Sunday, December 31, 2017

THE TRADEGY OF DEMOCRACY ... ON THE ALTER OF DARKNESS

Generation I, technology, politics in 2017 ... and Muslims bowling in Mecca
 
When summing up the year now fading, the catch-all phrases that generalize a common view don’t work. It was neither the best of times, nor the worst of times. In our fragmented politics, the center does not hold, and moving out to the edges of the frame doesn’t hold us together, either.

Lots of e pluribus, not much unum.

LEAVING THE REALM OF UNDERSTANDING
In her new book, “Braving the Wilderness,” Brene Brown, a guru of togetherness, accurately describes paradoxes that afflict what she calls “common enemy intimacies.” We hold onto ideological bunkers with echo chambers where we can share a common bias, flavored with rage. There are few common goals for the public good. The guru’s insight strikes me as the obvious truth of our times, sad though it is. Unifiers on either side of the partisan divide often prefer to point with righteous fingers to the other side rather than link hands to reach a righteous consensus.

We can see that in Congress, where the Affordable Care Act, i.e., Obamacare, was adopted by a Democratic Congress without a single Republican vote in the House or the Senate, and Donald Trump’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act, i.e., the Republican tax reform legislation, was adopted by a Republican Congress without a single Democratic vote.
 

The president plays to his base, using technology to leap over the institutional media, and the Democrats play to their base, leaving the rest of us to parse the truth from millions of tweets, active and reactive, a fragmented picture of where we are, if not who we are. No warm fireside chats unite us, but a lot of angry tweets and nonstop punditry do divide us.
“Saturday Night Live” parodies Mr. Trump accentuating his yellow hair, but it’s hard to catch the essence of the man in a satirical skit. He doesn’t give us enough time between tweets to take him as seriously as we should. He requires a portrait by Picasso or a Cubist rendering, with features flying off in several directions to capture his unique style. The same is true of the culture. We crave unity, but we unite only in our bubbles, where never is heard a discouraging word. Only the brave step out of their bubble to take an X-ray of the body politic.

Pinocchio, the puppet with a tell-tale nose, has been brought back to the culture, but instead of putting old woodenhead in an instructive tale for children about the peril of telling lies, he’s become a symbol of the politicians and press retailing partisan talking points as if they were the news. President Trump decries “fake news.” Kelly Anne Conway describes such news as “alternative facts.”
 
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”― Daniel Patrick Moynihan
This approach to the facts didn’t start with the Trump administration. Bill Clinton, caught in lies about his sordid personal life, insisted that facts depend on “what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” Hillary, faithful to the family tradition, defended her use of a private email server set up, saying it had no classified information on it, which of course it did.

Taking stock of the events of the swiftly receding year, we should recognize how deeply we err as mere humans, abetted by the new technology which puts the passage of events on steroids. It’s exciting, but it’s exacerbating the thinking process on which the functioning of democracy depends.

Since today’s college students make up the first generation for whom the digital keyboard replaced pen and ink, it’s natural that they look to their medium for the message. They should understand they’ll need more than a little help. The smart ones are taking classes in “media literacy,” trying to avoid the latest traps in the dissemination of information. With no Socrates to question assumptions, a team of four college students earlier this month created an electronic program called Open Mind to question the validity of sources.

THE I GENERATION ... 
IN THE INTERNET THERE IS BUT NO DIRECTION, UP, DOWN, IN, OUT, -- ONE IS NOWHERE YET SEEMINGLY EVERYWHERE - LOST IN MEANING AND LANGUAGE.  MUCH LIKE ALICE IN WONDERLAND AND THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. 
A MAZE, THE LABYRINTH ... IN SEARCH TO THE END OF THE INTERNET -- LIKE THE GOLDEN BALL FALLING INTO THE POND - SEEKING THE WAY TO A NEW WORLD-ORIENTATION. IT'S THE LAND OF THE SHEEPLE, WHO POINTS THE WAY? 
SOCIAL MEDIA? "THE GUIDE" TO NEW-HORIZONS, A NEW-ORIENTATION DEVOTE OF MORALITY, IMMURE WITH THE "WISDOM OF THE MASSES", INITIALLY PROFOUNDLY FAMILIAR THOUGHT TOTALLY UNKNOWN, SURPRISINGLY BECOMES STRANGELY DEVOID OF REAL PEOPLE AND EMPTY OF VALUE.
The winning software was developed during a 36-hour competition at Yale University in what was aptly called a “hackathon.” The software whiz kids, devised a warning to pop up on screen to alert the user when he’s entering a site known for spreading fake news. Designed as an extension of Google’s Chrome browser, the program suggests where to go on social media for alternate points of view.
This might offend traditionalists who revere Gutenberg and relish a variety of print sources from their own reading, but to many young adults of the i-generation Open Mind sounds like a reasonable start for someone willing to flee his bubble. The winning team’s prize is an audience with congressmen. Second prize should be an audience meeting at the White House. The rest of us should pay close attention to their progress, if any, in the new year. We can all use a little help.
 

IS THERE BOWLING ALLEYS IN MECCA?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

THE RESULT OF A HIGHER EDUCATION ... DUH!?

Farmers' markets called racist: 'Habits of white people are normalized,' professors claim - Washington Times

WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU RUB TWO PROFESSORS TOGETHER?


CHARIM RESEACH
Two professors from San Diego State University claim in a new book that farmers’ markets in urban areas are weed-like “white spaces” responsible for oppression.
ASSHOLE #1 AND ASSHOLE #2
Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J Bosco are part of an anthology released this month titled “Just Green Enough.” The work, published by Routledge, claims there is a correlation between the “whiteness of farmers’ markets” and gentrification.

“Farmers’ markets are often white spaces where the food consumption habits of white people are normalized,” the SDSU professors write, the education watchdog Campus Reform reported Wednesday.

The geology professors claim that 44 percent of San Diego’s farmers’ markets cater to “households from higher socio-economic backgrounds,” which raises property values and “[displaces] low-income residents and people of color.”

“The most insidious part of this gentrification process is that alternative food initiatives work against the community activists and residents who first mobilized to fight environmental injustices and provide these amenities but have significantly less political and economic clout than developers and real estate professionals,” the academics write.

The men claim that negative externalities of “white habitus” formed at farmers’ markets can be managed through “inclusive steps that balance new initiatives and neighborhood stability to make cities ‘just green enough.’” 
YUP ... SEND YOU KIDS TO A LIBERAL UNIVERSITY AND WAIT!

Mr. Bosco and Mr. Joassart-Marcelli did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment prior to publication.


PLEASE TELL ME THAT OUR TAX DOLLARS ARE NOT SUPPORTING THIS TYPE OF RESEARCH!

HIDE COMMENTS

I HAD TO HIDE THE COMMENTS FEARING THEY MAYBE DEEMED AS RACIST!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

DEBT, SEX AND THE ALL MIGHTY

Michael Hudson: He Died for Our Debt, Not Our Sins
Lambert StretherDecember 23, 2017

Interview with Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is J is for Junk Economics. Cross-posted from Hudson’s site.

As many people turn towards their Christian and Jewish faiths this Christmas and Hanukkah in an attempt to make sense of the year that was, at least one economist says we have been reading the bible in an anachronistic way.


In fact he has written an entire book on the topic. In And Forgive them their Debts: Credit and Redemption (available this spring on Amazon), Professor Michael Hudson makes the argument that far from being about sex, the bible is actually about economics, and debt in particular.


”The Christianity we know today is not the Christianity of Jesus,” says Professor Hudson.

Indeed the Judaism that we know today is not the Judaism of Jesus either.


The economist told Renegade Inc the Lord’s Prayer, ‘forgive us our sins even as we forgive all who are indebted to us’, refers specifically to debt.

“Most religious leaders say that Christianity is all about sin, not debt,” he says. “But actually, the word for sin and debt is the same in almost every language.”


”‘Schuld’, in German, means ‘debt’ as well as ‘offense’ or, ‘sin’. It’s ‘devoir’ in French. It had the same duality in meaning in the Babylonian language of Akkadian.”


The idea harks back to the concept of ‘wergeld’, which existed in parts of Europe and Babylonia, and set the value of a human life based on their rank, paid as compensation to the family of someone who has been injured or killed.


”The payment – the Schuld or obligation – expiates you of the injury caused by the offense,” Dr Hudson said.

The Ten Commandments Were About Debt


People tend to think of the Commandment ‘do not covet your neighbour’s wife’ in purely sexual terms but actually, the economist says it refers specifically to creditors who would force the wives and daughters of debtors into sex slavery as collateral for unpaid debt.
“This goes all the way back to Sumer in the third millennium,” he said.

Similarly, the Commandment ‘thou shalt not steal’ refers to usury and exploitation by threat for debts owing.


The economist says Jesus was crucified for his views on debt. Crucifixion being a punishment reserved especially for political dissidents.


”To understand the crucifixion of Jesus is to understand it was his punishment for his economic views,” says Professor Hudson. “He was a threat to the creditors.”


Jesus Christ was a socialist activist for the continuity of regular debt jubilees that were considered essential to the wellbeing of ancient economies.


Governments Can Forgive Debt. The Bible Says So.


In Sumer and Babylonia, whenever a new ruler would come to power, the first thing they would do was proclaim a “clean slate”, forgiving the population’s personal debt in what was known as a ‘debt jubilee’.


The alternative would have been for those who couldn’t pay to fall into bondage to their creditors. Governments would have lost thee availability of such debtors to fight in its armies.

But the rulers of classical antiquity who cancelled their subjects’ debts tended to be overthrown with disturbing frequency – from the Greek ‘tyrants’ of the 7th century BC who overthrew the aristocracies of Sparta and Corinth, to Sparta’s Kings Agis and Cleomenes in the 3rd century BC who sought to cancel Spartan debts, to Roman politicians advocating debt relief and land redistribution, Julius Caesar among them.


Jesus’ first reported sermon in Luke 4 documents his announcement that he had come to revive the enforcement of the Jubilee Year. The term “gospel” (or ‘good news’) was used specifically to refer to debt cancellation which became the major political fight of the imperial Roman epoch, pitting Jesus against the pro-creditor Pharisees, (a political party and social movement that became the foundation for Rabbinic Judaism around 167 BC).

Jesus Died for Our Debt


Professor Hudson says Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for his activism.


The Pharisees, Hillel (the founder of Rabbinical Judaism) and the creditors who backed them decided that Jesus’ growing popularity was a threat to their authority and wealth.

“They said ‘we’ve got to get rid of this guy and rewrite Judaism and make it about sex instead of a class war’, which is really what the whole Old Testament is about,” Professor Hudson said.


”That was that was where Christianity got perverted. Christianity turned so anti-Jesus, it was the equivalent of the American Tea Party, applauding wealth and even greed, Ayn-Rand style.”


The economist says that Christianity was reshaped by Saint Paul, followed by the “African” school of Cyril of Alexandria and St Augustine.


”Over the last 1000 years the Catholic Church has been saying it’s noble to be poor. But Jesus never said it was good to be poor. What he said was that rich people are greedy and corrupt. That’s what Socrates was saying, as well as Aristotle and the Stoic Roman philosophers, the biblical prophets in Isaiah.”


Neither did Jesus say that it was good to be poor because it made you noble.


What Jesus did say is that say if you have money, you should share it with other people.


”But that’s not what Evangelical Christianity is all about today,” says Professor Hudson. 

”American Fundamentalist Christians say don’t share a penny. King Jesus is going to make you rich. Don’t tax millionaires. Jesus may help me win the lottery. Tax poor people whom the Lord has left behind – no doubt for their sins. There’s nothing about the Jubilee Year here.”


What Would Jesus Do?

To understand how to fix today’s economy, Hudson says that the Bible’s answers were practical for their time.


”When you have a massive build up of debt that can’t be paid, either you wipe out the debt and start-over like Germany did during ‘the 1947 Miracle’ when the Allies forgave all its debts except for minimum balances, or you let the creditors foreclose as Obama did in America after the 2008 crisis and 10 million American families lost their homes to foreclosure,” he said.


”If you leave this wealth in place then it’s going to stifle society with debt deflation.


”Today’s world believes in the sanctity of debt. But from Sumer and Babylonia through the Bible, it was debt cancellations that were sacred.”


The economist recommends replacing income tax with land, monopoly and natural resource tax, banning absentee ownership, and empowering the government to distribute land to the population.


”If you want to be like Jesus then you become political and you realise that this is the same fight that has been going on for thousands of years, across civilisation – the attempt of society to cope with the fact that debts grow faster than the ability to pay,” he says.


And Forgive them their Debts: Credit and Redemption will be available for purchase just in time for Easter on Amazon.

WHATS WRONG WITH THIS STORY?

Federal workers poised to overtake salaries of senators, DC gets highest pay raise ...
The top paychecks of federal workers are set to grow again next year to a six-figure number that rivals the $174,000 salaries of America’s 535 House and Senate members. 

Under a new federal order, salaries for most bureaucrats in the General Service will rise next year when the cap on top pay hits $164,000.

And for the upper reaches of the government, senior executive service employees will be allowed to earn a maximum of $189,600.
AND THESE CLOWNS ARE PART OF THE SWAMP!
The Washington area, where the bulk of federal workers are employed, will get the biggest pay raise under the order signed by President Trump before Christmas. There, the increase for General Service workers will be 2.29 percent.

The average federal worker in 2016 earned $86,365. With benefits, the total compensation was $123,160. 
The average nonfederal pay in the nation was $58,726, with total compensation at $69,901. So how many of these high paying government jobs can be replaced by a robot?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

A BYTE OF THE APPLE ...


Children should turn off tablets and smartphones to tune into to family life

 ...


Children are becoming increasingly likely to have a digital Christmas

Parents should set an example this Christmas by putting down their mobile phones and tablets to play board games and interact in the real world with their children, the Children's Commissioner for England and Wales says.

Writing in the Telegraph, Anne Longfield claims youngsters’ increasing obsession with the internet and virtual reality means many of them see traditional games as a “novelty”, and are consequently missing out on the pleasures of conversation and family banter.

Drawing up a “Digital Five a Day” for children’s mental health similar to the NHS five a day dietary requirements for physical wellbeing, she urges families to embrace the art of conversation, activity, creativity, charity and mindfulness.

Mrs Longfield warns how many families are facing a “digital Christmas” with children glued to tablets, smartphones and the internet with its myriad of social media websites only emerging from their screens to eat. Comparing the virtual world to junk food, she claims that parents owe children more than a mere digital diet this festive season.

She says: “We need to pay the same attention to our children’s digital diets as we do to the food they eat. We wouldn’t allow them to eat a double cheeseburger every day and we shouldn’t be happy to leave them to set their own digital diet. If we want to make sure the time children do spend online is healthy and productive, parents must take responsibility.”

Explaining how even the best parents can struggle to manage their children’s “screen time”, she writes how many social media sites actually replicate the most normal and natural forms of offline communication and game playing. And, she says, Christmas is the ideal time to celebrate family life and the chance for parents and their children to enjoy a digital free time.

“I think we are in real danger of losing something really special if children’s play becomes exclusively about playing online games on their own,” she writes. “So Christmas Day is the perfect opportunity to sit down together and play together as a family. Board games are quite a novelty for a lot of children and they will soon find the conversations and family banter they encourage is fun.”

Mrs Longfield notes how many computer games or apps are actually based on more traditional forms of children’s entertainment that require youngsters’ to use their imagination and creativity.

“If children are going to use tablets and smartphones, encourage them to do more than passively consume. In many ways, games like Minecraft are digital versions of Lego and Meccano,” she says.

However, in her Digital Five a Day, she encourages families to turn off their electronic devices and indulge in the art of conversation, be more active by heading outdoors over the festive season, be creative and embrace the way the spirit of Christmas is about giving.


Finally, she urges parents to teach children how to be aware of the way and how often they use the internet so they are better able to spot signs when they are becoming dependent or using it in an unhealthy way.

“Encourage them to come up with ways of managing the time they spend online themselves and appreciating the time they spend offline more. Use apps that helps them to switch off. Set an example yourself by not spending every spare Christmas moment on your own phone.”
She concludes: “The toys and gadgets children want from Santa change every year, though smartphones and tablets look here to stay.
“What I hope will never change are the fundamentals of a childhood Christmas. Playing and spending time together, interacting with each other, sharing activities, giving to others and being mindful of others should all still be at the heart of every child’s Christmas, even in today’s digital world.”

DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO ...

Nancy Pelosi's super PAC keeps donations from Backpage owners 
After California’s then-Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced felony pimping charges last year against the two owners of Backpage.com — a classified-ad website that is a hub for sex trafficking and prostitution, one of the men cut a $10,000 check to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s super PAC.

Mrs. Pelosi’s political action committee, House Majority PAC, has resisted giving the money back, and an aide to Mrs. Pelosi said the California Democrat knows nothing about the contribution.

The uproar over sexual harassment that began with the Harvey Weinstein scandal has intensified the scrutiny of political contributions linked to Backpage, which law enforcement officials say is the chief platform for activities far worse than harassment, including sexual slavery and child prostitution.

Mrs. Pelosi isn’t the only Democrat struggling to deal with the piles of cash that Backpage’s owners spread around to candidates and state Democratic parties over the years.

Even Ms. Harris, a California Democrat who is now a U.S. senator, ducked the issue. Her office wouldn’t respond to repeated emails about Backpage money going to House Majority PAC and other Democratic organizations.

Since 2010, the owners and their wives have shoveled about $99,000 to candidates and about $95,000 to Democratic parties in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, according to federal campaign finance data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Bowing to mounting pressure, including a bipartisan Senate investigation that found the owners knowingly sold ads to pimps who coerced minors into prostitution, Backpage in January closed down its adult services sections.

The websites, however, continue to be marketplaces for the sex trade.

Detroit police last week arrested two men who were using Backpage to run a sex trafficking ring after an underage girl told police she was brought to the city and put to work as a prostitute, with “dates” arranged on the website.

In June, a Chicago man was arrested after using Backpage to sell a 16-year-old girl who was eventually killed by a client.

Such stories of prostitution and sex trafficking linked to Backpage are relatively commonplace across the country.

The founders and controlling shareholders of Backpage, Michael Lacey and James Larkin, and Backpage executives and shareholders John Brunst and Scott Spear, have made fortunes from the websites.

In California alone, Backpage rakes in about $2.5 million per month, according to charging documents in the Golden State.

Mr. Larkin made the contribution to the House Majority PAC in October 2016, a week after he and Mr. Lacey were charged in California. A judge, citing federal law that shields internet sites from most liability, dropped the pimping charge in August. Related money laundering charges are proceeding against the men.

Legislation spearheaded by Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio Republican, would tighten federal law to hold accountable websites such as Backpage that host thinly disguised ads for commercial sex and child prostitution. The bill is expected to easily pass the Senate early next year.

There is still the question of what to do about the Backpage money.

Asked about the contribution last week, House Majority PAC Executive Director Charlie Kelly said the money already had been spent.

“The contribution from James Larkin was received and spent during the 2016 election cycle. The allegations against Larkin are reprehensible, and HMP will not accept any future contributions from Larkin or his associates at Backpage.com,” he said in a statement to The Washington Times.

An aide to Mrs. Pelosi said she “had no role in this contribution, [and] she did not solicit this donation.”

The lion’s share of the contributions to state parties since 2010 went to the Colorado Democratic Party, despite the Backpage owners all residing in Arizona. They handed over a total of $70,000 to the Colorado party. All the donations were made in 2014.

They gave $15,000 to the New Mexico Democratic Party in 2014.

Mr. Larkin last year made a single $10,000 contribution to the Arizona Democratic Party, according to federal campaign records.

An official at the Colorado Democratic Party said they were looking into the matter, but the party has been dodging questions about the tainted contributions since at least April.

The Arizona and New Mexico parties did not respond to questions about their plans for the Backpage money.

The Arizona Democratic Party has been under increasing pressure from its Republican counterpart to return the money or donate it to an appropriate charity.

Earlier this year, an Arizona Democratic Party official gave The Arizona Republic the same explanation now used by Mrs. Pelosi’s super PAC: “The money had already been spent.”

Arizona Republican Party spokesman Torunn Sinclair said the excuse was “absurd and disgusting.”

“They obviously have the cash to return this dirty money; they just don’t want to return it,” she said. “Arizona Democrats, including [Congress members] Kyrsten Sinema, Tom O’Halleran and Ann Kirkpatrick, need to step up to the plate and tell them to donate the money.”

The Congress members also struggled to address the Backpage money in their campaign coffers.

Ms. Kirkpatrick, who federal records show pocketed at least $16,000 since 2010, finally rid herself of it in September with a donation to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Mr. O’Halleran also disposed of roughly $8,100.

Ms. Sinema received the most Backpage money by far. Federal campaign records show that she took in $34,400 from the Backpage owners and their wives since 2010.

Getting rid of it wasn’t easy.

Under pressure to return the money, Ms. Sinema in April attempted to donated $10,000 to Friends of Public Radio Arizona. But the nonprofit balked at the gift of dirty money. Ms. Sinema ultimately sent all the Backpage-linked donations to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

The lawmakers, however, have resisted putting public pressure on the Arizona Democratic Party to do the same.

Ms. Sinema dodged the question Thursday on Capitol Hill.

“Why don’t you call my office to get an appointment? I’m on my way to the train station right now. Have a great weekend,” she said.

Her office did not respond to requests for an appointment or comment about the state party keeping the Backpage money.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A WAKE UP CALL FOR AMERICA ... AN EMP WOULD PUT US IN THE STONE AGE

Atlanta Airport Blackout Sends Message to Terrorists: 
  • America Is Unprepared
  • A single-point failure makes the world’s busiest airport go dark for hours and traps thousands of passengers. It’s what phase one of an attack could look like.


ELECTRIC GRID IS THE WEAK POINT!
If a terrorist wanted to find the most vulnerable point in America’s airport network they could not have hoped for a better guide than what just happened at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson.

Just after 1 p.m. Sunday the whole airport, the world’s busiest, went dark for 11 hours. Thousands of flights were disrupted. For many hours nobody in authority attempted to explain—or even seemed able to explain—what had happened.

Just imagine this is a classic plan for phase one of a terrorist attack: Render the target blind. None of the defenses are operational. Thousands of people are trapped in restricted space without directions about how they can find an exit.

As chaos spreads nobody knows who turn to for information. The communications blackout is as complete as the power blackout.

Given this situation a small band of suicide bombers could roam freely and commit mayhem and massacre on an unprecedented scale.

Initial responses as the story broke were that the holiday season travel would be disrupted for days. That is true. The ripple effect of the paralyzed airport will be worldwide as thousands of international connections are canceled.

“Just imagine this is a classic plan for phase one of a terrorist attack: Render the target blind.”

In the United States it will probably take a week to get schedules back in service. As scores of airplanes sat on the runway or at gates frozen for lack of power the aircrews ran out of their allowable time on duty. As of Monday, more than 1,200 flights were canceled as a result of the Atlanta blackout.
 
THE WILD CARD IS AN EMP BLAST FROM ROCKETMAN ... THE RECOVERY IS MEASURED IN YEARS!

But forget about the harm done to Christmas travel. It’s much more serious than that. There has never been a single-point failure of this magnitude in any major airport in the U.S. All the essential systems seem to have lacked backup—or, in the language of the bureaucrats, redundancy.
Normally around 275,000 passengers, equal to the population of a small city, pass through Atlanta’s airport every day. From the moment when this disaster hit that flow continued without restraint, with the terminals quickly becoming jammed. Nobody in the airport management stepped up to stop that happening.

This is not the first time that this airport has been hit by a power failure that caused chaos. In August 2016 the operations center for Delta Air Lines, for whom Atlanta is its major hub, lost power causing the airline’s computer system to crash. More than 2,000 flights were canceled over several days.

There was another failure in January this year when all Delta’s domestic flights were again affected by a computer crash and 300 flights were canceled.

Immediately after the August 2016 systems failure Delta blamed the local utility, Georgia Power, for the problem, but later retracted that and admitted that its own IT systems were to blame, as they were again in January. In the case of both failures Delta did not explain the lack of backup systems.

This time the problem does appear to have originated with Georgia Power. They said a fire in an underground plant providing power to the substations at the airport caused “extensive damage” to the facility. Such outages, they said, “were very rare.”

But of course this does not explain the glaring problem that has surprised and shocked national security experts: 


  • Why could a failure at one power source automatically knock out the supply to a whole airport? 
  • Why were there no backup systems to keep the essential services at the airport functioning? 
  • Why were there no emergency generators ready to cut in as they are, for example, at hospitals? 
  • Why was there no power for the most basic systems, not even lighting for the terminals, leaving passengers and airport staff in the dark at gates and security checkpoints?
As power was restored at midnight Kasim Reed, Atlanta’s mayor, said the fire was so fierce that it had engulfed the switch that was supposed to automatically trigger backup power—suggesting that the design of the system’s redundancy was badly flawed.

The Atlanta chaos is yet another red flag indicating that our airports are far from ready to deal with a terrorist threat.

In January there were 12 hours of chaos at Fort Lauderdale, Florida airport following a shooting that killed five people in the baggage claim area. Terrified passengers fled terminals without direction, even on to runways; security staff abandoned their posts; panicking police officers jammed the emergency radio system, and SWAT teams appeared but did not know where to land their helicopters.

In August 2016 a false report of gunfire at a security checkpoint at New York’s JFK Airport led to similarly widespread panic and lack of any coherent emergency response.

In the first presidential debate of the 2016 campaign Donald Trump said—correctly—that flying into U.S. airports often felt like flying into a third-world country. He vowed to spend $500 billion on infrastructure, including our airports. What ever happened to that promise?

The Atlanta fiasco exposes both the emptiness of that pledge and the extremely dangerous vulnerability of the world’s most heavily traveled airport network.

WHERE TO CAPTIAN? OUT THERE, WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE!

Trump Makes Space Great Again (MSGA) its part of our DNA! Pushing to limits and bounds ... departure ... discovery and exploration, back to getting to know our limits and ourselfs ...
Muslim self-esteem may be one of the casualties 


Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

“Foremost,” the NASA administrator described his marching orders from Obama, “he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.” The great new mission of America's space agency would be to make Muslims "feel good about their historic contribution to science.”

President Trump has another mission for NASA.

Looking over at former Senator Schmitt, the last living man to walk on the moon in the Apollo 17 mission forty-five years ago, President Trump said, “Today, we pledge that he will not be the last.”
“This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars and, perhaps, someday to many worlds beyond.”
GO WEST YOUNG MAN, GO WEST ... THAT WAS WHEN AS A YOUNG NATION WE WERE SEARCHING FOR OUR FUTURE AND IDENTITY ... 
The message was clear. American greatness would no longer be held hostage to political correctness.


Obama had reimagined NASA as an “Earth Improvement Agency” that would push Global Warming and Muslim self-esteem. NASA’s iconic shuttles were turned into museum pieces. The replacement vehicles were sidelined. Bush era plans to go the Moon and Mars were thrown out. What was left of NASA’s space exploration was reduced to buying tickets on rickety Russian Soyuz rockets just to get into space.

And the Russians jacked up the price.

“By buying the services of space transportation, rather than the vehicles themselves, we can continue to ensure rigorous safety standards are met,” Obama had bafflingly claimed.

Neil Armstrong shot back, “It was asserted that by buying taxi service to Low Earth Orbit rather than owning the taxis, ‘we can continue to ensure rigorous safety standards are met’. The logic of that statement is mystifying.”

But the Armstrong era was over.

Administrator Charles Bolden, the most inept hack to oversee NASA, announced that the era of American space exploration had ended. “We’re not going to go anywhere beyond low earth orbit as a single entity. The United States can’t do it… no single nation is going to go to a place like Mars alone.”

“NASA will not take the lead on a human lunar mission. NASA is not going to the Moon,” he whined.

“We are probably never again going to see Americans on the Moon, on Mars, near an asteroid, or anywhere,” he insisted.

President Trump disagrees.

While CNN’s talking heads were jabbering about how many sodas he drinks, President Trump was signing Space Policy Directive 1 which declares that the United States will “lead the return of humans to the Moon”, a Mars expedition and “human expansion across the solar system”.

Muslim self-esteem may be one of the casualties along with the media’s vapid nonsense.


Having former Senator Schmitt at the signing was a powerful reminder of what we had aspired to. And what we had lost. Apollo 17 wasn’t just our last manned mission to the moon; it was the last time we left low-earth orbit. For forty-five years, we’ve had a space program in name only.

The last time we left our own planet, Nixon was in the White House.

Schmitt was a young man when he became the last person to step out from a spacecraft onto the moon. He’s 82 now. The rest of his crew is dead. The photo he took of the earth hangs on a thousand dorm room walls. But none of those students have had the opportunity to take another one like it. And if Obama had gotten his way, that’s how the legacy of our space program would have ended.

When Obama trashed what was left of our space program, the space shuttles were parceled off to connected museums and cities. And were stowed next to the Apollo and Gemini gear as relics. Children could peer at them through glass walls as the artifacts of another culture that actually did great things.
“Imagine the possibilities waiting in those big, beautiful stars if we dare to dream big.” President Trump urged. “And that’s what our country is doing again: We’re dreaming big.”

The media is pretending that Obama had some sort of space exploration plan that Trump scrapped.

He didn’t. Take it from the first man to walk on the moon.

“With regard to President Obama's 2010 plan, I have yet to find a person in NASA, the Defense Department, the Air Force, the National Academies, industry, or academia that had any knowledge of the plan prior to its announcement,” Neil Armstrong wrote. "I believe the President was poorly advised.”

That’s an understatement.

The media has been touting Obama’s asteroid nonsense. The National Research Council found that the plan wasn’t even generally accepted within NASA. “The 2011 NASA strategic plan and associated documents do not, in our view, constitute a strategy,” study chairman Albert Carnesale had said.

There is a strategy now. It doesn’t involve Muslim self-esteem or making Al Gore even richer. Nor is it about disposable missions that don’t do anything except keep agencies and contractors in business. Instead it reboots the Republican plan of building a sustainable pathway to the stars by returning to the moon. If Obama hadn’t trashed it for Muslim self-esteem, 2015 would have seen our first lunar mission.
The destruction of our space program was one of the wounds that Obama and his cronies inflicted on the nation. President Trump’s space directive intends to heal another of them by rebuilding American greatness. But what has crippled our ability to move forward is that plans for space exploration have to be carried out over longer terms than that of any single occupant of the White House.
While space exploration is most associated with President Kennedy, the radicalization of his political party has made the heroic idea of Americans setting foot on another world much less popular with his Democrat successors. The manned journeys of the Space Exploration Initiative of the first Bush administration were replaced by Bill Clinton with probes. Clinton’s new "faster, better, cheaper" NASA proved to be none of the above. History repeated itself with Obama torpedoing Bush’s plans.

Clinton and Obama just didn’t see manned space exploration as something worth funding. Obama was far more interested in Muslim self-esteem than in a human presence across the solar system. If another Democrat succeeds Trump, the odds are good that he or she will do the same thing.

But unlike some of his predecessors, Trump isn’t waiting for years before tackling space policy. And Pence’s presence ensures that there will be a vocal advocate for the space program in the White House. The earlier you start a program, the more time it has to develop momentum and win support from interests in Congress. And that makes it harder to kill. That’s why, despite his best efforts, Obama wasn’t able to fully kill Constellation. The earlier Trump starts implementing his vision, the more momentum it will have and the harder it will be for the Obamas and Clintons of tomorrow to stop our space program.

REGRESSIVE THINKING
The Democrats are expected to fight Trump’s nomination of Rep. Bridenstine to head NASA for partisan reasons. At Bridenstine’s hearing, Senate Democrats showed no interest in discussing space policy. Instead they wanted to pound their pulpits about global warming, Muslim self-esteem and gay marriage.
"So if you're NASA administrator, and someone asks you questions about sexual morality, you're going to stay consistent with your past statements on how you view same-sex couples raising children?" Senator Cory Booker bizarrely asked.
Senator Patty Murray announced that she would vote against the former Navy pilot because of his appearances at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and other “anti-Muslim groups”. For Murray, Muslim self-esteem is apparently still central to NASA’s mission.
Booker and Murray demonstrate the Dem unseriousness and disinterest in space exploration. Why bother going to the stars when you can wallow in the sewer of intersectional identity politics instead.

Democrats have claimed that anyone who doesn’t believe that the Flying Global Warming Monster is sending storms to punish us for not sending enough money to Al Gore’s carbon credit schemes can’t work at NASA.

But Schmitt, the last living man to walk on the moon, has made it clear that he doesn’t believe it.

President Trump is rebuilding NASA as an agency of human space exploration while discarding the post-modernist angst about human industrial progress that powers pseudoscientific myths about ‘Global Warming’. A new age of American confidence is discarding these insecurities about our purpose and place in the universe. It’s replacing them with purpose, vision and meaning.

The leftward tilt of the Democrats has convinced them that this nation’s founding, our technological achievements and our entire civilization, are tragic mistakes, if not outright crimes. It’s no wonder that ideologues who don’t believe in America, also don’t believe in Americans traveling to other worlds.

But there are still Americans in this country. And their vision goes beyond adding another letter to the LGBTQIA alphabet, another microaggression grievance and another angry protest against America.

"After braving the vast unknown and discovering the new world, our forefathers did not only merely sail home," President Trump said. "They stayed, they explored, they built, they guided, and through that pioneering spirit, they imagined all of the possibilities that few dared to dream. Today, the same spirit beckons us to begin new journeys of exploration and discovery, to lift our eyes all the way up to the heavens."

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

THE SWAMP'S VERSION OF "GO AHEAD ASK ME ANYTHING" ...

Trump transition lawyer: Mueller improperly obtained documents in Russia probe
(LESSONS FROM THE SWAMP)
THE GOOD, BAD, AND THE UGLY
A lawyer for the Trump presidential transition team is accusing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office of inappropriately obtaining transition documents as part of its Russia probe, including confidential attorney-client communications and privileged communications. 
THE CONTEST: MINE IS BIGGER THAN YOURS

Exclusive — A lawyer for the Trump presidential transition team is accusing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office of inappropriately obtaining transition documents as part of its Russia probe, including confidential attorney-client communications, privileged communications and thousands of emails without their knowledge.

DEEP STATE ... (?) ... A MISTAKE OR PART OF A LARGER PLAN!
PERHAPS THE TRANSISTION TEAM SHOULD HAVE ERASED THE MATERIALS?
In a letter obtained by Fox News and sent to House and Senate committees on Saturday, the transition team’s attorney alleges “unlawful conduct” by the career staff at the General Services Administration (GSA) in handing over transition documents to the special counsel’s office.

Kory Langhofer, the counsel to Trump for America (TFA), argues the GSA “did not own or control the records in question” and the release of documents could/should/is be a violation of the Fourth Amendmentwhich protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.

  • Langhofer wrote in Saturday's letter that the GSA handed over “tens of thousands of emails” to Mueller's probe without "any notice" to the transition.
  • PERHAPS THE TRUMP TRANSISTION TEAM SCREWED UP AND SHOULD HAVE ERASED THE DISKS ... A LESSON FROM HILLARY ... A HAMMER OR BLEACH BIT WORKS WONDERS!
The attorney said they discovered the “unauthorized disclosures” by the GSA on Dec. 12 and 13 and raised concerns with the special counsel’s office. The Associated Press reported that the GSA turned over a flash drive containing tens of thousands of records on Sept. 1 after receiving requests from Mueller's office in late August.
Those records included emails sent and received by 13 senior Trump transition officials. Among the officials who used transition email accounts was former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to a count of making false statements to FBI agents in January and is now cooperating with Mueller's investigation.
“We understand that the special counsel’s office has subsequently made extensive use of the materials it obtained from the GSA, including materials that are susceptible to privilege claims," Langhofer wrote. He added that some of the records obtained by the special counsel’s office from the GSA “have been leaked to the press by unknown persons.” Now the leaking is entirely a different matter!

HOW DID THE "SPECIAL COUNSEL'S OFFICE" KNOW ABOUT THE GSA SUPPLIED EQUIPMENT AND WHO USED IT LAST?

The transition attorney said the special counsel's office also received laptops, cell phones and at least one iPad from the GSA.

HILLARY CLINTON ART OF CONCEALMENT
Trump for America is the nonprofit organization that facilitated the transition between former President Barack Obama to President Trump.
The GSA, an agency of the United States government, provided the transition team with office space and hosted its email servers.
“When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner’s consent or appropriate criminal process,” Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel’s office, told Fox News.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News Saturday evening, GSA Deputy Counsel Lenny Loewentritt denied Langhofer's claim that then-GSA General Counsel Richard Beckler had promised that any requests for transition team records would be "routed to legal counsel for [Trump for America]."
THE LEADER OF THE SWAMP
GOTTA GET IT IN WRITING! ART OF THE DEAL!!!
"Beckler never made that commitment," said Loewentritt, who added that transition team members were warned that information "would not be held back in any law enforcement" investigation and that "no expectation of privacy can be assumed." (Longhofer's letter notes that Beckler "was hospitalized and incapacitated in August." He died the following month.)
Loewentritt also told BuzzFeed that the GSA suggested that Mueller's team issue a warrant or subpoena for the transition team materials, but the special prosecutor's office decided a letter requesting the materials would suffice.
“We continue to cooperate fully with the special counsel and expect this process to wrap up soon,” Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said Saturday.

In his letter, Langhofer argued the GSA's actions “impair the ability of future presidential transition teams to candidly discuss policy and internal matters that benefit the country as a whole."

Langhofer requests in the letter that Congress “act immediately to protect future presidential transitions from having their private records misappropriated by government agencies, particularly in the context of sensitive investigations intersecting with political motives.”

The letter was sent to the Senate Homeland Security and House Oversight Committees.

The committees did not immediately return a request for comment.

NOW FOR THE BEST METHOD OF AND LESSION OF CONCEALMENT BY HILLARY CLINTON ... WELCOME TO THE SWAMP!

Obama State Dept Made Deal With Hillary Allowing Removal Of Records. Here's What They Removed.
Ryan SaavedraDecember 15, 2017Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Newly-revealed documents obtained by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch reveal that the Obama State Department allowed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin to remove sensitive documents that were not to be made public records.

Judicial Watch received the records on Thursday in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that sought all DS-1904 forms completed by or on behalf of Former Secretary Hillary Clinton, Former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, Former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin, and Former Deputy Chief of Staff Jacob Sullivan.

Clinton and Abedin were permitted to remove both electronic and physical records, claiming "they were 'personal' materials and 'unclassified, non-record materials,' including files of Clinton’s calls and schedules, which were not to be made public."

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton noted the gravity of the latest revelations, stating they showed further corruption in the Obama administration and with Clinton.

"We already know the Obama State Department let Hillary Clinton steal and then delete her government emails, which included classified information," Fitton said in a statement. "But these new records show that was only part of the scandal. These new documents show the Obama State Department had a deal with Hillary Clinton to hide her calls logs and schedules, which would be contrary to FOIA and other laws."

Electronic records Clinton was allowed to remove:

Copy of “daily files.”
Non-record copy of a log of calls the Secretary made since 2004.
Official and personal copy of the Secretary’s “call grid” which is a running list of calls she wants to make.

Physical records Clinton was allowed to remove:

  • 16 boxes of personal schedules from 1993-2008 (prior to her becoming Secretary of State).
  • 29 boxes of miscellaneous public schedules ranging from her time as FLOTUS all the way up to her appointment at the State Department.
  • 1 box of personal reimbursable receipts.
  • 1 box of personal photos.
  • 1 box personal schedule.
  • Personal correspondence.
  • Daily file binders.
  • Gift binders.
  • Gifts (actual).
  • Topic binders.
Electronic records Abedin was allowed to remove:
  • Outlook contacts.
  • Physical records Abedin was allowed to remove (5 boxes):
  • Travel Records
  • Muslim Engagement Documents
  • Newspaper Articles
  • Gift Archive Binder
  • FLOTUS "Courtesy Storage/Box Content List" Binder
  • CODEL Trips Binder
  • Menu Cards & Table Arrangement Binder
  • Personal Event Planner (2001 thru 2011)

"The originals of some Clinton documents were retained, such as the call logs and schedules," Judicial Watch reports. "For other records, including material that predates Clinton’s tenure, there is no indication that a copy was made. The most significant of these are her personal correspondence and gift binders, which could reflect Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative ties."

Fitton concluded his statement by asking, "When are the American people going to get an honest investigation of the Clinton crimes?”

Friday, December 15, 2017

FTC NOT THE FCC HANDLES THE CONSUMER COMPLAINTS ... WOW THAT WAS CLOSE!

The Internet Is Free At Last, Free At Last, Thank GOD ... Free again ... Killing Obama-era rules will remove the FCC as political gatekeeper
The Editorial Board

Dec. 14, 2017 7:23 p.m. ET

The FCC on Thursday voted 3-2 to approve chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to repeal “net neutrality” rules backed by the Obama Administration that reclassified internet-service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Title II prohibits “any unjust or unreasonable discrimination in charges, practices, classifications, regulations, facilities, or services.”

By effectively deeming the internet a utility, former chairman Tom Wheeler turned the FCC into a political gatekeeper. The rules prohibited broadband providers from blocking, throttling and favoring content, which Mr. Wheeler ostensibly intended to help large content providers like Google and Netflix gain leverage against cable companies.

But as always in politics, treatment under the rules would depend on ideology and partisanship. Even as liberals howl that the Justice Department’s lawsuit to block AT&T’s merger with Time Warner is motivated by President Trump’s animus to CNN, they want FCC control over the internet. The left’s outcry at Mr. Pai “killing” internet freedom has been so overwrought that the FCC meeting room had to be cleared Thursday for a security threat.

Bans on throttling content may poll well, but the regulations have created uncertainty about what the FCC would or wouldn’t allow. This has throttled investment. Price discrimination and paid prioritization are used by many businesses. Netflix charges higher prices to subscribers who stream content on multiple devices. Has this made the internet less free?

Mr. Pai’s rules would require that broadband providers disclose discriminatory practices. Thus cable companies would have to be transparent if they throttle content when users reach a data cap or if they speed up live sports programming. Consumers can choose broadband providers and plans accordingly. The Federal Trade Commission will have authority to police predatory and monopolistic practices, as it had prior to Mr. Wheeler’s power grab.

  • Mr. Pai’s net-neutrality rollback will also support growth in content. Both content producers and consumers will benefit from increased investment in faster wireless and fiber technology. Apple is pouring $1 billion into original content to compete with Amazon, Netflix and YouTube. 
Disney is buying the 21st Century Fox assets to compete with Netflix and other streaming services, build leverage with cable companies and establish a global footprint. Netflix has more than 47 million international subscribers and streams in nearly every country. Fox (which shares the Murdoch family’s ownership with our parent company, News Corp.) will keep its news and main sports channels, which can offer “live” content to consumers. The antitrust concerns should be negligible.

Consumers will also benefit from the slow breakdown of the cable monopoly as they customize “bundles” like Hulu or a Disney stream that may cost less. Americans will also enjoy new distribution options, which could have been barred by the net-neutrality rules.

This week T-Mobile announced its acquisition of Layer3 TV, a Denver startup that streams high-definition channels online and will compete with AT&T’s DirecTV Now. Verizon Wireless last month said it will start delivering high-speed broadband to homes over its wireless network late next year. Google and AT&T are experimenting with similar services that will be cheaper than digging dirt to lay cable. This could be a boon for rural America.

By the way, Google has vigorously promoted net neutrality in theory but less in practice. While Google says it remains “committed to the net neutrality policies,” the search engine uses opaque algorithms to prioritize and discriminate against content, sometimes in ways that undercut competitors. Net neutrality for thee, but not me. Google ought to be transparent about its practices.

Technology and markets change faster than the speed of regulation, which Ajit Pai’s FCC has recognized by taking a neutral position and restoring the promise of internet freedom.

DRAG A FEW $100 BILLS AND SOME KY AND WHAT DO YOU CATCH?

... BETCHA THOUGHT MONICA WAS ON YOUR LIPS ... NOPE ... Lets make another "deal" ... KY NOT USED!!!
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton struck a deal with the State Department while serving in the Obama administration that allowed her to take ownership of records she did not want made public, according to recently released reports.
 
NOW YOU SEE IT ... NOW YOU DON'T
Clinton and her then-deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin were permitted to remove electronic and physical records under a claim they were "personal" materials and "unclassified, non-record materials."

THE MOST TRUSTED WOMAN IN THE USA!
Judicial Watch made the revelation after filing a FOIA request with the State Department and obtaining a record of the agreement.


The newly released documents show the deal allowed Clinton and Abedin to remove documents related to particular calls and schedules, and the records would not be "released to the general public under FOIA." Abedin, for instance, was allowed to remove electronic records and five boxes of physical files, including files labeled "Muslim Engagement Documents."
The released records included a list of designated materials that "would not be released to the general public under FOIA" and were to be released "to the Secretary with this understanding."

Read more at The Washington Free Beacon