Posted in HWH COMMENTARY, NEWS OF INTEREST, SPACE | ALIEN

Advanced Alien Civilizations May Produce ‘Technosignatures’ That We Could Find, Experts Say | Live Science

HWH COMMENTARY: Who says an alien civilization needs to be advanced to exist? Because it’s so far away? Or because we’re so far from it, that we’re the advanced ones? In which direction along the time frame before it starts bending are you referencing?

Or are we basing that assumption on biological constraints?

Who says something alien to us has to be civilized? We’re not civilized. You mean moral? If biology isn’t in the field, then moral doesn’t matter.

What does intelligent civilization mean? Technologically advanced? You mean no going to school to learn it? No growth from birth to death of an alien? Where do aliens go when they die? If they don’t have skin, then what proves the death if not decay?

Why so stuck on radio transmission constraints? If all movement makes sound when one has the ears to hear it, then the universe is one heck of a noisy place. And you’re looking for a dew drop in the ocean. A radio wave like any other radio wave is like a dew drop like any other dew drop in a body of like-dew drops. You don’t have the sophistication to discern a different drop? Why? Because you don’t know what you’re looking for. You don’t know how it will be different.

How different is the unique radio transmission you’re looking for? You mean in alien radio language compared to human radio language? Why would they be different?

When astronauts go above the earths surface, do they really see the earth spinning? Or is the earth so big that the spin is negligible, more like a sloth sleep walking? Has any human ever witnessed it? How far above earth does one have to go to witness a spin? The degree or rate of spin is not recognized by the human eye. So what does fast mean, if we can’t see the result? Has anyone ever shown it? In real time?

How fast does the earth spin on its axis relative to the environment it spins in and what forces the spin?

The earth spins on its axis at 1,000  miles per hour.

The earth moves around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour.

The key is to find something artificial? unnatural? why? You mean like garbage? Even garbage conforms to the laws of physics. So what’s unnatural or artificial there?

What you don’t already know is what’s unnatural, artificial.

I could not find a simplified answer to what forces the spin, except from my own logic that begins with, “once born (and or created) all biological and non-biological entities move”.

All births create friction, a lot of births create a lot of friction and some entities lock together to form a bigger entity and others disperse to seek a random existence. A vacuum is required for anything to be birthed or created, thus a vacuum is the beginning of a birth of the creation of movement.”

“What came first the chicken or the egg, the vacuum or the movement? Answer: neither. A medium came first.”

The key is to find something artificial? unnatural? why? You mean like garbage? Even garbage conforms to the laws of physics. So what’s unnatural or artificial there?

What you don’t already know is what’s unnatural, artificial.

The key is to find something artificial? unnatural? why? You mean like garbage? Even garbage conforms to the laws of physics. So what’s unnatural or artificial there?


Advanced Alien Civilizations May Produce ‘Technosignatures’ That We Could Find, Experts Say

By Yasemin Saplakoglu – Staff Writer

If we can do it … couldn’t E.T.?

— If life evolved on other planets as it did on Earth, aliens may be zooming around in vehicles that belch pollution into space. Or they might have had their very own Edison — and a planet blanketed in artificial light.

A group of astronomers is searching for these strange signals from distant exoplanets, or what are called “technosignatures,” because they may point to the existence of intelligent civilizations elsewhere in the cosmos. The term “technosignature” is a relatively new one, first coined in 2007 by astronomer Jill Tarter, who at the time was the director of the Center for SETI Research. But even before the birth of the term, astronomers have been searching for technosignatures, the most popular one being radio transmissions. Practically speaking, that often meant looking for something strange — an anomaly in the data that could indicate the presence of something unnatural — like a planet that’s a bit too bright.

Historically, that search wasn’t taken seriously. Now, however, scientists say they may have a real shot at finding such signals — as long as they look for the right things in the right places.

What would such technosignatures look like? For instance, when scanning distant exoplanets, data anomalies such as an unusual atmospheric makeup could be a clue to “complex life engineering its environment,” said Joseph Lazio, an astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, during a talk at the Astrobiology Science Conference on June 26.  But scientists must be cautious; that same signal “could just be a planet covered in pond scum that’s producing oxygen,” Lazio said.

Another possible technosignature is the ultrafast blinking of a star. “If you see a star, say, blinking on and off faster than a microsecond, that’s not obviously a natural phenomenon,” he said. What’s more, almost any reasonably advanced civilization could create such a signature.

“It’s not really all that difficult, we can do it today on a lab bench,” Lazio said. Humans have created lasers, for example, that release photons trillions of times a second, he added.

Radio waves beaming through space at a certain frequency may also be a clue to intelligent alien civilizations. Natural sources don’t typically produce radio waves within a very narrow range of frequencies, Lazio said. And yet, “it’s really easy for us to do it” artificially, Lazio said. So if we can do it … couldn’t E.T.?

Searching for life in the cosmos has historically focused on finding biosignatures, or biological signals, such as oxygen left behind when living creatures breathe. Today, we have many ways to detect biosignatures. Similarly, there are several major classes of technosignatures: chemical signatures such as atmospheric pollution; megastructures that reflect, absorb or block light from a planet’s host star; “self-luminous” signals such as artificial illumination, radio or laser communication; and waste heat, which is “an unavoidable result of any kind of activity,” Svetlana Berdyugina, the director of the Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics in Freiburg, Germany, said during the talk. (Waste heat is produced by machines or other processes that use energy).

Berdyugina and her team are looking for optical signals. As a planet travels around its own star, the light that is reflected by the planet changes, depending on where the planet is in its rotation and in its orbit. Stitching together signals produced by that reflected light over time, researchers can create what’s called a light curve. That, in turn, could provide a glimpse of the planetary surface — and any unusual features there, Berdyugina said. For example, a giant megastructure will reflect light in a very different way, than, say, an empty field.

Berdyugina and her team previously used this technique to resolve geographic features, such as mountains and craters, on planets and moons in our own solar system, as well as on simulated exoplanets. Now, they are working to understand if this technique could reveal weird shapes and artificial illumination on a planet’s surface.

There are also other programs searching for light signal, such as a 10-year initiative from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), called Breakthrough Listen. That team is surveying thousands of stars for not only optical signals but also radio signals.

While astronomers could dream up a nearly infinite list of potential technosignatures, only a handful are worth looking for.

“The game is to try and figure out something that is artificial but is also feasibly detectable,” Thomas Beatty,

Source: Advanced Alien Civilizations May Produce ‘Technosignatures’ That We Could Find, Experts Say | Live Science






Posted in NEWS OF INTEREST

Israeli leader invites rival to join in unity government

 

AP NEWS

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited his political rival Benny Gantz to join a unity government with him and his religious allies on Thursday, an offer that was greeted coolly amid continued deadlock following this week’s election.

The deadlock has already raised speculation about a possible third election in the coming months, just two days after an unprecedented repeat vote left the country’s two main political parties with no clear path to a coalition government. While weeks of negotiations to form a coalition government lay ahead, conditions set by the parties could hobble the task within the allotted time, forcing another election.

With nearly all votes counted Thursday, the centrist Blue and White party stood at 33 seats in Israel’s 120-seat parliament. Netanyahu’s conservative Likud stood at 31 seats. Neither party, however, can muster a majority coalition of 61 seats with their smaller allies.“

Throughout the campaign I called for a right-wing government, but unfortunately the election results show that’s not possible,” Netanyahu said in a video statement. “Therefore there is no choice but to form a broad unity government.”

“We cannot and there is no reason to go to third elections,” he added.

Netanyahu repeated the plea later Thursday at a memorial for late former Israeli President Shimon Peres, where he and Gantz, a former military chief of staff, shook hands in their first public encounter since Tuesday’s vote.

Neither party can form a majority government without the support of the election’s apparent kingmaker, Avigdor Lieberman of the Yisrael Beitenu party.

Lieberman refuses to sit with Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox religious allies and has called for a broad, secular unity government with Likud and Blue and White.

Blue and White also favors a unity deal, but has pledged not to sit in the same government as Netanyahu due to the Israeli leader’s legal woes. Netanyahu is expected to be indicted in a slew of corruption scandals in the coming months. But the fiercely loyal Likud is unlikely to oust Netanyahu.

At a Blue and White meeting, Gantz gave Netanyahyu’s offer an icy reception, saying he planned to establish a unity government “headed by me.” He shrugged off Netanyahu’s offer as “spin.”

Yair Lapid, a senior Blue and White member, accused Netanyahu of dragging the country to a third election and called for him to step down.

“One person is preventing right now the establishment of a liberal unity government. One person stands between what is good for the country and what’s good for that person. And country always comes first,” he said.Both parties were meeting with allies in the vote’s aftermath and the focus will soon shift to President Reuven Rivlin, who will consult with all parties in the coming days and select the candidate who he believes has the best chance of putting together a stable coalition.

The candidate has 42 days to do so and, if he fails, the president can give another candidate 28 days to form a coalition. If that fails, the president could then order new elections, something that has never happened. Speaking at the Peres memorial, Rivlin promised he will do everything in his power to prevent a third election.

The deadlock follows the second Israeli elections this year, which were called because Netanyahu failed to cobble together a coalition following the April vote.

Instead of allowing another candidate a chance to form a government, Netanyahu dissolved parliament and ordered this week’s unprecedented do-over election.Israelis endured a caustic campaign that saw a combative Netanyahu fighting for his political survival amid the recommendation by Israel’s attorney general to indict him on charges of bribery, breach of trust and fraud pending a hearing in early October.

Netanyahu had sought an outright majority with his allies in hopes of passing legislation to give him immunity from the expected indictment.

Israeli law does not require an indicted prime minister to resign. But a trial for a sitting prime minister would be a huge national distraction and fuel calls for the Israeli leader to step aside.

Tuesday’s vote was largely seen as a referendum on Netanyahu, who this summer surpassed Israel’s founding prime minister to become the country’s longest-serving leader.

During the campaign Netanyahu cast himself as a seasoned statesman who was the only candidate able to steer Israel through a sea of challenges. But his acrimonious campaign also included repeated attacks on the country’s Arab minority, drawing charges of racism, along with allegations that the media, judiciary and others were conspiring to oust him.

Gantz, a former army chief, tried to paint Netanyahu as divisive and scandal-plagued, offering himself as a calming influence and honest alternative.

Despite the scorched earth campaign, Netanyahu failed to secure the resounding victory he needed to guarantee his political survival and perhaps save himself from a formal indictment…

Source: Israeli leader invites rival to join in unity government






 

Posted in NEWS OF INTEREST

Newsmaker: The anti-Netanyahu? Ex-general Gantz poised for top office

By Rami Ayyub, Reuters

Source: Newsmaker: The anti-Netanyahu? Ex-general Gantz poised for top office






 

Posted in NEWS OF INTEREST

Nepal’s sexual minorities say progress in rights has stalled

AP NEWS

Nepal’s sexual minorities say progress in rights has stalled

By BINAJ GURUBACHARYA

Nepal seized the lead in equal rights for sexual minorities in South Asia four years ago with a new constitution that forbids all discrimination based on sexual orientation. But activists say progress in equal rights has stalled since the constitution was adopted.

Nepal (AP) — Nepal seized the lead in equal rights for sexual minorities in South Asia four years ago with a new constitution that forbids all discrimination based on sexual orientation. Even citizenship certificates and passports now allow a “non-male, non-female” category.

But same-sex couples such as Niraj Sunwar and Aashik Lama say progress has stalled since the constitution was adopted.

Sunwar, 23, and Lama, 28, are still waiting for the day when they can legally marry. Lama also hopes to adopt a child, which isn’t possible because no laws currently allow it.

“We want to be lawfully wedded in a government office and have a legal certificate so we can openly live the life we want,” Lama said. “We want to adopt a baby and start a family life.

”Such rights were enshrined in the constitution, which was introduced after the abolition of Nepal’s centuries-old monarchy, because of a 2008 Supreme Court ruling that outlawed all discrimination against sexual minorities. LGBT activists, however, say politicians have failed to write new laws that reflect their rights.

Even worse, a Civil Code that was passed through parliament and came into force last year has moved things backward by clearly stating that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

“Nepal opened the way and other countries are following, but it has stalled here,” said Manisha Dhakal, executive director of the Blue Diamond Society, an LGBT rights group. “Parliament has no commitment; it just doesn’t want to do it.”

In addition to banning sexual discrimination, the new constitution provides special privileges to minority groups, including a reserved number of government jobs and educational positions. The LGBT community has been defined as a minority, but receives no such reserved positions.

“Though the constitution says clearly there should be no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, there are no laws to support it,” said Pinky Gurung, an LGBT rights activist.

Under a new citizenship bill being prepared in parliament, transgender people seeking to change their status would be required to show medical proof, but the bill does not clarify what kind, Dhakal said.

“A provision requiring us to get examined physically violates our privacy,” she said, also noting that sex change surgery is currently unavailable in Nepal and unaffordable for most transgender people.

She said activists are planning to go to court to demand equal rights, and then take the issue to international rights groups to pressure the government.

Nepal’s constitution was ahead of its time not just at home but also in South Asia.

In India, homosexuality wasn’t decriminalized until last year when the Supreme Court declared British-era laws unconstitutional. Tiny Bhutan’s parliament recently repealed provisions that made “unnatural sex” illegal.

Meanwhile in Bangladesh and Pakistan, both Muslim-majority nations, gay relationships remain illegal, and gay rights activists routinely face discrimination.

If the rights were granted as they appear in the constitution, Nepal would be head of almost every country in all of Asia. Taiwan in May became the first place in the region to legalize same-sex marriage.

There is no accurate number for the size of Nepal’s LGBT community. The next census, held every 10 years, is planned for 2021, and Gurung said they are demanding that the number of LGBT people be counted.Because there is no census data, there are no quotas for jobs, educational positions or health care slots for the LGBT community. And activists say discrimination against the LGBT community in Nepal is still all too common in everyday life.

“Because there is no same-sex marriage provision in Nepal, we have been facing difficulties in society,” Sunwar said. “When we walk in the street together, our neighbors always look down on us because two men are living together as a couple.”

They have been living together for two years, but only told their parents a few months ago.

For Meghna Lama, who has been running Pink Tiffany, the first LGBT-friendly restaurant in the heart of Kathmandu’s tourist district, overcoming challenges has become routine.

From convincing building owners to facing harassment from the authorities and…

FINISH UP: Nepal’s sexual minorities say progress in rights has stalled






 

Posted in NEWS OF INTEREST, POLITICS

“There’s Good News And Bad News. Which Do You Want To Hear First?”

Local Union 141.com ©

PART I

That’s what the doctor asked in a phone call not too long ago.

“Tell me the good news”, the optimist in me said.

“You’ve got two days to live” said the doctor.

“Jeeze, I said. “If that’s the good news, what’s the bad news?”

“I was supposed to tell you yesterday”, replied the doctor somewhat apologetically.

author of the joke unknown


THE GOOD NEWS is that starting October 1, 2019 most Jack Security Officers will see about a $2 an hour bump in their paychecks.

THE BAD NEWS is that it tops out in the 5th year @ $15.25 an hour. After 5 years you get a $500 bonus on your anniversay. And it’s a 5-year contract, which amounts to 25 cents per hour before taxes.


It COULD have been better!

It SHOULD have been better!

It WOULD have been better if we had a better union.

It…

View original post 1,387 more words

Posted in HWH COMMENTARY, NEWS OF INTEREST

Hong Kong’s divide: Protests for democracy, rally for China

HWH Commentary: Communism is dead – because it worked in theory ONLY, not practice. Large parts of the world practiced it and large parts of the world suffered as a result. Only a tiny elite, ruling minority prospered under their own rule, which in essence made them a dictatorhip by committee.

If you call yourselves a democracy because you have free elections, but everyone in the country prefers the policies and practices of socialism, then you’re basically a monolithic system of governing, which in essence becomes communism if practiced long enough, since everyone in the nation can’t all be rich, but they can all be at the poverty line, which eventually demoralizes the populace, which then requires a military presence in the civilian population to keep the system that no longer works.

The only time systems of mass control work in providing a more equal balance is when in transition. Once the goal is met, nobody likes it, because it’s too confining and restrictive. Paradoxically, it is always the masses who want and seek and rise up to achieve that equal distribution, only to discover that it produced more disadvantages, rather than fewer.

China’s system has never worked. The reason it appeared to thrive at various times throughout history is because the Chinese people were convinced by their leaders that suffering was a necessary part of the plan.

China’s system lays all the decision-making into the hands of a few old men regarding every single detail of China’s population, land, resources, and on and on.

China’s old men are no different than anybody else’s old men. Old men can’t handle that much responsibility. Young men can’t handle that much responsibility. Nobody’s men can.

Suffering, suffering, suffering. You wear it well. What a lie you projected to the world. Suffering brings you peace, wealth, happiness, ingenuity, invention? Then why do you spend so much time stealing America’s inventions? 

Long live China as a democracy. If China becomes a democracy, then China keeps Hong Kong and Taiwan. Everyone is different, but equally worthy to pursue their people’s dreams. 

Not all Chinese are the same. Accept that reality as the beginning of what an ultimate Chinese Democracy will look like. Better than any other democracy.

You know how to do. You dreamed it for centuries.

PayPal-ME-300x300.jpg



HONG KONG (AP) — Pro-democracy protesters marched on one side of Hong Kong’s famous harbor on Saturday to demand the government heed their demands. Across the water, a pro-government rally called for an end to the often violent protests.

The dueling demonstrations highlighted the political divide in the semiautonomous Chinese territory, which for 10 weeks has been rocked by protests that show no signs of relenting.

“The government right now doesn’t listen to the people, and the police are too violent,” said Bobby Tse, a 76-year-old retiree who watched the pro-democracy march from a bridge. “It didn’t used to be like this. We didn’t have to protest every week. But now even though we have protests every week, the government still gives no response.”

At the pro-government rally, speakers on a stage said they love both Hong Kong and China and asked the protesters why they are afraid of China. Supporters gave a thumbs-up to police officers and posed for photos with them. Leo Chen, a 47-year-old driver, said he came out because he wants peace in his city of 7.4 million people.

“Before, everyone in Hong Kong helped each other, it was very harmonious,” he said. “Now to see it become like this, I’m not happy, so I’ve come out to show a little strength.”Earlier Saturday, thousands of schoolteachers marched to the official residence of Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, to show support for the protesters, who have taken to the streets since early June and include many students.

Carrying signs that read “Protect the next generation” and umbrellas to ward off intermittent downpours, the teachers tied white ribbons to a metal fence near Government House. They said the government should answer the protesters’ demands and stop using what they called police violence to disperse demonstrators who have taken over streets and besieged and defaced government buildings.

“We want to protect our students, our youngsters, so teachers are willing to come out and speak for the youngsters, and also, to stand by them so they are not alone,” said Fung Wai-wah, president of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union, which organized the march.

The movement’s demands include Lam’s resignation, democratic elections and an independent investigation into police use of force. A rally in Victoria Park has been called for Sunday by a pro-democracy group that has organized three massive marches through central Hong Kong since June.

“Even though we’re all scared of getting arrested, we have to keep going,” said Minnie Lee, a 31-year-old logistics worker who joined the pro-democracy march. “What we are fighting for is democracy and our rights. We’re not doing anything wrong. If we stop now, things will only get worse.”

Tensions rose briefly after the march, with riot police deployed to chase down a group of pro-democracy protesters they said were assembling illegally outside their station, shining laser pointers and throwing eggs.

Officers formed a line on a nearby street, thumping their batons on their shields before charging.But by that time, most protesters had already melted away into the city’s densely populated Mong Kok district, leaving officers to face angry local residents, who told them to leave and accused them of being members of crime gangs. The police eventually left without firing tear gas.

Members of China’s paramilitary People’s Armed Police force have been training this week across the border in Shenzhen, fueling speculation that they could be sent in to suppress the protests. Officers didn’t appear to hold major drills on Saturday, but could be seen doing jumping jacks and stretching inside a sports stadium. Dozens of army-green armored carriers and trucks were parked inside and outside the facility.

The Hong Kong police, however, have said they are capable of handling the protests.

“I can tell you we’re confident the police have the capability to maintain law and order,” Yeung Man-pun, commander of the Kowloon City district, said Friday when asked about the possibility of a deployment of mainland security forces.

Outside of Hong Kong, demonstrations were held in support of both the pro-democracy movement and China.In Australia, at least 200 protesters descended on Sydney Town Hall, chanting “Long live China” and singing the Chinese national anthem, while a protest in support of the pro-democracy movement continued in Melbourne.

The Melbourne rally had turned ugly on Friday night, with police moving in to separate some 100 pro-China protesters from those sympathetic to Hong Kong. Saturday’s protest in the southern city was peaceful.

In Taiwan, people held a flash mob demonstration in Taipei, the island’s capital, in support of the Hong Kong protests.

___Associated Press writer Ken Moritsugu, videojournalist Yves Dam Van and news assistant Phoebe Lai in Hong Kong and videojournalist Dake Kang in Shenzhen, China, contributed to this report.

Source: Hong Kong’s divide: Protests for democracy, rally for China






Posted in MEDIA, NEWS OF INTEREST, WORD PRESS

Exclusive: Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg on what’s next for Tumblr

Blogging is back, maybe!

By Nilay Patel@reckless  Aug 14, 2019, 9:00am EDT

It’s been a long and winding road for Tumblr, the blogging site that launched a thousand writing careers. It sold to Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013, then withered as Yahoo sold itself to AOL, AOL sold itself to Verizon, and Verizon realized it was a phone company after all. Through all that, the site’s fierce community hung on: it’s still Taylor Swift’s go-to social media platform, and fandoms of all kinds have homes there.

Verizon sold Tumblr for a reported $3 million this week, a far cry from the billion-dollar valuation it once had. But to Verizon’s credit, it chose to sell Tumblr to Automattic, the company behind WordPress, the publishing platform that runs some 34 percent of the world’s websites. Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg thinks the future of Tumblr is bright. He wants the platform to bring back the best of old-school blogging, reinvented for mobile and connected to Tumblr’s still-vibrant community, and he’s retaining all 200 Tumblr employees to build that future. It’s the most exciting vision for Tumblr in years.

Matt joined Verge reporter Julia Alexander and me on a special Vergecast interview episode to chat about the deal, how it came together, what Automattic’s plans for Tumblr look like, and whether Tumblr might become an open-source project, like WordPress itself. (“That would be pretty cool,” said Matt.)

Oh, and that porn ban…

FINISH UP: Exclusive: Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg on what’s next for Tumblr – The Verge






Posted in HWH COMMENTARY, NEWS OF INTEREST

Palestinians Will No Longer Abide by Previous Agreements Made With Israel

HWH Comment: Good move!


Abbas: Palestinians to halt agreements with Israel. Agreements Include Those Signed Over the Past 25 Years Covering Many Spheres of Activity, Including Security Co-operation 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the Palestinians will no longer abide by previous agreements made with Israel.

His announcement followed an emergency meeting after Israel razed Palestinian buildings it said were illegally built on the edge of Jerusalem.

Agreements signed over the past 25 years cover many spheres of activity, including security co-operation.

Israel has not yet responded to the move.

Mr. Abbas said a committee would be formed to work out how to implement the decision.

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have heightened in recent days after the demolition of the buildings in Wadi Hummus (an area of Sur Baher), which Israel’s High Court said had been built too close to its West Bank barrier…

Read More: Palestinians Will No Longer Abide by Previous Agreements Made With Israel. Agreements Include Those Signed Over the Past 25 Years Covering Many Spheres of Activity, Including Security Co-operation – World News Report – EIN News






 

Posted in NEWS OF INTEREST

MS-13 gang members indicted after ‘medieval-style’ killing spree in Los Angeles

 

LOS ANGELES – Federal racketeering, murder and other charges were filed against 22 suspected MS-13 gang members who law enforcement officials believe are linked to a series of grisly killings involving baseball bats, machetes and other tools of “medieval-style” violence, authorities said Tuesday.

Nineteen of those indicted are considered illegal immigrants, and most of the group’s members arrived in the U.S. in the past four years from Central America. All but two are under the age of 24, Nicola Hanna, the U.S. Attorney for Los Angeles, announced at a news conference. Most, he added, participated in the “killing spree.”

The arrests – the last came over the weekend – capped a two-year investigation.

While President Donald Trump has singled out MS-13 as a threat to public safety in the making the case for tighter security along the Mexican border, Hanna said the defendants mostly preyed upon other recent immigrants who they believed were rivals.

MS-13 “has been named as one of the top five transnational threats to the U.S.,” Hanna said. “MS-13 has spread like a cancer … throughout the U.S.”

Those arrested were all part of the so-called Fulton clique of MS-13, one of the most violent of about 20 factions of MS-13 operating in the Los Angeles area, Hanna said. The clique operated primarily in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley…

FINISH UP: MS-13 gang members indicted after ‘medieval-style’ killing spree in Los Angeles

 






Posted in HWH COMMENTARY, NEWS OF INTEREST

Common cold virus could cure cancer, pioneering trial suggests 

HWH Comment: Wow. So there was a reason why we couldn’t cure the common cold for all these decades trying. Or maybe we didn’t try that hard, thinking colds weren’t all that serious and they generated a lot of income for the cold remedy industry.

Come to find out, it was a good idea, because it just might become a universal agent to cure cancer. Wow again. What a find! No more harsh chemo therapy, just cough and sneeze your way to a cure.

Yeah, I’ve been coughing and sneezing a lot, maybe I’ve got some cancer cells in me screaming to be eradicated. That’s probably not how it works. I hope they put this into practice soon. It’s too long between discovery and marketability. Speed up the process. It’s a cold virus. How bad could it be?

Breast cancer tumors? Inject it right into the tumor? Forget the cancers that are hard to treat, treat them all with the virus. Oh right, we can’t put all those chemo people and radiation people and surgeons out of business? Give them some other jobs to do.

I’m wondering about the price tag on the treatment. How much could it cost? Something so common and readily available? They’ll find a way to take your life savings; they always do.



Laura Donnelly, health editor

5 JULY 2019 • 12:01AM

The common cold virus could cure cancer, scientists say, as a “revolutionary” treatment was found to eradicate the disease in a week. In the pioneering British trial, 15 patients were given an infusion of the bug, before undergoing surgery to remove and examine tumours.

In every case, cancer cells had been destroyed – and in one case, all traces of the disease had gone, the study found. Scientists said they were “very excited” about the findings, for patients with bladder cancer, which could also bring hope to those suffering from other major forms of the disease.

They said the virus could become a “universal agent” to fight cancer, replacing conventional treatments like chemotherapy.

As well as reducing the size of all the tumours, the treatment, via a catheter to the bladder, had no significant side-effects in any of the patients, researchers said. Bladder cancer is the tenth most common type of cancer in the UK, with 10,000 diagnoses annually. Scientists said they hoped the treatment could be available in as little as three years, bringing hope to thousands of patients with diseases that are currently hard-to-treat. Most tumours in the bladder do not have immune cells, making the disease particularly hard to treat. But the study suggests that an infusion of a strain of the common cold virus – called coxsackievirus (CVA21) – was able to inflame the tumour and cause immune cells to rush into the cancer environment, targeting and killing the cancer cells…

FINISH UP: Common cold virus could cure cancer, pioneering trial suggests






 

Posted in DONALD TRUMP, HWH COMMENTARY, NEWS OF INTEREST

Latest sex accusation against Trump lands with a thud

HWH COMMENT: Actually, this woman who claims she has had a lifetime of encounters with predatory men, seems more like the offender looking for men who will have a quick encounter.

How do you rape somebody with tights on without being able to squirm away, especially in a high-end department store? Two decades later and she says she’s a mature woman and can handle it. Just how did she handle it?

I can’t imagine having a lifetime of predator men raping me and doing nothing about it.

How is it that this woman is credible? Are we to believe everybody who comes forward two or three decades later with a grab and run or a rape story? I agree that too few people come forward, but how about now. Why aren’t more women coming forward with what happened last night? Why aren’t they in the news for the world to rally behind?

Larry Sabato from the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics is quoted as saying that Trump is simply exempt from the rules everybody else has to obey. Sabato fails to mention past presidents who had ‘playboy’ reputations while actually in the White House: John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson just to name two. These behaviors decades ago were pretty much expected of powerful men. And who is ‘everybody else’ that Sabato refers to that have to obey the rules? Italian men? Arab men? Spanish men? Russian men. Jewish men? And what are the rules he speaks of?

Locker room talk. What actually is that? Men bragging about their sexual exploits that never really happened? How common is that? How common two and three decades ago was that? These writers went to the trouble of reaching out to a so-called expert, yet failed to ask all the right questions? It seems like this article was purposely slanted against one man. Who were all the other predatory men that magically came into this accusers life throughout her entire life? Any names to those men?

She waited too long. She acts like twenty years ago we were in the 1920s. The sexual revolution had already occurred in the 60s and 70s. Women were out of the sexual repression closet and free love reigned. “Make love not war”.

Some women want encounters with sexually-free individuals. They’re not all predators (male or female). Twenty years later maybe she feels ashamed. Can money cure shame? To mention the alleged rape it in a book she’s selling reeks of opportunism. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. Still, she used it to advance her status, which is exactly what men do. They use women to advance their status. So welcome to the female oppressor club. Is this what women really want, to be like men? Then they are no better, justified or not.

She should have got her revenge, if she was revenge-worthy, twenty years ago. Too shy to kick a guy in the balls in a high-end department store dressing room? Not if she had encounters with predatory men her entire life.

There were lots of people around. She wouldn’t have been harmed if she screamed.

Hey, if she’s going to try to convince the world of an alleged rape that happened decades ago, then the world has the right to question what she did back then to prevent it.

People like E. Jean Carroll make it difficult for current-day victims to come forward. The press only focuses on those alleged assaults that happened decades ago and that can’t be proven one way or the other. Is that fair to anyone? Is it fair to alleged victims? It makes it look like the press is talking about rape, but they really aren’t talking. They’re telling stories about potential assaults that may or may not have happened.

That hurts the women assaulted last night. By exploiting the past for personal gain, the past repeats itself.

Focus on the NOW in order to change the future for all victims of violent crime.

[Sen. Mazie Hirnono, a Hawaii Democrat, called it a sad day when a rape accusation against the president leaves the country numb.

“With this president you have the Iran situation going on, you have North Korea going on, you have the border crisis going on,” she said.]

 


Note: So I’m wondering why a decades old sexual assault claim against a current president that gets revealed in a new book by the alleged accuser should take precedent over the Iran, North Korea and Border crises in this country? This is what I’m talking about. E. Jean Carroll waits twenty years, reveals it in a book and at least one women senator is sad that national security issues were taking away from the press coverage of Carroll’s book of revelations. WHOA. Women have become predators. She waited twenty years, do you think she could wait a while longer while the country focuses on pressing security issues of the day?

The name of the book is WHAT DO WE NEED MEN FOR? I believe E. Jean Carroll made that abundantly clear: to exploit them.



AP NEWS: Nearly a week after the latest sexual misconduct accusation against President Donald Trump, the story has largely landed with a thud.

Some see the muted response to author E. Jean Carroll’s allegation of Trump assaulting her in a department store dressing room more than two decades ago as yet another example of the divisive Politics of Trump: Those who support him dismiss it as fake news. Those against him see it as confirmation of what they knew all along.

“Essentially, you’re either for him or against him, and if you’re for him, it doesn’t matter what he’s done,” said Larry Sabato, who directs the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “It really is remarkable. He simply is exempt from the rules everyone else must obey.”

It’s a cycle that’s been repeated before. After more than a dozen women came forward during Trump’s 2016 campaign with allegations of sexual misconduct years earlier, Trump called them “liars” who sought to harm his campaign with “100-percent fabricated” stories. When the “Access Hollywood” tape emerged weeks before the election of him bragging about grabbing women by the genitals, he dismissed it as “locker room talk.”

In the case of Carroll, a feature writer and longtime Elle advice columnist, her accusation was revealed in an excerpt to an upcoming book, leading Trump and others to cast her aside as an opportunist. Her book, “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal,” describes what she calls a lifetime of encounters with predatory men, starting with her early years as an Indiana cheerleader and pageant winner.

She said that Trump, in the mid-1990s, followed her into a dressing room after a chance encounter at the high-end New York department store Bergdorf Goodman and proceeded to pull down her tights and sexually assault her. Trump, in denying the account on Monday, said she’s “not my type,” a stunning remark from a U.S. president that briefly breathed life into the story.

But even ranking Democrats such as Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois were resigned to how it would all play out. “I wouldn’t dismiss it,” he told The Washington Post, “but let’s be honest, he’s going to deny it and little is going to come of it.”

Lawyer Debra Katz, who represented Christine Blasey Ford in her Senate testimony on her alleged high school assault by then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, concurred.

“The electorate knew this about him. This is nothing new about his character or his behavior — at this point there have been, what, 13 credible accusers?” Katz said. “People have become inured to it. And it’s disgraceful.”

Carroll, who did not return messages left on her cell phone from The Associated Press this week, stopped short in various television interviews of calling what happened to her rape and described the experience as a “three-minute” ordeal that did not change her life. Carroll has said she doesn’t plan to seek criminal charges and it appears the statute of limitations has run out.

“I’m a mature woman. I can handle it,” she said on MSNBC. “My life has gone on. I’m a happy woman.”

It didn’t help that Carroll’s book excerpt dropped late last Friday and was largely drowned out by events of the week: the refugee crisis at the border, the U.S. brinkmanship with Iran and the regular onslaught of news about the environment, the economy and the 2020 election.

“We are trauma-fatigued by the volume of despairing issues seemingly beyond our personal control,” said Carrie Goldberg, a New York lawyer who represents victims of sexual assault and revenge porn. “When a solution feels beyond grasp, it can be impossible to muster an appropriate emotional reaction.”

Sen. Mazie Hirnono, a Hawaii Democrat, called it a sad day when a rape accusation against the president leaves the country numb. “With this president you have the Iran situation going on, you have North Korea going on, you have the border crisis going on,” she said. “So after a while you just practically throw up your hands.”

___AP writers Kali Robinson and AP video journalist Padmanda Rama contributed to this report from Washington.

Source: Latest sex accusation against Trump lands with a thud






 

Posted in NEWS OF INTEREST

The Pentagon Emits More Greenhouse Gases Than Any Other Part of the US Gov’t.

 

The Pentagon Emits More Greenhouse Gases Than Any Other Part of the US Gov’t.

Scientists and security analysts have warned for more than a decade that global warming is a potential national security concern.

They project that the consequences of global warming — rising seas, powerful storms, famine and diminished access to fresh water — may make regions of the world politically unstable and prompt mass migration and refugee crises.

Some worry that wars may follow.

Yet with few exceptions, the U.S. military’s significant contribution to climate change has received little attention. Although the Defense Department has significantly reduced its fossil fuel consumption since the early 2000s, it remains the world’s single largest consumer of oil — and as a result, one of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters.

I have studied war and peace for four decades. But I only focused on the scale of U.S. military greenhouse gas emissions when I began co-teaching a course on climate change and focused on the Pentagon’s response to global warming. Yet, the Department of Defense is the U.S. government’s largest fossil fuel consumer, accounting for between 77% and 80% of all federal government energy consumption since 2001.

In a newly released study published by Brown University’s Costs of War Project, I calculated U.S. military greenhouse gas emissions in tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from 1975 through 2017.

Today China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, followed by the United States. In 2017 the Pentagon’s greenhouse gas emissions totaled over 59 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. If it were a country, it would have been the world’s 55th largest greenhouse gas emitter, with emissions larger than Portugal, Sweden or Denmark.

The largest sources of military greenhouse gas emissions are buildings and fuel. The Defense Department maintains over 560,000 buildings at approximately 500 domestic and overseas military installations, which account for about 40% of its greenhouse gas emissions.

The rest comes from operations. In fiscal year 2016, for instance, the Defense Department consumed about 86 million barrels of fuel for operational purposes.

Military weapons and equipment use so much fuel that the relevant measure for defense planners is frequently gallons per mile.

Aircraft are particularly thirsty. For example, the B-2 stealth bomber, which holds more than 25,600 gallons of jet fuel, burns 4.28 gallons per mile and emits more than 250 metric tons of greenhouse gas over a 6,000 nautical mile range. The KC-135R aerial refueling tanker consumes about 4.9 gallons per mile.

A single mission consumes enormous quantities of fuel. In January 2017, two B-2B bombers and 15 aerial refueling tankers traveled more than 12,000 miles from Whiteman Air Force Base to bomb ISIS targets in Libya, killing about 80 suspected ISIS militants. Not counting the tankers’ emissions, the B-2s emitted about 1,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

Calculating the Defense Department’s greenhouse gas emissions isn’t easy. The Defense Logistics Agency tracks fuel purchases, but the Pentagon does not consistently report DOD fossil fuel consumption to Congress in its annual budget requests.

The Department of Energy publishes data on DOD energy production and fuel consumption, including for vehicles and equipment. Using fuel consumption data, I estimate that from 2001 through 2017, the DOD, including all service branches, emitted 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases. That is the rough equivalent of driving of 255 million passenger vehicles over a year.

Of that total, I estimated that war-related emissions between 2001 and 2017, including “overseas contingency operations” in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria, generated over 400 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent — roughly equivalent to the greenhouse emissions of almost 85 million cars in one year.

The Pentagon’s core mission is to prepare for potential attacks by human adversaries. Analysts argue about the likelihood of war and the level of military preparation necessary to prevent it, but in my view, none of the United States’ adversaries — Russia, Iran, China and North Korea — are certain to attack the United States.

Nor is a large standing military the only way to reduce the threats these adversaries pose. Arms control and diplomacy can often de-escalate tensions and reduce threats. Economic sanctions can diminish the capacity of states and nonstate actors to threaten the security interests of the U.S. and its allies.

In contrast, climate change is not a potential risk. It has begun, with real consequences to the United States. Failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will make the nightmare scenarios strategists warn against — perhaps even “climate wars” — more likely.

Over the past last decade the Defense Department has reduced its fossil fuel consumption through actions that include using renewable energy, weatherizing buildings and reducing aircraft idling time on runways.

The DOD’s total annual emissions declined from a peak of 85 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2004 to 59 million metric tons in 2017. The goal, as then-General James Mattis put it, is to be “unleashed from the tether of fuel” by decreasing military dependence on oil and oil convoys that are vulnerable to attack in war zones.

Since 1979, the United States has placed a high priority on protecting access to the Persian Gulf. About one-fourth of military operational fuel use is for the U.S. Central Command, which covers the Persian Gulf region.

As national security scholars have argued, with dramatic growth in renewable energy and diminishing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, it is possible for Congress and the president to rethink our nation’s military missions and reduce the amount of energy the armed forces use to protect access to Middle East oil.

I agree with the military and national security experts who contend that climate change should be front and center in U.S. national security debates. Cutting Pentagon greenhouse gas emissions will help save lives in the United States, and could diminish the risk of climate conflict.

Neta C. Crawford, Professor of Political Science and Department Chair, Boston University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article

Source: The Pentagon Emits More Greenhouse Gases Than Any Other Part of the US Gov’t.






 

Posted in HWH COMMENTARY, NEWS OF INTEREST

Watchdog: Abuse and neglect in nursing facilities unreported

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nursing facilities have failed to report thousands of serious cases of potential neglect and abuse of seniors on Medicare even though it’s a federal requirement for them to do so, according to a watchdog report released Wednesday that calls for a new focus on protecting frail patients.

Auditors with the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office drilled down on episodes serious enough that the patient was taken straight from a nursing facility to a hospital emergency room. Scouring Medicare billing records, they estimated that in 2016 about 6,600 cases reflected potential neglect or abuse that was not reported as required. Nearly 6,200 patients were affected.

“Mandatory reporting is not always happening, and beneficiaries deserve to be better protected,” said Gloria Jarmon, head of the inspector general’s audit division.

Overall, unreported cases worked out to 18% of about 37,600 episodes in which a Medicare beneficiary was taken to the emergency room from a nursing facility in circumstances that raised red flags.

Responding to the report, Administrator Seema Verma said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services does not tolerate abuse and mistreatment and slaps significant fines on nursing homes that fail to report cases.

Verma said the agency, known as CMS, is already moving to improve supervision of nursing homes in critical areas such as abuse and neglect and care for patients with dementia.

CMS officially agreed with the inspector general’s recommendations, including clearer guidance to nursing facilities about what kinds of episodes must be reported, improved training for facility staff, and requirements that state nursing home inspectors record and track possible problems as well as incidents reported to law enforcement.

Neglect and abuse of elderly patients can be difficult to uncover. Investigators say many cases are not reported because vulnerable older people may be afraid to tell even friends and relatives much less the authorities. In some cases, neglect and abuse can be masked by medical conditions.

The report cited the example of a 65-year-old woman who arrived at the emergency room in critical condition. She was struggling to breathe, suffering from kidney failure and in a state of delirium. The patient turned out to have opioid poisoning, due to an error at the nursing facility. The report said a nurse made a mistake copying doctor’s orders, and the patient was getting much bigger doses of pain medication as a result. The woman was treated and sent back to the same nursing facility. The nurse got remedial training, but the facility did not report what happened. The report called it an example of neglect that should have been reported.

The American Health Care Association, which represents the nursing home industry, said in a statement from its vice president for quality, David Gifford, that it would “fully support more transparent reporting.” The group said Medicare’s current definition of neglect “is vague and creates confusion about what should be reported.”

The nursing facilities covered by the report provide skilled nursing and therapy services to Medicare patients recovering from surgeries or hospitalization. Many facilities play a dual role, combining a rehabilitation wing with long-term care nursing home beds.

Investigators said they faced a challenge scoping out the extent of unreported cases. It wasn’t like they could query a database and get a number, since they were looking for cases that weren’t being reported to state nursing home inspectors.

To get their estimate, auditors put together a list of Medicare billing codes that previous investigations had linked to potential neglect and abuse. Common problems were not on the list. Instead it included red flags such as fractures, head injuries, foreign objects swallowed by patients, gangrene and shock.

The investigators found a total of 37,600 records representing 34,800 patients. Auditors then pulled a sample of cases and asked state inspectors to tell them which ones should have been reported. Based on the expert judgment of state inspectors, federal auditors came up with their estimate of 6,600 unreported cases of potential neglect and abuse.

Medicare did not challenge the estimates but instead said that billing data comes with a built-in time lag and may not be useful for spotting problems in real time.

Separately, the report also flagged potential problems with state nursing home inspectors reporting documented cases of abuse or neglect to local law enforcement. Federal auditors pulled a sample of 69 cases across five states in which inspectors verified that nursing facility patients suffered neglect or abuse. Only two were reported to local law enforcement, although reporting is required.

In one case, a male resident was sitting in the facility’s dining room when an employee walked by and pushed the back of his head, then kept walking. The employee denied it, but his actions were captured on surveillance video. The report said state inspectors verified what happened but did not report it to local law enforcement.

Source: Watchdog: Abuse and neglect in nursing facilities unreported


HWH: In any situation that lends itself to abuse, the actual cases are way under-reported. It’s the nature of the abuse beast. Nursing home facilities need more oversight. Not enough is being done. The owners are getting rich, while the patients suffer from lack of care. Members of the family practically have to be there everyday checking and participating in their loved ones care, and still it can happen.

Congress sits on their hands, while disrespecting the elderly. After all, they can’t vote if they’re in a nursing home, so they pass the problem onto somebody else. They care more about abortions than senior health care.






 

Posted in NEWS OF INTEREST, POLITICS

Rep. Omar filed joint tax returns before she married husband

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota campaign finance officials said last week that Democratic U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar misused campaign funds in violation of state rules. They also revealed that she had filed joint tax returns with her husband years before they were legally married and at a time when she was married to another man.

The revelation put the freshman representative under more scrutiny from critics who have taken issue with her marital past. One tax expert said that if there is no criminal intent and the issue has been corrected, she’s unlikely to face any criminal consequences.

Some questions and answers about the tax issue:

Q: What did Omar do wrong?

A: The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board said Thursday that Omar and her husband, Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi, filed joint tax returns for 2014 and 2015 — before they were actually married and while Omar was legally wed to another man. While some states allow for joint filing for “common law” marriages, Minnesota does not, and filing joint tax returns with someone who is not your legal spouse is against both federal and state law.

Q: How did this become public?

A: Last year, a Republican state representative accused Omar of misusing campaign funds, alleging among other things that she used $2,250 in campaign money to pay a lawyer for her divorce proceedings. The campaign finance board investigated and found she didn’t use the funds to pay for a divorce lawyer as alleged, but other irregularities were found. The board’s final report said “there was an issue with her tax returns that needed to be corrected” and that some campaign funds went to an accounting firm.

State officials ruled last week that Omar must repay her campaign committee nearly $3,500, including $1,500 for payments made to the accounting firm for services related to joint tax returns for 2014 and 2015. Omar must also pay a $500 penalty to the state.

Q: What has Omar said about this?

A: Very little. In response to questions from The Associated Press, her campaign sent an emailed statement saying, “All of Rep. Omar’s tax filings are fully compliant with all applicable tax law.” The campaign did not make Omar available for an interview or answer specific questions from the AP. In response to the overall campaign finance investigation, she said in a statement last week that she will comply with the state board findings calling for her to repay money and pay a penalty.

Q: Hasn’t Omar faced criticism on other issues?…

FINISH UP: Rep. Omar filed joint tax returns before she married husband






 

Posted in MEDIA, NEWS OF INTEREST, POLITICS

Full Transcript Of Mueller Statement On Russia Probe

MUELLER STATEMENT ON RUSSIA PROBE

Full Transcript of Mueller’s Statement on Russia Investigation

By The Associated Press


The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, made his first public comments about the Russia investigation.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

By The New York Times

May 29, 2019


 

Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, made his first public comments on Wednesday about the Russia investigation that he took over two years ago.

The following is a transcript of his remarks, as prepared by The New York Times.

_________________

ROBERT S. MUELLER III, the special counsel: Good morning, everyone, and thank you for being here. Two years ago, the acting attorney general asked me to serve as special counsel and he created the special counsel’s office. The appointment order directed the office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.

Now, I have not spoken publicly during our investigation. I am speaking out today because our investigation is complete. The attorney general has made the report on our investigation largely public. We are formally closing the special counsel’s office, and as well, I’m resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life. I’ll make a few remarks about the results of our work. But beyond these few remarks, it is important that the office’s written work speak for itself. Let me begin where the appointment order begins, and that is interference in the 2016 presidential election.

As alleged by the grand jury in an indictment, Russian intelligence officers who are part of the Russian military, launched a concerted attack on our political system. The indictment alleges that they used sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization WikiLeaks.

The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate. And at the same time, as the grand jury alleged in a separate indictment, a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation, where Russian citizens posed as Americans in order to influence an election. These indictments contain allegations, and we are not commenting on the guilt or the innocence of any specific defendant. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The indictments allege, and the other activities in our report describe, efforts to interfere in our political system. They needed to be investigated and understood. And that is among the reasons why the Department of Justice established our office. That is also a reason we investigated efforts to obstruct the investigation. The matters we investigated were of paramount importance. It was critical for us to obtain full and accurate information from every person we questioned. When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of their government’s effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.

Let me say a word about the report. The report has two parts, addressing the two main issues we were asked to investigate. The first volume of the report details numerous efforts emanating from Russia to influence the election. This volume includes a discussion of the Trump campaign’s response to this activity, as well as our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy. And in the second volume, the report describes the results and analysis of our obstruction of justice investigation involving the president.

The order appointing me special counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. We conducted that investigation, and we kept the office of the acting attorney general apprised of the progress of our work. And as set forth in the report, after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.

The introduction to the Volume II of our report explains that decision. It explains that under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that, too, is prohibited. A special counsel’s office is part of the Department of Justice, and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy. Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider. The department’s written opinion explaining the policy makes several important points that further informed our handling of the obstruction investigation. Those points are summarized in our report, and I will describe two of them for you.

First, the opinion explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting president, because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents available. Among other things, that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could be charged now.

And second, the opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing. And beyond department policy, we were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially — it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.

So that was Justice Department policy. Those were the principles under which we operated. And from them, we concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime. That is the office’s final position, and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the president. We conducted an independent criminal investigation and reported the results to the attorney general, as required by department regulations.

The attorney general then concluded that it was appropriate to provide our report to Congress and to the American people. At one point in time, I requested that certain portions of the report be released and the attorney general preferred to make — preferred to make the entire report public all at once and we appreciate that the attorney general made the report largely public. And I certainly do not question the attorney general’s good faith in that decision.

Now, I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter. There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress. In addition, access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office.

So beyond what I’ve said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress. And it’s for that reason I will not be taking questions today, as well.

Now, before I step away, I want to thank the attorneys, the F.B.I. agents, the analysts, the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. These individuals who spent nearly two years with the special counsel’s office were of the highest integrity. And I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American. Thank you. Thank you for being here today.






Posted in NEWS OF INTEREST

‘Revolution’ in Poland as nation confronts priestly abuse

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — One victim spoke out, and then another, and another.

A statue of a pedophile priest was toppled in Gdansk, put back by his supporters, and finally dismantled for good.

A feature film about clerical abuse was a box office hit.

Poland thought it had started confronting the problem of clerical abuse and its cover-up by church authorities. Then a bombshell came: A documentary with victim testimony so harrowing it has forced an unprecedented reckoning with pedophile priests in one of Europe’s most deeply Catholic societies.

Poland’s bishops acknowledged this week they face a crisis and made a rare admission that they have failed to protect the young. It’s also a crisis for the country’s conservative government, which is closely aligned with the Catholic Church, putting the ruling Law and Justice party on the defensive before Sunday’s European Parliament vote in Poland.

The documentary ”Tell No One ” was directed by journalist Tomasz Sekielski. Before its release on May 11, ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski had described discussion about clerical abuse as a “brutal attack” on the church and portrayed the LGBT rights movement as the key threat to children in the country. But the revelations in the documentary have pushed the party to face up to the cleric abuse crisis. It has vowed stiffer penalties for pedophilia, although its leaders have avoided pointing a finger at the church specifically.

Across the country, the film has triggered soul searching and raised questions, including whether the same bishops who moved perpetrators from parish to parish for years will be capable of cleansing the church. Some wonder if Poland, which is already being reshaped by economic growth and secularization, could eventually follow Ireland, where the abuse crisis broke the Catholic Church’s hold on society.

Crowdfunded and free on YouTube, “Tell No One” has gotten more than 21 million views so far and has prompted a new wave of survivors to come forward. About 150 people have contacted a foundation helping victims of clerical abuse, “Have No Fear.” One was an 86-year-old man who was molested when he was 6 and had never told anyone until now.“

He finally understood that he is not alone,” said Anna Frankowska, a lawyer for the organization who took his call.“

A huge tsunami has come, and there is no way this issue can be swept under the rug now,” she said. “It has to be addressed.”Michal Wojciechowicz, a 54-year-old abused in his youth by a prominent Solidarity-era priest, the late Rev. Henryk Jankowski, sees a “revolution” whose time has come thanks to clerical sexual abuse revelations elsewhere as well as reforms by Pope Francis.

“The Catholic Church had power over people for centuries. We needed to wait for the right time, and this is the right time,” said Wojciechowicz, a writer. “The most important thing is that people are now willing to listen.”

The church has played an inspirational role in Poland, keeping its language and culture alive during a long era of occupation and foreign rule and supporting the anti-communist Solidarity movement in the 1980s. To generations, the church has been an advocate for freedom and a source of solace under hardship, and to many, Catholic faith and traditions are synonymous with Polishness itself.

A Polish pope who is now a saint, John Paul II, was a moral authority and a political hero for opposing communism, but even his legacy is now in question due to his failure to tackle clerical abuse.

Recognition of the problem came slowly at first. A book published six years ago by a Dutch journalist had the accounts of Polish victims and five years ago ”Have No Fear ” was founded to offer victims counseling and legal help. But the last eight months have brought the most dramatic milestones. A feature film about corrupt, abusive priests, “Clergy,” was a blockbuster after its September release.

Then in December, Barbara Borowiecka, 62, told Polish media about being abused when she was 11 by Jankowski, a prominent prelate in Lech Walesa’s anti-communist Solidarity movement in Gdansk, where a monument of him stood.

Borowiecka was encouraged to tell her story by another priest who brought her back to the church after a nearly five-decade break. Before his death in 2016, he made her promise to publicly name her aggressor when she was strong enough.

Shaken by Borowiecka’s story, three activists from Warsaw — Konrad Korzeniowski, Rafal Suszek i Michal Wojcieszczuk — traveled to Gdansk in February and in the middle of the night put a rope around the Jankowski monument and pulled it down.

“There was something in Borowiecka’s story that chilled me to the bone. It was shocking. The length of her isolation, the embarrassment she had to feel, that her own mother didn’t believe her,” said Korzeniowski, a computer programmer. “Even though I was aware of what is happening in the church with pedophilia, it put a face to it, and I was crying.”

They placed children’s underwear, shoes and white lace…

FINISH UP: ‘Revolution’ in Poland as nation confronts priestly abuse






 

Posted in NEWS OF INTEREST, POLITICS

Full Transcript of Mueller’s Statement on Russia Investigation

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, made his first public comments about the Russia investigation.

By The New York Times

  • The following is a transcript of his remarks, as prepared by The New York Times.

ROBERT S. MUELLER III, the special counsel: Good morning, everyone, and thank you for being here. Two years ago, the acting attorney general asked me to serve as special counsel and he created the special counsel’s office. The appointment order directed the office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.

Now, I have not spoken publicly during our investigation. I am speaking out today because our investigation is complete. The attorney general has made the report on our investigation largely public. We are formally closing the special counsel’s office, and as well, I’m resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life. I’ll make a few remarks about the results of our work. But beyond these few remarks, it is important that the office’s written work speak for itself. Let me begin where the appointment order begins, and that is interference in the 2016 presidential election.

As alleged by the grand jury in an indictment, Russian intelligence officers who are part of the Russian military, launched a concerted attack on our political system. The indictment alleges that they used sophisticated cybertechniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization WikiLeaks.

The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate. And at the same time, as the grand jury alleged in a separate indictment, a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation, where Russian citizens posed as Americans in order to influence an election. These indictments contain allegations, and we are not commenting on the guilt or the innocence of any specific defendant. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The indictments allege, and the other activities in our report describe, efforts to interfere in our political system. They needed to be investigated and understood. And that is among the reasons why the Department of Justice established our office. That is also a reason we investigated efforts to obstruct the investigation. The matters we investigated were of paramount importance. It was critical for us to obtain full and accurate information from every person we questioned. When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of their government’s effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.

Let me say a word about the report. The report has two parts, addressing the two main issues we were asked to investigate. The first volume of the report details numerous efforts emanating from Russia to influence the election. This volume includes a discussion of the Trump campaign’s response to this activity, as well as our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy. And in the second volume, the report describes the results and analysis of our obstruction of justice investigation involving the president.

The order appointing me special counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. We conducted that investigation, and we kept the office of the acting attorney general apprised of the progress of our work. And as set forth in the report, after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.

The introduction to the Volume II of our report explains that decision. It explains that under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that, too, is prohibited. A special counsel’s office is part of the Department of Justice, and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy. Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider. The department’s written opinion explaining the policy makes several important points that further informed our handling of the obstruction investigation. Those points are summarized in our report, and I will describe two of them for you.

First, the opinion explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting president, because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents available. Among other things, that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could be charged now.

And second, the opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing. And beyond department policy, we were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially — it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.

So that was Justice Department policy. Those were the principles under which we operated. And from them, we concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime. That is the office’s final position, and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the president. We conducted an independent criminal investigation and reported the results to the attorney general, as required by department regulations.

The attorney general then concluded that it was appropriate to provide our report to Congress and to the American people. At one point in time, I requested that certain portions of the report be released and the attorney general preferred to make — preferred to make the entire report public all at once and we appreciate that the attorney general made the report largely public. And I certainly do not question the attorney general’s good faith in that decision.

Now, I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter. There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress. In addition, access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office.

So beyond what I’ve said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress. And it’s for that reason I will not be taking questions today, as well.

Now, before I step away, I want to thank the attorneys, the F.B.I. agents, the analysts, the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. These individuals who spent nearly two years with the special counsel’s office were of the highest integrity. And I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American. Thank you. Thank you for being here today.






Posted in HWH COMMENTARY, NEWS OF INTEREST

RE: File says Smollett couldn’t contact brothers after arrest

 

HWH Comment: In this instance, where there was so much media attention, and people hurt, by someone alleged to have made false accusations regarding a hate crime, that the public deserves to know the truth of the legal process that exonerated the accused.

Falsely reporting hate crimes – especially when premeditated and reeking with startling prejudicial symbolism – needs to have the light of everybody’s eyes shined on it. Otherwise, future victims will not come forward and/or will not be believed.

When a black judge dismisses a black person’s case then seals the process that led to her decision so the public can’t see it, that case should be scrutinized in the same way as when the judge is white and the accused is white. Bias is bias, no matter the color or gender. We must make every effort to eliminate it in the court system, otherwise our democracy will fail and our efforts to spread our system around the world will have no credibility.


Add-on: What’s with the gloved hand front and center in the photo? Staged? Coming from Jussie Smollet, probably so. “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

He obviously didn’t think the charade through to its conclusion. Yes, everybody remembers the ‘glove’ in the O.J. Simpson trial. And that may be enough to sway the black and the gay communities in Smollet’s favor.

O.J. Simpson’s glove found at the scene of a bloody dual-murder was soaked with blood then dried, which made it shrink due to it’s leather nature. So when he tried it on during trial and spread his fingers to make it look like the glove was too small to fit his hand, the jury bought it.

But as the photo shows here, the glove fits the hand of Jussie Smollet. I’m beginning to think Jussie Smollet is aiming for a Hollywood movie gig, where he plays himself as the persecuted black gay man accused of committing a hate crime against himself. That should get him the money and notoriety he craves.

Yeah, he has a secret to tell.



CHICAGO (AP) — One of Jussie Smollett’s conditions after posting $10,000 bail amid charges he lied about being the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack was that he have no contact with two brothers police say he paid to help stage the incident, according to a case file unsealed Thursday in Chicago.

Besides that detail, the “Empire” actor’s criminal case file appears to contain little new information. The bulk of the more-than-250-page file centers on the legal battle between media organizations that wanted access to the file and Smollett’s attorneys who wanted it kept sealed.In his order for the file to be unsealed, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Steven Watkins said Smollett’s actions before and after his case was dismissed did not appear to be those of someone seeking to maintain his privacy.

Smollett’s lawyers had argued that since the charges were dropped, the actor had “the right to be left alone.

”Watkins’ decision, which followed requests by The Associated Press and other media organizations to make the file public, said there were good arguments for keeping the file sealed but that Smollett forfeited his right to protect his privacy by talking to the media.

The actor had been charged with 16 counts alleging he lied to police when telling them that two masked men beat him in January in downtown Chicago, shouted slurs at him, doused him with a chemical substance and looped a rope around his neck. Police still insist Smollett, who is black and gay, staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary on the Fox TV show and wanted publicity.

Prosecutors dismissed all charges, though, with little explanation on March 26.

The judge on Thursday wrote that Smollett “voluntarily appeared on national television for an interview speaking about the incident in detail. After the March 26 dismissal, he voluntarily stood in front of cameras from numerous news organizations in the courthouse lobby and spoke about the case. On several occasions, attorneys for Defendant, presumably with his authorization, appeared on various media outlets speaking about the case.”

The judge added, “These are not the actions of a person seeking to maintain his privacy or simply be let alone.”

Natalie Spears, an attorney representing media organizations that wanted the file unsealed, applauded Watkins’ decision.

“This is about transparency and trust in the system and we believe the public has a right to know what the government did and why,” she said Thursday after the hearing.

___

FINISH UP: File says Smollett couldn’t contact brothers after arrest






 

Posted in ANIMAL RIGHTS, NEWS OF INTEREST

Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction

Abstract

The oft-repeated claim that Earth’s biota is entering a sixth “mass extinction” depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the “background” rates prevailing between the five previous mass extinctions.

Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction.

First, we use a recent estimate of a background rate of 2 mammal extinctions per 10,000 species per 100 years (that is, 2 E/MSY), which is twice as high as widely used previous estimates.

We then compare this rate with the current rate of mammal and vertebrate extinctions. The latter is conservatively low because listing a species as extinct requires meeting stringent criteria.

Even under our assumptions, which would tend to minimize evidence of an incipient mass extinction, the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 100 times higher than the background rate.

[Others report: The rapid loss of species we are seeing today is estimated by experts to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate.]

Under the 2 E/MSY background rate, the number of species that have gone extinct in the last century would have taken, depending on the vertebrate taxon, between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear.

These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way.

Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing…

FINISH UP: Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction | Science Advances





Posted in HWH COMMENTARY, NEWS OF INTEREST

Tanker hijacked by rescued migrants arrives safely in Malta

HWH Comment: It appears now that human rights groups want the world to pity migrants who hijack ships on the open seas after they’re compassionately rescued, hold the crew members prisoners then redirect the ship on a course of their choosing. Do you think a better way could be found to freedom than risking landing in a foreign prison to be beaten, raped and tortured?

These aren’t desperate people; they’re opportunistic terrorists who would commit an international crime with no remorse or concern for the people who compassionately rescued them. They were rescued, then hijacked the ship anyway and then complained that several ships passed their rickety boat by before the ship they hijacked picked them up.


Tanker hijacked by rescued migrants arrives safely in Malta

By STEPHEN CALLEJA and COLLEEN BARRY

3/28/2019

Armed forces stand onboard the Turkish oil tanker El Hiblu 1, which was hijacked by migrants, in Valletta, Malta, Thursday March 28, 2019.

A Maltese special operations team on Thursday boarded a tanker that had been hijacked by migrants rescued at sea, and returned control to the captain, before escorting it to a Maltese port.

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — A Maltese special operations team on Thursday boarded a tanker that had been hijacked by migrants rescued at sea, and returned control to the captain before escorting it to a Maltese port.

Armed military personnel stood guard on the ship’s deck, and a dozen or so migrants were also visible, as the Turkish oil tanker El Hiblu 1 docked at Boiler Wharf in the city of Senglea. Several police vans were lined up on shore to take custody of the migrants for investigation, and four migrants were led off the ship in handcuffs.

Authorities in Italy and Malta on Wednesday said that the group had hijacked the vessel after it rescued them in the Mediterranean Sea, and forced the crew to put the Libya-bound vessel on a course north toward Europe.

Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said the ship had rescued about 120 people and described what happened as “the first act of piracy on the high seas with migrants” as the alleged hijackers. Malta has put the number of migrants rescued at 108.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Twitter that the nation’s armed forces had conducted a “sensitive operation on high seas.”

“We do not shirk responsibility despite our size,” he said, pledging to follow international rules.

The ship had been heading toward Italy’s southernmost island of Lampedusa and the island nation of Malta when Maltese forces intercepted it.

Maltese armed forces established communications with the captain while the ship was still 30 nautical miles off shore. The captain said he was not in control of the vessel “and that he and his crew were being forced and threatened by a number of migrants to proceed to Malta,” the armed forces said. No details were given of what force and threats were used.

The special team that restored control to the captain was backed by a patrol vessel, two fast interceptor craft and a helicopter.

There was no immediate word on the condition of El Hiblu 1′s crew.

Humanitarian organizations say that migrants are mistreated and even tortured in Libya, and have protested protocols to return migrants rescued offshore to the lawless northern African nation. Meanwhile, both Italy and Malta have refused to open their ports to humanitarian ships that rescue migrants at sea, which has created numerous standoffs as European governments haggle over which will take them in.

While Italy’s interior minister called the hijacking an act of piracy, the humanitarian group Sea Watch disputed that term, saying the actions “were in self-defense against the deadly consequences forced upon them by Europe’s inhumane border policy.”

A private group that operates a rescue ship and monitors how governments treat migrants, Mediterranea, urged compassion for the group on the hijacked vessel and said it hoped European countries would act “in the name of fundamental rights, remembering that we are dealing with human beings fleeing hell.”

Mass migration to Europe has dropped sharply since 2015, when the continent received 1 million refugees and migrants from countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The surge created a humanitarian crisis in which desperate travelers frequently drowned and leading arrival spots such as Italy and Greece struggled to house large numbers of asylum-seekers.

Along with the dangerous sea journey itself, those who attempt to cross the Mediterranean risk being stopped by Libya’s coast guard and held in Libyan detention centers that human rights groups have described as bleak places where migrants allegedly suffer routine abuse.

EU members “alert the Libyan coast guard when refugees and migrants are spotted at sea so they can be taken back to Libya, despite knowing that people there are arbitrarily detained and exposed to widespread torture, rape, killings and exploitation,” said Matteo de Bellis, an international migration researcher for Amnesty International.

European Union member countries, responding to domestic opposition to welcoming immigrants, have decided to significantly downscale an EU operation in the Mediterranean, and have decided in principle to withdraw their ships, which would mean continuing the mission with air surveillance only. A formal decision has to be made by Sunday, when the mission mandate expires.

“This shameful decision has nothing to do with the needs of people who risk their lives at sea, but everything to do with the inability of European governments to agree on a way to share responsibility for them,” de Bellis said.

Commercial ships have been increasingly caught between European governments hostile to taking in new migrants and the international maritime law’s obligation to save people at sea.

Last November, dozens of migrants of a variety of nationalities seized control of a container ship that had picked them up in the Mediterranean, barricading themselves inside and refusing to disembark in the Libyan port of Misrata. After 10 days, Libyan authorities forcibly removed them from the ship and brought them to a detention center.

During the standoff, several migrants on the vessel told the AP that six commercial ships had seen their rickety boat foundering but passed them by before they were picked up by the seventh.

____

Barry reported from Milan. Lori Hinnant in Paris, Lorne Cooke in Brussels and Vanessa Gera in Rome also contributed.

Source: Tanker hijacked by rescued migrants arrives safely in Malta






 

Posted in HWH COMMENTARY, NEWS OF INTEREST, POLITICS, RACE | RELIGION

Mosque shooter a white nationalist seeking revenge

SYDNEY (AP) — The gunman behind at least one of the mosque shootings in New Zealand that left 49 people dead on Friday tried to make a few things clear in the manifesto he left behind: He is a 28-year-old Australian white nationalist who hates immigrants. He was set off by attacks in Europe that were perpetrated by Muslims. He wanted revenge, and he wanted to create fear.

He also, quite clearly, wanted attention.

Though he claimed not to covet fame, the gunman — whose name was not immediately released by police — left behind a 74-page document posted on social media under the name Brenton Tarrant in which he said he hoped to survive the attack to better spread his ideas in the media.

He also livestreamed to the world in graphic detail his assault on the worshippers at Christchurch’s Al Noor Mosque.

That rampage killed at least 41 people, while an attack on a second mosque in the city not long after killed several more. Police did not say whether the same person was responsible for both shootings.

While his manifesto and video were an obvious and contemptuous ploy for infamy, they do contain important clues for a public trying to understand why anyone would target dozens of innocent people who were simply spending an afternoon engaged in prayer.

There could be no more perplexing a setting for a mass slaughter than New Zealand, a nation so placid and so isolated from the mass shootings that plague the U.S. that even police officers rarely carry guns.Yet the gunman himself highlighted New Zealand’s remoteness as a reason he chose it. He wrote that an attack in New Zealand would show that no place on earth was safe and that even a country as far away as New Zealand is subject to mass immigration.He said he grew up in a working-class Australian family, had a typical childhood and was a poor student. A woman who said she was a colleague of his when he worked as a personal trainer in the Australian city of Grafton said she was shocked by the allegations against him.

“I can’t … believe that somebody I’ve probably had daily dealings with and had shared conversations and interacted with would be able of something to this extreme,” Tracey Gray told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Beyond his white nationalistic ideals, he also considers himself an environmentalist and a fascist who believes China is the nation that most aligns with his political and social values. He has contempt for the wealthiest 1 percent. And he singled out American conservative commentator Candace Owens as the person who had influenced him the most.In a tweet, Owens responded by saying that if the media portrayed her as the inspiration for the attack, it had better hire lawyers.

Throughout the manifesto, the theme he returns to most often is conflict between people of European descent and Muslims, often framing it in terms of the Crusades.

He wrote that the episode that pushed him toward violence took place in 2017 while he was touring through Western Europe. That was when an Uzbek man drove a truck into a crowd of people in Stockholm, killing five. The Australian was particularly enraged by the death of an 11-year-old Swedish girl in the attack.

He said his desire for violence grew when he arrived in France, where he became enraged by the sight of immigrants in the cities and towns he visited.

And so he began to plot his attack. Three months ago, he started planning to target Christchurch. He claimed not to be a direct member of any organization or group, though he said he has donated to many nationalist groups. He also claimed he contacted an anti-immigration group called the reborn Knights Templar and got the blessing of Anders Breivik for the attack.

Breivik is a right-wing Norwegian extremist who killed 77 people in Oslo and a nearby island in 2011. Breivik’s lawyer Oeystein Storrvik told Norway’s VG newspaper that his client, who is in prison, has “very limited contacts with the surrounding world, so it seems very unlikely that he has had contact” with the New Zealand gunman.

The gunman had a long wish list for what he hoped the attack would achieve. He hoped it would reduce immigration by intimidating immigrants. He hoped to drive a wedge between NATO and the Turkish people. He hoped to further polarize and destabilize the West. And he hoped to create more conflict over gun laws in the U.S., thus leading to a civil war that would ultimately result in a separation of races.

Though he claimed not to be a Nazi, in the video he livestreamed of the shooting the number 14 is seen on his rifle. That may be a reference to the “14 Words,” a white supremacist slogan attributed in part to Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He also used the symbol of the Schwarze Sonne, or black sun, which “has become synonymous with myriad far-right groups who traffic in neo-Nazi,” according to the center.

His victims, he wrote, were chosen because he saw them as invaders who would replace the white race. He predicted he would feel no remorse for their deaths. And in the video he livestreamed of his shooting, no remorse can be seen or heard. Instead, he simply says: “Let’s get this party started.”

Then he picks up his gun, storms into the mosque, and cuts down one innocent life after another.

When it is over, he climbs back into his car, where he has left his music playing — the song “Fire” by the English rock band The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. And right after the singer bellows, “I am the god of hellfire!” the gunman drives away.

Source: Mosque shooter a white nationalist seeking revenge – Associated Press


HWH Comment: How about instead of a news outlet telling us what he wrote and what it meant, let the public see what he wrote, and let each individual use their own brains to figure out what he meant. This article so far seems to be more about Jews wanting him to be a Nazi. If you’re not sure, then don’t put it out there.

I’ll be back to this with more information.





 

Posted in NEWS OF INTEREST, PALESTINE, POLITICS

Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East? Netanyahu’s comments have shattered that illusion 

…Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East?

Netanyahu’s comments have shattered that illusion.

His comments that the country belongs to ‘Jewish people alone’ strike to the heart of the nature of Israel.

Ben White The Independent Voices

Netanyahu is desperate, in the face of an electoral challenge from former military chiefs of staff as well as the looming indictments for corruption allegations ( EPA )

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was back in the headlines on Sunday, after declaring on social media that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens”. The Likud leader later doubled down, telling his cabinet that Israel is “the nation state not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people”.

Netanyahu’s comments are the latest grim episode in an election season that will see Israelis going to the polls on 9 April. Just last month, the prime minister helped engineer an election merger that could see far-right party Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) enter the Knesset.

That latter piece of realpolitik in particular prompted outrage from a number of Israeli politicians, analysts and even US-based groups better known for their Israel advocacy. According to the critics, Netanyahu’s boosting of the far-right and indulging of racist rhetoric endangers Israeli democracy.

Netanyahu is desperate, in the face of an electoral challenge from former military chiefs of staff as well as the looming indictments for corruption allegations. But recent developments are not just about motivating a right-wing base – the problem goes much deeper than an embattled demagogue.Netanyahu’s election manoeuvres offer an opportunity to shine a spotlight on an uncomfortable truth: namely that only under the most superficial definition can Israel be considered a democracy.

Consider the following:

Millions of Palestinians are subjected to a military regime which, for 52 years, has facilitated the establishment of illegal settlements. Settlers are Israeli citizens, and vote. The Palestinians they live among – whose land the settlers inhabit and colonise – are not.

The April elections will lead to the formation of Israel’s 35th government. Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip began during Israel’s 13th government.

Those Palestinians who do have Israeli citizenship, meanwhile, are very much second-class citizens – as Netanyahu has been at pains to emphasize.

Yes, the Jewish Nation-State law passed last year is significant in that regard, defining Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people”, and asserting that “the right to exercise national self-determination in the state of Israel is unique to the Jewish people”.

But the legislation was consistent with de jure and de facto discrimination going back to the very foundation of the state of Israel.As conflict studies scholar Nadim Rouhana wrote in 2010, “there are few honest observers in Israel who dispute that a Jewish state, by definition, privileges one group of citizens over another”.

This is an inequality “expressed in various ways, including in Israel’s Basic Laws and its laws of land control, immigration and resource distribution” – as documented by Palestinian citizens themselves, as well as international NGOs and human rights experts.

Finally – and this is regrettably rarely taken into account – there are millions of Palestinians who, expelled from their homes in the 1948 Nakba and prevented from returning ever since, are denied their rightful citizenship and thus suffrage…

FINISH READING: Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East? Netanyahu’s comments have shattered that illusion | The Independent






 

Posted in HWH COMMENTARY, NEWS OF INTEREST

RE: Trump says he’ll issue order protecting campus free speech

By KEVIN FREKING

3.2.2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump announced Saturday he would soon sign an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal resources.

Trump is highlighting concerns from some conservatives that their voices were being censored, whether on social media or at the nation’s universities. He did not go into more detail about what the order would say, but his comments immediately drew scrutiny from those who noted that public research universities already have a constitutional obligation to protect free speech.

“An executive order is unnecessary as public research universities are already bound by the First Amendment, which they deeply respect and honor,” said Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. “It is core to their academic mission.”

Trump invited Hayden Williams to join him Saturday while he addressed activists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference. Williams was punched Feb. 19 while on the campus of University of California, Berkeley. He was recruiting for the conservative group Talking Points USA.Two men approached and one punched him during a confrontation captured on student cellphones. University of California, Berkeley police arrested a suspect, Zachary Greenberg, on Friday.Williams, who had a black eye, told Fox News that the men objected to a sign that said “Hate Crime Hoaxes Hurt Real Victims.”

Neither Williams nor Greenberg are affiliated with UC Berkeley.Trump told the audience Saturday that Williams “took a hard punch in the face for all of us.” Meanwhile, Williams said many conservative students face “discrimination, harassment or worse if they dare speak up on campus.”

Trump offered no details about what the executive order might say about what has become a thorny issue on college campuses…

FINISH READINGTrump says he’ll issue order protecting campus free speech


 

HWH COMMENT: It’s unfortunate that one would need to use an Executive Order to establish and maintain a climate of free speech in any institution in the USA. But that’s an example of how the Constitution is being trampled on by those who can’t and won’t tolerate opposing views. It happens all over social media. People are not only abused and intimidated but the perpetrators are encouraged by Facebook employees by turning a blind eye to offenders and in many cases Facebook employees are the perpetrators of hateful actions toward the people whose opinions they disagree with.

It appears that the very people who preach tolerance to everybody else are the most intolerant of everybody else’s views, unless they’re the same as theirs.

If they even suspect that someone is a Trump supporter or a supporter of any of his policies, the target gets brutally threatened, verbally assaulted and gutted by Facebook trolls. Facebook knows who these trolls are and lets them operate with impunity, siding with the bullies and the deniers of free speech, while punishing the victims with threats of hate crime prosecution when they defend themselves against the perpetrators.

When Facebook calls your response hate speech, which is a hate crime, that implies prosecutorial action, which suggests that Facebook is impersonating law enforcement to silence opposing views. Facebook should not have a view. It is not the place of Facebook computer programmers and workers to be punishing anybody for their political and social views – or any views – on anything.






 

Posted in HWH COMMENTARY, NEWS OF INTEREST, POLITICS, RACE | RELIGION

Don Lemon doubles down after calling white men ‘biggest terror threat’ in U.S. – The Washington Post

HWH COMMENTARY: This segment is a perfect example of how CNN and black Africans explain Don Lemon’s racism against white people. “It’s true”, is their defense.


Well, it’s also true that some black Africans exhibit ape/monkey motor behavior. When walking, talking, singing they bend over and sway their arms back and forth and raise one arm at a time to their chests. The guy who sang at the Super Bowl halftime show did it – a lot. It’s not racist to point that out. It’s interesting. Drunk black Africans do it even more. It’s a little weird walking into a predominately black African drinking place to see the movement all around you, if you’re not used to it. They pound the bar a lot too, for attention. Males do it more often than females.

Whites also mimic blacks who do it, especially in the entertainment world. Even some women, especially Hispanic. They’re bringing their crotches into the songs or the talk. They spread their legs like monkeys do and start shaking their stuff with their hands.

We have senses for the purpose of observation – for recognition purposes. For example, reading is an observation exercise. Read this book with your eyes, then remove the book and we’re going to test what you read. Color the dot within the circle – another observational exercise.

If you don’t want me to observe that you dyed your hair blonde, then why do it? People pretty much walk, talk, move, dress, act to leave impressions in the minds of those who observe them – or to influence positively or negatively or anywhere in-between those they encounter in person, through the media, through gossip even.

If you don’t want me to look at your bare breasts, then why bare them? That’s the point – to rattle you, to shock you, to peak your interest, to distract you.

If you don’t want me to look at your bare ass, when you’re walking in front of me, then pull your pants up so I don’t have to look. Oh well, ‘you don’t have to look’, but everybody knows that people look at what is uncommon. Or what is sensual or sexual or grotesque or beautiful.

Powers of observation – very important to remember. It’s part of being an animal. We survive and thrive based on our observational skills. No justice no peace means war if black Africans aren’t allowed revenge when a police officer shoots a black person pretending to have a gun. Burning cities, businesses means war. War means death to white people.

War chants are terror tactics black Africans in America use to oppress white people – the white guy – as Don Lemon and Barak Obama famously refer to them. The Don Lemons and Barak Obamas of the world group all whites together. Or all men. Well, all white men are not the same. Oh, far right, extremist white men. Not many of those around blowing up towers. But they’re keeping Border People approaching the border from illegally crossing. Not that I’ve seen. Thousands of people got tuckered out Lemon says, so didn’t even try to cross? They didn’t walk the thousands of miles that Lemon claimed they did. They were driven. They only walked when the cameras were on or when stopping for breakfast, lunch, dinner and for the night – to sleep.

Don Lemon who was giving his own biased belief, was probably drunk when he said it, then CNN had to scramble to keep him on the show. The guy’s a train wreck.

Antifa (People against Fascism aka proanarchism) are mostly rich white non-observant Jews’ kids. Not many people with pick-up trucks in that crowd, who break protest laws, cover their faces with hoods, carry large burning torches, flame throwers. Toss police cruisers. Terrorize a nation in support of black Africans who break laws. They’re about as left-leaning as you get. They incite mob behavior and anybody watching the behavior – it’s all over the television. “A good cop is a dead cop”.

Maybe those white cops shouldn’t go out next time there’s a domestic violence call coming from the home of a rich and famous black person who paints all white people with the same brush. Transparent paint is what they use, because whites don’t have a color according to people of color. That tells the story right there.

Black Africans in America strip all white people of their color as a strategy to remove their power by removing their skin, after they take their souls, their hearts and now their observational senses. The purpose is to turn the white people black – or kill them, whichever benefits them the most.


It was true that recent gun violence could be attributed to white males, but their political or religious affiliation didn’t cause the strikes. They were popped. Probably by the media – that’s the source of most popping these days.

Don Lemon says things that even silly white people wouldn’t say. I’m not really sure where he gets his commentary. I do know that had a white commentator said that about blacks in America they would have been fired, even though most gun violence is perpetrated by blacks and many blacks have murdered many white police officers. You have to be careful when accusing white people that you get the correct group. Not all white people are the same.

Jews want to be considered a race, so many of those so-called white people were actually white Jews.

“…WHITE OFFICERS ARE NO MORE LIKELY TO USE LETHAL FORCE AGAINST MINORITIES THAN NONWHITE OFFICERS.”

Researchers looked at every use of deadly force by officers across the United States and discovered that the killing of black suspects is a police problem, not a white police problem. Further, the killing of unarmed suspects of any race is extremely rare. (https://www.futurity.org/police-killings-african-americans-1836722/)

Look at the OFFICER DOWN MEMORIAL PAGE and see how many officers paid the ultimate-life-price for serving the public. (https://www.odmp.org/search/year?year=2017)


The main topic of the show in question was not “WHO POSES THE GREATEST TERROR THREAT IN AMERICA TODAY?” Don Lemon morphed it into the only topic that everybody was talking about the next day.

There are shootings all over the USA everyday. Yet, he picked this one supermarket killing by a white male to point out to the world that the greatest threat to America today is white men. That was prejudicial, since he has no proof of the future threat. His anti-white republican guy feelings were hanging out all over the world stage.

The reason why white people get fired and metaphorically dismembered before the world and black people don’t for engaging in the same behavior is because white people don’t fight back; they’re not going to burn cities and terrorize a nation over it. So the intelligence agencies make a decision to feed a few high profile white people to the blacks to chew up as an appeasement tool. The CIA knows that white people will take the unequal, unfair punishment, just because they’re built that way.

Tables can, and as history has proven, turn. The white guys, as the black racists like to call them, will fight back and those white guys who fed the blacks their white meat dinners will be first on the menu.

Violence isn’t the white person’s first line of defense like it is with black people. Generally speaking.

White people don’t identify with their color. There’s no such thing as a white group of brothers and sisters that compares with a black group, even though worldwide whites are a minority race. Even the neo-Nazis aren’t on anybody’s ‘hang out with’ list, except other neo-Nazis. Nobody hangs with Jews, because Jews don’t hang with anybody else. They’re white separatists – in the USA and other English speaking nations. In non-English speaking nations their identity changes. Everywhere Jews populated, you’ll find them.

White people identify with their socio-economic class only to the extent that they share a demographic and frequent the same shops and engage in similar activities. Most white people don’t belong to clubs that focus on their race. There’s no running to a white person or leader or group if a white person has been wronged by a person of a different race. Whites don’t have leaders who tell them what to think, say and do.

Don Lemon said we shouldn’t demonize people, then went right into demonizing white men. Who did he mean by “we”? I guess in his Book of Racial Teachings white men aren’t people.

Don Lemon is a RACE BAITER AND RACIAL INCITER.







By Lindsey Bever November 1, 2018

During a recent segment about a supermarket shooting in Kentucky, CNN host Don Lemon said that “the biggest terror threat in this country is white men.”Lemon was speaking on live television Monday about an incident in which a white man allegedly shot and killed two black people outside a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown, Ky., not far from Louisville.

The incident, which is being investigated as a hate crime, occurred during the same week that 13 potential explosive devices were sent to prominent Democratic and media figures across the country and 11 people were killed in a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. A white man was charged in the latter case.

“I keep trying to point out to people not to demonize any one group or any one ethnicity. But we keep thinking that the biggest terror threat is something else — some people who are marching towards the border like it’s imminent,” Lemon told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, referring to the Central American migrant caravan walking toward the United States. He added that “the last time they did this, a couple hundred people came and they — most of them didn’t get into the country. Most of them got tuckered out before they even made it to the border.”

“So,” he said, “we have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban — you know, they had the Muslim ban. There is no white-guy ban. So what do we do about that?”

On Wednesday, following the backlash, Lemon doubled down.

“Earlier this week, I made some comments about that in a conversation with Chris,” he said during a broadcast Wednesday night. “I said that the biggest terror threat in this country comes from radicals on the far right, primarily white men. That angered some people. But let’s put emotion aside and look at the cold hard facts. The evidence is overwhelming.”

Lemon pointed to a recent Government Accountability Office report that shows that since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, far-right violent extremists have killed 106 people in 62 attacks in the United States, while radical Islamist violent extremists have killed 119 people in 23 attacks.

He also referenced several studies, including a 2017 report from the Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund and the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal, which found that from 2008 to 2016, there were almost twice as many terrorist incidents carried out on U.S. soil by right-wing extremists — many of whom are white — than by Islamist extremists.

It showed there were 115 incidents involving right-wing extremists and that those that ended in death were more deadly than incidents carried out by other groups.

“So people who were angered about what I said are missing the entire point,” Lemon said about his earlier statements. “We don’t need to worry about people who are thousands of miles away. The biggest threats are homegrown. The facts prove that.”

Source: Don Lemon doubles down after calling white men ‘biggest terror threat’ in U.S. – The Washington Post



HWH: In reference to terrorism Don Lemon said, “we don’t need to worry about people who are thousands of miles away”.

I guess he slept through 9-11. Or maybe he drank and drugged his way through it. Either way he doesn’t remember that the terrorists who struck the USA on 9-11 all lived thousands of miles away.

Don lemon is an embarrassment to the country and CNN news outlet. How could a news commentator not know that?





 

Posted in NEWS OF INTEREST

Blood Test Might Yield Early Warning of Alzheimer’s

TUESDAY, Jan. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News)

Leaky blood vessels in the brain may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say.

They followed 161 older adults for five years and found that those with the most severe memory declines had the greatest leakage in their brain’s blood vessels, regardless of whether the Alzheimer’s-related proteins amyloid and tau were present.

The findings could help with earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and suggest a new drug target for slowing down or preventing the disease, according to the researchers from the University of Southern California.

“The fact that we’re seeing the blood vessels leaking, independent of tau and independent of amyloid, when people have cognitive [mental] impairment on a mild level, suggests it could be a totally separate process or a very early process,” said study senior author Dr. Berislav Zlokovic. He is director of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the university’s Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.

“That was surprising, that this blood-brain barrier breakdown is occurring independently,” Zlokovic added in a university news release…

READ ON: Blood Test Might Yield Early Warning of Alzheimer’s


 





 

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