Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

19 - 25 March 2018

by Bjinse Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 09:00:20 PM EST

Your take on this week's news


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by Bjinse on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 09:01:24 PM EST
UK university workers send a defiant message
Some 42,000 staff members--including lecturers, researchers, librarians and technicians and other campus workers--are continuing their strike at more than 60 universities and colleges across the UK, after the rank and file rejected a deal agreed to by union leaders.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) had voted in favor of 14 days of strike action over a period of four weeks starting on February 22, largely in response to plans to end guaranteed pension benefits. Universities UK (UUK), the body that represents university managers, wants to change the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) from a "defined benefit" system, which gives workers a guaranteed income when they retire, to a "defined contribution" system, where pension benefits are subject to fluctuations in the stock market. The union estimates that this could cut UCU members' pensions by an average of 10,000 pounds ($14,000) per year.

All out for USS Home

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 01:33:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaker Ryan Invites French President to Address Congress, 25 April
"While he is pro-business in ways that reflect Republican views, his positions on other matters, including social issues and the role of government, align him more closely with the American left."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 06:15:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dáil passes bill over referendum on Eighth Amendment
"This evening, it was passed by 97 votes to 25."
What is the referendum bill's text?
"Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancies."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 10:24:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch city council election 21 March

Who will explain the election result ... amazing!

Labour party completely devastated
SP and D66 have both taken a big hit
Rural areas big win for locals ... they have overall the largest representation
VVD of Mark Rutte a winner most likely due to the fact that Geert Wilders PVV ran a worst campaign as novice to ths election
Great WINNER in the major cities Groen Links or the Green Party ... congratulations

A referendum on a further hit on people's privacy most likely will not pass ... but that doen't matter. Mark Rutte can and will do what's needed for national security ... just as under the Bush/Blair years.


Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Thu Mar 22nd, 2018 at 05:59:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A new generation is rising in Russia - The Economist


Mr Gabuev, Ms Mostinskaya, Mr Ovchinnikov and other Russians are part of a new generation of Russian elite who share the European values declared by Mr Gorbachev around the time of their birth and are traumatised by their reversal 30 years later. A significant and vocal group, they are imbued with a sense of entitlement and have the potential and desire to complete Russia's aborted transition to a "normal" country. Whether they get a chance to do so depends on many factors, including their determination and the resistance of the system embodied by Mr Putin's rule.

The new generation define themselves by their difference from their "fathers" as well as some similarities with their "grandfathers". Gorbachev's grandchildren recognise in each other a dissatisfaction with the aggression, degradation and lies that underpin Mr Putin's rule. He presides over the sort of power structure that Douglass North, an American political economist, has called the "natural state". In this, rents are created by limiting access to economic and political resources, and the limits are enforced by "specialists in violence". In Russia these are thesiloviki of the assorted security and police forces, serving the system as they did in Soviet times.

That system is not about to crumble. But the rise of a new generation--especially one which, through quirks of demography, is large (see chart)--matters in Russia. "Every new group coming to power has always declared a break with the previous one," wrote Yuri Levada, a prominent Russian academic, "blaming it for every possible sin. A demonstrable rejection of predecessors has been the main way for leaders of a new generation to establish themselves in power, regardless of whether they carried on or changed the means and style of governance."

by Bjinse on Thu Mar 22nd, 2018 at 07:18:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"A new generation is rising in Russia" has been a meme since Peter the Great.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 at 03:50:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

"Police shoot a water cannon at a man during a protest in Paris. Nationwide strikes are causing major disruptions to trains, planes, schools and other public services in France as unions set up dozens of street protests across the country. (AP/Thibault Camus)" Mint Press

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 at 11:32:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thousands join 'Black Friday' marches against Polish abortion restrictions
"Protesters gather during a protest against plans to further restrict abortion laws in Warsaw, Poland March 23, 2018. Agencja Gazeta/Dawid Zuchowicz via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND. * Local Caption * hniki Warszawa'"

archived
"Black Protests"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Mar 24th, 2018 at 12:17:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Former Catalan leader Puigdemont detained in Germany
charge: "25 years in prison for organizing an illegal referendum on secession" hmm
German police said they had arrested Puigdemont in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein on a European arrest warrant issued by Spain. [...] In a statement, police said Puigdemont was detained near a section of the A7 highway which cuts through the state from the city of Flensburg near the Danish border. Police did not say exactly where Puigdemont was being held but the Spanish press said he was at a police station in the nearby town of Schuby.
I once attempted a diction intervention on a UID (US ex-pat in NZ) who mistakenly believed, arrest and detention are distinct police actions. They are synonyms. Both words mean to prevent (civil) liberty, freedom of movement, of an individual --temporarily.

The period of arrest permitted law enforcement agents to ascertain facts varies by state statutes, we have duly noted, from indefinite (for undocumented migrants to the US) to, say, 24 hours. But no charge predicates such action. Suspicion or "probably cause" to suspect illegal or unlawful conduct in progress is sufficient authority to arrest an individual. In the US at least, a suspect's arrest status changes upon arraignment, presentation, of charges and court order, if any, to remand the suspect's freedom to law enforcement agents.

This was at the time Greenwald's friend Miranda (ironically) was "detained" by UK law enforcement at Heathrow for nine hours.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 at 02:35:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Puigdemont is closer to the undocumented migrant in this case. He isn't arrested accused of a crime in Germany, but pending extradition to Spain.

If he fights extradition, he has an advantage in that illegal referendums, as well as more traditional charges like rebellion are not mentioned in the EAW framework's list of charges.

Anyhow, I thought Spain had dropped the EAW? Or is this another one?

by fjallstrom on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 at 05:47:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
to attend a police station

usage: Mr Anwar said following discussions with Police Scotland and the Crown Office, arrangements would be made for Ms Ponsati to voluntarily attend a police station this week then appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Is this Gib-Eng. patois?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Mar 27th, 2018 at 09:31:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Asia Times
Sarkozy has been the target of no fewer than 10 different investigations so far - seven of them still ongoing.

The French establishment, predictably, is livid. An array of mostly center-right politicians swanned on to political talk shows to support the former president and emphasize "presumption of innocence." Quite the opposite of the Salisbury spy gambit, where the Kremlin and President Putin have been swiftly condemned, evidence-free.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 at 05:04:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We have first results for the Austrian Burka-ban after about one year:
Total sanctions (mostly for wearing ski gear): 29
Sanctions for wearing a Burka: 4
Persons concerned: 1
Christendom: Defended
by generic on Mon Mar 26th, 2018 at 02:58:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe they should try this in Puglia. I once saw a parade there of lots of women, all wearing Burkas. Actually they were "Catholic burkas" as some of the locals called them....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Mar 26th, 2018 at 03:12:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It turns out the ban is having some positive consequences.
In late October, police in Vienna interrupted a camera crew filming outside the Austrian parliament and forced a man dressed as the rabbit Lesko, the official mascot of the parliament's youth outreach scheme, to remove his bright-blue mask with furry ears.

The same month, a man dressed as a shark to promote the opening of a branch of the Apple retailer McShark was also forced to remove his headgear.

I'm waiting for France to enforce a ban at Disneyland.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Mar 27th, 2018 at 01:38:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leave Jeremy Corbyn Alone. He's The Leader We Young Jews Have Waited For. | The Forward - Opinion |

I first voted in a UK General Election in 2005, the year after I left school. I remember various adults telling me grand things about democracy and its history in this great liberal nation. I remember walking into my local voting station, feeling very grown up, putting my X on the ballot paper and checking several times that I'd done it right before putting it into one of the boxes. What I don't remember is who I voted for

...
I don't have much faith in our political system. And I am not alone. During every election in my memory, a running line of commentary has been that "young people don't vote." Whether out of apathy, or, like me, deciding to put their energy elsewhere, young voter turnout has been a recurrent issue here in the UK.

Until last June.

The General Election last year saw a surge in youth turnout the likes of which hadn't been seen in a quarter of a century. The reason was an ageing, bearded activist who wears brown suits and grows his own vegetables.

Jeremy Corbyn has defied all predictions. And like Bernie Sanders in the U.S., he is particularly popular among Britain's disenchanted youth.

Corbyn is the first political leader in our living memory who we've heard say anything real, with policies that go beyond buzzwords, that might actually change the future we are facing. Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell are the only MPs who have actually listened to my concerns, and responded to them. Last year, many of my friends who had never before shown any interest in electoral politics not only turned out and voted, but actually campaigned on the streets for the Labour party.

Facing Jewish community protest, Corbyn apologizes for Labour anti-Semitism
Bernie's Socialism and Kibbutz Experience of '63

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Mar 28th, 2018 at 08:33:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The mural
The interjection by the [BBC] host was problematic:
If you look at that picture even for a split-second it is a picture of six men with hook-noses, stereotypical Jewish men playing a board of bankers' monopoly on the broken backs...of workers. Which bit of that is not antisemitic?
The US artist who painted the mural, Kalen Ockerman, has identified the men it depicts as, from left to right, "Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan, Aleister Crowley, Carnegie & Warburg".

Of the six men, only the first and last in the list were Jewish. One, Aleister Crowley, was noted for his antisemitic views.

But the programme assumed the six men were Jewish - because it said they have `hook-noses' and were bankers - and seemingly did not bother to check.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 29th, 2018 at 06:34:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Far-right, hard-left leaders forced out of French march to honor Jewish murder victim - Reuter
Le Pen and Melenchon joined the march but they met a hostile reception from participants and when tensions threatened to boil over they pulled out. Le Pen later managed to rejoin the demonstration.

 Knoll was buried on Wednesday in Bagneux on the southern outskirts of Paris ahead of the march organized by Crif, an umbrella body of French Jewish groups. Crif's leader told far-right and far-left groups not to attend the rally.

"Anti-Semites are over-represented in the far left and the far right, making those parties ones that you don't want to be associated with," Crif director Francis Kalifat told RTL radio. "Therefore they are not welcome."

Note that Le Pen apparently managed to sneak back in.
And what made the CRIF oppose Mélenchon? He is a supporter of BDS, apparently.

Don't politicize memorial march for slain Holocaust survivor, French Jewish leader warns - Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Kalifat's statement, which he made in parallel to calls for "everyone" to attend the march, prompted criticism also by prominent French Jews and other critics of the far left and far right in France.

"The goal of the gathering is precisely to show that the tragedy of Mirelle Knoll is everyone's business (not only that of Jews or people whom CRIF tolerates)," Raphael Enthoven, a French-Jewish philosopher, wrote on Twitter. "Your approach is counterproductive to this march and that's a big shame."

by Bernard on Thu Mar 29th, 2018 at 06:37:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note, also, that Mélenchon was exfiltrated by his people after having been targeted by the "Ligue de Défense Juive" (LDJ) (which is classified as a terrorist organization in the USA)

The same group apparently helped Marine Le Pen rejoin the march after having been chased out.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Mar 30th, 2018 at 11:00:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
RT
Facebook has refused to take down a post calling for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to be assassinated. The threat was posted on a Tory-supporting Facebook page, Evolve Politics reports.

The post from the page `Conservative memes for Tory Teens' reads: "I think we should order hits on Russia's spies," before going on to say "let's start with Jeremy Corbyn."

Evolve Politics signaled the post to Facebook, which got back to them with a generic message saying the post does not contravene its `Community Standards.'

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 29th, 2018 at 03:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 09:01:26 PM EST
Investors Sue Facebook Over Data-Mining Scandal
"Facebook shareholder Fan Yuan says in a federal class action filed Tuesday that Facebook's failure to protect its users' data from mining by Cambridge Analytica caused a significant decline in its stock price and financial harm to stockholders."


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 06:31:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rents now higher than in boom time as costs outside Dublin surge
"The national average cost is now €1,054 a month, up from € 990 a year earlier"

Average weekly earning, private sector, CYE 2017
€ 674.94 (gross) -- approx. € 2,924.74 / mo.

Average weekly earning, public sector, CYE 2017
€ 946.55 (gross) -- approx. € 4,101.72

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 11:41:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlin Just Canceled Its Airbnb Ban
"In 2016 alone, 2,500 apartments in Berlin were put back on the rental market following the ban."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 at 09:45:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who needs an Airbnb in Berlin? Everyone knows someone they can stay with there.

(Last year, I attended an event in Berlin along with hundreds of activists from all over Europe. My group from Lyon was pretty much the only one who needed help with accomodation)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Mar 30th, 2018 at 11:12:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And even if they don't, hotels are very cheap (and were so even in the pre-Airbnb days).
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Mar 30th, 2018 at 11:17:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, the days of cheap rent in Berlin seem to be over (who gets the next turn to be Europe's creative capital?)
... so it's quite right to crack down before the locals get driven out entirely by mass tourism.

(I was in Lisbon last week, yes, an airbee mass tourist, and there don't seem to be any Portugese living in the historic centre these days)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Mar 30th, 2018 at 04:40:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Wed Mar 28th, 2018 at 03:38:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 09:01:29 PM EST
Haspel is Trump's chance to reset his bad start with the CIA
So how can Haspel gain the president's trust, while staying true to the CIA mission?
[...]
Yet Haspel's selection has raised concerns among many - including key Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee - regarding her role in approving the torture of detainees during the Bush years. She is even purported to have been at the heart of "tapegate," when videotapes showing prisoner torture were illegally destroyed at the agency.

Critics are right to condemn this history. Even though Haspel is likely be confirmed, she must work to restore confidence that she will follow the law and resist political influence. If she can do this, she will be well positioned to start rebuilding relations between the CIA and senior policymakers in both the White House and Congress.
[...]
Finally, the CIA director cannot simply tell the president what he wants to hear. This is where Haspel's career is important. After serving in several senior positions at the agency, her commitment to the CIA culture of speaking truth to power will be critical to her success. And if she and the CIA don't have the respect and trust of the people making life-or-death decisions about national security, America - and the world - will face an even more uncertain future.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 01:20:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Follow the Leader: Exploring American Support for Democracy and Authoritarianism

Comparing supporters of different candidates in the presidential primaries, the highest level of openness to authoritarian political systems is among those voters who supported Donald Trump in the primaries. Thirty two percent of Trump primary voters support a "strong leader." The level of support for this option is especially high (45 percent) among those who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and then switched parties to vote for Donald Trump in 2016. Perhaps more unexpectedly, 20 percent of Hillary Clinton's primary voters support a "strong leader" unbound by Congress and elections and 15 percent go so far as to support "army rule" -- both slightly higher than the levels expressed by the primary supporters of Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, or Ted Cruz. (Yet Clinton's primary supporters were more likely to say that democracy is preferable to any other form of government.)
by das monde on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 04:35:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Judge Boots [Carter Page]'s Suit on Russia Ties Report
Pro se complaint misfired.In other words, th poor sap sued the wrong party.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 06:45:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mueller Seeks More Time to Respond to Manafort Gambit

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 07:43:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If he politely ask, perhaps Posner will cut him a discount.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 11:53:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The New CIA Director Nominee and the Massacre at My Lai
"The protection of those who commit heinous crimes in the name of the U.S. government (by the government in whose name the crimes are committed) provides a dangerous precedent and could lead to the conclusion by many in the military and CIA that they can 'get away with murder.'"

42 U.S. Code § 2000dd-1 - Protection of United States Government personnel engaged in authorized interrogations

(a) Protection of United States Government personnel
In any civil action or criminal prosecution against an officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States Government who is a United States person, arising out of the officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent's engaging in specific operational practices, that involve detention and interrogation of aliens who the President or his designees have determined are believed to be engaged in or associated with international terrorist activity that poses a serious, continuing threat to the United States, its interests, or its allies, and that were officially authorized and determined to be lawful at the time that they were conducted, it shall be a defense that such officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent did not know that the practices were unlawful and a person of ordinary sense and understanding would not know the practices were unlawful. Good faith reliance on advice of counsel should be an important factor, among others, to consider in assessing whether a person of ordinary sense and understanding would have known the practices to be unlawful. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or extinguish any defense or protection otherwise available to any person or entity from suit, civil or criminal liability, or damages, or to provide immunity from prosecution for any criminal offense by the proper authorities.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 07:04:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correction: Trump's Pick to Head CIA Did Not Oversee Waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah | ProPublica |

The CIA did not comment further on the story after its publication and we were not aware of any further questions about its accuracy until this week.  

From my diary - Brennan: A Lone Man's 'Righteous' Campaign .

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 07:48:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am aware of this gratuitous, editorial qualification of reporting on the ECCHR by Pro Publica stringers. It's my understanding, the company simply wants avoid legal expenses arising from action against publication by US gov on behalf of that protected (or "suspect") class, 42 US § 2000dd-1. Indeed Pro Publica staff is not privy to material facts found by US Senate "investigation" of CIA operations. That information remains classified, an "argument from silence" (Bernal). But I'm not having it or anyone who even entertains this "color of law" simultaneously representing US national security and human rights.

The committee's "Executive Summary" of findings and conclusions is pp 499, or 7% of the "full report". No individual CIA personnel are named in it. However, individual CIA personnel have been identified and assigned to programmatic torture, challenged by private civil suits brought by surviving detainees to USA and EU courts since 2005. Very little of that testimony is public, regardless of settlement.

The full Committee Study, which totals more than 6,700 pages, remains classified but is now an official Senate report. The full report has been provided to the White House, the CIA, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in the hopes that it will prevent future coercive interrogation practices
[...]
Seeking declassification of the more than six thousand page report would have significantly delayed the release of the Executive Summary. Decisions will be made later on the declassification and release of the full 6,700 page Study.
[...]  
As noted previously, the Committee approved the Terms of Reference for the Study in March 2009 and began requesting information from the CIA and other federal departments. The Committee, through its staff, had already reviewed in 2008 thousands of CIA cables describing the interrogations of the CIA detainees Abu Zubaydah and 'Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, whose interrogations were the subject of videotapes that were destroyed by the CIA in 2005.
[...]
Following the December 2012 vote, the Committee Study was sent to the President and appropriate parts of the Executive Branch for comments by February 15, 2013. The CIA responded in late June 2013 with extensive comments on the Findings and Conclusions, based in part on the responses of CIA officials involved in the program. At my direction, the Committee staff met with CIA representatives in order to fully understand the CIA's comments, and then incorporated suggested edits or comments as appropriate.

ibid

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 08:51:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mendacity Heaped on Calumny
The letter underscores the challenge Haspel will have in receiving Senate confirmation for the top position at the CIA. Both Democrats and Republicans have raised concerns over her involvement at a "black site" prison in Thailand and her role in the "enhanced interrogation" of terrorism suspects, which McCain and others have labeled as torture.
[...]
In the letter, McCain requested information on her involvement with the program and whether she was directly involved or oversaw any "enhanced interrogation techniques," like waterboarding. He also pressed Haspel on whether such techniques were justified and whether the methods resulted in any meaningful intelligence.
Hapel's questionable authority and professional competence as Chief of Base
Under dispute is Haspel's direct role in the interrogation program and whether she was involved in the destruction of tapes containing evidence of the torture. The issue is sure to be a main focus of her confirmation hearings and could impede her eventual confirmation in the Senate.
Glass ceiling exposed
One declassified cable, among scores obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit against the architects of the "enhanced interrogation" techniques, says that chief of base and another senior counterterrorism official on scene had the sole authority power to halt the questioning.
#ProPublica#MeToo#Time'sUp omerta developing ...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 at 02:40:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Life in Jail for a CIA Whisteblower, One Attempted Prison Terror Brawl at a Time
There have been six men indicted or convicted of leaking classified material during the Obama administration, according to ProPublica. Of those five, one, a former CIA agent named John Kiriakou, is currently serving a prison sentence. In a remarkable letter sent to the blog Firedoglake, Kiriakou describes life at a corrections facility in Loretto, Pennsylvania, where he'll be until 2015. This is what happens when the government catches a leaker.
John Kiriakou | With Haspel, Trump's Infrastructure for Torture Is in Place
It was Haspel who was Rodriguez's handpicked warden of the first secret prison the CIA created to handle al-Qaeda detainees. It was Haspel who oversaw the staff, including discredited contract psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the notorious pair who came up with the torture techniques and who actually carried out torture on prisoners. It was Haspel who videotaped the torture of Abu Zubaydah. And it was Haspel who carried out her master's instructions to destroy the tapes, despite being specifically told by the White House Counsel to preserve them.
[...]
Christopher Anders, the deputy director of the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union, told The New York Times that the appointment left him "gravely concerned." Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in 2013 objected to Haspel's temporary appointment as director of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, the Agency's operations directorate, thus denying her the position on a permanent basis. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), the ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), said that while he appreciated Haspel's "many years of service at the CIA," he wanted assurances that she intends to comply with the spirit and letter of the law banning torture. She has yet to make any public statement.

The SSCI will have a chance to weigh in on Haspel's nomination. But don't expect much in the way of leadership there. The Democrats on the SSCI have been complicit in many of the CIA's worst programs since the September 11 attacks, including the torture program and secret prisons. I seriously doubt that Democrats will mount much of a challenge to her.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 at 03:15:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
5  U.S. Code § 2302 - Prohibited personnel practices
(a)
(1) For the purpose of this title [15 U.S. Code § 2087 - Whistleblower protection], "prohibited personnel practice" means any action described in subsection (b).
[...]
(C) "agency" means an Executive agency and the Government Publishing Office, but does not include--
(i) a Government corporation, except in the case of an alleged prohibited personnel practice described under subsection (b)(8) or section 2302(b)(9)(A)(i), (B), (C), or (D);
(ii)
(I) the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Reconnaissance Office; and
(II) as determined by the President, any executive agency or unit thereof the principal function of which is the conduct of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence activities, provided that the determination be made prior to a personnel action;
[...]
(D) "disclosure" means a formal or informal communication or transmission, but does not include a communication concerning policy decisions that lawfully exercise discretionary authority unless the employee or applicant providing the disclosure reasonably believes that the disclosure evidences--
(i) any violation of any law, rule, or regulation; or
(ii) gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.

Got that? No "whistleblower protection" for (C)(I) personnel.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Mar 24th, 2018 at 01:14:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
except in the case of (C)(II)
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, JAMES CLAPPER12 Mar 2018 -5 YEARS
I recently wrote a https:/jonathanturley.org/2018/01/21/happy-anniversary-to-washingtons-least-untruthful-witness-clap per-to-avoid-perjury-prosecution-in-less-than-a-month>column on the approaching anniversary and how it reaffirms the widely held view [?] that powerful people in Washington are immune from laws used against the rest of society.

Cite? Thanks for nothing, Turley.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 at 01:14:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
vanden Heuvel, WaPoo

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 at 06:14:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
42 U.S. Code § 2000dd-1 - Protection of United States Government personnel engaged in authorized interrogations
(b) Counsel
The United States Government shall provide or employ counsel, and pay counsel fees, court costs, bail, and other expenses incident to the representation of an officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent described in subsection (a), with respect to any civil action or criminal prosecution or investigation arising out of practices described in that subsection, whether before United States courts or agencies, foreign courts or agencies, or international courts or agencies, under the same conditions, and to the same extent, to which such services and payments are authorized under section 1037 of title 10.

(Pub. L. 109-148, div. A, title X, § 1004, Dec. 30, 2005, 119 Stat. 2740; Pub. L. 109-163, div. A, title XIV, § 1404, Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3475; Pub. L. 109-366, § 8(a), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2636; Pub. L. 110-181, div. A, title X, § 1063(d)(1), Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 323; Pub. L. 110-417, [div. A], title X, § 1061(b)(10), Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4613.)section 1037 of title 10.




Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 07:12:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let us note the purported impotence of the three branches of the US federal government.
US Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program (9 Dec 2014)
[...]
I would also like to take this opportunity to describe the process of this study.

As noted previously, the Committee approved the Terms of Reference for the Study in March 2009 and began requesting information from the CIA and other federal departments. The Committee, through its staff, had already reviewed in 2008 thousands of CIA cables describing the interrogations of the CIA detainees Abu Zubaydah and 'Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, whose interrogations were the subject of videotapes that were destroyed by the CIA in 2005.

The 2008 review was complicated by the existence of a Department of Justice investigation, opened by Attorney General Michael Mukasey, into the destruction of the videotapes and expanded by Attorney General Holder in August 2009. In particular, CIA employees and contractors who would otherwise have been interviewed by the Committee staff were under potential legal jeopardy, and therefore the CIA would not compel its workforce to appear before the Committee. This constraint lasted until the Committee's research and documentary review were completed and the Committee Study had largely been finalized.
[...]

Diane Feinstein
Chairman Senate Select Commitee on Intelligence  
Approved December 13, 2012
Updated for Release April 3, 2014 Declassification Revisions December 3, 2014

The fact is, CIA personnel were not burdened by "legal jeopardy" at anytime 2008-2012, the period of the US Senate "study". Congress enacted Pub. L. 109-148, div. A, title X, § 1004 ("42 USC 42 U.S. Code § 2000dd-1") in 2005. And Congress has not since repealed this act.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 08:05:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump has selected John Bolton as his new National Security Advisor.  The Senate does not need to confirm the appointment so it's a done deal.  Bolton is a hard core, card carrying, maniac who thinks the US can bomb anything at any time with impunity.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 at 03:57:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FUN FACT: This particular homicidal maniac will turn 70 years old this year! God willing or asleep at the wheel.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Mar 24th, 2018 at 01:17:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are hereHome
News
Trump reverses threat to shut down US government

"It would have been the third shutdown of 2018, something lawmakers from both parties had worked hard to avoid." Chuck Schumer might have reminded the press corpse.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 at 11:42:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 09:01:31 PM EST
Mondoweiss
Israeli-Palestinian lawmaker Haneen Zoabi was suspended from the Knesset for a week by the ethics committee last week, after the committee reviewed a case where Zoabi suggested that Israeli Defense Forces soldiers murder Palestinians.
Maybe she would have done better to call them fax machines.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 05:49:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AIPAC admits progressives are deserting Israel
Marvin Feuer ... claimed that nothing in the bill prevents constitutionally protected speech and that the rewritten language targets only commercial conduct.

But the ACLU ... group points out that political boycotts were recognized as constitutionally protected free expression by the US Supreme Court in 1982, in a landmark case [NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 886 (1982)] stemming from the civil rights movement.
[...]
California Senator Kamala Harris [D-CA] spoke at this year's [AIPAC] conference as she did last year ... repeating the standard claim by Israel advocates that the Zionist expulsion of Palestinians and settler-colonization of their land "made a desert bloom."

S. 720, "To amend the Export Administration Act of 1979 to include in the prohibitions on boycotts against allies of the United States boycotts fostered by international governmental organizations against Israel and to direct the Export-Import Bank of the United States to oppose boycotts against Israel, and for other purposes ... This Act may be cited as the 'Israel Anti-Boycott Act' ", 16 of 55 co-sponsors: Nelson [D-FL], Menendez [D-NJ], Blumenthal [D-CT], Peters [D-MI], Cantwell [D-WA], Schumer [D-NY], Hassan [D-NH], Donnelly [D-IN], Manchin [D-WV], McCaskill [D-MO], Wyden [D-OR], Coons [D-DE],  Bennet [D-CO], Heitkamp [D-ND], Cardin [D-MD]

Happy Black History Y3 D80

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 10:58:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just got the following email from the State Department
Location:  Announced gathering point includes the following location in

Milan, Italy:
Piazza Cavour

Event:  A static demonstration is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m. at Piazza Cavour.  The event is scheduled to end at 6:00 p.m.  Approximately 50 [sic!] people are expected to attend.  The police will be monitoring the event.

Action to take:

Avoid the area of the demonstration. Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests. Monitor local media for updates. Keep a low profile.  Assistance
U.S. Consulate General Milan, Italy

And whatever you do, don't let on that you're an American Republican. Here are some more details.
March For Our Lives - Milan 24    MARZO
16:00 - 18:00

Piazza Camillo Benso di Cavour, 20121 Milano MI, Italia

DA Italy Milan welcomes students, Americans and friends to join us in solidarity with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and more than 800 other «March For Our Lives» on Washington D.C. and around the globe.


by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Mar 24th, 2018 at 11:57:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I couldn't find any coverage of the demo in the press, but here is a video on facebook. It looks to me as though there were more people than at the Trump inauguration. What do you think?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 at 06:05:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think, 7, 16, 15, or 17 Palestinian protesters were killed by Israel "forces" yesterday.

I think, Andrew McCabe's legal defense fund is the beneficiary of $550,000 GoFundMe donations.

I think, the majority of the US population will be out-gunned, when the revolution comes.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Mar 31st, 2018 at 07:03:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'The Water Boy' at Large
North Korea poses a "real threat" whose solution will require international co-operation, former US President Barack Obama said Sunday on a visit to Japan.
[...]
He has largely avoided the limelight, playing golf with former prime minister John Key in New Zealand and offering parenting tips to the current leader Jacinda Ardern, who is pregnant.
'Post-partum' Wisdom Updated
Asked after his speech on Sunday what he most missed about his time in office, Obama quipped: "I do sometimes miss Air Force One. That's a nice airplane -- especially when you fly across the Pacific." But he also revealed that he had to buy his own groceries in the White House. "You think you get to live for free but no, no! It's expensive being in the White House, I'll tell you."


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 at 12:39:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AP | Peru Congress Accepts President's Resignation
"Earlier in the day Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is threatened to withdraw his resignation offer because the proposed congressional resolution accepting it accused him of 'betraying the fatherland.' Kuczynski said in a tweet that the proposed language is 'unacceptable'
RNN | Mired in Corruption Scandals, Peru's President Resigns
"First, what was he accused of regarding the Brazilian construction company, Odebrecht?"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 at 12:54:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Americans less likely to trust [!] Facebook than rivals on personal data: Reuters/Ipsos poll
"I put it in my Amazon cart and forgot about it. Then, later, the ad popped up on ... Facebook, and I was like `oh shoot.' It reminded me and I clicked on it and bought it."
IF 18% ≤ of respondents know, understand, or can recite US ("personal information", "pesonal data") privacy laws, what do the remainder trust?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 at 02:54:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Responsibility Deflected, the CLOUD Act Passes, amended to FYE 2018 budget
U.S. and foreign police will have new mechanisms [SIC] to seize data across the globe. Because of this failure, your private emails, your online chats, your Facebook, Google, Flickr photos, your Snapchat videos, your private lives online, your moments shared digitally between only those you trust, will be open to foreign law enforcement without a warrant and with few restrictions on using and sharing your information. Because of this failure, U.S. laws will be bypassed on U.S. soil.
Reciprocity or 'Comity', The Rest of the Story
H.R.4943, S.2383 - CLOUD Act
§ 2713. Required preservation and disclosure of communications and records (d) No Cause Of Action Against A Provider Disclosing Information Under This Chapter.--

No cause of action shall lie in any court against any provider of a wire or electronic communication service, its officers, employees, agents, or other specified persons for providing information, facilities, or assistance in accordance with a court order under this chapter, request pursuant to section 3125 of this title, or an order from a foreign government that is subject to an executive agreement that the Attorney General has determined and certified to Congress satisfies section 2523."
[...]
§ 2713. Required preservation and disclosure of communications and records  "(2) MOTIONS TO QUASH OR MODIFY.--
(A) A provider of electronic communication service to the public or remote computing service, that is being required to disclose pursuant to legal process issued under this section the contents of a wire or electronic communication of a subscriber or customer, may file a motion to modify or quash the legal process where the provider reasonably believes--  
"(i) that the customer or subscriber is not a United States person and does not reside in the United States; and
"(ii) that the required disclosure would create a material risk that the provider would violate the laws of a qualifying foreign government.
[...]
SEC. 4. ADDITIONAL AMENDMENTS TO CURRENT COMMUNICATIONS LAWS.  
Title 18, United States Code [CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE], is amended--
[...]

I trust Facebook to follow US and EU27 laws.

archived
[US Supreme] Court grapples with warrant powers for emails stored overseas
FIFY

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 at 04:02:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What to do next to curb Facebook and its rival's abuse of such immense power?
Barry Lynn and Matt Stoller [!]
This immense power comes from Facebook's status as a de facto monopoly. [bwahahahaha]
[...]
  1. Impose strict privacy rules on Facebook, perhaps using Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation as a guide...
  2. Spin off Facebook's ad network....
  3. Reverse the approvals for Facebook purchases of WhatsApp and Instagram ...
  4. Prohibit all future acquisitions by Facebook for at least five years....
  5. Threaten to bring further legal action against Facebook unless top executives immediately agree to work with the FTC to restructure their corporation to ensure the safety and stability of our government and economy.
et tu, national security?
9) Establish whether top executives enabled, encouraged, or oversaw violations of the 2011 consent decree and, if so, pursue personal fines against them.

< wipes tears >

yeah. "covered information."

Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require Respondent to restrict access to
any copy of a user's covered information that has been posted to Respondent's websites or
services by a user other than
 the user who deletedsuch information or deleted or terminated such
account.
That's the ticket.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 at 06:43:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
re: "covered information" of "real US personas"

One week ago, the National Association of Attorneys-General sent a strongly worded letter to the Facebook CEO. (Too bad no one thought to copy LinkedIn.)

That's a lot of questions! The lack of specificity would be kinda scary but for the "truth" of US "data protection" standards in laws and fact: Free trade reigns supreme, and that's why GOTT invented contracts of adhesion and Laidlaw vs. Organ to divide duty-to-disclose "precedents".

the [NEWS] reports allege that Facebook allowed third parties to obtain personal data of users who never authorized it, and relied on terms of service and settings that were confusing and perhaps misleading to its users
who either never read them or have access to sufficient disposable income to retain lawyers who will read them.

Fortunately (or not as the case may be) for EU27 nationals' Web 5.0 innovators and entrepreneurs, SAP is on the compliance job! GDPR/EU-DSGVO 2018 or bust, y'all.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Mar 27th, 2018 at 08:04:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Judiciary, Energy and Commerce Committees' Invitations, Subpoena "if necessary"
Report: Zuckerberg has decided to testify to Congress
"Zuckerberg as declined [!] to appear before members of Parliament in London, but CNN, citing Facebook sources, said the social media giant's leader decided it was not possible to avoid testimony from Congress.
Political 'Surrogates' Wanted
Zuckerberg won't answer MP questions over data breach
"He will instead send his Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer or Chief Product Officer [!] Chris Cox to appear before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee."
Return to the Woodshed
FEINSTEIN: Thank you. And what have you done with the tool since?


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Mar 27th, 2018 at 10:14:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agile!
Facebook Revamps Privacy Tools as Tighter EU Rules Draw Near
as an all the more amusing addition to b-school case study libraries: Proverbial Topics: Firm Competition: "Knowledge Management": ERP: First-Mover-Advantage: not FB/Instagram, GOOG/DoubleClick, LinkedIn, Twitter, HuffPoo, NYT, Weibo; AAPL or MSFT -- but SAP vs. IBM
The changes won't affect Facebook's privacy policies or the types of data it gathers on from users
< wipes tears >"2.2 billion" users active, inactive, or duplicate accounts created by "real" and false personas worldwide, regardless of conflict zone
The company has not said exactly what it used such data for or why it needed it. On Monday [26 MAR 2018], the Federal Trade Commission said it is investigating Facebook over its privacy practices "consent decree"[2011?].
[...]
Facebook also said it plans to update its privacy policy and terms of service [!] in the coming weeks, but gave no further details.
[...]
The company has tried over the years to simplify its ["]privacy settings["]
"Bits of code": user-authorized, client-side 2nd- and 3rd-party data ("cookie") storage? nahhhhh. That's not me! That's browser-executable turf!
yet the controls remain [MSFT UNIFIED MODELING LANGUAGE] hard to find and use for many people. For example, Facebook announced in 2009 [?] that it was consolidating six privacy pages and more than 30 settings on to a single privacy page.
Related News, Summer of '68 Called

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the... malware"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Mar 29th, 2018 at 01:47:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
re: "covered information" of "real US personas"

Facebook Urged To Reconsider Harvesting of Facial Data
actually, Facebook has been sued. As is the custom, where a significant amount of respondent's money is at risk of forfeiture for a variety of um situational factors all of which informed by unpredictable mercy of a jury, a court will encourage parties to test pre-trial arbitrated settlement --which the presiding judge alone may approve or disapprove.

At a hearing on class certification and dueling summary judgment motions, Facebook argued it can't be held liable on claims it collected users' facial data without consent because the plaintiffs suffered no concrete harm.

The plaintiffs claim Facebook's scanning and storing of facial data for its "Photo Tag Suggest" function violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) [!], enacted in 2008. Under BIPA, companies are required to obtain consent before collecting or disclosing biometric data, such as retina scans, fingerprints, voiceprints, hand scans, or facial geometry.
[...]
Facebook further contends that users agreed to be bound by its data policy, which states Facebook is "able to suggest that your friend tag you in a picture by comparing your friend's pictures to information we've put together from your profile pictures and the other photos in which you've been tagged."

The policy further states: "We store data for as long it is necessary to provide products and services to you and others, including those described above."

hmmm --crafty!
A hearing on motions to exclude expert testimony and second-phase summary judgment motions was scheduled for May 3.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 30th, 2018 at 07:03:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Mar 31st, 2018 at 05:27:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pathetic
Britain, France and Germany proposed fresh EU sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missiles and its role in the war in Syria, according to a confidential document seen by Reuters, in a bid to persuade Washington to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
by generic on Wed Mar 28th, 2018 at 02:57:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian
The Nobel laureate and activist for girls' education, Malala Yousafzai, has made an emotional return to Pakistan for the first time since she was shot in the head nearly six years ago in a Taliban assassination attempt.

Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Noble prize winner, arrived on Thursday in the capital Islamabad with her father and younger brother, meeting the prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi before giving a speech on national television.

Wikipedia
Alfred Noble Prize
Not to be confused with Nobel Prize.

The Alfred Noble Prize is an award presented by the American Society of Civil Engineers and funded by combined engineering societies of the United States. It is awarded annually to a person not over thirty-five for a technical paper of exceptional merit, published in one of the journals of the participating societies.

Somebody tell the Guardian.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 29th, 2018 at 03:07:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kremlin spokesman compares Weinstein accusers to prostitutes: report - The Hill
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reportedly compared the women accusing movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct to prostitutes on Thursday.

"We're trying to keep up with the mayhem that's been happening in America," Peskov said, according to the Latvian news outlet Meduza, which cited BBC Russia.

"You know, it reminds me of the Hollywood stars who became stars and who have done a lot that clashes with our notions of honor and dignity. But they did these things anyway, in order to become celebrities. They earned hundreds of millions of dollars, and after 10 years they started saying that Weinstein is a bad man. Maybe he's a scumbag, but none of them went to the police and said, `Weinstein raped me!' No! They wanted to earn 10 million dollars. What do we call a woman who sleeps with a man for 10 million dollars? This might sound rude, but we call her a prostitute," he said.

by Bernard on Thu Mar 29th, 2018 at 07:34:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The correct locution is "sex worker."

In some states sex work is a legal business activity. In some others, it is not. State sanctions against and any social stigmata associated with sex work, it has been said, prevent regulation of best practices and risk of sex abuses, extortion, and violence between market participants.

Little known fact: One of Harvey Weinstein's former assistants was a pioneer in the field of sex work regulatory violations. In 1998 she filed a complaint with Britain courts. Sex work is legal in the UK. Paying for sex work is illegal in France. Neither is legal in the USA except Nevada.

As part of a [civil] settlement, Ms Perkins signed a non-disclosure agreement. As well as keeping her silent, it committed Weinstein to attend therapy and required the company to act if he made any more payouts over alleged wrongdoing.*
However her concerns and discretion came to light recently in the form of material evidence in the matter of People of the State of NY v. Harvey Weinstein et al.

Ms Perkins told The Associated Press: "I have no idea if any of the obligations were upheld."
* HW's employment contract

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Mar 29th, 2018 at 09:30:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
reference
18 U.S. Code Chapter 77 - PEONAGE, SLAVERY, AND TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
in particular
18 U.S. Code § 1590 - Trafficking with respect to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or forced labor

:: colloquially, "bottom bitch"

The Founder of "Nxivm," a Purported Self-Help Organization Based in Albany, N.Y., Arrested for Sex* Trafficking and Forced Labor Conspiracy 26 Mar

"As alleged in the complaint, Keith Raniere created a secret society of women whom he had sex with and branded with his initials, coercing them with the threat of releasing their highly personal information and taking their assets," stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  [...]
Nxivm maintains features of a pyramid scheme, as its courses cost thousands of dollars each and participants ("Nxians") are encouraged to pay for additional classes, and to recruit others to take classes, in order to rise within the ranks of Nxivm. A number of Nxians were residents of the Eastern District of New York when they were recruited, and Nxivm has held promotional recruiting events in Brooklyn. Since Nxivm's creation, Raniere has maintained poly-amorous relations with its members.
[...]
Slaves were expected to recruit slaves of their own (thus becoming masters themselves), who in turn owed service not only to their own masters but also to masters above them in the DOS pyramid. Raniere stood alone at the top of the pyramid. Other than the Raniere, all members of DOS were women.

Most DOS slaves were recruited from within Nxivm's ranks.  When new DOS slaves were recruited, they were explicitly told that the organization was women-only, and that the organization would empower them and eradicate weaknesses that the Nxivm curriculum taught were common in women.  Raniere's status at the top of the structure was concealed from new recruits.

Keith Raniere: Nxivm leader charged with sex trafficking
After the New York Times piece was published in 2017 and women came forward, federal authorities began interviewing "witnesses and victims" associated with the group.
[...]
They say after he was arrested, women he was staying with 'chased the car in which the defendant was being transported in their own car at high speed'.

:: I got nothing for Time's Up tweets

* DOJ intends to charge the aggravating count for the maximum penalty "if the violation includes ... aggravated sexual abuse, or the attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, the defendant shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or life, or both."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Mar 31st, 2018 at 05:30:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Mar 31st, 2018 at 05:47:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AM New York
Nixon also said she didn't understand why the Second Avenue subway had cost $3.5 billion. She feels the project should have only cost "half a billion" dollars per mile and said that union agreements would need to be addressed to bring costs down.

"With the deals that they [unions] have now, you can't hope to make improvements to the trains in a  fiscally responsible way," she said, not specifying which unions she was referring to. "Everybody's got to pull together, and everybody's got to make sacrifices."

I wonder what sacrifices she has made.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Mar 30th, 2018 at 04:47:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She may have accidentally passed through Ulster Co on the way to the track at Saratoga Springs back in the '80s.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 30th, 2018 at 11:19:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
RT
Russian soldiers are set to lose access to Coca Cola and Snickers bars at canteens and vending machines installed at bases, says a representative from a state contractor.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Mar 30th, 2018 at 04:48:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 09:02:18 PM EST
Guardian
German researchers have discovered unknown persons are using bitcoin's blockchain to store and link to child abuse imagery, potentially putting the cryptocurrency in jeopardy.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 11:46:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 100 million city: is 21st century urbanisation out of control? - Guardian


But new research suggests that the changes Lagos has seen in the last 60 years may be nothing to what might take place in the next 60. If Nigeria's population continues to grow and people move to cities at the same rate as now, Lagos could become the world's largest metropolis, home to 85 or 100 million people. By 2100, it is projected to be home to more people than California or Britain today, and to stretch hundreds of miles - with enormous environmental effects.

Hundreds of far smaller cities across Asia and Africa could also grow exponentially, say the Canadian demographers Daniel Hoornweg and Kevin Pope at the Ontario Institute of Technology. They suggest that Niamey, the barely known capital of Niger - a west African country with the highest birth rate in the world - could explode from a city of fewer than one million people today to be the world's eighth-largest city, with 46 million people, in 2100. Sleepy Blantyre in southern Malawi could mushroom to the size of New York City today.

Under the researchers' extreme scenario - where countries are unable to control fertility rates and urbanisation continues apace - within 35 years more than 100 cities will have populations larger than 5.5 million people. By 2100, say the authors, the world's population centers will have shifted to Asia and Africa, with only 14 of the 101 largest cities in Europe or the Americas.

What happens to those cities over the next 30 years will determine the global environment and the quality of life of the world's projected 11 billion people. It's impossible to know how exactly how cities will grow, of course. But the stark fact, according to the United Nations, is that much of humanity is young, fertile and increasingly urban. The median age of Nigeria is just 18, and under 20 across all Africa's 54 countries; the fertility rate of the continent's 500 million women is 4.4 births. Elsewhere, half of India's population is under age 25, and Latin America's average age is as high as 29.

by Bjinse on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 10:26:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scientists prove that particulate matter from China leads to high concentration of fine dust over Korean Peninsula
"The research team solved this conundrum by developing a system for real-time measurement of potassium and levoglucosan, which are materials that constitute fine dust."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 11:11:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Saharan dust registers highest levels in a decade

or "transfers of desert sand to Greece"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 at 11:47:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 09:02:21 PM EST
Seoul government announces comprehensive measures to prevent lonely deaths
"Had it not been for the neighbor, the death of that senior - who had no known relatives - might have gone unnoticed for several days."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 11:13:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sinn Féin TD suspended after defying party line on abortion
"Ms Nolan is the second Sinn Féin Oireachtas member to be suspended by the party this week."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 11:24:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm blind and deaf, and I've explored 127 countries alone - Telegraph


Close your eyes, cover your ears, now go and tour Rome on your own. It's a prospect that seems infeasible, and yet voyaging the world solo while blind and mostly deaf is exactly what Tony Giles does, and he's almost certainly better travelled than you are.

The Devon-based author and explorer, who was diagnosed with a rare genetic visual and auditory impairment during his early childhood, has visited 127 countries thus far, all 50 of the US States, and all seven continents on the planet.

(...)

"I experience monuments by climbing them: as I have the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty," he explains. "I experience cities by walking them. I notice shifting gradients, detect the changes in surfaces under my feet from gravel to tarmac, cobblestones to concrete, earth to marble.

"I sense the change in space when hiking the narrow trails of a forest, as they lead out to an open field when the fresh wind hits my face.

"I visit famous churches, mosques and temples, touch their crumbling walls and feel the textures that have been layered over the centuries.

"I enjoy the aromas of a marketplace, the grilling of meat, the frying of onions and garlic, the zesty spices, ginger and herbs.

"It's the hussle and bussle of somewhere like Jerusalem's Old City, or Zanzibar's Stone Town - alive with people, animals and sellers haggling that gives me the impression of a place."

by Bjinse on Thu Mar 22nd, 2018 at 07:16:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first version of the UN population report coincided with commencement of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. Calculations of African contributions to this impending calamity have varied according to the cassandra [1,2, 3, 4, 5]
Latest UN projections expect the world's population to grow by 2.9 billion - equal to another China and India - in the next 33 years, and possibly by a further three billion by the end of the century. By then, says the UN, humanity is expected to have developed into an almost exclusively urban species with 80-90% of people living in cities.



What message is this journalist for the Guardian attempting to communicate? There are too many of them, not that mortality and live-birth rates of "high growth" regions significantly differs from that of western civilizations or that there are too few "natural" and capital resources to support the 11B people of planet Earth. Why is that?

Territorial borders between people must be enforced.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 at 04:58:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm personally a big fan of 90 year long straight lines.
by generic on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 at 05:03:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
needs moar ebola, zika, H*N* field trials

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 at 05:14:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The one surety in demographic prediction is a straight line projection from the estimated current variables is wrong.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Mar 24th, 2018 at 12:23:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WHY BEARDS AND MUSTACHES ARE RARE FOR MODERN AMERICAN POLITICIANS
"I have done experiments showing that facial hair does indeed matter for politicians."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 at 11:34:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 09:02:23 PM EST
by Bjinse on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 09:02:26 PM EST
Man found guilty of murdering six-month-old baby son 5 years after the fact
"The medical evidence was that the object could not have found its way into the position it was found in the child's throat accidentally and could not have been put there by the baby himself."
Toddler's father will not be prosecuted after daughter sexually assaulted and suffocated
"Mr Worthington described his daughter as a 'bully'at one hearing and would not explain how her DNA came to be on his penis, refusing to recount the hours leading up to Poppi's death."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 at 03:57:43 PM EST
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