mariano M. Raymundo, 21, of Houston, Texas
Spc. Ray A. Ramirez, 20, of Sacramento, Calif.
Spc. Kyle P. Stoeckli, 21, of Moseley, Va
Staff Sgt. Job M. Reigoux, 30, of Austin, Texas,
Just thought I would help out how I can- I am a brand new listener since
April. The Stanley Cup Finals started on Friday, and I do not own a TV.
So I found an iPhone app that provides a live stream of the game. It's
called NBC Sports Live Extra found here:
The moment you launch the app, a splash screen comes up that has a tiny
little Adobe icon in the bottom right. (the attachment)
And according to this article:
The app apparently uses the Adobe Primetime's ad insertion. I wonder
what else is included with "ad insertion".
I hope you read this, as it seems combining a few well paid developers
and putting a former Adobe CTO in the position of reporting to Bob
Mansfield has compromised Apple.
I think I'll be able to donate next month, everything is almost all
caught up. Thanks for all you both do.
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:12
Adobe Primetime officially launched this week, providing an end-to-end solution to distribute, monetize, analyze and optimize online video.
I encourage you to read the official Adobe announcement for a more in-depth overview. This is a multi-part blog miniseries to highlight key relevant features. In the first part, I'm going to describe a key feature for both users and advertisers: Ad Insertion.
There are fundamental challenges with online video ad insertion today:
Seamless ad insertion on both desktop and mobile devices is difficult, and approaches are fragmentedThe ad transition user experience is often poor, with buffering between content and adsThe percentage of streaming on the web is increasing, and high-quality live ad insertion is fundamentally harder than video on demand (VOD)Without implementing the proper technology, it is challenging to provide a seamless user experience. One of the challenges resides with the very popular, but inefficient, dual player approach.
Having a dual player means swapping the video players between the ad breaks and the main content (e.g. via the ProxyElement with OSMF). Unfortunately, with a dual player approach come many disadvantages including the required buffering between ads and content, the overhead of having multiple player instances, the higher CPU and memory consumption.
On mobile platforms, the disadvantage of using a dual-player is even more pronounced. For example, the video stack on iOS provides a lot less flexibility. Adobe used its profound expertise of video protocols, packaging and playback to create a low-level, seamless ad insertion solution that provides the best possible user experience. It solves this complicated task much more efficiently than other approaches. The time has come to move beyond a dual player, and provide a quality experience for the next generation of TV viewing across screens.
Interested in seeing this in action? Check out NBC Sports Live Extra on desktop, iOS and Android, or XFINITY TV by Comcast.
> Part 1 - Ad Insertion
Part 2 - Solving the Android Video Problem
Part 3 - A Single Protocol and DRM
Part 4 - Bringing It All Together
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:11
Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download the free app NBC Sports Live Extra by NBC Universal, Inc., get iTunes now.
iTunes for Mac + PCBy NBC Universal, Inc.
Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
DescriptionWatch more than 1,000 events LIVE for FREE with the NBC Sports Live Extra app. You can follow your favorite events and sports, and receive push notifications for event start times. Download now on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. The app will live stream an abundance of live sporting events that air on NBC, NBC Sports Network and the Golf Channel, including NHL Regular-Season and Stanley Cup Playoff games, PGA TOUR, U.S. Open (golf), Notre Dame Football, French Open (tennis), Premier League (soccer), Major League Soccer, Formula One, IndyCar, Triple Crown horse racing and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. iPads that support Retina display can experience HD quality video at up to 1080p. The video quality will adapt based on your data connection.
Features:* Video on Demand: access short-form video clips to preview upcoming events and check out highlights from past events* Online coverage schedule: browse the online listings schedule and set event reminders* Live Events: watch marquee NBC Sports events LIVE!* Full Event Replays: relive all the great moments with full event replays* Push Notifications: receive reminder alerts for upcoming events* DVR: most live streams and all full event replays will have DVR capabilities
The vast majority of live streaming content on NBC Sports Live Extra will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite and telco customers via TV Everywhere. NBC Sports Live Extra is currently available for Comcast Xfinity, Verizon Fios, Cablevision, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Bend and Grande customers. We'll be adding more cable providers shortly, so check back soon! Further instructions are provided in the app settings section.
NBC Sports video is only accessible in the U.S. and certain U.S. territories. The application requires a 3G, 4G or WiFi data connection. Watching video over a 3G or 4G connection may affect your wireless data plan.
What's New in Version 1.6.4- Performance Enhancements
by ozzie18Happy to be able to watch hockey anywhere... Good quality too.
Does not Work
by Matthew SalweiI was very excited to use this app but it does not work. After pressing "Select a Provider" it tells me there has been an error it cannot recover from. I have to give it.
Lies! Lies I tell ya!
by Sharky26Worked great for me during the Olympics (since NBC wanted to get as many people watching as possible) but since then they won't allow TWC customers to use it, at least not for live content which the name of the app implies. Yet again another dispute between companies, sigh.TWC has their own app but doesn't show NBC content like this.Today they (NBC) issued an update and now the app crashes when even trying to look up what providers are available. Even tried it while on Verizon and work T1 line (not TWC).
View In iTunesThis app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
Category:SportsUpdated: May 31, 2013Version: 1.6.4Size: 26.3 MBLanguages: English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, TurkishSeller: NBC Universal, Inc.(C) 2013 NBCUniversalRequirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 09:52
use the following search parameters to narrow your results:
subreddit:subredditfind submissions in "subreddit"author:usernamefind submissions by "username"site:example.comfind submissions from "example.com"url:textsearch for "text" in urlselftext:textsearch for "text" in self post contentsself:yes (or self:no)include (or exclude) self postsnsfw:yes (or nsfw:no)include (or exclude) results marked as NSFWe.g. subreddit:aww site:imgur.com dog
see the search faq for details.
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 09:39
So I decided to bite the bullet and open this store. I am fully aware that some folks may accuse me of 'selling out', but hey, you don't like it, don't buy it. This great country was founded on capitalism. Welcome to America. 10% of profits are donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. Stay Frosty. International buyers welcome, links to your country at bottom of this page.
Curiously, it was Poitras herself who reportedly brought in the Post reporter and Greenwald on this story after having been anonymously emailed by Snowden back in Jan of this year.
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 07:58
Curiously, it was Poitras herself who reportedly brought in the Post reporter and Greenwald on this story after having been anonymously emailed by Snowden back in Jan of this year.
by Scott Creighton
The other day I wondered if the Guardian set Glenn up for a fall on this one. I figured maybe they told him they vetted this new NSA whistle-blower and sent him off to Hong Kong to meet a high-school drop-out with his Rubic's Cube in what appeared to be a secret meeting scenario written by the former writing staff of Get Smart. Turn's out I wasn't far off'...
''Thus far we have revealed four independent programs: the bulk collection of telephone records, the PRISM program, Obama's implementation of an aggressive foreign and domestic cyber-operations policy, and false claims by NSA officials to Congress. Every one of those articles was vetted by multiple Guardian editors and journalists '' not just me. Democratic partisans have raised questions about only one of the stories '' the only one that happened to be also published by the Washington Post (and presumably vetted by multiple Post editors and journalists) '' in order to claim that an alleged inaccuracy in it means our journalism in general is discredited.'' Glenn Greenwald
Yes Mr. Greenwald, when you make an inaccurate statement in your article, your journalism is discredited. If you come out backing some sudden NSA whistle-blower as the next Daniel Elsburg and then it turns out he's a high school drop-out flake with no real intel to speak of, your really going to be discredited. And unfortunately I fear you don't really understand that is why you and the filmmaker, the Academy Award-nominated Laura Poitras, were specifically requested by the career NSA employee and manufactured hero'... in case you hadn't figured that out yet.
Poitras has a long history of making films that expose various horrific aspects of our new Global War OF Terror'... to a point. Her preoccupation with the ''blow back'' meme is troubling to me as is her recent payday (more in the quote below) and to my knowledge she doesn't focus on the fact that we own and support many of the terrorist destabilization campaigns across the globe. How can an investigative journalist have that much access, that many frequent flier miles and not know the most basic fundamental foundation of the manufactured War Of Terror? For that matter, how does she explain being such a thorn in the side of the establishment and keep flying around the world without a care talking to ''terrorists''? Oh yeah, they take her aside when she goes through customs sometimes. That's her credibility story.
Most recently she did a film featuring a real whistle-blower, William Binney. The NSA just couldn't WAIT to tar and feather her or at least to appear to.
''But her role as the first point of contact for disclosures about U.S. surveillance programs has drawn the glare of attention to the independent filmmaker who, abruptly, has pushed documentaries deeper into the realm of journalistic immediacy.
For peers and backers of Poitras, the 2012 recipient of a $500,000 ''genius grant'' from the MacArthur Foundation, it's unsurprising that she has seized a story worth telling. However, her crucial involvement with a confidential source and two newspapers on the same big exclusive is extraordinary.'' Huffington Post
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a 5.6 billion dollar slush fund financing NGOs in over 60 countries across the world. MacArthur was a banker owning Bankers Life and Casualty and other businesses. Their focus is on the media and public affairs.
When you want to silence an outspoken critic, the best and least troublesome way to do it is to buy them off with a foundation grant. Just ask Amy Goodman about that. And Poitras got a half million dollars last year?
Curiously, it was Poitras herself who reportedly brought in the Post reporter and Greenwald on this story after having been anonymously emailed by Snowden back in Jan of this year.
Snowden understands that no email is absolutely untraceable and he sent her and Greenwald emails explaining his desire to snitch out the NSA?
Greenwald has had a target painted on his back for a long time. At least since the Stratfor files leaks and the HBGary scandal. They've wanted to shut Glenn up for years. Now's their chance.
What seems obvious to most of us out here writing or blogging about this story seems to go right over Glenn Greenwald's head. He even says it in his latest article where he lets us all know the Guardian is going to milk the 41 amateurish Power Point slides for weeks of ratings'...
I mean he hits right at the probable motive behind this manufacture hero story and it still seems to evade him. Has he gone ''full retard'' or what?
(1) Much of US politics, and most of the pundit reaction to the NSA stories, are summarized by this one single visual from Pew:
The most vocal media critics of our NSA reporting, and the most vehement defenders of NSA surveillance, have been, by far, Democratic (especially Obama-loyal) pundits. As I've written many times, one of the most significant aspects of the Obama legacy has been the transformation of Democrats from pretend-opponents of the Bush War on Terror and National Security State into their biggest proponents: exactly what the CIA presciently and excitedly predicted in 2008 would happen with Obama's election. Glenn Greenwald
With Obamagod talking about ''welcoming the discussion'' and saying things like ''you can't have 100% security and 100% privacy'' it seems pretty clear that what is happening isn't about exposing the NSA but rather modifying the public opinion toward the Big Brother state we live in.
And for the record, the NSA may have predicted this would be the real CHANGE of the Obama presidency, but so did MANY of us while independent journalists like Greenwald welcomed the ushering in of George W Obama. So that wasn't too difficult to see even back then'... meaning you didn't need to work for the NSA to figure it out.
The only question surrounding this story at this point, at least for me, as a not-so Obama-loyal democrat, is how much does Greenwald really understand about all of this crap he's found himself in and how deep is he willing to dig himself into the sludge before he can bring himself to admit he's been set-up with a Bush gone AWOL document?
Does he have his own MacArthur Foundation paycheck? Is he just too damn proud to admit he's been had? Is he fighting to push this thing beyond it's reasonable limits because he fears it will destroy the last remaining opposition to our slide toward Big Brother or has he just gone full retard in his effort to finally land that big ground-breaking world changing story?
The trouble with passion sometimes is that it can be manipulated by people skilled at doing so in ways that leave you blind to reason. The harder you try to defend what you feel passionate about, the looser your grip becomes on the rational. Ask any fundamentalist religious fanatic how that works. Ask any of the remaining Obamaites. Or a Redskins fan (not really fair now that we have RG3'... but for two decades it was an apt comparison)
So Mr. Greenwald, you never go full retard. Not as a journalist. And I know I don't qualify because I don't get weekly direct deposits from such noble institutions like the Guardian that supported NATO's merciless bombing of Libya and the ongoing terrorist destabilization campaign in Syria (to say nothing of the WMD claims of yesteryear)
But take the advice of a little lowly blogger who got it right back in 2008 when so many others didn't'... this is not about exposing the NSA. It's about exposing you Mr. Greenwald and us by association.
In short, the question isn't is Edward Snowden a legitimate whistle-blower'... the question is whether or not Glenn Greenwald is a legitimate journalist or just another tool?
Help keep independent journalism alive. Please consider DONATING to American Everyman BY USING THE DONATE BUTTON ON THE RIGHT. Your donations will help spread authentic independent investigative journalism to more people across the world. Thank you.Like this:LikeLoading...
Filed under: fake war on terror, Glenn Greenwald, Neoliberalizing America, NSA "Leak" Scandal, Scott Creighton
Let's go back eight years. The first important piece of the National Security Agency surveillance story was revealed by the Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau in late 2005 -- notably, not based on a big leak but on painstaking investigative reporting from many sources over many months. Its disclosures about government eavesdropping on Americans without court warrants were extraordinary enough to win a 2006 Pulitzer Prize. But The Times had held that story for more than a year at the urging of the Bush administration, which claimed it would hurt national security.
BUT the delay hasnÕt been forgotten. The video journalist Laura Poitras, who worked on the N.S.A. stories in both The Post and The Guardian, said the earlier delay by The Times influenced Mr. SnowdenÕs decision on where to take his information. WhatÕs more, when a video or article released anywhere can go viral in minutes, the outlet is less important. David Corn, the Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones, which released the famous Ò47 percentÓ video of Mitt Romney, told The Times last week: ÒIf the leak is big enough, it doesnÕt matter what platform you choose. If it has merit and wow factor, you will get your story out.Ó
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:47
National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too.
NSA Director Keith Alexander says his agency's analysts, which until recently included Edward Snowden among their ranks, take protecting "civil liberties and privacy and the security of this nation to their heart every day."
(Credit: Getty Images)The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed "simply based on an analyst deciding that."
If the NSA wants "to listen to the phone," an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. "I was rather startled," said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.
Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA's formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.
Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler's disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.
The disclosure appears to confirm some of the allegations made by Edward Snowden, a former NSA infrastructure analyst who leaked classified documents to the Guardian. Snowden said in a video interview that, while not all NSA analysts had this ability, he could from Hawaii "wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president."
There are serious "constitutional problems" with this approach, said Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who has litigated warrantless wiretapping cases. "It epitomizes the problem of secret laws."
The NSA yesterday declined to comment to CNET. A representative said Nadler was not immediately available. (This is unrelated to last week's disclosure that the NSA is currently collecting records of the metadata of all domestic Verizon calls, but not the actual contents of the conversations.)
A portion of the NSA's mammoth data center in Bluffdale, Utah, scheduled to open this fall.
(Credit: Getty Images)Earlier reports have indicated that the NSA has the ability to record nearly all domestic and international phone calls -- in case an analyst needed to access the recordings in the future. A Wired magazine article last year disclosed that the NSA has established "listening posts" that allow the agency to collect and sift through billions of phone calls through a massive new data center in Utah, "whether they originate within the country or overseas." That includes not just metadata, but also the contents of the communications.
William Binney, a former NSA technical director who helped to modernize the agency's worldwide eavesdropping network, told the Daily Caller this week that the NSA records the phone calls of 500,000 to 1 million people who are on its so-called target list, and perhaps even more. "They look through these phone numbers and they target those and that's what they record," Binney said.
Brewster Kahle, a computer engineer who founded the Internet Archive, has vast experience storing large amounts of data. He created a spreadsheet this week estimating that the cost to store all domestic phone calls a year in cloud storage for data-mining purposes would be about $27 million per year, not counting the cost of extra security for a top-secret program and security clearances for the people involved.
NSA's annual budget is classified but is estimated to be around $10 billion.
Documents that came to light in an EFF lawsuit provide some insight into how the spy agency vacuums up data from telecommunications companies. Mark Klein, who worked as an AT&T technician for over 22 years, disclosed in 2006 (PDF) that he witnessed domestic voice and Internet traffic being surreptitiously "diverted" through a "splitter cabinet" to secure room 641A in one of the company's San Francisco facilities. The room was accessible only to NSA-cleared technicians.
AT&T and other telecommunications companies that allow the NSA to tap into their fiber links receive absolute immunity from civil liability or criminal prosecution, thanks to a law that Congress enacted in 2008 and renewed in 2012. It's a series of amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, also known as the FISA Amendments Act.
That law says surveillance may be authorized by the attorney general and director of national intelligence without prior approval by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, as long as minimization requirements and general procedures blessed by the court are followed.
A requirement of the 2008 law is that the NSA "may not intentionally target any person known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States." A possible interpretation of that language, some legal experts said, is that the agency may vacuum up everything it can domestically -- on the theory that indiscriminate data acquisition was not intended to "target" a specific American citizen.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, an attorney and member of the House Judiciary committee, who said he was "startled" to learn that NSA analysts could eavesdrop on domestic calls without court authorization.
(Credit: Getty Images)Rep. Nadler's disclosure that NSA analysts can listen to calls without court orders came during a House Judiciary hearing on Thursday that included FBI director Robert Mueller as a witness.
Mueller initially sought to downplay concerns about NSA surveillance by claiming that, to listen to a phone call, the government would need to seek "a special, a particularized order from the FISA court directed at that particular phone of that particular individual."
Is information about that procedure "classified in any way?" Nadler asked.
"I don't think so," Mueller replied.
"Then I can say the following," Nadler said. "We heard precisely the opposite at the briefing the other day. We heard precisely that you could get the specific information from that telephone simply based on an analyst deciding that...In other words, what you just said is incorrect. So there's a conflict."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the head of the Senate Intelligence committee, separately acknowledged this week that the agency's analysts have the ability to access the "content of a call."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence committee, acknowledged this week that NSA analysts have the ability to access the "content of a call."
(Credit: Getty Images)Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell indicated during a House Intelligence hearing in 2007 that the NSA's surveillance process involves "billions" of bulk communications being intercepted, analyzed, and incorporated into a database.
They can be accessed by an analyst who's part of the NSA's "workforce of thousands of people" who are "trained" annually in minimization procedures, he said. (McConnell, who had previously worked as the director of the NSA, is now vice chairman at Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden's former employer.)
If it were "a U.S. person inside the United States, now that would stimulate the system to get a warrant," McConnell told the committee. "And that is how the process would work. Now, if you have foreign intelligence data, you publish it [inside the federal government]. Because it has foreign intelligence value."
McConnell said during a separate congressional appearance around the same time that he believed the president had the constitutional authority, no matter what the law actually says, to order domestic spying without warrants.
Former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente told CNN last month that, in national security investigations, the bureau can access records of a previously made telephone call. "All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not," he said. Clemente added in an appearance the next day that, thanks to the "intelligence community" -- an apparent reference to the NSA -- "there's a way to look at digital communications in the past."
NSA Director Keith Alexander said this week that his agency's analysts abide by the law: "They do this lawfully. They take compliance oversight, protecting civil liberties and privacy and the security of this nation to their heart every day."
But that's not always the case. A New York Times article in 2009 revealed the NSA engaged in significant and systemic "overcollection" of Americans' domestic communications that alarmed intelligence officials. The Justice Department said in a statement at the time that it "took comprehensive steps to correct the situation and bring the program into compliance" with the law.
Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU's Center for Democracy, says he was surprised to see the 2008 FISA Amendments Act be used to vacuum up information on American citizens. "Everyone who voted for the statute thought it was about international communications," he said.
Beginning around June 2009, he accessed his bomb-making notes, and began researching where to find ingredients for the explosives. He also conducted several internet searches for hydrochloric acid. He then used his bomb-making notes to construct an explosive for the detonators. The explosive was acetone peroxide. He took trips to New York, meeting with others to discuss the plan, the attack's timing, and where to make the explosives.
Over the course of several months, the FBI listened to Zazi's phone conversations. In August 2009, the FBI overheard him speaking about mixing chemical substances. It learned that in July and August 2009 he and his three associates were buying large quantities of hydrogen peroxide and acetone products from beauty supply stores around Denver, Colorado. Security videos from a beauty shop showed Zazi pushing a cart full of hydrogen peroxide.
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 07:22
Leaked information on U.S. government surveillance programs has ''punished American business,'' which has complied with court orders, said Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Hayden said former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's disclosure of details about the NSA's collection of telephone and Internet data to the U.K. Guardian and Washington Post (WPO) newspapers will have a ''harmful'' impact on U.S. businesses and on the government's ability to combat terrorism.
''There will be some operational fallout,'' Hayden said in an interview with CNN's ''Fareed Zakaria GPS'' airing tomorrow. ''We will have reminded our enemies how good and comprehensive we are at this.''
Snowden, 29, fled to Hong Kong with classified materials he allegedly stole from the NSA. He's worked for NSA contractors including McLean, Virginia-based Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. (BAH), his most recent employer.
Snowden's actions are ''bound to be bad news'' for the international business of U.S. companies that cooperated with the NSA ''at the direction of a U.S. court,'' as well as for U.S. credibility abroad, Hayden said.
''A country or a source that might be thinking of cooperating with the United States should have almost no confidence in our discretion or in our ability to keep a secret,'' he said.
The Senate Intelligence Committee will consider legislation to limit government contractors' access to sensitive data, panel Chairman Dianne Feinstein said last week.
Feinstein, a California Democrat, also said she has asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to propose revisions in management of intelligence programs if he thinks they are needed.
About 1.4 million Americans held top secret security clearances as of October, including about 483,000 who worked for contractors, according to the Director of National Intelligence's office. Snowden held a top secret/sensitive compartmented information clearance, a classification above top secret.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Hunter in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at email@example.com; Steven Komarow at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 00:30
(updated below - Update II - Update III)
I haven't been able to write this week here because I've been participating in the debate over the fallout from last week's NSA stories, and because we are very busy working on and writing the next series of stories that will begin appearing very shortly. I did, though, want to note a few points, and particularly highlight what Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez said after Congress on Wednesday was given a classified briefing by NSA officials on the agency's previously secret surveillance activities:
"What we learned in there is significantly more than what is out in the media today. . . . I can't speak to what we learned in there, and I don't know if there are other leaks, if there's more information somewhere, if somebody else is going to step up, but I will tell you that I believe it's the tip of the iceberg . . . . I think it's just broader than most people even realize, and I think that's, in one way, what astounded most of us, too."
The Congresswoman is absolutely right: what we have reported thus far is merely "the tip of the iceberg" of what the NSA is doing in spying on Americans and the world. She's also right that when it comes to NSA spying, "there is significantly more than what is out in the media today", and that's exactly what we're working to rectify.
But just consider what she's saying: as a member of Congress, she had no idea how invasive and vast the NSA's surveillance activities are. Sen. Jon Tester, who is a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said the same thing, telling MSNBC about the disclosures that "I don't see how that compromises the security of this country whatsoever" and adding: "quite frankly, it helps people like me become aware of a situation that I wasn't aware of before because I don't sit on that Intelligence Committee."
How can anyone think that it's remotely healthy in a democracy to have the NSA building a massive spying apparatus about which even members of Congress, including Senators on the Homeland Security Committee, are totally ignorant and find "astounding" when they learn of them? How can anyone claim with a straight face that there is robust oversight when even members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are so constrained in their ability to act that they are reduced to issuing vague, impotent warnings to the public about what they call radical "secret law" enabling domestic spying that would "stun" Americans to learn about it, but are barred to disclose what it is they're so alarmed by? Put another way, how can anyone contest the value and justifiability of the stories that we were able to publish as a result of Edward Snowden's whistleblowing: stories that informed the American public - including even the US Congress - about these incredibly consequential programs? What kind of person would think that it would be preferable to remain in the dark - totally ignorant - about them?
I have a column in the Guardian's newspaper edition tomorrow examining the fallout from these stories. That will be posted here and I won't repeat that now. I will, though, note the following brief items:
(1) Much of US politics, and most of the pundit reaction to the NSA stories, are summarized by this one single visual from Pew:
The most vocal media critics of our NSA reporting, and the most vehement defenders of NSA surveillance, have been, by far, Democratic (especially Obama-loyal) pundits. As I've written many times, one of the most significant aspects of the Obama legacy has been the transformation of Democrats from pretend-opponents of the Bush War on Terror and National Security State into their biggest proponents: exactly what the CIA presciently and excitedly predicted in 2008 would happen with Obama's election.
Some Democrats have tried to distinguish 2006 from 2013 by claiming that the former involved illegal spying while the latter does not. But the claim that current NSA spying is legal is dubious in the extreme: the Obama DOJ has repeatedly thwarted efforts by the ACLU, EFF and others to obtain judicial rulings on their legality and constitutionality by invoking procedural claims of secrecy, immunity and standing. If Democrats are so sure these spying programs are legal, why has the Obama DOJ been so eager to block courts from adjudicating that question?
More to the point, Democratic critiques of Bush's spying were about more than just legality. I know that because I actively participated in the campaign to amplify those critiques. Indeed, by 2006, most of Bush's spying programs - definitely his bulk collection of phone records - were already being conducted under the supervision and with the blessing of the FISA court. Moreover, leading members of Congress - including Nancy Pelosi - were repeatedly briefed on all aspects of Bush's NSA spying program. So the distinctions Democrats are seeking to draw are mostly illusory.
To see how that this is so, just listen to then-Senator Joe Biden in 2006 attack the NSA for collecting phone records: he does criticize the program for lacking FISA court supervision (which wasn't actually true), but also claims to be alarmed by just how invasive and privacy-destroying that sort of bulk record collection is. He says he "doesn't think" that the program passes the Fourth Amendment test: how can Bush's bulk record collection program be unconstitutional while Obama's program is constitutional? But Biden also rejected Bush's defense (exactly the argument Obama is making now) - that "we're not listening to the phone calls, we're just looking for patterns" - by saying this:
I don't have to listen to your phone calls to know what you're doing. If I know every single phone call you made, I'm able to determine every single person you talked to. I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive. . . . If it's true that 200 million Americans' phone calls were monitored - in terms of not listening to what they said, but to whom they spoke and who spoke to them - I don't know, the Congress should investigative this."
Is collecting everyone's phone records not "very intrusive" when Democrats are doing it? Just listen to that short segment to see how every defense Obama defenders are making now were the ones Bush defenders made back then. Again, leading members of Congress and the FISA court were both briefed on and participants in the Bush telephone record collection program as well, yet Joe Biden and most Democrats found those programs very alarming and "very intrusive" back then.
(2) Notwithstanding the partisan-driven Democratic support for these programs, and notwithstanding the sustained demonization campaign aimed at Edward Snowden from official Washington, polling data, though mixed, has thus far been surprisingly encouraging.
A Time Magazine poll found that 54% of Americans believe Snowden did "a good thing", while only 30% disagreed. That approval rating is higher than the one enjoyed by both Congress and President Obama. While a majority think he should be nonetheless prosecuted, a plurality of young Americans, who overwhelmingly view Snowden favorably, do not even want to see him charged. Reuters found that more Americans see Snowden as a "patriot" than a "traitor". A Gallup poll this week found that more Americans disapprove (53%) than approve (37%) of the two NSA spying programs revealed last week by the Guardian.
(3) Thomas Drake, an NSA whistleblower who was unsuccessfully prosecuted by the Obama DOJ, writes in the Guardian that as a long-time NSA official, he saw all of the same things at the NSA that Edward Snowden is now warning Americans about. Drake calls Snowden's acts "an amazingly brave and courageous act of civil disobedience." William Binney, the mathematician who resigned after a 30-year career as a senior NSA official in protest of post-9/11 domestic surveillance, said on Democracy Now this week that Snowden's claims about the NSA are absolutely true.
Meanwhile, Daniel Ellsberg, writing in the Guardian, wrote that "there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material '' and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago." He added: "Snowden did what he did because he recognized the NSA's surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity."
Listen to actual experts and patriots - people who have spent their careers inside the NSA and/or who risked their liberty for the good of the country - and the truth of Snowden's claims and the justifiability of his acts become manifest.
(4) As we were about to begin publishing these NSA stories, a veteran journalist friend warned me that the tactic used by Democratic partisans would be to cling to and then endlessly harp on any alleged inaccuracy in any one of the stories we publish as a means of distracting attention away from the revelations and discrediting the entire project. That proved quite prescient, as that is exactly what they are attempting to do.
Thus far we have revealed four independent programs: the bulk collection of telephone records, the PRISM program, Obama's implementation of an aggressive foreign and domestic cyber-operations policy, and false claims by NSA officials to Congress. Every one of those articles was vetted by multiple Guardian editors and journalists - not just me. Democratic partisans have raised questions about only one of the stories - the only one that happened to be also published by the Washington Post (and presumably vetted by multiple Post editors and journalists) - in order to claim that an alleged inaccuracy in it means our journalism in general is discredited.
They are wrong. Our story was not inaccurate. The Washington Post revised parts of its article, but its reporter, Bart Gellman, stands by its core claims ("From their workstations anywhere in the world, government employees cleared for PRISM access may 'task' the system and receive results from an Internet company without further interaction with the company's staff").
The Guardian has not revised any of our articles and, to my knowledge, has no intention to do so. That's because we did not claim that the NSA document alleging direct collection from the servers was true; we reported - accurately - that the NSA document claims that the program allows direct collection from the companies' servers. Before publishing, we went to the internet companies named in the documents and asked about these claims. When they denied it, we purposely presented the story as one of a major discrepancy between what the NSA document claims and what the internet companies claim, as the headline itself makes indisputably clear:
The NSA document says exactly what we reported. Just read it and judge for yourself (PRISM is "collection directly from the servers of these US service providers"). It's endearingly naive how some people seem to think that because government officials or corporate executives issue carefully crafted denials, this resolves the matter. Read the ACLU's tech expert, Chris Soghoian, explain why the tech companies' denials are far less significant and far more semantic than many are claiming.
Nor do these denials make any sense. If all the tech companies are doing under PRISM is providing what they've always provided to the NSA, but simply doing it by a different technological means, then why would a new program be necessary at all? How can NSA officials claim that a program that does nothing more than change the means for how this data is delivered is vital in stopping terrorist threats? Why does the NSA document hail the program as one that enables new forms of collection? Why would it be "top secret" if all this was were just some new way of transmitting court-ordered data? How is PRISM any different in any meaningful way from how the relationship between the companies and the NSA has always functioned?
As a follow-up to our article, the New York Times reported on extensive secret negotiations between Silicon Valley executives and NSA officials over government access to the companies' data. It's precisely because these arrangements are secret and murky yet incredibly significant that we published our story about these conflicting claims. They ought to be resolved in public, not in secret. The public should know exactly what access the NSA is trying to obtain to the data of these companies, and should know exactly what access these companies are providing. Self-serving, unchecked, lawyer-vetted denials by these companies don't remotely resolve these questions.
In a Nation post yesterday, Rick Perlstein falsely accuses me of not having addressed the questions about the PRISM story. I've done at least half-a-dozen television shows in the last week where I was asked about exactly those questions and answered fully with exactly what I've written here (see this appearance with Chris Hayes as just the latest example); the fact that Perlstein couldn't be bothered to use Google doesn't entitle him to falsely claim I haven't addressed these questions. I have done so repeatedly, and do so here again.
I know that many Democrats want to cling to the belief that, in Perlstein's words, "the powers that be will find it very easy to seize on this one error to discredit [my] NSA revelation, even the ones he nailed dead to rights". Perlstein cleverly writes that "such distraction campaigns are how power does its dirtiest work" as he promotes exactly that campaign.
But that won't happen. The documents and revelations are too powerful. The story isn't me, or Edward Snowden, or the eagerness of Democratic partisans to defend the NSA as a means of defending President Obama, and try as they might, Democrats won't succeed in making the story be any of those things. The story is the worldwide surveillance apparatus the NSA is constructing in the dark and the way that has grown under Obama, and that's where my focus is going to remain.
(5) NYU Journalism professor Jay Rosen examines complaints that my having strong, candidly acknowledged opinions on surveillance policies somehow means that the journalism I do on those issues is suspect. It is very worth reading what he has to say on this topic as it gets to the heart about several core myths about what journalism is.
(6) Last week, prior to the revelation of our source's identity, I wrote that "ever since the Nixon administration broke into the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychoanalyst's office, the tactic of the US government has been to attack and demonize whistleblowers as a means of distracting attention from their own exposed wrongdoing and destroying the credibility of the messenger so that everyone tunes out the message" and "that attempt will undoubtedly be made here."
The predictable personality assaults on Snowden have begun in full force from official Washington and their media spokespeople. They are only going to intensify. There is nobody who political officials and their supine media class hate more than those who meaningfully dissent from their institutional orthodoxies and shine light on what they do. The hatred for such individuals is boundless.
There are two great columns on this dynamic. This one by Reuters' Jack Shafer explores how elite Washington reveres powerful leakers that glorify political officials, but only hate marginalized and powerless leakers who discredit Washington and its institutions. And perhaps the best column yet on Snowden comes this morning from the Daily Beast's Kirsten Powers: just please take the time to read it all, as it really conveys the political and psychological rot that is driving the attacks on him and on his very carefully vetted disclosures.
UPDATEThe New York Times reports today that Yahoo went to court in order to vehemently resist the NSA's directive that they join the PRISM program, and joined only when the court compelled it to do so. The company specifically "argued that the order violated its users' Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures."
If, as NSA (and Silicon Valley) defenders claim, PRISM is nothing more than a harmless little drop-box mechanism for delivering to the government what these companies were already providing, why would Yahoo possibly be in court so vigorously resisting it and arguing that it violates their users' Fourth Amendment rights? Similarly, how could it possibly be said - as US government officials have - that PRISM has been instrumental in stopping terrorist plots if it did not enhance the NSA's collection capabilities? The denials from the internet companies make little sense when compared to what we know about the program. At the very least, there is ample reason to demand more disclosure and transparency about exactly what this is and what data-access arrangements they have agreed to.
UPDATE IIMy column that is appearing in the Guardian newspaper, on the fallout from the NSA stories, is now posted here.
UPDATE IIIUnderscoring all of these points, please take two minutes to watch this amazing video, courtesy of EFF, in which the 2006 version of Joe Biden aggressively debates the 2013 version of Barack Obama on whether the US government should be engaged in the bulk collection of American's phone records:
That's the kind of debate we need more of.
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 16:42
ACLU sues over NSA phone records program - AZCentral.comwww.azcentral.com/business/.../20130611aclu-sues-over-nsa-phone-records- program.html- Cached4 days ago ... ACLU sues over NSA phone records program,Two prominent civil rights groupshave filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency over ...The N.S.A.'s Prism Remains Opaque : The New Yorkerwww.newyorker.com/online/.../nsa-prism-snowden-what-we-know.html
1 day ago ... A week after the exposure of mass-surveillance programs built and managed ...demanding that Verizon Business turn over the records'--''telephony ... But thevast database of records the N.S.A. collects can say far more than ...NSA director says dozens of attacks were stopped by surveillance ...www.washingtonpost.com/business/.../a69e94ee-d370-11e2-a73e- 826d299ff459_story.html
2 days ago ... In Business... Video: The head of the NSA testified before the Senate ... Thephone-records program, disclosed last week by Britain's Guardian ...NSA director says surveillance programs thwarted 'dozens' of ...www.washingtonpost.com/.../nsa.../d1297190-d396-11e2-a73e- 826d299ff459_story.html
2 days ago ...NSA director says surveillance programs thwarted 'dozens' of attacks. Video: Theprovision that allowed the NSA to collect phone records has ...NSA chief: Surveillance programs thwarted 'dozens of terrorist plots ...www.latimes.com/.../la-pn-nsa-surveillance-terrorist-plots-20130612,0, 5510847.story- Cached3 days ago ... The head of the NSA Wednesday portrayed the collection of American phonecalling records as a limited program designed only to thwart terrorist plots. ...collection of so-called business records, including calling records, has ...NSA PRISM, Phone Records Spying Are Built on Corporate...www.usnews.com/.../nsa-prism-phone-records-spying-are-built-on-corporate- surveillance- CachedJun 8, 2013 ... The Corporate Roots of the NSA Spying Controversy ... you live under a rock, thekerfuffle involves a pair of National Security Agency programs.Leaked: NSA's Talking Points Defending NSA Surveillance | Techdirthttps://www.techdirt.com/.../leaked-nsas-talking-points-defending-nsa- surveillance.shtml- Cached1 day ago ... We've got the talking points about scooping up business records (i.e., ... did notreview this kind of program, or were led to believe that the NSA ...Based On What We Know, Is The NSA Verizon Request Legal ... - NPRwww.npr.org/.../based-on-what-we-know-is-the-nsa-verizon-request-legal
10 hours ago ... Here's what we know about a National Security Agency program that ... tointerpret the so-called business records section of the post-Sept.Congress Gets Private Briefings About NSA Spying, But the Public ...https://www.eff.org/.../confirmed-nsa-spying-private-briefings-will-begin- public-discussions-and-public- Cached2 days ago ... The FBI, along with the NSA, is at the center of the spying storm, and FBI ... 2) Thebusiness records program and the PRISM program have ...
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 15:12
It had to happen: the technology behind the NSA's PRISM system looks like it came from an Israeli company.
On Wednesday Steve Gibson's Security Now podcast on the TWIT network put forward the most believable explanation of what the NSA PRISM program really is. All the following work is his, I'm just posting it here because he works in tweets and audio and this needs to be written down.
Working from testimony given in 2006 by a former employee of AT&T, Steve put forward the theory that PRISM is an NSA program to put a tap on specific points of the internet.
You don't need (or want) to see or store all the transient traffic on the internet. What you want is the traffic to and from the most important sites. Sites like Google, Facebook and the others mentioned in all the press about PRISM. So what you do is you go to the box up the street from these big companies and you put the modern equivalent of a wire tap there, just outside their doors.
That's why, when asked, all these companies vehemently denied that the NSA had direct access to their ''servers''. That's probably true. What they had was direct access to most of the stuff going in or out of their servers. And interestingly, this traffic is travelling on what is a public network. The status of the traffic here, public or private is not so clear.
The modern internet runs over high speed fibre optic connections: these are thin tubes of flexible glass down which light travels. If you remember your high school physics you might remember the way to split light: a prism.
You can also split a fibre optic signal with a prism: shine in one signal and take two out. Each of the two split beams will be half as strong, but that is not an issue. Effectively you've made a perfect copy of the flowing data.
The testimony from the AT&T employee gives details of a room, in the AT&T building in San Francisco, owned and operated only by the NSA. At the AT&T building they had a high speed connection to the rest of the domestic internet. Where that entered the building just such a prism was placed: one signal carried on to AT&T and the other went into the secret NSA room.
It would seem that the way the NSA set up their dragnet surveillance was to install just such secret NSA rooms in internet service companies all over the US and particularly in locations just outside the major web companies they chose to snoop data from.
Tonight Steve Gibson tweeted this link:
Which contains a link to a PDF document from a company called Narus. It's Wikipedia description is:
Narus is a company, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing, which provides real-time network traffic and analytics software with enterprise class spyware capabilities. It was co-founded in Israel in 1997 by Ori Cohen, who had served as Vice President of Business and Technology Development for VDONet, an early media streaming pioneer, and Stas Khirman.
So it was originally Israeli tech and it's now a part of Boeing. Who moved to Obama's home town of Chicago (but perhaps thats a coincidence).
The picture at the top of this post is from a brochure of a system that certainly looks like it could do the job of tapping the internet. It's a picture of a prism splitting information for monitoring.
That's the best explanation of how the NSA's PRISM system operates I've heard.
And now for the slightly extraneous bit about freedoms and the unintended consequences of science and technology.
I'm reading a stunning book: In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin. This book centres on the experiences of the US's Ambassador to Germany in 1933. A Jew, Fritz Harber, came to see the ambassador. At one time he'd been a hero of Germany having invented the industrial process behind chlorine gas (and it's weaponisation in WW1) and extracting nitrogen from the atmosphere (vital for fertiliser and gunpowder). As a Jew, in 1933, he had been thrown out of his university and was desperately seeking help.
No matter what he'd done for Germany he was now an enemy of the state. He received no help from the US, managed to flee to England but his health failed him and he died soon after. Perhaps it was a blessing as he never lived to see what the Nazis did with another of his inventions: his insecticide for fumigating grain stores was first called Zyklon A. It was transformed by the Nazis into the infamous Zyklon B.
Tyranny comes creeping. Little baby steps of lost liberty until eventually '....
Filed Under: Brian of London
Tags: NSA, PRISM, spying, Startup Nation, technology
I'm one of those listeners you love, someone who was on the inside, who
then saw the light. I was with JSOC with the 75th Ranger
Regiment...worked as a security contractor in Iraq...and was a
contractor teaching the Military how to protect themselves from "Brown
People" attacking subs and ships.
Snowden was *not* SF (Special Forces). The 18X Program was created after
9/11, to allow *anyone* off the street, to attempt to make it into a
Special Forces Unit. As long as you passed the ASVAB test with a high
enough score (higher than required for regular Military service), you
got the chance to *try*. He was probably an E-1 Private on his first
training jump, when he busted his legs really bad and was medically
discharged. This kid isn't "whacking" anybody.
I disagree with a lot of the other stuff about Applebaum and
Poitras...they both get cavity searched every time they enter the
"Border Exception Zone". LOVE the Adobe stuff though! Apple on board
with PRISM only after Jobs dies and an Adobe shill moves to Apple? You
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:49
Modern smartphones have the ability to display emergency alerts pushed out by government agencies. These include notifications about dangerous weather, unsafe situations or Amber Alerts for missing children and seniors. Carriers must enable the features on specific phones and until today, iPhone users on AT&T were not invited to the party.
Now, AT&T is pushing out an update that enables governmental and Amber alerts on iPhone 4S and 5 phones runing iOS 6.1 or later. When the update comes, you'll see a notification on your iPhone's screen that reads:
Carrier Settings UpdatedNew settings required for your device have been installed.
Your only option is an OK button '' this is not an update you can decline.
You can, however, turn off most of the updates if you prefer not to see them. Go into Settings > Notifications and scroll to the bottom. You'll see separate toggles for Government and Amber alerts.
The FCC provides some details on its website about the types of alerts that are delivered through what's called the Wireless Emergency Alert service, or WEA:
Pre-authorized national, state or local government may send emergency alerts regarding public safety emergencies, such as evacuation orders or shelter in place orders due to severe weather, a terrorist threat or chemical spill, to WEA.
And . . .
Alerts from WEA cover only critical emergency situations. Consumers will receive only three types of alerts:
Alerts issued by the PresidentAlerts involving imminent threats to safety or lifeAmber AlertsYou can turn off everything but the ''alerts issues by the President''. And you may want to leave on the ''imminent threats to safety or life'' alerts, since they often involve bad weather. They were used during the recent tornadoes in the Midwest. And it is, after all, hurricane season here in the Gulf states . . .
If you're in an office or some other place where a lot of people have smartphones, you've likely heard a bunch of alerts go off at once. That's the WEA system at work. Now, AT&T iPhone users will be among those joining the cacophony.
And if your iPhone isn't yet running on iOS 6.1 or later, you'll get the alert the next time you upgrade the device.
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 00:44
Top secret US National Security Agency (NSA) documents disclosed by the Guardian have shocked the world with revelations of a comprehensive US-based surveillance system with direct access to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants. New Zealand court records suggest that data harvested by the NSA's Prism system has been fed into the Five Eyes intelligence alliance whose members also include the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
But why have Western security agencies developed such an unprecedented capacity to spy on their own domestic populations? Since the 2008 economic crash, security agencies have increasingly spied on political activists, especially environmental groups, on behalf of corporate interests. This activity is linked to the last decade of US defence planning, which has been increasingly concerned by the risk of civil unrest at home triggered by catastrophic events linked to climate change, energy shocks or economic crisis - or all three.
Just last month, unilateral changes to US military laws formally granted the Pentagon extraordinary powers to intervene in a domestic "emergency" or "civil disturbance":
"Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances."
Other documents show that the "extraordinary emergencies" the Pentagon is worried about include a range of environmental and related disasters.
In 2006, the US National Security Strategy warned that:
"Environmental destruction, whether caused by human behavior or cataclysmic mega-disasters such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, or tsunamis. Problems of this scope may overwhelm the capacity of local authorities to respond, and may even overtax national militaries, requiring a larger international response."
Two years later, the Department of Defense's (DoD) Army Modernisation Strategy described the arrival of a new "era of persistent conflict" due to competition for "depleting natural resources and overseas markets" fuelling "future resource wars over water, food and energy." The report predicted a resurgence of:
"... anti-government and radical ideologies that potentially threaten government stability."
In the same year, a report by the US Army's Strategic Studies Institute warned that a series of domestic crises could provoke large-scale civil unrest. The path to "disruptive domestic shock" could include traditional threats such as deployment of WMDs, alongside "catastrophic natural and human disasters" or "pervasive public health emergencies" coinciding with "unforeseen economic collapse." Such crises could lead to "loss of functioning political and legal order" leading to "purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency...
"DoD might be forced by circumstances to put its broad resources at the disposal of civil authorities to contain and reverse violent threats to domestic tranquility. Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance."
That year, the Pentagon had begun developing a 20,000 strong troop force who would be on-hand to respond to "domestic catastrophes" and civil unrest - the programme was reportedly based on a 2005 homeland security strategy which emphasised "preparing for multiple, simultaneous mass casualty incidents."
The following year, a US Army-funded RAND Corp study called for a US force presence specifically to deal with civil unrest.
Such fears were further solidified in a detailed 2010 study by the US Joint Forces Command - designed to inform "joint concept development and experimentation throughout the Department of Defense" - setting out the US military's definitive vision for future trends and potential global threats. Climate change, the study said, would lead to increased risk of:
"... tsunamis, typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural catastrophes... Furthermore, if such a catastrophe occurs within the United States itself - particularly when the nation's economy is in a fragile state or where US military bases or key civilian infrastructure are broadly affected - the damage to US security could be considerable."
The study also warned of a possible shortfall in global oil output by 2015:
"A severe energy crunch is inevitable without a massive expansion of production and refining capacity. While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds. Such an economic slowdown would exacerbate other unresolved tensions."
That year the DoD's Quadrennial Defense Review seconded such concerns, while recognising that "climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked."
Also in 2010, the Pentagon ran war games to explore the implications of "large scale economic breakdown" in the US impacting on food supplies and other essential services, as well as how to maintain "domestic order amid civil unrest."
Speaking about the group's conclusions at giant US defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton's conference facility in Virginia, Lt Col. Mark Elfendahl - then chief of the Joint and Army Concepts Division - highlighted homeland operations as a way to legitimise the US military budget:
"An increased focus on domestic activities might be a way of justifying whatever Army force structure the country can still afford."
Two months earlier, Elfendahl explained in a DoD roundtable that future planning was needed:
"Because technology is changing so rapidly, because there's so much uncertainty in the world, both economically and politically, and because the threats are so adaptive and networked, because they live within the populations in many cases."
The 2010 exercises were part of the US Army's annual Unified Quest programme which more recently, based on expert input from across the Pentagon, has explored the prospect that "ecological disasters and a weak economy" (as the "recovery won't take root until 2020") will fuel migration to urban areas, ramping up social tensions in the US homeland as well as within and between "resource-starved nations."
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was a computer systems administrator for Booz Allen Hamilton, where he directly handled the NSA's IT systems, including the Prism surveillance system. According to Booz Allen's 2011 Annual Report, the corporation has overseen Unified Quest "for more than a decade" to help "military and civilian leaders envision the future."
The latest war games, the report reveals, focused on "detailed, realistic scenarios with hypothetical 'roads to crisis'", including "homeland operations" resulting from "a high-magnitude natural disaster" among other scenarios, in the context of:
"... converging global trends [which] may change the current security landscape and future operating environment... At the end of the two-day event, senior leaders were better prepared to understand new required capabilities and force design requirements to make homeland operations more effective."
It is therefore not surprising that the increasing privatisation of intelligence has coincided with the proliferation of domestic surveillance operations against political activists, particularly those linked to environmental and social justice protest groups.
Department of Homeland Security documents released in April prove a "systematic effort" by the agency "to surveil and disrupt peaceful demonstrations" linked to Occupy Wall Street, according to the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF).
Similarly, FBI documents confirmed "a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector" designed to produce intelligence on behalf of "the corporate security community." A PCJF spokesperson remarked that the documents show "federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America."
In particular, domestic surveillance has systematically targeted peaceful environment activists including anti-fracking activists across the US, such as the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, Rising Tide North America, the People's Oil & Gas Collaborative, and Greenpeace. Similar trends are at play in the UK, where the case of undercover policeman Mark Kennedy revealed the extent of the state's involvement in monitoring the environmental direct action movement.
A University of Bath study citing the Kennedy case, and based on confidential sources, found that a whole range of corporations - such as McDonald's, Nestle and the oil major Shell, "use covert methods to gather intelligence on activist groups, counter criticism of their strategies and practices, and evade accountability."
Indeed, Kennedy's case was just the tip of the iceberg - internal police documents obtained by the Guardian in 2009 revealed that environment activists had been routinely categorised as "domestic extremists" targeting "national infrastructure" as part of a wider strategy tracking protest groups and protestors.
Superintendent Steve Pearl, then head of the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (Nectu), confirmed at that time how his unit worked with thousands of companies in the private sector. Nectu, according to Pearl, was set up by the Home Office because it was "getting really pressured by big business - pharmaceuticals in particular, and the banks." He added that environmental protestors were being brought "more on the radar." The programme continues today, despite police acknowledgements that environmentalists have not been involved in "violent acts."
The Pentagon knows that environmental, economic and other crises could provoke widespread public anger toward government and corporations in coming years. The revelations on the NSA's global surveillance programmes are just the latest indication that as business as usual creates instability at home and abroad, and as disillusionment with the status quo escalates, Western publics are being increasingly viewed as potential enemies that must be policed by the state.
Dr Nafeez Ahmed is executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development and author of A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation: And How to Save It among other books. Follow him on Twitter @nafeezahmed
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 12:49
Original handwritten PDF can be found here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/705038/john-kiriakou-letter-from-loretto-1.pdf"Letter From Loretto"Greetings from the Federal Correctional Institute at Loretto, Pennsylvania. I arrived here on February 28, 2013 to serve a 30-month sentence for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection act of 1982. At least that's what the government wants people to believe. In truth, this is my punishment for blowing the whistle on the CIA's illegal torture program and for telling the public that torture was official U.S. government policy. But that's a different story. The purpose of this letter is to tell you about prison life. At my formal sentencing hearing in January, the judge, the prosecutors, and my attorneys all agreed that I would serve my sentence in Loretto's Federal Work Camp. When I arrived, however, much to my surprise, the Corrections Office (CO, or "hack") who processed me said that the Bureau of Prisons had deemed me a "threat to the public safety," and so I would serve the entire sentence in the actual prison, rather than the camp. Processing took about an hour and included fingerprinting, a mug shot (my third after FBI and the Marshals), and fourth DNA sample, and a quite comprehensive strip search. I was given a pair of baggy brown pants, two brown shirts, two pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks, and a pair of cheap sandals. My own clothes were boxed and mailed to my wife. The CO then led me to a steel bunk in "Central Unit" and walked away. I didn't know what to do, so I took a nap. My cell is more like a cubicle made out of concrete block. Built to hold four men, mine holds six. Most others hold eight. My cellmates include two Dominicans serving 24 - and 20 - year sentences for drugs, a Mexican serving 15 years for drugs, and a Puerto Rican serving 7 1/2 years for drug conspiracy, and the former auditor of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, who's doing a long sentence for corruption. They're all decent guys and we actually enjoy each other's company. The prison population is much like you might expect. Loretto has 1,369 prisoners (I never call myself an "inmate." I'm a prisoner.)About 50% are black, 30% are Hispanic, and 20% are white. Of the white prisoners, most are pedophiles with personal stories that would make you sick to your stomach. The rest of the white prisoners are here for drugs, except for a dozen or so who ran Ponzi schemes. Of the 1,369 prisoners, 40 have college degrees and 6 of us have master's degrees. The GED program is robust. (But when I volunteered to teach a class my "counsellor" shouted, "Dammit, Kiriakou! If I wanted you to teach a fucking class, I'd ask you to teach a fucking class!") I'm a janitor in the chapel. I make $5.25 a month.The cafeteria, or "chow hall" was the most difficult experience of my first few days. Where should I sit? On my first day, two Aryans, completely covered in tatoos(sic), walked up to me and asked, "Are you a pedophile?" Nope, I said. "Are you a fag?" Nope. "Do you have good paper?" I didn't know what this meant. It turned out that I had to get a copy of my formal sentencing documents to prove that I wasn't a child molester. I did that, and was welcomed by the Aryans, who aren't really Aryans, but more accurately self-important hillbillies. The cafeteria is very formally divided. There is a table for the whites with good paper, a section of a table for the Native Americans, a section of a table for people belonging to a certain Italia-American stereotypical "subculture", two tables for the Muslims, four tables for the pedophiles, and all the remaining tables for the blacks and Hispanics. We don't all eat at the same time, but each table is more-or-less reserved as I described.Violence hasn't been much of a problem since I arrived. There have been maybe a half-dozen fights, almost always over what television show to watch. The choices are pretty much set in stone between ESPN, MTV, VHW, BET, and Univision. I haven't watched TV since I got here. It's just not worth the trouble. Otherwise, violence isn't a problem. Most of the guys in here have worked their way down to a low-security prison from a medium or a maximum, and they don't want to go back. I've also had some luck in this regard. My reputation preceded me, and a rumor got started that I was a CIA hitman. The Aryans whispered that I was a "Muslim hunger," but the Muslims, on the strength of my Arabic language skills and a well-timed statement of support from Louis Farrakhan have lauded me as a champion of Muslim human rights. Meanwhile, the Italians have taken a liking to me because I'm patriotic, as they are, and I have a visceral dislike of the FBI, which they do as well. I have good relations with the blacks because I've helped several of them write communication appeals or letters to judges and I don't charge anything for it. And the Hispanics respect me because my cellmates, who represent a myriad of Latin drug gangs, have told them to. So far, so good. The only thing close to a problem that I've had has been from the COs. When I first arrived, after about four days, I heard an announcement that I was told to dread: "Kiriakou - report to the lieutenant's office immediately." Very quickly, I gave my wife's phone number to a friend and asked him to call her if, for some reason, I was sent to the SHU (Special Housing Unit) more commonly known as the hole, or solitary confinement. I hadn't done anything wrong, but this kind of thing happens all the time.When I got to the lieutenant's office, I was ushered into the office of SIS, the Special Investigative Service. This is the prison version of every police department's detective bureau. I saw on a desk a copy of my book, The Reluctant Spy, as well as DVD copies of all the documentaries I've been in. The CO showed me a picture of an Arab. "Do you know this guy," he asked me. I responded that I had met him a day earlier, but our conversation was limited to "nice to meet you." Well, the CO said, this was the uncle of the Times Square bomber, and after we had met, he called a number in Pakistan, reported the meeting, and was told to kill me. I told the CO that I could kill the guy with my thumb. He's about 5'4" and 125 pounds compared to my 6'1" and 250 pounds. The CO said they were looking to ship him out, so I should stay away from him. But the more I thought about it, the more this made no sense. Why would the uncle of the Times Square bomber be in a low-security prison? He should be in a maximum. So I asked my Muslim friends to check him out. It turns out that he's an Iraqi Kurd from Buffalo, NY. He was the imam of a mosque there, which also happened to be the mosque where the "Lackawana 7" worshipped. (The Lackawana 7 were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism.) The FBI pressured him to testify against his parishioners. He refused and got five years for obstruction of justice. The ACLU and several religious freedom groups have rallied to his defense. He had nothing to do with terrorism.In the meantime, SIS told him that I had made a call to Washington after we met, and that I had been instructed to kill him! We both laughed at the ham-handedness by which SIS tried to get us to attack each other. If we had, we sould have spent the rest of our sentences in the SHU - solitary. Instead, we're friendly, we exchange greetings in Arabic and English, and we chat. The only other problem I've had with the COs was about two weeks after I arrived. I get a great deal of mail here in prison (and I answer every letter I get.) Monday through Friday, prisoners gather in front of the unit CO's office for mail call. One female CO butchers my name every time she says it. So when she does mail call, I hear "kirkakow, Kiriloo, Teriyaki" and a million other variations. One day after a mail call I passed her in the hall. She stopped me and said, "Are you the motherfucker whose name I can't pronounce?" I responded, "Ki-ri-AH-koo." She said, "how about if I just call you Fuckface?" I just walked away and a friend I was walking with said, "Classy." I said to him, "White trash is more like it." An hour later, four COs descended on both of our cells, trashing all of our worldly possessions in my first "Shake-down." Lesson learned: COs can treat us like subhumans but we have to show them faux respect even when it's not earned. I'll write about COs more next time. If you'd like to drop me a line, I can be reached at : John Kiriakou 79637-083, P.O Box 1000, FCI Loretto, Loretto, PA 15940.Best regards from Loretto, John
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:18
(CNSNews.com) -- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention says that at any given moment about a quarter of American adults are mentally ill and that over the course of their lifetimes about half of all Americans will develop at least one mental illness.
A CDC mental-health fact sheet--Mental Illness Surveillance Among U.S. Adults--says that "published studies report that about 25% of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and that nearly 50% of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime.''
The fact sheet also notes that the authors of a 2011 CDC mental health surveillance report pointed out that "currently, no surveillance efforts at the national or state level are directed toward documenting anxiety disorders." The authors thus call for "initiating national-level anxiety disorder surveillance activities."
Mental illness, says the CDC, ''refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders'' and that ''the most common mental illnesses in adults are anxiety and mood disorders.'' Mental illnesses effects "include sustained abnormal alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior associated with distress and impaired functioning."
In addition, says the agency, "mental illness is associated with increased occurrence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, epilepsy, and cancer."
"The most common mental illnesses in adults are anxiety and mood disorders," says the fact sheet.
The CDC said: ''Mental illness also is associated with use of tobacco products and alcohol abuse."
The CDC published its most recent full surveillance report on mental illness among American adults on Sept. 2, 2011.
That report said the categories, subcategories, and terminology of mental illness have varied over time. ''For example," said the report, "terms used to describe depression have included major and minor depression, psychotic depression, depression not otherwise specified, bipolar disorder, dysthymia, moderate to severe depression, and mild depression. However, the relationship among the disorders described by these different terms often is unclear.''
The CDC noted that among the standard questionnaires used for collecting data on depression, people are asked: "Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems? ... 1) little interest or pleasure in doing things; 2) feeling down, depressed, or hopeless; 3) trouble falling/staying asleep, sleeping too much; 4) feeling tired or having little energy; 5) poor appetite or overeating; 6) feeling bad about yourself or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down; 7) trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television; 8) moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed, or the opposite -- being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual; and 9) (PHQ-9 only) thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way.''
For pregnant women, the CDC noted, surveyors would ask questions that could indicate postpartum depression.
On May 17, 2013 the CDC published its surveillance report on mental health among children.
''A total of 13%''20% of children living in the United States experience a mental disorder in a given year, and surveillance during 1994''2011 has shown the prevalence of these conditions to be increasing,'' said that CDC report.
''Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (6.8%) was the most prevalent parent-reported current diagnosis among children aged 3''17 years, followed by behavioral or conduct problems (3.5%), anxiety (3.0%), depression (2.1%), autism spectrum disorders (1.1%), and Tourette syndrome (0.2% among children aged 6''17 years). An estimated 4.7% of adolescents aged 12''17 years reported an illicit drug use disorder in the past year, 4.2% had an alcohol abuse disorder in the past year, and 2.8% had cigarette dependence in the past month,'' reported the CDC.
Michael W. Chapman contributed to this report.
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 14:59
By binaryloop | Liberty Crier
Privacy experts are warning of a strategy embedded inside a federal plan to adjust privacy rules so that the federal government can access Americans' mental health records as part of Barack Obama's war on gun ownership.
According to the plan, the government would be told the details right away if anyone is sent to a mental institution for ''mental defectiveness, or mental illness.''
But the White House plan also includes a notification to Washington should someone be lodged in a mental facility ''for other reasons.''
''The phrase 'for other reasons' is overly broad and vague,'' said the Electronic Privacy Information Center. ''Although the DOJ has illustrated that drug use is an example of 'commitments for other reasons,' the nebulous language would grant the DOJ sweeping authority to prohibit individuals from possessing firearms, a constitutionally protected right.''
The organization says the concern over the privacy of such records means nothing should be changed right away.
''Until the DOJ clearly defines and enumerates the types of formal commitments that can bar gun ownership, HHS should not amend its regulations to release sensitive mental health information to the DOJ,'' the organization said in a submission commenting on the Obama plan.
The issue erupted after the school shooting at Sandy Hook six months ago. In response, the Obama administration launched an agenda that includes ''closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands,'' a ban on ''military-style'' weapons and some ammunition magazines, as well as ''making schools safer'' and improving mental health services. But the vague generalities used to describe the plans have privacy experts and Second Amendment supporters worried.
WND recently reported on another anti-gun strategy, which is a possible explanation why the Obama administration has failed to launch legal action against Colorado and Washington, where voters last fall voted to ''legalize'' marijuana under their state laws, even though federal law doesn't allow it.
The White House, however, has insisted state laws exempting people from the federal Obamacare law are invalid. And when Arizona took it upon itself to adopt a state law to enforce federal immigration restrictions, the Obama administration sued.
Some have asked if there something about the idea of legalizing marijuana that Washington likes. The idea may have been borne out recently when the Congressional Research Service released its report on the ''State Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: Selected Legal Issues.''
As attorneys Todd Garvey and Brian Yeh wrote in the report, Washington has flexibility regarding drug prosecution, stating: ''The extent to which federal authorities will actually seek to prosecute individuals who are engaged in marijuana-related activities in Colorado and Washington remains uncertain. President Obama himself has suggested the prosecuting simple possession is not a priority, while the Department of Justice has said only that 'growing, selling or possession any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.'''
What is more certain, they wrote, is that federal firearms regulators will be aggressive about banning anyone who uses marijuana from buying '' or possessing '' a weapon.
''With the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in Colorado and Washington, it seems likely the ATF will '... consider a recreational user of marijuana to be a prohibited possessor of firearms regardless of whether the use is lawful under state provisions,'' they wrote.
The attorneys said the ATF specifically has stated ''any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.''
Read Full Article
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 14:57
MEXICO CITY '-- A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake was registered off the Pacific coast of Nicaragua around midday Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries after the quake, which was felt at 11:34 a.m. local time (1734 GMT).
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered about 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of the Masachapa, a community located on Nicaragua's Pacific coast.
Nicaragua's seismological institute measured the temblor's strength as 6.6, and it declared a tsunami alert as a precaution because of the earthquake's strength.
Federal Register | Designation of Four (4) Individuals Pursuant to Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ''Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism''
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 14:32
The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (''OFAC'') is publishing the names of four (4) individuals whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ''Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism.''
The designations by the Director of OFAC of the 4 individuals in this notice, pursuant to Executive Order 13224, are effective on June 11, 2013.
Assistant Director, Compliance Outreach & Implementation, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Department of the Treasury, Washington, DC 20220, tel.: 202/622-2490.
This document and additional information concerning OFAC are available from OFAC's Web site (www.treas.gov/ofac) or via facsimile through a 24-hour fax-on-demand service, tel.: 202/622-0077.
On September 23, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13224 (the ''Order'') pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1701-1706, and the United Nations Participation Act of 1945, 22 U.S.C. 287c. In the Order, the President declared a national emergency to address grave acts of terrorism and threats of terrorism committed by foreign terrorists, including the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon. The Order imposes economic sanctions on persons who have committed, pose a significant risk of committing, or support acts of terrorism. The President identified in the Annex to the Order, as amended by Executive Order 13268 of July 2, 2002, 13 individuals and 16 entities as subject to the economic sanctions. The Order was further amended by Executive Order 13284 of January 23, 2003, to reflect the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
Section 1 of the Order blocks, with certain exceptions, all property and interests in property that are in or hereafter come within the United States or the possession or control of United States persons, of: (1) Foreign persons listed in the Annex to the Order; (2) foreign persons determined by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States; (3) persons determined by the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Departments of State, Homeland Security and Justice, to be owned or controlled by, or to act for or on behalf of those persons listed in the Annex to the Order or those persons determined to be subject to subsection 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)(i) of the Order; and (4) except as provided in section 5 of the Order and after such consultation, if any, with foreign authorities as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, deems appropriate in the exercise of his discretion, persons determined by the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Departments of State, Homeland Security and Justice, to assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, such acts of terrorism or those persons listed in the Annex to the Order or determined to be subject to the Order or to be otherwise associated with those persons listed in the Annex to the Order or those persons determined to be subject to subsection 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)(i) of the Order.
On June 11, 2013 the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Justice and other relevant agencies, designated, pursuant to one or more of the criteria set forth in subsections 1(b), 1(c) or 1(d) of the Order, four (4) individuals whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13224.
The listings for these individuals on OFAC's list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons appear as follows:
1. AL-WATFA, Ali Ibrahim (a.k.a. AL-WAFA, Ali Ibrahim; a.k.a. AL-WAFA, Alie Ibrahim; a.k.a. AL-WATFA, Alie Ibrahim; a.k.a. IBRAHIM, Al Hajj Alie), 26 Malama Thomas Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone; DOB 1969; POB Al Qalamun, Lebanon (individual) [SDGT].
2. CHEHADE, Ali Ahmad (a.k.a. CHEADE, Ali; a.k.a. CHEHADE, Abou Hassan Ali; a.k.a. JAWAD, Abou Hassan; a.k.a. JAWAD, Abu Hassan; a.k.a. SHIHADI, Ali), Abidjan, Cote d Ivoire; DOB 05 Jan 1961; POB Ansarie, Lebanon; citizen Lebanon; Passport RL0516070 (Lebanon) (individual) [SDGT].
3. FAWAZ, Abbas Loutfe (a.k.a. FAWWAZ, 'Abbas Abu-Ahmad; a.k.a. FOUAZ, Abbas), Dakar, Senegal; DOB 07 Aug 1978; POB Jwaya, Lebanon; alt. POB Dakar, Senegal; citizen Lebanon; alt. citizen Senegal; Personal ID Card 096574S (Senegal) (individual) [SDGT].
4. KHANAFER, Hicham Nmer (a.k.a. KANAFER, Hicham; a.k.a. KANAFER, Hisham; a.k.a. KHANAFAR, Hisham; a.k.a. KHANAFIR, Hisham); DOB 23 May 1965; POB Ainata, Lebanon; alt. POB Kuntair, The Gambia; nationality Lebanon; alt. nationality The Gambia; Passport 1617889 (Lebanon) (individual) [SDGT].
Dated: June 11, 2013.
Adam J. Szubin,
Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control.
[FR Doc. 2013-14303 Filed 6-14-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-AL-P
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 06:44
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 13, 2013
- - - - - - -
CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO THE ACTIONS AND POLICIES OF CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF BELARUS AND OTHER PERSONS TO UNDERMINE BELARUS'S DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES OR INSTITUTIONS
On June 16, 2006, by Executive Order 13405, the President declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Belarus and other persons to undermine Belarus's democratic processes or institutions, manifested in the fundamentally undemocratic March 2006 elections, to commit human rights abuses related to political repression, including detentions and disappearances, and to engage in public corruption, including by diverting or misusing Belarusian public assets or by misusing public authority.
In 2012, the Government of Belarus continued its crackdown against political opposition, civil society, and independent media. The September 23 elections failed to meet international standards. The government arbitrarily arrested, detained, and imprisoned citizens for criticizing officials or for participating in demonstrations; imprisoned at least one human rights activist on manufactured charges; and prevented independent media from disseminating information and materials. These actions show that the Government of Belarus has not taken steps forward in the development of democratic governance and respect for human rights.
The actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Belarus and other persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on June 16, 2006, and the measures adopted on that date to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond June 16, 2013. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13405.
This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 07:13
Ashton and F¼le say:
"We welcome yesterday's adoption by the Human Rights Council of a resolution on Belarus by a solid majority of the Council members. We note increasing support to this initiative and express our gratitude to all partners who worked on it with the European Union."We also welcome the extension of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus Mr Mikl"s Haraszti, who will continue to report independently and in a balanced manner and provide recommendations to the Belarusian authorities on the human rights situation in the country. We urge the Belarusian authorities to cooperate fully with him."We deeply regret that on the week of the adoption of this resolution, which draws the attention to death penalty in the country, yet another two persons were condemned to a death sentence in Belarus. We hope that his right to appeal will be fully exercised."We take note of the re-establishment of the parliamentary working group on the death penalty in Belarus. We urge Belarus, the only country in Europe still applying the capital punishment, to join global moratorium on death penalty as a first step towards its universal abolition."We recall that the development of bilateral relations between the EU and Belarus is conditional on progress towards respect by Belarus for the principles of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. The EU remains willing to assist Belarus to meet its obligations in this regard."EU practices double standards in civil rights. It's freakish for EU to interfere in the civil rights of foreigners, but condone the abuse of civil rights of Greek dissident bloggers, who are citizens of EU! There is no justice in Greece for dissident bloggers. The Greek government is so stupid, so brutal, so freakish, and so barbarous that it robs, persecutes, and terrorizes dissident bloggers! The Greek government is a major enemy of blogosphere. Ex-officio law suit (Î±Ï ÏÎµÏÎ±Î"Î"ÎµÎ>>ÏÎÏ) means the state sues somebody without involvement of the accuser. This terrible scheme has been used by Graecokleptocrats to persecute dissident bloggers. A Graecokleptocrat would sue an innocent dissident blogger, and the Graecokleptocrat wouldn't show up in court, because the state takes over the position of the accuser! At the ex-officio law suit, the accuser just hits and runs! This hit-and-run justice is the most disgusting justice on Earth. In all civilized nations, the accused is in a position to face his accuser eyeball to eyeball, but not in Greece. Just think about it for a while. The accuser slings false accusations against you, the state takes over, and the accuser disappears from court!The court trial is postponed infinite times to break the nerves of the innocent blogger at great cost of time and money. This is a disgusting punishment of the presumed innocent. Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice perpetuated is hell. The Greek government uses the ex officio law suit as a political tool. This has happened to me too!Graecokleptocratsjust hit dissident bloggers with false accusations and run! Correspondents of http://venitism.blogspot.com report that agony of perpetual delay of trial in Greece is being used as a punishment of the innocent without trial. Greek justice is a spider web, catching small prey and swallowing them, while allowing crocodiles to penetrate and dominate it. Visiting Greek prisons, you could see all les miserables that fill them up, but you could not find any kleptocrats. Givingcybercensorshiptoblogbusters is giving gin to alcoholics! Blogbusters galore! Hit and run is freakish behavior against dissident bloggers. Freak! Freak! Freak! The freakish government of Greece, the most corrupt country in Europe, steals computers! Robbing dissident bloggers and locking them in jail is a freakish behavior that does not belong to the European Union, not even to this galaxy! No wonder some vain Greeks boast they come from Andromeda galaxy!The persecution of Greek dissident bloggers is a worrying example of how freedom on the net is under increasing threat. As more people use cyberspace to communicate, obtain information, express their views, socialize, and conduct commerce, governments are stepping up their efforts to regulate and control it. Tight control on the internet impinges on our freedom of speech, association and assembly. And it means that violations of other civil rights are kept away from us.On October 18, 2010, a gang of six brutalpolicechimpsof the violent Greek Cyber Crime Unit (CCU) broke into my home in Athens and into my college office, and stole my computers, software, files, documents, and personal data. Thepolicechimpslocked me in jail for a night, they humiliated me with handcuffs, fingerprints, mug shots, and lies, leaked false information to the media parrots, and the Greek government initiated sham ex-officio court proceedings for a stack of stupid fictitious freakish charges! There was neither pillow nor toilet facility in my jail cell. I had to urinate in a bottle! I, a 68 years old with high blood pressure, was not allowed to keep my hypertension pills with me. There was neither toilet paper nor soap in the whole CCU jail facility. Persecuting dissident bloggers, the outlaw government of Greece violates Article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty, which states the European Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, nondiscrimination, tolerance, and justice prevail.Greece also violates Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.Greece also violates Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR), which states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.Greece also violates Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which states that every citizen has the right to freedom of expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. The freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected.
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 01:14
In this March 29, 2013 photo provided by the French Army's images division, ECPAD, a French soldier holds the launch tube of an SA-7 surface-to-air missile before its destruction in Timbuktu, northern Mali. The knowledge that the terrorists have the weapon has already changed the way the French are carrying out their five-month-old offensive in Mali. They are using more fighter jets rather than helicopters to fly above its range of 1.4 miles from the ground, even though that makes it harder to attack the jihadists. They are also making cargo planes land and take off more steeply to limit how long they are exposed, in line with similar practices in Iraq after an SA-14 hit the wing of a DHL cargo plane in 2003.AP/ECPAD
TIMBUKTU, Mali '' The photocopies of the manual lay in heaps on the floor, in stacks that scaled one wall, like Xeroxed, stapled handouts for a class.
Except that the students in this case were Al Qaeda fighters in Mali. And the manual was a detailed guide, with diagrams and photographs, on how to use a weapon that particularly concerns the United States: A surface-to-air missile capable of taking down a commercial airplane.
The 26-page document in Arabic, recovered by The Associated Press in a building that had been occupied by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Timbuktu, strongly suggests the group now possesses the SA-7 surface-to-air missile, known to the Pentagon as the Grail, according to terrorism specialists. And it confirms that the Al Qaeda cell is actively training its fighters to use these weapons, also called man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS, which likely came from the arms depots of ex-Libyan strongman Col. Muammar Qaddafi.
"The existence of what apparently constitutes a 'Dummies Guide to MANPADS' is strong circumstantial evidence of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb having the missiles," said Atlantic Council analyst Peter Pham, a former adviser to the United States' military command in Africa and an instructor to U.S. Special Forces. "Why else bother to write the guide if you don't have the weapons? ... If AQIM not only has the MANPADS, but also fighters who know how to use them effectively," he added, "then the impact is significant, not only on the current conflict, but on security throughout North and West Africa, and possibly beyond."
The United States was so worried about this particular weapon ending up in the hands of terrorists that the State Department set up a task force to track and destroy it as far back as 2006. In the spring of 2011, before the fighting in Tripoli had even stopped, a U.S. team flew to Libya to secure Qaddafi's stockpile of thousands of heat-seeking, shoulder-fired missiles.
By the time they got there, many had already been looted.
"The MANPADS were specifically being sought out," said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director for Human Rights Watch, who catalogued missing weapons at dozens of munitions depots and often found nothing in the boxes labelled with the code for surface-to-air missiles.
The manual is believed to be an excerpt from a terrorist encyclopedia edited by Usama bin Laden. It adds to evidence for the weapon found by French forces during their land assault in Mali earlier this year, including the discovery of the SA-7's battery pack and launch tube, according to military statements and an aviation official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to comment.
The knowledge that the terrorists have the weapon has already changed the way the French are carrying out their five-month-old offensive in Mali. They are using more fighter jets rather than helicopters to fly above its range of 1.4 miles from the ground, even though that makes it harder to attack the jihadists. They are also making cargo planes land and take off more steeply to limit how long they are exposed, in line with similar practices in Iraq after an SA-14 hit the wing of a DHL cargo plane in 2003.
And they have added their own surveillance at Mali's international airport in Bamako, according to two French aviation officials and an officer in the Operation Serval force. All three spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment.
"There are patrols every day," said the French officer. "It's one of the things we have not entrusted to the Malians, because the stakes are too high."
First introduced in the 1960s in the Soviet Union, the SA-7 was designed to be portable. Not much larger than a poster tube, it can be packed into a duffel bag and easily carried. It's also affordable, with some SA-7s selling for as little as $5,000.
Since 1975, at least 40 civilian aircraft have been hit by different types of MANPADS, causing about 28 crashes and more than 800 deaths around the world, according to the U.S. Department of State.
The SA-7 is an old generation model, which means most military planes now come equipped with a built-in protection mechanism against it. But that's not the case for commercial planes, and the threat is greatest to civilian aviation.
In Kenya in 2002, suspected Islamic extremists fired two SA-7s at a Boeing 757 carrying 271 vacationers back to Israel, but missed. Insurgents in Iraq used the weapons, and YouTube videos abound purporting to show Syrian rebels using the SA-7 to shoot down regime planes.
An SA-7 tracks a plane by directing itself toward the source of the heat, the engine. It takes time and practice, however, to fire it within range. The failure of the jihadists in Mali so far to hit a plane could mean that they cannot position themselves near airports with commercial flights, or that they are not yet fully trained to use the missile.
"This is not a 'Fire and forget' weapon," said Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University. "There's a paradox here. One the one hand it's not easy to use, but against any commercial aircraft there would be no defenses against them. It's impossible to protect against it. ... If terrorists start training and learn how to use them, we'll be in a lot of trouble."
In Timbuktu, SA-7 training was likely part of the curriculum at the 'Jihad Academy' housed in a former police station, said Jean-Paul Rouiller, director of the Geneva Center for Training and Analysis of Terrorism, one of three experts who reviewed the manual for AP. It's located less than 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the Ministry of Finance's Budget Division building where the manual was found.
Neighbors say they saw foreign fighters running laps each day, carrying out target practice and inhaling and holding their breath with a pipe-like object on their shoulder. The drill is standard practice for shoulder-held missiles, including the SA-7.
As the jihadists fled ahead of the arrival of French troops who liberated Timbuktu on Jan. 28, they left the manual behind, along with other instructional material, including a spiral-bound pamphlet showing how to use the KPV-14.5 anti-aircraft machine gun and another on how to make a bomb out of ammonium nitrate, among other documents retrieved by the AP. Residents said the jihadists grabbed reams of paper from inside the building, doused them in fuel and set them alight. The black, feathery ash lay on top of the sand in a ditch just outside the building's gate.
However, numerous buildings were still full of scattered papers.
"They just couldn't destroy everything," said neighbor Mohamed Alassane. "They appeared to be in a panic when the French came. They left in a state of disorder."
The manual is illustrated with grainy images of Soviet-looking soldiers firing the weapon. Point-by-point instructions explain how to insert the battery, focus on the target and fire.
The manual also explains that the missile will malfunction above 45 degrees Celsius, the temperature in the deserts north of Timbuktu. And it advises the shooter to change immediately into a second set of clothes after firing to avoid detection.
Its pages are numbered 313 through 338, suggesting they came from elsewhere. Mathieu Guidere, an expert on Islamic extremists at the University of Toulouse, believes the excerpts are lifted from the Encyclopedia of Jihad, an 11-volume survey on the craft of war first compiled by the Taliban in the 1980s and later codified by Usama bin Laden. Bin Laden, who led a contingent of Arab fighters in Afghanistan at the time, paid to have the encyclopedia translated into Arabic, according to Guidere, author of a book on Al Qaeda's North African branch.
However, the cover page of the manual boasts the name of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
"It's a way to make it their own," said Guidere. "It's like putting a logo on something. ... It shows the historic as well as the present link between Al Qaeda core and AQIM."
Bin Laden later assembled a team of editors to update the manual, put it on CD-ROMs and eventually place it on the Internet, in a move that lay the groundwork for the globalization of jihad, according to terrorism expert Jarret Brachman, who was the director of research at the Combating Terrorism Center when the Al Qaeda encyclopaedia was first found.
N.R. Jenzen-Jones, an arms expert in Australia, confirmed that the information in the manual in Timbuktu on the missile's engagement range, altitude and weight appeared largely correct. He cautions though that the history of the SA-7 is one of near-misses, specifically because it takes training to use.
"Even if you get your hands on an SA-7, it's no guarantee of success," he said. "However, if someone manages to take down a civilian aircraft, it's hundreds of dead instantly. It's a high impact, low-frequency event, and it sows a lot of fear."
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 07:44
Soldiers to practise conversation skills in multicultural AmsterdamFriday 14 June 2013
Dutch solders are to spend several days next week practising their conversational skills in the multicultural districts of West and Nieuw-West Amsterdam, the Parool reports on Friday.
The Parool says the defence minister thinks it important that soldiers who will have to communicate with locals during foreign missions can practice 'in a live environment'.
Between 30 and 40 soldiers will be involved in the training exercises and will hold talks with local officials, police and community organisations.
The districts have been chosen because of their cultural mix and will form a 'fictitious mission locality'. The soldiers will have to take into account political, religious, cultural, economic and humanitarian differences while practising their techniques, the Parool says.
Soldiers will wear a military suit rather than battle dress so locals do not think their neighbourhoods have been occupied.
comments powered by
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 12:47
In a landmark ruling, Sweden's data protection authority (the Swedish Data Inspection Board) this week issued a decision that prohibits the nation's public sector bodies from using the cloud service Google Apps.
A risk assessment by the Board determined that the contract gives Google too much covert discretion over how data can be used
The ruling '' which bans Google cloud products such as calendar services, email and data processing functions '' is based on inadequacies in the Google contract. A risk assessment by the Board determined that the contract gives Google too much covert discretion over how data can be used, and that public sector customers are unable to ensure that data protection rights are protected.The assessment gives several examples of this deficiency, including uncertainty over how data may be mined or processed by Google and lack of knowledge about which subcontractors may be involved in the processing. The assessment also concluded that there was no certainty about if or when data would be deleted after expiration of the contract.
The decision may also trigger a disintegration of trust across Europe over the use by schools of such services.
The decision may also trigger a disintegration of trust across Europe over the use by schools of such services. A recent survey revealed that schools are adopting cloud services at speed but that there is widespread concern over loss of control over the data.
The effect of the ruling against Salem will apply immediately across all Swedish municipal authorities, but will also by default extend to national government departments.
By way of background, in 2011 the Board criticized the Salem municipality for its use of the Google cloud service. That initial view focused on deficiencies in the agreement which meant that the contract did not comply with the rules in the Personal Data Act (PuL). The arrangement gave Google too much space to process personal data for its own purposes.
The Salem municipality was requested to produce a new agreement, but following a review of the new wording the Board concluded that the previous shortcomings remained.
Earlier this year the Norwegian data protection authority also demanded amendments to contract conditions for Cloud services, highlighting similar concerns
The decision runs headlong into Google's ''one size fits all'' policy and throws out a challenge to the advertising giant to provide more specific terms and protections for its services. Other EU regulators will be closely monitoring the Swedish decision.
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 17:52
During the past decade, the Department of Veterans Affairs has received many inquiries regarding the Agent Orange Settlement Fund. That Fund, created as a result of a private class action lawsuit settlement, involved neither VA nor any other executive branch agency of the Federal government. The Settlement Fund closed in 1997. Below is a brief history.
The Agent Orange Settlement Fund was created by the resolution of the Agent Orange Product Liability Litigation '' a class action lawsuit brought by Vietnam Veterans and their families regarding injuries allegedly incurred as a result of the exposure of Vietnam Veterans to chemical herbicides used during the Vietnam war. The suit was brought against the major manufacturers of these herbicides. The class action case was settled out-of-court in 1984 for $180 million dollars, reportedly the largest settlement of its kind at that time.
The Settlement Fund was distributed to class members in accordance with a distribution plan established by United States District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein, who presided over the litigation and the settlement. Because the plaintiff class was so large (an estimated 10 million people), the Fund was distributed to class members in the United States through two separate programs designed to provide maximum benefits to Vietnam Veterans and their families most in need of assistance:
A Payment Program, which provided cash compensation to totally-disabled Veterans and survivors of deceased Veterans; andA Class Assistance Program, which provided funds for social services organizations and networks for the purpose of establishing and maintaining programs for the benefit of the class as a whole.This plan for distributing the Settlement Fund was unprecedented: it employed mechanisms not previously adopted in class action lawsuits in order to maximize benefits to class members and to respond to the complex needs expressed by the class during a series of "Fairness Hearings" held in six different locations in the country.
Applications for the Payment Program had to be submitted prior to December 31, 1994. To be eligible for compensation under the Payment Program, Vietnam Veterans or their survivors had to establish the following:
that the Veteran served in Vietnam as a member of the Armed Forces between 1962 and 1972 (the period during which Agent Orange was used in Vietnam);that the applicant was either a totally-disabled Vietnam Veteran or the survivor of a deceased Vietnam Veteran;that based upon the circumstances of the Veteran's service (including location of service and particular experiences during service), the Veteran met a test of probable exposure to herbicides;that death or disability was not caused by a traumatic or accidental occurrence; andthat death or disability occurred before December 31, 1994.The Payment Program operated over a period of 6 ½ years, beginning, after appeals, in 1988 and concluding in 1994. During its operation, the Settlement Fund distributed a total of $197 million in cash payments to members of the class in the United States. Of the 105,000 claims received by the Payment Program, approximately 52,000 Vietnam Veterans or their survivors received cash payments which averaged about $3,800 each.
The other part of the Settlement Fund, the Class Assistance Program, was intended by the distribution plan to function as a foundation. Between 1989 and 1996 it distributed, through a series of Requests for Proposal, $74 million to 83 social services organizations throughout the United States. These agencies, which ranged from disability and Veterans service organizations to community-based not-for-profits, provided counseling, advocacy, medical and case-management services. During this period, these organizations assisted over 239,000 Vietnam Veterans and their families.
On September 27, 1997, the District Court ordered the Fund closed, its assets having been fully distributed.
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 07:40
After yesterday's debate on the danger of eating farmed salmon due to high level harmful pollutants, it was revealed Norwegian authorities have lobbied in EU to allow more toxin level in salmon.
Keep Updated with the Latest News and Feeds, Follow Us on FacebookAccording to Aftenposten's report, Norway has for years tried to get the EU to allow ten times more toxin (Endosulfan) in salmon than previously allowed. Now, Norway has received approval in the EU. In the consultation document from the FSA shows that there are economic reasons why Norway is eager to raise the limit.
"The limit value for the concentration of endosulfan in feed for salmonids is of great economic importance for the aquaculture industry in the short and longer term," stated in the letter.
Endosulfan was previously forbidden to use in feed for all salmonids, but research has shown that fish can withstand poison through better feed than by being exposed to it in the water.
Opposition parties criticizes fisheries minister for not taking the debate seriously. Many fear all the debate about potential hazards of eating farmed salmon can have negative consequences for the Norwegian salmon export.
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 07:40
Benzoepin, Endocel, Parrysulfan, Phaser, Thiodan, Thionex
IdentifiersCAS number115-29-7 YChemSpider21117730 YUNIIQY5Y9R7G0E YKEGGC11090 YJmol-3D imagesImage 1Cl[C@@]3(Cl)[C@]1(Cl)C(/Cl)=C(/Cl)[C@@]3(Cl)[C@H]2[C@@H2]OS(=O)O[C@@H2][C@H]12
InChI=1S/C9H6Cl6O3S/c10-5-6(11)8(13)4-2-18-19(16)17-1-3(4)7(5,12)9(8,14)15/h3-4H,1-2H2/t3-,4-,7-,8+,19+/m0/s1 YKey: RDYMFSUJUZBWLH-QDLMHMFQSA-N Y
PropertiesMolecular formulaC9H6Cl6O3SMolar mass406.93 g mol''1Density1.745 g/cm"Melting point70-100 °C, 343-373 K, 158-212 °F
Solubility in water0.33 mg/LHazardsEU classificationYes (T, Xi, N)R-phrasesR24/25R36R50/53Main hazardsT, Xi, NNFPA 704 Y (verify) (what is: Y/N?)Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)Infobox referencesEndosulfan is an off-patentorganochlorineinsecticide and acaricide that is being phased out globally. The two isomers, endo and exo, are known popularly as I and II. Endosulfan sulfate is a product of oxidation containing one extra O atom attached to the S atom. Endosulfan became a highly controversial agrichemical due to its acute toxicity, potential for bioaccumulation, and role as an endocrine disruptor. Because of its threats to human health and the environment, a global ban on the manufacture and use of endosulfan was negotiated under the Stockholm Convention in April 2011. The ban will take effect in mid-2012, with certain uses exempted for five additional years. More than 80 countries, including the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, several West African nations, the United States, Brazil, and Canada had already banned it or announced phase-outs by the time the Stockholm Convention ban was agreed upon. It is still used extensively in India, China, and few other countries. It is produced by Makhteshim Agan and several manufacturers in India and China.
Endosulfan has been used in agriculture around the world to control insect pests including whiteflys, aphids, leafhoppers, Colorado potato beetles and cabbage worms. Due to its unique mode of action, it is useful in resistance management; however, as it is not specific, it can negatively impact populations of beneficial insects. It is, however, considered to be moderately toxic to honey bees, and it is less toxic to bees than organophosphate insecticides.
ProductionThe World Health Organization estimated worldwide annual production to be about 9,000 metric tonnes (t) in the early 1980s. From 1980 to 1989, worldwide consumption averaged 10,500 tonnes per year, and for the 1990s use increased to 12,800 tonnes per year.
Endosulfan is a derivative of hexachlorocyclopentadiene, and is chemically similar to aldrin, chlordane, and heptachlor. Specifically, it is produced by the Diels-Alder reaction of hexachlorocyclopentadiene with cis-butene-1,4-diol and subsequent reaction of the adduct with thionyl chloride. Technical endosulfan is a 7:3 mixture of stereoisomers, designated Î± and Î². Î±- and Î²-Endosulfan are conformational isomers arising from the pyramidal stereochemistry of sulfur. Î±-Endosulfan is the more thermodynamically stable of the two, thus Î²-endosulfan irreversibly converts to the Î± form, although the conversion is slow.
History of commercialization and regulationEarly 1950s: Endosulfan was developed.1954: Hoechst AG (now Bayer CropScience) won USDA approval for the use of endosulfan in the United States.2000: Home and garden use in the United States was terminated by agreement with the EPA.2002: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended that endosulfan registration should be cancelled, and the EPA determined that endosulfan residues on food and in water pose unacceptable risks. The agency allowed endosulfan to stay on the US market, but imposed restrictions on its agricultural uses.2007: International steps were taken to restrict the use and trade of endosulfan. It is recommended for inclusion in the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent, and the European Union proposed inclusion in the list of chemicals banned under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Such inclusion would ban all use and manufacture of endosulfan globally. Meanwhile, the Canadian government announced that endosulfan was under consideration for phase-out, and Bayer CropScience voluntarily pulled its endosulfan products from the U.S. market but continues to sell the products elsewhere.2008: In February, environmental, consumer, and farm labor groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council,Organic Consumers Association, and the United Farm Workers called on the U.S. EPA to ban endosulfan. In May, coalitions of scientists, environmental groups, and arctic tribes asked the EPA to cancel endosulfan, and in July a coalition of environmental and workers groups filed a lawsuit against the EPA challenging its 2002 decision to not ban it. In October, the Review Committee of the Stockholm Convention moved endosulfan along in the procedure for listing under the treaty, while India blocked its addition to the Rotterdam Convention.2009: The Stockholm Convention's Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) agreed that endosulfan is a persistent organic pollutant and that "global action is warranted", setting the stage of a global ban. New Zealand banned endosulfan.2010: The POPRC nominated endosulfan to be added to the Stockholm Convention at the Conference of Parties (COP) in April 2011, which would result in a global ban. The EPA announced that the registration of endosulfan in the U.S. will be cancelled Australia banned the use of the chemical.2011: The Supreme Court of India banned manufacture, sale, and use of toxic pesticide endosulfan in India. The apex court said the ban would remain effective for eight weeks during which an expert committee headed by DG, ICMR, will give an interim report to the court about the harmful effect of the widely used pesticide.2011: the Argentinian Service for Sanity and Agroalimentary Quality (SENASA) decided on August 8 that the import of endosulfan into the South American country will be banned from July 1, 2012 and its commercialization and use from July 1, 2013. In the meantime, a reduced quantity can be imported and sold.Health effectsEndosulfan is one of the most toxic pesticides on the market today, responsible for many fatal pesticide poisoning incidents around the world. Endosulfan is also a xenoestrogen'--a synthetic substance that imitates or enhances the effect of estrogens'--and it can act as an endocrine disruptor, causing reproductive and developmental damage in both animals and humans. Whether endosulfan can cause cancer is debated. With regard to consumers' intake of endosulfan from residues on food, the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations has concluded that long-term exposure from food is unlikely to present a public health concern, but short-term exposure can exceed acute reference doses.
ToxicityEndosulfan is acutely neurotoxic to both insects and mammals, including humans. The US EPA classifies it as Category I: "Highly Acutely Toxic" based on a LD50 value of 30 mg/kg for female rats, while the World Health Organization classifies it as Class II "Moderately Hazardous" based on a rat LD50 of 80 mg/kg. It is a GABA-gated chloride channelantagonist, and a Ca2+, Mg2+ATPaseinhibitor. Both of these enzymes are involved in the transfer of nerve impulses. Symptoms of acute poisoning include hyperactivity, tremors, convulsions, lack of coordination, staggering, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, unconsciousness. Doses as low as 35 mg/kg have been documented to cause death in humans, and many cases of sublethal poisoning have resulted in permanent brain damage. Farm workers with chronic endosulfan exposure are at risk of rashes and skin irritation.
EPA's acute reference dose for dietary exposure to endosulfan is 0.015 mg/kg for adults and 0.0015 mg/kg for children. For chronic dietary expsoure, the EPA references doses are 0.006 mg/(kg·day) and 0.0006 mg/(kg·day) for adults and children, respectively.
Endocrine disruptionTheo Colborn, an expert on endocrine disruption, lists endosulfan as a known endocrine disruptor, and both the EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry consider endosulfan to be a potential endocrine disruptor. Numerous in vitro studies have documented its potential to disrupt hormones and animal studies have demonstrated its reproductive and developmental toxicity, especially among males. A number of studies have documented that it acts as an antiandrogen in animals. Endosulfan has shown to affect crustacean molt cycles, which are important biological and endocrine-controlled physiological processes essential for the crustacean growth and reproduction. Environmentally relevant doses of endosulfan equal to the EPA's safe dose of 0.006 mg/kg/day have been found to affect gene expression in female rats similarly to the effects of estrogen. It is not known whether endosulfan is a human teratogen (an agent that causes birth defects), though it has significant teratogenic effects in laboratory rats. A 2009 assessment concluded the endocrine disruption in rats occurs only at endosulfan doses that cause neurotoxicity.
Reproductive and developmental effectsSeveral studies have documented that endosulfan can also affect human development. Researchers studying children from many villages in Kasargod District, Kerala, India, have linked endosulfan exposure to delays in sexual maturity among boys. Endosulfan was the only pesticide applied to cashew plantations in the villages for 20 years, and had contaminated the village environment. The researchers compared the villagers to a control group of boys from a demographically similar village that lacked a history of endosulfan pollution. Relative to the control group, the exposed boys had high levels of endosulfan in their bodies, lower levels of testosterone, and delays in reaching sexual maturity. Birth defects of the male reproductive system, including cryptorchidism, were also more prevalent in the study group. The researchers concluded, "our study results suggest that endosulfan exposure in male children may delay sexual maturity and interfere with sex hormone synthesis." Increased incidences of cryptorchidism have been observed in other studies of endosulfan exposed populations.
A 2007 study by the California Department of Public Health found that women who lived near farm fields sprayed with endosulfan and the related organochloride pesticide dicofol during the first eight weeks of pregnancy are several times more likely to give birth to children with autism. This is the first study to look for an association between endosulfan and autism, and additional study is needed to confirm the connection. A 2009 assessment concluded that epidemiology and rodent studies that suggest male reproductive and autism effects are open to other interpretations, and that developmental or reproductive toxicity in rats occurs only at endosulfan doses that cause neurotoxicity.
Endosulfan and cancerEndosulfan is not listed as known, probable, or possible carcinogen by the EPA, IARC, or other agencies. No epidemiological studies link exposure to endosulfan specifically to cancer in humans, but in vitro assays have shown that endosulfan can promote proliferation of human breast cancer cells. Evidence of carcinogenicity in animals is mixed.
Environmental fateEndosulfan is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant. The chemical is semivolatile and persistent to degradation processes in the environment. Endosulfan is subject to long-range atmospheric transport, i.e. it can travel long distances from where it is used. Thus, it occurs in many environmental compartments. For example, a 2008 report by the National Park Service found that endosulfan commonly contaminates air, water, plants, and fish of national parks in the US. Most of these parks are far from areas where endosulfan is used. Endosulfan has been found in remote locations such as the Arctic Ocean, as well as in the Antarctic atmosphere. The pesticide has also been detected in dust from the Sahara Desert collected in the Caribbean after being blown across the Atlantic Ocean. The compound has been shown to be one of the most abundant organochlorine pesticides in the global atmosphere.
The compound breaks down into endosulfan sulfate, endosulfan diol, and endosulfan furan, all of which have structures similar to the parent compound and, according to the EPA, "are also of toxicological concern'...The estimated half-lives for the combined toxic residues (endosulfan plus endosulfan sulfate) [range] from roughly 9 months to 6 years." The EPA concluded, "[b]ased on environmental fate laboratory studies, terrestrial field dissipation studies, available models, monitoring studies, and published literature, it can be concluded that endosulfan is a very persistent chemical which may stay in the environment for lengthy periods of time, particularly in acid media." The EPA also concluded, "[e]ndosulfan has relatively high potential to bioaccumulate in fish." It is also toxic to amphibians; low levels have been found to kill tadpoles.
In 2009, the committee of scientific experts of the Stockholm Convention concluded, "endosulfan is likely, as a result of long range environmental transport, to lead to significant adverse human health and environmental effects such that global action is warranted." In May 2011, the Stockholm Convention committee approved the recommendation for elimination of production and use of endosulfan and its isomers worldwide. This is, however, subject to certain exemptions. Overall, this will lead to its elimination from the global markets.
Status by regionIndiaAlthough classified as a yellow label (highly toxic) pesticide by the Central Insecticides Board, India is one of the largest producers and the largest consumer of endosulfan in the world. Of the total volume manufactured in India, three companies '-- Excel Crop Care, Hindustan Insecticides Ltd, and Coromandal Fertilizers '-- produce 4,500 tonnes annually for domestic use and another 4,000 tonnes for export. Endosulfan is widely used in most of the plantation crops in India. Toxicity of endosulfan and health issues due to its bioaccumulation came under media attention when health isuues precipitated in the Kasargod District (of Kerala) was publicised. This inspired protests, and the pesticide was banned in Kerala as early as 2001 following a report by the National Institute of Occupational Health. In the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants of 2011, when an international consensus arose for the global ban of the pesticide, ironically India stood against this move owing to pressure from the endosulfan manufacturing companies. This flared up the protest, and while India still maintained its stance, the global conference decided on a global ban, for which India asked a remission for 10 years. Later, on a petition filed in the Supreme Court of India, the production, storage, sale and use of the pesticide was temporarily banned on 13 May 2011, and later permanently by the end of 2011.
The Karnataka government also banned the use of endosulfan with immediate effect. Briefing presspersons after the State Cabinet meeting, Minister for Higher Education V.S. Acharya said the Cabinet discussed the harmful effects of endosulfan on the health of farmers and people living in rural areas. The government will now invoke the provisions of the Insecticides Act, 1968 (a Central act) and write a letter to the Union Government about the ban. Minister for Energy, and Food and Civil Supplies Shobha Karandlaje, who has been spearheading a movement seeking a ban on endosulfan, said, "I am grateful to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and members of the Cabinet for approving the ban.
Rajendra Singh Rana has written a letter to Prime MinisterManmohan Singh demanding the withdrawal of the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) study on Endosulfan titled "Report Of The Investigation Of Unusual Illness" allegedly produced by the Endosulfan exposure in Padre village of Kasargod district in north Kerala. In his statement Mr. Rana said "The NIOH report is flawed. I'm in complete agreement with what the workers have to say on this. In fact, I have already made representation to the Prime Minister and concerned Union Ministers of health and environment demanding immediate withdrawal of the report," as reported by The Economic Times and Outlook India
Mrs. Vibhavari Dave, local leader and Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), from Bhavnagar, Gujarat, voiced her concerns on the impact of ban of endosulfan on families and workers of Bhavnagar. She was a part of the delegation with Bhavnagar MP, Rajendra Singh Rana, which submitted a memorandum to the district collector's office to withdraw the NIOH report calling for ban of endosulfan. The Pollution Control Board of the Government of Kerala, prohibited the use of endosulfan in the state of Kerala on 10 November 2010. On February 18, 2011, the Karnataka government followed suit and suspended the use of endosulfan for a period of 60 days in the state. Indian Union Minister of Agriculture Sharad Pawar has ruled out implementing a similar ban at the national level despite the fact that endosulfan has banned in 63 countries, including the European Union, Australia, and New Zealand.
The Government of Gujarat had initiated a study in response to the workers' rally in Bhavnagar and representations made by Sishuvihar, an NGO based in Ahmadabad. The committee constituted for the study also included former Deputy Director of NIOH, Ahmadabad. The committee noted that the WHO, FAO, IARC and US EPA have indicated that endosulfan is not carcinogenic, not teratogenic, not mutagenic and not genotoxic. The highlight of this report is the farmer exposure study based on analysis of their blood reports for residues of endosulfan and the absence of any residues. This corroborates the lack of residues in worker-exposure studies.
The Supreme Court passed interim order on May 13, 2011, in a Writ Petition filed by Democratic Youth Federation of India, (DYFI), a youth wing of Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the backdrop of the incidents reported in Kasargode, Kerala, and banned the production, distribution and use of endosulfan in India because the pesticide has debilitating effects on humans and the environment. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) welcomed this order, and called it a 'resounding defeat' for the pesticide industry which has been promoting this deadly toxin. A 2001 study by CSE had established the linkages between the aerial spraying of the pesticide and the growing health disorders in Kasaragod. Over the years, other studies have confirmed these findings, and the health hazards associated with endosulfan are now widely known and accepted. However, in July 2012, the Government asked the Supreme Court to allow use of the pesticide in all states except Kerala and Karnataka, as these states are ready to use it for pest control.
New ZealandEndosulfan was banned in New Zealand by the Environmental Risk Management Authority effective January 2009 after a concerted campaign by environmental groups and the Green Party.
PhilippinesA shipment of about 10 tonnes of endosulfan was illegally stowed on the ill-fated MV Princess of the Stars, a ferry that sank off the waters of Romblon (Sibuyan Island), Philippines, during a storm in June 2008. Search, rescue, and salvage efforts were suspended when the endosulfan shipment was discovered, and blood samples from divers at the scene were sent to Malaysia for analysis. The Department of Health of the Philippines has temporarily banned the consumption of fish caught in the area. Endosulfan is classified as a "Severe Marine Pollutant" by the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.
United StatesIn the United States, endosulfan is only registered for agricultural use, and these uses are being phased out. It has been used extensively on cotton, potatoes, tomatoes, and apples according to the EPA. The EPA estimates that 0.626 million kg of endosulfan were used annually from 1987 to 1997. The US exported more than 140,000 lb of endosulfan from 2001 to 2003, mostly to Latin America, but production and export has since stopped.
In California, endosulfan contamination from the San Joaquin Valley has been implicated in the extirpation of the mountain yellow-legged frog from parts of the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains. In Florida, levels of contamination the Everglades and Biscayne Bay are high enough to pose a threat to some aquatic organisms.
In 2007, the EPA announced it was rereviewing the safety of endosulfan. The following year, Pesticide Action Network and NRDC petitioned the EPA to ban endosulfan, and a coalition of environmental and labor groups sued the EPA seeking to overturn its 2002 decision to not ban endosulfan. In June 2010, the EPA announced it was negotiating a phaseout of all uses with the sole US manufacturer, Makhteshim Agan, and a complete ban on the compound.
An official statement by Makhteshim Agan of North America (MANA) states, "From a scientific standpoint, MANA continues to disagree fundamentally with EPA's conclusions regarding endosulfan and believes that key uses are still eligible for re-registration." The statement adds, "However, given the fact that the endosulfan market is quite small and the cost of developing and submitting additional data high, we have decided to voluntarily negotiate an agreement with EPA that provides growers with an adequate time frame to find alternatives for the damaging insect pests currently controlled by endosulfan." 
AustraliaAustralia banned endosulfan on October 12, 2010, with a two-year phase-out for stock of endosulfan-containing products. Australia had, in 2008, announced endosulfan would not be banned. Citing New Zealand's ban, the Australian Greens called for "zero tolerance" of endosulfan residue on food.
TaiwanUS apples with endosulfan are now allowed to be exported to Taiwan, although the ROC government denied any US pressure on it.
References^"Bayer to stop selling endosulfan". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. July 17, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-17. ^.thehindu.com/news/national/article1968299.ece^"Endosulfan: Supreme Court to hear seeking ban on Monday". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 1 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011. ^ ab"Australia should ban endosulfan: Greens". Weekly Times (News Limited). January 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-08. ^Cone, Marla. EPA Bans Pesticide Found on Cucumbers, Zucchini, Green Beans and Other Vegetables.The Daily Green. June 10, 2010.^ abcd"EPA Action to Terminate Endosulfan". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 10 June 2010. ^http://www.agrow.com/markets/southamerica/Endosulfan-ban-in-Brazil-from-2013-299753?autnRef=/contentstore/agrow/codex/0bef898a-90fc-11df-870a-bbcce1c03e31.xml^PMRA: Re-evaluation Note REV2011-01, Discontinuation of Endosulfan http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/pest/_decisions/rev2011-01/index-eng.php^ abGovernment of Canada (January 10, 2009). "Endosulfan: Canada's submission of information specified in Annex E of". Retrieved 2009-01-29. ^Mossler, Mark; Michael J. Aerts and O. Norman Nesheim (March 2006). "Florida Crop/Pest Management Profiles: Tomatoes. CIR 1238". University of Florida, IFAS Extension. Retrieved 2009-01-27. ^Extension Toxicology Network (June 1996). Pesticide Information Profile: Endosulfan. Oregon State University. ^ abcdefghiUS EPA, Reregistration Eligibility Decision for Endosulfan, November 2002.^World Health Organization, Environmental Health Criteria 40, 1984.^(a) Schmidt WF, Hapeman CJ, Fettinger JC, Rice CP, and Bilboulian S, J. Ag. Food Chem., 1997, 45(4): 1023''1026.(b) Schmidt WF, Bilboulian S, Rice CP, Fettinger JC, McConnell LL, and Hapeman CJ, J. Ag. Food Chem., 2001, 49(11): 5372''5376.^Robert L. Metcalf "Insect Control" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry" Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2002. doi:10.1002/14356007.a14_263^ abcdeAgency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for Endosulfan, 2000.^Kay, Jane (March 2, 2006). "A move to ease pesticide laws". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. A1. .^ abSecretariat for the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (16 October 2007). "Draft Decision Guidance Document" (PDF). United Nations Environment Programme. Retrieved 2008-10-06. ^ ab"SUMMARY OF THE FOURTH MEETING OF THE PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS REVIEW COMMITTEE OF THE STOCKHOLM CONVENTION". Earth Negotiations Bulletin15 (161). October 20, 2008. ^Canada to end endosulfan use?Agrow, Oct 22, 2007.^Note to Reader. Endosulfan: Request for Additional Information on Usage and Availability of Alternatives, U.S. EPA, Nov. 16, 2007.^Our Products: Endosulfan, BayerCropScience.com, Accessed 03/03/08.^PETITION TO BAN ENDOSULFAN AND REVOKE ALL TOLERANCES AND COMMENTS ON THE ENDOSULFAN UPDATED RISK ASSESSMENT (OPP-2002-0262-0067) BY THE NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL, National Resources Defense Council, Feb. 2008.^Thousands Tell EPA: Phase Out Endosulfan, Pesticide Action Network, Feb. 18, 2008^Sass J, Janssen S (2008). "Open letter to Stephen Johnson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: ban endosulfan". Int J Occup Environ Health14 (3): 236''9. PMID 18686727. ^Erickson, Britt (MAY 21, 2008). "Groups Petition EPA To Ban Endosulfan". Chemical and Engineering News. ^ ab"Group sues to ban DDT-related pesticide". The Mercury News. Retrieved 2008-08-11. [dead link]^POPRC-4 '-- Summary and Analysis, 20 October 2008, The International Institute for Sustainable Development '' Reporting Services Division.^Dutta, Mahdumita (November 21, 2008). "To Industry's Tune". Down to Earth. Retrieved 2008-11-22. [dead link]^Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention (16 October 2009). "Endosulfan and other chemicals being assessed for listing under the Stockholm Convention". Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention. Retrieved 2009-10-20. ^ ab"ERMA: Endosulfan Use Prohibited". ENVIRONMENTAL RISK MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY. December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-28. ^"UN chemical body recommends elimination of the toxic pesticide endosulfan". Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Retrieved 13 December 2010. ^Martin, David S. EPA moves to ban DDT cousin.CNN. June 10, 2010.^"Australia finally bans endosulfan. 13 Oct 2010. National Rural News. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 2010-10-13. ^"SC bans sale and use of toxic pesticide endosulfan. 13 May 2011. The Times of India". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. May 13, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-29. ^"Endosulfan: nuevas medidas para la importaci"n, elaboraci"n y uso en Argentina. 8 Aug 2011 SENASA". www.senasa.gov.ar. Retrieved 2011-08-29. ^Pesticide Action Network North America, Speaking the Truth Saves Lives in the Philippines and India, PAN Magazine, Fall 2006.^"Pesticide residues in food 2006 - Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues". Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 2006. ^World Health Organization, The WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard, 2005.^International Programme on Chemical Safety, World Health Organization, Endosulfan (Poison Information Monograph 576), July 2000.^Colborn T, Dumanoski D, Meyers JP, Our Stolen Future : How We Are Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival, 1997, Plume.^Wilson VS, LeBlanc GA (January 1998). "Endosulfan elevates testosterone biotransformation and clearance in CD-1 mice". Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol.148 (1): 158''68. doi:10.1006/taap.1997.8319. PMID 9465275. ^Tumburu L, Shepard EF, Strand AE, Browdy CL (November 2011). "Effects of endosulfan exposure and Taura Syndrome Virus infection on the survival and molting of the marine penaeid shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei". Chemosphere86 (9): 912''8. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.10.057. PMID 22119282. ^Varayoud J, Monje L, Bernhardt T, Mu±oz-de-Toro M, Luque EH, Ramos JG (October 2008). "Endosulfan modulates estrogen-dependent genes like a non-uterotrophic dose of 17beta-estradiol". Reprod. Toxicol.26 (2): 138''45. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2008.08.004. PMID 18790044. ^Singh ND, Sharma AK, Dwivedi P, Patil RD, Kumar M (2007). "Citrinin and endosulfan induced teratogenic effects in Wistar rats". J Appl Toxicol27 (2): 143''51. doi:10.1002/jat.1185. PMID 17186572. ^ abSilva MH, Gammon D (February 2009). "An assessment of the developmental, reproductive, and neurotoxicity of endosulfan". Birth Defects Res. B Dev. Reprod. Toxicol.86 (1): 1''28. doi:10.1002/bdrb.20183. PMID 19243027. ^Saiyed H, Dewan A, Bhatnagar V, et al., Effect of Endosulfan on Male Reproductive Development, Environ. Health Perspect., 2003, 111:1958''1962.^(a) Damgaard IN, Skakkeb...k NE, Toppari J, et al., Persistent Pesticides in Human Breast Milk and Cryptorchidism, Environ. Health Perspect., 2006, 114:1133''1138.(b) Olea N, Olea-Serrano F, Lardelli-Claret P, et al., Inadvertent Exposure to Xenoestrogens in Children, Toxicol. Ind. Health, 15:151''158.^(a) Roberts EM, English PB, Grether JK, Windham GC, Somberg L, Wolff C (2007). "Maternal Residence Near Agricultural Pesticide Applications and Autism Spectrum Disorders among Children in the California Central Valley". Environ. Health Perspect.115 (10): 1482''9. doi:10.1289/ehp.10168. PMC 2022638. PMID 17938740. (b) Lay Summary: Autism and Agricultural Pesticides, Victoria McGovern, Environ. Health Perspect. 2007, 115(10):A505^(a) Grunfeld HT, Bonefeld-Jorgensen EC, Effect of in vitro estrogenic pesticides on human oestrogen receptor alpha and beta mRNA levels, Toxicol. Lett., 2004, 151(3):467''80.(b) Ibarluzea JmJ, Fernandez MF, Santa-Marina L, et al., Breast cancer risk and the combined effect of environmental estrogens, Cancer Causes Control, 2004, 15(6):591''600.(c) Soto AM, Chung KL, Sonnenschein C, The pesticides endosulfan, toxaphene, and dieldrin have estrogenic effects on human estrogensensitive cells, Environ. Health Perspect., 1994, 102(4):380''383.^Western Airborne Contaminants Assessment Project, National Park Service.^ abEndosulfan, a global pesticide: A review of its fate in the environment and occurrence in the Arctic, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 408, Issue 15.^Ramnarine, Kristy (May 12, 2008). "Harmful elements in Sahara dust". Trinidad & Tobago Express. Retrieved 2008-05-14. [dead link]^Relyea RA (2008) A cocktail of contaminants: how mixtures of pesticides at low concentrations affect aquatic communities. Oecologia (accepted: 13 October 2008) Relyea, Ra (Mar 2009). "A cocktail of contaminants: how mixtures of pesticides at low concentrations affect aquatic communities". Oecologia159 (2): 363''76. doi:10.1007/s00442-008-1213-9. PMID 19002502. ^Earth Negotiations Bulletin (Monday, 19 October 2009). Briefing Note on the 5th Meeting of the POPRC. International Institute for Sustainable Development. ^United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (Press release). UNEP. May 3, 2011 http://hqweb.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=2637&ArticleID=8719&l=en&t=long. Retrieved 2011-06-13. ^Indian Chemical Council (January 9, 2009). "Form for submission of information specified in Annex E". Retrieved 2009-01-29. ^Uppinangady, Arun (July 14, 2009). "Beltangady: Endosulfan Affected Leading Hellish Life '-- Seek Succour". Daijiworld Media Network. Retrieved 2009-07-14. ^'Rain man' of Indian journalism makes sure wells stay full, Frederick Noronha, IndiaENews.com, July 5th, 2007, accessed July 5th, 2007.^"SUMMARY OF THE FOURTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE ROTTERDAM CONVENTION". Earth Negotiations Bulletin15 (168). November 3, 2008. ^http://www.indiatogether.org/2006/sep/env-endosulf.htm^"V.S. Achuthanandan to lead 'satyagraha'". The Hindu (Chennai, India). April 24, 2011. ^http://www.indianexpress.com/news/MP-govt-backs-VS-ban-demand/783265/^"Karnataka bans use of endosulfan". The Hindu (Chennai, India). February 18, 2011. ^"Rana Wants Withdrawal of NIOH Study on Endosulfan". Outlook India. November 16, 2010. ^"Rajendra Singh Rana, MP, Bhavnagar calls for withdrawal of NIOH report on Endosulfan". World News. December 17, 2010. ^"Local MLA speaks in support of Bhavnagar Endosulfan Workers". Daily Motion. December 18, 2010. ^"Workers demand withdrawal of study on Endosulfan". WebIndia 123. November 16, 2010. ^, accessed Nov 19th, 2010^"Karnataka bans use of endosulfan". Chennai, India: The Hindu. February 18, 2011. ^"India will not ban Endosulfan pesticide, says Sharad Pawar". Tehelka. February 22, 2011. ^"REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE TO EVALUATE THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF ENDOSULFAN Department". Health and Family Welfare Department - Government of Gujarat. March 15, 2011. ^"Allow use of endosulfan except in Kerala and Karnataka". 27 July 2012. ^"Divers' blood samples sent to Singapore for analysis". GMAnews.TV. June 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-27. ^Aguilar, Ephraim (June 27, 2008). "DoH bans eating of fish from Romblon waters". Inquirer.net. Retrieved 2008-06-27. ^Benefits of Endosulfan in Agricultural Production: Analysis of Usage Information, U.S. EPA, Docket ID NO. EPA-HQ-OPP-2002-0262-0062, 2007.^Smith, Carl; Kathleen Kerr and Ava Sadripour (July/September 2008). "Pesticide Exports from US Ports, 2001''2003". Int. J. Occup. Environ. Health14 (3): 176''186. PMID 18686717. ^Fellers GM, McConnell LL, Pratt D, Datta S (September 2004). "Pesticides in mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, USA". Environ. Toxicol. Chem.23 (9): 2170''7. doi:10.1897/03-491. PMID 15378994. [dead link]^Carriger JF, Rand GM (October 2008). "Aquatic risk assessment of pesticides in surface waters in and adjacent to the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks: I. Hazard assessment and problem formulation". Ecotoxicology17 (7): 660''79. doi:10.1007/s10646-008-0230-0. PMID 18642080. ^Carriger JF, Rand GM (October 2008). "Aquatic risk assessment of pesticides in surface waters in and adjacent to the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks: II. Probabilistic analyses". Ecotoxicology17 (7): 680''96. doi:10.1007/s10646-008-0231-z. PMID 18642079. ^Dan B. Kimball, Superintendent National Park Service (October 29, 2008). "Letter to EPA re: Petitions to Revoke All Tolerances Established for Endosulfan; Federal Register: August 20, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 162). Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0615-0041.1". Retrieved 2009-01-27. ^ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (November 16, 2007). "Endosulfan Updated Risk Assessments, Notice of Availability, and Solicitation of Usage Information". Federal Register72 (221): 64624''64626. ^ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (August 20, 2008). Petitions to Revoke All Tolerances Established for Endosulfan; Notice of Availability73 (162). pp. 49194''49196. ^"MANA And EPA Agree To Voluntary Plan On Endosulfan". MANA Crop Protection. June 10, 2010. ^"MANA, EPA Agree To Voluntary Plan On Endosulfan". Growing Produce. June 11, 2010. ^ abAustralian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) apvma (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. October 12, 2010 http://www.apvma.gov.au/news_media/media_releases/2010/mr2010-12.php. Retrieved 2010-10-13. ^"Australia finally bans endosulfan". Australia: ABC. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-13. ^"Regulator finally acts to ban endosulfan". NTN blog. Australia: National Toxics Network. October 13, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-13. ^Burke, Kelly (January 7, 2009). "Australia refuses to join ban on pesticide". Fairfax. Retrieved 2009-01-08. ^Taiwan Academics slam end of pesticide ban for U.S. fruitExternal links
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:42
Dr. Diane Harper was the lead researcher in the development of the human papilloma virus vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix. She is the latest to come forward and question the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines. She made the surprising announcement at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination, which took place in Reston, Virginia on Oct. 2nd through 4th, 2009. Her speech was supposed to promote the Gardasil and Cervarix vaccines, but she instead turned on her corporate bosses in a very public way. When questioned about the presentation, audience members remarked that they came away feeling that the vaccines should not be used.
"I came away from the talk with the perception that the risk of adverse side effects is so much greater than the risk of cervical cancer, I couldn't help but question why we need the vaccine at all."
-- Joan Robinson
Dr. Harper explained in her presentation that the cervical cancer risk in the U.S. is already extremely low, and that vaccinations are unlikely to have any effect upon the rate of cervical cancer in the United States. In fact, 70% of all H.P.V. infections resolve themselves without treatment in a year, and the number rises to well over 90% in two years. Harper also mentioned the safety angle. All trials of the vaccines were done on children aged 15 and above, despite them currently being marketed for 9-year-olds.
So far, 15,037 girls have reported adverse side effects from Gardasil alone to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (V.A.E.R.S.), and this number only reflects parents who underwent the hurdles required for reporting adverse reactions. At the time of writing, 44 girls are officially known to have died from these vaccines. The reported side effects include Guillian Barr(C) Syndrome (paralysis lasting for years, or permanently -- sometimes eventually causing suffocation), lupus, seizures, blood clots, and brain inflammation. Parents are usually not made aware of these risks.
Dr. Harper, the vaccine developer, claimed that she was speaking out, so that she might finally be able to sleep at night.
''About eight in every ten women who have been sexually active will have H.P.V. at some stage of their life. Normally there are no symptoms, and in 98 per cent of cases it clears itself. But in those cases where it doesn't, and isn't treated, it can lead to pre-cancerous cells which may develop into cervical cancer.''
-- Dr. Diane Harper
One must understand how the establishment's word games are played to truly understand the meaning of the above quote, and one needs to understand its unique version of "science". When they report that untreated cases "can" lead to something that "may" lead to cervical cancer, it really means that the relationship is merely a hypothetical conjecture that is profitable if people actually believe it. In other words, there is no demonstrated relationship between the condition being vaccinated for and the rare cancers that the vaccine might prevent, but it is marketed to do that nonetheless. In fact, there is no actual evidence that the vaccine can prevent any cancer.
From the manufacturers own admissions, the vaccine only works on 4 strains out of 40 for a specific venereal disease that dies on its own in a relatively short period, so the chance of it actually helping an individual is about about the same as the chance of him being struck by a meteorite. Why do nine-year-old girls need vaccinations for extremely rare and symptom-less venereal diseases that the immune system usually kills anyway?
The Amish Don't Get Autism but They Do Get Bio-Terrorism
How To Cure Autism and The Time Bomb Of Mercury Poisoning
The 14 Studies Disputing A Mercury Link To Autism and Who Really Funded Them
The Health Wyze Report (Audio Edition #4)
If Vaccines Are Safe, Then Why Did Congress Give Manufacturers Special Legal Immunity? Why Are They Above the Law?
Children's Programming On P.B.S. Is Admitted Propaganda For Vaccine Industry and Is Sponsored by Governmental Money
Chop Shop Hospitals
Unwilling Guinea Pigs: Using Foster Care Children For Forced Drug Experiments
Mandatory Vaccinations: Have A Taste Of Your Own Medicine, Doctor
The Hepatitis B Vaccine Scam
The Mail Bag #5: Colloidal Silver, Vaccines, Toothpaste, Sunlight, and Shark Cartilage
Proof That The Swine Flu Epidemic Was Man Made and Intentional
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 00:42
Regcast training : Hyper-V 3.0, VM high availability and disaster recovery
Facebook has sent out invitations for a press event on June 20, and it's widely rumored to be the announcement of a new RSS reader aimed at scooping up disaffected Google Reader users.
In March, Google announced it was going to shut down the Reader system on July 1, saying that the number of users had declined over the years and that the Chocolate Factory wanted to focus on new creations.
That news didn't go down well with users, sparking the now-traditional Downfall parody, a 150,000+ signature petition, and a mass migration to other services.
Fading news aggregation site Digg has already announced it will build its own RSS system to support those Google users who don't fancy any of the other myriad of readers out there (and try and get Digg some traction again with internet users). Now Facebook has set out a mysterious invite (by snail mail no less '' how retro) for the event.
The dead-tree invitation features a printed coffee cup stain ring and the words "A small team has been working on a big idea. Join us for coffee and learn about a new product." No other details have been released, but a Scottish developer may have spotted an important clue as to the purpose of the mysterious announcement.
Tom Waddington, who also maintains the website Cut Out + Keep with his fianc(C) Cat Morley, which is devoted to home arts and crafts skills (with over 150,000 registered users and a million hits a month), blogged on Thursday that he'd spotted something unusual in Facebook's code base.
"A new entry appeared '' now users have RSS feeds, each RSS feed has multiple entries, and a list of subscribers," he wrote.
"What's surprising is that the code mentions RSS specifically and distinctly from existing interest lists and friend lists. Also, note that this is unconnected to Facebook outputting RSS feeds, which they've done for a while."
A Facebook RSS footprint?
Waddington said that he'd tried to access the RSS feeds by means of the API, but it was locked down and only available to whitelisted applications at the present time.
If Facebook does have a new RSS reader, the move would fit in with the company's strategy of trying to become the go-to place for internet users looking to know what is going on in the world, a strategy Mark Zuckerberg pointed to at the March launch of Facebook's revamped news feed.
"We want more than a single feed of content," the behoodied one said at the time. "We want to give everyone in the world the best newspaper we can. It should have high-quality public content and socially relevant content, and to drill into any topic." ®
Regcast training : Hyper-V 3.0, VM high availability and disaster recovery
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:51
Drone-makers such as Textron Inc.'s AAI Corp. are offering armed forces the option to rent drones for missions rather than buy the unmanned systems outright at a time of budget cuts.
The move, called fee for service, is designed to provide more flexibility for defense customers faced with declining procurement budgets. The U.S. Defense Department this year was forced to reduce spending by $37 billion because of automatic cuts that took effect in March, officials said.
''We have a partnership with the government where we are delivering and flying missions pretty much on what I'll call on cost-per-mission basis,'' Bill Irby, senior vice president and general manager of AAI, said in a telephone interview with Military'.com. ''We envision that being a very substantial area of growth.''
The company, which makes the catapult-launched RQ-7B Shadow and the model plane-sized Aerosonde drone for ground forces, isn't alone. Boeing Co.'s Insitu Inc. offers a similar service with its ScanEagle drone. The service is among the pricing options firms plan to pitch to potential customers at the upcoming Paris Air Show.
''We're very flexible on what we can offer to the market,'' Irby said.
The Defense Department faces $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade under deficit-reduction legislation passed in 2011. Half of that amount, about $500 billion, will come from automatic, across-the-board cuts '-- unless Congress and the White House agree to an alternative spending plan.
The Defense Department is projected to spend $20.6 billion on unmanned systems in the four years through fiscal 2016, down from $27.7 billion projected last year for the same period, according to figures presented by Dyke Weatherington, director of unmanned warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance at the Pentagon, at a conference earlier this year in Washington, D.C.
The price tag of a drone can range from about $800,000 for a Shadow to about $220 million for a high-altitude RQ-4 Global Hawk made by Northrop Grumman Corp. And those figures don't include the additional cost of acquiring multiple aircraft to conduct round-the-clock missions, launchers, ground control stations, spares and other equipment.
The idea of paying for individual missions as needed rather than buying unmanned systems makes sense for some buyers in an era of tightening budgets because the cost-per-mission is more affordable, Irby said.
''When you get into a fee-for-service model, it enables the government to tap into different dollars types than just procurement and development,'' he said.
At the show, held at the Le Bourget airfield outside Paris, AAI also plans to tout the RQ-7 Shadow 200, the new Shadow M2, which can fly higher and longer than its predecessor, and a universal ground control station that can communicate with other drones such as the medium-altitude MQ-1C Gray Eagle, based on the Predator made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.
Like major defense contractors and the U.S. government itself, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a trade group based in Arlington, Va., that represents drone manufacturers, plans to scale back its presence at the show. The organization won't have a booth this year, though some employees still plant to attend the event.
Northrop Grumman plan to skip the event entirely, meaning attendees won't be able to catch a glimpse of the Global Hawk or learn more about the X-47B, a stealthy, batwing-shaped craft that became the first unmanned jet to take off from and touch down on an aircraft carrier earlier this year.
Observers will looking out for displays of competing products such as the nEUROn, made by a unit of the Paris-based Dassault Group, and the Taranas, made by London-based BAE Systems Plc.
June 14th, 2013 | The Defense Biz | 2061016 Commentshttp%3A%2F%2Fdefensetech.org%2F2013%2F06%2F14%2Fdrone-makers-pitch-rentals-amid-budget-cuts%2FDrone-Makers+Pitch+Rentals+Amid+Budget+Cuts2013-06-14+17%3A03%3A17Brendan+McGarryhttp%3A%2F%2Fdefensetech.org%2F%3Fp%3D20610
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 23:21
A former State official insisted that Abedin was not involved in political intelligence. | AP Photo
CloseSen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, is asking the State Department to answer a list of questions about Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin's role there and whether she was allowed to trade on ''political intelligence'' while she was a consultant allowed to represent other clients, POLITICO has learned.
Grassley sent theletter, with 18 questions, to Foggy Bottom on Thursday. He sent a similar letter, with 13 questions, to Abedin at Teneo Holdings, the firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton counselor Doug Band, for whom she worked.
The letters come as Clinton is very much in the sights of Republicans, the Democratic party's prohibitive frontrunner for the 2016 presidential nomination if she runs. Republicans are still poring over the security breakdown in Benghazi that led to a U.S. ambassador being murdered, and have raised repeated questions about her leadership of the agency.
(PHOTOS: Huma Abedin's career)
''It appears that Teneo may have been compensating Ms. Abedin for gathering information from government sources for the purpose of informing investment decisions of her clients '-- or in other words, political intelligence,'' Grassley wrote in the letter, basing the question on Teneo's description of its business model on its website.
''It has been reported that Ms. Abedin earned approximately $135,000 from the State Department while receiving $355,000 in consulting income for representing outside clients, as she remained a Federal employee and a trusted advisor to Secretary Clinton,'' he wrote. ''This raises important questions about whether her dual role was adequately disclosed to government officials who may have provided her information without realizing that she was being paid by private investors to gather information.''
A former State Department official insisted that Abedin was not involved in political intelligence and did not do client work for Teneo, which has worked with foreign interests. Teneo, on which Clinton's husband had served for a time as a board member, did not have business before the State Department, the official said.
The salary figure Grassley cited was actually the combined income between Abedin and her husband, former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who's running for New York City mayor as a Democrat. At least half of the $355,000 came from his earnings.
(QUIZ: Do you know Anthony Weiner?)
But the bulk of the questions seek information about what type of clearance she got, who approved her changed status, and whether she was in a position to gather political intelligence.
A former State Department official said Teneo had responded to the letter sent to Abedin, informing Grassley that she doesn't work for the firm. Since March, she has been working full-time for Clinton's transition effort.
The official also said State typically doesn't respond to queries of this sort from the ranking member, and only from the majority. But State officials do plan to do respond, despite the irregularity of a Cabinet member responding to a ranking member, the source said.
(PHOTOS: Stars at the State Department)
Abedin filed her final financial disclosure form within 30 days of leaving the State Department, as required when political appointees depart the federal government, the source said.
POLITICO first reported on Abedin's arrangement, in which her status changed from deputy chief of staff to Special Government Employee after the birth of her son last year. The agency has more than 125 similarly-statused appointees in Washington, the former official said.
She went through a routine process, the source said.
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 17:51
CU Tax Included for Senate ConsiderationThe Senate Finance Committee's Tax Reform Options Paper, which focuses on tax-exempt organizations that could be targeted for reform, included credit unions. The paper did not make specific recommendations regarding which tax exemptions should be eliminated in new legislation. However, it sourced a 2012 Tax Foundation study that did offer specifics, which included the credit union exemption.
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 17:06
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 14, 2013
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
I am providing this supplemental consolidated report, prepared by my Administration and consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), as part of my efforts to keep the Congress informed about deployments of U.S. Armed Forces equipped for combat.
MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SUPPORT OF U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM OBJECTIVES
In furtherance of U.S. counterterrorism efforts, the United States continues to work with partners around the globe, with a particular focus on the U.S. Central Command's and U.S. Africa Command's areas of responsibility. In this context, the United States has deployed U.S. combat-equipped forces to enhance the counterterrorism capabilities and support the counterterrorism operations of our friends and allies, including special operations and other forces for sensitive operations in various locations around the world. Specific information about counterterrorism deployments to select countries is provided below, and a classified annex to this report provides further information.
Military Operations Against al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, and Associated Forces and in Support of Related U.S. Counterterrorism Objectives
Since October 7, 2001, the United States has conducted combat operations in Afghanistan against al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, and associated forces. In support of these and other overseas operations, the United States has deployed combat-equipped forces to a number of locations in the U.S. Central, Pacific, European, Southern, and Africa Command areas of operation. Previously, such operations and deployments have been reported, consistent with Public Law 107-40 and the War Powers Resolution, and operations and deployments remain ongoing. These operations, which the United States has carried out with the assistance of numerous international partners, have been successful in seriously degrading al-Qa'ida's capabilities and brought an end to the Taliban's leadership of Afghanistan. The United States is committed to thwarting the efforts of al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, and associated forces to carry out future acts of international terrorism, and we have continued to work with our counterterrorism partners to disrupt and degrade the capabilities of al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, and associated forces. As necessary, in response to this terrorist threat, I will direct additional measures to protect U.S. citizens and interests. It is not possible to know at this time the precise scope or the duration of the deployments of U.S. Armed Forces necessary to counter this terrorist threat to the United States.
Afghanistan. United States Armed Forces continue to pursue and engage remaining al-Qa'ida and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan while transitioning to an Afghan security lead. The Afghanistan Force Management Level is approximately 62,000 U.S. forces. Approximately 49,000 of these forces are assigned to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Further Presidentially directed force reductions will continue to the 34,000 level by February 12, 2014.
The U.N. Security Council most recently reaffirmed its authorization of ISAF for a 12-month period until October 13, 2013, in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2069 (October 9, 2012). The mission of ISAF, under NATO command and in partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for international terrorists. Fifty nations, including the United States and all 28 NATO members, contribute forces to ISAF. These forces broke Taliban momentum and trained additional Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). The ANSF are now increasingly assuming responsibility for security on the timeline committed to at the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon, and renewed at the Summit in Chicago, by the United States, our NATO allies, ISAF partners, and the Government of Afghanistan. The nations contributing to ISAF will continue to support Afghanistan on its path towards self-reliance in security, improved governance, and economic and social development. This path will prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a safe haven for terrorists that threaten Afghanistan, the region, and the world.
On March 25, 2013, the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Afghan government under which the United States transferred all Afghan nationals detained by U.S. forces in Afghanistan to the custody and control of the Afghan government. Pursuant to the MOU, any new Afghan detainees are to be transferred to Afghan custody and control within 96 hours after capture. United States forces in Afghanistan continue to detain approximately 66 third-country nationals under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40), as informed by the law of war.
Somalia. In Somalia, the U.S. military has worked to counter the terrorist threat posed by al-Qa'ida and associated elements of al-Shabaab. As detailed in my report of January 13, 2013, and at my direction, on January 11, 2013, U.S. combat aircraft briefly entered Somali airspace and U.S. forces provided limited technical support to French forces conducting an operation in Somalia in which they attempted to rescue a French citizen being held hostage by al-Shabaab.
Yemen. The U.S. military has also been working closely with the Yemeni government to dismantle operationally and ultimately eliminate the terrorist threat posed by al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the most active and dangerous affiliate of al-Qa'ida today. Our joint efforts have resulted in direct action against a limited number of AQAP operatives and senior leaders in Yemen who posed a terrorist threat to the United States and our interests.
Cuba. Combat-equipped forces, deployed since January 2002 to the Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, continue to conduct humane and secure detention operations for the approximately 166 detainees at Guantanamo Bay under the authority provided by the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) as informed by the law of war.
Military Operations in Niger in Support of U.S. Counterterrorism Objectives
As detailed in my report of February 22, 2013, and at my direction, on February 20, 2013, the last elements of a deployment of 40 additional U.S. military personnel entered Niger with the consent of the Government of Niger. This deployment provides support for intelligence collection and facilitates intelligence sharing with French forces conducting operations in Mali, and with other partners in the region. The total number of U.S. military personnel deployed to Niger is approximately 180.
MILITARY OPERATIONS IN CENTRAL AFRICA
In October and November 2011, U.S. military personnel with appropriate combat equipment deployed to Uganda to serve as advisors to regional forces that are working to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and other senior Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leaders from the battlefield, and to protect local populations. The total number of U.S. military personnel deployed for this mission, including those providing logistical and support functions, is approximately 100. United States forces are working with select partner nation forces to enhance cooperation, information-sharing and synchronization, operational planning, and overall effectiveness. Elements of these U.S. forces have deployed to forward locations in the LRA-affected areas of the Republic of South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic to enhance regional efforts against the LRA. These forces will not engage LRA forces except in self-defense. It is in the U.S. national security interest to help our regional partners in Africa to develop their capability to address threats to regional peace and security, including the threat posed by the LRA. The United States is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to help the governments and people of this region in their efforts to end the threat posed by the LRA and to address the impact of the LRA's atrocities.
MARITIME INTERCEPTION OPERATIONS
As noted in previous reports, the United States remains prepared to conduct maritime interception operations on the high seas in the areas of responsibility of each of the geographic combatant commands. These maritime operations are aimed at stopping the movement, arming, and financing of certain international terrorist groups, and also include operations aimed at stopping proliferation by sea of weapons of mass destruction and related materials. As detailed in my report of January 28, 2013, and at my direction, on January 23, 2013, a U.S. Navy warship with Yemeni Coast Guard personnel aboard entered Yemeni territorial waters, at the invitation of the Government of Yemen, to assist the Government of Yemen in intercepting and inspecting a vessel suspected of smuggling contraband into Yemen. Upon boarding and searching the vessel, a combined U.S. and Yemeni team discovered various conventional weapons and explosives, apparently of Iranian origin, concealed within the vessel. The vessel was escorted to Aden and turned over to the Yemeni Coast Guard on January 30, 2013.
MILITARY OPERATIONS IN EGYPT
Approximately 690 military personnel are assigned to the U.S. contingent of the Multinational Force and Observers, which have been present in Egypt since 1981.
U.S./NATO OPERATIONS IN KOSOVO
The U.N. Security Council authorized Member States to establish a NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) in Resolution 1244 on June 10, 1999. The original mission of KFOR was to monitor, verify, and, when necessary, enforce compliance with the Military Technical Agreement between NATO and the then-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Serbia), while maintaining a safe and secure environment. Today, KFOR deters renewed hostilities in cooperation with local authorities, bilateral partners, and international institutions. The principal military tasks of KFOR forces are to help maintain a safe and secure environment and to ensure freedom of movement throughout Kosovo.
Currently, 23 NATO Allies contribute to KFOR. Seven non-NATO countries also participate. The United States contribution to KFOR is approximately 750 U.S. military personnel out of the total strength of approximately 5,165 personnel.
REGIONAL SECURITY OPERATIONS
As detailed in my report of December 14, 2012, the security forces that deployed to Libya on September 12, 2012, and the security forces deployed to Yemen on September 13, 2012, to support the security of U.S. personnel remain in place and will remain until the security situation no longer requires them. On May 17, 2013, approximately 30 additional U.S. forces deployed to Libya to further support the security of U.S. personnel in Libya.
As detailed in my report of December 29, 2012, due to the deteriorating security situation in the Central African Republic and the potential threat to U.S. citizens, U.S. embassy personnel and several private U.S. citizens were evacuated on December 27, 2012, from Bangui, Central African Republic. On December 27, 2012, a standby response and evacuation force of approximately 50 U.S. military personnel from U.S. Africa Command deployed to Chad to support the evacuation of U.S. embassy personnel and U.S. citizens from the Central African Republic. The last of those forces departed Chad on December 29, 2012. Additional information about regional security operations is provided in the classified annex.
I have directed the participation of U.S. Armed Forces in all of these operations pursuant to my constitutional and statutory authority as Commander in Chief (including the authority to carry out Public Law 107-40 and other statutes) and as Chief Executive, as well as my constitutional and statutory authority to conduct the foreign relations of the United States. Officials of my Administration and I communicate regularly with the leadership and other Members of Congress with regard to these deployments, and we will continue to do so.
Federal Register | Notice of Intent To Seek Public and Private Organizations, Associations, and Other Entities Which Are Working on the West, East, and North Coasts of Africa in the Maritime Domain Sector To Participate as Military Exercise Observers in O
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 07:53
Notice Of Intent To Obtain Expressions Of Interest From Organizations Active On The West, East, And North Coasts Of Africa For The Purpose Of Information Sharing.
This notice announces that the U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) is seeking information about, and expressions of interest by, organizations, associations, and other entities, both public and private, which are currently working on the West, East, and North Coasts of Africa in the areas of maritime domain awareness and maritime security. This information and expressions of interest in observing the aforementioned exercises is being solicited to inform USAFRICOM and African Host Nations of potential public and private sector capability to improve maritime security. It is expected that these private entities will enrich the exercises planned in Africa concerning maritime awareness and maritime security on the West, East, and North coasts of Africa.
Submission of information is continuous on or before December 31, 2014.
Entities wishing to inform USAFRICOM of their work in Africa and their interest in sharing information and observing a maritime domain awareness exercise on the West, East, South and North Coasts of Africa in order to enhance USAFRICOM exercises may email email@example.com or Ms. Stefanie Perkowski at Stefanie.firstname.lastname@example.org or call +49 711 729 4545 or Mr. Richard Parker at Richard.email@example.com or call +49 711 729 2000 or write Attn: Branch Chief, Public Private Partnerships, Plieninger Strasse 289, Stuttgart Moehringen, 70567. Additional instructions will be provided after contact.
AFRICOM J9'--Outreach Directorate, +49 711-729-3260 LtCol James Hensien or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Specifically, USAFRICOM seeks to include a limited number of local, national, and international public and private organizations, associations, and entities as observers into the USAFRICOM Express Series Exercises in order to familiarize U.S. forces and Host Nation Maritime forces with public and private entities which are often the first affected by maritime domain awareness and/or maritime security issues. USAFRICOM and African Host Nation Maritime forces seek to understand the objectives, capabilities, operating procedures, coordination processes, and information sharing tools of these organizations, associations, and entities. USAFRICOM and African Host Nation Maritime forces desire to eventually build collaborative relationships with non-federal entities and promote a sustainable unity of effort among these stakeholder public and private organizations, associations, and entities. Finally, USAFRICOM and African Host Nation Maritime forces desire to eliminate gaps in response, set standard operating processes and procedures for interaction, and promote understanding within the multi-faceted community of key maritime stakeholders.
Types of Public and Private Organizations Sought: Local, regional, and international public and private sector organizations, associations, and entities operating within USAFRICOM's area of responsibility (AOR) who are interested in working with African Host Nation Maritime forces, USAFRICOM, and African Regional Economic Communities on a non-reimbursable basis. Information and expressions of interest provided to USAFRICOM are not for the purposes of obtaining a contract nor would the information provided and expression of interest provided be a guarantee of exercise participation. Finally, exercise participation will not constitute endorsement by DoD or USAFRICOM.
There are no fees involved and no funding will be provided. Vetted and selected observers will be expected to provide their own travel to the organizing conference and exercise locations with a possibility of limited exceptions for African organizations. USAFRICOM may only provide publicly releasable information about USAFRICOM's mission and goals. If potential observers currently represent an entity that is under contract with the U.S. Government, the following information must be provided: (1) Confirmation that participation is not part of a contract and will not be billed to the U.S. government; (2) a written description of any current contracts with USAFRICOM, its components, subordinate commands, or Joint Task Forces; and (3) whether awaiting the result of any U.S. government acquisition process or contract award. The information sought and expressions of interest will be used to more effectively identify potential exercise observers for the USAFRICOM Express Series Exercises taking place in the U.S. Government's Fiscal Year 2013-2014.
Dated: June 10, 2013.
Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
[FR Doc. 2013-14142 Filed 6-13-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 23:30
It was 47 years ago today that the phrase ''Miranda warning'' was born, after the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark case about the Fifth Amendment.
Ernesto MirandaErnesto Miranda
The ''Miranda'' in the Miranda warning was Ernesto Miranda. He was arrested in March 1963 in Phoenix and confessed while in police custody to kidnapping and rape charges. His lawyers sought to overturn his conviction after they learned during a cross-examination that Miranda wasn't told he had the right to a lawyer and had the right to remain silent. (Miranda had signed a confession that acknowledged that he understood his legal rights.)
The Supreme Court overturned Miranda's conviction on June 13, 1966, in its ruling for Miranda v. Arizona, which established guidelines for how detained suspects are informed of their constitutional rights.
The decision consolidated three other cases that dealt with related issues: California v. Stewart, Vignera v. New York, and Westover v. United States.
In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice Earl Warren said that ''it is not admissible to do a great right by doing a little wrong. '... It is not sufficient to do justice by obtaining a proper result by irregular or improper means.''
The syllabus for the case includes one of the best-known sentences in American culture.
''The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the right to remain silent, and that anything he says will be used against him in court; he must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation, and that, if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him,'' it says.
Justices John Marshall Harlan II and Byron White issued dissents.
''Nothing in the letter or the spirit of the Constitution or in the precedents squares with the heavy-handed and one-sided action that is so precipitously taken by the court in the name of fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities,'' said Harlan.
The Miranda warning actually includes elements of the Fifth Amendment (protection against self-incrimination), the Sixth Amendment (a right to counsel) and the 14th Amendment (application of the ruling to all 50 states).
However, there are common misunderstandings about what Miranda rights are, and how they can protect someone under criminal investigation.
First, there isn't one official Miranda warning that is read to a suspect by a police officer. Each state determines how their law enforcement officers issue the warning.
The Supreme Court requires that a person is told about their right to silence, their right to a lawyer (including a public defender), their ability to waive their Miranda rights, and that what they tell investigators under questioning, after their detention, can be used in court.
The Miranda warning is only used by law enforcement when a person is in police custody (and usually under arrest) and about to be questioned. Anything you say to an investigator or police officer before you're taken into custody'--and read your Miranda rights'--can be used in a court of law, which includes interviews where a person is free to leave the premises and conversations at the scene of an alleged crime.
In fact, Ernesto Miranda came into a Phoenix police station voluntarily to answer questions in 1963 and also took place in a police lineup.
The police can ask you questions about identification, including your name and address, without a Miranda warning. And they can use any spontaneous expressions made by you as evidence'--for example, if you say something without the prompting of police before you're taken into custody.
Of course, you're still protected by your Miranda rights'--after you're detained'--even if you waive them after an arrest. At any time, during an interrogation, you can stop answering questions and ask for a lawyer.
As for Ernesto Miranda, though his original conviction was set aside by the Supreme Court ruling, he was retried and convicted, and was in jail until 1972''then in and out of jail several more times until 1976. After being released in 1976, he was fatally stabbed during a bar fight. His suspected killer was read his Miranda rights and didn't answer questions from police. There was never a conviction in Miranda's death.
Recent Historical Stories
10 birthday facts about President George H.W. Bush10 interesting facts on President Ronald Reagan's birthday10 fascinating facts about President John F. Kennedy10 fascinating facts about President Ulysses Grant
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 00:40
In 2009, as the Obama administration pressed through its version of the auto bailout, creditors of companies like General Motors were squeezed into accepting repayments of just pennies on the dollar. The deal was supposed to save Detroit. Instead, creditors of the city of Detroit itself will now be handed pennies on the dollar.City emergency manager Kevyn Orr, a bankruptcy lawyer appointed in March, told bondholders, insurers and union leaders that they would have to take less than the money they are owed if the city is to survive. ''Detroit's road to recovery begins today,'' Orr said, proposing that unsecured bonds and some unfunded pension liabilities receive less than a dime on the dollar, since the city owes such creditors an outstanding $11 billion.
According to Orr's May report, the city owes some $17 billion in long-term obligations. City liabilities include $9.4 billion in bonds and other borrowing. That's not counting unfunded pension liabilities. If creditors refuse to accept this deal, the city will reportedly go bankrupt.
At the moment, this is a way into the future for Chicago - Rahm is still spending money and no one has pressed hard to open the books and give a full accounting. If they did, the TIF gravy train might derail, and that's just for starters. However, Illinois itself has a very large problem on its hands.
Labels: money questions
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 23:31
Keith DonohueJune 13, 201302:19 PM EDT
What was the original intent behind the Constitution and other documents that helped shape the nation? What did the Founders of our country have to say? Those questions persist in the political debates and discussions to this day, and fortunately, we have a tremendous archive left behind by those statesmen who built the government over 200 years ago.
For the past 50 years, teams of editors have been copying documents from historical collections scattered around the world that serve as a record of the Founding Era. They have transcribed hundreds of thousands of documents'--letters, diaries, ledgers, and the first drafts of history'--and have researched and provided annotation and context to deepen our understanding of these documents.
These papers have been assembled in 242 documentary editions covering the works of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, as well as hundreds of people who corresponded with them. Now for the first time ever, these documents'--along with thousands of others that will appear in additional print volumes'--will be available to the public.
The Founders Online is a new website at the National Archives that will allow people to search this archive of the Founding Era, and read just what the Founders wrote and discussed during the first draft of the American democracy. Students and researchers, citizens and scholars can turn to Founders Online to track and debate the meaning of documents such as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They can examine transcriptions of the originals and read the wit and wisdom of the Founders' own debates.
A letter from George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, dated April 12, 1793. Read the full text and annotations from Founders Online
The great minds who fiercely debated the founding of our country rarely agreed on public policy for the new nation, though they were unanimous in support of the principles and underlying idea of the United States. Here are a few possibilities for using Founders Online:
Assemble the Founders' views on slavery into a single set of search results in which many of the original documents do not use the word at all.Collect all the correspondence between Adams and Jefferson along with their contemporaries' views on each man to create a richer portrait on their fraught relationship and lasting friendship.Trace the Founders' letters and diaries and debates leading up to the Constitutional Convention, their thoughts during the meetings in Philadelphia, the ratification of the Constitution by the states, and how the Washington administration, first Congress, and first Supreme Court implemented the grand experiment.Find insights into their private lives: the devotion expressed in the letters between John and Abigail Adams; Madison's views on slavery; Hamilton's feud that led to the fatal duel with Burr; the stuffed moose sent to Jefferson in Paris; Ben Franklin's turkey; and yes, Washington's decades-long problems with his teeth. The Founders Online continues that experiment in democracy by making freely available in one place the original words of the original statesmen. Although it holds only a small portion of the primary source material, the National Archives is an ideal home for this collection.
Oath of Allegiance, signed by Alexander Hamilton, May 12, 1778. Read the full text and annotations from Founders Online
Now today's best minds will have the chance to contrast and compare the Founders' words and ideas through the Internet'--a communications medium that none of the Founders could foresee'--though all would acknowledge it as a democratizing force. The words of the Founders belong online, where people across the country and around the world can freely read and wonder at their wisdom.
Keith Donohue is communications director for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives.
This revolutionary new site was created through a partnership between the University of Virginia Press and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the grantmaking arm of the National Archives.
For more information:
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 14:09
Infowars.comJune 14, 2013
Judging by the scant details FBI Director Robert Mueller provided at a House hearing Thursday, it doesn't look like the investigation into the IRS's targeting of Conservative, Tea Party and Patriot groups is something the FBI feels very comfortable discussing.
Yesterday, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan grilled the federal bureau's boss asking basic details on the case, but Mueller supposedly hadn't been briefed since the investigation began. What followed was an almost comedic exchange between a befuddled FBI director and an angry state Rep. posing some very uncomfortable questions.
The entire exchange was transcribed by Fox News:
Rep. Jim Jordan: Is Mr. [Elijah] Cummings accurate in his assessment?
Mueller: Could you repeat that?
Jordan: Based on everything I've seen, quoting Mr. Cummings, ''the case is solved'' this is regarding the IRS scandal.
A d v e r t i s e m e n tMueller: Which case?
Jordan: The IRS scandal
Mueller: The IRS case? No, the IRS case is currently under investigation and it basically just started.
Jordan: Yeah, what can you tell us, you started a month ago. Have you found the now infamous two rogue agents, have you discovered who those people are?
Mueller: Well I needless to say because it's under investigation I can't give out any information
Jordan: Can you tell me some basics, how many investigators you've assigned to the case?
Mueller: Well, uh, I may be able to do that but I'd have to get back to you.
Jordan: Can you tell me who the lead investigator is?
Mueller: Off the top of my head, no.
Jordan: This is the most important issue in front of the country in the last six weeks and you don't know who's heading up the case? Who the lead investigator is?
Mueller: Uh, at this juncture no I do not know..
Jordan: Can you get that information to us we'd like to know. We'd like to know how many people you've assigned to look into this situation.
Mueller: I have not had a recent briefing on it, I had a briefing on it when we first initiated it, but I have not had a recent briefing as to where we are
Jordan: Who's leading the case?
Mueller: I do not know who is leading the case.
Jordan: Do you know if you've talked to any of the victims, have you talked to any of the groups who were targeted by their government? Have you met with any of the Tea Party folks since May 14, 2013?
Mueller: I do not know what the status of the interviews are by the team that's on it
Jordan: Would expect that that's been done?
Mueller: Uh, they're, uh'... Certainly, at some point in time of course the investigation will be done but generally to start the investigation you get the documents so that you can have'...
Jordan: But don you usually talk to the victims'...
Mueller: I do not know specifically what is happening
Jordan: In your extensive record and history in investigative work, don't you typically talk to victim? It's a criminal investigation, don't you talk to the victims pretty soon..
Mueller: Absolutely, and I am sure it will happen.
Jordan: So did the FBI contact any of these same victims, were they contacted by the FBI prior to the investigation when the same groups were applying for tax exemption status did the FBI pay some of these individuals a visit?
Mueller: I do not know.
Jordan: You don't know?
Mueller: I do not know.
Jordan: Some of them testified that they were paid a visit by the FBI, specifically Catherine Engelbrecht in Texas, said she was contacted by the FBI, she was head of True the Vote. Is that true or not?
Mueller: I do not know.
Jordan: You do not know. Okay. If the FBI did contact people involved in the IRS scandal, victims groups, prior to the investigation when they were applying for tax exemption status. Why was that the case? Why would you be looking into it? And, was there possibly coordination with the IRS in why you targeted them?
Mueller: You're asking me details about the investigation, I would be happy to get back to you. '...
Jordan: I am not asking you details about the investigation. I am saying why were people targeted before the investigation started? Why were they contacted by the FBI? People who are now part of Tea Party groups who were targeted by the IRS.
Mueller: You're asking details about the investigation. I would be happy to take your questions'...
Jordan: That is not a detail about the investigation, that took place before the investigation started.
Mueller: May I please finish, you're asking detailed about the investigation I'd be happy to get back to you and answer those questions that I can't understanding that there is an on-going investigation..
Jordan: I am asking you basic questions about the investigation like who's heading it up? And you can't tell me that.
This article was posted: Friday, June 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm
Tags: constitution, domestic news
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 23:27
BySteve Chaggaris, Stephanie Condon /
CBS News/June 13, 2013, 5:15 PMUpdated at 6:38 p.m. ET
The Obama administration has concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons against the rebels seeking to overthrow him and, in a major policy shift, President Obama has decided to supply military support to the rebels, the White House announced Thursday.
"The president has made a decision about providing more support to the opposition that will involve providing direct support to the [Supreme Military Council]. That includes military support," Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes told reporters.
U.N. estimates 93,000 have died in Syrian conflict20 Photos
Violence continues in SyriaPlay Video
Russian foreign minister Lavrov denies U.S. charges on SyriaPlay Video
Syria: The next front in the war on terror?Play Video
Focus on political resolution in Syria, says Sen. ReedPresident Obama has repeatedly said that the use of chemical weapons is a "red line" that, if crossed, would be a "game changer" for more U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.
"The President has been clear that the use of chemical weapons - or the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups - is a red line for the United States," said Rhodes in a separate written statement.
"The President has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has," he continued.
In terms of further response, Rhodes said, "we will make decisions on our own timeline" and that Congress and the international community would be consulted. Mr. Obama is heading to Northern Ireland Sunday for a meeting of the G8 group of nations; Rhodes indicated the president will consult with leaders of those countries.
"Any future action we take will be consistent with our national interest, and must advance our objectives, which include achieving a negotiated political settlement to establish an authority that can provide basic stability and administer state institutions; protecting the rights of all Syrians; securing unconventional and advanced conventional weapons; and countering terrorist activity," Rhodes said.
To date, the U.S. policy on Syria has primarily focused on offering the rebels nonlethal assistance and humanitarian aid.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who met with the rebels last month and has been a vocal critic of the president's Syria policy said in a joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.: "We appreciate the President's finding that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on several occasions. We also agree with the President that this fact must affect U.S. policy toward Syria. The President's red line has been crossed. U.S. credibility is on the line. Now is not the time to merely take the next incremental step. Now is the time for more decisive actions."
"A decision to provide lethal assistance, especially ammunition and heavy weapons, to opposition forces in Syria is long overdue, and we hope the President will take this urgently needed step" they added. Former President Bill Clinton this week, at a private event with McCain, also ratcheted up pressure for the White House to increase its support to the rebels.
However, Rhodes would not detail the type of military support the administration intends on providing. He said helping the opposition improve their effectiveness as a fighting force means helping with "nonlethal assistance" such as communications equipment and transportation. "These are things that allow them to cohere as a unit," he said.
He added, meanwhile, that no decision has been made about enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria. "A no-fly zone... would carry with it open-ended costs for the international community," Rhodes said. "Furthermore, there's not even a clear guarantee that it would dramatically improve the situation on the ground."
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 00:23
June 14th, 2013
(Reason) '' Government surveillance never sounded so smooth.
Tags: music video, NSA, slow jamThis entry was posted on Friday, June 14th, 2013 at 10:25 pm and is filed under Dictatorship, Education/Mind Control, Fascism, Film/Video, Martial Law/Police State, NWO. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.