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Presidential Proclamation -- National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2013

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Source: White Press Office Feed

Fri, 06 Dec 2013 05:40

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

December 05, 2013


- - - - - - -



More than seven decades ago, on a calm Sunday morning, our Nation was attacked without warning or provocation. The bombs that fell on the island of Oahu took almost 2,400 American lives, damaged our Pacific Fleet, challenged our resilience, and tested our resolve. On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we honor the men and women who selflessly sacrificed for our country, and we show our enduring gratitude to all who fought to defend freedom against the forces of tyranny and oppression in the Second World War.

In remembrance of Pearl Harbor and to defend our Nation against future attacks, scores of young Americans enlisted in the United States military. In battle after battle, our troops fought with courage and honor. They took the Pacific theater island by island, and eventually swept through Europe, liberating nations as they progressed. Because of their extraordinary valor, America emerged from this test as we always do -- stronger than ever before.

We also celebrate those who served and sacrificed on the home front -- from families who grew Victory Gardens or donated to the war effort to women who joined the assembly line alongside workers of every background and realized their own power to build a brighter world. Together, our Greatest Generation overcame the Great Depression, and built the largest middle class and strongest economy in history.

Today, with solemn pride and reverence, let us remember those who fought and died at Pearl Harbor, acknowledge everyone who carried their legacy forward, and reaffirm our commitment to upholding the ideals for which they served.

The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2013, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. I encourage all Americans to observe this solemn day of remembrance and to honor our military, past and present, with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I urge all Federal agencies and interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff this December 7 in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.




Bitcoin Tumbles After China Central Bank Bans Financial Companies From Using Digital Currency

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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 06:51

Zero Hedge

As we said back in March, when Bitcoin's parabolic rise first started, it was only a matter of time before first one, then all central banks take on Bitcoin for the simple fact that it present too great a threat to the fiat system. Sure enough, on the chart below of BTC China it is quite clear just at what point overnight the People's Bank of China announced that Bitcoin is simply a virtual commodity and ''isn't a currency with any real meaning'' (paraphrasing Alan Greenspan), and that it officially bans financial companies from Bitcoin transactions.

However, the reason why Chinese Bitcoin didn't tumble all the way to zero is because the PBOC added a loophole that the public is free to participate in internet transactions provided they bear their own risks.

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Bitcoin Crash on News Major Chinese Web Site Has Stopped Accepting Bitcoin

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 06:23

Major Chinese search and web services provider Baidu is no longer accepting bitcoin for service payment, , reports The following is the service's message to music users today (roughly translated using Google):Dear acceleration music users:

Due to the recent fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin larger unable to protect the interests of users, in response to the risk of state-controlled bitcoin spirit Baidu music accelerate decision to suspend with immediate effect from accepting bitcoin buy accelerate music services.

As of 11:00 ET, the price for a bitcoin at Mt Gox was $774.00, the low was $650.00. Earlier in the day the price was $1,118.98.The real translation: The Chinese government is cracking down on the use of Bitcoin.

Baidu Stops Accepting Bitcoins After China Ban >> WTF RLY REPORT

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 21:18


Baidu Inc., China's biggest search engine, stopped accepting Bitcoins after the nation's central bank barred financial institutions from handling transactions, triggering a drop in the virtual currency.

Bitcoin fell more than 20 percent and was quoted at 4,250 yuan ($863) as of 3:25 p.m. Shanghai time on BTC China, the most active online exchange where it's traded. It lost 30 percent to $575 on Bitstamp, another web platform where the digital money is exchanged for dollars and other currencies.

A Baidu website-hosting venture started accepting the digital money on Oct. 14 as Bitcoins gained popularity in China, fueling a global rally. Prices topped $1,000 last week, compared with about $138 two months ago on Bitstamp. The People's Bank of China said Bitcoin isn't a currency with ''real meaning'' and can't be accorded the same legal status.

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Citi: Bitcoin Could Look Attractive To Reserve Managers As A Complement To Gold

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Source: Zero Hedge

Fri, 06 Dec 2013 07:05

Bitcoin and other Internet currencies are viewed by some as a Beanie baby fad and, as Citi's Steve Englander notes, by others as revolutionizing the financial system. Market acceptance of alternative currencies now looks to be growing a lot faster than the pace at which the supply of Bitcoin and Bitcoin wannabees is expanding the Internet money supply. The responses fell into five categories which we feel are well worth considering before trading or utilizing the digital currency (including Bitcoin's role in reserves management).

Englander's previous "Bitcoin as a currency" report generated a lot of comment. In the note, he argued that something as replicable as Bitcoin would generate a lot of imitators and that there was an infinite supply of Bitcoin-like competitors at low marginal cost. The responses generally fell into five categories:

Citi's Steve Englander Addresses 5 key responses to his previous more negative view on Bitcoin.

1) Bitcoin is a generic payment system as much or more than a specific store of value and has tremendous advantages over current payments systems

2) Its run-up in price represents dissatisfaction with central banks and money printing and the desire for a currency not driven by political opportunism

3) First mover and networking economies of scale advantage will make Bitcoin and a couple of other internet moneys dominate Internet money in the future

4) It can keep growing as long as there was a group of individuals and businesses willing to accept it

5) It's a tulip bubble and will collapse

1) Bitcoin as a payments vehicle

Many commented that Bitcoin was revolutionary as a payments mechanism, rather than as a store of value. The run-up in the price of Bitcoin could be viewed as speculative but its impact on the payments system would be durable, even if the price stabilized or fell. Bitcoin's competitors are credit card companies, wire transfer companies, weak fiat currencies and the like. Its advantage was that that its secure cryptography gives it strong security with respect to falsifying transactions and the transactions cost is almost zero. So you would not have to hold Bitcoin in order to transact in it, at least not for very long.

Anonymity was also viewed as a plus by many, but whether governments can, will and should get some handle on internet transactions is under debate. Some also argue that its decentralization is an advantage. The 'ledger' that keeps track of Bitcoin transaction seems resistant to fraud, but there have been issues with Bitcoin exchanges and other elements of the transactions process.

Investors who focused on the potential Impact of Bitcoin on the payments system sometimes saw the Bitcoin appreciation as a distraction. Bitcoin's sharp price run-up is attracting more involvement now, but could be a disadvantage if price ever took a big fall.

2) Bitcoin as an alternative to fiat currencies

When G3 central banks are expanding their balance sheets like there is no tomorrow, you can understand the search for alternative stores of value. Some make a 'wisdom of crowds' argument that monetary management is likely to be better if it reflects the judgment of a diffuse constituency of users rather than a central bank governor or board. In short, this is the gold standard, but with a lot more portability and ability to transact. That said, Bitcoin protocols are decided by a group of programmers, and their goodwill is taken for granted.

To some investors it is perfectly clear that the combined judgments of individuals across the globe will be superior to the centralized policies made by central banks. To many holding this viewpoint, the ineptness of global central banks has made the bar for outperformance pretty low. This view probably appeals to you if you think the panics of 1837, 1873 or 1893 were preferable to the Great Recession of 2008 (,, In those times the absence of a central bank did not preclude private sector speculation from generating bubbles and panics. Admittedly, some of those panics started because of failed attempts to manipulate or corner certain markets, a feature Bitcoin's proponents may feel it is immune to.

Bitcoin started as an experiment in a currency that was neither commodity-based nor backed by a governmental authority. There is a risk that participants in the Bitcoin ecosystem may become more self-interested over time, the way broadcast television started with Paddy Chayefsky and quickly morphed into The Beverley Hillbillies. Even now it is unclear to what degree the 'miners' out there should be seen as public servants.

We are left with the possibility that the properties of a Bitcoin ecosystem that comes to be driven by individual self-interest will differ from its intended properties. Greed and panic could enter as a significant part of the ecosystem. By contrast, central banks have a mandate to stabilize the economy and financial system, even if you see their performance as inept in practice. Nevertheless, it is not so obvious that a good system driven by individual self-interest will produce a more stable economic and financial system than an imperfect system of central banks trying to stabilize economic and financial markets. Many supporters of Bitcoin argue strongly that this is the case, however.

2a) Bitcoin as a reserves alternative

Reserve managers are likely wondering whether Bitcoin is the answer to their most perplexing problem '' where to find a pure store of value, how to avoid currencies backed by erratic central banks and how to dethrone the USD from its perch in the international monetary system. Bitcoin is much more interesting than the IMF's SDRs from a reserve manager perspective because it is independent of major currencies. The reserve manager operational problem is two-fold: 1) how to sell a truckload of USD, and to a lesser degree EUR and JPY, without excessively depressing the value of the USD that they are selling and 2) what to buy when there are few attractive, liquid alternative. Bitcoin doesn't avoid 1) but addresses 2) to some degree.

Bitcoin with its inelastic supply and deflationary bias would look attractive to reserve managers as a complement to gold, and in contrast to fiat currencies in unlimited supply. As a group, reserve managers are conservative and probably would like to see how Bitcoin evolves. Given the reserves management problem discussed above, there is some incentive for the biggest reserve managers to encourage development of this market to see if it is viable in the long term. Even if it ends up just as a transactions vehicle, countries may choose to transact in Bitcoin or the like, if it enables them to reduce the overhang of USD that they need to hold because of its role in international trade and finance.

Conclusions: i) Reserve managers will not be the first to adopt Internet currencies but they have incentives not to be the last; and ii) The USD would likely be undermined on its international role, were this to occur.

3) First mover advantages

This may be the most contentious area. Bitcoin fans argue that being the first in any area where there are networking economies gives you an immense advantage. Replicability is not an issue because potential imitators will find that businesses and households will sign up with the network that gives them the greatest ability to interact. The analogy is drawn to Internet retail and social media businesses where the business model can be copied but where a couple of companies at most dominate the space. (On the other hand, I still have my login/passwords to a variety of 'first movers' services that no one under 40 would even recognize.)

With respect to money, households and businesses will choose the one with the greatest acceptance, so the first mover has a big advantage even if the technology can be copied. This is a very important argument for entrepreneurs involved with Bitcoin and the few other currencies that are leading the charge to commercialize it..

Where diseconomies of scale enter Bitcoin is through the price exposure. The maximum amount of Bitcoin is predetermined and looks likely to be hit in the 22st century. The supply of Bitcoin is set to grow relatively slowly, arguing that the price should keep rising. You can argue that the price of Bitcoin is irrelevant, since it simply reflects the unit of account for transactions. You can also see that there is a host of alternatives that may have some modest advantage over Bitcoin. Both holders of Bitcoin and transactors in Bitcoin have to assess whether the Bitcoin network advantage is strong enough to outweigh the benefits from Bitcoin alternatives. You can find examples of both, but networking situations in other domains are less dependent on reputation than are Bitcoin and other Internet currencies. And such reputational equilibria are very fragile, and probably will not survive any unaddressed issues of theft or fraud.

Moreover, if you transact in Bitcoin, you likely will choose to hold some to facilitate transactions. The speculative surge in Bitcoin may be a disadvantage if you can find a substitute that has similar characteristics but less of a speculative component. The question is how expensive is it for a business or individual to have more than one internet currency and how much of a disincentive is it to hold a Bitcoin if the price is high, when there are good substitutes with lower prices.

4) The Bitcoin ecosystem is growing exponentially

There is a short to medium term Bitcoin argument that goes something like this. We are just scratching the surface of payment system/alternative currency development. Whatever the competitive environment, in a market that is growing exponentially fast, any reasonable player will get bid up. Ultimately when market growth flattens out, there will be a sorting out of winners and losers, but that flattening out is not visible anytime soon, barring disaster. If this is a repeat of the Internet bubble, we are in 1997, not 2000, so the gravitational pull of the technology will mask small warts and crevices in individual applications.

This is not an argument most of us feel comfortable with, because there is the risk that our calculus is wrong or that some disaster either through fraud, government interference or some breakdown in the system occurs before the market flattens. However, many investors feel so confident that we are just in the takeoff stage, that they see themselves with a margin to invest. They also have incentives to advocate forcefully the widening of the market because that enhances the value of all existing applications.

5) Tulip bubbles

About 40% of the comments I received argued outright that Bitcoin and similar internet currencies were bubbles, or tools to evade taxes, or conduct illegal activity. Basically, the view was that the Bitcoin appreciation reflects a mixture of greed and optimism, as in Boileau (1674), ''A fool always finds a greater fool to admire him." The major issues have been touched on above '' replicability, susceptibility to government interference, security vulnerabilities outside the 'ledger' level, inability to reverse any transaction, dependence on reputation, fragility and so on. Those who think this is the internet in 1997 should recall that the NASDAQ was back to 1997 levels in 2002, and even briefly touched 1996 levels, so getting in early may mean getting in really early. Just as with the railroads and Internet, it may revolutionize society more than it makes money for investors.

Some investors argued the reverse of most of the pro-Bitcoin commentators, seeing it as most likely a bubble but on the off chance that it wasn't, it was worth buying a couple in case the price kept shooting up. It was viewed as the high risk, high return investment, with compensation that it was good cocktail party conversation.


Bitcoin and other Internet currencies are viewed by some as a Beanie baby fad and by others as revolutionizing the financial system. Market acceptance of alternative currencies now looks to be growing a lot faster than the pace at which the supply of Bitcoin and Bitcoin wannabees is expanding the Internet money supply. That is unlikely to persist over the medium and long term, but for now it looks as if it would take a major scandal, security breach or heavy-handed governmental intervention to derail it.

Internet currencies suffer from the absence of an anchor to determine their value and from their dependence on reputation and fashion. Replicability is an issue that the Internet currencies will not be able to overcome easily. The role in the payments system is very concrete to investors, although many also see value in a currency in inelastic supply whose value is determined by consensus rather than the monetary authority. Among skeptics, a minority think that security is a much bigger issue than proponents admit. However correct the longer-term concerns, there is nothing obvious to derail the expansion of Internet currencies in the near-term, as they are meeting both legitimate and illicit economic and social needs.

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Bullcrap Tesla Bitcoin Story

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 14:25

A Florida man bought a Tesla Model S from a Lamborghini dealeship in Newport Beach, Calif., this week using Bitcoin.


A Florida man bought a Tesla Model S from a Lamborghini dealership in Newport Beach, Calif., this week. It was the first time the dealer had accepted Bitcoin, it said.

"That's right, an electronic currency was used to purchase a fully electric vehicle," the dealer's blog stated.

The buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, bought the top-of-the-line Tesla(TSLA) for $103,000, which was equivalent to 91.4 Bitcoins on Tuesday, the day of the sale, said Cedric Davy, marketing director at the dealership.

The sale came about after the man contacted the dealership on Monday asking if he could use Bitcoin to pay for the Tesla, explaining that he had been turned down by other sellers, Davy said.

Related: What is Bitcoin?

"We had heard about it before, but we weren't extremely familiar, so we basically did our homework and looked for ways for us to convert it into dollars," he said.

After checking into any legal issues and other research, the dealership worked with Bitcoin payment processor BitPay to handle the transaction.

Timing was on the buyer's side. The digital currency, known for its wide price swings, dropped sharply in value on Friday, just days after the purchase.

8 things you can buy with bitcoins right now

But the dealer didn't need to worry about the risks associated with the volatile currency. BitPay locked in Tuesday's Bitcoin price for both the buyer and the dealership, Davy said.

"We're not in the business of speculating so at the end of the day we want to sell the car as priced," he said.

After news broke of the sale, the dealer fielded about 10 phone calls from more car shoppers interested in purchasing a car using the digital currency, Davy said.

"All these people have Bitcoins," he said. "I think some people are trying to spend it."

Most Teslas are sold online directly to customers by the company. Even in Tesla-owned and -run stores, the transaction is conducted online. Tesla has been fighting in several states in order to sell its cars directly to consumers from coast to coast.

In fact, Tesla head Elon Musk came to fame (and riches) as a co-founder of PayPal, a leading digital payment service.

Tesla declined to comment on whether or not the company plans to accept Bitcoin as payment anytime soon.

First Published: December 6, 2013: 6:20 PM ET

Lamborghini Newport Beach Blog: We just sold our very first vehicle with Bitcoin as payment!

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 14:37

Bitcoin, a fully encrypted and fully digital currency, has been used by a recent client of ours to pay for a Tesla Model S Performance we had in our inventory. That's right, an electronic currency was used to purchase a fully electric vehicle.In case you're wondering what Bitcoin is, Bitcoin is an open source person-to-person electronic tender that uses cryptography to secure transactions. Many failsafes are in place to prevent double-spending and are impossible to duplicate. Bitcoins have been around years but it wasn't until a year or two ago that they came into the public's eye.Exchanges are the intermediary house that turns cash into Bitcoins and vice versa. They serve as a market maker that buys and sells Bitcoins to keep the flow constant. Like the stock market, prices for Bitcoins fluctuate just as you would see on a currency exchange stock chart. Below is the chart via Mt. Gox, a popular Bitcoin exchange house.

Lamborghini Newport Beach is proud to announce that we are fully capable of accepting Bitcoin as payment for vehicles. We are excited to be opening the door to this new currency.


Beanie Babies Creator Cries, Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion - DailyFinance

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 14:40

by The Associated Press Oct 2nd 2013 12:33PMUpdated Oct 2nd 2013 4:38PM

By MICHAEL TARMCHICAGO -- The billionaire who created Beanie Babies broke down crying in court Wednesday as he pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion for hiding $25 million in income in secret Swiss bank accounts.

H. Ty Warner, 69, also apologized as he stood before a federal judge in Chicago, removing his designer tortoise-shell glasses and wiping away tears as he struggled to regain his composure.

"I have so much to be thankful for," said the suburban Chicago businessman, his voice breaking as he cited his Illinois-based stuffed-toy company, TY Inc. "There is no excuse for my actions."

The toymaker's 18-page plea deal says guidelines call for a prison term of around four years -- a calculation that makes it likely he'll serve time behind bars. It also requires he pay a $53 million civil penalty.

As Judge Charles Kocoras began questioning Warner about his intention to plead guilty, Warner cupped his hand over his ear, asking the judge if he could speak up. "My hearing isn't so good," Warner said.

When asked if he understood the potential penalties included prison, Warner replied quietly, "Yes, sir."Beanie Babies first appeared in the 1990s, triggering a craze for the plush toys fashioned into bears and other animals. An explosion of sales made Warner rich; Forbes recently put his net worth at $2.6 billion.

As an emotional Warner continued to apologize during Wednesday's hearing, his head bowed over a courtroom podium, before Kocoras finally stopped him, telling him he could elaborate at his Jan. 15 sentencing.

"There will be time for you to bare your soul [later]," the judge said.

Warner admitted he evaded paying $5 million in taxes due to the IRS over an 11-year period by setting up the secret accounts. At one point, he was concealing as much as $107 million, prosecutors said.

Who he is: Co-founder of Curves International

How he lost his money: In 1976, Heavin dropped out of college at age 20 and started his first gym, Women's World of Fitness. Success came right away, and he was a millionaire by age 25. However, Heavin's aggressive expansion plans didn't add up. He added amenities to the gym, such as tanning beds and swimming pools, that were expensive to maintain. "At 25, it was all about me, and that's a foundation for disaster," Heavin told Kiplinger. By 1986, overhead costs began to exceed the amount the company was bringing in from new memberships, and at age 30 his business went bankrupt.

How he came back: Tried again with the same business idea, applying lessons learned from his initial failure.

Marrying his future business partner, Diane, gave Heavin the motivation he needed to give entrepreneurship a second try. In 1992, the couple opened the first Curves, a women-only gym, in Harlingen, Texas. Heavin once again found immediate success. In 1995, the pair turned the business into a franchise; today, there are 10,000 Curves locations across the world. In 2000, he released his first book, "Permanent Results without Permanent Dieting: The Curves for Women Weight Loss Method," and it became a New York Times bestseller. On finding success a second time around, Heavin says, "I had to lose everything I owned before I was capable of running a business the right way." Today, he's a billionaire.

Gary HeavinWho he is: Entrepreneur, author, founder and former CEO of the debt-collection firm Commercial Financial Services (CFS)

How he lost his money: In 1998, Bartmann, a one-time billionaire, was forced to shut down CFS and file for bankruptcy. He and his business partner, Jay Jones, were charged with accounting fraud and conspiracy for allegedly inflating sales reports to ratings agencies. "We were doing so well, and then one afternoon it was all over," Bartmann told Kiplinger. Jones was convicted; Bartmann was cleared of any wrongdoing.

How he came back: Wrote books about his lessons learned.

After his acquittal in 2003, he slowly started to piece his life back together. In 2005, he wrote his first book, "Billionaire Secrets to Success." Bartmann followed up with "Bailout Riches" in 2009, which became a bestseller on Amazon. In July 2010, he returned to the debt-collection business and launched a new version of his former company, calling it CFS II.

CFS II took in $10 million in revenue last year. When asked how his previous ordeal helped shape how he runs CFS II, Bartmann told Kiplinger, "I'd be remiss in my duties if I assumed everyone is doing a great job . . . Don't walk away from your ability to supervise a relationship just because you like someone as a person."Bill BartmannWho she is: Olympic gold medal figure skater and television personality

How she lost her money: At the height of her career in the 1980s, Hamill was reportedly raking in $1 million a year to skate in prime-time TV specials. However, after years of excessive spending, which included a weakness for expensive jewelry, and a series of bad investments, including the purchase of the fledgling Ice Capades franchise, Hamill had to file for bankruptcy in 1996.

How she came back: Parlayed her strong brand into related new opportunities.

Hamill toured the professional ice skating circuit for several years to help pay off her debt. She also returned to television, appearing in the 1998 NBC special "The Christmas Angel: A Story on Ice." In October 2007, her autobiography, "A Skating Life: My Story," hit bookstores and made the New York Times bestseller list. That same year, she appeared in "Blades of Glory," an ice skating parody film starring comedian Will Ferrell. Recently, Hamill has found herself back in the spotlight as a contestant on season 16 of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." She also continues to perform in professional ice skating shows and is currently on tour with "Stars on Ice."Dorothy HamillWho he is: Grammy award-winning rap artist and television personality

How he lost his money: At the height of his fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hammer's net worth was valued at around $33 million. However, he was reportedly spending $500,000 a month on his 200-person staff. Other costly expenses included the mortgage on his $10 million mansion, the maintenance and upkeep on 17 luxury cars, and the acquisition and care of 21 racehorses. When Hammer eventually filed chapter 11 in 1996, he claimed $1 million in assets and $10 million in debt.

How he came back: Reinvented himself.

After his superstar status faded, Hammer became an entrepreneur. He created a handful of record labels, has dabbled in tech start-ups and is currently the CEO of Alchemist Management, a Los Angeles-based athlete management and marketing firm specializing in mixed-martial-arts fighters. Hammer, who has more than three million followers on Twitter, often lectures about social media and marketing at business schools, including Stanford University and Harvard University. In 2009, he produced his own reality TV show on A&E, called "Hammertime," and he performed at the 2012 American Music Awards, as well as on ABC's "New Year's Rocking Eve 2013."MC HammerWho he is: Emmy-winning broadcast journalist and former host of CNN's "Larry King Live"

How he lost his money: During his early days in radio in the 1960s, King's low-level salary didn't support his big spending habits, including a fondness for gambling. By 1978, he had to file for bankruptcy after accumulating more than $350,000 in debt.

How he came back: Capitalized on early opportunities in an emerging industry -- cable TV.

The same year that he declared bankruptcy, King was hired by WIOD Radio in Miami to host a national nighttime talk show that eventually caught the attention of CNN founder Ted Turner. In 1985, Turner hired him to host his own television show, "Larry King Live." King would host the cable show for 25 years, making as much as $10 million a year before signing off for good in 2010.

Larry KingWho he is: Entrepreneur and founder of Famous Amos cookies

How he lost his money: Amos started a cookie business after deciding to leave his cushy job as a talent manager for the William Morris Agency in New York in 1975. By the early 1980s, Famous Amos hit $12 million in sales. However, his ego and lack of business acumen eventually brought the company down.

How he came back: Despite hitting hard times, Amos's entrepreneurial spirit never died. In 1993, he founded Uncle Noname Cookie Company (he'd lost the right to use "Famous Amos" as the result of his earlier failure), and in 1995 he changed it to Uncle Wally's, with a focus on muffins. Last year, Amos returned to his roots with the launch of Wamos Cookies. When discussing how to become a successful entrepreneur and stay that way, he told Kiplinger, "You can't be profitable unless you have a team that's working as a unit. I learned that lesson from losing Famous Amos."Wally AmosMore from Kiplinger:




Pierre Omidyar in 2009: ''Anybody who publishes stolen info should help catch the thief'' | PandoDaily

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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 01:16

By Paul CarrOn December 7, 2013

As regular readers will know, over the past few weeks, Pando has published arguments on bothsides of the debate around the fact that Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, the only two people will access to Snowden's NSA Secrets (TM), have both been hired by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar to run his new journalism site.

One of the most controversial questions is whether Omidyar's pro-business, apparently libertarian worldview means his reporters will be encouraged to report on government wrong-doing but discouraged from applying the same scrutiny to business. It's an important question, not only because it was big business who tanked the global economy in 2007, but also, as Yasha Levine wrote this morning, because the government is increasingly contracting private companies to do its dirtiest work.

Even Greenwald supporters like Pando's David Sirota have admitted that, at best, we don't know what Omidyar's approach to reporting on business will be. In our debate on the subject earlier this week, he advocated a ''wait and see'' approach.

It's certainly true that, to know how Omidyar would react if a Snowden-esque source arrived with a cache of leaked corporate documents, we'd need a concrete example of that happening.

Fortunately, thanks to Twitter-troll-turned-Greenwald-critic OhTarzie, we now have an answer. Tarzie found the following Tweet from Omidyar, posted back in 2009 after TechCrunch published leaked documents from Twitter.

Omidyar's position on journalists publishing corporate leaks?

So there you go. A definitive answer, direct from Glenn Greenwald's new boss. ''TechCrunch and anybody else who pubs stolen info should help catch the thief. Shldnt pub in the 1st place.''

Rest easy, corporate America, your secrets will be perfectly safe with Pierre Omidyar. And if anyone is considering approaching Greenwald or his new boss with leaked corporate documents, don't be surprised if their first call is to the FBI.


Anonymous 'PayPal 14' hackers enter guilty plea in case surrounding pro-WikiLeaks DDoS attack | End the Lie '' Independent News

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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 07:06

(Photo courtsey of US Marshal's Service)

'‹Accused members of the amorphous hacktivist group Anonymous appeared in federal court in California on Thursday to enter pleas pertaining to a nearly three-year-old digital protest against the website PayPal.

The defendants '-- who admitted to participating in an Anonymous-led operation that momentarily took offline in late 2010 '-- entered guilty pleas before a judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California early Thursday and will be formally sentenced in one year.

Eleven of the so-called ''PayPal 14'' members each pleaded guilty in court to one felony count of conspiracy and one misdemeanor count of damaging a computer as a result of their involvement in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack waged by Anonymous in late 2010 shortly after PayPal stopped processing donations to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. Prosecutors say the defendants used a free computer program called the Low Ion Orbit Cannon, or LOIC, to collectively flood PayPal's servers with tremendous amounts of illegitimate internet traffic for one week that winter, at moments knocking the website offline as a result and causing what PayPal estimated to be roughly $5.5 million in damages.

WikiLeaks had started to release a trove of classified US State Department diplomatic cables that November, prompting PayPal to revoke the whistleblowing group's account due to an alleged terms-of-service violation. On their part, WikiLeaks claims PayPal installed the equivalent of an illegal financial blockade by refusing to process contributions. Combined with similar actions taken by Visa and Mastercard at the time, the transparency organization said the blockade cost an estimated $250 million in losses in the years since.

Pending good behavior, those 11 alleged Anons will be back in court early next December for sentencing, at which point the felony charges are expected to be adjourned. Two of the remaining defendants cut deals that found them pleading guilty to the misdemeanor counts only, likely removing themselves from any lingering felony convictions but earning an eventual 90 day jail stint when they are finally sentenced. A fourth defendant, Dennis Owen Collins, did not attend the hearing due to complications involving a similar case currently being considered by a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia in which he and one dozen others are accused of conspiring to cripple other websites as an act of protest during roughly the same time.

Speaking to RT from the courthouse in California Thursday afternoon, defense attorney Stanley Cohen said the terms of the settlement were reached following over a year of negotiations, ''based upon strength, not weakness; based upon principle, not acquiescence.''

''It did not involve cooperation and did not involve any of the defendants renouncing their conduct,'' Cohen said by phone. ''They all stood up and said, 'We did what you said we did . . . We believe it was an appropriate act from us and we're willing to pay the price.'''

With regards to the newly scheduled sentencing now slated for Dec. 4, 2014, Cohen said it's comparable to what's referred to as deferred prosecution in some jurisdictions. ''Here, at the head of the day if everything works out fine, the defendants are going to get a misdemeanor.''

''If there are no new arrests at the end of the year, the felony is dismissed,'' Cohen said. ''The misdemeanor is left in piece and people will essentially get conditional discharges at that point with restitution in the amount of $5,600 for each person.''

When multiplied by 14, those restitutions add up to just under $80,000 '-- only a fraction of the $5.5 million PayPal claimed the digital disturbance cost their site. Nevertheless, in an op-ed published by Huffington Post days before the hearing, Pierre Omidyar '-- the founder of PayPal's parent company, eBay '-- implored the court for leniency and said, ''In my view, they should be facing misdemeanor charges and the possibility of a fine, rather than felony charges and jail time.''

Cohen, who represented PayPal 14 defendant Mercedes Haefer in court, said one of the hacktivists told him after Thursday's hearing concluded that ''This misdemeanor is a badge of honor and courage.''

Source: RT

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Civil defense - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 14:23

Civil defense, civil defence (see spelling differences) or civil protection is an effort to protect the citizens of a state (generally non-combatants) from military attack. It uses the principles of emergency operations: prevention, mitigation, preparation, response, or emergency evacuation and recovery. Programmes of this sort were initially discussed at least as early as the 1920s and were implemented in many countries, but only became widespread after the threat of nuclear weapons was realized.

Since the end of the Cold War, the focus of civil defense has largely shifted from military attack to emergencies and disasters in general. The new concept is described by a number of terms, each of which has its own specific shade of meaning, such as crisis management, emergency management, emergency preparedness, contingency planning, emergency services, and civil protection.

In some countries, civil defense is seen as a key part of "total defense". For example in Sweden, the Swedish wordtotalf¶rsvar refers to the commitment of a wide range of resources of the nation to its defense - including to civil protection. Respectively, some countries (notably the Soviet Union) may have or have had military-organized civil defense units (Civil Defense Troops) as part of their armed forces or as a paramilitary service.

In most of the NATO states, such as the United States, the United Kingdom or Germany as well as the [then] Soviet Bloc, and especially in the neutral countries, such as Switzerland and in Sweden during the 1950s and 1960s, many civil defense practices took place to prepare for the aftermath of a nuclear war, which seemed quite likely at that time. Such efforts were opposed by the Catholic Worker Movement and by peace activists such as Ralph DiGia, on the grounds that these programs gave the public false confidence that they could survive a nuclear war.[1]

In many western countries there was never strong civil defense policies implemented because it was fundamentally at odds, and violated the West's doctrine of "mutual assured destruction" (MAD) by making provisions for survivors. It was also considered that a fully fledged total defense would have been very expensive and not worth the expense. Above all, compared to the power of destruction a defense was seen by much of the public, for whatever reason, to be fundamentally ineffective and therefore a waste of time and money. Despite evidence that detailed scientific research programmes lay behind the much-mocked government civil defence pamphlets of the 1950s and 1960s.[2]

There are not supposed to be many survivors in a belligerents country following a MAD scenario for a civil defense system to assist (thus the acronym). Governments in most Western countries, with the sole exception of Switzerland, therefore sought to mostly underfund Civil Defense but nevertheless implement effective, but commonly dismissed civil defense measures against nuclear attack, in the face of popular apathy and scepticism of authority.

However the USSR military strategy during the cold war was contrary to MAD ideology, and the Soviets recognized that winning a nuclear war was possible.[3][4][5] To this effect the Soviets planned to minimize, as far as possible, the effects of nuclear weapon strikes on its territory and therefore spent considerably more thought on civil defense preparations than in the US, with therefore, defense plans that have been assessed to be far more effective than those in the US.[6][7][8]

Civil defense has different sirens like the Federal Signal Thunderbolt siren to warn people of a coming attack.

Public service announcements including children's songs were created by government institutes and then distributed and released by radio stations to educate the public in case of nuclear attack.

During the Cold War, civil defense was seen largely as defending against and recovering from an attack involving nuclear weapons. After the end of the Cold War, the focus moved from defense against nuclear war to defense against a terrorist attack possibly involving chemical or biological weapons; in the context of the United States this eventually led to the replacement of the United States´ civil defense with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Soviet Civil Defense Troops played the main role in the massive disaster relief operation following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. Defense Troops reservists were officially mobilized (as in a case of war) from throughout the USSR to join the Chernobyl task force formed on basis of the Kiev Civil Defense Brigade. The task force performed some high-risk tasks, including manual removal of lethally-radioactive debris.

After the September 11 attacks in 2001, in the United States the concept of civil defense has been revisited under the umbrella term of homeland security and all-hazards emergency management.

In Europe, the triangle CD logo continues to be widely used. The old US civil defense logo was used in the FEMA logo until recently and is hinted at in the United States Civil Air Patrol logo. Created in 1939 by Charles Coiner of the N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency, it was used throughout World War II and the Cold War era. In 2006, the National Emergency Management Association'--a U.S. organisation made up of state emergency managers'--"officially" retired the Civil Defense triangle logo, replacing it with a stylised EM (standing for Emergency management).[1]. The name and logo, however, continue to be used by Hawaii State Civil Defense [2] and Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense [3].

The term "civil protection" is currently widely used within the European Union to refer to government-approved systems and resources tasked with protecting the non-combat population, primarily in the event of natural and technological disasters. In recent years there has been emphasis on preparedness for technological disasters resulting from terrorist attack. Within EU countries the term "crisis-management" emphasises the political and security dimension rather than measures to satisfy the immediate needs of the population.

In Australia, civil defence is the responsibility of the volunteer-based State Emergency Service.

In Russia, and most former Soviet countries, civil defence is the responsibility of Governmental Ministry, Like the MChS in Russia.

The abolished Civil Defence Symbol survives in the Universal Prepper Patch UPP symbology of today.

ImportanceEditRelatively small investments in preparation can speed up recovery by months or years and thereby prevent millions of deaths by hunger, cold and disease.[citation needed] According to human capital theory in economics, a country's population is more valuable than all of the land, factories and other assets that it possesses. People rebuild a country after its destruction, and it is therefore important for the economic security of a country that it protect its people. According to psychology, it is important for people to feel like they are in control of their own destiny, and preparing for uncertainty via civil defense may help to achieve this.

In the United States, the federal civil defense program was authorised by statute and ran from 1951 to 1994. Originally authorised by Public Law 920 of the 81st Congress it was repealed by Public Law 93-337 in 1994. Small portions of that statutory scheme were incorporated into the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 100-707) which superseded in part, amended in part, and supplemented in part the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-288). In the portions of the civil defense statute incorporated into the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act the primary modification was to use the term "Emergency Preparedness" wherever the term "Civil Defence" previously appeared in the statutory language.

An important concept initiated by President Jimmy Carter was the so-called "Crisis Relocation Program" administered as part of the federal civil defense program. That effort largely lapsed under President Ronald Reagan who discontinued the Carter initiative because of opposition from areas potentially hosting the relocated population. SEE Presidential Review Memorandum/NSC-32 [4] (September 30, 1977) and Presidential Decision Memorandum 42 [5].

Threat assessmentEditThreats to civilians and civilian life include NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical warfare) and others, like the more modern term CBRN, Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear. Threat assessment involves studying each threat so that preventative measures can be built into civilian life.

ConventionalThis would be conventional explosives. A blast shelter designed to protect only from radiation and fall-out, however, would be much more vulnerable to conventional explosives,also see fallout shelter.

NuclearShelter intended to protect against nuclear blast effects would include thick concrete and other sturdy elements which are resistant to conventional explosives. The biggest threats from a nuclear attack are effects from the blast, fires and radiation. One of the most prepared countries for a nuclear attack is Switzerland. Almost every building in Switzerland has an abri (shelter) against the initial nuclear bomb and explosion followed by the fall-out. Because of this, many people use it as a safe to protect valuables, photos, financial information and so on. Switzerland also has air-raid and nuclear-raid sirens in every village.

Dirty BombA "radiologically enhanced weapon," or "dirty bomb" uses an explosive to spread radioactive material. This is a theoretical risk, and such weapons have not been used by terrorists. Depending on the quantity of the radioactive material, the dangers may be mainly psychological. Toxic effects can be managed by standard hazmat techniques.

BiologicalThe threat here is primarily from disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.

ChemicalVarious chemical agents are a threat such as nerve gas (VX, Sarin, and so on.).

MitigationEditMitigation is the process of actively preventing the war or the release of nuclear weapons. It includes policy analysis, diplomacy, political measures, nuclear disarmament and more military responses such as a National Missile Defense and air defense artillery. In the case of counter-terrorism, mitigation would include diplomacy, intelligence gathering and direct action against terrorist groups. Mitigation may also be reflected in long-term planning such as the design of the interstate highway system and the placement of military bases further away from populated areas.

PreparationEditPreparation consists of building blast shelters, and pre-positioning information, supplies and emergency infrastructure. For example, most larger cities in the U.S. now have underground emergency operations centres that can perform civil defense coordination. FEMA also has many underground facilities located near major railheads such as the one in Denton, Texas and Mount Weather, Virginia for the same purpose.

Other measures would include continuous government inventories of grain silos, the Strategic National Stockpile, the uncapping of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the dispersal of lorry-transportable bridges, water purification, mobile refineries, mobile de-contamination facilities, mobile general and special purpose disaster mortuary facilities such as Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) and DMORT-WMD, and other aids such as temporary housing to speed civil recovery.

On an individual scale, one means of preparation for exposure to nuclear fallout is to obtain potassium iodide (KI) tablets as a safety measure to protect the human thyroid gland from the uptake of dangerous radioactive iodine. Another measure is to cover the nose, mouth and eyes with a piece of cloth and sunglasses to protect against alpha particles, which are only an internal hazard.

To support and supplement efforts at national, regional and local level with regard to disaster prevention, the preparedness of those responsible for civil protection and the intervention in the event of disaster

To establish a framework for effective and rapid cooperation between different civil protection services when mutual assistance is needed (police, fire service, healthcare service, public utilityprovider, voluntary agencies).To set up and implement training programs for intervention and coordination teams as well as assessment experts including joint courses and exchange systems.To enhance the coherence of actions undertaken at international level in the field of civil protection especially in the context of cooperation.Preparing also includes sharing information:

To contribute to the information of the public in view of increasing the level of self-protection of citizensTo collect and disseminate validated emergency informationTo pool information on national civil protection capabilities, military and medical resources.To ensure efficient information sharing between the different authorities.ResponseEditResponse consists first of warning civilians so they can enter Fallout Shelters and protect assets.

Staffing a response is always full of problems in a civil defense emergency. After an attack, conventional full-time emergency services are dramatically overloaded, with conventional fire fighting response times often exceeding several days. Some capability is maintained by local and state agencies, and an emergency reserve is provided by specialised military units, especially civil affairs, Military Police, Judge Advocates and combat engineers.

However, the traditional response to massed attack on civilian population centres is to maintain a mass-trained force of volunteer emergency workers. Studies in World War II showed that lightly trained (40 hours or less) civilians in organised teams can perform up to 95% of emergency activities when trained, liaised and supported by local government. In this plan, the populace rescues itself from most situations, and provides information to a central office to prioritize professional emergency services.

In the 1990s, this concept was revived by the Los Angeles Fire Department to cope with civil emergencies such as earthquakes. The program was widely adopted, providing standard terms for organization. In the U.S., this is now official federal policy, and it is implemented by community emergency response teams, under the Department of Homeland Security, which certifies training programmes by local governments, and registers "certified disaster service workers" who complete such training.

RecoveryEditRecovery consists of rebuilding damaged infrastructure, buildings and production. The recovery phase is the longest and ultimately most expensive phase. Once the immediate "crisis" has passed, cooperation fades away and recovery efforts are often politicised or seen as economic opportunities.

Preparation for recovery can be very helpful. If mitigating resources are dispersed before the attack, cascades of social failures can be prevented. One hedge against bridge damage in riverine cities is to subsidise a "tourist ferry" that performs scenic cruises on the river. When a bridge is down, the ferry takes up the load.

ImplementationEditSome advocates believe that government should change building codes to require autonomous buildings in order to reduce civil societies' dependence on complex, fragile networks of social services.[citation needed]

An example of a crucial need after a general nuclear attack would be the fuel required to transport every other item for recovery. However, oil refineries are large, immobile, and probable targets. One proposal is to preposition truck-mounted fuel refineries near oil fields and bulk storage depots. Other critical infrastructure needs would include road and bridge repair, communications, electric power, food production, and potable water.

Civil defense organizationsEditCivil Defense is also the name of a number of organizations around the world dedicated to protecting civilians from military attacks, as well as to providing rescue services after natural and human-made disasters alike.

In a few countries such as Jordan and Singapore (see Singapore Civil Defence Force), civil defense is essentially the same organisation[clarification needed] as the fire brigade. In most countries however, civil defense is a government-managed, volunteer-staffed organisation, separate from the fire brigade and the ambulance service.

As the threat of Cold War eased, a number of such civil defense organisations have been disbanded or mothballed (as in the case of the Royal Observer Corps in the United Kingdom and the United States civil defense), while others have changed their focuses into providing rescue services after natural disasters (as for the State Emergency Service in Australia). However the ideals of Civil Defense[clarification needed] have been brought back in the United States under FEMA's Citizen Corps and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Template:United States Civil Defense Association.

In the United Kingdom the roles carried out by Civil Defence fall to voluntary groups such as RAYNET, Search and Rescue Teams and 4x4 Response. In Ireland, the Civil Defence is still very much an active organisation and is occasionally called upon for its Auxiliary Fire Service and ambulance/rescue services when emergencies such as flash flooding occur and require additional manpower. The organisation has units of trained firemen and medical responders based in key areas around the country.

By countryEditUK:


Notes and referencesEdit^McReynolds, David (2008). "Ralph DiGia, 1914-2008". The Catholic WorkerLXXV (March''April): 6. ^ Architects of Armageddon: the Home Office Scientific Advisers' Branch and civil defence in Britain, 1945''68^Richard Pipes (1977). "Why the Soviet Union Thinks It Could Fight and Win a Nuclear War". Commentary Reed College. Retrieved September 4, 2013. ^Richard Pipes (1977). "Why the Soviet Union thinks it can fight and win a Nuclear War". Commentary. Retrieved April 21, 2013. ^Burr, William; Savranskaya, Svetlana, eds. (September 11, 2009). "Previously Classified Interviews with Former Soviet Officials Reveal U.S. Strategic Intelligence Failure Over Decades". Washington, DC. Retrieved April 21, 2013. ^Captain John W. Dorough, Jr. "Soviet Civil Defense U.S.S.R. preparations for industrial-base war survival.". Air University Review, March''April 1977. Retrieved September 4, 2013.. ^Leon Gour(C) Reviewed by John C. Campbell (1977). "War Survival in Soviet Strategy: USSR Civil Defense". Foreign Affairs magazine. ^Richard Pipes (1977). "Why the Soviet Union Thinks It Could Fight and Win a Nuclear War". CommentaryReed College. Retrieved September 4, 2013. ^^!/x1Fr?OpenDocument&1Fr^^ linksEditLarge gallery of Bulgaria's Civil Defense MechanizationThe UK Civil Defence Project - History & PhotosNational Civil Defence College, Nagpur INDIA link by Ajoy VU2JHMSpecial Event Amateur Ham Radio Station operated from Bangalore, INDIAProtezione Civile Italian Civil DefenseDublin Civil Defence IrelandSEBEV Search and Rescue (originally a Civil Defence team in the UKCivil Protection (Ministry of Interior, Spain).Civil Protection Villena - SpainCivil Defense Logo dies at 67, and Some Mourn its Passing, The New York Times, 1 December 2006 by David Dunlap.Cold War Era Civil Defense Museum '' Features much historical information about Civil Defense history, its equipment and methods, and many historical photographs and posters.Annotated bibliography for civil defense from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear IssuesThe American Civil Defense AssociationCivil Defense Caves '' Cold War community getaway in case of nuclear war located in IdahoComprehensive Emergency Management Reference Material - The official preparedness site of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security"Civil Defence" '' A site with details of the UK's Civil Defence preparations, including those implemented during the Cold War such as the Burlington Central Government War HQ., at Corsham, Wiltshire.Emergency Planning in LincolnshireThe official Civil Defence site for the Republic of IrelandThe official Civil Defense site of S£o Paulo State - BrazilDoctors for Disaster PreparednessPhysicians for Civil DefenseDutch civil defense instructions in EnglishEmergency Management Portal - online resources for emergency planners and managersThe Norwegian Civil DefenceCoordinates: 47°23'²31'"N8°31'²37'"E>> / >>47.39194°N 8.52694°E>> / 47.39194; 8.52694

Last modified on 23 November 2013, at 01:14


Snowden files reveal Swedish-American surveillance of Russia - Uppdrag Granskning |

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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 07:07

Uppdrag granskning (Mission Investigation) and SVT is the first Swedish news outlet to get access to documents concerning Sweden leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, who left the American organization for surveillance, NSA (National Security Agency) in May this year.

According to the documents Swedish FRA, Defence Radio Authority, are spying on the political leadership in Russia and passing this information on to the USA. NSA is regarding this intelligence as exclusive, and considers FRA as a leading partner in espionage against Russia.

On site in Rio de Janeiro Mission: Investigation has been cooperating with the journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher to investigate Sweden's part in the American and British global mass surveillance.

Glenn Greenwald met with whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong this year, and received tens of thousands of documents that Snowden extracted from the NSA. Greenwald is behind a majority of the revelations that has shaken several of the most powerful governments and intelligence organizations in the world throughout the fall of 2013.

Mission: Investigation will, in cooperation with Greenwald and Gallagher, and Swedish Televisions news program: Rapport, publish further exposures and documents that gives a unique insight into Sweden's role in the global mass surveillance.

Wednesday 11 of December Mission: Investigation will devote a full hour to the Snowden Documents and Sweden.

LEAD-IN (News anchor)

As the first media company, SVT can now expose the information concerning Sweden in the top-secret documents leaked by whistleblower and ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Tonight, Rapport can reveal documents saying that the FRA is spying on the political leadership of Russia, and forwards gathered information to the United States. The NSA sees this intelligence as something thoroughly unique, and considers the FRA to be a leading partner in the espionage on Russia. This is clear to us, after having read several documents provided to us by the programme Uppdrag Granskning.

(News report 1)


For the very first time, we can now read in plain language about the Americans' view of their very close relation with Swedish Intelligence and its' signals intelligence agency FRA. Here in Rio de Janeiro, SVT's programme Uppdrag Granskning meets with journalist Glenn Greenwald who is behind most of the Snowden leaks. Together, our job is to extract, from the unique documents, news concerning Sweden.

Rapport can now reveal that the Unites States regard the FRA as a leading partner in the espionage on Russia - America's former archenemy. This is what one NSA document says, dated as recently as April 18 of this year:

(Document / Graphics)

''The FRA provided NSA (...) unique collection on high-priority Russian targets, such as leadership, internal politics''


Sweden does in fact spy on the top leaders of Russia, and shares our information with the United States. And it's not any intelligence... but intelligence of such a high value that the Americans write that it cannot be obtained in other ways. They are unique:

(Document / Graphics)

''WHAT Partner provides to NSA

Unique intelligence on Russia''


The FRA's leading position in the signals intelligence gathering on Russia is established in yet another document; in an instruction to the highest leadership of the NSA prior to a high-level meeting with the FRA. The NSA should:

(Document / Graphics)

''Thank Sweden for its' continued work on the Russian target, and underscore the primary role that FRA plays as a leading partner to work the Russian Target, including Russian leadership, (:::) and (...) counterintelligence. FRA's cable access has resulted in unique SIGINT reporting on all of these areas.

When SVT:s reporter shows the documents to FRA spokesperson Fredrik Wallin and asks if they are accurate he replies "no comment".

- Sadly I am unable to comment on this information. We are unable to comment details about our collaborations or intelligence operations, says FRA spokesperson Fredrik Wallin.

The NSA gives the following comment in writing:

''We are not going to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity, and the US government has made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations"


Filip Struwe

Glenn Greenwald

Ryan Gallagher

Sven Bergman

Joachim Dyfvermark

Fredrik Laurin


AT&T aims to sidestep shareholder request on surveillance data

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Source: Reuters: Technology News

Sat, 07 Dec 2013 06:22

Fri Dec 6, 2013 11:08pm EST

TweetShare thisEmailPrintThe AT&T logo is pictured by its store in Carlsbad, California, April 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - AT&T has asked regulators to let it ignore a shareholder request for details of its customer-information sharing with government agencies, a move that could forestall a heated debate at the telecommunications giant's annual meeting.

The No. 2 U.S. mobile operator made the request in a December 5 letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in response to shareholder activists pressing it on the matter. Among them is New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who is the trustee of the state retirement fund.

DiNapoli and other shareholders of AT&T and its biggest rival Verizon Communications Inc last month sought details on sharing of personal data and communications from the two companies following revelations from former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The shareholders cited media reports of intelligence agencies' involvement with the companies and criticism from foreign leaders and others.

The activists said the companies could lose credibility with customers and asked them to schedule a vote on a measure calling for the publication of semi-annual reports with details such as how often customer information was shared with U.S. or foreign government agencies, and what type of information was shared.

In its letter, AT&T outlined arguments about why the agency should grant its request to exclude the activists' measure from the agenda of its 2014 annual meeting. AT&T said the matter relates to "ordinary business operations" and should not be controlled by shareholders, according to the letter obtained by Reuters.

The more significant public debate is about government surveillance practices, AT&T said, and noted it and other carriers are obliged to comply with court orders.

AT&T also said it faces at least one lawsuit that contends it violated customer privacy rights by providing information to government agencies. It said any information it were to provide in response to the shareholder measure could interfere with its legal strategy.

Jonas Kron, Senior Vice President for Trillium Asset Management, a co-filer of the AT&T resolution, said his firm had hoped for a different response from the telecommunications giant.

"We're disappointed that the company is demonstrating an unwillingness to have a public discussion with its shareholders about a matter of such importance," Kron said in a telephone interview on Friday.

A Verizon spokesman declined to comment on Friday. Verizon had previously said it was evaluating the proposal.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bangalore and Ross Kerber in Boston; Editing by Ken Wills)

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WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison: 'How can you take Pierre Omidyar seriously?' | Technology |

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 20:33

The WikiLeaks staffer and Snowden collaborator Sarah Harrison has criticised Pierre Omidyar, the eBay founder who is setting up a new journalism venture with Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, for his involvement in the 2010 financial blockade against WikiLeaks.

In her first interview since leaving Moscow for Berlin last month, Harrison told German news weekly Stern: "How can you take something seriously when the person behind this platform went along with the financial boycott against WikiLeaks?"

Harrison was referring to the decision in December 2010 by PayPal, which is owned by eBay, to suspend WikiLeaks' donation account and freeze its assets after pressure from the US government. The company's boycott, combined with similar action taken by Visa and Mastercard, left WikiLeaks facing a funding crisis.

"His excuse is probably that there is nothing he could have done at the time," Harrison continued. "Well, he is on the board of directors. He can't shake off responsibility that easily. He didn't even comment on it. He could have said something like: 'we were forced to do this, but I am against it'."

Harrison joined WikiLeaks from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and worked with the organisation on the Afghan war logs and leaked cables projects. She now works on the WikiLeaks legal defence team, although she has no legal qualifications, and was catapulted to fame when she accompanied Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, on his flight from Hong Kong to Russia in June 2013.

Referring to Omidyar's plans to set up a new media organisation, in which the former Guardian writer Greenwald '' who wrote a number of stories from the Snowden revelations '' will play a central part, Harrison said: "If you set up a new media organisation which claims to do everything for press freedom, but you are part of a blockade against another media organisation, then that's hard for us to take it seriously. But I hope that they stick to their promises".

Harrison also suggests that Omidyar could have carried the legal costs of the 14 Anonymous hacktivists who were sent to prison for attacking PayPal over the boycott. "That would have been a nice gesture".

Jail sentences for hacktivismOn Thursday, 11 of the so-called "PayPal 14" pleaded guilty in a court in California to one felony count of conspiracy and one misdemeanour count of damaging a computer. They stood accused of organising a "distributed denial-of-service" (DDoS) attack, knocking PayPal's servers offline by overloading them with traffic in 2010, causing what the company estimated to be $5.5m of damage.

Two of the remaining defendants did not take the plea bargain offered, and pleaded guilty only to the misdemeanour charge, meaning they will be required to serve a 90-day jail term. The final defendant, Dennis Collins, did not attend the hearing as he was in Virginia facing similar charges over attacks on other websites at the same time.

In January, four British members of Anonymous were sentenced for the same campaign. Chris Weatherhead was given an 18-month sentence, Ashley Rhodes was handed a seven-month jail sentence, Peter Gibson was given a six month suspended sentence, and 18-year-old Jake Burchall was given an 18 month youth rehabilitation order.

"Vastly different"Omidyar, however, argues that the tools used in a DDoS attack render them "vastly different than other forms of protest".

"The problem in this case," he wrote on the Huffington Post website on 3 December, "is that the tools being distributed by Anonymous are extremely powerful. They turn over control of a protester's computer to a central controller which can order it to make many hundreds of web page requests per second to a target website.

"It's like each protester can bring along 6,000 phantom friends without going to the trouble of convincing each of them to take an afternoon off and join the protest in the street."

But the eBay founder said that the law was too hard on the 14 defendants in the case. "It would be unjust to hold fourteen people accountable for the actions of a thousand'... Each person should be accountable for the damage they personally caused.

"Second, the law allows prosecutors to calculate damage in a way that seems overstated. An appropriate damage estimate includes the pay and overtime pay required for employees to respond to the attack.

"But the damage estimate apparently being used by prosecutors in this case includes the cost of upgrading equipment to better defend against similar future attacks. To me, that doesn't make sense."

In the Stern interview, Harrison, who is British, also stated that she had chosen to move to Berlin because her lawyers had advised her that anti-terror laws had made it unsafe for her to travel back to the UK.

"Any activity which endangers the public order or could change the government's course of action can be interpreted as terrorism. The fight for women's right to vote, and the political protests that came with it, would under the current interpretation of the law be seen as terrorism. The rule of law is effectively disabled, and I believe that many people who are politically active feel unsafe in such an environment, not just me."

In Berlin, on the other hand, Harrison said she had a good network of friends and was able to continue working for WikiLeaks. "The German public is very well disposed towards Edward Snowden and what he has done. Personally and legally, I consider the risk I am under here as low."

' This article was amended on 6 December 2013 to correct the number of British members of Anonymous who were sentenced in January, and to correct the date of the decision by PayPal to suspend WikiLeaks' donation account.

' "Why DDoS is free speech".

star interview with Snowden-companion Sarah Harrison: On the run from America - Politics | STERN.DE

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 20:33

Wikileaks-Mitarbeiterin Sarah Harrison ist der Link zwischen den beiden ber¼hmtesten digitalen Dissidenten der Welt: Edward Snowden und Julian Assange.(C) Gian Paul Lozza/Sunshinepress/stern

Wieder einmal hatte sie niemand erkannt. Als Wikileaks-Mitarbeiterin Sarah Harrison vor einem Monat in Berlin landete, blieb sie unbehelligt, obwohl ihr Gesicht mitunter t¤glich in den Nachrichten auftauchte.

Sie war die Frau an seiner Seite. Die junge Wikileaks-Mitarbeiterin Sarah Harrison lotste den Whistleblower Edward Snowden von Hongkong aus nach Moskau. Das urspr¼ngliche Ziel war Lateinamerika. "Wir haben ziemlich get¼ftelt. Wir wollten nicht ¼ber ein westeurop¤isches Land fliegen, und ein Umsteigen in den USA, was f¼r die Mehrheit der Verbindungen n¶tig gewesen w¤re, war nat¼rlich auch keine Option", sagt sie in einem Interview mit dem stern. "Und dann war die Entscheidung auch abh¤ngig von den m¶glichen Fluggesellschaften - wem geh¶rt das Flugzeug, mit dem wir fliegen, wer hat m¶glicherweise die Macht, eine Abweichung der Route zu erzwingen."

Nach Hause kann sie nicht40 Tage und N¤chte verbrachte Harrison mit Amerikas Staatsfeind Nummer eins im Transitbereich und begleitete ihn dann zu seinem geheimen Aufenthaltsort in Russland. Jetzt hat sie Moskau verlassen, aber nach Hause kann sie nicht. "Unsere Anw¤lte haben davon abgeraten", sagt sie. Die britischen Terrorgesetze seien sehr weit gefasst. "Wenn sie mich zum Beispiel an einem britischen Flughafen oder einem Seehafen festsetzen, gilt noch mal anderes Recht. Ich habe nicht die M¶glichkeit zu schweigen, schon das gilt als Verbrechen."

Im stern-Interview erz¤hlt die couragierte 31-j¤hrige Britin von der dramatischen Flucht, von den Tagen im Transit, vom Verlust der Heimat und von Angst und Mut. Harrison arbeitet seit 2010 f¼r die Enth¼llungsplattform Wikileaks. Der Gr¼nder und enge Freund Harrisons, Julian Assange, sitzt immer noch im Exil in der ecuadorianischen Botschaft in London.

"Ich bereue nichts"Sarah Harrison ist nun der Link zwischen den beiden ber¼hmtesten digitalen Dissidenten der Welt. "Eigentlich kann ich gleich mit einer Zielscheibe auf dem Kopf herumlaufen", sagt sie. Unterkriegen l¤sst sie sich allerdings nicht. Im Gegenteil: "Ich bereue nichts. Und ich liebe einen guten Fight".

Das ganze Interview ab Donnerstag im stern

A very middle class enemy of the State: How DID an ex-pupil of £30k-a-year Sevenoaks School in Kent end up in exile in Berlin... clutching a laptop of UK state secrets...via a 'romance' with Julian Assange? | Mail Online

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Sarah Harrison is wanted by British and American secret servicesThe former public school girl led Edward Snowden to MoscowIf she returns to UK she fears she will be detained and interrogatedBy Sarah Oliver

PUBLISHED: 17:17 EST, 7 December 2013 | UPDATED: 17:23 EST, 7 December 2013

'Activism is not terrorism': Sarah Harrison says she she has been 'spat out' by the British Government

A very middle class enemy of the State: How DID an ex-pupil of £30k-a-year Sevenoaks School in Kent end up in exile in Berlin...clutching a laptop of UK state secrets...via a 'romance' with Julian Assange?

Like all the best characters in a Cold War thriller, Sarah Harrison '' currently exiled in Berlin '' is hiding in plain sight. Muffled in a knitted beanie hat and a fake fur jacket against the slicing cold of the German winter, she is lost among the capital's crowds.

Yet for 40 days and 40 nights '' 'pretty biblical', she jokes '' she was the woman most wanted by both British and American secret services.

Harrison, 31, is the public school girl from the Home Counties who led American National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden to Moscow after he revealed the most extraordinary cache of Western secrets ever seen.

The WikiLeaks journalist, and rumoured former lover of its boss Julian Assange, remained by Snowden's side in the transit area of Russia's Sheremetyevo airport for those 40 days until President Putin granted him temporary asylum.

A month ago she relocated to Germany where she remains in a stand-off with our intelligence agencies, a self-proclaimed enemy of the British State.

Harrison cannot return to the UK for fear of being detained and interrogated under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, and surrendering the contents of her encrypted computer. She has been 'spat out' as she sees it, by her own Government.

And while expatriation is the traditional price of treachery, it's not one she believes she deserves to pay.

'Whistleblowing and publishing should not be seen as a crime and certainly not as terrorism. I should feel welcome to come home without the risk of detention,' she told me, in her first interview since that June flight from Hong Kong to Russia which stunned the world.

'I'm not in an airport any more but I am still in transit and I find that very sad since I have done nothing wrong. As a British citizen I would like to come back to the UK to see my family and friends, but I have no idea when that will be possible.

Trusted adviser: with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in London in 2010

'It's crazy that the Terrorism Act is being used for this. It's making terrorism any act designed to influence government behaviour but that's journalism or activism, not terrorism.

This is a terrible betrayal of the last 200 years of freedom of the press but the Government doesn't seem to care about that or the rule of law. It's launched a brutal attack on both.'

She is building a new '' albeit she hopes temporary '' life in Berlin. It's a city which historically stood on a fault line between two worlds, one a place of state surveillance and popular repression, the other of individual liberty. This metaphor for the conflicting demands of national security and freedom of information is not lost on her.

The myth around Harrison is one of a zealous, unafraid, intelligent but enigmatic blonde. What is true is that she has devoted the last three years of her life to forensic analysis of the classified material leaked to WikiLeaks.

In limbo: Sarah Harrison meets MoS writer Sarah Oliver in Berlin

Whether that makes her a naive idealogue co-opted by those willing to compromise Britain's national security or a very contemporary heroine depends on your politics.

Faced with accusations that she orchestrated the flight of a man who betrayed secrets harmful to Britain's national interests '' including the names of live foreign agents '' she is unrepentant.

It was confirmed last week by Guardian newspaper Editor Alan Rusbridger, when he appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee, that those names had been sent to US journalists by his newspaper in the course of its reporting of the Snowden files.

But Harrison says: 'The UK government is embarrassed because journalists have done their job properly while the government has failed to do its job.

The government originally sent these documents to the US where they were made available to the tens of thousands of contractors in US companies who do more than 80 per cent of the NSA's work.

'It is because of journalists that we now know what the State does with our privacy.

'The UK government has a responsibility to keep secrets in some circumstances. It also has a responsibility not to abuse that power for other purposes. It failed both. Our job is to document how governments go wrong, not to cover up for them.

'It's precisely because I believe what we're doing is right that I don't want the British Government to take my laptop. It would interfere with the public's right to know about the important abuses we are researching.

'The Guardian let GCHQ destroy its computers. We fought the Second World War to prevent the UK becoming a state where the government could seize journalists' notebooks '' it's time that such behaviour stopped.'

In person she is funnier and franker than you might expect for someone whose life's work is dealing with secrets and lies. She's also contradictory.

She's not in it for the money. She declines to say how much she earns but confirms that she took a 40 per cent pay cut when WikiLeaks was subject to a global banking blockade.

Nor is she in it for fame. With her slim figure, long ringlets of dark blonde hair and a foxy gap-toothed grin, she could easily trade on her looks in an otherwise geeky world she inhabits but she doesn't. She is 'too busy' for a relationship but does have a loyal core of friends who are planning to visit her in Berlin.

She was in Melbourne on a WikiLeaks project in June when Snowden, in her words, 'reached out' to the organisation. For legal reasons she will supply only the scantest detail of the following days.

'It was early in the morning in Australia for me when Julian got in contact. He said, ''Wake up, we're busy with Snowden,'' and I thought, ''What's happened to the mountain in Wales, then?'' Once I'd established the mountain was all right I realised he meant the NSA guy.

'On a basic human level, I wanted to help someone who was potentially going to prison for the rest of their life. I knew what I risked. I did it in the knowledge it would upset the governments of the USA and the UK but believed it was the right thing to do.'

Sanctuary: Whistleblower Snowden with Harrison in Moscow

She met Snowden in Hong Kong and travelled with him to Moscow en route to Ecuador. But on arrival in Russia they discovered the US had revoked his passport. Did she not want to quit then? 'No,' she says adamantly, 'I could have continued but I didn't feel it was the ethical thing to do.'

That decision left her stranded for almost six weeks in the transit area of Sheremetyevo, administering her day-to-day life from there and surviving on burgers and pizza. She was able to see the outside world through a window but not re-join it.

She had an internet connection so was able to follow news of the face-off between President Obama and President Putin and the forced landing in Austria of a plane carrying President Evo Morales of Bolivia in the mistaken belief that the fugitive Snowden was on board.

She made 21 asylum applications on behalf of Snowden without expecting them to be granted, more to stress test global government reaction.

'Very few countries stood up in support although in the end Russia did the right thing,' she says. 'Saving Edward Snowden from prison is one of WikiLeaks' achievements of which I am most proud.

'I am fascinated to see how it ends. He is safe now but the United States will seek revenge for decades to come,' she said.

She believes so many more intelligence secrets will have been spilled by the close of Snowden's year in Russia that world opinion '' he has faced caustic criticism for endangering the work of the NSA and Britain's GCHQ '' will have softened.

She cites as an example the fury in Germany over the revelation that American listened in to Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

Wanted: Snowden worked at the National Security Agency for four years

So what's her opinion of Snowden? 'I think he is hugely courageous and he will be well judged by history.'

And if she'd known she'd be trapped in transit with him for 40 days and 40 nights and then indefinitely exiled in Berlin would she have made the same decision to help? 'Yes. Absolutely.'

I believe her, although she'd be the first to admit she's an unlikely candidate for this kind of life.

Born into an upper middle-class family and raised in a large home near Sevenoaks, she attended the £29,600-a-year Sevenoaks school before enjoying a gap year backpacking and skiing.

She is the eldest of three daughters of Ian and Jennifer Harrison, a retired Burton executive and a reading support teacher.

Her sisters Kate, 29, and Alex, 23, live and work in the Far East, moving in the glamorous worlds of fashion and PR respectively.

Harrison describes her family as 'traditional; normal and loving.' Her parents delighted her by publicly articulating their faith in her judgment and tellingly, will be visiting her over Christmas.

She was a deeply moral child who perpetually looked beyond her own good fortune, volunteering to help blind and disadvantaged youngsters.

So motivated was she by the television programme Challenge Anneka that, as a ten-year-old, she wrote to the then Prime Minister Sir John Major telling him that if he used Britain's unemployed to build houses for the homeless he'd solve two social problems simultaneously.

This anecdote is instructive because it reveals she was born rather than inculcated with a belief in her own ability to create real strategic change.

It was this belief which drove her to dump her early ambitions to become a doctor, quitting a degree in Biological Science at Edinburgh University for an English Literature degree at Queen Mary, University of London. She switched her focus to investigative journalism but the cool scientist's brain is still at work.

It's there in her love of data, her ability to be dispassionate when necessary and the quick, clean analysis of complex legal issues which has made her one of Assange's most trusted advisers.

She took a position as an intern at the Centre for Investigative Journalism at London's City University and then moved across as a junior researcher at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which is also affiliated to City. She was seconded to WikiLeaks and then joined its staff three years ago.

'I was finally able to fulfil the things I wanted in a job '' this was work on a massive scale.

'With my logical scientific background I have to know how something works. The work of WikiLeaks is with principal documentary evidence, that's where the truth lies.

'Saving Edward Snowden from prison is one of WikiLeaks' achievements of which I am most proud.'I am fascinated to see how it ends. He is safe now but the United States will seek revenge for decades to come'

'It gets to the heart of the matter. It educates people and in turn empowers them.'

But that career devoted to empowering others has made her vulnerable, as evinced by her European exile. She refuses to have a mobile phone on the assumption that all her communications are monitored.

She won't discuss her personal security but says she does not feel threatened physically although she believes her movements are watched.

So does she share Assange's view that the world is sleepwalking towards a dystopian future?

'To know we are being spied on by our own Government, and to have someone else's government collaborating on that, to know that data storage is so cheap your information can be kept for years and used to create any kind of story, to me that's a grave attack on human rights. The question is where is it all going to end?

'People don't yet fully understand the repercussions of this, they are not outraged. Not yet.

'The Government is behind in its understanding that the internet is everywhere, it doesn't see that this generation grew up online and that accessing information freely and being connected is now part of their psyche. It needs to catch up.

'Its response to the revelations made by Edward Snowden made me ashamed. He stands accused of treachery '' but who has truly betrayed whom?'

I spoke to Harrison in an office off Wilhelmstrasse in central Berlin. Beneath a railway bridge in perfect English someone has spray-painted the slogan: 'Better to be a lion for one day than to be a sheep your whole life.'

For all the controversy she courts and has caused, no one can deny that Harrison has seized her moment to live as a lion roaring at the rest of us to wake up.

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Source: aangirfan

Sun, 08 Dec 2013 13:46

What links Edward Snowdon, Julian Assange and the former head of Britain's spy service MI5?Jonathan Evans, the former boss of MI5, was a pupil at the expensive Sevenoaks School in the UK.

Sarah Harrison, who led Edward Snowden to Moscow, was a pupil at Sevenoaks School.Sarah Harrison, of the spooky Wikileaks, is said to be a former lover Julian Assange.Sarah Harrison is currently living in spooky Berlin.

The late Gerd Sommerhoff, who sexually abused boys, was a teacher at Sevenoaks school.Sommerhoff worked at the spooky BBC and in spooky Cambridge, and, like Jimmy Savile, was given a knighthood.Gerd SommerhoffSome of the above people may secretly be assets of Mossad, the CIA and MI5/MI6.Sir John Sawers

Sir John Sawers, the current boss of MI6, is a former parent at Sevenoaks.

Sir John Sawers, MI6 boss, is a former parent at Sevenoaks.Some of the children involved are believed to have been ­trafficked to Holland by Cooke's gang.The former cabinet minister had been photographed by police in 1986 entering a property where one of the sex parties was being held.

Sidney Cooke, whose pedophile ring has been linked to up to 20 child murders. In 1998, Cooke was let out of prison eight years early.Peter Power, who was also 'involved in' the London Bombings of 7/7In 1987 a fire hit King's Cross underground station in London.

Allegedly, certain juvenile members of a pedophile ring were in a cafe, underground, when the fire broke out."Just two months before the King's Cross Fire, pop duo, The Pet Shop Boys released their second record entitled Actually.

"The final track on the album is a melancholy song entitled, King's Cross which, in a rather bizarre coincidence, appears to foresee a disaster at the station with the lyric:

"'Only last night I found myself lost, by the station called King's Cross'... dead and wounded on either side, you know it's only a matter of time'...'"

Tales From the Terminals: King's Cross (Part 1, History & Film)

Allegedly, certain juvenile members of a pedophile ring were in a cafe, underground, when the fire broke out.

Allegedly, the fire was started deliberately.King's Cross.

1987: Disaster underground: the Kings Cross Fire

"Inspector Peter Power was sent to the scene of the King's Cross fire to co-ordinate the efforts of the emergency services.

"He ran the Metropolitan Police's forward command post for much of the evening and most of the night on 18 November 1987."


Busted: Bluffdale Mayor Lied about NSA water Contract, documents prove | Nullify NSA!Nullify NSA!

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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 13:11

SALT LAKE CITY, December 7, 2013 '-- Grassroots efforts to thwart what opponents are calling ''mass spying'' by the National Security Agency (NSA) are heating up in Utah.

The OffNow coalition of organizations is calling on the state to pass legislation to ban the state or any of its political subdivisions from providing resources to the NSA while it continues its current surveillance programs. The new NSA data center, located in the city of Bluffdale, is reported to require 1.7 million gallons of water every single day to operate. The water, according to reports, is needed to keep the supercomputers in the facility from overheating.

The local CBS affiliate reported on the effort, noting the increased buzz surrounding it. Bluffdale Mayor Derk Timothy brushed off the idea of turning the water off, noting that the city had signed a contract with the NSA. He said, ''We have a contract. They negotiated in good faith. We negotiated in good faith.'' Timothy also told reporter Brian Mullahy that the city would not even consider turning the water off because of that contract.

Mullahy said, ''I asked the Mayor, how long does the contract last? He said, 'In perpetuity. It keeps going, and going and going.'''

But documents obtained by Connor Boyack of the Utah-based Libertas Institute, a policy think-tank supporting the effort to shut the water off, prove that Timothy is wrong. The contract expires.

Mike Maharrey, national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center, also noted that no one is actually asking Bluffdale to turn the water off. Instead, the coalition is working to require them to do it through state legislation.

''The proposed Utah 4th Amendment Protection Act would ban any city or state agency from providing material resources, like water, to the NSA while it continues its warrantless mass-spying program. So that would take the decision over it out of the Mayor's hands,'' said Maharrey.

''On top of it,'' he continued, ''If the Act is signed into law, the local contract will be immediately in conflict with the state law. At that point, it can no longer be renewed, and could actually be deemed invalid in a Utah court of law.''

The documents provided by Boyack and Libertas Institute show that the contract between Bluffdale and the NSA are for a period of ten years, starting September 30, 2011. While the contract could continue beyond that time without ''further notice,'' passage of the Utah 4th Amendment Protection Act would stop that from happening.

A legal expert who wishes to remain anonymous said that if the state were to pass such a law, it could also invalidate the water contract with the NSA. In its opinion on Salt Lake County v. Holliday Water Co., the Utah Supreme Court wrote that ''when a legislative enactment renders preexisting contract terms illegal the contract may be deemed unenforceable.''

While such invalidation is rare, the court does hold that it has the power to invalidate such a contract should the ''preservation of the public welfare'' require it. Historically, though, Utah courts appear to lean more strongly towards preserving ''the freedom to contract.''

At very least, passage of the Utah 4th Amendment Protection Act would turn what Timothy considers a perpetual contract into one that would definitely expire no later than Sept. 30, 2021. It would also create an environment where the current contract could come under a legal challenge to invalidate it.

Article by Michael Boldin, originally published at Washington Times communities.

Documents Prove that Bluffdale, UT water Contract with NSA does expire by Tenth Amendment Center

TAKE ACTIONTake these steps today to help stop NSA spying in your state1. Get the model 4th Amendment Protection Act for your state (pdf):HERE

2. Contact your STATE representative/assemblyperson AND State Senator. Strongly, but respectfully, encourage them to introduce the act for your state. A phone call is much more powerful than an email. Or do both. Contact info HERE.

3. Join the coalition. Are you part of a grassroots group? Encourage your group's leadership to sign on in support of the coalition here:

4. Get Flyers to help spread the word!Here:

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Nothing Beyond the Octopus Reach; Republican Author of Patriot Act Seeks Prosecution of Obama's Intelligence Director for Lying to Congress

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Source: Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

Sat, 07 Dec 2013 22:11

Obama's National Intelligence Director, James Clapper, blatantly lied to Congress last Spring when in response to a question stated the NSA does not "not wittingly" collect information on Americans in bulk. The lie was revealed thanks to American hero and true patriot, Edward Snowden.

Proven a liar, Clapper now freely admits he gave the "least untruthful" answer he could without revealing classified information.

The Hill reports Patriot Act author says "Obama's intel czar should be prosecuted"

Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr., the original author of the Patriot Act, says Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be prosecuted for lying to Congress.

"Lying to Congress is a federal offense, and Clapper ought to be fired and prosecuted for it," the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview with The Hill.

He said the Justice Department should prosecute Clapper for giving false testimony during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March.

During that hearing, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper whether the National Security Agency (NSA) collects data on millions of Americans. Clapper insisted that the NSA does not '-- or at least does "not wittingly" '-- collect information on Americans in bulk.

After documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA collects records on virtually all U.S. phone calls, Clapper apologized for the misleading comment.

The intelligence director said he tried to give the "least untruthful" answer he could without revealing classified information.

Sensenbrenner said that explanation doesn't hold water and argued the courts and Congress depend on accurate testimony to do their jobs.

"The only way laws are effective is if they're enforced," Sensenbrenner said. "If it's a criminal offense '-- and I believe Mr. Clapper has committed a criminal offense '-- then the Justice Department ought to do its job."

Nothing Beyond the Octopus ReachInfowars reports Spying Spooks Throw It In Americans' Faces With New Octopus-Engulfing-World Logo

Following this year's further revelations on the NSA actively spying on Americans' communications, along with the president's promise to ''reign in'' the powers of US spooks, one would have expected that the government would be engaged in a damage control campaign going forward.

However, this is the criminally insane military industrial complex usurped government we're referring to, so Instead they're putting world-eating Octopus logos on the side of spy satellites and tweeting about it.

Here's a photograph of the launch of NROL-39, the latest government spy satellite being overseen by The National Reconnaissance Office, which provides signals intelligence to the NSA, among other agencies. The NRO is considered one of the ''big 5'" spy agencies.

NRO Spy Satellite

Let's hone in on the logo.

The logo reads "nothing beyond our reach".

Obviously that includes Merkel's phone, and anything else the NSA wants to spy on.

The NRO claims "The octopus, is a versatile, adaptable, and highly intelligent creature. Emblematically, enemies of the United States can be reached no matter where they choose to hide."

To me that sounds like the "least untruthful" response without admitting what the symbol really means and what they really intend to do: spy on literally everything.

Anti-Patriot Act

The Patriot Act was anything but. It should be scrapped. James Clapper should be prosecuted and spend the rest of his life in prison where he can think about the true meaning of patriotism.

Meanwhile, those looking for a true patriot ought to stand up and salute Edward Snowden. He risked his life, security, and personal freedom to protect the US constitution. What's more patriotic than that?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock


Ghosts in your Machine? Intel Inside!

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Thread Rating:6 Votes - 5 Average12345Ghosts in your Machine? Intel Inside!

ÏšHAIRMAN MΣOWКот и ÐÑ‹Ð>>есосUser ID: 204698Today 03:07 AM Posts: 4,876 Ghosts in your Machine? Intel Inside!New Intel Chips Contain Back-Door Processor, Hackable Even When Computer is Turned OffBy Jim Stone, jimstonefreelance.comSeptember 19th, 2013

New Intel-Based PC's Permanently Hackable

So you think no one can access your data because your computer is turned off. Heck it's more than turned off, you even took the main hard drive out, and only the backup disk is inside. There is no operating system installed at all. So you KNOW you are safe. Frank from across the street is an alternative operating systems hobbyist, and he has tons of computers. He has Free BSD on a couple, his own compilation of Linux on another, a Mac for the wife, and even has Solaris on yet another. Frank knows systems security, so he cannot be hacked . . . or so he thinks.

The government does not like Frank much, because they LOVE to look at everything. Privacy is a crime don't you know, and it looks like Frank's luck with privacy is about to run out. The new Intel Core vPro processors contain a new remote access feature which allows 100 percent remote access to a PC 100 percent of the time, even if the computer is turned off. Core vPro processors contain a second physical processor embedded within the main processor which has it's own operating system embedded on the chip itself. As long as the power supply is available and and in working condition, it can be woken up by the Core vPro processor, which runs on the system's phantom power and is able to quietly turn individual hardware components on and access anything on them.

This is being touted as something that makes IT administration easy. It is being advertised as something that will allow IT professionals the ability to remotely troubleshoot a PC no matter what is wrong with it. It allows IT professionals to view the contents of hard drives, check the memory, or hunt for problems on a machine without actually being in front of it. And to that, I call B.S, outside of snooping it's only real world applications would involve accessing a recovery partition and restoring the computer to out of box state, installing software outside the knowledge of the main operating system, and secretly placing or deleting files.

But the intelligence agencies LOVE THIS. Because Frank is going on vacation soon and they know it. They have listened to all of his calls. They KNOW frank is a terrorist, because they have never been able to access anything Frank has done with a PC, and who would hide their use, other than a criminal? Frank keeps his computers up to date, and THREE of them now have Core vPro processors in them, and when Frank is gone, they are going to get their chance to access ALL of his files because the main backup hard disk went into the newest machine.Real world use for Core vPro processors will involve the following:

Accessing any PC anywhere, no matter what operating system is installed, even if it is physically disconnected from the internet. You see, Core vPro processors work inconjunction with Intel's new Anti Theft 3.0, which put 3g connectivity into every Intel CPU after the Sandy Bridge version of the I3/5/7 processors. Users do not get to know about that 3g connection, but it IS there. Frank was not stupid so he unplugged his router. Unfortunately for Frank, that won't work, because anti theft 3.0 always has that 3g connection on also, even if the computer is turned off. Sorry frank, you were good with operating systems, but did not know everything about hardware. And now the real reason for your finicky security habits will be known to the NSA '' you found a way to route photons to any place in the world without any sort of cable. You revolutionized communications. You were going public when you returned from your vacation, but thanks to your new Core vPro processors, a major communications firm is going to go public with your invention BEFORE you get home, and your research will be deleted and replaced with ''criminal activity'' so you will be arrested when you get back and unable to speak about the theft of your invention. Fascism is GREAT.

If a system has the ram chips pulled, a Core vPro processor will read the hard disk anyway because it has all the ram it needs embedded in the vPro core. If you encrypted your hard drive, a Core vPro processor will read it anyway, because it snagged your encryption key. If your system has been taken apart, and has no video card, ram, floppy, or hard drive, your Core vPro processor nailed you, because you left a flash drive plugged in. Or a CD in the CD drive. And what about that web cam?The bottom line? The Core vPro processor is the end of any pretend privacy. If you think encryption, Norton, or anything else is going to ensure your privacy, including never hooking up to the web at all, think again. There is now more than just a ghost in the machine. The Zionist, Globalist, Banker scamming war mongering cabal has a history of using the marketing of security as a means to remove ALL security and nail you. If you believe Intel's cheerful hype about these processors making things more secure than ever, think again, because any processor which allows a machine to be accessed even when it's turned off equates to an information tyrant's dream come true Please engage your brain while watching this, the security pitch is unadulterated B.S. These processors in fact represent an ABSOLUTE BREACH of security no matter HOW they are marketed. From the techinical viewpoint of someone who worked for an intelligence agency, I call B.S. on Intel, avoid these processors like the plague!

Editor note: Guess which chipmakers are the biggest zionist trash scumbag Israel-firster walking maggots supporter of Israel and Zionism? Yep. Intel. Stay tuned for my follow-up post. ~CM

It was fun. Thanks for the fish.LoP Guestlop guestUser ID: 191667Today 03:11 AM

Ghosts in your Machine? Intel Inside!oh ffs

ÏšHAIRMAN MΣOWКот и ÐÑ‹Ð>>есосUser ID: 204698Today 03:12 AM Posts: 4,876Ghosts in your Machine? Intel Inside!RESEARCH FINDINGS :Intel are one of the biggest supporters of Israel. Their very first development centre outside the US was opened in Haifa in 1974. Since then they have continued pouring investment in to Israel.[2] By year 2000 they employ over 4000 israelis. Exports from their Lachish-Qiryat Gat plant in israel (opened feb 99) total $ 3 million a day at peak capacity - approximately $ 1 billion a year. [1]

Al-Awda (Palestine Right to Return Coalition) have pointed out that the Intel plant at"Qiryat Gat" is built on land Israel confiscated from the Palestinian villages of Iraq al Manshiya. Iraq al Manshiya was a village of 2000 people living in 300 houses with two mosques and one school. The original Palestinian inhabitants were terrorised out of the village and then the whole village was razed to the ground to prepare the way for the new israeli settlement of Qiryat Gat. Today the remaining population from Iraq al Manshiya is still not allowed to return.[4][5][6]. Legal action against Intel for building on looted land is being considered [7].

ADDITIONAL INFO & REFs :[1] Intel in Israel, from intel website:

1974: IDC - Intel's first design and development center outside the USA, was set up in Haifa.1985: Fab 8 - Intel's first facility outside the USA for the manufacture of microprocessors and memory began operations in Har Hotzvim, Jerusalem.1998: A development center in Jerusalem (formerly "Digital") was purchased and integrated into Intel Israel.1999: Fab 18, the new plant in Lachish-Qiryat Gat, began manufacturing processors using 0.18 micron technology.

A branch for the development of network and communications products was opened in Omer, close to Beersheba.Intel International acquired two companies operating in Israel:

DSPC: A leading international developer and supplier of chip systems and software for the manufacture of cellular telephones for CDMA and TDMA devices. Most of 2000 DSPC's development efforts are currently directed at the 3G (third generation) market, which will integrate cellular phones with multimedia and Internet capabilities. DSPC develops, markets and sells integrated circuits (ASIC) based on DSP technology. Its customers include Motorola, Philips, Kenwood, Sanyo and Sharp.

Dialogic Israel Ltd. (DIL): DIL develops solutions for computerized telephony and Internet telephony. Founded in 1993 in the Tefen Industrial Park as an R&D subsidiary of Dialogic, DIL employs 35 engineers. Its products are used in voice, fax, data, voice identification and synthesis, call center management and IP telephony applications - in CPE and in a public network environment.

$810 million: The sum of Intel Israel's exports in 1999, a 92% increase in comparison with 1998.2000: Exports from the Intel Lachish-Qiryat Gat plant total $ 3 million a day at peak capacity - approximately $ 1 billion a year.

[2] Investments in Israel

From Embassy of Israel website:

- Fabrication facility in Jerusalem - $1.6b- New facility in Kiryat Gat- Design Center in Haifa.- 5% holding in RADVision for $1m (4/97).- Acquired Shani.- Invested in RADGuard (5/98).- Owns 100% of Intel Israel (1974) Ltd.- Inaugurated $20m development campus in Haifa(1998).- Invested in TelesciCOM of Holon (4/99)- Acqires DSP for $1.6b (10/99)

[3] Intels investments in apartheid education in Israel:

".. Intel invests in the promotion of higher education in Israel. In addition to scholarships for students, it allocates considerable resources to funding research and purchasing laboratory equipment."


It was fun. Thanks for the fish.A Ghost of Mike'd TeeVeewhite spectral dogUser ID: 90250Today 03:21 AM Posts: 125Ghosts in your Machine? Intel Inside!I was once shown that the more layers of external technology that are present... the less spiritual the society...So the joke is to those that know... having to rape a users turned off computer because "the "they" lack communication skills and self esteem" is hardly screaming of confidence for those with eyes to see and ears to hear!!!

So what happens if I turn all my power strips off every night and have no battery running the laptop???

My guess would be nothing!!!

You are most profoundly loved!!!

If you cannot understand the unified concept some call "god"... perhaps you can identify with gravity??? What is behind that??? And then...I still eat shadows...

LoP Guestlop guestUser ID: 151189Today 03:24 AM

Ghosts in your Machine? Intel Inside!It doesn't stop there. It doesn't stop until you realize the voices in your head are real, and they are telling you exactly what to do and when, and they sound perfectly logical.That is when you realize, it's ok to just let go.


Casual BystanderUnregistered UserUser ID: 193183Today 03:27 AM Posts: 3,834Ghosts in your Machine? Intel Inside!Use hibernate instead of sleep and pull the battery.

___________________________________The right to buy weapons is the right to be free!LoP Guestlop guestUser ID: 174568Today 03:31 AM

Ghosts in your Machine? Intel Inside!"Toodles Inside"?

The only "ghost" I know of is the Holy Ghost...he choose his own "host system", if you know what i mean...

Zech.8[1] Again the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying,[2] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.[3] Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.[4] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.[5] And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.[6] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.

Joshua Flynnwhile(CENSORED){printf("%s\n",Ideas);}User ID: 204594Today 03:50 AM Posts: 16,659

Ghosts in your Machine? Intel Inside!ϚHAIRMAN MΣOW Wrote:(Today 03:07 AM)New Intel Chips Contain Back-Door Processor, Hackable Even When Computer is Turned Off

Part of the 'always on'' schema.Do people seriously think that within 30 years you could have jumped from paper corn-powered biplanes to jet fighters, but not have a 'computer within a computer' Russian doll scenario? No? Think how small the computer on your phone or MP3 player is (sure, it's simple: the MP3 player might only 'record everything' but it's still a computer doing calculations whenever it reads the variable input files etc).

Everyone still thinks of a computer as this network of centralised devices. If a mass-produced iPad (which most people will comment probably has a 1000% profit margin or something) can produce computing capabilities (camera, microphone, GPS, websurfing, battery life, graphics etc) superior to that of the average computer perhaps not even 5 years earlier (remember when MP4 players were that bulky devices with no touchscreen? Yeah, I don't either), imagine if you stripped all of the 'unnecessary' technology (no screen, no battery, remove sim card, excessive storage, graphics card etc).

You could probably fit a readily simplified iphone inside the excess space of a desktop computer without anyone noticing, and assuming you could strip it down further (simple command interface for camera, microphone, GPS etc that simply 'piggybacks' the system) probably could hide in a circuit board smaller than the average MP3 player attached to the motherboard as a self-encased chip: and no-one would be any wiser.

Don't believe me? Matchstick sized microphones:

Smaller than matchstick sized camera:

Smaller than even camera smaller than a matchstick:

Quote: Checking in at just over one cubic millimeter, the system houses an ultra low-power microprocessor, a pressure sensor, memory, a thin-film battery, a solar cell, and a wireless radio with an antenna that can transmit data to an external reader placed near the eye.

Note the part that it's 'solar powered' and 'wireless' (this is only on millimeter scale: go somewhat bigger and most problems go away).Naturally people will argue perhaps one of two directions: you're not interesting enough (that's not the point: interest or not, it doesn't justify any sort of piggy backdoor tech, And it's there for when you *do* become interesting: and what defines the social norm of interest depends on which type of dictator you're dealing with. Criticise the government? That's probably of interest. They set the net first then try to catch you with it later on).

It's too technologically difficult/expensive/challenging/unnecessary. This doesn't stop the NSA from wasting $1 million a month in electricity bills in a SINGLE data centre alone, or any of the other legal wranglings, backdoor deals and overpriced projects they pay for. Most people in economics will know that mass production reduces cost prices to within pennies (especially if the unit is well designed, used pre-existing and cheap materials, and only uses 'what it has to'), and that retail prices aren't actually reflective of bulk prices. Better yet, as it's a consumer product, the consumer is actually the one paying for the additional cost, not the state.

All the state has to do is build a reasonably sufficient system that is both small (we've covered small on all counts so size is not a problem) and cheap, and can simply be 'tacked on' to the mass production of said unit. A clever engineer and designer could easily make use of pre-existing computer materials (IE you can eliminate microphones and cameras as they're already built in, and you exploit the 'grey area' on poorly maintained harddrives and caches as either temporary memory storage or long-term: reasonable compression algorithm would make that storage go miles). Consumer pays for the device but also inherits the cost of implementing their own backdoor.

The capabilities of a tacked in backdoor computer system are only limited by the physical capabilities of the system it's attached to. Physical tampering is discouraged (voids the warranty, they say: not they gave one, especially when each system has 'planned fail' involved), probably wouldn't want you to find what is secretly attached anyway.

How to filter radioactive water: Video

ÏšHAIRMAN MΣOWКот и ÐÑ‹Ð>>есосUser ID: 204698Today 04:01 AM Posts: 4,876Ghosts in your Machine? Intel Inside!Mr. Flynn, it's interesting study to build a hypothesis on the earlier days of consumer market electronics, namely personal computers, and the shift in attitude which occurred in the mid-nineties. It was a strange, notable occurrence when the puppet-media authority slowed, and eventually ceased talking about saving electricity, and phased into the benefits of leaving the computer on, because it was harmful to boot it up everyday... Like it was a fragile hadron collider with 5 cycles prior to MTBF.It's obvious that prior to the cellular mesh being what it is today, that in order to increase the "saturation" levels of candidate targets, they needed to promote the sleep / hibernation modes.

No, hell, they not only seal the battery inside of the laptop housing, but they put in a "SMART" battery.... hoooo ho hoa he he hue. They define "Storage capacity" differently behind closed doors.

It was fun. Thanks for the fish.LoP Guestlop guestUser ID: 174568Today 04:04 AM

LoP Guestlop guestUser ID: 158523Today 04:08 AM

Frater WRegistered UserUser ID: 152346Today 04:08 AM Posts: 4,404Ghosts in your Machine? Intel Inside!5*. I'm glad I'm not the only one around here that visits that site.

An ounce of practice is worth more than a ton of preaching. ~ Ghandi

Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT)

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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 06:22

1. Intel® vPro' technology is sophisticated and requires setup and activation. Availability of features and results will depend upon the setup and configuration of your hardware, software, and IT environments. To learn more visit:

2. Requires activation and a system with a corporate network connection, an Intel® AMT-enabled chipset, network hardware, and software. For notebooks, Intel AMT may be unavailable or limited over a host OS-based VPN, when connecting wirelessly, on battery power, sleeping, hibernating, or powered off. Results dependent upon hardware, setup, and configuration. For more information, visit

3. KVM Remote Control (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) is only available with the Intel® Xeon® processor family, Intel® Core' i5 vPro' processor, and Intel® Core' i7 vPro' processor running activated and configured Intel® Active Management Technology with integrated graphics. Discrete graphics are not supported.

Intel Chips allow remote access to your PC, OFFLINE! | Veraxity Radio

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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 06:21

So''ve locked your PC, Powered it down, disabled all the features, password encrypted everything on your HDD, stuffed it back in its case and locked it in your closet. Safe right? Wrong.

Since 2011, Intel has been implanting a 3G chipset into your Intel Core i3, i5, i7 processors which allows for remote viewing of all features on your system, even while powered down. The chip, phantom powered, is ONLY not in effect while there is no power supply- and it is unknown at this time what kind of capacity may be reserved after the battery is dead or removed.

The 3G chip allows for remote access of every feature on your system- bypassing all encoded passwords and other ''security'' features installed on the HDD. It can remotely turn your PC on, Turn it off, access your camera, microphone, and even accessories linked through your USB ports'.... ALL WITHOUT WIFI EVEN BEING ENABLED.

Your Laptop or PC with Intel Chipset does not have to be connected to a network AT ALL to have your privacy completely nulled. This chipset can be remote accessed by hackers, government agencies, and coders in the computer realm who know how to work the 3G network'... Its own firmware is installed right on the microchip too- so they literally never have to run your windows to steal, corrupt, erase, or manipulate your information.

How is this possible? Intel is advertising the chipsets right on their website under the guise of easy remote access for computer technicians.

While the VPro processor sets are the primary concern, it is impossible to tell how many PC's and Laptops were produced with this experimental technology inside during the course of these two years. If you think any Anti-Virus, Anti-Hack software is going to protect you from intrusion of your new Intel Chipset computer'... You're wrong. Hackers and Government spies can simply bypass EVERY security measure you have the ability to install on your software.

''Intel actually embedded the 3G radio chip in order to enable its Anti Theft 3.0 technology. And since that technology is found on every Core i3/i5/i7 CPU after Sandy Bridge, that means a lot of CPUs, not just new vPro, might have a secret 3G connection nobody knew about until now,''- Softpedia.

''If you think encryption, Norton, or anything else is going to ensure your privacy, including never hooking up to the web at all, think again. There is now more than just a ghost in the machine.''- - Jim Stone

If you liked what you read, Try THESE!Category: New in the World Order, NEWSTags: 3G, government, intel, laptop, nsa, privacy, processor, security, spy chips, vpro, wirelessAbout Steven KnichelStationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Steve writes to you as a conspiratorially conscious individual. It is his hope that the episodes and articles posted on this site will promote self research and personal development to assist in weaning the public off of Mainstream Media dependency, and inherently absorbing false truths.

>> ''Secret'' 3G Intel Chip Gives Snoops Backdoor PC Access Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!

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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 06:18

vPro processors allow remote access even when computer is turned off

Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comSeptember 26, 2013

Intel Core vPro processors contain a ''secret'' 3G chip that allows remote disabling and backdoor access to any computer even when it is turned off.

Image: Intel Core vPro.

Although the technology has actually been around for a while, the attendant privacy concerns are only just being aired. The ''secret'' 3G chip that Intel added to its processors in 2011 caused little consternation until the NSA spying issue exploded earlier this year as a result of Edward Snowden's revelations.

In a promotional video for the technology, Intel brags that the chips actually offer enhanced security because they don't require computers to be ''powered on'' and allow problems to be fixed remotely. The promo also highlights the ability for an administrator to shut down PCs remotely ''even if the PC is not connected to the network,'' as well as the ability to bypass hard drive encryption.

''Intel actually embedded the 3G radio chip in order to enable its Anti Theft 3.0 technology. And since that technology is found on every Core i3/i5/i7 CPU after Sandy Bridge, that means a lot of CPUs, not just new vPro, might have a secret 3G connection nobody knew about until now,''reports Softpedia.

Jeff Marek, director of business client engineering for Intel, acknowledged that the company's Sandy Bridge'' microprocessor, which was released in 2011, had ''the ability to remotely kill and restore a lost or stolen PC via 3G.''

''Core vPro processors contain a second physical processor embedded within the main processor which has it's own operating system embedded on the chip itself,'' writes Jim Stone. ''As long as the power supply is available and in working condition, it can be woken up by the Core vPro processor, which runs on the system's phantom power and is able to quietly turn individual hardware components on and access anything on them.''

Although the technology is being promoted as a convenient way for IT experts to troubleshoot PC issues remotely, it also allows hackers or NSA snoops to view the entire contents of somebody's hard drive, even when the power is off and the computer is not connected to a wi-fi network.

It also allows third parties to remotely disable any computer via the ''secret'' 3G chip that is built into Intel's Sandy Bridge processors. Webcams could also be remotely accessed.

''This combination of hardware from Intel enables vPro access ports which operate independently of normal user operations,'' reports TG Daily. ''These include out-of-band communications (communications that exist outside of the scope of anything the machine might be doing through an OS or hypervisor), monitoring and altering of incoming and outgoing network traffic. In short, it operates covertly and snoops and potentially manipulates data.''

Not only does this represent a privacy nightmare, it also dramatically increases the risk of industrial espionage.

The ability for third parties to have remote 3G access to PCs would also allow unwanted content to be placed on somebody's hard drive, making it easier for intelligence agencies and corrupt law enforcement bodies to frame people.

''The bottom line? The Core vPro processor is the end of any pretend privacy,'' writes Stone. ''If you think encryption, Norton, or anything else is going to ensure your privacy, including never hooking up to the web at all, think again. There is now more than just a ghost in the machine.''

Facebook @ Paul Joseph Watson @


Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for and Prison He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

This article was posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 5:56 am

Tags: big brother, domestic spying, technology


Internet FREEDOM

Clutha hate comments investigated

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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 13:51

8 December 2013Last updated at 07:48 ET Online hate comments about the Glasgow helicopter crash which left nine people dead are being investigated by police.

Scotland's senior prosecutor said guidance would be issued this week on dealing with allegations linked to the Clutha bar tragedy.

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland said prosecutors "must take a hard line" against this kind of hate crime.

The first of the funerals of the victims of the crash, which happened 10 days ago, took place on Saturday.

The Lord Advocate's office said Police Scotland were investigating allegations of crimes arising from hateful comments posted online.

Procurators Fiscal will be told that where offences have been motivated by a reaction to the Clutha bar crash there will be a presumption in favour of criminal proceedings.

Mr Mulholland said: "It is important that COPFS [Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service] demonstrates a robust prosecution policy towards such offences committed as a reaction to the incident in recognition of the fact that people died and the impact such crimes will have on their families and friends.

"This is also in consideration of the other people who were in the Clutha bar and those who attended the scene in the aftermath."

The Lord Advocate added: "I have made it clear that prosecutors must take a hard line against this kind of hate crime."

In the days after the crash one teenager was detained over alleged comments on social networking site Twitter.

Last week the attorney general's office said it would start to publish guidance on Twitter to help prevent social media users from committing contempt of court when commenting on legal cases in England and Wales.



Turkey, China mull $35 bln joint high-speed railway project - Today's Zaman, your gateway to Turkish daily news

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Turkish and Chinese officials explored a possible deal for the Edirne-Kars project during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to Beijing last week. The Akşam daily reported on Thursday the details of talks regarding the railway in an interview with Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım.

Yıldırım was in China to accompany Erdoğan and a large group of businessmen, in the first visit on the prime ministerial level in 27 years to the East Asian country.

Endeavoring to create a market in European countries, China considers Turkey an area to promote itself with large-scale projects. With the planned connection of the Marmaray project under the Bosporus to the Edirne-Kars railway, a train line from China to Spain and England would be completed. This is a major reason behind China's strong interest in Edirne-Kars, eventually aiming to reach Europe via a railway line. Ä°stanbul is currently connected to the European cities of Bucharest and Belgrade with the conventional railway line, the Bosporus-Europe Express. Observers argued this line could also be upgraded to high-speed following possible deals between the governments involved.

''Chinese officials are expecting the details of the Edirne-Kars project to become clearer. Chinese firms asked us whether it would be possible to split the Edirne-Kars high-speed line into separate projects between certain provinces so different contractors could bid for separate tenders. We [the government] are studying the possibility of offering separate tenders instead of asking one single company or venture to build the entire line,'' Yıldırım explained.

The minister also indicated both sides discussed other projects in Turkey, including a third bridge over the Bosporus and Kanal Ä°stanbul, during last week's visit in Beijing. ''China is seriously interested in Turkish construction projects. The parties will meet in separate visits in the coming weeks to further elaborate on possible deals,'' he noted. Turkey expects to attract as much foreign capital as possible for construction projects worth $80 billion for the next decade. Chinese firms that have a great deal of capital -- along with Gulf companies -- are on the Turkish government's radar in this regard. Turkish officials are in close contact with these investors in anticipation of coaxing as many of them as they can to part with their capital in Turkey.

Edirne-Kars, the country's largest railway project ever, was introduced in 2010. The line is designed to pass through 29 provinces, connecting the east and west of Turkey and reducing the duration of travel from the current 36 hours to 12. With the completion of the planned Edirne-Kars line, the total length of high-speed rail inside Turkey is expected to reach 10,000 kilometers by 2023. Under an agreement signed between China and Turkey in October 2010, China agreed to extend loans of $30 billion for the planned rail network. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway connecting Azerbaijan's capital city of Baku to Kars, currently under construction, increases the strategic importance of the Edirne-Kars line.

Economy Minister Zafer ‡aÄŸlayan, who also participated in last week's China visit, on Thursday said in a written statement that he met with 27 of China's largest companies and that all of them expressed interest in projects in Turkey. ''The executives of 27 Chinese firms with a total turnover of $465 billion said they would like to benefit from recently introduced government incentives for new investments in Turkey,'' ‡aÄŸlayan's statement read. Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Beijing last week, Turkey's national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) CEO Temel Kotil said Chinese involvement is also possible for a planned third airport in Ä°stanbul. ''The planned airport will have an annual passenger capacity of 120 million, making Ä°stanbul the largest air travel hub in Europe, outpacing the 90-million passenger capacity of Frankfurt.

In separate comments on Turkish-Chinese partnerships in new projects, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız said on Friday in Ankara Turkey would hold official talks on construction of a nuclear power plant with Japan, South Korea and China.

Although he defined his visit to China as ''fruitful,'' Yıldız did not rule out the possibility of Japan or South Korea winning a tender for construction of a second nuclear plant. Turkey plans to build two power plants, one in Akkuyu on the Mediterranean coast and another in Sinop on the Black Sea coast. It made an agreement with a consortium led by state-controlled Russian builder Atomstroyexport to build Akkuyu. "We prefer the bidder country that offers the best deal," Yıldız said. He added officials from his ministry would visit China in the coming week to discuss details, adding that the nuclear power plant would be built in line with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and EU standards.

Meanwhile, Yıldız said the government agreed to establish a new electricity generation plant in the Southeast, planning to sell electricity to Iraq's northern cities. ''They will in return send us natural gas,'' he noted. The minister did not give a specific timeline for the new plan.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Coordinates: 50°52'²34.16'"N4°25'²19.24'"E>> / >>50.8761556°N 4.4220111°E>> / 50.8761556; 4.4220111

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO (simplified Chinese: 上海åä½'ç>>ç>>‡; traditional Chinese: 上海åä½'çµç¹--; pinyin: Sh nghÇŽi H(C)zu² ZÇ--zhÄ; Russian: Шанхайская оÑÐ"анизация сотÑудничества (ШОÐ), Shankhayskaya organizatsiya sotrudnichestva) is a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Except for Uzbekistan, the other countries had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organisation.

Official names[edit]The official working languages of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are Chinese and Russian. The official names of the organisation in the two languages, abbreviations in parentheses, are:



Cyrillic: Шанхайская оÑÐ"анизация сотÑудничества (ШОÐ)Romanisation: Shankhayskaya organizatsiya sotrudnichestva (ShOS)Membership[edit]Member States[1]

Origins[edit]The Shanghai Five grouping was originally created 26 April 1996 with the signing of the Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions in Shanghai by the heads of states of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. April 24, 1997 the same countries signed the Treaty on Reduction of Military Forces in Border Regions in a meeting in Moscow.

Subsequent annual summits of the Shanghai Five group occurred in Almaty (Kazakhstan) in 1998, in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) in 1999, and in Dushanbe (Tajikistan) in 2000.

In 2001, the annual summit returned to Shanghai, China. There the five member nations first admitted Uzbekistan in the Shanghai Five mechanism (thus transforming it into the Shanghai Six). Then all six heads of state signed on 15 June 2001, the Declaration of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, praising the role played thus far by the Shanghai Five mechanism and aiming to transform it to a higher level of cooperation. On 16 July 2001, Russia and the PRC, the organisation's two leading nations, signed the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation.

In June 2002, the heads of the SCO member states met in Saint Petersburg, Russia. There they signed the SCO Charter which expounded on the organisation's purposes, principles, structures and form of operation, and established it officially from the point of view of international law.

Its six full members account for 60% of the land mass of Eurasia and its population is a quarter of the world's. With observer states included, its affiliates account for half of the human race.

In July 2005, at its fifth and watershed summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, with representatives of India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan attending an SCO summit for the first time, the president of the host country, Nursultan Nazarbayev, greeted the guests in words that had never before been used in any context: "The leaders of the states sitting at this negotiation table are representatives of half of humanity".[3]

By 2007 the SCO had initiated over twenty large-scale projects related to transportation, energy and telecommunications and held regular meetings of security, military, defence, foreign affairs, economic, cultural, banking and other officials from its member states.

The SCO has established relations with the United Nations, where it is an observer in the General Assembly, the European Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Structure[edit]The Council of Heads of State is the top decision-making body in the SCO. This council meets at the SCO summits, which are held each year in one of the member states' capital cities. The current Council of Heads of State consists of:

The Council of Heads of Government is the second-highest council in the organisation. This council also holds annual summits, at which time members discuss issues of multilateral cooperation. The council also approves the organisation's budget.

The council of Foreign Ministers also hold regular meetings, where they discuss the current international situation and the SCO's interaction with other international organisations.[4]

As the name suggests, the Council of National Coordinators coordinates the multilateral cooperation of member states within the framework of the SCO's charter.

The Secretariat of the SCO is the primary executive body of the organisation. It serves to implement organisational decisions and decrees, drafts proposed documents (such as declarations and agendas), function as a document depository for the organisation, arranges specific activities within the SCO framework, and promotes and disseminates information about the SCO. It is located in Beijing. The current SCO Secretary-General is Muratbek Imanaliyev of Kyrgyzstan, a former Kyrgyz Minister of Foreign Affairs and professor at the American University of Central Asia.[5]

The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism. The Head of RATS is elected to a three-year term. Each member state also sends a permanent representative to RATS.[6]

Activities[edit]Cooperation on security[edit]The SCO is primarily centered on its member nations' Central Asian security-related concerns, often describing the main threats it confronts as being terrorism, separatism and extremism. However evidence is growing that its activities in the area of social development of its member states is increasing fast.[citation needed][7]

At 16''17 June 2004 SCO summit, held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the Regional Antiterrorism Structure (RATS) was established. On 21 April 2006, the SCO announced plans to fight cross-border drug crimes under the counter-terrorism rubric.[8]

Grigory Logninov claimed in April 2006 that the SCO has no plans to become a military bloc; nonetheless he argued that the increased threats of "terrorism, extremism and separatism" make necessary a full-scale involvement of armed forces.[9]

In October 2007, the SCO signed an agreement with the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, to broaden cooperation on issues such as security, crime, and drug trafficking.[10] Joint action plans between the two organisations are planned to be signed by early 2008 in Beijing.[11]

The organisation is also redefining cyberwarfare, saying that the dissemination of information "harmful to the spiritual, moral and cultural spheres of other states" should be considered a "security threat". An accord adopted in 2009 defined "information war", in part, as an effort by a state to undermine another's "political, economic, and social systems".[12]

Military activities[edit]Over the past few years, the organisation's activities have expanded to include increased military cooperation, intelligence sharing, and counterterrorism.[13]

There have been a number of SCO joint military exercises. The first of these was held in 2003, with the first phase taking place in Kazakhstan and the second in China. Since then China and Russia have teamed up for large-scale war games in 2005 (Peace Mission 2005), 2007 and 2009, under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. More than 4,000 Chinese soldiers participated at the joint military exercises in 2007 (known as "Peace Mission 2007") which took place in Chelyabinsk Russia near the Ural Mountains, as was agreed upon in April 2006 at a meeting of SCO Defence Ministers. Air forces and precision-guided weapons were also likely to be used. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said that the exercises would be transparent and open to media and the public. Following the war games' successful completion, Russian officials began speaking of India joining such exercises in the future and the SCO taking on a military role. Peace Mission 2010, conducted September 9''25 at Kazakhstan's Matybulak training area, saw over 5,000 personnel from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan conduct joint planning and operational maneuvers.[14]

The SCO has served as a platform for larger military announcements by members. During the 2007 war games in Russia, with leaders of SCO member states in attendance including Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russia's President Vladimir Putin used the occasion to take advantage of a "captive" audience: Russian strategic bombers, he said, would resume regular long-range patrols for the first time since the Cold War. "Starting today, such tours of duty will be conducted regularly and on the strategic scale", Putin said. "Our pilots have been grounded for too long. They are happy to start a new life".

Economic cooperation[edit]All SCO members but China are also members of the Eurasian Economic Community. A Framework Agreement to enhance economic cooperation was signed by the SCO member states on 23 September 2003. At the same meeting the PRC's Premier, Wen Jiabao, proposed a long-term objective to establish a free trade area in the SCO, while other more immediate measures would be taken to improve the flow of goods in the region.[15][16] A follow up plan with 100 specific actions was signed one year later, on 23 September 2004.[17]

On 26 October 2005, during the Moscow Summit of the SCO, the Secretary General of the Organisation said that the SCO will prioritise joint energy projects; such will include the oil and gas sector, the exploration of new hydrocarbon reserves, and joint use of water resources. The creation of an Inter-bank SCO Council was also agreed upon at that summit in order to fund future joint projects. The first meeting of the SCO Interbank Association was held in Beijing on 21''22 February 2006.[18][19] On 30 November 2006, at The SCO: Results and Perspectives, an international conference held in Almaty, the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Russia is developing plans for an SCO "Energy Club".[20] The need for this "club" was reiterated by Moscow at an SCO summit in November 2007. Other SCO members, however, have not committed themselves to the idea.[21] However on 28 August 2008 summit it was stated that "Against the backdrop of a slowdown in the growth of world economy pursuing a responsible currency and financial policy, control over the capital flowing, ensuring food and energy security have been gaining special significance".[22]

On 16 June 2009, at the Yekaterinburg Summit, China announced plans to provide a US$10 billion loan to SCO member states to shore up the struggling economies of its members amid the global financial crisis.[23][24] The summit was held together with the first BRIC summit, and the China-Russia joint statement said that they want a bigger quota in the International Monetary Fund.[25]

At the 2007 SCO summit Iranian Vice President Parviz Davudi addressed an initiative that has been garnering greater interest and assuming a heightened sense of urgency when he said, "The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a good venue for designing a new banking system which is independent from international banking systems".[26]

The address by Putin also included these comments: "We now clearly see the defectiveness of the monopoly in world finance and the policy of economic selfishness. To solve the current problem Russia will take part in changing the global financial structure so that it will be able to guarantee stability and prosperity in the world and to ensure progress".

"The world is seeing the emergence of a qualitatively different geo-political situation, with the emergence of new centers of economic growth and political influence".

"We will witness and take part in the transformation of the global and regional security and development architectures adapted to new realities of the 21st century, when stability and prosperity are becoming inseparable notions".[27]

Cultural cooperation[edit]Cultural cooperation also occurs in the SCO framework. Culture ministers of the SCO met for the first time in Beijing on April 12, 2002, signing a joint statement for continued cooperation. The third meeting of the Culture Ministers took place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on 27''28 April 2006.[28][29]

An SCO Arts Festival and Exhibition was held for the first time during the Astana Summit in 2005. Kazakhstan has also suggested an SCO folk dance festival to take place in 2008, in Astana.[30]

Summits[edit]According to the Charter of the SCO, summits of the Council of Heads of State shall be held annually at alternating venues. The locations of these summits follow the alphabetical order of the member state's name in Russian.[31] The charter also dictates that the Council of Heads of Government (that is, the Prime Ministers) shall meet annually in a place previously decided upon by the council members. The Council of Foreign Ministers is supposed to hold a summit one month before the annual summit of Heads of State. Extraordinary meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers can be called by any two member states.[31]

List of Summits[edit]Future membership possibilities[edit]In June 2010, the SCO approved the procedure of admitting new members, though new members have yet to be admitted.[37] Several states, however, participate as observers, some of whom have expressed interest in becoming full members in the future. The implications of Iran joining the organisation have garnered both academic attention.[38] In early September 2013 Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said during his meeting with his Chinese counterpart that Armenia would like to obtain an observer status in the SCO.[39]

Current observers[edit]Dialogue Partner[edit]The position of Dialogue Partner was created in 2008 in accordance with Article 14 of the SCO Charter of 7 June 2002. This article regards Dialogue Partner as a state or an organisation who shares the goals and principles of the SCO and wishes to establish relations of equal mutually beneficial partnership with the Organisation.[47]

Relations with the West[edit]Western media observers believe that one of the original purposes of the SCO was to serve as a counterbalance to NATO and the United States and in particular to avoid conflicts that would allow the United States to intervene in areas bordering both Russia and China.[52][53] And although not a member state, the former President of IranMahmoud Ahmadinejad has used his speeches at the SCO to make verbal attacks against the United States.[54]

The United States applied for observer status in the SCO, but was rejected in 2006.[55]

At the Astana summit in July 2005, with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq foreshadowing an indefinite presence of U.S. forces in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, the SCO urged the U.S. to set a timetable for withdrawing its troops from SCO member states. Shortly afterwards, Uzbekistan asked the U.S. to leave the K-2 air base.[56]

The SCO has made no direct comments against the U.S. or its military presence in the region; however, some indirect statements at the past summits have been viewed by the western media as "thinly veiled swipes at Washington".[57]

Geopolitical aspects of the SCO[edit]There have been many discussions and commentaries about the geopolitical nature of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Matthew Brummer, in the Journal of International Affairs, tracks the implications of SCO expansion into the Persian Gulf.[58]

Iranian writer, Hamid Golpira, had this to say on the topic: "According to Zbigniew Brzezinski's theory, control of the Eurasian landmass is the key to global domination and control of Central Asia is the key to control of the Eurasian landmass....Russia and China have been paying attention to Brzezinski's theory, since they formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2001, ostensibly to curb extremism in the region and enhance border security, but most probably with the real objective of counterbalancing the activities of the United States and NATO in Central Asia".[59]

At a 2005 summit in Kazakhstan the SCO issued a Declaration of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which addressed their "concerns" and contained an elaboration of the organisation's principles. It included: "The heads of the member states point out that, against the backdrop of a contradictory process of globalisation, multilateral cooperation, which is based on the principles of equal right and mutual respect, non-intervention in internal affairs of sovereign states, non-confrontational way of thinking and consecutive movement towards democratisation of international relations, contributes to overall peace and security, and call upon the international community, irrespective of its differences in ideology and social structure, to form a new concept of security based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and interaction."[60]

In November 2005 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated that the "Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is working to establish a rational and just world order" and that "The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation provides us with a unique opportunity to take part in the process of forming a fundamentally new model of geopolitical integration".[61]

A Chinese daily expressed the matter in these terms: "The Declaration points out that the SCO member countries have the ability and responsibility to safeguard the security of the Central Asian region, and calls on Western countries to leave Central Asia. That is the most noticeable signal given by the Summit to the world".[62]

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has concluded that the United States is manoeuvring "to preserve its status as the world's sole superpower and will not allow any country the chance to pose a challenge to it".[63]

An article in The Washington Post in early 2008 reported that President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia could aim nuclear missiles at Ukraine if Russia's neighbour and former fraternal republic in the Soviet Union joins the NATO alliance and hosts elements of a U.S. missile defence system. "It is horrible to say and even horrible to think that, in response to the deployment of such facilities in Ukrainian territory, which cannot theoretically be ruled out, Russia could target its missile systems at Ukraine", Putin said at a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, who was visiting the Kremlin. "Imagine this just for a second".[64][65]

The International Federation for Human Rights has called SCO a "vehicle" for Human rights violations.[66]

See also[edit]References[edit]^ abc"The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation". Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Retrieved 2012-09-18. ^ abcd"SCO accepts Afghanistan as observer, Turkey dialogue partner". Xinhua. June 7, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07. ^Kazinform, July 5, 2005^Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers from Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Embassy of the Russian Federation in Malaysia^SCO Secretariat in Brief SCO Website^Information on Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation SCO Website^Zaidi, Mujtaba Haider. "The Shanghai Co-operation Organisation and US Supremacy" African Herald Express. August 20, 2013 URL:^SCO to intensify fight against cross-border drug crimes^SCO gets ready for joint military exercise World Student Press Agency^Security alliances led byRussia, China link up Daily Times^Kazakhstan Notes Afghanistan's Emerging Security Agenda Eurasia Daily Monitor^Tom Gjelten (September 23, 2010). "Seeing The Internet As An 'Information Weapon'". National Public Radio. Retrieved September 23, 2010. ^^Boland, Julie. "Learning From The Shanghai Cooperation Organization's 'Peace Mission-2010' Exercise", The Brookings Institution, October 29, 2010^Central Asian powers agree to pursue free-trade zone^"China Intensifies Regional Trade Talks". Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)^Joint Communique of the Council of the Governmental Heads (Prime Ministers) of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Member States University of Hawaii^Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Eyes Economic, Security Cooperation The Jamestown Foundation^SCO Ministers of Foreign Economic Activity and Trade to meet in Tashkent National Bank of Uzbekistan^Russia's Foreign Ministry develops concept of SCO energy club^Russia Urges Formation of Central Asian Energy Club Eurasianet^Chronicle of Main Events of "Shanghai Five" and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation^(Xinhua)^^Yan (June 18, 2009). "China, Russia sign five-point joint statement". Retrieved June 23, 2009. "They also said that a new round of the IMF quota formula review and the reform schemes of the World Bank should be completed on time and that the emerging markets and developing countries should have a bigger say and broader representation in the international financial institutions." ^Mehr News Agency, October 31, 2008^Russia Today, October 30, 2008^Culture Ministers of SCO Member States Meet in Beijing People's Daily^SCO Culture Ministers to Meet in Tashkent^Kazakhstan Backs Promotion of SCO Cultural Ties^ abCharter of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation SCO Website^Joint Communiqu(C) of Meeting of the Council of the Heads of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation SCO Website^SCO vows to strengthen cooperation with its observers, dialogue partners Xinhua^^SCO Heads of Government Council meets in Beijing^"SCO Meeting Expected to Boost Cooperation Among Members". The Gazette of Central Asia (Satrapia). December 2, 2012. ^ abWu Jiao and Li Xiaokun (June 12, 2010). "SCO agrees deal to expand". China Daily. Retrieved June 15, 2010. ^Journal of International Affairs. 2007. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Iran: A Power-full Union. Matthew Brummer^^Shanghai Cooperation Organisation '' Towards New Dynamism '' Mainstream Weekly^India has right to join SCO, not Pakistan: Russian envoy '' News^"China welcomes proposed accession of India in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation". The Times Of India. May 23, 2012. ^Iran applies for membership Press TV^^^^Regulations on the Status of Dialogue Partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation^ abSri Lanka gains partnership in SCO members welcome end to terror in country^The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation acquires military character Kommersant^Bedi, Rahul (June 2, 2007). "Sri Lanka turns to Pakistan, China for military needs". IANS ( Network). Retrieved June 2, 2007. ^Galip Dalay (May 14, 2013). "Turkey between Shanghai and Brussels". The New Turkey. Retrieved 2013-07-01. ^Tannock, Charles (February 18, 2008). "Backing Kazakhstan's 'great game'". London: Guardian Weekly. ^Fels, Enrico (2009), Assessing Eurasia's Powerhouse. An Inquiry into the Nature of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Winkler Verlag: Bochum, p. 23''27.^Ahmadinejad stresses need for a new world orderPress TV^Shanghai surprise Guardian Unlimited^Central Asia: China and Russia up the ante The Hindu^Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summiteers Take Shots at US Presence in Central Asia Eurasianet^Journal of International Affairs. 2007. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Iran: A Power-full Union. Matthew Brummer^Tehran Times, November 20, 2008^"The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation". July 13, 2005. [dead link]^UzReport, November 28, 2005^People's Daily, July 8, 2008^American Legion Magazine, March 1, 2010^Maheen Mirza, Shanghai Corporation Organisation (SCO): A New Platform '' TRCB, '' Article Marketing for Massive Exposure and Reward, (accessed April 7, 2010).^Peter Finn, "Putin Threatens Ukraine on NATO '' Russian Raises Issues of U.S. Missile Shield",, February 13, 2008, archives 2010.^"Group Says SCO 'Vehicle' For Rights Abuses."RFE/RL, September 2, 2012.Further reading[edit]Kalra, Prajakti and Saxena, Siddharth "Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Prospects of Development in Eurasia Region" Turkish Policy Quarterly, Vol 6. No.2, 2007Sznajder, Ariel Pablo, "China's Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Strategy", University of California Press, May 2006Oresman, Matthew, "Beyond the Battle of Talas: China's Re-emergence in Central Asia" PDF (4.74 MiB), National Defence University Press, August 2004Gill, Bates and Oresman, Matthew, China's New Journey to the West: Report on China's Emergence in Central Asia and Implications for U.S. Interests, CSIS Press, August 2003Fels, Enrico (2009), Assessing Eurasia's Powerhouse. An Inquiry into the Nature of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Winkler Verlag: Bochum. ISBN 978-3-89911-107-1Yom, Sean L. (2002). "Power Politics in Central Asia: The Future of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation". Harvard Asia Quarterly6 (4) 48''54.Stakelbeck, Frederick W., Jr. (August 8, 2005). "The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation"., Lev. (February 17, 2006). "The Sino-Russian 'Shanghai Cooperation Organisation'"[dead link]., John. (July 19, 2001). "'Shanghai Five' expands to combat Islamic radicals". Jane's Terrorism & Security Monitor.Colson, Charles. (August 5, 2003). "Central Asia: Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Makes Military Debut". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.Cohen, Dr. Ariel. (July 18, 2001). "The Russia-China Friendship and Cooperation Treaty: A Strategic Shift in Eurasia?". The Heritage Foundation.Cohen, Dr. Ariel. (October 24, 2005). "Competition over Eurasia: Are the U.S. and Russia on a Collision Course?". The Heritage Foundation.John Keefer Douglas, Matthew B. Nelson, and Kevin Schwartz; "Fueling the Dragon's Flame: How China's Energy Demands Affect its Relationships in the Middle East". PDF (162 KiB), United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, October 2006.Baris Adibelli. "The Eurasia Strategy of China" IQ Publishing House, Ä°stanbul, 2007.Baris ADIBELLI, " The Great Game in Eurasian Geopolitics", IQ Publishing House, Ä°stanbul, 2008.Baris Adibelli, "Turkey-China Relations since the Ottoman Period", IQ Publishing House, Ä°stanbul,2007.Baris Adibelli, The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Dream of Turkey, Cumhuriyet Strateji,Ä°stanbul, 2007.Baris ADIBELLI, "Greater Eurasia Project", IQ Publishing House, Ä°stanbul,2006.Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: a vehicle for human rights violationsFIDH 2012External links[edit]

No Wonder China is Nervous as Obama Pivots

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Archived Version

Sun, 08 Dec 2013 04:40

Part I: China a military threat?To read the mainstream Western media, one would conclude that China has become an economic giant now intent on flexing its military muscle and making a massive arms buildup to do so. China's designated new President, Xi Jinping, has just won both the top Communist party post from predecessor Hu Jintao as well as the head of the powerful Central Military Commission, giving Xi a full takeover of party and armed forces.

A recent BBC analysis, in an article titled ''China extending military reach,'' is typical of Western media coverage of China's military program: ''China's first aircraft carrier will begin sea trials later this year. Late last year, the first pictures were leaked of the prototype of Beijing's new "stealth" fighter. And US military experts believe that China has begun to deploy the world's first long-range ballistic missile capable of hitting a moving ship at sea.'' [1]

China's first aircraft carrierIn Japan, nationalist politicians like politically ambitious Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara and Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of Osaka, are gaining popularity with anti-China rhetoric and by claiming Japan must develop capacities to oppose Chinese military ascendency. In May the authoritative New York Times ran an alarming story to the effect that China announced a ''double-digit increase'' in military spending. In the actual text of the article they report an 11% increase over the previous budget, far less than even the rate of inflation.

However, when we examine in detail the actual redeployment and military moves of US Armed Forces in the Asia region following President Obama's announcement of a new ''Asia Pivot'' refocus of US military capacities from Western Europe to the Asia region, it becomes clear China is re-acting, in order to attempt to deal with quite real threats to its future sovereignty rather than acting in an aggressive posture.

The mere fact that a standing President, Obama, during nationally televised Presidential debates labeled China as an ''adversary'' is indicative of the US military posture change. The depth and nature of the US pivot to China is crystal clear when one takes a closer look at the recent developments in an Asian US Missile Defense deployment, clearly aimed at China and no other.

China officially spent barely 10% of what the US does on its defense, some $90 billion, or if certain defense-related arms import and other costs are included, perhaps $111 billion a year. Even if the Chinese authorities do not publish complete data on such sensitive areas, it's clear China spends a mere fraction of the USA and is starting from a military-technology base far behind the USA.

The US defense budget is not just by far the world's largest. It dominates everyone else, completely independent of any perceived threat. In the nineteenth century, the British Royal Navy built the size of its fleet according to the fleets of Britain's two most powerful potential enemies; America's defense budget strategists declare it will be "doomsday" if the United States builds its navy to anything less than five times that of China and Russia combined. [2]

If we include the spending by Russia, China's strongest ally within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, their combined total annual defense spending is barely $142 billion. The world's ten top defense spending nations in addition to the USA as largest, and China as second largest, include the UK, France, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Germany, India and Brazil. In 2011 the military spending of the United States totaled a staggering 46% of total spending by the world's 171 governments and territories, almost half the entire world. [3]

Clearly, for all its rhetoric about peace-keeping missions and ''democracy'' promotion, the Pentagon is pursuing what its planners refer to as ''Full Spectrum Dominance,'' the total control of all global air, land, ocean, space, outer-space and now cyberspace. [4] It is clearly determined to use its military might to secure global domination or hegemony. No other interpretation is possible.

China today, because of its dynamic economic growth and its determination to pursue sovereign Chinese national interests, merely because China exists, is becoming the Pentagon new ''enemy image,'' or adversary, now replacing the no longer useful ''enemy image'' of Islam used after September 2001 by the Bush-Cheney Administration to justify the Pentagon's global power pursuit.

After almost two decades of neglect of its interests in East Asia, in 2011, the Obama Administration announced that the US would make ''a strategic pivot'' in its foreign policy to focus its military and political attention on the Asia-Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia, that is, China.

Part II: 'Obama Doctrine' and Asian BMDTo date the heart of the initial stages of the China Pivot involve building a massive anti-Ballistic Missile Defense ring around China to neutralize China's nuclear strike potential. During the final months of 2011 the Obama Administration clearly defined a new public military threat doctrine for US military readiness in the wake of the US military failures in Iraq and Afghanistan. During a Presidential trip to the Far East, while in Australia, the US President unveiled what is being termed the Obama Doctrine. [5]

The following sections from Obama's speech in Australia are worth citing in detail:

With most of the world's nuclear power and some half of humanity, Asia will largely define whether the century ahead will be marked by conflict or cooperation'...As President, I have, therefore, made a deliberate and strategic decision '-- '...the United States will play a larger and long-term role in shaping this region and its future'...I have directed my national security team to make our presence and mission in the Asia Pacific a top priority... We will preserve our unique ability to project power and deter threats to peace'...The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay. Indeed, we are already modernizing America's defense posture across the Asia Pacific. ..We see our new posture here in Australia'...I believe we can address shared challenges, such as proliferation and maritime security, including cooperation in the South China Sea. [6]

On August 24, 2012 the New York Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama Administration as part of its newly-announced policy of China Pivot, will expand its missile-defense shield, Ballistic Missile Defense or BMD as it is known in the military, in the Asia-Pacific region. [7]

The official reason given by the Pentagon for its new BMD deployment to the Asian theater is to protect Japan, South Korea and other US allied countries in the region against a North Korean nuclear missile attack. That argument doesn't stand close scrutiny.

In reality, according to numerous reports, Washington has decided to invest in a major Ballistic Missile Defense network using Japan, South Korea and Australia. The real target of the BMD system is not North Korea, but rather the Peoples' Republic of China, the only power in the region possessing even a potential nuclear threat with serious long-range delivery capabilities. It is part of the new Pentagon strategy of imposing full control over the future development of China.

The Washington BMD offensive has to be viewed as well in the light of the well-timed Japanese government decision to deliberately provoke tension with China over the disputed Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, a region believed to be vastly rich in natural gas reserves. [8]

Part III: Japan Missile Defense KeyAir Self Defense Force Patriot III anti-missile air defense interceptor missile systemIn September 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the United States and Japan had reached a major agreement to deploy a second major advanced missile-defense radar on Japanese territory. [9] In his announcement Panetta declared, "The purpose of this is to enhance our ability to defend Japan. It's also designed to help forward-deployed US forces and it also will be effective in protecting the US homeland from the North Korean ballistic missile threat." [10] A glance at the map shows the nuclear holes in Panetta's statement. Chinese missile sites are just across the Korean border, well in range of the US-Japan new BMD installation.

The Washington decision to place advanced BMD infrastructure in Japan was made long ago as part of a US strategy of global military dominance. The BMD cooperation with Japan began in earnest on December 19, 2003, when the Japanese government issued the cabinet decision "On Introduction of Ballistic Missile Defense System and Other Measures." Ever since, establishing a robust missile defense system has been a Japan national security priority.

Under the current Japanese government's interpretation of Article 9 of Japan's Constitution, Japan's participation in collective self-defense is prohibited, as is using missile defense capabilities to defend a third country'--even an ally such as the United States. Shinzo Abe, head of the Liberal Democratic Party, almost certain to become Prime Minister after the December 16 Lower House elections, is a strong advocate of BMD and of changing Article 9. That means we can expect a major shift to a more militant anti-China military posture from Tokyo. [11]

According to US military press accounts, the most important feature of the new Japanese BMD project will be installation of a powerful early-warning radar, 'X-band', made by Raytheon Co. It's ''a large, phased-array fire control sensor, featuring precision discrimination and interceptor support,'' designed to counter threats from 'rogue states.' It will be installed on an unnamed southern Japanese island. [12]

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (L) shakes hands with Japan's Minister of Defense Satoshi Morimoto at the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo, September 17, 2012REUTERS/Shizuo Kambayashi/PoolJapan's defense minister Satoshi Morimoto confirmed that Tokyo and Washington "have had various discussions over missile defenses, including how to deploy the US's X-Band radar system." [13] Japan already hosts one X-Band radar in the northern prefecture of Aomori, since 2006. It's heavily opposed by local residents who fear, not without good reason, that the presence of the radar makes them a target for potential enemy attacks. [14]

Part IV: BMD across AsiaThe US move to prioritize its BMD installation in Asia involves not only Japan. Washington is also helping India improve its new missile defense system. The Indians want to build a multi-layer missile defense network with US help. Publicly India's government cites Pakistan as the reason. Privately, it's China. India test-fired its Agni-V intermediate range ballistic missile earlier this year and the Indian press openly cited the system's ability to strike anywhere in China as the most important feature. [15]

According to Steven Hildreth, a missile-defense expert with the Washington Congressional Research Service, the USA is "laying the foundations" for a region-wide missile defense system that would consist of US ballistic missile defenses combined with those of regional powers, particularly Japan, South Korea and Australia. Although supposedly aimed at containing threats from North Korea, Hildreth also stated, "the reality is that we're also looking longer term at the elephant in the room, which is China." According to a report in the Wall Street Journal the X-band arc would allow the US to 'peer deeper' into China, in addition to North Korea. [16]

As well, there are reports from unnamed US Defense Department officials that a third X-Band radar would be positioned in the Philippines, allowing the Pentagon to accurately track ballistic missiles launched from North Korea but also from large parts of China. [17]

In addition to Japan, Washington has invited South Korea and Australia to join the Asian BMD program. The official Chinese English language daily, Global Times, pointed out, ''Among the nuclear powers, China has the smallest number of nuclear weapons. It is also the only country to make a 'no first use' commitment. Installing a missile defense system in Asia disrespects China's nuclear policy.''

The Global Times article notes further, ''If Japan, South Korea and Australia join the system, a vicious arms race in Asia may follow. It is not what China wants to see, but it will have to deal with it if the arms race happens. The US is creating waves in Asia. The region may see more conflicts intensify in the future. China should make utmost efforts to prevent it, but prepare for the worst.'' [18]

Part V: BMD encourages Nuclear First StrikeThe US BMD strategy in Asia follows a decision by the Bush and Obama Administrations to first deploy BMD in a ring surrounding Russia with installations in Poland, the Czech Republic and Turkey, aimed at Russia's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile arsenal. As prominent retired US military officers have warned, deploying Ballistic Missile Defense against a potential nuclear opponent, whether Russia or China or North Korea or Iran is madness in strict military strategy terms.

With even a primitive missile defense shield, the US could launch a first strike attack against Russian or Chinese missile silos and submarine fleets with less fear of effective retaliation; the few remaining Russian or Chinese nuclear missiles would be unable to launch a response sufficiently destructive.

During the Cold War, the ability of the Warsaw Pact and NATO to mutually annihilate one another had led to a nuclear stalemate dubbed by military strategists, MAD'--Mutually Assured Destruction. It was scary but, in a bizarre sense, more stable than what would come with a unilateral US pursuit of nuclear primacy. MAD was based on the prospect of mutual nuclear annihilation with no decisive advantage for either side; it led to a world in which nuclear war had been 'unthinkable.'

Now the US, with BMD in Europe against Russia and in Asia against China, is pursuing the possibility of nuclear war as 'thinkable.' That is really and truly 'mad.'

The first nation with a ballistic missile 'defense' shield (BMD) would de facto have 'first strike ability,' making BMD not defensive but offensive in the extreme. Lt. Colonel Robert Bowman, Director of the US Air Force Missile Defense Program during the Reagan era, recently called missile defense, ''the missing link to a First Strike.'' [19] BMD gives an incentive to make a first nuclear strike, something never before imaginable owing to the lack of certainty one's nation would not become nuclear radioactive rubble. In military terms, BMD is offensive, not defensive contrary to the name, and should properly be named Ballistic Missile Offense.

Bowman further notes:

Under Reagan and Bush I, it was called the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO). Under President Clinton, it became the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). Now Bush II made it the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and has given it the freedom from oversight and audit previously enjoyed only by the black or top secret programs. If Congress doesn't act soon, this new independent agency may take their essentially unlimited budget and spend it outside of public and Congressional scrutiny on weapons that we won't know anything about until they're in space. In theory, then, the space warriors would rule the world, able to destroy any target on earth without warning. Will these new super weapons bring the American people security? Hardly. [20]

Washington's major deployment of BMD across Asia is a major reason likely for the sudden decision to delay the 18th Party Congress until after the US elections to see whether China faced a President Romney or President Obama. What has materialized in terms of US military decisions in the few months since Obama first proclaimed his Asia Pivot and Obama Doctrine makes clear why China is increasingly nervous about Obama 'pivots.'


Activist Post: The Chinese Want To Spend Billions Constructing A 600 Acre ''China City'' In New York State

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Archived Version

Fri, 06 Dec 2013 07:10

Michael SnyderActivist PostThe Chinese have made trillions of dollars flooding our shores with super cheap products, and now they are using some of that money to buy land and property all over America. For example, there is now a proposal to construct a multibillion dollar ''China City'' that would span approximately 600 acres in a remote area of New York state.

This ''China City'' (that is actually what it would be called) would be located on Yankee Lake in Sullivan County, New York. The plans anticipate large numbers of Chinese businesses, plenty of homes for Chinese immigrants, a Chinese high school, a college, a casino and even a theme park. And the first 600 acres is only for ''phase one'' of the plan. Ultimately, the goal is for ''China City'' to cover more than 2,000 acres. Those promoting this plan say that it will be a great way for New Yorkers to learn to appreciate Chinese culture.

So should we be concerned that the Chinese want to place a little slice of communist China right in the heart of New York state?

Should we really be allowing other nations (especially ones that publish maps showing what will happen when they nuke us) to be setting up self-sustaining communities inside our own country that have no intention of integrating into the wider culture?

David North of the Center for Immigration Studies is one of those that is sounding the alarm over this project. According to him, the eventual goal of the ''China City'' project is to essentially take over two small towns and cover a total of more than 2,000 acres'...

The first version of the plan to emerge was a grandiose one. It would cover more than 2,000 acres (more than three square miles) spread over the towns of Mamakating and Thompson. It would include a Chinese theme park, a city full of China-related businesses, a high school, a college, and 1,000 residences. Every province in China would have an office there and the place would be replete with symbols of Chinese culture. For more on these plans see CCOA's website, festooned with golden dragons and text in both Mandarin and English. When finished it would be a $6 billion project, its backers say.

But for now, the first phase is only going to cover about 600 acres'...A revised version of the initial offering was proposed later; this would, as a modest start to the broader project, include a college, an urban area, some family housing, and lots of student housing; it would cover less than 600 acres and would all be in the town of Thompson, whose officials, a local lawyer tells me, are somewhat less hostile to the plan than those in Mamakating.

And this is not the first time that this kind of thing has been proposed. As I reported last year, a different Chinese group has purchased 200 acres of land in a rural area of Michigan and hopes to create a ''China City'' out there'...A Chinese group known as ''Sino-Michigan Properties LLC'' has bought up 200 acres of land near the town of Milan, Michigan. Their plan is to construct a ''China City'' with artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens. Essentially, it would be a little slice of communist China dropped right into the heartland of America. This ''China City'' would be located about 40 minutes from both Detroit and Toledo, and it would be marketed to Chinese business people that want to start businesses in the United States.

You can read the full article about that project right here.Most of the time, when the Chinese gobble up our properties they do not do it in such large chunks. But make no mistake '' they are voraciously buying up real estate right now. In fact, CNN recently published an article about the cities where they are the most active'...

New York and Los Angeles top the list of U.S. cities they are most interested in, according to, a website where Chinese buyers browse global real estate listings.

More surprisingly, Philadelphia and Detroit come in at No. 3 and No. 4.

The top 10 list is rounded out by Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Atlanta, San Diego and Memphis.

Chinese buyers purchased $8.2 billion worth of U.S. property in 2012, according to Juwai.

It has been estimated that the Chinese are now buying one out of every ten homes sold in the state of California. And this buying spree actually appears to be accelerating. The following is a brief excerpt from a recent CNBC article entitled ''Chinese buying up California housing'''...At a brand new housing development in Irvine, Calif., some of America's largest home builders are back at work after a crippling housing crash. Lennar, Pulte, K Hovnanian, Ryland to name a few. It's a rebirth for U.S. construction, but the customers are largely Chinese.

''They see the market here still has room for appreciation,'' said Irvine-area real estate agent Kinney Yong, of RE/MAX Premier Realty. ''What's driving them over here is that they have this cash, and they want to park it somewhere or invest somewhere.''

So where did they get all of this cash?A lot of it came from us of course. We have lost tens of thousands of businesses and millions of jobs to the Chinese, and now they are literally buying up little pieces of America with the money that we spent on all of the cheap plastic trinkets that they exported to us.

And they are not just buying up residential real estate. They are buying lots of commercial real estate as well. In fact, in a previous article I talked about how one Chinese firm recently purchased one of the most important landmarks in New York City'...

Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. (0656.HK) will buy office building One Chase Manhattan Plaza for $725 million, adding to a growing list of property purchases by Chinese buyers in New York city.

The Hong Kong-listed firm said it will buy the property from JP Morgan Chase Bank, according to a release on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange website. Chinese firms, in particular local developers, have looked overseas to diversify their property holdings as the economy at home slows. Chinese individuals also have been investing in property abroad amid tight policy measures in the mainland residential market. Earlier this month, Chinese state-owned developer Greenland Holdings Group agreed to buy a 70% stake in an apartment project next to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., in what is the largest commercial-real-estate development in the U.S. to get direct backing from a Chinese firm.

So where is all of this eventually heading?Should we all start learning how to speak Chinese?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below'...

This article first appeared here at the American Dream. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.




Gauteng road users woke up to e-toll highways

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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 20:16

It will cost them the same amount to send you a R10 bill or a R500 bill. Rather make it uneconomical for them to bill you by just doing one gantry every week.

Unfortunately will not work.For this theory to work, you need a few things:

1. All road users must work together.2. Nobody should be registered.3. The cheapest toll gate must be used. (as the amount doubles if you are not registered)4. All other gantries must be avoided for as long as this continues.5. Do only 1 gantry per month. (4 per week will give you a bill of about R28, more than enough for them to print a bill and mail it off)

If you have registered e-Toll users and other people using other gantries, their fees will just make up for the short-fall of the few users who do this.

A Macabre Assist for Weinstein's 'Mandela' -

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 01:11

LOS ANGELES '-- Harvey Weinstein is a master at using publicity to build buzz around his movies, whether that means ginning up a controversy or concocting a cultural tie-in.

This time the PR came to him.

The death of Nelson Mandela on Thursday night eerily coincided with the Weinstein Company's release of the biopic ''Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.'' The film was having its London premiere '-- attended by two of Mr. Mandela's daughters '-- when news outlets first reported his death. And in the United States, some Oscar voters found in Thursday's mail a ''for your consideration'' DVD of the film. ''Long Walk to Freedom'' arrived in four theaters last weekend and will expand nationally on Christmas Day. An ad campaign is in full motion; television spots, for instance, ran during Thursday night basketball on TNT.

As much opportunity as Mr. Mandela's death gives ''Long Walk to Freedom,'' it also could complicate plans Mr. Weinstein has for promoting the film, either as a must-see movie or as an Oscar hopeful. A famously unsubtle impresario, Mr. Weinstein has a subtle line to walk: nurturing his investment but not looking as if he were trying to cash in on the death of a beloved historical figure.

Idris Elba, left, and Tony Kgoroge in the new "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."

Keith Bernstein / Weinstein Company

Since Mr. Mandela's death, the Weinstein Company has turned down requests from theater owners to speed up the release of the film, a spokeswoman said.

Mr. Weinstein said in an email, ''Our release plan has not changed from the day we set it in March to now.''

Sudden global interest in Mr. Mandela's life already seems to be helping ''Long Walk to Freedom'' at the box office. The online ticket seller said advance sales accelerated after the former South African president's death.

And it may also give the film a boost on the Oscar trail. The movie, which was in development for more than 15 years and was ultimately directed by Justin Chadwick, has received sharply mixed reviews. Yet it is a conceivable contender in the categories of best actor, best supporting actress and best song, ''Ordinary Love,''by U2.

''Voters only have time to watch so many of these movies,'' said Scott Feinberg, a longtime Oscar prognosticator who writes for The Hollywood Reporter. ''In terms of motivating Academy members to at least see the movie, this can only help.''

Mr. Feinberg added: ''An argument will be made that a vote for 'Mandela' will be a vote for the person. I'm not saying that is necessarily legitimate, but I'm certain that argument will be made.''

Film historians could not recall a moment of such morbidly uncanny timing. ''Nothing, absolutely nothing, comes to mind,'' said the author and critic Leonard Maltin. The closest example some cinema historians could offer was the death of Ray Charles a few months before the theatrical release of ''Ray'' in 2004, giving an inadvertent boost to its DVD.

''Long Walk to Freedom'' is just the latest in a string of movies that have explored Mr. Mandela's life and career. Based on Mr. Mandela's autobiography and starring Idris Elba, the movie tries to distinguish itself by including some of his early, not-so-positive behavior. Naomie Harris plays Mr. Mandela's fiery ex-wife, Winnie.

Snarky comments about the timing of Mr. Mandela's death and the release of ''Long Walk to Freedom'' immediately began circulating in Hollywood, where Mr. Weinstein's publicity instincts are both admired and scorned. In an indication of the tightrope he faces, a mini-controversy broke out on Twitter after a blogger, Nikki Finke, tweeted a comment linking Mr. Mandela's death with the film.

Some Hollywood insiders have speculated that Mr. Weinstein bought the rights to ''Long Walk to Freedom'' in February partly because he saw an opportunity in Mr. Mandela's failing health. ''Not at all,'' a Weinstein spokeswoman said on Friday. ''When we saw the footage, we all fell in love with it.''

In a telephone interview, the director, Mr. Chadwick, said marketing for his film would not change based on Mr. Mandela's death. He left open the possibility that he might add a few words to the end of his film, acknowledging Mr. Mandela's death, but said that he was leaning toward leaving it alone.

''This film honors his legacy, so I think it stands as it is,'' Mr. Chadwick said.

He said he spoke to one of Mr. Mandela's daughters, Zindzi, on Friday and asked her, ''What do we do now?''

''She told me,'' he added, '' 'Be proud of the film that you made and continue to share it with the world. My father would want that.''

Correction: December 6, 2013

An earlier version of this article misstated the timing of Ray Charles's death in relation to the theatrical release of the movie ''Ray'' in 2004. He died a few months before the release, not a few months after it.

Nelson Mandela dead: Daughter Zindzi attends film premiere as tragic news hits | Metro News

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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 07:51

Zindzi Mandela the daughter of Nelson Mandela poses for photographers as she arrives to attend the UK premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Picture: AP)The first black president of South Africa Nelson Mandela has died on the same night as the premiere of his biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, which was attended by daughter Zindzi, lead actor Idris Elba, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and more.

Friends, family and other guests were in the screening of the movie, a celebration of Mandela's extraordinary life, as news of his death emerged.

Speaking with Kate alongside him after the premiere, William said: 'I just want to say it's obviously extremely sad and tragic news.

'We were just reminded of what an extraordinary man Nelson Mandela was. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family right now.'

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge meets Zindzi Mandela at the Royal Premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom in London (Picture: Reuters)An announcement of Mandela's death to the audience following the premiere was said to have been greeted with 'gasps and wails', while there were reports that the film's star Idris Elba was in tears.

Ahead of the premiere, Zindzi appeared to be unaware of her father's fading health.

Speaking on the red carpet, she said: 'My father is fine. He's 95 years old and he is pretty frail. We are hoping to see more of him.'

She revealed Mr Mandela had seen clips of the film and added: 'I love it. I think it's authentic.'

It was thought she left the screening early.

The film's producer Harvey Weinstein said in a statement: 'One of the privileges of making movies is having the opportunity to immortalise those who have made a profound impact on humanity.

'We count ourselves unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela's story and legacy.

'It's been an honour to have been granted such proximity to a man who will go down as one of history's greatest freedom fighters and advocates for justice.

'I have had the privilege of spending time with President Mandela and I can say his sense of humour was as great as his optimism. We are deeply saddened by his loss; our hearts go out to his family and the entire South African nation.'

Elba's co-stars Naomie Harris and Tony Kgoroge were also at the premiere, which was this year's Royal Film Performance in aid of the Cinema and Television Benelovent Fund.

From left to right, Tony Kgoroge, Naomie Harris, Zindzi Mandela, her sister Zenani, and Idris Elba pose for photographers at the premiere (Picture: AP)William and Kate were the main focus for the cameras as they arrived an hour after the other guests '' once inside, the royal couple met CTBF trustees and beneficiaries as well as Ms Mandela and the actors.

CTBF president Barry Jenkins said 'We are most grateful to the Royal Family for their continued support since the very first royal film performance event back in 1946.'

The film will be released in British cinemas on January 3.

Full Hey U Guys interviews with cast and family here.

Nelson MandelaFrankie Boyle angers Twitter users with Nelson Mandela tweet

Daniel Radcliffe: A gay sex scene held no fears for me

Insight: Family, politicians battle over "Brand Mandela"

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Source: Reuters: World News

Sun, 08 Dec 2013 14:12

By Peroshni Govender, Jon Herskovitz and David Dolan

JOHANNESBURGSun Dec 8, 2013 5:42am EST

1 of 2. A poster depicting former South African President Nelson Mandela is displayed during a special service in his honour at the Holy Family Church in the West Bank city of Ramallah December 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - From political posters to bottles of wine and kitchen aprons, the face and name of Nelson Mandela are a potent commercial and political brand in South Africa. Little wonder it's so sought after - and the source of occasional squabbles.

Following his death on Thursday at the age of 95, the scramble for control of the Mandela legacy - both financial and moral - will involve his family, the ruling African National Congress (ANC), and the Nelson Mandela Foundation he set up to protect his broader message.

At stake is the inheritance that will go to Mandela's more than 30 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, some of whom already use the Mandela name and image to market everything from clothing to reality TV.

There are also the Mandela brands and trademarks that help fund the Foundation. And for the ANC, Mandela's reputation as an anti-apartheid hero is worth votes for years to come.

There are no available public figures of Mandela's wealth, making it difficult to put an exact value on his estate, which includes an upscale house in Johannesburg, a modest dwelling in his rural Eastern Cape home province, and royalties from book sales including his autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom".

Several South African branding experts have declined to estimate the annual value of Mandela's trademark and brands.

Maintaining control over the copyrights is already a difficult business; protecting the Mandela brand may be even harder now that he is gone.

"The beauty of the Nelson Mandela brand is that it has been lived by him exactly as it has been presented by him. His behavior is his brand," said Jeremy Sampson, the executive chairman of Interbrand Sampson de Villiers.

"In the rush to commercialize it, we run the risk of watering down or destroying the good that the brand stood for purely with the crassness of finance," he added.


Mandela divided the management of his legacy between a series of trusts to handle his finances and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which serves as custodian of his wider moral legacy.

In total, he set up about two dozen trusts, mostly to pay for the education of his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

It hasn't all been straight forward.

A legal tussle between Mandela's long-time friend, lawyer George Bizos, and two of Mandela's daughters became public this year as the daughters sought to have Bizos and other Mandela associates ousted from companies set up to sell his handprint for use in art and memorabilia.

According to an affidavit filed by Bizos and the others, the two daughters, Makaziwe Mandela and Zenani Dlamini, had been trying to gain control of the main Mandela Trust since 2005 and eventually became trustees without Mandela's knowledge.

Mandela became angry when he found out what the daughters had done, Bizos and the other associates said in the affidavit.

"Mr. Mandela was shocked and used a common expression 'Good Lord!' He was most infuriated and wanted to know what had happened."

A portion of the revenue from the Foundation's 46664 clothing line - named after Mandela's prisoner number on Robben Island - and the artworks also goes to pay for family members' education, according to Bizos.

"The trust has adopted the procedure of requiring the applicant for money to furnish an invoice," Bizos said, adding that every request accompanied by proper paperwork has been granted.

But some family members have asked for a lump sum payment of 12 million rand ($1.2 million), he added.

Such demands fuel the notion, widely held in South Africa, that some of Mandela's children have exploited their father. Makaziwe, Mandela's eldest daughter, bristles at that.

"This is what we are, in a sense, entitled to, that my father worked for, and he did it with his own hands to create something for the welfare and upkeep of himself and his children," she told the Financial Times in April.

"If everybody wants a little bit of the Madiba magic, why is it so sacrilegious for the rightful owners ... to use the Madiba magic?" she said, referring to her father by his clan name.


The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which runs the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg, was set up as the official custodian of Brand Mandela. It owns more than a dozen copyrights and trademarks for Mandela, which it uses for fundraising and charitable works.

As well as the "46664" number, its copyrights include the "Nelson Mandela" name, the clan name "Madiba" by which he is widely known, and "Rolihlahla", which was Mandela's given name.

Income those brands generate - "46664" runs as a charity that sells wristbands and mobile phone starter packs, for instance - helps pay for the running of the Foundation's Centre of Memory, which is the main research and archive center for Mandela, and which often spoke on his behalf as his health faded.

In all, the foundation had net income of 22 million rand ($2.2 million) in 2012 and assets of 290 million rand. In 2011 net income totaled 33 million rand and assets came to 262 million.

It paid Mandela 2.8 million rand in 2011 and 2.9 million rand last year for the book it published with his help called "Conversations with Myself," which was a follow-up to his autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom."

"We do not commercialize our trademarks, however we do undertake publications like 'Conversations with Myself' ... for educational purposes," said Heather Henriques, intellectual property and governance manager at the Centre of Memory.

Separately, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund has rights to use the Mandela name for fundraising. Between 1995 and 2012 the fund brought in 1.2 billion rand in income and paid out 462 million rand in grants.


But not everything that uses Mandela's name was sanctioned by him.

There are at least 40 companies officially registered with the South African government that use the Mandela name. The companies appear to have no link to either Nelson Mandela, any of his relatives or any geographic area that has the Mandela name. The list includes the Gandhi-Mandela Nursing Academy, Mandela Truck Shuttle Services, Mama Mandela Marketing Company, Thanks Mandela Toiletries and Mandela's Shed, a restaurant.

The "Madiba" name has been used by more than 140 registered companies, including Madiba Truck Stop, Madiba Wines, Madiba's Driving School, Madiba Chickens, Madiba Cash and Madiba Bottle Store.

The Foundation may own the website "", but "" belongs to a Brazilian, who told Reuters he is using it for a personal project, which is a tool for computers.

There are also regularly scams where fake charities use Mandela's name to raise funds. The South African government in mid-2013 issued a statement warning people not to be duped by such groups.

Against all this, the Mandela Foundation picks its battles with care, only rarely suing firms that use his name of image.

"The brand Nelson Mandela is not like the brand Coca-Cola. It's huge, it's complex, there are many sub-brands within that brand. We implement protections in a relatively small space," said Verne Harris, the director and archivist at the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

"Madiba has given permission for his name to be used by close to 50 institutions around the world. Only in the last decade there was a system put in place for managing that and a set of criteria applied and then a code of conduct developed for those institutions to subscribe to," Harris said.

Because copyrights are owned by the person who creates the work - and not the subject - copyright law does not prevent the depiction of Mandela's image on T-shirts or other items, said Likonelo Magagula, an intellectual property attorney at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright in Johannesburg.

Trademark lawyers also say there is little to stop family members using the Mandela name, as long as they link the name to themselves and not exclusively to Nelson Mandela.

Makaziwe and one of her daughters have launched a "House of Mandela" range of wines, even if Mandela himself once said he did not want to be associated with alcohol or tobacco.

Some of his grandchildren have started a line of caps and sweatshirts that feature his image under the brand "Long Walk to Freedom," borrowed from the title of his autobiography, while two of his U.S.-based granddaughters starred in a reality television show called "Being Mandela."


The other group keen to use Mandela's image is the ruling African National Congress.

After Mandela was imprisoned in 1964, the ANC made a conscious decision to use him and his young wife Winnie as symbols of the struggle against the racist government - the first time the party had chosen to elevate the individual above the collective.

When Mandela walked out of prison in 1990, he became a figure of reconciliation, calming the white minority who had been told for years he was the terrorist face of the "swart gevaar", or "black danger".

Today the ANC needs that magic more than ever.

"The ANC made the brand and the brand became bigger than the ANC," author and political analyst William Gumede said.

"Unfortunately, a lot of rank-and-file ANC leaders right now see Mandela as their own, rather than as belonging to the whole of South Africa and the broader world."

When President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela at his Johannesburg home in April, some in the Mandela family accused the current president of manipulating a frail old man to shore up his own battered image.

Makaziwe called news footage from that visit showing her father resting his head against a pillow and staring vacantly as Zuma grinned beside him "undignified and in bad taste".

The ANC defended the visit. Mandela "belongs to the ANC first and then to the whole country," ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu told South Africa's Sunday Times newspaper.

Even the opposition Democratic Alliance, still seen by many as a party of white privilege, has laid claim to his legacy, using his picture in campaign material to the outrage of ANC members. With a general election next year, both parties are likely to work hard to capture a slice of the 'Mandela magic'.

"We may be exposed to the sordid spectacle of different political parties turning Mandela into a prop," said Aubrey Matshiqi, a political analyst at the Helen Suzman Foundation, a public interest think tank.

"Turning him into a political commodity from which they can profit - that would be the worst insult, especially if political parties attach his legacy to lies that they want to tell the electorate to get votes."

(Additional reporting by Ed Cropley; Editing by Angus MacSwan, Simon Robinson and Anna Willard)

(This story was refiled to fix grammar in the first paragraph)

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Veterans Today >> Nelson Mandela

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 06:43


I use the formula 'now that his death has been confirmed' advisedly. My understanding is that the poor man died some time ago and was kept on a ventilator for political reasons. He should have been allowed to die in peace. He may even have died in the military ambulance taking him to hospital. It stopped en route whilst instructions were sought. How many times do you see ambulances on an emergency call stopped by the roadside whilst everybody has a discussion about what to do?

Most in INTELCOM know that he was a hero with feet of clay. There is much to come out, e.g. about his dealings with BOSS, and the role of the DVD in threatening to block South African access to MTN trading programs as a pressure tactic, when they switched support from the Nats to the ANC. Certain favors, e.g. over cocaine trafficking through South Africa, had to be given in return. It was all very sad for such an enthusiastic AAM member. There have been unexplained deaths, including Adelaide Tambo's in 2007.




Mandela, like JFK, was a charismatic leader who believed in freedom. There the comparison ends. Now that his death has been confirmed officially, I extend my condolences to his family and to the people of South Africa. There is no doubt that many white South Africans will mourn his passing and that his commitment to reconciliation was genuine.

I never met Mandela, although I got to see his charming daughter Zenani up close when I was a steward at an Anti-Apartheid Movement concert, possibly the 75th anniversary bash at the Alexandra Palace in 1987. I was rather sorry not to have been a steward at the great 70th birthday concert at Wembley the following year. I would not have needed the hymn-sheet to sing the great African hymn N'Kosi Sikelele Afrika in Xhosa, not then, anyway. (I'm a little rusty now!)

I am sure that I spent a lot more time in my youth on Anti-Apartheid activities than Barack Obama. I even got a nice letter from that lovely man Alfred Nzo, the ANC Secretary-General who became the first post-apartheid Foreign Minister, after his appointment. In the BBC tribute being broadcast as I am writing this I was amused to see footage of a City of London Anti-Apartheid Group demo outside South Africa House. I might even have been in it '' I used to go along quite regularly. I was even called as a witness once, when a fellow demonstrator was arrested rather too forcibly by the rozzers. I spent an entire night outside South Africa House when three young Umkhonto We Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) militants were due to be hanged. I still think they should not have been executed.

The late Adelaide Tambo was on that vigil. She was a warm, wonderful character and a lovely lady, if I may say so. I have a reputation for being marginally to the right of centre (I can't imagine why!) and not terribly cuddly, but at an AAM AGM one year, when Adelaide was speaking, she passed me on her way up to the platform and gave me a great big hug. I could see mouths drop. Nelson Mandela attended her funeral.

As you may see, I had a bit of a left-wing youth, but I don't regret opposing apartheid. It was both hateful and irrational. Special Branch misunderstood my opposition to apartheid and marked me down as far more left-wing than I actually was. My opposition to apartheid was fundamentally a moral, not a political, choice. It was the right choice, even if the ANC have made many wrong choices in power.

I use the formula 'now that his death has been confirmed' advisedly. My understanding is that the poor man died some time ago and was kept on a ventilator for political reasons. He should have been allowed to die in peace. He may even have died in the military ambulance taking him to hospital. It stopped en route whilst instructions were sought. How many times do you see ambulances on an emergency call stopped by the roadside whilst everybody has a discussion about what to do?

Most in INTELCOM know that he was a hero with feet of clay. There is much to come out, e.g. about his dealings with BOSS, and the role of the DVD in threatening to block South African access to MTN trading programs as a pressure tactic, when they switched support from the Nats to the ANC. Certain favors, e.g. over cocaine trafficking through South Africa, had to be given in return. It was all very sad for such an enthusiastic AAM member. There have been unexplained deaths, including Adelaide Tambo's in 2007.

However the requirements of good manners dictate that discussion of these matters is deferred. Now is a time to mourn the passing of a great man and acknowledge his many qualities. These included high intelligence, tremendous personal charisma, statesmanship and indomitable courage. He was also a powerful orator and a great communicator. Yes, he made mistakes (who doesn't), but the man had real class.

Sgt Alexander Blackman RM

Sgt Blackman too is a man of courage. His conviction and sentence for the 'murder' of a dying Taliban terrorist has shocked public opinion in Britain and further shaken confidence in our failing military justice system. I call for him to be granted a Royal Pardon.

I very much hope that his conviction will be overturned. It was clearly an abuse of process, as no autopsy was ever performed. It follows that the prosecution could not show that the terrorist had not been fatally wounded. So far as we know he was hit by fragments from a 30mm cannon round, so he wasn't likely to have been terribly well.

I do not for one moment buy the rozzers' story that they came across a video of the incident 'accidentally'. It is far more likely that Sgt Blackman was set up, to smear the Royal Marines, rather like the US Marines Corps was smeared over al-Haditha. There too, wild allegations were made without any autopsy or ballistic evidence.

The time has come to scrap prosecutions for murder on the battlefield that are not supported by autopsy evidence. Dispatching mortally wounded enemy combatants on the battlefield, let alone unlawful combatants, should never be regarded as murder, indeed it is usually a kindness. The Royal Marines have wrought great execution and slaughter on the terrorist enemy in the Global War on Terror, much to their credit.

Like Nelson Mandela Sgt Blackman is effectively a political prisoner, imprisoned as a result of a seriously flawed legal process, notwithstanding that each conviction was supported by evidence. Alex Blackman should be freed, restored to the ranks without loss of seniority and paid massive compensation. Many thanks to the nice Royal Marine Commando who contributed to this section.

Response to Comments

'Dieter the Hun' and I have found something else to agree on '' we both think that Konrad Adenauer was dodgy. Well spotted 'Dieter'. The man was a DVD asset, who sanctioned the Munich operation against Manchester United. He only survived the Nazi period because of his connections to the Abwehr. It's a great pity that Heinrich Himmler didn't have him executed, preferably with piano wire, no offense intended. He was a right bastard (Heinrich was a bit of a bastard as well of course, but much more charming than Konrad '' he also threw a nicer drinks party, an observation based on the recollections of someone who was at the drinks party at Nuremberg in '37 to which Sir Edward Heath was invited).

There were some sensible comments on Inga, the saucy girlfriend of both Adolf Hitler and JFK, to whose assassination I shall be returning next week. The public confirmation of Nelson Mandela's death has put back The Kennedy Conspiracy (4) by a week of course.

I am sure that J. Edgar's eyebrows were raised so high that his mascara ran when the G-Men confirmed that a US naval intelligence officer was shagging one of Adolf Hitler's ex-girlfriends. It wasn't a coincidence and JFK wasn't a Nazi. He was a Democrat, who just happened to have shared a lady friend with the F¼hrer. It happens all the time.

Dear old Inga, who was a stunner by the way, was one of that wily old bird Admiral Canaris's birds. She honey-trapped both a F¼hrer and a future President. If she'd managed Edward VIII as well she'd have had the full set.

I would not be astonished to learn that JFK spotted her coming, no pun intended, a mile off, called it in to ONI and was ordered to play along to see what he could find out. You guys had some good personal stuff on Hitler, which could only have come from someone who was close to him.

I am sorry that not all commenters enjoyed We Dive at Dawn. It's a great war movie, once you make the allowances you have to make for a Brit movie shot in black and white in 1943. The Admiralty had a strange prejudice against lending warships and facilities to movie producers and kept insisting that there was a war on.

I am sorry that no one took me up on my challenge to go out and buy a non-German intelligence DVD set of Magnum PI and come up with a better date for USS Wedderburn's visit to Pearl Harbor.

Classic Movie of the Week '' Heartbreak Ridge

This is a heartwarming war movie, directed by Clint Eastwood (1986). Based on the US invasion of Grenada in 1983 Eastwood also plays the hero, Gunny Highway. His character had won the Medal of Honor in the Battle of Heartbreak Bridge in Korea, a classic example of the screw-ups that can result from faulty intelligence.

Gunny Highway is an immensely sympathetic character, an old soldier who whips his recon platoon into shape with compassion and sensitivity, before going into combat with them with a bunch of bad-ass Cubans. The supporting cast is strong '' I particularly liked Everett McGill as Major Powers and Richard Venture as Colonel Meyers. There is a lot of humor, as well as pathos. It's Clint Eastwood on fine form, and that should be enough of a recommendation for any movie. Enjoy.

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US government considered Nelson Mandela a terrorist until 2008 - Investigations

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 16:28

Doug Mills / AP

President George H. W. Bush shakes hands with South African national leader Nelson Mandela at the White House in Washington, June 25, 1990.

By Robert Windrem, Investigative Producer, NBC News

From the White House to the halls of Congress, U.S. government officials have responded to the death of Nelson Mandela with a hail of testimonials to the late South African president's leadership in the struggle for freedom and human rights.

Until five years ago, however, the U.S. officially considered Mandela a terrorist. During the Cold War, both the State and Defense departments dubbed Mandela's political party, the African National Congress, a terrorist group, and Mandela's name remained on the U.S. terrorism watch list till 2008.

Presidents Carter and Reagan and Congress had all instituted sanctions against the white minority South African government because of its policy of racial apartheid. But in 1986, Reagan condemned Mandela's group, the ANC, which was leading the black struggle against the apartheid regime, saying it engaged in "calculated terror ... the mining of roads, the bombings of public places, designed to bring about further repression."

After the apartheid regime in South Africa declared the ANC a terrorist group, the Reagan administration followed suit.

In August of 1988, the State Department listed the ANC among "organizations that engage in terrorism.'' It said the group ''disavows a strategy that deliberately targets civilians,'' but noted that civilians had ''been victims of incidents claimed by or attributed to the ANC.''

Five months later, in January 1989, the Defense Department included the ANC in an official publication, "Terrorist Group Profiles," with a foreword by President-elect George H.W. Bush. The ANC was listed among 52 of the "world's more notorious terrorist groups." (One of the others listed, Yasser Arafat's Fatah, is now the ruling party in the West Bank.)

The publication referred to Mandela, who had once led the ANC's military wing, as part of the "leadership," though by then he had spent more than a quarter century in prison. It also accepted the apartheid regime's claim that "ANC's operations -- which heretofore had sought to avoid civilian casualties -- abruptly changed. Attacks became more indiscriminate, resulting in both black and white civilian victims." Five months before the report was issued, the ANC had taken responsibility for some attacks that resulted in civilian deaths but had pledged to prevent a recurrence.

Leaders around the globe remember Nelson Mandela's fearless generosity, leadership, and remarkable force for change. NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports.

The report cited 13 attacks during the 1980s, many of which targeted government facilities, including a military command headquarters, an unfinished nuclear plant, a courthouse and SASOL, the government-owned coal-to-oil conversion facility. Of those incidents that resulted in deaths, the biggest was a car-bombing of the South African Air Force headquarters in Pretoria that killed 19 and wounded 200.

The report also claimed significant links between the ANC and Communist countries, noting that the ANC "receives support from the Soviet bloc, Cuba and a number of African nations in addition to contributions from the West." The DoD report added that the ANC received many of its weapons from the "Soviet Bloc" and listed among its "political objectives" the establishment of a "multiracial Socialist government in South Africa."

When the Defense Department's report was issued, State quickly distanced itself from the harsh, Cold War rhetoric. Despite its own earlier dire characterization of the ANC, it called the group "a politically diverse organization, representing a range of views. It is the oldest black nationalist movement in South Africa."

But the Defense Department stood by its language, and Mandela and other ANC officials remained on the terror watch list even as President Bush welcomed Mandela, newly released from prison, to the White House in 1990. Because of what was described as a "bureaucratic snafu," their names were kept on the list until 2008, 14 years after Mandela had been elected president and nine years after he had left power. He was 90 at the time.

The terrorist designation finally proved too embarrassing for the U.S. government to ignore. In April 2008, during the last year of the George W. Bush administration, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a Senate committee that her department had to issue waivers for ANC members to travel to the United States.

Kim Ludbrook / EPA

Mourners pay tribute to South Africa's revered anti-apartheid icon, who died on Dec. 5, 2013.

"This is a country with which we now have excellent relations, South Africa, but it's frankly a rather embarrassing matter that I still have to waive in my own counterpart, the foreign minister of South Africa, not to mention the great leader Nelson Mandela," Rice said.

Later that year, the terrorist designation was dropped after a bill, proposed by then-Senator now secretary of State John Kerry, passed both houses of Congress and was signed by President Bush.

Mandela was imprisoned in 1964 after being arrested and charged with sabotage, specifically a campaign against the country's power grid, and plotting to overthrow the government. No one was injured in the sabotage campaign. He was released in 1990, at age 71. He was elected president of South Africa in 1994, in the country's first full and free elections, and served until 1999.

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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 07:14

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is a biographical film directed by Justin Chadwick from a script written by William Nicholson. The film is based on the 1994 book Long Walk to Freedom by anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African PresidentNelson Mandela.[3] The film premiered on Saturday September 7, 2013 at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival,[4] and it was released on November 29, 2013, less than a week before Mandela died. It stars Idris Elba and Naomie Harris.

Synopsis[edit]Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is based on South African President Nelson Mandela's autobiography of the same name, which chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country's once segregated society. Idris Elba (Prometheus, Thor, Thor: The Dark World) stars as Nelson Mandela, Naomie Harris (Skyfall, 28 Days Later, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End) stars as Winnie Mandela, with Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) directing.[5]

Production[edit]Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is a South African film based on Long Walk to Freedom, the 1994 autobiography by Nelson Mandela, a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician. Producer Anant Singh started working on the project after interviewing Mandela while he was still imprisoned two decades ago.[6] Following the publication of Mandela's autobiography, Singh was granted the rights to the film adaptation, which was completed 16 years later by screenwriter William Nicholson. The two-hour-and-thirteen-minute film is directed by Justin Chadwick.

Music[edit]It was revealed on 17 October 2013, U2 had written a song specifically for the film entitled "Ordinary Love".[7] Subscribers of the band's official website were able to hear a short snippet first.[8]

Release[edit]The film held its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2013.[6] It premiered in South Africa on November 3, 2013 and was shown at the White House on November 7, 2013. Mandela was supposed to see the movie, but passed away before he could. It was released in South Africa on November 28 and premiered in New York and Los Angeles one day later.[9]

Critical reception[edit]The film has received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 56% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 34 reviews.[10] Scott Foundas of Variety said the film "never opts for a light touch when a sledgehammer will do", but also praises Elba for "a towering performance, a Mandela for the ages".[11]

Claudia Puig of USA Today agreed that Elba's performance was powerful but felt the film wasn't as strong, stating, "Earnest and ambitious, the film suffers from trying to squeeze in too many milestones of Nelson Mandela's long life as he worked to end the oppressive regime of apartheid in South Africa. But the talent of the lead actors lends it heft, particularly the commanding performance of Idris Elba as Mandela." [12] Jordan Hoffman from also gave the film a mixed to negative review, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom should have been a layup. A slow burn leading to eventual triumph, moving speeches, Idris Elba raging against injustice, the world made a better place because of one man's sacrifice. But as crazy and offensive as it may sound, you'll get more chills from Elba's idiotic speech about canceling the apocalypse in Pacific Rim than you will in this by-the-numbers bore."[13] However, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film a generally positive review with 2 and a half out of 4 stars, mostly circling the performances. [14]

References[edit]External links[edit]


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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 23:21

Above, we see the CIA's Charles Taylor and MI6's Nelson Mandela.Mandela, or his double, was an agent of MI6, according to "MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations", by the 'acclaimed' intelligence expert Stephen Dorril.

MI6 used Mandela to spy on its enemies in Libya, in South Africa and in the United Kingdom.Nelson Mandela persuaded Gaddafi to hand over the two Libyans to the Scottish Court in the Netherlands, where they faced trial in 1999.Mandela allowed MI6 to operate in South Africa.According to Dorril's book:"Another MI6 catch was ANC leader Nelson Mandela.

"Whether Mandela was recruited in London before he was imprisoned in South Africa is not clear..."'MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations' names Mandela as MI6

Apartheid: A Crime; or Race Realism?: 'MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations' names Mandela as MI6 [KGB Double?] Agent

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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 23:22

MI6: 50 Years of Special Operations, By Stephen Dorril [*Amazon*]

Considering Mr. Mandela's expressed views in How to be a Good Communist, by Nelson Mandela:

A Communist is a member of the Communist Party who understands and accepts the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism as explained by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin , and who subjects himself to the discipline of the Party.

The goal of Communism is a classless society based on the principle: from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs. The aim is to change the present world into a Communist world where there will be no exploiters and no exploited, no oppressor and oppressed, no rich and no poor. Communists fight for a world where there will be no unemployment, no poverty and starvation, disease and ignorance. In such a world there will be no capitalists, no imperialists, no fascists. There will be neither colonies nor wars.

How shall we interpret his communist deception status in MI6? Double agent?Mandela is named as MI6 agent

By Neil Mackay Home Affairs Editor, ExclusiveSunday Herald (Glasgow, Scotland)Publication Date: Mar 19 2000

NELSON Mandela is to be named as an MI6 agent who aided British intelligence officers with operations against Colonel Gadaffi's Libyan weapons programmes, supplied his handlers with details of arms shipments to Ulster terrorists and allowed UK spying operations to be based in South Africa.

Allegations of Mandela's recruitment by the British intelligence service will be revealed in a controversial new book, MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations, by the acclaimed intelligence expert Stephen Dorril. The book is due to be published at the end of this month.

MI6 launched an unsuccessful legal challenge to get the book's publisher, Fourth Estate, to release its contents. Special Branch officers also raided the London publishing house and seized computer equipment, but did not unearth details of Mandela's recruitment by MI6.British intelligence chiefs are outraged that they failed to access the contents of Dorril's book after an Old Bailey judge ordered on Friday that the Guardian and Observer newspapers hand over documents relating to the former MI5 officer David Shayler. The ruling was made on the grounds that the papers could help police prosecute the rogue spy under the Official Secrets Act. Shayler had made claims that MI6 was involved in a plot to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi.

Stephen Dorril's book will stun the world with its allegations about Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize winner. It is thought that Mandela's recruitment would have been motivated partly by his virulent anti-communism. In return MI6 offered information about potential assassination attempts on his life.

Dorril claims highly-placed MI6 officers told him about Mandela's recruitment by the Secret Intelligence Service - the arm of British intelligence which undertakes espionage activities overseas, recruits foreign spies and engages in counter- espionage against foreign agents working in the UK.

Sources within the Foreign Office and the intelligence service have said that Dorril's claim "is entirely credible". Last night, the Foreign Office did nothing to deny the allegation that Mandela worked for MI6.

There were also no denials, or threats of legal action against the book, from either Nelson Mandela's office in Johannesburg, South Africa or his London-based lawyers.

MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service, By Stephen Dorril [*Amazon*]

Part of Dorril's book, on the activities of MI6 in Africa, reads:

"Another MI6 catch was ANC leader Nelson Mandela. Whether Mandela was recruited in London before he was imprisoned in South Africa is not clear, but it is understood that on a recent trip to London he made a secret visit to MI6's training section to thank the service for its help in foiling two assassination attempts directed against him soon after he became president."

Dorril says the assassination attempts referred to probably included one from within a faction of the African National Congress (ANC) which was bitterly opposed to Mandela's successful manoeuvring to oust Communist Party leaders from under the umbrella of the African National Congress. Another is believed to have been planned by a covert operations wing of the apartheid government's military.Dorril, a writer on intelligence issues and a lecturer at Huddersfield University, claims Mandela was of use to MI6 as his friendliness with Colonel Gadaffi's Libyan government paved the way for the hand-over of the two Libyan agents accused of the Lockerbie bombing.

Both the British and American governments are keen to rebuild relations with Libya to exploit the country's rich oil fields. "Mandela was the key to turning Libya from a terrorist state to one open to the West," Dorril told the Sunday Herald. "The result of his actions will be a huge economic boost to western economies. It can be said that he charmed Gaddafi for western economic interests." He claimed MI6's psychological warfare, or IOps, department - responsible for propaganda - helped massage international opinion allowing Mandela to visit Gadaffi without courting virulent western opprobrium.

Dorril added: "Mandela helped MI6 with information over Libya's funding and arming of the IRA, and the sending of arms to loyalist terrorists in Ulster from apartheid South Africa." Dorril claimed Mandela told his MI6 handlers about Libya's attempts to develop chemical and biological warfare capabilities, and informed them about South Africa's own secret nuclear arsenal.

World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World; By Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin [*Amazon*]

Dorril claims in his book that Britain did not push for full disclosure of South Africa's biological weapons programme as part of its plan to support Mandela when he was president, and Mandela helped stem the tide of South African scientists being recruited by Libya to build Gadaffi's bio-weapons programme.

One of MI6's biggest overseas stations is in South Africa. It was a key spy centre during the Cold War as Russia and America fought to take countries like neighbouring Mozambique and Angola into their sphere of influence. South Africa is also key to Britain's economic interests because of its natural uranium, gold and platinum deposits.

It is unclear exactly when Mandela was recruited. Nor is it clear whether MI6 courted Mandela with warnings about assassination attempts in order to lure him into the service's clutches, or if he was recruited and provided MI6 with information and then received the warnings in return.

The publisher of the book, Fourth Estate, has been under intense pressure to reveal the contents of Dorril's 900 page work to MI6 prior to its publication on March 30. MI6 made a request through its lawyers for a full disclosure of the contents but Fourth Estate successfully fended off the challenge. However, the publishing house was raided under a search warrant by Special Branch officers who seized the computer of Fourth Estate editor-in-chief Clive Priddle which contained notes on the book.

According to Nicky Eaton, Fourth Estate's publicist, the intelligence service is unaware of the Mandela claim. The book has been meticulously poured over for accuracy by Fourth Estate's own lawyers. Both Neil Harold, from Mandela's personal office, and Mandela's London lawyer, Iqbal Meer, of Meer Care Desai, were stunned by the allegations coming to light. They were both unable to contact Mandela last night to brief him on the claims. It is thought he is holidaying in the South African countryside, and is not contactable. Dorril claims his revelations are not damaging to Mandela's reputation. "There is nothing defamatory about being a recruit for MI6," he said.

Officially the Foreign Office said it could not comment on the allegation as it was a secu rity matter. However, unofficially senior Foreign Office sources hinted that the recruitment claim was credible.

One said: "If we focus on the allegations referring to assassination claims, it is not surprising that the ANC would have sought security advice from the UK, or its intelligence services, to protect key individuals."

KGB Alpha Team Training Manual: How The Soviets Trained For Personal Combat, Assassination, And Subversion, By K.G.B. [*Amazon*]

Foreign analysts and African experts also claim that Mandela's recruitment into MI6 is not only credible but will also have a seismic effect internationally.

One expert on Southern Africa said: "His life history shows how he would have been attractive to MI6 and MI6 would have been attractive to him. Mandela is deeply anti- communist. As a young man he would break up Communist Party meetings with his fists. Later in life, he came to realise that to end apartheid he needed every ally he could get and he pragmatically decided to get into bed with the Communists.

"Mandela admires Britain, its parliamentary democracy and its judicial system. Once he went into jail, Mandela moved further and further away from the Communists, privately pouring scorn on their policies. When he was freed, a struggle began for the soul of the ANC between the Communists and the 'democrats', like Mandela."

There has been intense speculation, including allegations by Winni Mandela, that the South African Communist leader, Chris Hani, who was assassinated in 1992, apparently by white extremists, may in fact have been a victim of this internal feud. "Many of the democrats in the ANC certainly hated the Communists enough to have them killed.

"British diplomats were also central to smoothing the end of apartheid during negotiations between Mandela and President De Klerk. It can not be underestimated how many MI6 and CIA officers were working in this area. Their numbers were colossal."

>> >> >> >> [Sunday Herald]

Secrets and spies

Mark Hollingsworth on Stephen Dorril's revealing history of MI6 (MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations)

The Guardian,Saturday 8 April 2000 01.39 BST

Defending the Realm: MI5 and the Shayler Affair, By Mark Hollingsworth, Nick Fielding [*Amazon*]

At the heart of this exceptionally well researched book is the notion that MI6 has operated as the covert interventionist instrument of British foreign policy. In forensic detail Stephen Dorril shows how, since 1945, our secret service has engaged in what he politely calls "disruptive actions": attempted assassinations (Egypt, Libya), coup d'(C)tats (Albania, Iran, Oman), forging Swiss bank account documents (East Germany) and psychological warfare (planting of false information, secret funding of propaganda and smearing opponents).

Many MI6 officers believed in the 50s and 60s that they were the true arbiters of the national interest. As former deputy chief George Young stated: "It is the spy who has been called upon to remedy the situation created by deficiencies of ministers, diplomats, generals and priests." So, for the past 50 years, argues Dorril, MI6 has operated as a state within a state, influencing and manipulating foreign policy to suit its jaundiced view of the world.

Like most western leaders, MI6 believed that nationalism in the Middle East and Africa would inevitably lead to communism. That baseless but popular preconception, alongside a desire to protect US/UK oil interests, coloured their operations, and Dorril catalogues just how far the service was prepared to go to ensure that a government was to its liking. A recurring theme is MI6's dependence on the CIA, whose financial fire-power often gave it the edge, notably in funding European anti-communist networks and technical intelligence-gathering.

But their joint covert actions were not always successful. The 1949 attempt to overthrow the communist regime in Albania ended in abject failure. "It is a gruesome story," wrote defence specialist John Keegan, "made all the more so by the perception, apparently denied to the masterminds of subversion, that the Albanian communists were far more adept at deciding the future of their country than a bunch of romantic meddlers with a public-school education and a free supply of plastic explosives."

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, By Steve Coll [*Amazon*]

A more effective operation was the MI6-controlled coup in Iran, which removed the popular and moderate prime minister, Mohammed Mossadeq, despised by the British because he nationalised the Iranian oil industry. MI6 and the CIA armed, funded and directed the conspirators, and Mossadeq was ousted in 1953.

A crucial component of what MI6 calls "special political action" is the use of psychological warfare. According to Dorril, MI6 planted false stories, secretly subsidised news agencies and radio stations, manipulated opinion polls and smeared opponents by leaking forged documents. Known as "black propaganda", this was a combination of covert news management and sinister dirty tricks.

What emerges from Dorril's exhaustive research is that MI6 has been a law unto itself. A group of senior operatives were obsessed with Britain's decline as a world power, and would resort to any illegal operation to reverse it; they appeared to think foreign policy should be founded on the maxim "God is an Englishman" (as stated by ex-operative Julian Amery). Former MI6 controllers admit that the period 1948-1958 was a horrific dark age, but they claim that the service was cleaned up by Harold Macmillan and has been under ministerial control ever since. Any controversial "black arts" operation needs full Foreign Office sanction. Is this credible?

Dorril provides evidence to the contrary. He cites MI6's involve ment in the 1970 coup in Oman and, to a lesser extent, in Yemen, and relates how, in 1965, MI6 conspired with the CIA to "liquidate" Indonesia's president Sukarno. Margaret Thatcher showed no reluctance in sharing the burden of policing the world; Dorril claims that, in 1980, Thatcher "authorised MI6 to undertake 'disruptive actions' " during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

KGB Lexicon: The Soviet Intelligence Officer's Handbook, By Vasili Mitrokhin [*Amazon*]

More recently, former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson described how, in 1992, he saw an internal document that described a plan to assassinate President Milosevic. Three years later, according to former MI5 officer David Shayler, MI6 plotted to murder Colonel Gaddafi by funding and running Libyan agents who opposed the regime. As more evidence emerges to support Shayler's allegation, it appears that MI6 has not quite relinquished its self-appointed role as an international enforcer of British foreign policy.

If it is to be effective in its new role - investigating the proliferation of nuclear and chemical weapons, tracking drug smugglers and countering money-laundering - MI6 will need to lift the veil of secrecy behind which it has hidden for too long. The lesson of this book is that, unless there is more transparency and accountability, a revival of unofficial bomb-and-blast foreign policy cannot be ruled out.

Dorril, co-author of books on the Profumo scandal and MI5's plot against Harold Wilson, has read an enormous amount. He has interviewed some former MI6 officers who have not spoken before; however, the book relies largely on published sources and there are some gaps. For example, there is not enough on MI6's organisation, its internal structure and how special operations were authorised.

It also suffers from inadequate editing, and Dorril has a tendency to bombard the reader with a bewildering array of facts and names. Given its ambitious scope, though, this is a remarkable achievement and an encyclopedic post-war history which any student of the secret world should read.

Mark Hollingsworth is the author, with Nick Fielding, of Defending the Realm: MI5 and the Shayler Affair (Andre Deutsch).

>> >> >> >> [Guardian.UK]

Nelson Mandela Said WHAT?!

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 00:15

By Debbie Schlussel

If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don't care for human beings.

''Nelson Mandela

I already told you what a scumbag, anti-White racist, Islamic terrorist lovin', Jew-hating creature Nelson Mandela was. But to further your education, for all the ignorami gushing over Nelson Mandela''which includes President George W. Bush (stick with painting, dude), Senator Ted Cruz, Sean Hannity, and his coming replacement Michael Savage (who, last night, called Mandela a ''peacemaker'' on his nationally syndicated radio show)''apparently they simply cannot do the tiniest bit of homework, which includes checking out this famous quote from Mandela about America (without which he'd never have been freed)''yes it bears repeating:

''If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don't care for human beings.''

And here are some other Mandela ''gems'':

* There is no doubt that the United States now feels that they are the only superpower in the world and they can do what they like.

* We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.

* If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don't ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers.

Hmmm . . . gee, I wonder why they need ''observers'' for South African elections. I mean, nothing is ever stolen in that country based on race, right? Like nationalized White farmland and so on.

And here's a tip: we do want observers at certain election polling places in America because voters are harassed and violently threatened by Mandela's fans in the New Black Panther Party here. Sadly, Mandela's superfan, Barack Hussein Obama, refuses to prosecute them.


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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 22:10

Stompie Stompie was reportedly a Mandela victim.6'4" tall Mandela and his first wife Evelyn Mase in 1944

Victim of MandelaNelson Mandela's terrorists planted bombs in public places, thus killing women and children.

Victims of Mandela.

Mandela's first wife was Evelyn.

Mandela flaunted his girl friends in front of Evelyn.

According to Evelyn: "There was another woman and this one started coming home, walking into our bedroom, following him into the bathroom .'‰.'‰. I declared that I would not allow it."

The ballroom dancing ladies' man with a very tempestuous love life

It was reported that Mandela had an illegitimate son.

In her divorce petition Evelyn accused Mandela of beating her, throttling her, and threatening to attack her with an axe.

Nelson and Winnie

Before the divorce, in 1958, Mandela had taken up with Winnie and they eventually married.

Winnie was Mandela's sort of woman.

In 1964 Mandela was jailed for life.

When Winnie was allowed to return to Johannesburg in 1986 she became a murderous gangster.

Winnie called for her followers to attack their enemies with 'matches and their necklaces' - tyres filled with petrol, put around people's necks, and set on fire.

Winnie set up Mandela United, a militia which recruited thugs from the townships.

These thugs were used to terrorise Black people.

These thugs would kidnap Blacks and take them to Winnie's home, a large mansion surrounded by electric fences.

Winnie liked to whip her captives, put plastic bags over their heads and then have them disposed of.

Stompie (right) The Truth About South Africa.

Winnie was accused, by one of her bodyguards, of having played a part in the murder of Stompie Sepei Moetesky, a 14-year-old boy.

Stompie was tortured and his throat was cut.

His body was found next to Winnie's house in 1989.

The ballroom dancing ladies' man

Many other boys were murdered, reportedly by Winnie's gang.

In 1998, Mandela married Graca Machel, the former wife of Mozambique's president.

Nelson Mandela has been accused of giving no affection to his children, some of whom have died in tragic circumstances.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.

At least two of these people are said to be spooks: Jemima Khan, Imran Khan, Naomi Campbell, Charles Taylor (CIA), Nelson Mandela (MI6), Gracha Machel, Quincy Jones, Mia Farrow and Tony Leung

Nelson Mandela is said to have worked for MI6.


Above we see Nelson Mandela and his friend Charles Taylor.

Charles Taylor helped to finance the attacks of 9 11 in the USA.

Mandela the capitalist terrorist5. Mandela said to Pilger:"We do not want to challenge big business that can take fright and take away their money . . .

"You can call it Thatcherite but, for this country, privatisation is the fundamental policy."Pilger writes of Mandela that "as the first liberation president, he ordered a ridiculous and bloody invasion of tiny Lesotho.

"He allowed South African armaments to be sold to Algeria, Colombia and Peru, which have notorious human rights records.

"He invited the Indonesian mass murderer General Suharto to South Africa and gave him the country's highest award . . . He recognised the brutal Burmese junta as a legitimate government."

Mandela was anti-communist.Winnie Mandela has claimed that the Mandela faction within the African National Congress conspired with the people who murdered the South African Communist leader, Chris Hani in 1992.

"There are some in the ANC who believe ANC members had something to do with Hani's assassination."Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was reported in the London Sunday Times, a week after the assassination, to have told confidants she believed moderate ANC leaders had conspired with the National Party government to eliminate Hani.

"The report said: 'according to her, details of Hani's movements, including critical information about when his bodyguards would be absent, were passed to government security agents, who in turn made this known to Waluz [Hani's killer, FB]'." Who Killed Chris Hani?

Terrorist to Icon

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Archived Version

Sat, 07 Dec 2013 22:18

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013

Afp, Johannesburg

So revered is Nelson Mandela today that it is easy to forget that for decades he was considered a terrorist by many foreign governments, and some of his now supporters.The anti-apartheid hero was on a US terror watch list until 2008 and while still on Robben Island, Britain's late ''Iron Lady'' Margaret Thatcher described his African National Congress as a ''typical terrorist organisation.''That Mandela's image has been transformed so thoroughly is a testament to the man's achievements, but also, in part, to a concert that took place in London 25 years ago this week.For organiser Tony Hollingsworth the June 11, 1988 gig at London's Wembley Stadium had very little to do with Mandela's 70th birthday, as billed.It had everything to do with ridding Mandela of his terrorist tag and ensuring his release.Hollingsworth convinced Simple Minds, Dire Straits, Sting, George Michael, The Eurythmics, Eric Clapton, Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder into the 83-artist line up to perform.With that musical firepower came contracts for a more than 11 hour broadcast.The gig at Wembley attracted broadcasters in nearly 70 countries and was watched by more than half a billion people around the world, still one of the largest audiences ever for an entertainment event.Nelson Mandela was released from jail 19 months later, after 27 years in prison. A second concert was later held to celebrate.''Before the first event, the prospect of Nelson Mandela's imminent release from prison seemed completely unrealistic,'' Terry would later say.''Yet within 20 months he walked free and I have no doubt that the first event played a decisive role in making this happen,'' Hollingsworth said.

Last Modified: 178 days ago

PJ Lifestyle >> Raining on the Nelson Mandela Parade

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 22:18

That ''armed wing'' carried out terror attacks at shopping centers, movie theaters and other civilian targets, not just ''establishment'' ones like courts and banks.

These attacks blew many innocent whites and blacks to bits.

(Note: some of these crime scene photos are disturbing.)

And when Mandela was arrested, the authorities claimed to have uncovered ''210,000 hand grenades, 48,000 anti-personnel mines, 1,500 time devices, 144 tons of ammonium nitrate, 21.6 tons of aluminium powder and 1 ton of black powder.''

Governments around the world, such as the ones in the U.S. and Great Britain, placed the ANC on their terror lists, along with the PLO, the IRA and the FLQ.

So when the Left adopted the destruction of apartheid as its new fashionable cause in the late 1980s, the organizer of that ''Free Nelson Mandela'' concert, Tony Hollingsworth, knew he needed to ''personalize'' the cause, and give that particular person a big makeover, pronto.

Hollingsworth now admits that the all-star extravaganza ''had everything to do with ridding Mandela of his terrorist tag and ensuring his release. ('...) Mandela and the movement should be seen as something positive, confident, something you would like to be in your living room with.''

Mandela danced out of prison less than two years after the concert.

Oh, and not long after that, he was filmed singing an ANC song about killing white people:

BBC News - Mandela death: How a prisoner became a legend

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 06:40

6 December 2013Last updated at 19:11 ET As the imprisoned Nelson Mandela became the face of a global campaign against apartheid, within South Africa a ban on his image meant people weren't sure what he looked like - and he became a mythological figure, recalls author William Gumede.

Nelson Mandela was very fond of telling a story of how, in the early 1980s, while at the windswept Robben Island prison where he had been banished for opposing the apartheid regime, he was taken to the mainland in Cape Town for a medical check-up.

His prison warders generously agreed to his request that he be allowed to stroll on the beach for a few minutes. Walking on the beach, Mandela, the world's most famous political prisoner, was anonymous. Having been in jail since the early 1960s, and his pictures banned from being circulated in public or published in the media, very few people knew his appearance.

On the beach that day no-one as much as glanced at him. Later, with a glint in his eye, Mandela said he'd wondered what would have happened had he suddenly shouted: "I am Nelson Mandela."

The images of Mandela imprinted on people's minds were, by then, 20 years old. They were from the last photos to be taken of the defiant activist before he had been carted off to jail in 1962.

Continue reading the main storyAbout the authorWilliam Gumede is a South African writer, trade unionist and former youth leader. He was deputy editor of The Sowetan newspaper, and has authored a number of bestselling books including Restless Nation: Making Sense of Troubled Times and Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC. He has also edited a collection of Nelson Mandela's writings, No Easy Walk to Freedom

In prison he had been allowed only a select few visitors, mostly immediate family. Fellow inmates, who were released earlier, would try to describe him - but it was not quite good enough.

Such was the level of security that by the 1980s no-one appeared to have been able to smuggle out an up-to-date photo of Mandela from Robben Island.

By then, Mandela had become one of the world's most quoted public figures. But in apartheid South Africa his words and teachings, like those of other ANC activists - were banned.

There were injunctions that came with heavy penalties for those who broke them. Carrying the image of Mandela or being overheard saying his name could result in torture and a prison sentence.

Books about Mandela were banned - unless they portrayed him as a terrorist. Media organisations were prevented from reporting on him or using his pictures.

He was not the only prisoner subject to these restrictions, but the way the state tried to erase his image, his words and his name ensured activists revered him even more.

This enforced silence had ultimately done nothing to quell the curiosity of a new emerging generation of anti-apartheid activists in the late 70s and early 80s, in South Africa and overseas.

The long-term imprisonment of most of the ANC's top leaders in the early 1960s, the banning and locking-up of lower level leaders and the brutal campaign of fear pursued by the apartheid government were a crushing blow and threatened the group's very existence.

Then, in the late 1960s, the ANC's overseas wing decided to change the direction of the anti-apartheid struggle. It launched a global movement as an attempt to give the campaign new momentum, energy and focus.

It fell upon Nelson Mandela to be the face of this new global campaign. His release from custody became the central pillar of the anti-apartheid campaign.

Continue reading the main story'I am prepared to die'At his 1964 trial, Mandela chose to make a speech rather than testify. These are the closing words:

"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

At the time of his arrest on 5 August 1962, Mandela was by no means the ANC's top leader. He was at best below the likes of Walter Sisulu, the ANC general secretary, and Oliver Tambo, its deputy president. Yet this elevation of Mandela to be the face of the ANC also propelled him to the number one spot in the organisation.

The Free Mandela campaign in the West became one of the most effective global media movements. It was also one of the most fashionable causes. World figures such as Bertrand Russell, Simone de Beauvoir and Ilya Ehrenburg put their names to the campaign.

The ANC allowed overseas satellite groups relative freedom to adapt their campaigns for their particular local circumstances, nuances and protest movements.

In the UK, the local anti-apartheid movement hosted an annual Bicycle for Mandela event. In the Netherlands, they issued a Mandela coin in opposition to the Krugerrands. In the US, the committee launched an "Unlock Apartheid's Jails" campaign, under the chairmanship of actor Bill Crosby.

So successful had the global Free Mandela campaign become that in 1978, the prime minister of apartheid South Africa, John Vorster, bemoaned the fact that the world was seeing Mandela as the "real" leader of black South Africa.

By the mid-80s musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and Miles Davis were sprinkling some stardust on the anti-apartheid movement. The song Free Nelson Mandela became a Top 10 hit in Britain.

The image of Mandela the silenced global statesman was starting to set. Back in South Africa, however, his progression to the top took a different course.

Mandela's long spell of incarceration had led him to deep reflection.

At the start of his prison term on Robben Island, Mandela wrote: "In prison you come face to face with time. There's nothing more terrifying."

Under the tutelage of Walter Sisulu, one of the underrated ANC leaders, Mandela overcame his own "feelings of rage and impotence".

His genius was in his pragmatism - his generosity of spirit. What set him apart from his fellow detainees was that he was wise enough to be influenced by new ideas and in turn was able to soften and broaden the minds of other young radicals, helping him recruit activists from opposing ideologies to the ANC.

Eventually, these new converts, when they were released from Robben Island, spread Mandela's ideas to a wider audience outside.

In the early 80s, to me and my fellow black student activists, Mandela was still a radical, the "Black Pimpernel" who had co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC.

The rest of the world was becoming acquainted with a more statesmanlike figure. But in the free-speech vacuum of the apartheid state, our Mandela had been freeze-frozen on the day he was arrested on 5 August 1962, for his clandestine attempts to plan sabotage against the state.

It was this Mandela who so appealed to us high school radicals, who came to political awakening in the 80s, leading us to embark on a school boycott between 1984 and 1985.

Defiance was our core value. We dismissed teachers and parents as too submissive to apartheid authorities, who should be defied in the same way we defied the regime.

As youths we attacked symbols of apartheid and white oppression. We threw stones at the police and army, barricaded roads with burning tyres and "redistributed" to the community the contents of delivery vans of companies perceived to be collaborating with apartheid government.

Senior ANC and anti-apartheid leaders, such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, publicly disapproved, but as in William Golding's Lord of the Flies, the children would now be in charge, not only of our education, but also our own upbringing.

Our slogans were "No education without liberation", "Victory or death" and "Free Mandela our real leader".

We divided ourselves into cells which met in secret. And in these cells we would talk about Mandela, the ANC and lessons from other people's struggles around the world.

Invoking Mandela's name or his image risked severe retribution. But doing so became an act of defiance for anti-apartheid activists. We wore T-shirts and badges, and carried flags, all with Mandela's face on, knowing we could be arrested and tortured.

The apartheid police had its omnipresent networks of spies or "impipis" in the black community who would rush to inform on anyone who dared mention Mandela's name at church prayer, school or community meeting,

In high school, in 1985, at the height of the student revolt, one of my fellow teen anti-apartheid activists was arrested and given a 30-day jail sentence for drinking out of a mug which had the face of Mandela painted on it.

Another spent three days in jail for writing "Free Mandela" on her school dress.

I was sjambokked - beaten with a traditional South African leather whip which police carried during the apartheid era - kicked and klapped (slapped) by police for drawing a rather crude image of Mandela, next to the words "Liberation Before Education", on my tattered canvas school bag.

But we students weren't the first to get behind the Mandela charge.

In 1980, Percy Qoboza, the editor of the Sunday Post, a black newspaper in Johannesburg, launched a local campaign for the release of Mandela. It led to a wider call which raised Mandela's name again within South Africa after the blanket of silence enforced by the authorities.

Some 86,000 people publicly signed a petition sponsored by the Sunday Post to release Mandela - opening themselves up to prosecution for promoting a banned person.

The Free Nelson Mandela campaign became the glue that brought together many of the disparate grounds whose common goal was to overturn white minority rule, under the name of the United Democratic Front (UDF).

Enuga Sreenivasulu Reddy, the former secretary of the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid, wrote in 1988: "The release of Mandela became an issue uniting the broadest segments of the South African people. All black leaders with any following, as well as several white leaders, expressed support."

The UDF launched a new, more energetic domestic campaign to release Mandela, vowing that unless the Nationalist Party government freed him, there would be no peace in South Africa. Overnight "Release Mandela" committees were set up across the country, in every region, town and township, by UDF activists.

Our curiosity about Mandela remained insatiable.

Comrades who were released from Robben Island, having been in secret meetings where messages from Mandela were clandestinely distributed, were eagerly questioned on the leader's views.

Those who were lucky enough to have seen Mandela, even from a distance at Robben Island, let alone to have met or talked to him, were treated like royalty by us youth activists.

Continue reading the main storyThe High OrderWalter Sisulu (1912-2003): Served 26 years imprisonment on Robben Island; released in 1989 and was elected ANC deputy president Govan Mbeki (1910-2001): Imprisoned on terrorism and treason charges from 1964 until 1987; served in South Africa's post-apartheid senate Raymond Mhlaba (1920-2005): Member of ANC and South Africa Communist Party; jailed alongside Mandela and released in 1989 Lawyers visiting the island prison were a particularly rich source of information for those hungry for news.

But while beyond the shores of his island prison Mandela had unquestionably become the face of the fight against South Africa's racist government, inside the jail he was locked in a decades-long battle to have his vision for what the organisation stood for, accepted by fellow inmates.

On Robben Island the ANC leadership decided to set up a leadership structure to support activists who could have lost faith in the face of long jail sentences. This was called the "High Order", and consisted of Mandela, Govan Mbeki - father of the future South African President Thabo Mbeki - and two others. Mandela was elected spokesperson.

After his release from Robben Island in 1987, Govan Mbeki admitted that "nobody [on the island] could guess" that Mandela would become such an international figure and would rise to such heights.

Mbeki was Mandela's great rival while in prison on the island. Before he was imprisoned, Mbeki was a powerful figure in the ANC and Mandela's senior by a mile.

He later admitted that he "differed very strongly" with Mandela on a great many issues.

Mbeki had challenged Albert Luthuli for the ANC presidency and lost narrowly. On Robben Island Mandela and members of the High Order would secretly circulate their ideas on paper (often toilet paper) to the seven jails of the island prison, or in code in letters to family and to the ANC on the outside. They used every opportunity while doing hard labour, breaking stones on the island's quarry, to clandestinely disseminate their ideas. While doing this, they had to evade the prying eyes of the prison guards and the prison censors.

For three decades in Robben Island there was an epic leadership battle in the ANC for supremacy between the African nationalists, led by Mandela, and the ANC Left, led by African communists such as Mbeki.

Mbeki's group argued that the ANC should seize power through military means, nationalise all industry, pursue Nuremberg-like trials to prosecute apartheid leaders for crimes against humanity, and set up a communist state with the South African Communist Party at its head at the southernmost tip of Africa.

Mandela and his leadership group argued that the ANC was a broad church of all colours, ideologies and classes who were united in their fights against apartheid and racial prejudice. Mandela argued for a negotiated settlement between the apartheid government and the liberation movements, which would cobble together a constitutional, non-racial democracy.

Mbeki feared Mandela was about to sell out, to strike a compromise deal with the Nationalist Party in return for his freedom. He smuggled an SOS to the ANC leadership in exile to express his fears.

Mandela, in turn, smuggled an answer to the exiled leaders, assuring them he was not selling out and that he was acting in the best interests of the ANC members and supporters.

According to Mbeki, who was released ahead of Mandela, it took a long time before fellow Robben Islanders were convinced that Mandela was not selling out.

By the late 80s, my generation, the 1985 generation who were active in the internal struggle, had become suspicious of Mandela, fearing a compromise with the apartheid rulers was about to be agreed.

Even at Mandela's release in February 1990, there was a lingering suspicion among some comrades that he might have turned.

It would immediately be proven wrong. In fact, Mandela had entered Robben Island a good leader, and returned a great leader.

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Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 01:42

The Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute was a popular-music concert staged on June 11, 1988 at Wembley Stadium, London and broadcast to 67 countries and an audience of 600 million. It was also referred to as Freedomfest, Free Nelson Mandela Concert and Mandela Day. In the US, the Fox television network heavily censored the political aspects of the concert.[1][2][3]

First of two Mandela events[edit]The Birthday Tribute was regarded by many, including the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the African National Congress, as raising worldwide consciousness of the imprisonment of ANC leader Mandela and others by the South African apartheid government and forcing the regime to release Nelson Mandela earlier than would otherwise have happened.[4][5][6][7]

Eighteen months after the event, with a release now thought to be approaching, Mandela asked for the organisers of the event to create a second concert as an official international reception at which, after 27 years in prison, he would address the world. The second event, Nelson Mandela: An International Tribute for a Free South Africa, was, like the first, conceived to be shown on television across the world and was broadcast from Wembley Stadium to more than 60 countries on April 16, 1990.

The first concert, according to Robin Denselow, music critic and presenter of the BBC broadcast, writing in 1989,[8] was the "biggest and most spectacular pop-political event of all time, a more political version of Live Aid with the aim of raising consciousness rather than just money."

The organiser and risk-funder of the two events was producer and impresario Tony Hollingsworth. Hollingsworth also conceived the idea for the first event.[9][10]

Starting point[edit]Hollingsworth developed the plan for the first Mandela concert after talking to singer Jerry Dammers of The Specials ska band, who had written the song Free Nelson Mandela in 1984 and founded the Artists Against Apartheid organisation the following year. In early 1986, Hollingsworth contacted Dammers to say that the Greater London Council, for which Hollingsworth was producing a number of festivals and concerts, might be able to fund the AAA. The authority was due to be abolished at the end of March and had spare cash to give away. But a grant turned out to be impossible because the AAA was not a legal entity and Dammers had no interest in making it one.

Hollingsworth told Dammers that he would put on an anti-apartheid concert if the singer could find a big name. Dammers did not phone back until June 1987, although in the summer of 1986 he had organised a free anti-apartheid concert, Freedom Beat, in London's Clapham Common attended by 200,000 people.[11]

Dammers told Hollingsworth that he had received a letter from Simple Minds, the Glasgow rock band, agreeing to perform at an event which Hollingsworth had suggested for the previous year. The two agreed to go to Edinburgh, where Simple Minds were performing, to talk about a deal for a new event.

Hollingsworth had in mind a major event, a birthday tribute for Mandela, who would be 70 the following year. The event would seek worldwide television and would call for his release '' the first step in ending apartheid. Simple Minds was interested in the proposal but only if Hollingsworth brought in another top group.

Persuading the Anti-Apartheid Movement[edit]At the same time, Hollingsworth started what turned out to be a series of meetings with Mike Terry, head of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in London. Also of note was the work of Robert Hughes, Baron Hughes of Woodside, whom led the AAM (Anti-Apartheid Movement) at the time these concerts were organized.[12] If the concert was to be successful, it was important to win the support of the movement and, with it, the implicit support of Mandela. But Terry and his senior officials firmly resisted Hollingsworth's proposal, insisting on three conditions, based on the policies of the African National Congress.

First, the concert must focus on all political prisoners in South Africa, not just Mandela. Mandela had himself told the ANC that he did not wish to be singled out from other prisoners in the organisation's campaigning. Second, the event must campaign against apartheid as a whole and this was to be in its title. Third, it must call for sanctions against South Africa.

Hollingsworth argued that the concert could not be effective under those terms. They would not work for an event that was intended for the mass media across the world, including in countries where there might be little knowledge of Mandela, let alone support for him. The event should not be "angry", but a "positive" birthday tribute, calling only for Mandela to be freed.

Many broadcasters, Hollingsworth argued, would not televise a Mandela concert if it followed the AA and ANC campaign policies. They would regard it as a political event. Other broadcasters would provide only limited airtime. But a positive birthday tribute would conform to the broadcasters' entertainment mandate and there would be a good chance they would show the full day's event. Hollingsworth was not seeking ANC backing because that would have put off broadcasters. He wanted the AA's backing but, for similar reasons, did not want the movement's name on the event.

Terry was the first to come round to Hollingsworth's view, but needed some time before persuading the rest of his team. On the other hand, he quickly won the approval of Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, the AA president and a former priest in southern Africa.

Signing up first artists[edit]By the time that the Anti-Apartheid Movement had agreed to support the concert, Hollingsworth had booked Wembley Stadium for the following June and had approached several artists in addition to Simple Minds. Few were saying a definite no, but hardly anyone would commit.

Hollingsworth wanted Dire Straits, one of the largest acts in the world and the kind of act that was needed if broadcasters across the world were to sign up for the event, to head the bill. The group took the same line as Simple Minds. The band's manager Ed Bicknell said that Dire Straits would perform if other top acts also agreed, but Hollingsworth was not to mention Dire Straits in persuading the other acts.

Hollingsworth signed up other big names, albeit on a provisional basis, put them in touch with one another and finally they all, including Dire Straits, agreed to perform. With clearly enough talent on board, Hollingsworth announced the bill in March, three months before the June 11 event. The list included Dire Straits, Simple Minds, George Michael, Whitney Houston, Aswad, Sly and Robbie, Bee Gees, Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela. The announcement of the list made it easier to bring in further artists, including the Eurythmics who had earlier refused three times, but other big names also.

There were some difficulties. Bicknell, for instance, was shocked when Hollingsworth told him there was one condition to Dire Straits playing. The band must rehearse for the event because it had not been on tour for some time and had even disbanded, albeit temporarily. Hollingsworth, in fact, told most of the artists they must rehearse, offering to pay for all rehearsal costs. Dire Straits, like the others, complied. In the event, the band had to bring in a guest guitarist to replace Jack Sonni, who had just become the father of twin girls. The new man was Eric Clapton.

A week after the first bill was announced, Simple Minds threatened to quit, arguing that there was not enough grit in it: Whitney Houston and George Michael, for instance, should not be there. Hollingsworth argued that there was plenty of grit but that Whitney Houston and George Michael were needed to broaden the audience to include people who were not so likely to know about Mandela and apartheid. Simple Minds accepted the argument.

Harry Belafonte, Sting and Stevie Wonder[edit]Harry Belafonte: Hollingsworth went to New York to ask Harry Belafonte to give the opening address of the concert. Belafonte made it clear he was upset that, with so many musicians appearing, he was being asked only to talk.

Hollingsworth told him the audience was not the right culture for him. He feared that Belafonte's singing would turn the clock back 30 years and would lose much of the television audience across the world. He was already worried about losing the audience as a result of using African singers and dancers whom many people would not have heard of. On the other hand, Belafonte, as a highly respected, internationally known personality, would be an effective speaker. Belafonte told him he would think about it, but Hollingsworth should also think about him performing.

The two spoke a week later, with each taking much the same position, although Hollingsworth added that Belafonte could sing if he could get a category A artist, such as Bruce Springsteen or Mick Jagger or Elton John, to sing with him. Belafonte did not get any of those, but came back with a list which Hollingsworth said was not good enough. Eventually, Belafonte agreed just to give the opening speech.

Sting: Hollingsworth went to great lengths to get Sting to perform at the concert. The singer was associated with human rights issues, partly as a result of his song They Dance Alone about the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, and was at the height of his popularity. Sting's manager Miles Copeland, however, refused even to put the proposition to the singer because he would be on a world tour at the time and the Wembley concert would not fit in. The final tour schedule showed Sting due to perform in Berlin the night before Wembley and elsewhere in Europe on the evening of the Wembley concert.

Several weeks before Wembley, Hollingsworth went to Switzerland where Sting was playing and booked himself into the same hotel. He got reception to put him through to Sting (using the singer's actual name, Gordon Sumner), told Sting that his management had refused to let him talk to the singer, and asked to meet him. Sting told him to come round to his room.

Hollingsworth told Sting that he would fly the singer and his band to London on a private plane after his Friday evening Berlin concert, drive him to Wembley in the morning where an identical set of equipment would be set up on stage for him. Sting would then do a sound check and open the show a few minutes after mid-day, the first act of the concert (after an opening speech and a set of South African show dancers). As soon as he had done his half-hour slot, he would be driven to the airport and put on the private plane taking him back to the continent. Sting agreed.

Copeland was furious about the agreement and shocked that Sting would open the show rather than be one of the closing acts. But the event was being organised not as a live concert but as a television show and that, according to Hollingsworth, meant a top act at the beginning when "the largest audience tunes in to see how it's going to be". At least one big act was planned for each hour of the 11-hour day in a bid to keep the audience.

Stevie Wonder: One of the first artists that Hollingsworth tried to sign up was Stevie Wonder. He could never get through to the singer, though he phoned him every Friday at his studio. Senior members of the team told him each time that the matter was "under consideration".

On the Wednesday before the concert, Wonder phoned back, asking whether there was still space for him. Hollingsworth told him there was a 25-minute slot '' time that had originally been kept open for Prince and Bono to sing a duet together but which the two singers turned down. Wonder agreed the booking. This was never announced but was to be a surprise for the audience. In the event, the singer caused a major backstage drama when the equipment used to play his prerecorded music was lost. He refused to play and walked out of the stadium '' though he returned later using Whitney Houston's instruments.

Broadcast politics[edit]Once the first set of artists had signed up, broadcasters were approached, starting with the BBC. Alan Yentob, recently appointed controller of BBC2, said that he would provide five hours of airtime '' and more if the bill improved. After several more top artists were added, the BBC agreed to televise the whole show.

Before the concert, 24 Conservative MPs put down a House of Commons motion, criticising the BBC for giving "publicity to a movement that encourages the African National Congress in its terrorist activities".[13] However, no appeal was either planned or made. Further, the artists' contracts '' which in many cases were signed backstage at Wembley '' laid down that no proceeds from the income of the event should go "towards the purchase of or in any other connection with armaments".

What problems there were came from the other side. Both the Anti-Apartheid Movement and Hollingsworth received bomb threats warning them not to go ahead with the event. Nearer the event, there was a threat to blow up the power station distributing electricity to Wembley.

With the BBC on board, it was easier to persuade other broadcasters to buy the rights for the concert. The show was in most cases sold to the entertainment divisions of broadcasters as a birthday tribute that would not be political. As a result, they could agree to show the event without referring the question upwards or to the news or current-affairs divisions. According to Hollingsworth, once they had agreed to show the concert, the news divisions would have to stop referring to Mandela as a terrorist leader, thereby helping to ensure that Mandela was looked upon in a more favourable light. This was said to be a campaign objective which was beginning to be achieved by March.

Even so, given the subject matter, the event was bound to be political in a broad sense. Thus, a week before the event, the Chicago Sun-Times said that the concert would have "the most overtly political theme since the 1960s...It's a confrontational political event aimed at the government of South Africa and its practice of apartheid".[14]

Broadcasters were also told that the concert would use two stages, enabling acts to follow each other without a break, with top acts on the main stage and lesser-known groups on the second. There would therefore be no need for broadcasters to add material between events. The reasoning was that, first, the concert would look like a television show without awkward gaps encouraging audiences to switch off; and, second, broadcasters would be less likely to impose their own narrative on the event. The use of film stars to introduce major acts also helped achieve these objectives. Some broadcasters did send presenters to carry out backstage interviews for the presumed gaps but stopped doing so after a couple of hours.

Most broadcasters showed the event live. Others, particularly in the Americas, showed it delayed because of the time difference. Most gave more or less full coverage.

In the US, the Fox Television network showed only six hours in what was referred to as a "significantly de-radicalised version".[1] A number of artists had their songs or speeches cut. One US newspaper objected that Fox "cut out some of the most passionate - and especially most political - moments of the day".[3]Steven Van Zandt was appalled when he saw a recording of the Fox broadcast on his return to the US. He complained to the press, describing it as "a totally Orwellian experience".[2] His own contribution, including a strident rendering of the song, Sun City, was one of those that were cut. Fox was worried about its sponsors and advertisers, particularly Coca-Cola which had booked six advertising spots for each hour.

Whitney Houston, who was contracted to make advertisements for Coca-Cola, did her act in front of a black backdrop instead of the usual picture of Nelson Mandela. But, according to Hollingsworth, this was nothing to do with censorship but the result of an electricity generator failing.

Fox also refused to use the concert title, Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute. Instead, it billed the show as Freedomfest, objecting to the pleas of the organisers to at least add "for Nelson Mandela".

A further issue was highlighted by film actor Whoopi Goldberg when she came on stage to introduce one of the acts, saying that she had been told to say nothing political. The request did not come from the concert organisers but from the Fox TV producer at Wembley who, unbeknown to the organisers, told the Hollywood film stars to avoid saying anything political because an election was coming up in the States. After the event, the producer '' in charge of his own editing team for the US broadcast '' took out a full-page advertisement in a US trade magazine thanking American artists for participating in his show.

The producer had been flown in a week before the Wembley concert to replace Fox's original choice who had been working on the production for three weeks but was thought by the network to have become infected by the political ethos of the concert organisation.

On-stage politics[edit]There were supposed to be no political speeches at the event except for the message that Nelson Mandela should be freed '' coming from Harry Belafonte in his opening speech, from the film stars and musicians introducing the acts or the next piece of music and from the slogans around the stage. The principle '' aimed at ensuring that broadcasters would, first, buy the television rights and, second, continue to show the proceedings '' was more or less followed.

Early on, the organisers stopped an insistent Jesse Jackson, the black American politician, from going on stage to make a speech. To have agreed to the request would have made it very difficult to say no to others. Jackson was, instead, shepherded to the Royal Box, joining Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock and Liberal leader David Steel along with a number of actors and musicians.

Nonetheless, the posters, the political references from the actors and musicians, the music itself, the way the singers worked the audience and the audience response almost certainly got across a wider political message about apartheid. One or two artists took a harder line. Stephen Van Zandt, for instance, in the run-up to singing Sun City with Simple Minds, declared that "we the people will no longer tolerate the terrorism of the government of South Africa" and that "we will no longer do business with those who do business with the terrorist government of South Africa".

Stevie Wonder walks out[edit]Stevie Wonder landed in England on the Saturday morning of the concert and went straight to Wembley Stadium, where a room was prepared for him and his band to warm up. He was to appear in the evening after UB40. His appearance had not been announced.

UB40 were finishing their set on the main stage, and Wonder's equipment was set up, plugged in and ready to be rolled on after a 10-minute act on a side stage. He was about to walk up the ramp to the stage when it was discovered that the hard disc of his synclavier, carrying all 25 minutes of synthesised music for his act, was missing. He said he could not play without it, turned round, walked down the ramp crying, with his band and other members of his entourage following him, and out of the stadium.

There was an urgent need to fill the gap he had left and Tracy Chapman, who had already performed her act, agreed to appear again. The two appearances shot her to stardom, with two songs from her recently released first album, "Fast Car" and "Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution". Before the concert, she had sold about 250,000 albums. In the following two weeks, she was said to have sold two million.

Wonder returned to the stadium, but turned down the request to use the same equipment as the present act on the main stage, Whitney Houston. Other members of the band said they would use other people's equipment. Finally, with time running out, Wonder agreed.

Whitney finished with three encores and the next act, Salt-N-Pepa (SNP), started on the side stage using 3 minutes and 30 seconds of pre-approved stage time. Following SNP's performance, there was no announcement, no sound from the main stage until, out of the darkness, came the opening lines of "I Just Called to Say I Love You" and a huge roar from the audience. The lights came on and Wonder went into the rest of the set. With the loss of the programmed hard disc, he shouted the change of notes to the band.

Resonant music[edit]The concert included several well-known protest songs and others which received an added resonance from the occasion. The songs included:

Funding and organisation[edit]The initial funding for Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute came from Hollingsworth and, specifically, from the money which he had put into the production company, Elephant House, set up with television producer Neville Bolt. But the money amounted only "to 75 per cent of what was needed as a minimum". Funding to help pay the deposit on Wembley Stadium came from a trade-union loan organised by the Anti Apartheid Movement.

Wembley agreed to the unusual procedure of handing over ticket revenue as soon as it came in, and some television companies agreed to pay rights fees earlier than usual (although the BBC did not pay cash but provided facilities).

Although the aim of the day was to raise consciousness about South Africa and Mandela, the event also made a profit of $5 million. One half went to the AAM to cover its costs, including a protest march the following day; and one half to seven charities named by Archbishop Huddleston on condition that none of the money went towards the purchase of armaments.

The seven charities were: Oxfam, Christian Aid, War on Want, Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, Save the Children, Bishop Ambrose Reeves Trust and the International Defence and Aid Fund. With the charities in mind, a company, Freedom Productions, was set up to which the artists rights were assigned.

Rights in the event are held by Tribute Inspirations Limited.

Postscript[edit]The estimated audience for the Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute of 600 million in 67 countries was arguably an underestimate in that several broadcasters in Africa were given a free licence. However, the apartheid government did not allow the event to be broadcast in South Africa. But news of the event and its popularity reached Mandela and other political prisoners. In time, the strong ripple effect is thought to have increased pressure on the government to release Mandela, and it became increasingly likely that he would be released, albeit 20 months after the concert and 27 years after he was put in prison.

Shortly before Mandela's release, Hollingsworth, Terry and Mandela's lawyer sat down in London to plan another broadcast event to celebrate Mandela's release and to call for the end of Apartheid.

Performers and Speakers[edit]In order of appearance:

The Farafina DrummersSting (introduced by Harry Belafonte) '' "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free", "They Dance Alone", "Every Breath You Take", "Message in a Bottle"George Michael (introduced by Lenny Henry) '' "Village Ghetto Land", "If You Were My Woman", "Sexual Healing"Sir Richard Attenborough - speechWhoopi Goldberg and Richard Gere - speechEurythmics (introduced by Richard Gere) '' "I Need a Man", "There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)", "Here Comes the Rain Again", "You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart", "When Tomorrow Comes", "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)", "Brand New Day"Graham Chapman - speechThe Arnhemland DancersWhoopi Goldberg - speechAmabutho Male ChorusLenny Henry doing a Michael Jackson parodyAl Green (introduced by Lenny Henry) '' "Let's Stay Together"Joe Cocker '' "Unchain My Heart"Jonathan Butler - "True Love Never Fails"Freddie Jackson - "Jam Tonight"Ashford & Simpson - "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"Natalie Cole - "Pink Cadillac"Al Green, Joe Cocker, Jonathan Butler, Freddie Jackson, Ashford & Simpson, and Natalie Cole - "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands", "Higher and Higher"Lenny Henry - Introduction for Stephen Fry and Hugh LaurieFry & Laurie (Stand-up comedy)Phil Collins All Stars (House Band)The Phantom Horns - Johnny Thirkell, Gary Barnacle, Peter Thoms, Simon GardnerTracy Chapman (1st appearance) - "Why?", "Behind the Wall", "Talkin' Bout a Revolution"Wet Wet Wet (introduced by Daryl Hannah) - "Wishing I Was Lucky"Tony Hadley - "A Harvest for the World"Joan Armatrading - "Love and Affection"Midge Ure - "Dear God" (w/Phil Collins & Mark Brzezicki)Paul Carrack - "How Long?"Fish - "Kayleigh"Paul Young - "Don't Dream It's Over"Curt Smith - "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"Bryan Adams - "Somebody"Bee Gees - "You Win Again", "I've Gotta Get a Message to You"Ali MacGraw and Philip Michael Thomas - Introduction for Jonas GwangwaJonas GwangwaSalif Keita (introduced by Lenny Henry)Youssou N'Dour - "Pitche Mi"Jackson Browne and Youssou N'Dour - "When the Stone Begins to Turn"Sly & Robbie and Aswad - "Set Them Free"Mahlathini and the Mahotella QueensUB40 (introduced by Gregory Hines) - "Rat in Mi Kitchen", "Red Red Wine"UB40 and Chrissie Hynde - "I Got You Babe", "Breakfast in Bed", "Sing Our Own Song"Whoopi Goldberg - One Woman ShowTracy Chapman (2nd appearance) - "Fast Car", "Across the Lines"Billy Connolly - speechHugh Masekela/Miriam Makeba - "Soweto Blues"Miriam Makeba - "Pata Pata"Courtney Pine & IDJ DancersSimple Minds (introduced by Emily Lloyd & Denzel Washington) - "Waterfront"Simple Minds featuring Johnny Marr - "Summertime Blues"Simple Minds - "Mandela Day", "Sanctify Yourself", "East at Easter", "Alive and Kicking"Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds & Youssou N'Dour - "Biko"Steven van Zandt, Simple Minds, Peter Gabriel, Meat Loaf, Jackson Browne, Youssou N'Dour & Daryl Hannah - "Sun City"Jerry Dammers, Simple Minds - "Free Nelson Mandela"Harry Enfield (Stand-up comedy)AmampondoWhitney Houston (introduced by Corbin Bernsen and Jennifer Beals) - "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "Love Will Save the Day", "So Emotional", "Where Do Broken Hearts Go", "How Will I Know", "He/I Believe" (duet with her mother Cissy Houston), "I Wanna Dance with Somebody", "Greatest Love of All"Salt-N-Pepa (introduced by Meat Loaf) - "Push It"Derek B - "Free Mandela"Stevie Wonder - "I Just Called to Say I Love You", speech, "Dark 'n Lovely"Fat Boys and Chubby Checker - "The Twist"Harry Enfield (Stand-up comedy)Billy Connolly (Stand-up comedy)Dire Straits featuring Eric Clapton (introduced by Billy Connolly) - "Walk of Life", "Sultans of Swing", "Romeo and Juliet", "Money for Nothing", "Brothers in Arms", "Wonderful Tonight", "Solid Rock"Jessye Norman - "Amazing Grace" (Finale)Further appearances included Grupo Experimental de Dansa, H. B. Barnum, Mick Karn, Mark Kelly[disambiguation needed], Ray Lema, and Steve Norman.

See also[edit]References[edit]^ abThe Art of Protest, by T.V Reed, p174. University of Minnesota Press, 2005)^ abUnreliable Sources: A guide to Detecting Bias in News Media, by Martin A Lee and Norman Solomon. ISBN 0-8184-0561-9. Quoted by Norman Solomon in Political and Corporate Censorship in the Land of the Free, by John Shirley, Gauntlet No.3 1992.^ abBoston Globe, June 13, 1988, By Steve Morse, Globe Staff^Mike Ketchum. "The Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute Concert, Wembley Stadium, London, 11 June 1988". African National Congress. ^Letter from Mike Terry, Executive Secretary, Anti-Apartheid Movement, January 18, 2003: "Before the first event, the prospect of Nelson Mandela's imminent release from prison seemed completely unrealistic. Yet within 20 months he walked free and I have no doubt that the first event played a decisive role in making this happen. This was implicitly acknowledged by Nelson Mandela, himself, by his decision to participate in the second event."^Letter from Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, President of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, July 12, 1995: "The result of his efforts helped to generate the pressures which secured the release of Nelson Mandela."^ANC website message: "...the worldwide campaign for the release of Nelson Mandela and political prisoners made a decisive contribution...One event in particular symbolised that campaign - the 'Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute'...The ANC owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the artists and performers and all those who made that event possible...[dead link]^Denselow, R. When The Music's Over: The Story of Political Pop, p276. Faber and Faber, 1990. ISBN 0-571-13906-X^Letter from Mike Terry, Executive Secretary, Anti-Apartheid Movement, January 18, 2003: "...he performed multiple roles of creator, risk taker, executive producer, producer and artists recruiter. He never claimed such an array of titles nor pushed himself in front of the media preferring to let the media focus on the cause at hand."^Letter to Hollingsworth from AAM, signed by Archbishop Huddleston, Dr Allan Boesak, Robert Huges MP, Andimba Toivo ja Toivo and Oliver Tambo, president of the African National Congress, June 12, 1988, the day after the first Mandela concert: "On behalf of all of us who got the credit for the marvellous Anti Apartheid concert and all that will follow from it - a thousand thanks!"^Anti-racism education for Australian schools^,_Baron_Hughes_of_Woodside^Denselow, R (1990) When The Music's Over: The Story of Political Pop, p279. Faber and Faber, 1990. ISBN 0-571-13906-X^John Swenson, "Big pop concert will seek Nelson Mandela's release", Chicago Sun-Times, June 4, 1988Further reading[edit]M. Rainbird Pub. in association with Associated Media: Nelson Mandela 70th birthday tribute : with Artists Against Apartheid in support of the anti apartheid movement, Wembley Stadium, Saturday 11 June, London. Concert booklet. OCLC 23081366Lahusen, Christian. 1996. The rhetoric of moral protest public campaigns, celebrity endorsement, and political mobilization. De Gruyter studies in organization, 76. Berlin: W. de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-015093-3External links[edit] South Africa: Mandela, Pacifist or Rebel? (Page 1 of 2)

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Photo: MediaClubSAMandela burning his pass book as a sign of protesting against the law

Perhaps it's a false contradiction. But today there are many who stress the pacifist message with which South Africa's Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) emerged from prison in 1990, while few put an emphasis on his rebellion against apartheid, including armed rebellion, which landed him in prison.

Mandela was a political activist and a revolutionary at least since 1942. Two years later he joined the African National Congress, becoming a founding member of the Youth league, and leading the movement, which had been inconsequential for decades, to more radical positions.

Mandela was a rebel when he headed the civil disobedience campaign against the unjust laws of the white segregationist regime in 1952, and when, although he was a poor student, he qualified as a lawyer and set up the country's first black law firm.

Because he was a rebel he was banned more than once, arrested and prosecuted in the Treason Trial, before he was finally acquitted in 1961. He was a rebel when he went underground.

But above all he stayed true to his rebelliousness after the Sharpeville massacre of 69 unarmed demonstrators during a Mar. 21, 1960 protest against the apartheid laws, the subsequent state of emergency, the arrest of 18,000 people and the banning of the ANC and other organisations.

He understood then that demonstrations, strikes and civil disobedience were not enough to shake the foundations of apartheid, whose structure had become more sophisticated, to the absurd extent of creating the Bantustans or territories set aside for blacks.

It was an act of rebellion to lead the armed struggle in 1961 and help create the military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation). And to secretly leave the country and seek support and guerrilla training.

South Africa was a useful bridgehead for the Western powers - the same ones that today honour Mandela as a hero - in a region convulsed by anti-colonial liberation struggles and the Cold War.

In the 1970s the United States, France and Britain, trading partners of the regime, vetoed a motion to expel South Africa from the United Nations. And although the United Nations Security Council established a voluntary arms embargo against South Africa in 1963, it only became mandatory in 1977.

By the 1980s, apartheid had made South Africa an international pariah. But it wasn't until 1985 that the authorities in the United States, Britain and the European Community adopted economic sanctions against the regime - in large part to appease the growing public outrage in their countries.

Mandela spent years in prison, starting in 1962. In 1964 he was tried for sabotage and sentenced to life. His rebelliousness sustained him for 27 years in prison, during which time he turned down three offers of parole.

The universal right to rebel against oppression has often been the object of suppression and above all of distortion and misrepresentation.

In the case of South Africa, it took the United States a long time to think it through. Not until 2008 did it remove the ANC from the State Department list's of terrorist organisations - nine years after the end of Mandela's term as president.

MK - Umkhonto We Sizwe (Spear of the Nation)

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Samples in periodicals archive:

In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting to overthrow the government by violence.Stunned and disgusted, she joined the Congress of Democrats, which was aligned to the African National Congress, and was one of the first women recruited into the Umkhonto we Sizwe - Spear of the Nation.He had recently returned from a trip across Africa drumming up support for the new Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), or "Spear of the Nation".When Miliband made his remarks, he was defending the actions of Joe Slovo, a white Marxist who was one of the leaders of Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the military wing of the African National Congress, during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.Mr Slovo, a friend of Mr Miliband's academic father Ral-phwas one of the leaders of Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed military wing of the ANC.It is worth noting that theAa military wing of the National African Congress called Umkhonto we Sizwe or Spear of the Nation (abbreviated to MK) was created in 1961 following the massacre of Sharpeville.Afrika fought on the Allied side in the Second World War and later as part of Umkhonto we Sizwe (or "Spear of the Nation" in Zulu, the name of the armed wing of the African National Congress) in the anti-apartheid struggle.Inspired by a trade unionist family member, he became involved in politics at an early age, joined the African National Congress in 1959 and became an active member of the military wing Umkhonto We Sizwe in 1962, following the banning of the ANC in 1960.

Steve Biko - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Stephen Bantu Biko (18 December 1946 '' 12 September 1977)[3] was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s.

A student leader, he later founded the Black Consciousness Movement which would empower and mobilize much of the urban black population. Since his death in police custody, he has been called a martyr of the anti-apartheid movement.[4] While living, his writings and activism attempted to empower black people, and he was famous for his slogan "black is beautiful", which he described as meaning: "man, you are okay as you are, begin to look upon yourself as a human being".[5]

Even though Biko was never a member of African National Congress (ANC), ANC has included him in the pantheon of struggle heroes, going as far as using his image for campaign posters in South Africa's first non-racial elections in 1994.[6]

Early lifeBiko was born to parents Mzingayi Mathew and Alice 'Mamcete' Biko in Ginsberg Township, in the present-day Eastern Cape province of South Africa.[7] His father was a government clerk, while his mother did domestic work in surrounding white homes.[8] The third of four children, Biko grew up with his older sister Bukelwa; his older brother Khaya; and his younger sister Nobandile.[9] In 1950, at the age of four, Biko suffered the loss of his father who was studying law.[10][11] As a child, he attended Brownlee Primary School and Charles Morgan Higher Primary School.[12]

He was sent to Lovedale High School in 1964, a prestigious boarding school in Alice, Eastern Cape, where his older brother Khaya had previously been studying.[13] During the apartheid era, with no freedom of association protection for non-white South Africans, Biko was expelled from Lovedale for his political views, and his brother arrested for his alleged association with Poqo (now known as the Azanian People's Liberation Army).[14] After being expelled, he then attended and later graduated from St. Francis College, a Roman Catholic institution in Mariannhill, Natal.[7]

He studied to be a doctor at the University of Natal Medical School. Biko was a Xhosa. In addition to Xhosa, he spoke fluent English and fairly fluent Afrikaans.

He was initially involved with the multiracial National Union of South African Students, but after he became convinced that Black, Indian and Coloured students needed an organization of their own, he helped found the South African Students' Organisation (SASO), whose agenda included political self-reliance and the unification of university students in a "black consciousness."[15] In 1968 Biko was elected its first president. SASO evolved into the influential Black Consciousness Movement (BCM). Biko was also involved with the World Student Christian Federation.

Biko married Ntsiki Mashalaba in 1970.[16] They had two children together: Nkosinathi, born in 1971, and Samora. He also had two children with Dr Mamphela Ramphele (a prominent activist within the BCM): a daughter, Lerato, born in 1974, who died of pneumonia when she was only two months old, and a son, Hlumelo, who was born in 1978, after Biko's death.[1] Biko also had a daughter with Lorraine Tabane, named Motlatsi, born in May 1977.[citation needed]

In the early 1970s Biko became a key figure in The Durban Moment.[17] In 1972 he was expelled from the University of Natal because of his political activities[15] and he became honorary president of the Black People's Convention. He was banned by the apartheid regime in February 1973,[18] meaning that he was not allowed to speak to more than one person at a time nor to speak in public, was restricted to the King William's Town magisterial district, and could not write publicly or speak with the media.[15] It was also forbidden to quote anything he said, including speeches or simple conversations.

When Biko was banned, his movement within the country was restricted to the Eastern Cape, where he was born. After returning there, he formed a number of grassroots organizations based on the notion of self-reliance: Zanempilo, the Zimele Trust Fund (which helped support former political prisoners and their families), Njwaxa Leather-Works Project and the Ginsberg Education Fund.

In spite of the repression of the apartheid government, Biko and the BCM played a significant role in organising the protests which culminated in the Soweto Uprising of 16 June 1976. In the aftermath of the uprising, which was crushed by heavily armed police shooting school children protesting, the authorities began to target Biko further.

Death and aftermathOn 18 August 1977, Biko was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967 and interrogated by officers of the Port Elizabeth security police including Harold Snyman and Gideon Nieuwoudt. This interrogation took place in the Police Room 619 of the Sanlam Building in Port Elizabeth. The interrogation lasted twenty-two hours and included torture and beatings resulting in a coma.[15] He suffered a major head injury while in police custody at the Walmer Police Station, in a suburb of Port Elizabeth, and was chained to a window grille for a day.

On 11 September 1977, police loaded him in the back of a Land Rover, naked and restrained in manacles, and began the 1100 km drive to Pretoria to take him to a prison with hospital facilities. He was nearly dead owing to the previous injuries.[19] He died shortly after arrival at the Pretoria prison, on 12 September. The police claimed his death was the result of an extended hunger strike, but an autopsy revealed multiple bruises and abrasions and that he ultimately succumbed to a brain hemorrhage from the massive injuries to the head,[15] which many saw as strong evidence that he had been brutally clubbed by his captors. Then Donald Woods, a journalist, editor and close friend of Biko's, along with Helen Zille, later leader of the Democratic Alliance political party, exposed the truth behind Biko's death.[20][better source needed]

Because of his high profile, news of Biko's death spread quickly, opening many eyes around the world to the brutality of the apartheid regime. His funeral was attended by over 10,000 people, including numerous ambassadors and other diplomats from the United States and Western Europe. The liberal white South African journalist Donald Woods, a personal friend of Biko, photographed his injuries in the morgue. Woods was later forced to flee South Africa for England. Donald Woods later campaigned against apartheid and further publicised Biko's life and death, writing many newspaper articles and authoring the book, Biko, which was later turned into the film Cry Freedom.[21] Speaking at a National Party conference following the news of Biko's death then''minister of police, Jimmy Kruger said, "I am not glad and I am not sorry about Mr. Biko. It leaves me cold (Dit laat my koud). I can say nothing to you ... Any person who dies ... I shall also be sorry if I die."

After a 15-day inquest in 1978, a magistrate judge found there was not enough evidence to charge the officers with murder because there were no eyewitnesses.[22][23] On 2 February 1978, based on the evidence given at the inquest, the attorney general of the Eastern Cape stated he would not prosecute.[24] On 28 July 1979, the attorney for Biko's family announced that the South African government would pay them $78,000 in compensation for Biko's death.[23]

On 7 October 2003, the South African justice ministry announced that the five policemen accused of killing Biko would not be prosecuted because the time limit for prosecution had elapsed and because of insufficient evidence.[22]

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was created following the end of minority rule and the apartheid system, reported that five former members of the South African security forces who had admitted to killing Biko were applying for amnesty. Their application was rejected in 1999.[22]

A year after his death, some of his writings were collected and released under the title I Write What I Like.[25]

Influences and formation of ideologyLike Frantz Fanon, Biko originally studied medicine, and, like Fanon, Biko developed an intense concern for the development of black consciousness as a solution to the existential struggles which shape existence, both as a human and as an African (see N(C)gritude). Biko can thus be seen as a follower of Fanon and Aim(C) C(C)saire, in contrast to more multi-racialist ANC leaders such as Nelson Mandela after his imprisonment at Robben Island, and Albert Luthuli who were first disciples of Gandhi.[26][27][28][29]

Biko saw the struggle to restore African consciousness as having two stages, "Psychological liberation" and "Physical liberation". The nonviolent influence of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. upon Biko is then suspect, as Biko knew that for his struggle to give rise to physical liberation, it was necessary that it exist within the political realities of the apartheid regime, and Biko's nonviolence may be seen more as a tactic than a personal conviction.[30]

Biko's relevance in the presentIn the present post-Apartheid South Africa, Biko is now revered across the political spectrum despite obvious ideological differences. Many of these people see Biko's philosophy as irrelevant after 1994. However, in 2004, he was voted 13th in the SABC3's Great South Africans.

However, many present-day social movements, activists, and academics continue to stress the relevance of Biko's black consciousness. This includes a strong critique of voting by academic Andile Mngxitama who has said that if Biko were alive today, he would not be supporting any political party, would not even vote, but would be marching with the social movements against government.[31][32][33]

TributesBiko is buried in King William Town, Eastern Cape Province in the town cemetery near the railroad tracks.[citation needed]

Apart from Donald Woods' book called Biko, his name has been honoured at several universities. Locally, the main Student Union buildings of the University of Cape Town are named in his honour and each year a commemorative Steve Biko lecture, open to all students, is delivered on the anniversary of his death. Internationally, the University of Manchester's student union, the Steve Biko Building, on the Oxford road campus, is named in his honour. Ruskin College, Oxford has a Biko House student accommodation. The bar at the University of Bradford was named after Biko until its closure in 2005. Numerous other venues in Students Unions around the United Kingdom also bear his name. The Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative has a house named after Steve Biko, themed to provide a safe, respectful space for people of colour. A street in Hounslow, West London, is named "Steve Biko Way". At the University of California, Santa Cruz, there is a section of dormitories named "Biko House" located in the Oakes College Multicultural Theme Housing. The Steve Biko Institute was founded in Salvador, Brazil to support the education and pride of Black Brazilians.[34] The Pretoria Academic Hospital was renamed the Steve Biko Academic Hospital[35] in 2008. Durban University of Technology has acknowledged Steve Biko's contribution to South African Society by naming its largest campus after him. A bronze bust of Steve Biko was unveiled in Freedom Square on this campus as a tribute to him. Peter Gabriel wrote the song "Biko" in honour of Steve Biko, and the Hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest named a song in his honour.

References in the artsLiteratureBenjamin Zephaniah wrote a poem titled "Biko The Greatness", included in Zephaniah's 2001 collection, Too Black, Too Strong."The Compound Arcane" is a poem written in 1975 by Jack Hirschman, subtitled Hommage to Steve Biko, which is published in The Arcanes. This poem is notable by the fact that it was composed prior to Biko's death, yet already the poet was inspired enough by Biko's life to recognize him as a martyr."In Detention" by Chris van Wyk (b. 1957)Theatre, film and televisionIn 1978, Malcolm Clarke[36] recounted Biko's story in a documentary called, The Life and Death of Steve Biko.A 1979 play titled The Biko Inquest, written by Norman Fenton and Jon Blair. In 1985, a television adaptation of the original stage play was created, directed by Albert Finney and originally aired in the US through HBO in 1985.[37]In 1987, Richard Attenborough directed the movie Cry Freedom, a biographical drama about Biko starring Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline.In the Disney channel movie The Color of Friendship, Biko's death is used as a plot turner in breaking the two teens apart.In Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights, while Brian Potter is on Crimetime and is grabbed by a following interviewee he makes a reference to Biko.Within the Star Trek canon, the USS Biko is named in his honour. It is a supply ship referenced in the Season Six episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, entitled A Fistful of Datas.In the manga and anime Planetes, a presumably co-lateral descendant, James Biko, is the navigator of the Werner von Braun Jupiter Explorer.MusicBiko has been the subject of many tributes in many different genres of music, including rap, hip hop, jazz, reggae and rock

In 1978, Peter Hammill on his album The future Now in the song "A motor bike in Afrika" was the first to mention Biko (after his death) in England.The album Song for Biko by South African improviser, composer, and bandleader Johnny Dyani (Johnny Mbizo Dyani) features a composition written by Dyani of the same name.Tom Paxton released the song "The Death of Stephen Biko" on his 1978 album Heroes.Tapper Zukie released the song "Tribute To Steve Biko" on his 1978 album Peace In The Ghetto on the Frontline Records label.[38]Steel Pulse released the song "Biko's Kindred Lament" on their 1979 album Tribute to the Martyrs.Peter Gabriel recorded his song "Biko" on his 1980 album Peter Gabriel. The song was later covered by Robert Wyatt on his 1984 EP Work in Progress.Sweet Honey in the Rock's 1981 album, Good News, contains tracks titled "Biko" and "Chile Your Waters Run Red Through Soweto", which compares Biko's death to that of Chilean musician Victor Jara and was covered by Billy Bragg in 1992.Christy Moore sang a song about Biko called "Biko Drum" which makes several references to the South African hero. The song was written by Wally Page.Biko is referenced in the Public Enemy song "Show 'Em Whatcha Got" on the album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.Randy Stonehill sings about Biko in the song "Stand Like Steel" on his 1989 album Return to Paradise (produced by Mark Heard).[39]The album, Midnight Marauders (1993) by A Tribe Called Quest includes the song "Steve Biko (Stir It Up)" in which Biko is mentioned very briefly during the song, mostly in the 20 second chorus. Phife Dawg raps: "I'm radical with this like the man this song is after".Beenie Man's 1997 album Many Moods of Moses includes the song "Steve Biko".German singer Patrice sings about Biko in the song "Jah Jah Deh Deh" which appears on his album How Do You Call It?.Dead Prez's album Let's Get Free references Steve Biko in the track "I'm a African".Dave Matthews wrote the song "Cry Freedom" in honour of Biko.[40]Dirty district's song "Steve Biko" is based on the death of Steve Biko. The song is recorded on their debut album, Pousse Au Crime et Longueurs de Temps.Groundation's song "Silver Tongue Show" references Biko.Simphiwe Dana's second album is The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street.Stevie Wonder mentions the struggle in South Africa and Stephen Biko in a tribute concert to Bob Dylan in his song "Blowing in the Wind".Willy Porter mentions Biko in his song "The Trees Have Soul". He sings: "Even Stephen Biko knows, the trees have soul".Johnny Clegg mentions Steve Biko, Victoria Mxenge and Neil Aggett in his song "Asimbonanga" about Apartheid and Nelson Mandela.Wyclef Jean compares Biko's horrific events to the ones of Amadou Diallo in his tribute song name "Diallo" on the album The Ecleftic: Two Sides of a Book.Banda Bassotti - Figli Della Stessa RabbiaLowkey's 2009 album Dear Listener references Steve Biko in the track "I Believe".Singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson mentions him on the song "Mal Sacate". Kristofferson sings: "They killed so many heroes / Like Zapata (presente!) and Fonseca (presente!) / and Sandino (presente!) and Guevarra (presente!)/ and sdazSteve Biko (presente!)/ but they can never kill the human spirit in Nicaragua."Senegal's Youssou N'Dour mentions Steve Biko in his song "New Africa".Saul Williams mentions Biko along with other notable figures such as Buddha, Bob Marley, John Lennon, Khalil Gibran, Shiva in the song "Coded Language".Vybz Kartel, in his song "Licensed to Kill", sings: "Mi wi do di time like Mandela, fi murda di whole a dem like Stephen Biko".PaintingsNumerous works have paid homage to Steve Biko, and keep awareness of him alive. These include:

Homage to Steve Biko'--Bester, Willie.[41]

Who killed Steve Biko? -- Ashton, Tony.[42]

See alsoReferences^ abMothibeli, Tefo. "Mamphela Ramphele: Academic Giant and Ray of Hope", Financial Mail, Johannesburg, 7 July 2006.^Daley, Suzanne. "The Standards Bearer", NY Times, New York, 13 April 1997.^"Stephen Bantu Biko". South African history on-line. September 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2007. ^"Background: Steve Biko: martyr of the anti-apartheid movement". BBC News. 8 December 1997. Retrieved 16 April 2007. ^Biko, Steve (1986). I Write What I Like. San Francisco: Harper & Row. pp. 103''104. ^See, for instance, Rian Malan's book My Traitor's Heart^ abElizabeth J. Verwey; HSRC Press (1995). "New Dictionary of South African Biography, Volume 1". ISBN 978-07969-1648-8. ^Leslie M. Alexander, Walter C. Rucker; ABC-CLIO (2010). "ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY 3 VOLUME". p. 643. ISBN 978-1851097692. ^Lindy Wilson; Ohio University Press (2012). "Steve Biko (Ohio Short Histories of Africa)". pp. 19, 22. ISBN 978-0821420256. ^Rutgers University. "Black Consciousness and the Quest for True Humanity". ^"Biko, Stephen Bantu (1946''1977)". 24 June 2013. ^F. Abiola Irele, Biodun Jeyifo; Oxford University Press (2010). "The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought, Volume 1". p. 155. ISBN 978-0195334739. ^Lindy Wilson; Ohio University Press (2012). "Steve Biko (Ohio Short Histories of Africa)". p. 23. ISBN 978-0821420256. ^Peter Joyce (2007). "The Making of a Nation: South Africa's Road to Freedom". p. 142. ISBN 978-1770073128. ^ abcdeAppiah, Kwame Anthony; Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (1997). The Dictionary of Global Culture. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 76''77. ISBN 0-394-58581-X. ^"King William's Town's hero: Steve Biko 1946 - 1977". Buffalo City government. Retrieved 2 September 2007. ^Black Consciousness in Dialogue: Steve Biko, Richard Turner and the 'Durban Moment' in South Africa, 1970 '' 1974, Ian McQueen, SOAS, 2009^"Martyr of Hope: A Personal Memoir" by Aelred Stubbs C.R., in Biko, Steve (2002). I Write What I Like. Chicago: Harper & Row. p. 161. ^Pillay, Verashni (12 September 2007). "Keeping Steve Biko alive was really hard but we succeeded". News24. Retrieved 19 September 2007. [dead link]^Helen, Zille (9 September 2007). "Steve Biko's legacy lives on". ^Blandy, Fran (31 Dec 2007). "SA editor's escape from apartheid, 30 years on". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2011. ^ abcWhitaker, Raymond (8 October 2003). "No prosecution for death of anti-apartheid activist Biko". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 13 October 2012. ^ ab"South Africa Will Pay Biko Kin $78,000". Youngstown Vindicator. Associated Press. 28 July 1979. Retrieved 13 October 2012. ^"No prosecution of Biko's interrogators". The Calgary Herald. Reuter. 2 February 1978. Retrieved 13 October 2012. ^Biko, Steve; Mpumlwana, Thoko (1997). Aelred Stubbs, ed. I write what I like: a selection of his writings. London: Bowerdean Pub. ISBN 9780906097496. ^Stiebel, Lindy (2005). Still beating the drum: critical perspectives on Lewis Nkosi. Rodopi. p. 80. ^Kee, Alistair (2006). The rise and demise of black theology. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ^Heinrichs, Ann (2001). Mahatma Gandhi. Gareth Stevens. p. 12. ^Lens, Sidney (1963). Africa '-- awakening giant. Putnam. p. 180. ^Wiredu, Kwasi; William E. Abraham, Abiola Irele, Ifeanyi A. Menkiti (2003). Companion to African philosophy. Blackwell Publishing. ^"Why Steve Biko wouldn't vote". Andile Mngxitama. Pambazuka News. ^Mngxitama, Andile; Andile Mngxitama, Amanda Alexander, and Nigel C. Gibson (2008). BIKO LIVES! Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko. Palgrave Macmillan. ^"A homemade politics' Rights, democracy and social movements in South Africa". Matt Birkinshaw. Abahlali baseMjondolo. ^Martins, Alejandra (25 May 2005). "Black Brazilians learn from Biko". BBC News. Retrieved 19 June 2011. ^Newsbeat. "The Steve Biko Academic Hospital". Retrieved 19 June 2011. ^[1][dead link]^"The Biko Inquest". IMDb. ^"Tapper Zukie - Peace In The Ghetto". Retrieved 19 June 2011. ^"Welcome To Paradise". Retrieved 19 June 2011. ^ list of Dave Matthews Band song inspirations/meanings^"Homage to Steve Biko". Retrieved 19 June 2011. ^"Who Killed Steve Biko?". Retrieved 19 June 2011. Further reading1972 Interview with Steve BikoI Write What I Like, by Steve Biko, Harper & Row, 1986, San Francisco.Steve Biko: Black Consciousness in South Africa; ed. Millard Arnold; Random House, New York. 1978.Biko, by Donald Woods; originally published by Paddington Press, London and New York, 1978; later edition published by Henry Holt, New York, 1987.New Introduction to I Write What I Like by Lewis GordonBlack Consciousness: The dialectics of liberation in South Africa by Nigel GibsonGoodwin, June; Schiff, Ben (13 November 1995). "Who Killed Steve Biko?: Exhuming Truth in South Africa". The Nation (New York: The Nation Company) 261 (16): 565''568. ISSN 0027-8378 No. 46: Steve Biko by Hilda Bernstein (Victor Kamkin, 1978, ISBN 0-317-36653-X)Mngxitama, Andile; Andile Mngxitama, Amanda Alexander, and Nigel C. Gibson (2008). BIKO LIVES! Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko. Palgrave Macmillan. Google Books Preview version(link)External links

Arthur Goldreich - Telegraph

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 20:13

But after offering a bribe to a guard, whom he was to pay more than 20 years later, Goldreich escaped and then eluded a nationwide manhunt. Disguised as a priest, he survived a number of close shaves to make it to Swaziland, and thence to Israel, where he settled and made a life as an artist.

Arthur Goldreich was born in 1929 in Pietersburg, South Africa. Aged 11 he wrote an excoriating letter to the then South African Prime Minister, Jan Smuts, complaining about his school's decision to teach German rather than Hebrew. He had been particularly offended by the college's decision to make use of Hitler Youth magazines to help their students' progress in the language. Goldreich was victorious: German (and the magazines) were removed from the syllabus by order of the government.

After the Second World War Goldreich moved to Palestine, taking part in the insurgency against the British and later in the war that accompanied Israel's creation, before returning to the country of his birth.

''The reason I went to Israel was the Holocaust and the struggle against British colonialism,'' he later said. ''But the Nats [apartheid National Party] winning the election [in South Africa] left me no doubt about what I had to do.'' His abstract pictures earned him, in 1955, the accolade of Best Young Painter in South Africa.

He went on to become head of the design department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. He also evolved into an outspoken critic of Israel, whose foundation he had fought for, comparing its treatment of Palestinians to apartheid in South Africa and claiming that successive ''Zionist'' governments had become more interested in territory than in peace. He spoke before his death of ''the abhorrent racism in Israeli society''.

Arthur Goldreich is survived by four sons.

War on Men


62% of Washington state's gay marriages this year were between two women.

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Source: All TPM News

Fri, 06 Dec 2013 16:05

SEATTLE (AP) -- Gay weddings made up 17 percent of marriages in Washington this past year, the first year gay marriages were legal in the state, state officials reported Wednesday.

About 7,071 same-sex couples got married in Washington between December 6, 2012, and the most recent complete month of data, September 2013. There were 42,408 total marriages in the state during that time, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

So far, most of Washington state's same-sex marriages, 62 percent, were between two women.

Washington is one of 15 states plus the District of Columbia where gay marriage is legal, but few have the kind of detailed data Washington released this week, in part because gay marriage is so new in most places.

According to the 2010 Census, there were about 152,335 same-sex married couples and 440,989 same-sex unmarried couples in the United States.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, during the first year and a half after gay marriage became legal, 8,181 same-sex couples got married. Between May 2004 and the end of 2012, 22,406 gay couples got married in Massachusetts.

Both Washington and Massachusetts warn that these numbers are close estimates, but not perfectly accurate, since gender information was not properly entered on every marriage certificate.

In California, the UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute estimated 18,000 gay couples married in 2008 when same-sex marriage was legal for four and a-half months. Those numbers are not based on marriage license information because California, like many states, does not request gender information on license applications.

One of the main sponsors of the Washington state law that led to gay marriage said the wedding numbers were higher than he expected.

During the five years before Washington's gay marriage law, when the state had what was affectionately called "everything but marriage," only 9,500 couples registered themselves as domestic partners, including about 950 who were not gay, said state Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle.

"In terms of the uptake in marriages, that's a remarkable number," he said.

Pedersen said he was also pleased to be proven right about a few others things: that gay marriage would drive tourism and that there was considerable interest in the institution among couples from across the state.

All but one of Washington's 39 counties -- Garfield County -- reported same-sex marriages during the first 10 months of the law. The top five counties were King, Clark, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties.

About a quarter of the gay couples who got married this past year in Washington were from another state. The biggest number, 524, came from Oregon. For 170 marriages, the couples live in Texas and 155 couples traveled from California to get married in Washington.

In only 6 percent of marriages for opposite-sex couples, both spouses were from another state.


Contact Donna Blankinship at

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


More men speaking in girls' 'dialect', study shows

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 00:45

More young men in California rise in pitch at the end of their sentences when talking, new research shows.

This process is known as "uptalk" or "valleygirl speak" and has in the past been associated with young females, typically from California or Australia.

But now a team says that this way of speaking is becoming more frequent among men.

The findings were presented at the Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in California.

"We found use of uptalk in all of our speakers, despite their diverse backgrounds in socioeconomic status, ethnicity, bilingualism and gender," said Amanda Ritchart, a linguist at the University of California who led the research.

"We believe that uptalk is becoming more prevalent and systematic in its use for the younger generations in Southern California," she added.

The team recorded and analysed the voices of 23 native Californians aged between 18 and 22. The researchers were therefore not able to infer similar language patters in older Californians.>>


More men chat in girls' 'dialect'

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 00:45

5 December 2013Last updated at 20:37 ET By Melissa HogenboomScience reporter, BBC NewsMore young men in California rise in pitch at the end of their sentences when talking, new research shows.

This process is known as "uptalk" or "valleygirl speak" and has in the past been associated with young females, typically from California or Australia.

But now a team says that this way of speaking is becoming more frequent among men.

The findings were presented at the Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in California.

"We found use of uptalk in all of our speakers, despite their diverse backgrounds in socioeconomic status, ethnicity, bilingualism and gender," said Amanda Ritchart, a linguist at the University of California who led the research.

"We believe that uptalk is becoming more prevalent and systematic in its use for the younger generations in Southern California," she added.

The team recorded and analysed the voices of 23 native Californians aged between 18 and 22. The researchers were therefore not able to infer similar language patters in older Californians.

Sounding ditzyPeople who speak uptalk are often misunderstood to be insecure, shallow or slightly dim, according to the team, who say this was not necessarily the case.

Speaking to the BBC's Inside Science programme, co-author Amalia Arvanati, from the University of Kent, said it was hard to know how this process started.

"People talk about Frank Zappa's song, Valley Girl. Finding out where it started is very difficult because we don't have good records of how people use pitch.

"One possibility is that this is an extension of a pitch pattern that we actually find in most varieties of English which is used when you're making a statement but you're [also] asking indirectly for the interlocutor to confirm if they are with you," Prof Arvaniti said.

She added that "uptalk" had negative connotations which made men less likely to admit to using it, but what was clear was that it was spreading.

"It grates on people, some people think it sounds really ditzy or insecure. This does not accurately come across like that to the native speakers."

Women leadersClaire Nance at Lancaster University, commented that the research reinforced the fact that uptalk was "increasingly widespread across all kinds of people".

"Typically, women are trail-blazers in language change and take up innovative features first, then males start using them later.

"No spoken language ever remains stable and constant change is very much the norm. However, change often causes alarm among people who do not use an innovative feature, and uptalk appears to be another example of this trend," Dr Nance added.

She explained that speakers may use uptalk to convey politeness or empathy with the listener, but that this was not always understood by non-uptalkers, perhaps due to its similarity to question intonation.

Inside Science is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Thursdays at 16:30 and 21:00. Listen to the full Inside Science programme here or download the podcast here.

Men have started to talk like WOMEN: Study finds that males are rising in pitch at the end of sentences | Mail Online

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 14:27

Scientists from the University of California, San Diego, recorded the voices of 24 young people and found that the 12 men they studied 'uptalked'Uptalking or speaking like a 'valley girl' involves rising in pitch at the ends of sentences and is often associated with insecure and shallow girlsThe researchers came across the finding as they tried to investigate the difference between uptalkers making a statement and asking a questionBy Sarah Griffiths

PUBLISHED: 08:14 EST, 6 December 2013 | UPDATED: 08:52 EST, 6 December 2013




The speech pattern is associated with young women from southern California, notably Clueless lead character Cher Horowitz (pictured)

First men became enamoured with grooming regimes, but now it seems the metrosexual man has started talking in a more feminine way too.

A new study has revealed that modern men are starting to 'uptalk' by rising in pitch at the ends of sentences.

The speech pattern is associated with young women from southern California, notably Clueless lead character Cher Horowitz, but is now common amongst younger people.

Scientists came across the finding when they were trying to investigate the difference between uptalkers making a statement and asking a question.

Uptalkers are stereotypically parodied as insecure, shallow and not very clever females.

However, scientists from the University of California, San Diego, who recorded the voices of 24 young southern Californians, found that the 12 men they studied also uptalked and the speakers came from different backgrounds - not just mansions in Beverley Hills.

They were given several speech tasks, such as providing directions from a map, or recounting what happened after watching a clip from a popular sitcom.

'We found use of uptalk in all of our speakers, despite their diverse backgrounds in socio-economic status, ethnicity, bilingualism and gender,' study leader Dr Amanda Ritchart, a linguist at the university said.

The research, which was presented at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in San Francisco, identified a crucial difference between uptalkers making a statement and asking a question.

In a statement, the rise in pitch began significantly later than in a question.

Scientists discovered that Californian men have begun to 'uptalk' by rising in pitch at the ends of sentences when they set out to investigate the difference between uptalkers making a statement and asking a question

But the difference was so subtle that non-uptalkers often missed it, according to Professor Amalia Arvaniti, formerly at the University of California, San Diego, who is now at the University of Kent.

'Our study busts the stereotype associated with uptalk that those who speak uptalk actually ask questions instead of make statements, a tendency that is supposed to be linked to insecurity,' she said.

'But native southern California speakers know the difference based on the exact location of the rise start, and the extent to which pitch changes in the rise.'

COULD UPTALKING DAMAGE MEN'S CAREER POTENTIAL?It would appear that the key to climbing the career ladder doesn't include what - or who - you know.

The essential ingredient for a man to become a successful boss lies in a deep voice.

Research by Duke University in North Carolina has discovered that men with lower voices make more money, run larger companies, and stay in their jobs longer - although they did not examine the way in which someone speaks beyond pitch.

Specialists studied 792 male chief executives of American companies and found a distinct correlation between wages and the pitch of voices.

Those with deeper voices had a distinct advantage over their high-pitched peers, as they were found to earn more.

The median CEO of the study was a 56-year-old with a 125.5 Hz vocal frequency and earned £2.4 million ($3.7 million) for leading a £1.5 billion ($2.4 billion) company, The Times reported.

Executives with voices on the deeper end of the scale earned, on average, £121,000 ($187,000) more in pay and ran operations with £286 million ($440 million) more in assets.

Researchers claim that lower pitched voices are linked to dominant behaviour, because deep voices are related to high testosterone levels, The Times reported.

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Gal Gadot to Play Wonder Woman in 'Batman vs. Superman' | Variety

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Thu, 05 Dec 2013 03:30

Gal Gadot will play Wonder Woman in the untitled ''Batman vs. Superman'' movie.

Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck are set to star with Zack Snyder directing.

''Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature film incarnation of this beloved character,'' Snyder said.

PHOTOS: Hollywood's Super Women

Variety first reported that Gadot, ''G.I. Joe: Retaliation'' thesp Elodie Yung and Olga Kurylenko had tested for the part that was believed to be Wonder Woman.

The Wonder Woman rumor has been kicking around for some time, and insiders believe the plan is to have not just Batman and Superman in the film but several members of the Justice League as well. It's unclear which members, but Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) and the Flash are said to be locks to make an appearance in some fashion, whether that's a significant role or a cameo.

Warners will also look to now cast the villain with ''Zero Dark Thirty'' and ''300: Rise of the Empire'' star Callan Mulvey someone Warner Bros. is eyeing to play the role.

Pic will bow July 17, 2015. Gadot was last seen in ''The Fast and Furious 6'" and is repped by ICM Partners.

She tweeted the following after Variety's story hit on Wednesday.


SPD: half of our ministers will be women

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Source: The Local

Mon, 02 Dec 2013 09:08

Gabriel with Hannelore Kraft, state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most senior female SPD figure. Photo: DPA

Published: 02 Dec 2013 08:30 GMT+01:00Updated: 02 Dec 2013 08:30 GMT+01:00

The leader of the Social Democrats pledged a 50-50 male-female split of the party's cabinet posts in a planned new 'grand coalition' with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, according to a newspaper interview.

Social Democrat leader Sigmar Gabriel last week sealed a deal with Merkel to form a left-right coalition government after five weeks of political wrangling following September's elections.

But the accord must still be endorsed by his party's membership who vote on December 14th. A poll in the Sunday's Welt am Sonntag newspaper suggested 78 percent of party members were intending to back the deal.

At the Social Democratic Party's (SPD) instigation, possible portfolios have so far not been announced to allow the more than 470,000-strong rank-and-file, who will begin voting this week, to focus on policy.

But when asked in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag whether he could promise that half of the ministries would go to women, Gabriel, who is expected to become Merkel's vice-chancellor, replied: "Yes."

He added that the SPD needed to become more female although the 150-year-old party had already taken strides in that direction.

"We have now for the first time in the history of the SPD more women than men in the top party leadership," he said, adding however: "The SPD must become still more female."

The SPD is expected to get six ministries in the new government.

The party pushed through several of its key demands in the coalition deal, including the creation of a minimum wage and a women's quota for the supervisory boards of listed companies.

Nevertheless the outcome of the SPD members' vote, expected to be known on December 14th or 15th, is far from certain because many members reject the notion of their traditionally blue-collar party again governing in the shadow of Merkel, as it last did in 2005-2009.

After that uneasy political marriage, the SPD suffered two humiliating electoral defeats in a row, winning less than 26 percent against the conservatives' nearly 42 percent in the election on September 22nd.

SPD general secretary Andrea Nahles told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that she was "optimistic" the party base would approve the coalition and had "a good feeling" it would win clear majority backing.

But she acknowledged scepticism remained among some members.

Gabriel, who may also head a ministry, told the Bild newspaper he planned to continue picking up his two-year-old daughter from nursery, saying he believed it had to be possible as a politician to also have a family.

"Since I will frequently be away at the weekend I will also still fetch my daughter regularly from nursery when my wife is working," he said.

READ MORE: SPD's Gabriel turns defeat into victory

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Twitter Finally Includes a Woman


Hillary 2016

Promoting Human Rights Worldwide - Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice

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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 02:55

Annette Lantos is the Chairman of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice. Annette, the wife of the late Congressman Tom Lantos, worked full-time in her husband's office throughout his nearly three decades in the U.S. House of Representatives. She served as the unpaid Executive Director of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, which Congressman Lantos co-founded. She has spearheaded numerous efforts to help human rights victims, including those persecuted for religious and political reasons, and to further human rights causes. She has also been instrumental in fighting for animal rights and assisted her husband in co-founding the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus.

Annette is the distinguished founder of the International Free Wallenberg Committee, established in 1977 to raise awareness of Raoul Wallenberg's incredible humanitarian mission in Hungary during the Second World War. Her efforts to locate and free Wallenberg from the Soviet Union resulted in several interviews on national news programs such as CBS's 60 Minutes. She also spoke directly with President Jimmy Carter about Wallenberg's case. Although the Swedish humanitarian was never found, Annette and Congressman Lantos have been instrumental in honoring his legacy through numerous legislative initiatives.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Annette came to the United States at age 16. After graduating from an American high school, Annette went on to obtain her bachelor's degree and teaching certificate from San Francisco State University. She and Tom were married for nearly 58 years. Annette has two daughters, Annette Jr. and Katrina, eighteen grandchildren, and an ever increasing number of great-grandchildren.

Board of TrusteesAnnette LantosChairmanAmbassador Richard SwettTreasurerEvelyn SzelenyiSecretaryEric SchnapperPhilip FriedmanDr. Katrina Lantos SwettPresidentDenise L. PerronExecutive Director Advisory BoardHonorable Shimon Peres, ChairPresident of IsraelAnnette Lantos Tillemann-Dick, Co-ChairAmbassador John ShattuckPresident and Rector of Central European UniversityDr. Elie WieselNobel Peace Prize LaureateBonoMusician/Activist, Co-founder of ONE and (RED)Richard GereFounder and President, The Gere FoundationHon. John BroderickDean of UNH Law SchoolFormer Chief Justice, NH Supreme CourtDr. Kay Atkinson King Former Director, Office of Inter Parliamentary AffairsUS House of RepresentativesAmbassador Nancy G. BrinkerHon. John BroderickDean of UNH Law SchoolFormer Chief Justice, NH Supreme CourtAmbassador Richard Holbrooke2008-2010Ambassador Mark Palmer2008-2013

Tom Lantos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 02:16

Tom LantosChairman of the House Committee on International RelationsIn officeJanuary 3, 2007 '' February 11, 2008Preceded byHenry HydeSucceeded byHoward BermanMember of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom California's 12th districtIn officeJanuary 3, 1993 '' February 11, 2008Preceded byTom CampbellSucceeded byJackie SpeierMember of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom California's 11th districtIn officeJanuary 3, 1981 '' January 3, 1993Preceded byWilliam RoyerSucceeded byRichard PomboPersonal detailsBornLantos Tams P(C)ter(1928-02-01)February 1, 1928Budapest, HungaryDiedFebruary 11, 2008(2008-02-11) (aged 80)National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MarylandPolitical partyDemocraticSpouse(s)Annette LantosAlma materUniversity of Washington, University of California, BerkeleyOccupationpolitician, college professor, international affairs analyst, business consultantReligionJudaismThomas Peter "Tom" Lantos (February 1, 1928 '' February 11, 2008)[1] was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from California, serving from 1981 until his death as the representative from a district that included the northern two-thirds of San Mateo County and a portion of southwestern San Francisco. Lantos had announced in early January 2008 that he would not run for reelection because of cancer of the esophagus,[2][3] but died before finishing his term. Lantos was the only Holocaust survivor to have served in the United States Congress.[4]

In speaking before the House of Representatives after his death, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that Lantos "devoted his public life to shining a bright light on the dark corners of oppression... He used his powerful voice to stir the consciousness of world leaders and the public alike."[5] U2 lead singer Bono called him a ''prizefighter,'' whose stamina would make him go ''any amount of rounds, with anyone, anywhere, to protect human rights and common decency."[6]

In 2008, after his death, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, which he founded in 1983, was renamed the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Its mission is partly to "to promote, defend and advocate internationally recognized human rights." In 2011, the Tom Lantos Institute was set up in Budapest to promote tolerance and support minority issues in central and eastern Europe and in the world.[7]

Early years[edit]World War II[edit]Thomas Peter Lantos (Hungarian pronunciation: [ËlÉ'ntoʃ ËtÉ'maːʃ ËpeːtÉ›r]) was born to a Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary. Many of his family members were teachers, including an uncle who was a professor at the University of Budapest, and a grandmother who was a high school principal. His life in Hungary would change after the Third Reich annexing of Austria in 1938, with the Austrian border just 100 miles from Budapest. Lantos remembered this period and a newspaper headline he read when he was only 10, "Hitler Marches into Austria." Even at a young age, he understood the significance of this invasion:[8]

"I sensed that this historic moment would have a tremendous impact on the lives of Hungarian Jews, my family, and myself."

Six years later, in March 1944, the German military invaded Hungary and occupied Budapest, its capital. Lantos, then 16, was arrested because he was Jewish and sent to a forced labor camp outside of Budapest. He escaped but was soon caught by the Germans and beaten severely, to be returned to the labor camp. He again escaped but this time made his way back to Budapest, 40 miles away. There, he hid with an aunt in a safe house set up by Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat.[8]

Lantos then joined the anti-Nazi resistance movement and was able to move around freely due to his having blond hair and blue eyes, which to the Nazis were physical signs of Aryanism. As a result, he acted as a courier for the underground movement and delivered food and medicine to Jews living in other safe houses, and where he met his future wife, Annette Tillemann. In January 1945, less than a year later, Russian military forces fought door-to-door battles and liberated Hungary from Nazi occupation. However, Lantos, then 17, returned home only to discover that his mother and other family members had all been killed by the Germans, along with 450,000 other Hungarian Jews, during the preceding 10 months of their occupation.[8] Wallenberg, for his part, was later credited with saving the lives of thousands of other Hungarian Jews.[9]

Lantos described some of his experiences in the Academy Award winning documentary film, The Last Days (1998), produced by Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation. In his floor speeches as a congressman, he sometimes referred to himself as one of the few living members of Congress who had fought against fascism. In 1981, Lantos sponsored a bill making Wallenberg an Honorary Citizen of the United States and became a member of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.

In January 2006, he traveled to Hungary and attended a ceremony commemorating the 61st anniversary of the liberation of the Budapest Ghetto. The event was held at the Great Synagogue in Budapest,[10](photo), today the largest synagogue in Europe.[11]

Education[edit]In 1946, Lantos enrolled at the University of Budapest. As a result of writing an essay about Franklin D. Roosevelt, he was awarded a scholarship by the Hillel Foundation to study in the United States. He then emigrated to the U.S. and studied economics at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he earned a B.A. in 1949 and an M.A. in 1950. He continued his post-graduate education at the University of California, Berkeley, and received a Ph.D in economics in 1953.

Early career[edit]After graduation from Berkeley, he became a professor of economics at San Francisco State University. In subsequent years, he worked as a business consultant and television commentator on subjects of foreign policy. He eventually became a senior advisor to various U.S. Senators and in 1980 was elected to the U.S. Congress, where he remained until his death in February 2008.[8] Recalling his early life, he announced his retirement by stating to Congress, "I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country."[8]

Personal and family life[edit]Lantos spoke English fluently, but retained his native Hungarian accent. During the German occupation of Hungary he met Annette Tilleman (or Tillemann), whose family escaped to Switzerland. They used Swedish passports issued by Raoul Wallenberg. After Hungary was liberated, she and her family returned to Budapest where she and Lantos met again. They married in 1950 after emigrating to the U.S. and remained married until his death from cancer in 2008.[12] Annette Lantos is a niece of Jolie Gabor, whose brother Sebastian was Mrs. Lantos' father, making actresses Zsa Zsa, Magda and Eva Gabor, Jolie's daughters, all originally from Budapest, Annette Lantos's cousins.[13]

Lantos and his wife Annette had two daughters, Annette and Katrina, and 17 grandchildren. His daughter Annette was married to Timber Dick, "an independent businessman in Colorado",[14] until his accidental death in 2008.[15][16]

Their daughter Katrina, is married to ambassador and former U.S. Representative from New Hampshire, Richard Swett, and was herself a candidate for Congress in New Hampshire. One of Lantos' grandchildren, Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick, is a noted opera singer and activist for organ donation. Lantos considered himself a secular Jew.[17] His wife and two daughters converted to Mormonism.[18]

Political career and positions[edit]Lantos made his first run for office in 1980, challenging Republican Congressman Bill Royer, who had won a 1979 special election after DemocratLeo Ryan was killed in the Jonestown massacre. Lantos defeated Royer by 5,700 votes. He never faced another contest nearly that close, and was reelected 13 times.

Lantos earned a reputation in the Congress as a champion for various human rights causes, such as having Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang testify at a congressional hearing, when the company turned over the email records of two Chinese dissidents to the Chinese government, allowing them to be traced and one sentenced to jail.[19][20]

Lantos was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus[21] and repeatedly called for reforms to the nation's health-care system, reduction of the national budget deficit and the national debt, repeal of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. He opposed Social Security privatization efforts. He supported same-sex marriage rights and marijuana for medical use, was a strong proponent of gun control[22] and was adamantly pro-choice.[23]

Lantos was a well-known advocate on behalf of the environment, receiving consistently high ratings from the League of Conservation Voters and other environmental organizations for his legislative record.[24] His long-standing efforts to protect open space brought thousands of acres under the protection of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including Mori Point, Sweeney Ridge and '-- most recently '-- Rancho Corral de Tierra, which will keep its watersheds and delicate habitats free from development permanently.[25][26] In 2005 he opposed an effort to expand public use of the Farallon Islands, a protected wildlife haven.

Lantos consistently championed local transportation projects that need federal funds and, given his seniority in Congress, proved successful at delivering this support.

Lantos initially supported the Iraq War, but from 2006 onward made increasingly critical statements about the conduct of the war, and as the chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs he held 20 oversight hearings on the war in 2007. (See separate section below about the war in Iraq.)

Foreign affairs issues[edit]Lantos served as the chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Through its more than 20 years of work, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus[27] '-- of which Lantos was co-chair with Representative Frank Wolf '-- has covered a wide range of human rights issues, including speaking for Christians in Saudi Arabia and Sudan to practice their faith, helping Tibetans to retain their culture and religion in Tibet, and advocating for other minorities worldwide. Lantos's efforts to protect religious freedom in 2004 resulted in a bill to attempt to stop the spread of anti-semitism.[28]

Lantos was involved with his colleagues on the International Relations Committee on many decisions that affected other aspects of American foreign policy. Lantos spoke out against waste, fraud and abuse in the multi-billion-dollar U.S. reconstruction program in Iraq, and warned that the U.S. could lose Afghanistan to the Taliban if the Bush administration failed to take decisive action to halt the current decline in political stability there.

Lantos, as the ranking Democrat on the International Relations Committee, tried to disrupt U.S. military aid to Egypt, argued that the Egyptian military had made insufficient efforts to stop the flow of money and weapons across the Egyptian border to Hamas in Gaza, and had not contributed troops to internationally-supported peacekeeping efforts in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Lantos was a strong advocate for Israel.

1991 Gulf War[edit]Lantos was a strong supporter of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. During the run-up to the war, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, of which Lantos was co-chairman, hosted a young Kuwaiti woman identified only as "Nurse Nayirah", who told of horrific abuses by Iraqi soldiers, including the killing of Kuwaiti babies by taking them out of their incubators and leaving them to die on the cold floor of the hospital. These alleged atrocities figured prominently in the rhetoric at the time about Iraqi abuses in Kuwait.

The girl's account was later challenged by independent human rights monitors.[29] "Nurse Nayirah" later turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States.[29] Asked about his having allowed the girl to give testimony without identifying herself, and without her story having been corroborated, Lantos replied, "The notion that any of the witnesses brought to the caucus through the Kuwaiti Embassy would not be credible did not cross my mind... I have no basis for assuming that her story is not true, but the point goes beyond that. If one hypothesizes that the woman's story is fictitious from A to Z, that in no way diminishes the avalanche of human rights violations."[29]

Lantos and John R. MacArthur, the foremost critic of the Nayirah issue, each had op-eds in The New York Times, in which each accused the other of distortion. In 1993 MacArthur received the Mencken Award for best editorial/op-ed column for his New York Times expos(C) of "Nayirah", the Kuwaiti diplomat's daughter who helped fake the Iraqi baby-incubator atrocity.[30] MacArthur suggested that Lantos may have materially benefited from his having accommodated Nayirah.[31]

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation sent investigators to Kuwait who went through the hospital and counted the incubators and they found that "except for one or two that may have been misplaced" all of the incubators were still in the hospital. The investigators concluded that there were no deaths resulting from stolen equipment. And the doctor who provided Amnesty International with the number of babies killed dropped from 312 to 72 and then 30, 19 of which died before the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. After the war The New York Times in an editorial entitled DECEPTION ON CAPITOL HILL wrote, "It's plainly wrong for a member of congress to collaborate with a public relations firm to produce knowingly deceptive testimony on an important issue. Yet Representative Tom Lantos has been caught doing exactly that. His behavior warrants a searching inquiry by the House Ethics Committee." (ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times [1851 - 2007] pg. A20)[31]

War in Iraq[edit]On October 4, 2002, Lantos led a narrow majority of Democrats on the House International Relations Committee to a successful vote in support of the Resolution for the Use of Force, seeking the approval of the United Nations and under the condition that President George W. Bush would allow UN weapons inspectors to finish their work and that Bush would need to return to Congress for an actual declaration of war before invading Iraq. The resolution later passed the House and the Senate with a total of 373 members of Congress supporting it. "The train is now on its way," said Lantos after his '-- and Bush's '-- victory.[32] In later hearings on the war, Lantos continued his enthusiastic support. At one point he was confronted by witnesses who questioned the likelihood of enthusiastic Baghdadis welcoming the invading Americans; Lantos called this a kind of racism, to suggest the Iraqis might be so ungrateful.

Starting in early 2006, Lantos distanced himself from the Bush Administration's Iraq policy, making critical statements at hearings, on the House floor and in published media interviews about the conduct of the war. During hearings of the House International Relations Committee, where he was then the ranking member, Lantos repeatedly praised the investigative work of the office of the Special Inspector of Iraq Reconstruction General Stuart Bowen, which uncovered evidence of waste, fraud and abuse in the use of U.S. taxpayer dollars intended to help secure and rebuild Iraq.

Lantos was an immediate and consistent critic of the troop surge advocated by President Bush. On the night in January 2007 that Bush announced his plan, Lantos responded, "I oppose the so-called surge that constitutes the centerpiece of the President's plan. Our efforts in Iraq are a mess, and throwing in more troops will not improve it." And during a joint House hearing on September 10, 2007, featuring General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Lantos said,

The Administration's myopic policies in Iraq have created a fiasco. Is it any wonder that on the subject of Iraq, more and more Americans have little confidence in this Administration? We can not take ANY of this Administration's assertions on Iraq at face value anymore, and no amount of charts or statistics will improve its credibility. This is not a knock on you, General Petraeus, or on you, Ambassador Crocker. But the fact remains, gentlemen, that the Administration has sent you here today to convince the members of these two Committees and the Congress that victory is at hand. With all due respect to you, I must say ... I don't buy it.

At the same hearing, Lantos drew comparisons between some of the current U.S. activities in Iraq to U.S. support two decades ago of Islamic militants in Afghanistan:

America should not be in the business of arming, training and funding both sides of a religious civil war in Iraq. Did the Administration learn nothing from our country's actions in Afghanistan two decades ago, when by supporting Islamist militants against the Soviet Union, we helped pave the way for the rise of the Taliban? Why are we now repeating the short-sighted patterns of the past?[33]

Human rights advocate[edit]Tibet[edit]As co-founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in 1983 and as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Lantos would "stir the consciousness of world leaders and the public alike," according to Representative Nancy Pelosi. She adds: ''Wherever there was injustice or oppression, he used his expertise and moral authority to put the United States on the side of justice and human rights.''[34]

In 2007, in his effort to help the people of China and Tibet, he presented the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal. He also worked to help the people of Burma by asking for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner held under house arrest for almost 15 years until her release in November 2010.[34]

Darfur[edit]On April 28, 2006, Lantos and four other Democratic U.S. Representatives (Sheila Jackson Lee, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, and John Olver), along with six other activists, took part in a civil disobedience action in front of the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C. They were protesting the role of the Sudanese government in carrying out genocide in the Darfur conflict and were arrested for disorderly conduct.[35] Lantos proclaimed, "We have been calling on the civilized world to stand up and to say, 'Enough,' The slaughter of the people of Darfur must end."[34]

Hungarian minorities[edit]Tom Lantos stood up for the rights of Hungarian minorities several times[36][37] as a member of the US House of Representatives. In a 2007 letter he asked Robert Fico, the Prime Minister of Slovakia to distance themselves from the BeneÅ decrees, a reasonable process in the Hedvig Malina case, and to treat members of the Hungarian minority as equal.[38][39] He indirectly blamed the Slovak government for ethnically motivated attacks on Hungarians because the country's governing coalition included ultra-nationalist parties.[40]

The American Hungarian Federation recognized Congressman Lantos for his "Leadership in Support of Democracy, Human Rights and Minority Rights in Central and Eastern Europe,'' awarding him the organization's highest award, the "Col. Commandant Michael Kovats Medal of Freedom," at the October 19, 2005, Congressional Reception commemorating the 49th Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.[41]

Lebanon[edit]On August 27, 2006, at the Israeli Foreign Ministry building in Israel, Lantos said he would block a foreign aid package promised by President George W. Bush to Lebanon until Beirut agrees to the deployment of international troops on the border with Syria and Lebanon takes control of its borders with Syria to prevent arms smuggling to Hezbollah guerrillas.[42]

Morocco and Western Sahara[edit]Lantos supported Morocco's demand to gain sovereignty over Western Sahara, and criticized the Polisario Front, which demands independence for the disputed region. In 2007, he backed Morocco's proposal to make the region autonomous under Moroccan rule, saying: "I urge the leadership of the Polisario to realize that they will never again get such a good deal for the population they purport to represent."[43]

Death and legacy[edit]On January 2, 2008, after having been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, Lantos announced he would not run for a 15th term in the House but planned to complete his final term, and thanked Congress:

It is only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and a fighter in the anti-Nazi underground could have received an education, raised a family, and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a Member of Congress. I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country."[44][45]

Lantos died of complications from esophageal cancer on February 11, 2008, before finishing his term. A special election was held to fill his seat on April 8, 2008 and was won by former State SenatorJackie Speier, whom Lantos had endorsed as his successor.[46] Shortly after his death, Roy Blunt, the House Republican Whip, stated that "Chairman Lantos will be remembered as a man of uncommon integrity and sincere moral conviction '-- and a public servant who never wavered in his pursuit of a better, freer and more religiously tolerant world."[47]

A memorial service was held for Lantos on February 14, 2008 at Statuary Hall in the Capitol. Speakers included Senator Joe Biden, Bono of U2, Rep. Steny Hoyer, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of StateCondoleezza Rice, Rep. Christopher Shays, Elie Wiesel, and his grandson, Tomicah Tillemann, senior adviser to former Secretary of StateHillary Clinton.[48]

On June 19, 2008, President George W. Bush posthumously awarded Lantos the Medal of Freedom. In a ceremony at the White House, Bush stated "We miss his vigorous defense of human rights and his powerful witness for the cause of human freedom. For a lifetime of leadership, for his commitment to liberty, and for his devoted service to his adopted nation, I am proud to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously, to Tom Lantos, and proud that his loving wife Annette will receive the award on behalf of his family."[49] That same year, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, which he founded in 1983, was renamed the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Its mission is partly to "to promote, defend and advocate internationally recognized human rights."

The first Lantos Human Rights Prize, named in the congressman's memory, was presented to the 14th Dalai Lama in 2009.[50]

In 2011, the Tom Lantos Institute was set up in Budapest to promote tolerance and support minority issues in central and eastern Europe and in the world.[7] At the opening ceremonies in June, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to the Hungarian Parliament:

Now when Tom grew up here in this country that he loved so much, the only debate that mattered was the one between freedom and fascism, and then between freedom and communism. Tom believed that in our country there were partisan political differences, of course, between Republicans and Democrats or between a President Reagan and a President Clinton, just to pick one. (Laughter.) But Tom always believed that regardless of our political party, we were fundamentally on the same side. We were for freedom. We were for democracy. And that through debate, sometimes contested, we would keep working toward what our founders set as the goal, a more perfect union.[51]

On Saturday, September 10, 2011, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA officially opened the new Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion, located at 1450 Rollins Rd. in Burlingame, CA. The facility was funded with a naming gift in the Lantos's honor by Oracle founder, Larry Ellison, and his wife Melanie.[52]

The Tom Lantos Tunnels south of San Francisco have been named after the late Congressman.

Additionally, a BBYO inc. chapter honored Tom Lantos' legacy by naming the chapter in his honor. Lantos AZA #2539 now thrives in the Rockville, Maryland area.

Congressional scorecards[edit]See also

Project Vote Smart provides the following results from congressional scorecards.[53]

Controversies[edit]During a 1996 Congressional inquiry into the "Filegate" scandal, Lantos told witness Craig Livingstone that "with an infinitely more distinguished public record than yours, Admiral Boorda committed suicide when he may have committed a minor mistake." Boorda, the Chief of Naval Operations, had taken his own life after his right to wear Combat V decorations had been questioned. Lantos was criticized by some (including fellow Congressman Joe Scarborough) who interpreted the remark as a suggestion that Livingstone too should kill himself.[55] Craig Livingstone forgave Lantos for his remark by stating to the gallery, "He (Lantos) obviously learned much from the Nazis and speaks like them today."[citation needed]

On May 3, 2000, Lantos was involved in an automobile accident while driving on Capitol Hill. Lantos drove over a young boy's foot and then failed to stop his vehicle. He was later fined over the incident for inattentive driving.[56]

In 2002, Lantos, who was on the House Committee on International Affairs, took Colette Avital, a Labor Party member of the Israeli Knesset, by the hand and, according to Ha'aretz, tried to reassure her with these words: "My dear Colette, don't worry. You won't have any problem with Saddam. We'll be rid of the @#!*% soon enough. And in his place we'll install a pro-Western dictator, who will be good for us and for you."[57] He later denied saying this, but Avital confirmed it, according to Ben Terrall, an adviser to Maad H. Abu-Ghazalah, a Libertarian Party candidate who ran against Lantos that year.[58]

In June 2007, Lantos called former German Chancellor Gerhard Schr¶der a "political prostitute" at the dedication ceremony of the Victims of Communism Memorial, which caused a political backlash from the German government. Lantos was referring to Schr¶der's ties to energy business in Russia, and remarked that this appellation would offend prostitutes.[59]

In October 2007, Dutch parliament members said Lantos insulted them while discussing the War on Terror by stating that the Netherlands had to help the United States because it liberated them in World War II, while adding that "Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay."[60]

Electoral history[edit]California's 11th congressional district: Results 1980''1990[61]YearDemocratVotesPctRepublicanVotesPct3rd PartyPartyVotesPct3rd PartyPartyVotesPct1980Tom Lantos85,82346%Bill Royer80,10043%Wilson BranchPeace and Freedom13,7237%William S.Wade, Jr.Libertarian3,8162%*1982Tom Lantos109,81257%Bill Royer76,46240%Chuck OlsonLibertarian2,9202%Wilson BranchPeace and Freedom1,9281%*1984Tom Lantos147,60770%Jack Hickey59,62528%Nicholas W. KudrovzeffAmerican Independent3,8832%1986Tom Lantos112,38074%Bill Quraishi39,31526%1988Tom Lantos145,48471%Bill Quraishi50,05024%Bill WadeLibertarian4,6832%Victor MartinezPeace and Freedom2,9061%*1990Tom Lantos105,02966%Bill Quraishi45,81829%June R. GenisLibertarian8,5185%*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1980, Nicholas W. Kudrovzeff, American Independent Party, received 1,550 votes (1%). In 1982, Nicholas W. Kudrovzeff, American Independent Party, received 1,250 votes (1%). In 1988, Nicholas W. Kudrovzeff, American Independent Party, received 1,893 votes (1%).California's 12th congressional district: Results 1992''2006[61]YearDemocratVotesPctRepublicanVotesPct3rd PartyPartyVotesPct3rd PartyPartyVotesPct1992Tom Lantos157,20569%Jim Tomlin53,27823%Mary WeldonPeace and Freedom10,1424%George O'BrienLibertarian7,7823%1994Tom Lantos118,40867%Deborah Wilder57,22833%1996Tom Lantos149,04972%Storm Jenkins49,27624%Christopher V.A. SchmidtLibertarian6,1113%Richard BorgNatural Law3,4722%1998Tom Lantos128,13574%Robert Evans, Jr.36,56221%Michael J. MoloneyLibertarian8,5155%2000Tom Lantos158,40475%Mike Garza44,16221%Barbara J. LessLibertarian6,4313%Rifkin YoungNatural Law3,5592%2002Tom Lantos105,59768%Michael Moloney38,38125%Maad H. Abu-GhazalahLibertarian11,0067%2004Tom Lantos171,85268%Mike Garza52,59321%Pat GrayGreen23,0389%Harland HarrisonLibertarian5,1162%2006Tom Lantos138,65076%Michael Moloney43,67424%References[edit]^"AP News Alert". Associated Press. 2008-02-11. "Rep. Tom Lantos of California, the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in Congress, died early Monday morning, his spokeswoman said." [dead link]^Lantos, stricken with cancer, to retire at the end of the yearSan Francisco Chronicle, January 2, 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2008.^Simon, Richard (January 3, 2008). "California's Lantos says cancer will prevent another House run". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 16, 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2008. ^Louis Sandy Maisel et al. (2001). Jews in American Politics. Rowan & Littlefield. Retrieved 21 May 2011. "The only Holocaust survivor to serve in the United States Congress, Tom Lantos was born February 1, 1928, in Budapest. Just 16 years old when the Nazis invaded Hungary, Lantos was active in the underground resistance before he was imprisoned in a Nazi labor camp in Hungary."^Representative Nancy Pelosi, "The World Lost One Of Its Greatest Champions Of Human Rights" video, 7 min.^"Bono Remembers the Honorable Tom Lantos" video clip, 2 minutes^ ab"Tom Lantos Institute set up in Budapest",, May 2, 2011^ abcde"Tom Lantos Biography, Biography Channel, 2010^"Lantos's list". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2007-02-15. "Born in Hungary in 1928 to assimilated Jewish parents, he escaped from a forced-labor brigade, joined the resistance and was eventually, with his later-to-be-wife Annette, among the tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews rescued by the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg." ^"Congressman Lantos Commemorates Liberation of Budapest Ghetto", U.S. Dept. of State, 2006^Steves, Rick. Rick Steves' Budapest, Public Affairs publ. (2009) pp. 72-73^Timmerman, Kenneth R. Countdown to crisis: the coming nuclear showdown with Iran, Random House (2005)^"Lantos the master storyteller, communicator", January 1, 2007^"Tom Lantos for Congress '' Biography". Archived from the original on December 27, 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-19. ^Pankratz, Howard (April 11, 2008). "Denver inventor Dick dies after crash". Denver Post. ^Timber Dick, a former city council candidate, dies, Rocky Mountain News, April 11, 2008.^"Project Vote Smart: Tom Lantos". Retrieved 2010-06-15. ^ 2008 article^"Yahoo Criticized in Case of Jailed Dissident". New York Times. Associated Press. November 7, 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-19. "'While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies,' Tom Lantos, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said angrily after hearing from the two executives, Jerry Yang, the chief executive, and Michael J. Callahan, the general counsel." ^Janine Zacharia, Lantos's List, Jerusalem Post, dated 13 April but year not given, presumably 2001. Janine Zacharia,D.C. office is a Living Tribute to Wallenberg, originally from Jewish Bulletin of Northern California (credited as aJerusalem Post Service story, and appears to be a reworking of the previous story), April 20, 2001; reproduced on Lantos's congressional web site. Aleza Goldsmith,challenges Lantos in three-way race, j. (formerly Jewish Bulletin of Northern California), October 4, 2002. All accessed 25 September 2006.^Congressional Progressive Caucus membership list. Retrieved 25 September 2006.^Vote Smart: Tom Lantos: Gun issues. Retrieved 25 September 2006.^Vote Smart: Tom Lantos: Abortion issues. Retrieved 25 September 2006.^Vote Smart: Tom Lantos: Environmental Issues. Retrieved 25 September 2006.^Edward Epstein, BAY AREA: Recreation area about to get bigger: Historic rancho near Devil's Slide a deal at $15 million, San Francisco Chronicle, December 7, 2005. Retrieved 25 September 2006.^Bush signs Lantos' open space bill, San Mateo Daily Journal, December 22, 2005. Retrieved 25 September 2006.^Index of Congressional Human Rights Caucus stories on Lantos's congressional site. Retrieved 25 September 2006.^Chronicle Washington Bureau, Bush inks Jewish bill by Lantos, San Francisco Chronicle, October 19, 2004. Retrieved 25 September 2006.^ abcCONGRESSMAN SAYS GIRL WAS CREDIBLE, The New York Times. January 12, 1992^Kuwaiti Gave Consistent Account of Atrocities, The New York Times. January 27, 1992^ abDeception on Capitol Hill, The New York Times. January 15, 1992^"THREATS AND RESPONSES: THE CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTION; LAWMAKERS BEGIN PUSH TO GIVE BUSH AUTHORITY ON IRAQ," by Alison Mitchell, The New York Times, October 4, 2002^Petraeus Hearing, Opening Statement by Chairman Lantos at hearing With General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. September 10, 2007^ abcPelosi, Nancy. Democratic^Jim Doyle, Five members of Congress arrested over Sudan protest, San Francisco Chronicle, April 28, 2006. Retrieved September 25, 2006.^"Letter of Lantos, titled "The Arrest Of Hungarian Intellectual Mikl"s Duray By The Government Of Czechoslovakia"". US Congressional Record. Retrieved 2008-03-25. ^"Official Letter from Tom Lantos to Vojislav Kostunica". Congress of the United States, Committee on International Relations. Retrieved 2008-03-25. ^"Official Letter from Tom Lantos to Robert Fico" (PDF). Congress of the United States, Committee on Foreign affairs. Retrieved 2008-03-25. ^"Chairman of U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee Calls on Slovakian Prime Minister to disavow BeneÅ decrees, ensure justice for Hungarian minority". Washington, D.C.: Hungarian-American Coalition. October 22, 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-19. (Press release)^"U.S. lawmaker blames Slovak government for ethnically motivated attacks on Hungarians". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2008-02-25. ^"Honoring Congressman Tom Lantos". The American Hungarian Federation. 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-09-30. ^"Lantos: Withhold aid to Lebanon until troops secure border", Haaretz, August 27, 2006^Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Affairs of House of Representatives. ''U.S. Policy Challenges in North Africa.'' Serial No. 110-76, June 6, 2007, Pgs 1''2. Accessed March 21, 2010^Congressman Tom Lantos to Complete his Congressional Service at the End of Current Term^"California Dems Expected to Vie for Lantos Seat". CQ Politics. Retrieved 2010-06-15. ^"Inside Bay Area '' Lantos endorses Speier as 'our best candidate'". Retrieved 2010-06-15. ^"'' Rep. Tom Lantos of California dies at 80". 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2010-06-15. ^"Funeral: Tom Lantos (2008)". Retrieved 2010-06-15. ^Jewish Telegraph Agency '' Bush awards Lantos freedom medal[dead link]^"Sindh Today '' Online News >> Dalai Lama shunned by Obama, gets award from speaker Pelosi". 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2010-06-15. [dead link]^"Tom Lantos Institute Inauguration In Budapest",, July 5, 2011^"New Peninsula Humane Society Opens in Burlingame",, September 9, 2011^"Representative Tom Lantos (CA)". Project Vote Smart. Archived from the original on 2006-03-01. Retrieved 2007-12-31. [dead link]^"Scorecard for the 109th Congress U.S. House of Representatives". Secular Coalition for America. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-31. ^George Lardner, Jr, Panel Sputters; Immunity Vote Fails, The Washington Post, May 14, 1998. Retrieved September 11, 1997.^Jackie Kucinich, In trouble with the law: run-ins with police are fact of Capitol life, The Hill, May 11, 2006. Accessed February 15, 2008.^Akiva Eldar, They're jumping in head firstHa'aretz, September 30, 2002^Ben Terrall, Tom Lantos' Big Lie: The Pro-War Congressman Calls for Replacing Saddam with a Pro-West "Dictator"CounterPunch, October 25, 2002^US Lawmaker's "Prostitute" Remarks Provokes Germany | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 13.06.2007^The Associated Press, Senior US Democratic lawmaker offends Dutch counterparts with historical remarks, International Herald Tribune, October 27, 2007. Retrieved October 27, 2007.^ ab"Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-01-10. External links[edit][1] death threats"Congressman Tom Lantos Dies", video, Associated Press news, February 11, 2008Congressional hearings 15 video clipsBiography at the Biographical Directory of the United States CongressCongressional profile at GovTrackFinancial information (federal office) at the Federal Election CommissionFinancial information (federal office) at OpenSecrets.orgIssue positions and quotes at On the IssuesVoting record at The Washington PostTom Lantos at the Internet Movie DatabaseNotable Names DataBase '-- Tom LantosSourceWatch Congresspedia '-- Tom Lantos profileTom Lantos for Congress, Campaign siteThey're jumping in head first Akiva Eldar, Ha'aretz, September 30, 2002Lantos' D.C. office is a living tribute to Wallenberg Janine Zacharia, Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, April 20, 2001Lantos Lashes Out at Germany and FranceLantos set to retire after 27 years in public office '' Article in the Canadian Hungarian JournalFinding Aid to the Tom Lantos Papers, 1944-2008, The Bancroft Library

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Dr. Tomicah Sterling Tillemann-Dick serves as the Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies to Secretary of State John Kerry.[1] He and his team work like venture capitalists to identify ideas that can strengthen new democracies and civil society groups, and then bring together the talent, technology, and resources needed to translate promising concepts into reality. Tillemann often refers to his work as "policy entrepreneurship." Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised Tillemann as the key architect behind many of her flagship initiatives to engage partners beyond governments,[2] harness the power of technology,[3] promote strategic philanthropy,[4] and remake the Community of Democracies.

Early Life, Academic Work and Family[edit]Tillemann grew up as the oldest of ten children in Denver, Colorado. An Eagle Scout, he was accepted to college at age 14 and received his BA magna cum laude from Yale University.[5] He went on to earn a doctorate with distinction from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS).[6] Tillemann was a graduate instructor in American foreign policy at SAIS and lectured at Yale and Princeton. His academic awards include a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship and a Mellon Research Grant. Tillemann is the oldest grandson of Tom Lantos, the former Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to the U.S. Congress. Tillemann's paternal grandmother, Nancy Dick, served as the first woman Lieutenant Governor of Colorado.

Policy, Civil Society and Political Work[edit]Before coming to the State Department, Tillemann spent four years on the professional staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as the principal advisor on European and Eurasian affairs to former Committee chairmen Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Barack Obama. Earlier in his career, he worked as a reporter with Reuters New Media, hosted a commercial radio program in Denver, Colorado, served in the White House Office of Media Affairs, and spent time as a senior staffer on four U.S. Senate and Congressional campaigns.[7] Tillemann helped to found and lead numerous civil society groups and served on the board of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice. He has also testified repeatedly before Congress.[8] In 2009, he came together with John McCain and Nancy Pelosi to deliver the closing speech at the inaugural presentation of the Lantos Human Rights Prize to the 14th Dalai Lama.[9]

State Department[edit]Tillemann moved to the State Department shortly after Hillary Clinton was appointed Secretary of State to serve as speechwriter in her office.[10] He collaborated with Clinton on over 200 speeches and often accompanied her on international travel. In October 2010, Clinton promoted Tillemann to Senior Advisor and asked him to create and lead a new office reporting to her that would be devoted to strengthening civil society and emerging democracies worldwide. In this capacity, he and his team worked on behalf of the Secretary to develop over a dozen major initiatives. These include remaking the Community of Democracies into a leading platform for multilateral democracy support, developing the Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society into the State Department's flagship effort to collaborate with partners outside of government, launching the LEND Network to provide a global technology platform for information sharing among leaders in new democracies, developing a new "race to the top" program to encourage reform in emerging democracies, and streamlining rules around cross-border grantmaking to support international civil society organizations.[11]

Technology[edit]Together with his late father and two brothers, Tillemann is a co-holder of four patents related to the IRIS engine, an advanced clean technology that has won awards from NASA, ConocoPhillips, and Dow.

References[edit]External links[edit]Office of the Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies [12]

Common Core

Teacher slams scripted Common Core lessons that must be taught 'word for word' - The Washington Post

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Tue, 03 Dec 2013 14:23

By Valerie Strauss, Published: NOVEMBER 30, 11:00 AM ET Aa (By Charles Rex Arbogast/ AP)

A public school teacher in Delaware wrote the following moving piece but asked not to be identified out of fear of retaliation. It explains what is happening to many teachers who are being given scripted lessons aligned to the Common Core State Standards by their principals and district superintendents. Note that this teacher is not opposed to standards. It's an important point, as critics of the Common Core's implementation in many school districts have been accused of being opposed to standards and wanting to keep the ''status quo.''

Here is the teacher's piece:

Teaching used to be a fun job that I was deeply passionate about. I used my own creativity mixed with a healthy dose of perseverance, dedication and cheerleading to encourage my students, most labeled "special needs," to believe in their own abilities and self worth. I believed in their greatness and I helped them to believe it, too. In my nearly 25 years of teaching children I have seen learning disabled, non-readers become college graduates; non-writers grow to be valedictorians; reluctant readers become bookworms. I've encouraged students to write, to risk, to think, and to try again all of my adult life. In fact, one performance evaluation stated that I was "a naturally gifted teacher with the unique ability to inspire greatness in my students."

I was taught in teacher's college that each student had an individual learning style, and that my job as a teacher was to discover each child's pathway to learning and help them to embark on that path. My calling was to meet the needs of the child.

Some years I witnessed the growth in the year I actually taught the student. Many times I simply planted the seed that another teacher watered and yet another reaped the harvest. Teaching, for me, has always been about the children. Their learning. Their growth. Their future.

I used to do many fun, innovative projects with my students. My students have owned and managed their own businesses, written children's books and read them to younger students, done year-long literature studies on specialized topics, hosted project fairs, and an array of other student-created, choice- driven projects. They have designed, researched, written and read beyond their peers. My high school students were required to read 25 novels per year...yes, even the ones with learning disabilities could meet this goal with the help of assistive technology. Meeting and exceeding standards has always been my goal.

Last year, however, my performance appraisal listed me as "satisfactory." What has changed? I'm still me. I still bring the passion, dedication, and years of experience to the classroom that I always have.

What has changed is Common Core State Standards. I was given a curriculum and told by my administration to teach it "word-for-word." In a meeting with my administration, I was reprimanded with "Don't forget, standards drive our instruction."

Standards drive instruction. Data determines effectiveness. Positive outcomes for students requires proof.

If I don't supply that proof, I'm not an effective teacher. Period. And my administration has warned me that my job depends on this proof.

I can't do projects with my students anymore because I have to teach the curriculum word-for word, and I am only allowed to use standards-based assessments (which I must create myself). It doesn't matter how my students learn best. It doesn't matter that the Common Core State Standards assume a steady progression of skills that my students have not been formerly taught. It doesn't matter that my students arrive at my door with a host of factors that I cannot control...their home situations, their former schooling, their attitudes toward school and learning and themselves, the neighborhood they live in, whether they are English Language Learners or have special needs, or whether they have just broken up with their girlfriend in the cafeteria. All those factors also affect student performance, but none of that matters. What matters is how my students perform on the state test. (And I must STOP teaching for 6 weeks in the spring to make sure our students pass that test.)

I'm not opposed to standards, it's the standards BASED part that I have issue with.

My students like to tell me that I'm old school. They are right. I'm from the school of teaching CHILDREN, not standards. I'm from the school of student needs, not student data. I'm from the school of thinking and discovery and choice; not canned, watered-down, one-size-fits-all, global curricula.

Like so many experienced, good teachers, I don't want to be a teacher anymore. But where do I go? I need to make a living, but who wants a "satisfactory" former teacher with no advanced degree? I've dedicated my life to teaching children, but with CCSS, teaching children is no longer the point.

Standards-BASED education gets it all wrong. They assume the best teaching and the best learning can be quantified with tests and data. Yet I've never once had a student compliment me on my academic knowledge or my data collection skills. I've never had a student thank me for writing insightful test questions or for staying up late to write a stunning lesson plan. But students HAVE thanked me for being there, for listening to them, for encouraging them, for believing in them even before they could believe in themselves. Meeting our student's academic needs begins with seeing them as human beings with worth and capability and gifting, not as research subjects.

Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul is full of stories of teachers who made a difference in student's lives through their care, their courage, and their dedication...not their student's test scores. Judging the effectiveness of a teacher on only quantifiable data reduces the art of teaching children to a mathematical algorithm can that be performed more effectively by a hologram projected on the Smart board than by an old-fashioned, caring, humanly flawed teacher.


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Feds' 3 tentacles in the Common Core

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Tue, 03 Dec 2013 14:27

(Editor's note: This is Part 4 in a series on the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.)

In Part 1 of my series on the Common Core State Standards being infused into 45 state public school systems, I revealed how the feds spent $350 million of taxpayers' money, funding and giving grants and waivers to muscle states and local school districts to accept CCSS. And that was after 2009, when feds awarded or bribed ''governors approximately $48.6 billion '... in exchange for a commitment to advance essential education reforms '... including: college- and career-ready standards [aka CCSS] '...''

In Part 2, I showed how the feds are injecting their progressive agenda into curricula taught to U.S. kids in elementary, middle and high schools via their educative minions posted in academic arenas and among CCSS curricula creators.

In Part 3, I began to give you the third evidence for the feds' collaborations and entanglements within CCSS: namely, that they are creating and expanding a national database to store and access your kids' private information obtained through a technological project within CCSS '' an informational mega-overreach and push within their 2009 $48.6 billion bribe to governors.

PolitiFact, a left-leaning so called fact-discerning website, accused executive board member of Georgia's Fayette County Republican Party, Angela Bean, of exaggeration when she told the Newnan Times-Herald that informational wings within CCSS were ''designed to collect up to 400 data points on each child, which can include personally identifiable data, she said. The data will be collected by a company called inBloom, created by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.''

PolitiFact further accused Bean of confusing the facts and separation between the longitudinal data systems, or LDS, and the CCSS. And they also cited CCSS organization officials, who affirmed that ''there are no data collection requirements with Common Core.'' (Can you imagine ''no data collection'' requirements in the most overreaching national academic system and standards to date? If it sounds too good to be true, you can bet it is. Read on.)

But then PolitiFact explained that many Georgia schools are in fact using inBloom and cited Robert Swiggum, Georgia state department's chief information officer, who confessed that the longitudinal data systems ''collects data points in about 10 categories '... [which] include: a student's name, grade, gender, ethnicity, birth date, attendance, enrollment history, test scores, courses taken and grade received, and any subgroup (example: English language learner, retained, economically disadvantaged).''

And each of those categories has sublevels of students' personal information, too. PolitiFact itself elaborated, ''Each of the categories has dozens of data points that can vary depending on how many tests each student takes, those test scores, the number of courses taken and the length of time a student has been in school.''

So let me get this straight: Beginning in 2009, the Obama administration began a massive overreach, push and expansion of an informational and technological student tracking system called LDS that stores a wide range of academic and personal information of every student in the U.S. from preschool through college and into the workforce.

At the same time, the administration begins a massive overreach, push and expansion of new national academic standard system called Common Core State Standards that will cover every core classroom subject from kindergarten through high school and be the basis of 85 percent of all curricula and progress assessments.

Yet, we're supposed to believe naively that the CCSS, its curricula, its assessments for teachers and students, and its plethora of personal student information will not intersect, intertwine, be combined with or use the technological communication system (LDS), through which all student data and progress in public schools is recorded and transmitted?

The LDS and CCSS were developed and enlarged side by side during the same time and same presidential administration, but the CCSS testing and performance will not be recorded and monitored via the LDS?

Is it merely coincidental that the feds spent billions expanding both systems simultaneously over the past few years and yet there is no congruency or intended purpose between the ginormous national construction of CCSS and its expanding LDS informational pipeline?

Hogwash! Who's kidding who??

To not recognize how LDS will clearly serve the information gathered under CCSS is to overlook any connection between a hot dog and a hot dog bun. In fact, if you believe LDS and CCSS are solo and separate academic coincidences in an ever-expanding federal government that has been funding and promoting both, I have a London Bridge to sell you in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.!

CCSS and its bedfellow LDS are partners in crime. It will literally be impossible for one to operate without the other, based upon the very reason they were created to complement each other. They are destined to be married and become one, just as they have already been living together in secret in the minds of bureaucrats and educrats. LDS will serve under CCSS, plain and simple, inasmuch as teachers and curricula will conform to its mandates, too.

And the primary problem remains that both CCSS and LDS are two of the greatest overreaches by the federal government '' in cahoots with state educrats '' and encroachments on student privacy and parental rights under the banner of the new ''Common Core'' education.

And if you think I'm just connecting conspiratorial dots, then let me remove all doubt by citing a document anyone can read on the website for the National Center for Education Statistics, or NCES, which is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations and is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences.

The NCES produced four books on building longitudinal data systems. Book one is titled, ''Traveling through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data System,'' which also gives a glimpse into its informational future.

In Chapter 5 of book one, ''LDS Benefits: Why Should We Build These Systems,'' the NCES clearly explains for all to read: ''Longitudinal data system (LDS) is not just a compliance system that will feed the state and federal governments more data. An LDS has the potential to make high quality, timely data available to all stakeholders to help them '... leverage significant educational change.''

Any questions?

Again, welcome to the future of Fed Ed and your family's personal information floating across the Internet for ''key stakeholders'' from your house and the local school house to the state houses and the White House.

It's time to ship Fed Ed to some remote deserted island! And we can start by stopping Common Core!

(Next week in Part 5, I will answer the question: ''Is Common Core really good for children?'')

Protests widen against Obama-backed Common Core education reforms - Washington Times

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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 03:54

A fierce battle in New York is the latest sign that populist resistance to the Obama administration-backed Common Core education reforms shows no signs of slowing '-- and that the opposition isn't limited to red states.

Since 2010, 45 states have adopted the Common Core benchmarks for proficiency in English and math for schoolchildren at the end of each grade.

Critics say several states are experiencing buyers' remorse after complaints from parents and scholars that the reforms are untested and poorly designed and put additional burdens on teachers and students. They also say Common Core represents a federal government intrusion into an area traditionally operated at the state and local levels.

Common Core, backed by $4.35 billion offered to states through President Obama's 2009 stimulus, appeared to be overcoming opposition when it was implemented.

Now, however, backlash has been gaining force. Blogger Michele Zipp of The Stir last week said Common Core ''is kind of turning into the Obamacare of education.''

Common Core opponents have organized a social media campaign to make Monday a ''National Don't Send Your Child to School Day'' and have planned protests at local education administration buildings. A Facebook page for protesters had more than 5,500 supporters by Sunday.

Opposition to Common Core has been roiling in recent weeks since New York state Education Commissioner John King conducted a series of meetings that highlighted deep concerns about the reforms.

''We are abusing the children in the state of New York,'' Beth Dimino, president of the Port Jefferson Station Parent Teacher Association, said at a forum last week at Ward Melville High School, according to an account on

Lana Ajemian, the head of New York's Parent Teacher Association, said standards have moved far too quickly for students to keep up. ''It's like the train's pulling out of the station without everybody on board,'' Ms. Ajemian told NBC New York during the public forum on Long Island.

Conservative education scholars have led opposition to Common Core reforms, but the resistance appears to have taken the Obama administration and the education establishment by surprise. The bipartisan National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers have led state-by-state adoption of the standards.

''Development of these standards was not driven by the federal government, but by the states,'' wrote Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association. ''Governors on both sides of the aisle, the business community, and most importantly educators, came together to ensure one thing: that students learn what they need to live a successful life in a 21st century global economy.''

Although adoption of Common Core was voluntary, states that rejected the standards were considered effectively ineligible for federal stimulus funds tied to President Obama's Race to the Top initiative.

The four states that have rejected Common Core completely are Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia. Minnesota has accepted the English standards but not the math standards.

But much of the energy in recent months has come from opponents, who include an unusually broad mix of scholars, teachers, parents and state legislators.

In one of the first signs of resistance, the Republican National Committee unexpectedly adopted a resolution opposing Common Core. At its spring meeting, the RNC called Common Core an ''inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children so they will conform to a preconceived 'normal.'''

Zuckerberg, Gates lead funding round for education not-for-profit

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Source: CNET News

Wed, 04 Dec 2013 16:26

The organization, EducationSuperHighway, steers schools toward speedier, more secure broadband connections.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates have dropped cash into a not-for-profit through their respective foundations.

EducationSuperHighway raised $9 million in a recently closed funding round, which was led by Zuckerberg's Startup:Education fund and included participation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, EducationSuperHighway told TechCrunch on Wednesday. According to TechCrunch, the nonprofit will use the funds for everything from lobbying government to expanding its broadband-speed testing initiative.

EducationSuperHighway's Web site claims that 80 percent of public schools in the US "lack fast enough Internet speeds to prepare our students for increasingly digital education." The not-for-profit offers a school speedtest on its site and aims to help those schools with slow broadband speeds to improve them. The organization achieves that goal by helping them weave through high-speed Internet "roadblocks."

Fact Families | What are Fact Families |

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Wed, 04 Dec 2013 23:24

In algebra, a fundamental arithmetic number of fact (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) is general used in day-to-day life. Addition (+) defined as adding the two numbers. Subtraction (-) defined as the inverse of addition. Multiplication (x) defined as the product of numbers. Division (·) is a result of dividing two rational numbers when a divisor is not a zero.

Math facts consist of indeterminate expressions. In math, there is a particular facts in which we are not capable to modify those facts. Example for division ''Positive · Negative = Negative''. It is a procedure of interactive teaching about the practice math facts.In these articles, we are going to see about number fact families.

A fact family is a group of four statements each of which represent the same meaning. All the four statements have the same meanings. Fact families contain 3 numbers and 2 types of operations. There are 2 types of fact families: addition and subtraction fact families; multiplication and division fact families.

To see the fact families we need to understand the meaning of following words:

Addends: The numbers being added in an addiotion operation. Like 2 and 3 in 2 + 3 = 5

Multiplicands: The numbers being multiplied in a multiplication operation. Like 4 and 5 in 4 x 5 = 20

Inverse operation: Reverse of an operation like inverse operation of addition is subtraction and inverse of multiplication is division.

Here you could see addition fact families and subtraction fact families that discussed below.

Below are the addition and subtraction rules and examples for number fact families-

Addition rules

Positive + Positive = Positive10 + 8 = 18

Negative + Negative = Negative(- 10) + (- 5) = - 15

Addition of a negative and a positive integer: Use the sign of the larger number and subtract, examples,(- 12) + 6 = -6

10 + (-8) = 2

Practice problems:1. (-10) + 7 = ?

Answer: (-3)

2. 14 + (-10) = ?

Answer: 4

Negative rules

Negative - Positive = Negative(- 16) - 13 = -16 + (-13) = (-29)

Positive - Negative = Positive + Positive = Positive16 - (-14) = 16 + 14 = 30

Negative - Negative = Negative + Positive = Use the sign of the larger number and subtract (Change double negatives to a non negative)(-17) - (-12) = (-17) + 12 = -5

(-12) - (-15) = (-12) + 15 = -3

Practice problems:1. (-18) '' 20 = ?

Answer: (-38)

2. 15 - (-13) = ?

Answer: 28

Here you could see multiplication fact families and division fact families that discussed below.

Below are the multiplication and division rules and examples for number fact familiesMultiplication rulesRule1: Multiplication of two integers by the linked signs resolve be positive sign

a) Positive x positive = positive

b) Negative x negative = positive

Rule2: Multiplication of two integers by the different signs will be negative

a) Positive x negative = negative

b) Negative x positive = negative

Example problems:

1. Positive x positive = positive

Example: 13 — 12 = 156

2. Negative x negative = positive

Example: (-15) — (-11) = (165)

3. Positive x negative = negative

Example: 11 — (-12) = (-132)

4. Negative x positive = negative

Example: (-4) — 16 = (-64)

Practice problems:

1. (-16) — 10 = ?

Answer: (-160)

2. (-5) — (-60) = ?

Answer: 300

Division rulesRule 1: Division of two integers by the linked signs resolve be positive sign

a) Positive · positive = positive

b) Negative · negative = positive

Rule 2: Division of two integers by the different signs will be negative

a) Positive · negative = negative

b) Negative · positive = negative

Example problems:

1. Positive · positive = positive

Example: 100 · 50 = 2

2. Negative · negative = positive

Example: (-80) · (-10) = 8

3. Positive · negative = negative

Example: 120 · (-10) = (-12)

4. Negative · positive = negative

Example: (-90) · (10) = (-9)

Practice problems:

1. (-15) · 15 = ?

Answer: (-1)

2. 65 · (-5) = ?

Answer: (-13)

The Common Core Agenda '' Part 2A: Architects and Profiteers | Tavern Keepers

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Thu, 05 Dec 2013 01:27

As I mentioned in The Common Core Agenda '' Part 1, we all know the American education system is failing, and because of this many well meaning though naive people jumped on the Common Core bandwagon without having any idea of what they were supporting.

On it's face Common Core sounds fine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having baseline standards in education, agreed upon by the several states and applied on a strictly voluntary basis. In fact, in some ways it makes a lot of sense; but that is not the reality of Common Core. This is something that good, smart people like Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in New York, who in 2010 was named New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State, are now starting to realize.

Back when Common Core standards were first presented to the states and educators they were still in the theoretical stage. As I wrote in Part 1, the states were coerced into adopting the new standards before they were even written, if they wanted to receive federal money. It was during this period that Mrs. Burris co-authored a book, ''Opening the Common Core,'' which according to a an op-ed she recently wrote, sang the praises of a ''rich curriculum and equitable teaching practices, not about testing and sanctions. We wrote it because we thought that the Common Core would be a student-centered reform based on principles of equity.'' Now that it's here however, Mrs. Burris has had a change of heart.

''Opening the Common Core'' co-authored by Carol Burris

Admitting that she was na¯ve she says, ''The promise of the Common Core is dying and teaching and learning are being distorted. The well that should sustain the Core has been poisoned.'' She sites the constant testing of students, that does nothing to enhance the learning experience but is instead another aspect of the never ending data collection that is so much a part of Common Core. She rightfully questions the new business model as well and asks why companies like Pearson which receives ''multi-million dollar contract to create tests for the state should also be able to profit from producing test prep materials.''

So you see, what Mrs. Burris and others failed to understand is that from the get go Common Core has never been about providing a better education for our kids. It has in fact always been about propelling a larger initiative and ideological warfare. It is about stripping the states of their Constitutional right to create school curriculum at the local level, and replacing it with lessons of secular ideology, environmental extremism, American apology, and global citizenry. And perhaps most importantly, it's about control.

This is a long standing goal that can be traced back to 1984 and beyond, visa vie the United Nations educational arm known as UNESCO. According to Article I of the UNESCO Constitution,

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO.)was established in 1946 to "contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations''.

Anyone familiar with the UN's Agenda 21 initiative will recognize the roots of the UNESCO's Common Core in their 1984 ''Methodology Guide'' in which the group explicitly defines their Marxist agenda, written by the grandfather of Common Core, Robert Muller, Former UN Assistant Secretary General, Chancellor of the University for Peace, who said, ''' the request of educators I wrote the World Core Curriculum, the product of the United Nations, the meta-organism of human and planetary evolution'....'' As blogger Cherilyn Eagar appropriately summarized on her site, the goals were then as they are now, absolutely in keeping with the goals of Agenda 21:

The curriculum must be strictly secular and equitable in its teaching of the nations and the world. Redistribution of the wealth is the standard because there is no private property, only collective ownership of the planet. Therefore, the common core curriculum must take a pantheistic approach and while excluding one form of extremism (e.g. radical Islam) it embraces another: extremist environmental policy.

In his, ''A Letter to All Educators in the World,'' Muller recalls that after he wrote his World Core Curriculum,

I sent it at the time to a famous committee appointed by the president of the United States, the Paediaea Committee, headed by the great American philosopher, Mortimer Adler. Only one of its member wrote me back saying: "Mr. Muller, you are a nice fellow, but I can tell you that there will never be a school on Earth that will teach your curriculum in our lifetime."

Oh how I miss the Reagan years. Not only did the committee that he appointed reject the UNESCO Common Core curriculum (as it is literally called in their ''Methodology Guide'' ), in that same year his administration withdrew from UNESCO entirely. As the Heritage Foundation reported back in 1995:

The Reagan Administration withdrew from UNESCO in 1984 largely because the agency had become highly politicized. When the U.S. left, many UNESCO programs and debates focused on disarmament, "collective rights," and other themes which Washington believed were departures from UNESCO's original mandate. Moreover, these activities, driven by East Bloc and Third World countries, were hostile to free markets and a free press. UNESCO became a hotbed of agitation for the so-called New World Information and Communications Order (NWICO), which would have sanctioned government licensing of reporters.

The Reagan Administration also criticized UNESCO for its top-heavy, over- centralized bureaucracy. The lavish lifestyle which UNESCO afforded Director General Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including his opulent penthouse above UNESCO headquarters, also aggravated U.S. officials. Moreover, during these years UNESCO had the most unrestrained budgetary expansion in the U.N. system.

So what happened? In October 2003 under George W. Bush, yet another thing we can thank him for, the United States rejoined UNESCO. At the time President Bush had this to say:

''As a symbol of our commitment to human dignity, the United States will return to UNESCO. This organization has been reformed and America will participate fully in its mission to advance human rights and tolerance and learning.''

Is it any wonder that Jeb Bush is such a big supporter of the Common Core Standards? In fact Jeb loves this top down, unconstitutional approach so much he founded the Foundation for Educational Excellence (FEE), an organization whose soul purpose is to support the implementation of the Common Core Standards. They recently embarked on an email campaign to encourage OK legislators to use the FEE to help write their Common Core reforms, ''Debunking Common Core State Standards Myths'':

There is a lot of misinformation flying around about Common Core State Standards. Below is around up of recent articles, opinion pieces and posts by policy advisors, debunking Common Core myths and highlighting voices in the transition to these new standards. You'll also find quotes from teachers weighing in on Common Core and see how state and business leaders are supporting the higher standards.

So both Bushes have opened the gateway for global education standards, that are clearly at odds with the United States Constitution which stipulates that all public school education decisions are to be directed and funded by the states'... suddenly No Child Left Behind makes more sense to me.

It should also be noted that the Foundation for Excellence in Education is funded in part by a generous donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Now'... enter the progressives, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As I wrote in The Common Core Agenda '' Part 1, before the Common Core Standards were commandeered by the Obama administration's Rise to the Top program, they ''were the brain-child of an organization known as Achieve in a partnership with the National Governors Association, and with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2010 that partnership introduced a set of math and English guidelines that could be adopted by the individual states on a voluntary basis.'' That of course went by the wayside with the insertion of federal dollars, and the bizarre competition that school were asked to engage in as a means of funding their own public schools. I say it was bizarre because, it's our money, not the federal government's and states should not be required to compete for the money they paid out in the first place. Here's an idea, how about the states keep their own money, we do away with the Department of Education and we put the focus back on our children'... but I digress'....

Bill and Melinda Gates

As I have shown, in addition to federal funding, Common Core has been propelled with large grants for the Gates Foundation, which sets a very dangerous precedent for the public school system. By utilizing these revenue streams, the power over our children's education is circumvented by corporate and ideological interests. In effect the voices of the voting public/tax payers have been silenced, and the authority of local school boards have been nullified. In other words, an unelected philanthropist has been permitted to direct public policy and the voting public gets cut out of the process. As Sarah Reckhow, a political science professor at Michigan State University rightly observes, the philanthropists not only cut out school boards and parents, the teachers unions are also removed from the equation:

''Philanthropists, unlike teachers unions, they don't have an obvious constituency,'' she said. ''Teachers unions represent teachers. Who does the Gates Foundation represent?


Common Core for Bill Gates is a capitalist endeavor as well as an ideological one. As the website, Common Core '' Education Without Representation reports:

Microsoft has signed a cooperative agreement with the United Nations' education branch, UNESCO. In it, Gates said, ''Microsoft supports the objectives of UNESCO as stipulated in UNESCO's constitution and intends to contribute to UNESCO's programme priorities.'' UNESCO's ''Education For All'' key document is called ''The Dakar Framework for Action: Education For All: Meeting Our Collective Commitments.''

So Gates partners with the U.N.'s educational and other goals via UNESCO's ''Education for All'' which seeks to teach the same standards to all children (and adults) on a global scale. Why is this a problem? It supercedes local control over what is taught to students, and dismisses the validity of the U.S. Constitution, all in the name of inclusivity and education and tolerance for all nations.

I should mention that the Microsoft/UNESCO agreement was signed in November of 2004, just a year after President Bush reinserted the United States into the organization. I think it's safe to assume that the agreement had been in the works from at least that moment. Common Core '' Education Without Representation goes on to address how Microsoft and UNESCO will help to further the Agenda 21 goals.

At this link, you can learn about how Education For All works: ''Prior to the reform of the global EFA coordination architecture in 2011-2012, the Education for All High-Level Group brought together high-level representatives from national governments, development agencies, UN agencies, civil society and the private sector. Its role was to generate political momentum and mobilize financial, technical and political support towards the achievement of the EFA goals and the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). From 2001-2011 the High-Level Group met annually.''

The six goals of ''Education For All'' are claimed to be internationally agreed-upon. On the linked Education and Awareness page of the U.N. website, we learn:

Did you get that? Education is indispensable for the U.N. to get its agenda pushed onto every citizen worldwide. They just admitted it out loud. They want a strong hand in determining what is taught worldwide.

For those that are unaware, ideologically, Gates is globalist who believes that climate change is man made. He believes that there are too many people on the planet, and that all environmental woes can eliminated if we simply reduce the human population. He proposes doing this by offering better vaccinations and health care and increased ''reproductive health services'' [abortions and birth control. Thank goodness we have Obamacare to pay for that], as he explained at 2010 TED Conference:

''Let's take a look. First we got population. The world today has 6.8 billion people. That's headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent''

In addition, he is a backer of big government initiatives and supports the idea of having more power afforded to the Executive Branch. In essence, while he clearly believes in what he is saying, and is probably very well meaning, Mr. Gates and his wife Melinda are the very definition of the Progressive Elitist.

College Board President David Coleman poses for a portrait in New York. '--Michael Nagle/College Board

So now, with the funding in place, Common Core needed an ''architect''; enter David Coleman. Where the UN's Robert Muller was the grandfather of Common Core, David Coleman is surely it's daddy. As Dean Kalahar of the American Thinker wrote:

David Coleman, says he believes in the value of a liberal-arts education. The problem is nobody asked what a liberal-arts education means to Mr. Coleman. Reading his background puts new meaning to the word "liberal" in liberal arts.

David Coleman lives in trendy Greenwich Village, has never been a classroom teacher and wants to replace traditional subjects with broad learning. He believes there is "a massive social injustice in this country" and that education is "the engine of social justice." Coleman's leadership is questionable as he uses profanity ("s''t, f''k, bulls-t, a'') in speeches regarding Common Core. He graduated from liberal Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge universities and is a founding partner of Student Achievement Partners, and the Grow Network, acquired by textbook publisher McGraw-Hill. He is on the board of directors of The Equity Project Charter School, a middle school in New York City that paid $125,000 salaries to teachers yet had a 31.3% passing rate in English in 2010-11. His alliance with unions includes praise for "organizations like the UFT in New York City and the AFT statewide."

Coleman's worldviews and education influences began at home with his mother, renowned (liberal) Bennington College President and social justice advocate, Elizabeth Coleman:

His mother and greatest influence, Elizabeth Coleman, president of Bennington College in Vermont, does not like the idea of "expertise" or "neutrality (as) a condition of academic integrity" and "wants to "make the political-social challenges themselves the organizers of the curriculum." She emphasizes an "action-oriented curriculum" where "students continuously move outside the classroom to engage the world directly." In short: indoctrination through propaganda in education as the vehicle for social transformation.

Mrs. Coleman founded a social justice initiative: the Center for the Advancement of Public Action (she called it a "secular church") "which invites students to put the world's most pressing problems at the center of their education." She was a professor of humanities at the far left New School for Social Research, which was begun by progressives in 1932 and modeled itself after the neo-Marxist social theory of the Frankfurt School. She fights for "social values," and a "secular democracy," saying "fundamentalist '...values (are) the absolutes of a theocracy."

Today, David Coleman is the president of the College Board, the organization that owns and publishes the SAT's, the nation's most widely used college admission exam. He has proclaimed his eagerness to implement the Common Core Standards into the SAT's and has no problem insulting those that disagree with him. This can be a problem on many levels. For public school kids, it means a forced one size fits all national testing system for anyone who wants to get into collage. For homeschool and private school kids, it means that in order to pass the SAT's with satisfactory results, you must learn the Common Core Standards.

Unfortunately, I haven't even begun to address all of the players behind Common Core '' usually for profit, but sometimes for ideology. Next time I will get into Pearson, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and more.

Until then, please educate yourself on your child's new education. You're going to need all the ammo you can get!

Read more here:

On the Gates Foundation and Common Core:

Common Core Standards '' English Language Arts, Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects:

Elizabeth Coleman speaks the the 2009 TED's conference:

More on David and Elizabeth Coleman:

David Coleman's Campaign to Bring Common Core to VA:

Tags:Agenda 21, EFA, featured, Robert Muller, United Nations

Category: Special Reports, US

France and PISA: spurring reform?

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Archived Version

Source: OECD Observer

Fri, 06 Dec 2013 23:12

What do you make of the PISA study, and what is France doing in particular to improve student performance?

The PISA 2012 findings confirm the trends that have been emerging for several years now from other national and international assessments of the state of the French education system: despite a massive opening-up of secondary education, we have been unable to help all of our students reach a satisfactory level. Too many students are experiencing difficulties''and that proportion has even grown over the past 10 years''and what our schools are doing is worse than perpetuating social inequalities; they are actually exacerbating those inequalities.

Over the past year and a half we have undertaken a profound overhaul of our school system, with the aim of reducing inequalities and promoting successful schooling for all. PISA 2012 corroborates our analysis and highlights the fact that we are heading in the right direction; in fact, it prompts us to speed up our reforms.

To stop the declining average level of our students, the first task is to take care of those in greatest difficulty. It is important to understand that the attention paid to students experiencing the greatest difficulties does not adversely affect those who do well''quite the opposite. Indeed, the best students do not need others to fail in order to succeed. Moreover, the teaching methods that have been developed to guide those struggling to learn are a benefit to all. PISA comparisons bear this out: the systems that are most egalitarian, that are most effective in combating forms of social determinism and differential educational levels, are in many cases the ones that perform the best''I am thinking here of Canada or Finland.

We have therefore decided to concentrate the new resources at our disposal on combating difficulty at school and social inequalities. We know that seeds of academic failure are sown when basic skills are not assimilated during early years. Therefore we are assigning top priority to primary schools. This priority has led to several thousand new primary-school teaching positions, making it possible to institute innovative and effective teaching methods: for example, we are allocating more teachers than classes in some schools to monitor students' progress as closely as possible; we are increasing the enrolment of children under 3 years of age, to foster language learning and prepare very young children for the acquisition of basic skills, especially in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

What teacher-specific measures could make a difference?

The OECD emphasises this in all of its reports: well-trained teachers are the main key to success. We are therefore re-orienting teacher training towards pedagogical skills so that new teachers can ease gradually into their profession. To get results more quickly, we are also devoting substantial effort to continuing training, using digital technology in particular. In addition, the current curricula do not enable teachers to ensure that their students master the most basic core skills. Henceforth, curricula will be formulated in cycles, and their complete overhaul will make them coherent and effective tools which teachers can put to practical use, rather than catalogues of knowledge and skills to be acquired. And the ongoing discussions on the teaching profession will lead to better recognition of teachers' commitments, within the schools, to their students' success.

What are the main virtues of the French education system, and how do you plan to leverage them?

You are right to draw attention to this; our system has some great strengths which warrant recognition and should be developed. I am thinking in particular of our nursery schools, which need backing in their missions. Clearly, our policy towards schooling in disadvantaged neighbourhoods is facing many difficulties, but it constitutes an essential sphere of innovation; we shall be improving working conditions for the educators concerned. This is a project that I shall be launching next January. Lastly, we have achieved highly encouraging results in combatting early school-leaving, which we expect to see continuing.

See how France got on in the 2012 PISA survey at

See also


(C) OECD Observer Q4 2013

War on Crazy

Copyright at the Bedside '' Stanford Technology Law Review

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Archived Version

Sat, 07 Dec 2013 14:10

We recently published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine describing a crisis in cognitive testing, as doctors and medical researchers increasingly face copyright claims in sets of questions used for testing mental state. We encouraged the creation of a cultural norm in medicine, in which medical researchers would ensure continued availability of their tests through open source licensing for any copyrights that might exist.

In this piece, we consider the legal side of the question. Although copyrights are being copiously asserted in medical testing, are those rights valid, and should they be upheld? The legal precedents in this area are anything but clear, and the courts are divided in the few analogous circumstances that have arisen.

We examine analogies in standardized testing, computer compilations and baseball pitching forms to consider the marvelous question of how to conceptualize a process'--which is the purview of patent law'--when that process consists of words'--which are the purview of copyright law. We also look from an economics perspective at the issue of investment and value creation in the development of de facto standards.

Legal scholars are so often in the position of looking backwards, teasing out solutions to problems that have developed within a doctrinal or theoretical area. Rarely does one have the opportunity to affect the course of events before problems become so deeply entrenched that they are intractable. This is such a moment, and the legal and medical fields should take advantage of the opportunities presented.

Agenda 21


Save Santa's Home - join Jim Carter to help save Santa this Christmas

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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 05:14

Wow, thank you!, you're an arctic legend.

Santa needs as much help as he can get. Will you tell your friends about this campaign on Facebook and Twitter?

By registering you agree to our privacy policy.

WATCHSANTA'SMESSAGEWHAT'S THIS ALL ABOUT?SANTA LOVES THE NORTH POLE.It's his home, and where he, the Elves and Mrs Claus produce, organise and deliver presents for all the children of the world. But the North Pole is only a frozen ocean and it's melting away faster and faster. Santa can no longer function. His warehouse is flooded. All the presents are ruined.

That's bad enough. But oil companies are trying to drill in the Arctic Ocean around him. They want to extract the oil that - when it's used - will make the melting of the Arctic all the quicker.

World leaders are ignoring the reindeer's cries for help as they sink in the melting ice. Even the threat of being on Santa's naughty list hasn't prompted a rescue operation.

YOU CAN HELP SAVE SANTA'S HOME.If you sign up you will be joining Vivienne Westwood, Jude Law, Paul McCartney and Madonna in helping create a sanctuary around the North Pole. This would leave Santa in peace to spread joy around the world on Christmas Day.

In 1991 the world came together to protect the Antarctic and we can save the Arctic too!


International Law Encourages Use of Geoengineering Weather Modification

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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 00:34

(ConsciousResistance) '' According to a new study due to be published in 2014, Geoengineering field research is not only allowed, it is encouraged.

The study was authored by Jesse Reynolds at Tilburg Law School in the Netherlands. Reynolds researched the legal status of geoengineering research by analyzing international documents and treaties.

Geo-engineering is the science of manipulating the climate for the stated purpose of fighting mad made climate change. These include Solar Radiation Management (SRM), the practice of spraying aerosols into the sky in an attempt to deflect the Sun's rays and combat climate change.

According to a recent congressional report:

''The term ''geoengineering'' describes this array of technologies that aim, through large-scale and deliberate modifications of the Earth's energy balance, to reduce temperatures and counteract anthropogenic climate change. Most of these technologies are at the conceptual and research stages, and their effectiveness at reducing global temperatures has yet to be proven. Moreover, very few studies have been published that document the cost, environmental effects, socio-political impacts, and legal implications of geoengineering. If geoengineering technologies were to be deployed, they are expected to have the potential to cause significant transboundary effects.

In general, geoengineering technologies are categorized as either a carbon dioxide removal (CDR) method or a solar radiation management (SRM) method. CDR methods address the warming effects of greenhouse gases by removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. CDR methods include ocean fertilization, and carbon capture and sequestration. SRM methods address climate change by increasing the reflectivity of the Earth's atmosphere or surface.

Aerosol injection and space-based reflectors are examples of SRM methods. SRM methods do not remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, but can be deployed faster with relatively immediate global cooling results compared to CDR methods.''

Reynolds' study will be published in the Journal of Energy, Climate and the Environment around the same time that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presents its Fifth Assessment Report. The study continues the calls for an international body to regulate the controversial weather modification techniques.

Some believe the answer is international agreement for international tests but low-risk domestic research should continue to assist in the overall decision of what to do with geoengineering.

One of the many dangers of manipulating the weather are the loss of blue skies. According to a report by the New Scientist, Ben Kravitz of the Carnegie Institution for Science has shown that releasing sulphate aerosols high in the atmosphere would scatter sunlight into the atmosphere. He says this could decrease the amount of sunlight that hits the ground by 20% and make the sky appear more hazy.

Although a number of authorities have warned about the dangers of geoengineering techniques, the risks are seen as secondary to the perceived risks of climate change. The interesting thing to note is that although proponents of geoengineering hail it as the solution to climate change and sustaining life, studies show that geoengineering could actually have the reverse effect of heating the Earth.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, if geoengineering programs were started and then suddenly halted the planet could see immediate rise in temperatures, particularly over land. The study, titled ''The impact of abrupt suspension of solar radiation management'', seems to indicate that once you begin geoengineering you cannot suspend the programs without causing the very problem you were seeking to resolve.

As the dangers around this technology begin to emerge, some critics believe there is more than meets the eye. A growing group of concerned activists believe the SRM programs are not only in the developmental research phase but are currently active. Weather modification techniques in the form of cloud-seeding programs are active in China, for example. With researchers warning that the very initiation of geoengineering programs could cause global temperatures to rise it does make sense that governments would work to keep quiet about domestic geoengineering programs. Geoengineering in one country could cause drought in another part of the world after all, and no government wants that responsibility.

Despite the claims that these programs are still in their research stage there is some information that points to aerosol spraying, weather modification programs being active. In a 1996 document entitled ''Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather by 2025'', the U.S. Air Force discusses a number of proposals for using the weather as a weapon. The document warrants your attention and research. (

We also have companies like Weather Modification, Inc. On this corporations site you can peruse different planes that you can pay to run a cloud seeding operation. They even offer a list of clients and sites that are active. There is also the Environmental Modification Treaty signed by the United States to halt global weather modification.

The United States and allied governments do have a history of covertly testing controversial technologies and apologizing later. Is it possible that in an attempt to save the planet from tragedy some rogue government(s) and/or corporation(s) have been quietly testing out geoengineering programs only to find out they cannot stop the programs without risking heating the entire planet? Is their purpose more nefarious? Or are these programs really only in the research phase, still being worked out on the drawing board?

Whether the programs are active now or not, the evidence continues to pile up that geoengineering is at the least a haphazard attempt to fix environmental issues. If we are to look for solutions concerning the health of our planet and our society as a whole, let us look inward. Let us look to our communities for solutions. Technology can be of great assistance as we maneuver forward into a more ecocentric view but we should not become so enamored with gadgets that we detach from nature and wreak havoc on the planet we co-exist with.

Please continue to do research on geoengineering programs. For the sake of us all, look up and ask questions.

Other sources:

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist, community activist, gardener and promoter from Houston, Texas. He is the co-founder of The Houston Free Thinkers, and co-host of Free Thinker Radio. Broze also hosts and produces a weekly podcast under the name the Conscious Resistance Live. His writing can be found on The Conscious Resistance, The Liberty Beat, Activist Post, and other independent media sources.

Study finds geoengineering research 'free for all' - SciDev.Net

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Archived Version

Sat, 07 Dec 2013 00:44

The 'plan B' of using geoengineering to rescue humanity from the impact of climate change exists in a 'vacuum' of international regulations, according to a recent review. Proposals to counteract the effects of global warming by engineering the planet, with methods such as spraying chemicals into the atmosphere to block solar radiation, are largely theoretical and lacking in research. But they prompt debate, with some scientists rejecting particular geoengineering proposals altogether, and others calling for developing nations to have a bigger say in any such plans. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognised that, though there could be unintended consequences, geoengineering may have the potential to substantially offset a global temperature rise. Against this backdrop, Jesse Reynolds, a researcher at Tilburg Law School in the Netherlands, has explored the legal status of geoengineering research by studying the details of several international environmental treaties, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity. His study, due to be published in 2014 in the Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment, finds that existing international law not only permits geoengineering field research to go ahead, but also encourages it. This is because, though field trials may present risks to the environment and health, the deployment of geoengineering could reduce the much greater risks of climate change. But Reynolds adds that international regulation is necessary because both research and deployment pose risks that would cross national borders. ''It remains unclear what the form and substance of that regulation should be, because we don't know what climate engineering will actually look like,'' Reynolds tells SciDev.Net. ''We don't know the form it will take, the risks it might pose or what we want to get out of it. Right now, it's almost all modelling and hypothetical scenarios. But I think we're at a stage where there can start to be serious conversations,'' he says. The UNFCCC's Conference of the Parties meetings, such as the one last month in Warsaw, Poland, may not be the best forum to discuss the issue, he adds. ''The UNFCCC is primarily driven by national governments and elected officials,'' he explains. ''So it remains unclear exactly how, in such a politicised context, it could address an uncertain and controversial topic like climate engineering in a productive way.'' Instead, Reynolds believes scientific institutions, including the IPCC, should have a greater role in feeding their expertise and findings into regulations. For example, the UNFCCC could be in a better position for useful discussion after the IPCC presents its Fifth Assessment Report in 2014, which may include more detail on climate engineering. Andrew Parker, a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, United States, and contributor to a recent report on African perspectives on the governance of solar geoengineering research, says the need for international agreement is more important when embarking on international tests. However, in the meantime, he says that low-risk field research that could help with decisions should go ahead. But he adds that ''in the medium term, there needs to be ongoing discussion between the relevant scientific bodies in various governments to have a shared set of standards for research''. These include standards for communicating research and environmental impact assessments. Link to article in Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment


Europe must prepare for extreme weather events - News in Brief - The Ecologist

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Archived Version

Mon, 02 Dec 2013 16:47

The Ecologist

2nd December 2013

Given the tragic events this year in the rest of the world and the recent IPCC report, we feel obliged to draw attention to the growing impact of extreme weather in Europe

Grave economic and social consequences will follow if European policy makers do not use the latest estimates of future droughts, floods and storms in their planning, warns a report published today by EASAC, representing the national science academies of EU Member States. Europe also must invest in adapting to global warming and to the wider climate disruption the warming will cause.

The report, Extreme Weather Events in Europe, advises that Europe has already experienced a 60% rise over the last 30 years in the costs of damage from extreme weather events. "Given the tragic events this year in the rest of the world and the recent IPCC report, we feel obliged to draw attention to the growing impact of extreme weather in Europe", said EASAC President Sir Brian Heap, launching the document.

"From the major loss of lives in heat waves to the economic and human costs of floods and storms, the implications are worrying. They present the European Union and its Member States with significant challenges in preparing Europe for a future with greater frequency of extreme weather.

"In planning to adapt to such a future, it is critical to use the latest scientific knowledge on how different types of extreme events are expected to develop. This depends not only on the type of event but also where in Europe is being considered since the EU's 28 countries and over 500 million population live in very different climate zones, from the Mediterranean sub-tropical to the Arctic."

Five specific areas requiring immediate action driven at the EU level: heat-waves; flood defence and early warning; agriculture; climate research; and adaptation plans. Joint EU action is "essential because these events do not respect national barriers".

Sir Brian also emphasised the need to improve and refine climate models. "Global climate model outputs have proved of immense value in providing the basis for understanding climate and its future. However, there is an urgent need to improve regional climate models to reduce uncertainties and improve projections, for example extreme precipitations or hail storms and other local climatic phenomena such as tornadoes remain imperfectly understood.

"The EU has a critical role in strengthening European climate-research communities and building networks across borders and disciplines to provide the data required for informed future policy-making."

The full report can be downloaded from the EASAC website from 2 December 2013.

EASAC, the European Academies Science Advisory Council, is formed by the national science academies of the EU Member States, to collaborate in giving advice to European policy-makers. EASAC provides a means for the collective voice of European Science to be heard. Through EASAC, the academies work together to provide independent expert, evidence-based advice about the scientific aspects of European policies to those who make or influence policy within the European institutions.

Storm Xaver blizzards claim more lives in Poland

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Archived Version

Source: euronews

Sun, 08 Dec 2013 14:07

The powerful storm sweeping across northern and central Europe has claimed several more lives.

At least five people died in Poland on Saturday; three of them were killed when high winds hurled a tree against a car in the northwest, where Storm Xaver has brought heavy snow.

Power cuts affected tens of thousands of homes after cables were brought down.


Report: Climate change tipping points coming -

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Archived Version

Thu, 05 Dec 2013 01:57

The report adds to the scientific research warning of dramatic fallout from climate change. | Reuters

CloseClimate change isn't just a problem facing future generations, a new scientific report warns, saying the planet could suffer serious and abrupt climate threats in the next few years or decades '-- leaving nations with a narrow window to adapt.

The National Research Council report, released Tuesday, says even gradual climate changes that have unfolded over centuries will reach so-called tipping points that could result in abrupt impacts on everything from sea ice to ecosystems. The report calls for an ''early warning system'' aimed at better predicting when those impacts will occur.

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''Right now we don't know what many of these thresholds are,'' James White, professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder and chairman of the committee that wrote the report, said in a statement. ''But with better information, we will be able to anticipate some major changes before they occur and help reduce the potential consequences.''

(Also on POLITICO: EPA head bets on China for climate change support)

The report adds to the growing body of scientific research warning of dramatic fallout from unabated climate change. Notably, it also echoes longtime warnings by activists and scientists that it is imperative to act quickly.

But many activists say domestic and international efforts to address the issue aren't moving fast enough. The U.S. and other nations are struggling to come to a global climate change agreement in 2015, having been unable to reach major agreements at an interim meeting in Poland last month. And while the Obama administration is moving forward with greenhouse gas regulations for power plants, experts say rules reining in emissions from other sectors must follow.

''Although many projections of future climatic conditions have predicted steadily changing conditions giving the impression that communities have time to gradually adapt '... the scientific community has been paying increasing attention to the possibility that at least some changes will be abrupt, perhaps crossing a threshold or 'tipping point' to change so quickly that there will be little time to react,'' the report says.

(Also on POLITICO: A green movement of all stripes)

Some of these abrupt changes, including melting late-summer Arctic sea ice and species extinctions, are already occurring. But scientists are watching for others, including gradual rises in sea level that suddenly reach the point of flooding low-lying cities.

The report calls for the development of an ''Abrupt Change Early Warning System'' that would ''(1) identify and quantify social and natural vulnerabilities and ensure long-term, stable observations of key environmental and economic parameters through enhanced and targeted monitoring; (2) integrate new knowledge into numerical models for enhanced understanding and predictive capability; and (3) synthesize new learning and advance the understanding of the Earth system, taking advantage of collaborations and new analysis tools.''

The report, called ''Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises,'' was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. intelligence community and the National Academies.

(Sign up for POLITICO's Morning Energy tip sheet)

The report was issued on the same day the International Energy Agency warned that global greenhouse gas emissions will continue to surge in the coming years, a move that puts the planet on a path toward blowing past a temperature increase target that scientists consider low enough to avoid serious harm.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector will rise 20 percent by 2035 despite moves in the U.S., Europe, China, Japan and elsewhere to reduce emissions, according to the IEA's 2013 World Energy Outlook.

''This leaves the world on a trajectory consistent with a long-term average temperature increase of 3.6 C, far above the internationally agreed 2 C target,'' the outlook said.


Global-warming 'proof' is evaporating | New York Post

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Archived Version

Thu, 05 Dec 2013 15:18

The 2013 hurricane season just ended as one of the five quietest years since 1960. But don't expect anyone who pointed to last year's hurricanes as ''proof'' of the need to act against global warming to apologize; the warmists don't work that way.

Warmist claims of a severe increase in hurricane activity go back to 2005 and Hurricane Katrina. The cover of Al Gore's 2009 book, ''Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis,'' even features a satellite image of the globe with four major hurricanes superimposed.

Yet the evidence to the contrary was there all along. Back in 2005 I and others reviewed the entire hurricane record, which goes back over a century, and found no increase of any kind. Yes, we sometimes get bad storms '-- but no more frequently now than in the past. The advocates simply ignored that evidence '-- then repeated their false claims after Hurricane Sandy last year.

And the media play along. For example, it somehow wasn't front-page news that committed believers in man-made global warming recently admitted there's been no surface global warming for well over a decade and maybe none for decades more. Nor did we see warmists conceding that their explanation is essentially a confession that the previous warming may not have been man-made at all.

That admission came in a new paper by prominent warmists in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Dynamics. They not only conceded that average global surface temperatures stopped warming a full 15 years ago, but that this ''pause'' could extend into the 2030s.

Mind you, the term ''pause'' is misleading in the extreme: Unless and until it resumes again, it's just a ''stop.'' You don't say a bullet-ridden body ''paused'' breathing.

Remarkably, that stoppage has practically been a state secret. Just five years ago, the head of the International Panel on Climate Change, the group most associated with ''proving'' that global warming is man-made and has horrific potential consequences, told Congress that Earth is running a ''fever'' that's ''apt to get much worse.'' Yet he and IPCC knew the warming had stopped a decade earlier.

Those who pointed this out, including yours truly, were labeled ''denialists.'' Yet the IPCC itself finally admitted the ''pause'' in its latest report.

The single most damning aspect of the ''pause'' is that, because it has occurred when ''greenhouse gases'' have been pouring into the atmosphere at record levels, it shows at the very least that something natural is at play here. The warmists suggest that natural factors have ''suppressed'' the warming temporarily, but that's just a guess: The fact is, they have nothing like the understanding of the climate that they claimed (and their many models that all showed future warming mean nothing, since they all used essentially the same false information).

If Ma Nature caused the ''pause,'' can't this same lady be responsible for the warming observed earlier? You bet! Fact is, the earth was cooling and warming long before so-called GHGs could have been a factor. A warm spell ushered in the Viking Age, and many scientists believe recent warming was merely a recovery from what's called ''the Little Ice Age'' that began around 1300.

Yet none of this unsettles the rush to kill debate. The Los Angeles Times has even announced that it will no longer print letters to the editor questioning man-made global warming. Had the Times been printing before Columbus, perhaps it would have banned letters saying the Earth was round.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration continues to push to reduce supposed global-warming emissions. Last month, the president even signed an executive order establishing a Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience that could dramatically expand government bureaucrats' ability to restrict Americans' use of their property, water and energy to reduce so-called ''greenhouse gas emissions.''

Such attempted reductions in other countries have proved incredibly expensive, while barely reducing emissions. But damn the stubbornly weak economy, says President Obama, full speed ahead!

This, even as new data show that last year the US median wage hit its lowest level since 1998 and long-term unemployment is almost the highest ever.

People have a right to religious and cult beliefs within reason. But the warmists have been proved wrong time and again, each time reacting with little more than pictures of forlorn polar bears on ice floes and trying to shut down the opposition. (More bad timing: Arctic ice increased by almost a third this past year, while that at the South Pole was thicker and wider than it's been in 35 years.)

In war and in science, the bloodiest conflicts always seem to be the religious ones. Time for the American public to say it's no longer going to play the victim in this one.

Michael Fumento is a journalist and attorney based in Colombia.


The secret society of warmists - Telegraph

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Archived Version

Wed, 04 Dec 2013 05:28

In this week's Spectator Diary, Lord (Nigel) Lawson, chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, partly lifts the veil on a curious ''secret meeting'' held at the House of Lords between a team from his GWPF and six scientists from the Royal Society. This arose from a bizarre personal attack made on Lord Lawson as a ''climate denier'' at an Australian university, by the Royal Society's president, Sir Paul Nurse '' a geneticist who has publicly shown that he knows little about climate science, but who believes that rising CO2 is disastrously causing the world to warm. After Lawson pointed out to Nurse that his attack was factually inaccurate, Nurse offered to send some of his ''experts'' to put the GWPF straight on science.

The society insisted that the meeting be shrouded in secrecy; not even the names of those present were to be revealed. What might have surprised it was the calibre of the scientific team the GWPF was able to muster, including three fellows of the Royal Society itself, and Dr Richard Lindzen, the world's most distinguished atmospheric physicist. Although the GWPF has in general scrupulously observed the ''Chatham House rule'' that the society imposed on the meeting, we can piece together something of how it went.

Nurse's team, led by Sir Brian Hoskins of the Grantham Institute, who also sits on the climate change committee advising the Government on policy, trotted out all the familiar arguments for the orthodoxy, including several ''hockey stick'' graphs to show global temperatures now soaring to levels unknown for thousands of years. They threw in some of the scare stories warmists have come up with to counter evidence that for 15 years temperatures have failed to rise as their computer models predicted, such as that ''the oceans are acidifying'' and that there has been a dramatic increase in ''extreme weather events'' (neither claim is true).

As one present put it, ''it was like talking to members of a cult''. What particularly struck the GWPF team was their opposite numbers' refusal to discuss the policy implications of their beliefs, even though Hoskins is a leading member of the ''independent'' committee which advises the Government on its increasingly disastrous and futile ''low carbon'' energy policy. In short, the meeting seemed perfectly to exemplify the real mess we are in, where the officially approved scientists who advise our politicians are so sure they are right that it is impossible to have any serious dialogue with them.

Iran's 'reforming' Rouhani has fooled the West once again

One of the more dangerous fairy stories of our time, popular with politicians and journalists, is that Iran's new president, Dr Hassan Rouhani, is somehow a ''reforming moderate'' we can do business with '' as in that deal last week whereby Iran supposedly agreed not to continue developing nuclear weapons in return for a reduction in the UN sanctions that are damaging its economy.

What those who fall for this overlook is that the Rouhani regime is imposing as ruthless a reign of terror on its unhappy people as ever: nearly 400 hangings since he was elected; teenagers publicly having their eyes gouged out; Tehran's Revolutionary Guards still spreading terror across the Middle East, playing a crucial part in helping Syria's President Assad to wage war on his people. And that vaunted nuclear deal is no more worth the paper it was written on than a similar deal in 2004, when Rouhani was Iran's chief negotiator, later boasting how he had fooled the West while Iran secretly carried on developing a nuclear bomb.

As a puppet of Iran's real ''Supreme Leader'', the Ayatollah Khamenei, Rouhani may rejoice at having once again deceived the West. But the partial lifting of sanctions has bought Tehran a little more time to prop up a faltering dictatorship which Rouhani has no more intention of ''reforming'' than had any of his predecessors.


Public-private partnerships feature in latest UN climate talks |

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NASA iPad app shows startling environmental changes

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Wed, 04 Dec 2013 15:41

NASA iPad app shows startling environmental changes1 hour agoThe retreat of Pedersen Glacier, Alaska. Left: summer 1917. Right: summer 2005. Credit: NASA/JPL

Human activities, a changing climate and natural disasters are rapidly altering the face of our planet. Now, with NASA's Images of Change iPad application, users can get an interactive before-and-after view of these changes.

The app presents pairs or sets of images of places around the world that have changed dramatically. Some of these locations have suffered a disaster, such as a fire or tsunami, or illustrate the effects of human activities, such as dam building or urban growth. Others document impacts of climate change such as persistent drought and rapidly receding glaciers.

"Images of Change gives users an astronaut's or Earth explorer's view of the changes occurring on our planet and demonstrates the important role NASA plays in contributing to the long-term understanding of Earth," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for science in Washington. "By utilizing ground-based and space-based observation systems, we are able to better understand how humans are contributing to a changing world."

Images of Change makes NASA climate change resources, images and interactive tools more accessible to citizens and decision makers, a key aspect of President Obama's Climate Action Plan. The image pairs are part of the larger Images of Change gallery on NASA's Webby-award-winning Global Climate Change website. The gallery includes satellite views as well as photos taken at ground level.

Viewers can look at the images side-by-side or overlay them using a slider bar to travel from past to present. Each image set includes background information on what the viewer is seeing and its location on a map.

"The Images of Change gallery is one of the more popular parts of the Global Climate Change website," said Amber Jenkins, editor of the website at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "The gallery project, which began in 2009, helps people see just how our planet is changing over days, months, years and centuries. Seeing is believing, and the perspective we get from space helps us step back and see Earth as a whole."

Explore further:Earth month: NASA launches new interactive image gallery

More information: The Images of Change iPad app is available as a free download at:

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