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The Executive Order The Press Agreed To Keep Secret For Five Hours - BuzzFeed Mobile

Link to Article

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 06:33

Shortly before 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, the White House emailed reporters that President Obama had signed a highly anticipated Executive Order aimed at protecting cyber security.

The order '-- setting up new programs aimed at stopping online espionage and terrorism '-- was already the law of the land, signed by the president. But it was also secret.

The document was "embargoed until delivery of the President's in the State of the Union address" '-- despite the fact it had already been signed.

Such embargoes '-- imposed unilaterally, rather than agreed-upon '-- are not binding on news organizations, which weigh the urgency of the news against the headache of, for instance, being dropped from the White House's distribution list. BuzzFeed abided by the embargo, having participated in a background briefing on the move, but thought it appropriate to report on the unusual delay.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor explained in an email Administration's decision to, temporarily, conceal the new order: "We wanted to release the EO early on an embargoed basis because the subject matter is complicated and we knew you guys would have questions. It seemed more helpful for the press corps than sending it concurrent with the speech."

Vietor added "this isn't unprecedented. Take for example sanctions Executive Orders. They are signed one day, go into effect at midnight but are not released until the next day."

The new order appears, however, to have taken effect immediately; Vietor didn't respond to a follow up question about when the order took effect.

Keeping White House executive orders secret is far from unprecedented, but usually concerns actual secrets. In 2002, the Bush White House signed a controversial executive order allowing for warrantless surveillance on those suspected of terrorism.

According to a White House synopsis the Executive Order includes:

New information sharing programs to provide both classified and unclassified threat and attack information to U.S. companies. The Executive Order requires Federal agencies to produce unclassified reports of threats to U.S. companies and requires the reports to be shared in a timely manner. The Order also expands the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program, enabling near real time sharing of cyber threat information to assist participating critical infrastructure companies in their cyber protection efforts.

The development of a Cybersecurity Framework. The Executive Order directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the development of a framework of cybersecurity practices to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure. NIST will work collaboratively with industry to develop the framework, relying on existing international standards, practices, and procedures that have proven to be effective. To enable technical innovation, the Cybersecurity Framework will provide guidance that is technology neutral and that enables critical infrastructure sectors to benefit from a competitive market for products and service

Includes strong privacy and civil liberties protections based on the Fair Information Practice Principles. Agencies are required to incorporate privacy and civil liberties safeguards in their activities under this order. Those safeguards will be based upon the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPS) and other applicable privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks. Agencies will conduct regular assessments of privacy and civil liberties impacts of their activities and such assessments will be made public.

Establishes a voluntary program to promote the adoption of the Cybersecurity Framework. The Department of Homeland Security will work with Sector-Specific Agencies like the Department of Energy and the Sector Coordinating Councils that represent industry to develop a program to assist companies with implementing the Cybersecurity Framework and to identify incentives for adoption.

Calls for a review of existing cybersecurity regulation. Regulatory agencies will use the Cybersecurity Framework to assess their cybersecurity regulations, determine if existing requirements are sufficient, and whether any existing regulations can be eliminated as no longer effective. If the existing regulations are ineffective or insufficient, agencies will propose new, cost-effective regulations based upon the Cybersecurity Framework and in consultation with their regulated companies. Independent regulatory agencies are encouraged to leverage the Cybersecurity Framework to consider prioritized actions to mitigate cyber risks for critical infrastructure consistent with their authorities.

Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

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Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 01:28

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

February 12, 2013

Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order to strengthen the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure by increasing information sharing and by jointly developing and implementing a framework of cybersecurity practices with our industry partners.

Defense Industrial Base Information Sharing Program Now Open to Other Sectors: The Order expands the voluntary Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program, enabling near real time sharing of cyber threat information to assist participating critical infrastructure companies in their cyber protection efforts.

NIST to Lead Development of Cybersecurity Framework: NIST will work collaboratively with critical infrastructure stakeholders to develop the framework relying on existing international standards, practices, and procedures that have proven to be effective.

Partnering with Industry to Protect Our Most Critical Assets from Cyber Attack

Today's new Executive Order was developed in tandem with the Presidential Policy Directive on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience also released today. The Executive Order strengthens the U.S. Government's partnership with critical infrastructure owners and operators to address cyber threats through:

New information sharing programs to provide both classified and unclassified threat and attack information to U.S. companies. The Executive Order requires Federal agencies to produce unclassified reports of threats to U.S. companies and requires the reports to be shared in a timely manner. The Order also expands the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program, enabling near real time sharing of cyber threat information to assist participating critical infrastructure companies in their cyber protection efforts.

The development of a Cybersecurity Framework. The Executive Order directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the development of a framework of cybersecurity practices to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure. NIST will work collaboratively with industry to develop the framework, relying on existing international standards, practices, and procedures that have proven to be effective. To enable technical innovation, the Cybersecurity Framework will provide guidance that is technology neutral and that enables critical infrastructure sectors to benefit from a competitive market for products and services.

The Executive Order also:

Includes strong privacy and civil liberties protections based on the Fair Information Practice Principles. Agencies are required to incorporate privacy and civil liberties safeguards in their activities under this order. Those safeguards will be based upon the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPS) and other applicable privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks. Agencies will conduct regular assessments of privacy and civil liberties impacts of their activities and such assessments will be made public.

Establishes a voluntary program to promote the adoption of the Cybersecurity Framework. The Department of Homeland Security will work with Sector-Specific Agencies like the Department of Energy and the Sector Coordinating Councils that represent industry to develop a program to assist companies with implementing the Cybersecurity Framework and to identify incentives for adoption.

Calls for a review of existing cybersecurity regulation. Regulatory agencies will use the Cybersecurity Framework to assess their cybersecurity regulations, determine if existing requirements are sufficient, and whether any existing regulations can be eliminated as no longer effective. If the existing regulations are ineffective or insufficient, agencies will propose new, cost-effective regulations based upon the Cybersecurity Framework and in consultation with their regulated companies. Independent regulatory agencies are encouraged to leverage the Cybersecurity Framework to consider prioritized actions to mitigate cyber risks for critical infrastructure consistent with their authorities.

Building on Progress

In May of 2009, President Obama declared our digital infrastructure a strategic national asset and made protecting this infrastructure a national priority. As part of this effort, the Obama Administration has:

Created the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center: The NCCIC is a 24-hour, DHS-led coordinated watch and warning center that improves our nation's ability to address threats and incidents affecting critical infrastructure, the Internet, and cyberspace.

Issued the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace: The NSTIC and its programs are creating alternatives to passwords for online services that are more convenient, secure, and privacy enhancing.

Submitted to Congress Comprehensive Cybersecurity Legislation: The Administration continues to believe that legislation is needed to fully address this threat. Existing laws do not permit the government to do all that is necessary to better protect our country. The Executive Order ensures that federal agencies and departments take steps to secure our critical infrastructure from cyber attack, as a down-payment on expected further legislative action.

Executive Order -- Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

Link to Article

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 08:10

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

February 12, 2013


- - - - - - -


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section1. Policy. Repeated cyber intrusions into critical infrastructure demonstrate the need for improved cybersecurity. The cyber threat to critical infrastructure continues to grow and represents one of the most serious national security challenges we must confront. The national and economic security of the United States depends on the reliable functioning of the Nation's critical infrastructure in the face of such threats. It is the policy of the United States to enhance the security and resilience of the Nation's critical infrastructure and to maintain a cyber environment that encourages efficiency, innovation, and economic prosperity while promoting safety, security, business confidentiality, privacy, and civil liberties. We can achieve these goals through a partnership with the owners and operators of critical infrastructure to improve cybersecurity information sharing and collaboratively develop and implement risk-based standards.

Sec. 2. Critical Infrastructure. As used in this order, the term critical infrastructure means systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.

Sec. 3. Policy Coordination. Policy coordination, guidance, dispute resolution, and periodic in-progress reviews for the functions and programs described and assigned herein shall be provided through the interagency process established in Presidential Policy Directive-1 of February 13, 2009 (Organization of the National Security Council System), or any successor.

Sec. 4. Cybersecurity Information Sharing. (a) It is the policy of the United States Government to increase the volume, timeliness, and quality of cyber threat information shared with U.S. private sector entities so that these entities may better protect and defend themselves against cyber threats. Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security (the "Secretary"), and the Director of National Intelligence shall each issue instructions consistent with their authorities and with the requirements of section 12(c) of this order to ensure the timely production of unclassified reports of cyber threats to the U.S. homeland that identify a specific targeted entity. The instructions shall address the need to protect intelligence and law enforcement sources, methods, operations, and investigations.

(b) The Secretary and the Attorney General, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence, shall establish a process that rapidly disseminates the reports produced pursuant to section 4(a) of this order to the targeted entity. Such process shall also, consistent with the need to protect national security information, include the dissemination of classified reports to critical infrastructure entities authorized to receive them. The Secretary and the Attorney General, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence, shall establish a system for tracking the production, dissemination, and disposition of these reports.

(c) To assist the owners and operators of critical infrastructure in protecting their systems from unauthorized access, exploitation, or harm, the Secretary, consistent with 6 U.S.C. 143 and in collaboration with the Secretary of Defense, shall, within 120 days of the date of this order, establish procedures to expand the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program to all critical infrastructure sectors. This voluntary information sharing program will provide classified cyber threat and technical information from the Government to eligible critical infrastructure companies or commercial service providers that offer security services to critical infrastructure.

(d) The Secretary, as the Executive Agent for the Classified National Security Information Program created under Executive Order 13549 of August 18, 2010 (Classified National Security Information Program for State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector Entities), shall expedite the processing of security clearances to appropriate personnel employed by critical infrastructure owners and operators, prioritizing the critical infrastructure identified in section 9 of this order.

(e) In order to maximize the utility of cyber threat information sharing with the private sector, the Secretary shall expand the use of programs that bring private sector subject-matter experts into Federal service on a temporary basis. These subject matter experts should provide advice regarding the content, structure, and types of information most useful to critical infrastructure owners and operators in reducing and mitigating cyber risks.

Sec. 5. Privacy and Civil Liberties Protections. (a) Agencies shall coordinate their activities under this order with their senior agency officials for privacy and civil liberties and ensure that privacy and civil liberties protections are incorporated into such activities. Such protections shall be based upon the Fair Information Practice Principles and other privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks as they apply to each agency's activities.

(b) The Chief Privacy Officer and the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall assess the privacy and civil liberties risks of the functions and programs undertaken by DHS as called for in this order and shall recommend to the Secretary ways to minimize or mitigate such risks, in a publicly available report, to be released within 1 year of the date of this order. Senior agency privacy and civil liberties officials for other agencies engaged in activities under this order shall conduct assessments of their agency activities and provide those assessments to DHS for consideration and inclusion in the report. The report shall be reviewed on an annual basis and revised as necessary. The report may contain a classified annex if necessary. Assessments shall include evaluation of activities against the Fair Information Practice Principles and other applicable privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks. Agencies shall consider the assessments and recommendations of the report in implementing privacy and civil liberties protections for agency activities.

(c) In producing the report required under subsection (b) of this section, the Chief Privacy Officer and the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of DHS shall consult with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).


(d) Information submitted voluntarily in accordance with 6 U.S.C. 133 by private entities under this order shall be protected from disclosure to the fullest extent permitted by law.


Sec. 6. Consultative Process. The Secretary shall establish a consultative process to coordinate improvements to the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure. As part of the consultative process, the Secretary shall engage and consider the advice, on matters set forth in this order, of the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council; Sector Coordinating Councils; critical infrastructure owners and operators; Sector-Specific Agencies; other relevant agencies; independent regulatory agencies; State, local, territorial, and tribal governments; universities; and outside experts.

Sec. 7. Baseline Framework to Reduce Cyber Risk to Critical Infrastructure. (a) The Secretary of Commerce shall direct the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (the "Director") to lead the development of a framework to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure (the "Cybersecurity Framework"). The Cybersecurity Framework shall include a set of standards, methodologies, procedures, and processes that align policy, business, and technological approaches to address cyber risks. The Cybersecurity Framework shall incorporate voluntary consensus standards and industry best practices to the fullest extent possible. The Cybersecurity Framework shall be consistent with voluntary international standards when such international standards will advance the objectives of this order, and shall meet the requirements of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act, as amended (15 U.S.C. 271 et seq.), the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-113), and OMB Circular A-119, as revised.

(b) The Cybersecurity Framework shall provide a prioritized, flexible, repeatable, performance-based, and cost-effective approach, including information security measures and controls, to help owners and operators of critical infrastructure identify, assess, and manage cyber risk. The Cybersecurity Framework shall focus on identifying cross-sector security standards and guidelines applicable to critical infrastructure. The Cybersecurity Framework will also identify areas for improvement that should be addressed through future collaboration with particular sectors and standards-developing organizations. To enable technical innovation and account for organizational differences, the Cybersecurity Framework will provide guidance that is technology neutral and that enables critical infrastructure sectors to benefit from a competitive market for products and services that meet the standards, methodologies, procedures, and processes developed to address cyber risks. The Cybersecurity Framework shall include guidance for measuring the performance of an entity in implementing the Cybersecurity Framework.

(c) The Cybersecurity Framework shall include methodologies to identify and mitigate impacts of the Cybersecurity Framework and associated information security measures or controls on business confidentiality, and to protect individual privacy and civil liberties.

(d) In developing the Cybersecurity Framework, the Director shall engage in an open public review and comment process. The Director shall also consult with the Secretary, the National Security Agency, Sector-Specific Agencies and other interested agencies including OMB, owners and operators of critical infrastructure, and other stakeholders through the consultative process established in section 6 of this order. The Secretary, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other relevant agencies shall provide threat and vulnerability information and technical expertise to inform the development of the Cybersecurity Framework. The Secretary shall provide performance goals for the Cybersecurity Framework informed by work under section 9 of this order.

(e) Within 240 days of the date of this order, the Director shall publish a preliminary version of the Cybersecurity Framework (the "preliminary Framework"). Within 1 year of the date of this order, and after coordination with the Secretary to ensure suitability under section 8 of this order, the Director shall publish a final version of the Cybersecurity Framework (the "final Framework").

(f) Consistent with statutory responsibilities, the Director will ensure the Cybersecurity Framework and related guidance is reviewed and updated as necessary, taking into consideration technological changes, changes in cyber risks, operational feedback from owners and operators of critical infrastructure, experience from the implementation of section 8 of this order, and any other relevant factors.

Sec. 8. Voluntary Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Program. (a) The Secretary, in coordination with Sector-Specific Agencies, shall establish a voluntary program to support the adoption of the Cybersecurity Framework by owners and operators of critical infrastructure and any other interested entities (the "Program").

(b) Sector-Specific Agencies, in consultation with the Secretary and other interested agencies, shall coordinate with the Sector Coordinating Councils to review the Cybersecurity Framework and, if necessary, develop implementation guidance or supplemental materials to address sector-specific risks and operating environments.

(c) Sector-Specific Agencies shall report annually to the President, through the Secretary, on the extent to which owners and operators notified under section 9 of this order are participating in the Program.

(d) The Secretary shall coordinate establishment of a set of incentives designed to promote participation in the Program. Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Secretary and the Secretaries of the Treasury and Commerce each shall make recommendations separately to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs, that shall include analysis of the benefits and relative effectiveness of such incentives, and whether the incentives would require legislation or can be provided under existing law and authorities to participants in the Program.

(e) Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of General Services, in consultation with the Secretary and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, shall make recommendations to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs, on the feasibility, security benefits, and relative merits of incorporating security standards into acquisition planning and contract administration. The report shall address what steps can be taken to harmonize and make consistent existing procurement requirements related to cybersecurity.

Sec. 9. Identification of Critical Infrastructure at Greatest Risk. (a) Within 150 days of the date of this order, the Secretary shall use a risk-based approach to identify critical infrastructure where a cybersecurity incident could reasonably result in catastrophic regional or national effects on public health or safety, economic security, or national security. In identifying critical infrastructure for this purpose, the Secretary shall use the consultative process established in section 6 of this order and draw upon the expertise of Sector-Specific Agencies. The Secretary shall apply consistent, objective criteria in identifying such critical infrastructure. The Secretary shall not identify any commercial information technology products or consumer information technology services under this section. The Secretary shall review and update the list of identified critical infrastructure under this section on an annual basis, and provide such list to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs.

(b) Heads of Sector-Specific Agencies and other relevant agencies shall provide the Secretary with information necessary to carry out the responsibilities under this section. The Secretary shall develop a process for other relevant stakeholders to submit information to assist in making the identifications required in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The Secretary, in coordination with Sector-Specific Agencies, shall confidentially notify owners and operators of critical infrastructure identified under subsection (a) of this section that they have been so identified, and ensure identified owners and operators are provided the basis for the determination. The Secretary shall establish a process through which owners and operators of critical infrastructure may submit relevant information and request reconsideration of identifications under subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 10. Adoption of Framework. (a) Agencies with responsibility for regulating the security of critical infrastructure shall engage in a consultative process with DHS, OMB, and the National Security Staff to review the preliminary Cybersecurity Framework and determine if current cybersecurity regulatory requirements are sufficient given current and projected risks. In making such determination, these agencies shall consider the identification of critical infrastructure required under section 9 of this order. Within 90 days of the publication of the preliminary Framework, these agencies shall submit a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the Director of OMB, and the Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs, that states whether or not the agency has clear authority to establish requirements based upon the Cybersecurity Framework to sufficiently address current and projected cyber risks to critical infrastructure, the existing authorities identified, and any additional authority required.

(b) If current regulatory requirements are deemed to be insufficient, within 90 days of publication of the final Framework, agencies identified in subsection (a) of this section shall propose prioritized, risk-based, efficient, and coordinated actions, consistent with Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993 (Regulatory Planning and Review), Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and Executive Order 13609 of May 1, 2012 (Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation), to mitigate cyber risk.

(c) Within 2 years after publication of the final Framework, consistent with Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 13610 of May 10, 2012 (Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens), agencies identified in subsection (a) of this section shall, in consultation with owners and operators of critical infrastructure, report to OMB on any critical infrastructure subject to ineffective, conflicting, or excessively burdensome cybersecurity requirements. This report shall describe efforts made by agencies, and make recommendations for further actions, to minimize or eliminate such requirements.

(d) The Secretary shall coordinate the provision of technical assistance to agencies identified in subsection (a) of this section on the development of their cybersecurity workforce and programs.

(e) Independent regulatory agencies with responsibility for regulating the security of critical infrastructure are encouraged to engage in a consultative process with the Secretary, relevant Sector-Specific Agencies, and other affected parties to consider prioritized actions to mitigate cyber risks for critical infrastructure consistent with their authorities.

Sec. 11. Definitions. (a) "Agency" means any authority of the United States that is an "agency" under 44 U.S.C. 3502(1), other than those considered to be independent regulatory agencies, as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5).

(b) "Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council" means the council established by DHS under 6 U.S.C. 451 to facilitate effective interaction and coordination of critical infrastructure protection activities among the Federal Government; the private sector; and State, local, territorial, and tribal governments.

(c) "Fair Information Practice Principles" means the eight principles set forth in Appendix A of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.

(d) "Independent regulatory agency" has the meaning given the term in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5).

(e) "Sector Coordinating Council" means a private sector coordinating council composed of representatives of owners and operators within a particular sector of critical infrastructure established by the National Infrastructure Protection Plan or any successor.

(f) "Sector-Specific Agency" has the meaning given the term in Presidential Policy Directive-21 of February 12, 2013 (Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience), or any successor.

Sec. 12. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. Nothing in this order shall be construed to provide an agency with authority for regulating the security of critical infrastructure in addition to or to a greater extent than the authority the agency has under existing law. Nothing in this order shall be construed to alter or limit any authority or responsibility of an agency under existing law.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) All actions taken pursuant to this order shall be consistent with requirements and authorities to protect intelligence and law enforcement sources and methods. Nothing in this order shall be interpreted to supersede measures established under authority of law to protect the security and integrity of specific activities and associations that are in direct support of intelligence and law enforcement operations.

(d) This order shall be implemented consistent with U.S. international obligations.

(e) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


Mary Ellen Callahan | Homeland Security

Ms. Callahan was appointed Chief Privacy Officer and Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer (FOIA) by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano in March 2009. Created by Congress in 2002, the Department's Privacy Office is the first statutorily mandated privacy office in any federal agency, whose mission is to preserve and enhance privacy protections for all individuals, to promote the transparency of Homeland Security operations, and to serve as a leader in the federal privacy community.

Ms. Callahan holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to law school, Callahan worked at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress as part of the Special Task Force on the Development of Parliamentary Institutions in Eastern Europe.

She is a frequent author and speaker on privacy issues. In 2008, Chambers and Partners selected her as a "Band 1" privacy and data security lawyer in the United States.- She serves as vice-chair of the American Bar Association's Privacy and Information Security Committee of the Antitrust Division. And now as Chief Privacy Officer,-she-co-chairs-both the CIO Council's Privacy Committee, and the Information Sharing Environment Privacy Guidelines Committee.

Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Callahan was a partner with the law firm of Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells), where she specialized in privacy and data security law.

Ms. Callahan also serves as the Department's Chief FOIA Officer; her office centralizes both FOIA and Privacy Act operations to provide policy and programmatic oversight and support implementation across the Department.

In her role as Chief Privacy Officer, Ms. Callahan is responsible for evaluating department-wide programs, systems, and-technologies and rule-makings-for potential privacy impacts, and for providing mitigation strategies to reduce any privacy impact. She and her staff have extensive expertise in privacy laws, both domestic and international, that help inform privacy policy development both within the Department, and in collaboration with the rest of the federal government. Her office also advises senior leadership to ensure that privacy protections are implemented throughout the Department.

Acting Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Tamara Kessler | Homeland Security

On January 1, 2012, Tamara Kessler assumed the position of Acting Officer for the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL). Prior to this position, Ms. Kessler served as Deputy Officer.

Before joining CRCL, Ms. Kessler spent 20 years as an attorney for the Department of Justice, including serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in Philadelphia, a criminal trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division, Special Investigative Counsel to the Department of Justice Inspector General, and Associate Counsel at the Office of Professional Responsibility. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service. She earned her bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Wellesley College; and her law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

FTC Fair Information Practice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 01:38

The United States Federal Trade Commission'sFair Information Practice Principles (FIPs)[1] are guidelines that represent widely-accepted concepts concerning fair information practice in an electronic marketplace.

[edit]IntroductionFTC Fair Information Practice Principles are the result of the Commission's inquiry into the manner in which online entities collect and use personal information and safeguards to assure that practice is fair and provides adequate information privacy protection. The FTC has been studying online privacy issues since 1995, and in its 1998 report,[2] the Commission described the widely-accepted Fair Information Practice Principles of Notice, Choice, Access, and Security.[1] The Commission also identified Enforcement, the use of a reliable mechanism to provide sanctions for noncompliance as a critical component of any governmental or self-regulatory program to protect online privacy.[1]

[edit]History and developmentFair Information Practice was initially proposed and named[3] by the US Secretary's Advisory Committee on Automated Personal Data Systems in a 1973 report, Records, Computers and the Rights of Citizens,[4] issued in response to the growing use of automated data systems containing information about individuals. The central contribution of the Advisory Committee was the development of a code of fair information practice for automated personal data systems. The Privacy Protection Study Commission also may have contributed to the development of FIPs principles in its 1977 report, Personal Privacy in an Information Society.[5]

As privacy laws spread to other countries in Europe, international institutions took up privacy with a focus on the international implications of privacy regulation. In 1980, the Council of Europe adopted a Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data.[6] At the same time, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) proposed similar privacy guidelines in the OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data.[7] The OECD Guidelines, Council of Europe Convention, and European UnionData Protection Directive[8] relied on FIPs as core principles. All three organizations revised and extended the original U.S. statement of FIPs, with the OECD Privacy Guidelines being the version most often cited in subsequent years.[9]

[edit]PrinciplesThe core principles of privacy addressed by these principles are:

1. Notice/Awareness[10] Consumers should be given notice of an entity's information practices before any personal information is collected from them.[10] This requires that companies explicitly notify of some or all of the following:

identification of the entity collecting the data;identification of the uses to which the data will be put;identification of any potential recipients of the data;the nature of the data collected and the means by which it is collected;whether the provision of the requested data is voluntary or required;the steps taken by the data collector to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and quality of the data.[10]2. Choice/Consent[11] Choice and consent in an online information-gathering sense means giving consumers options to control how their data is used. Specifically, choice relates to secondary uses of information beyond the immediate needs of the information collector to complete the consumer's transaction. The two typical types of choice models are 'opt-in' or 'opt-out.' The 'opt-in' method requires that consumers affirmatively give permission for their information to be used for other purposes; without the consumer taking these affirmative steps in an 'opt-in' system, the information gatherer assumes that it cannot use the information for any other purpose. The 'opt-out' method requires consumers to affirmatively decline permission for other uses; without the consumer taking these affirmative steps in an 'opt-out' system, the information gatherer assumes that it can use the consumer's information for other purposes. Each of these systems can be designed to allow an individual consumer to tailor the information gatherer's use of the information to fit his or her preferences by checking boxes to grant or deny permission for specific purposes rather than using a simple "all or nothing" method.[11]

2-1. Problems with Choice/Consent [12] Consumers do not have a fair say in the consent process. For example, customers provide their health information such as their social insurance number or health card number while making an appointment for a dental check-up through on-line. Customers are commonly asked to sign an agreement stating that 'third-party may have an access to the information you provide under certain conditions.' The certain conditions are rarely specified in any part of the agreement. Later on, the third-party may share the information with their subsidiary institutions. Thus, access to customers' personal information is beyond their control. [12]

3. Access/Participation[13] Access as defined in the Fair Information Practice Principles includes not only a consumer's ability to view the data collected, but also to verify and contest its accuracy. This access must be inexpensive and timely in order to be useful to the consumer.[13]

4. Integrity/Security[14] Information collectors should ensure that the data they collect is accurate and secure. They can improve the integrity of data by cross-referencing it with only reputable databases and by providing access for the consumer to verify it. Information collectors can keep their data secure by protecting against both internal and external security threats. They can limit access within their company to only necessary employees to protect against internal threats, and they can use encryption and other computer-based security systems to stop outside threats.[14]

5. Enforcement/Redress[15] In order to ensure that companies follow the Fair Information Practice Principles, there must be enforcement measures. The FTC identified three types of enforcement measures: self-regulation by the information collectors or an appointed regulatory body; private remedies that give civil causes of action for individuals whose information has been misused to sue violators; and government enforcement, which can include civil and criminal penalties levied by the government.[15]

[edit]Enforcing the principlesCurrently the FTC version of the Fair Information Principles are only recommendations for maintaining privacy-friendly, consumer-oriented data collection practices, and are not enforceable by law. The enforcement of and adherence to these principles is principally performed through self-regulation. The FTC has, however, undertaken efforts to evaluate industry self-regulation practices,[16] provides guidance for industry in developing information practices,[17] and uses its authority under the FTC Act to enforce promises made by corporations in their privacy policies.[18]

Since self-regulatory initiatives fall short of ideal implementation of the principles (the 2000 FTC Report noted, for example, that self-regulatory initiatives lacked meaningful monitoring and enforcement polices and practices), the Commission recommends that the United States Congress enact legislation that, in conjunction with continuing self-regulatory programs, will ensure adequate protection of consumer privacy online.[19] "The legislation recommended by the Commission would set forth a basic level of privacy protection for consumer-oriented commercial Web sites" and "would establish basic standards of practice for the collection of information online...consumer-oriented commercial Web sites that collect personal identifying information from or about consumers online... would be required to comply with the four widely-accepted fair information practices."[19][9]

The principles, however, form the basis of many individual laws at the both federal and state levels -- called the "sectoral approach." Examples are the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), and the Cable Television Protection and Competition Act.[20] Additionally, the principles continue to serve as a model for privacy protections in newly developing areas, such as in designing Smart Grid programs.[21]

Main article: FTC Fair Information Practice The four critical issues identified in Fair Information Principles are:

Notice '' data collectors must disclose their information practices before collecting personal information from consumers Choice '' consumers must be given options with respect to whether and how personal information collected from them may be used for purposes beyond those for which the information was provided Access '' consumers should be able to view and contest the accuracy and completeness of data collected about them Security '' data collectors must take reasonable steps to assure that information collected from consumers is accurate and secure from unauthorized use. In addition the Principles discuss the need for enforcement mechanisms to impose sanctions for noncompliance with fair information practices.

[edit]Other proposals regarding 'fair information'The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Union, among others, have adopted more comprehensive approaches to fair information practices. The OECD principles provide added protections via the Individual Participation principle where specific requirements are made for access and modification of personally collected information by the individual and the Accountability principle (a data controller should be accountable for complying with measures which give effect to the principles stated above).[22][23]

The European UnionData Protection Directive is another model for comprehensive privacy protections.[24][25]

[edit]Criticism of the FTC PrinciplesThe FIPs are criticized by some scholars for being less comprehensive in scope than privacy regimes in other countries, in particular in European Union and other OECD countries. Additionally, the FTC's formulation of the principles has been criticized in comparison to those issued by other agencies. The FTC's 2000 version of FIPs is shorter and less complete than the privacy protection principles issued by the Privacy Office of the Department of Homeland Security in 2008, which include eight principles closely aligned with the OECD principles.[20]

Some in the privacy community criticize the FIPs for being too weak, allowing too many exemptions, failing to require a privacy agency, failing to account for the weaknesses of self-regulation, and not keeping pace with information technology. Many privacy experts have called for omnibus privacy protection legislation in the US[26] in lieu of the current blend of self-regulation and selective codification in certain sectors.[27]

Critics from a business perspective often prefer to limit FIPs to reduced elements of notice, consent, and accountability. They complain that other elements are unworkable, expensive, or inconsistent with openness or free speech principles.[9]

[edit]See also[edit]References^ abcFederal Trade Commission, Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPs).^Federal Trade Commission, Privacy Online: A Report to Congress (June 1998).^US Secretary's Advisory Committee on Automated Personal Data Systems, Records, Computers and the Rights of Citizens, Chapter IV: Recommended Safeguards for Administrative Personal Data Systems (1973).^US Secretary's Advisory Committee on Automated Personal Data Systems, Records, Computers and the Rights of Citizens (1973).^Privacy Protection Study Commission, Personal Privacy in an Information Society (July 1977).^Council of Europe,Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (Jan. 28, 1981).^Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data (Sep. 23, 1980).^European Union Data Protection Directive, Directive 95/46/EC http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/published/proceedings/R0812009.htm^ abcRobert Gellman, Fair Information Practices: A Basic History (Dec. 31, 2008).^ abcFederal Trade Commission, Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPs), 1. Notice/Awareness.^ abFederal Trade Commission, Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPs), 2. Choice/Consent.^ abTavani, H.T. & Bottis M. (2010, June). The consent process in medical research involving DNA databanks: some ethical implications and challenges. ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society, 40(2), 11-21. doi:10.1145/1839994.1839996^ abFederal Trade Commission, Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPs), 3. Access/Participation.^ abFederal Trade Commission, Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPs), 4. Integrity/Security.^ abFederal Trade Commission, Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPs), 5. Enforcement/Redress.^FTC Industry Association Guidelines http://www.ftc.gov/reports/privacy3/industry.shtm#Industry%20Association%20Guidelines%20A^Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business http://www.ftc.gov/infosecurity/^Enforcing Privacy Promises: Section 5 of the FTC Act http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/privacyinitiatives/promises.html^ abFTC 2000 Privacy Report http://www.ftc.gov/reports/privacy2000/privacy2000.pdf^ abDepartment of Homeland Security, Privacy Policy Guidance Memorandum (2008) (Memorandum Number 2008-1), http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/privacy privacy_policyguide_2008-01.pdf^Electronic Frontier Foundation and Center for Democracy and Technology Joint Filing with the California Public Utilities Commission regarding California's Smart Grid Program. http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/EFILE/CM/114696.pdf; http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/03/new-smart-meters-energy-use-put-privacy-risk^Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data (Sep. 23, 1980).http://www.oecd.org/document/18/0,3343,en_2649_34255_1815186_1_1_1_1,00.html^Pam Dixon, A Brief Introduction to Fair Information Practices World Privacy Forum (June 5, 2006).^Directive 95/46/EC http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31995L0046:EN:HTML^Spiros Simitis, From the Market to the Polis: The EU Directive on the Protection of Personal Data, 80 Iowa L. Rev. 445 (1995).^Paul M. Schwartz, Privacy and Democracy in Cyberspace, 52 Vand. L. Rev. 1609 (1999); Joel R. Reidenberg, Restoring Americans' Privacy in Electronic Commerce, 14 Berkeley Tech. L. J. 771 (1999).^Examples are the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the Video Privacy Protection Act. Beth Givens, A Review of the Fair Information Principles : The Foundation of Privacy Public Policy (posted 1997, updated 2004).[edit]External links


Link to Article

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 01:26

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

February 12, 2013

To complement the Cyber Security Executive Order issued today, the Administration is also issuing a Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) on critical infrastructure security and resilience that updates the national approach from Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7, issued in 2003, to adjust to the new risk environment, key lessons learned, and drive toward enhanced capabilities.

The Nation's critical infrastructure provides the essential services that underpin American society. Proactive and coordinated efforts are necessary for us to strengthen and maintain secure, functioning, and resilient critical infrastructure '' including the assets, networks, and systems that are vital to public confidence and the Nation's safety, prosperity, and well-being. This endeavor is a shared responsibility among the Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial entities, and public and private owners and operators of critical infrastructure.

The Nation's critical infrastructure is diverse and complex. It includes distributed networks, varied organizational structures and operating models (including multinational ownership), interdependent functions and systems in both the physical and cyber spaces, and governance constructs that involve varied authorities, responsibilities, and regulations. Critical infrastructure owners and operators are uniquely positioned to manage risks to their individual operations and assets, and to determine effective strategies to make them more secure and resilient.

While there has been extensive work done to enhance both the physical and cyber security and resilience of critical infrastructure, this PPD will create a stronger alliance between these two intertwined components. The ability to leverage and integrate successes in both of these fields is crucial to the enhancement of our Nation's security and resilience.

Three strategic imperatives drive the Federal approach to strengthen critical infrastructure security and resilience:

Refine and clarify functional relationships across the Federal Government to advance the national unity of effort to strengthen critical infrastructure security and resilience;Enable effective information exchange by identifying baseline data and systems requirements for the Federal Government; andImplement an integration and analysis function to inform planning and operations decisions regarding critical infrastructure.Accomplishment of these imperatives will be through the successful completion of six key deliverables:

Development of a description of the functional relationships within the Department of Homeland Security and across the Federal Government related to critical infrastructure security and resilience within 120 days.Completion of an assessment of the existing public-private partnership model and recommended options for improving the partnership within 150 days.Identification of baseline data and systems requirements for the Federal Government to enable efficient information exchange within 180 days.Development of a situational awareness capability for critical infrastructure within 240 days.Update the National Infrastructure Protection Plan within 240 days.Completion of a national critical infrastructure security and resilience research and development plan within 2 years.

Cybersecurity Executive Order Could Spur Congressional Action - US News & World Report

Link to Article

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 05:20

Lucus Nelson teaches Hash analysis in Windows forensic examinations using EnCase Sept. 9, 2010, at the Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy in Linthicum, Md.

To coincide with his State of the Union Address, President Obama issued an executive order designed to strengthen the cybersecurity of "critical infrastructure" Tuesday, which some experts say could get the ball rolling for a renewed legislative push in Congress.

Cybersecurity was a big issue last year, with bills such as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act being condemned by privacy experts, who alleged the proposed legislation shared too much private information with government.

[Civil Liberties Organizations Launch Protests Against CISPA]

The executive order signed Tuesday contains some provisions of CISPA, including the ability for government agencies to share classified "threat and attack" information with companies that control power grids, water supplies, and other important national interests. But only new legislation would allow or require companies to share cyber threat information with the federal government, which was a hangup for civil liberties organizations fighting against CISPA.

In his prepared remarks, Obama said foreign threats are attempting to shut down critical American infrastructure.

"We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems," he said. "Earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy."

The order has been in the drafting stages since at least September, when documents shared with U.S. News showed that the administration was considering issuing the order. Jim Halpert, a privacy lawyer with DLA Piper, says the fact that Obama decided to issue the order to coincide with his State of the Union address suggests he may put pressure on Congress to do something more substantial this year.

"I think it helps to get all the players together and shows there's going to be a big emphasis on this with this term," he says. "This could be a spur to action."

The executive order contains specific "privacy and civil liberties protections" that are designed to placate some of CISPA's critics.

[CISPA Isn't SOPA, But Still Attacks Constitutional Rights]

Mary Ellen Callahan, former chief privacy officer at the Department of Homeland Security, says it's an "important first step in shoring up our cybersecurity ecosystem" and that the "outreach to the privacy community was extensive" in the order.

Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which staunchly opposed CISPA, says he "gives credit to the White House for expressly adding some privacy language to earlier drafts of the executive order."

The order calls for annual privacy reviews to "assess the privacy and civil liberties risks of the functions and programs undertaken by [the Department of Homeland Security]" in a publicly available report, set to be released sometime in the next year.

Tien says the administration is "clearly trying very hard" to assuage the concerns of the privacy community, but by definition, an executive order cannot be as far-reaching as CISPA would have been. But the fact that the government will soon be sharing classified information with private companies could set a bad precedent should Congress decide to act, he says.

"If companies get used to this flow of useful data, we don't know what kind of quid pro quos or bargains might be struck; what kind of actions or reciprocity might be involved," he says. "But for now, there's a fundamental constraint on what the President can do'--he doesn't make the law."

National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace

Link to Article

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 16:02

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) is a proposal by the Obama administration to create secure online identities for Americans in cyber space. The aim of the proposal, according to Howard Schmidt, the former White House Cybersecurity Coordinator, is to create an 'identity ecosystem' where individuals and organizations can complete online transactions with confidence that the individual who they are conducting business with is not impersonating someone else.

Schmidt also outlined that the NSTIC would also reduce the need to remember potentially insecure list of usernames and passwords. Schmidt highlighted that enrollment in the 'identity ecosystem' of individuals would be entirely voluntary and individuals can choose whether or not to obtain a credential.[1] The measure also gives individuals control over what private information they use to authenticate themselves over time.[2]

[edit]BackgroundThe impetus for the policy move by the Obama Administration is part of the Cyberspace Policy Review published in June 2009. The NSTIC proposal was released in draft form in June 2010 along with a website set up by the Department of Homeland Security to elicit feedback and ideas from people.[3] On April 15, 2011, the final draft of NSTIC was released by the White House. In this version of the draft the role of the federal government was toned down and highlighted its role as merely a facilitator in establishing the ecosystem. The effort has to be led by the private-sector.[4]

[edit]CriticismThe proposal has generated a lot of criticism since it was released in draft form by the White House. A lot of criticism been centered around privacy implications of the proposal.

Shortly after the draft's release, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, in conjunction with a number of other consumer-rights and civil liberties organizations,[5] sent the Committee a statement in response to the draft NSTIC policy, requesting that the White House provide a clearer and more complete plan to create and safeguard Internet users' rights and privacy.[6]

The Obama White House released its final NSTIC guidelines in April 2011.[7] While EPIC head, Marc Rotenberg, called NSTIC "historic," he also cautioned that "...online identity is complex problem and the risk of 'cyber-identity theft' with consolidated identity systems is very real. The US will need to do more to protect online privacy."[8]

[edit]References^Gross, Grant. "White House Officials Push Online Trusted IDs". PC World. PC World Communications Inc.. http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/216143/white_house_officials_push_online_trusted_ids.html. Retrieved 13 April 2011.^Schmidt, Howard. "The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace". The White House Blog. http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/06/25/national-strategy-trusted-identities-cyberspace. Retrieved 13 April 2011.^Whitney, Lance. "White House Drafting Plan for Cyberspace Safety". Politics and Law. Cnet. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20008998-38.html. Retrieved 15 April 2011.^Montalbano, Elizabeth. "White Houses Issues Online Trusted Identities Plan". Information Week: Government. United Business Media LLC. http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/security/229401701. Retrieved 20 April 2011.^[1]^http://privacy.org/privacy_coalition_comments_trusted_ids.pdf^http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/whitehouse_nstic.cfm^[2][edit]External links

Dr. Carson

Democracy In America by Alexis de Tocqueville 1831

Democracy In America. Alexis de Tocqueville 1831

Tocqueville Archive Table of contents


Hon. John J. Ingalls

In 1838 he was chosen member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. In 1839 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies. He became a member of the French Academy in 1841. In 1848 he was in the Assembly, and from June 2nd to October 31st he was Minister of Foreign Affairs. The coup d'état of December 2, 1851 drove him from the public service. In 1856 he published "The Old Regime and the Revolution." He died at Cannes, April 15, 1859, at the age of fifty-four.

The last of the four volumes of M. de Tocqueville's work upon American institutions appeared in 1840.

Other dangers have come. Equality of conditions no longer exists. Prophets of evil predict the downfall of democracy, but the student of M. de Tocqueville will find consolation and encouragement in the reflection that the same spirit which has vanquished the perils of the past, which he foresaw, will be equally prepared for the responsibilities of the present and the future.

Though not originally written for Americans, "Democracy in America" must always remain a work of engrossing and constantly increasing interest to citizens of the United States as the first philosophic and comprehensive view of our society, institutions, and destiny. No one can rise even from the most cursory perusal without clearer insight and more patriotic appreciation of the blessings of liberty protected by law, nor without encouragement for the stability and perpetuity of the Republic. The causes which appeared to M. de Tocqueville to menace both, have gone. The despotism of public opinion, the tyranny of majorities, the absence of intellectual freedom which seemed to him to degrade administration and bring statesmanship, learning, and literature to the level of the lowest, are no longer considered. The violence of party spirit has been mitigated, and the judgment of the wise is not subordinated to the prejudices of the ignorant.

The mind of M. de Tocqueville had the candor of the photographic camera. It recorded impressions with the impartiality of nature. The image was sometimes distorted, and the perspective was not always true, but he was neither a panegyrist, nor an advocate, nor a critic. He observed American phenomena as illustrations, not as proof nor arguments; and although it is apparent that the tendency of his mind was not wholly favorable to the democratic principle, yet those who dissent from his conclusions must commend the ability and courage with which they are expressed.

Were literary excellence the sole claim of "Democracy in America" to distinction, the splendor of its composition alone would entitle it to high place among the masterpieces of the century. The first chapter, upon the exterior form of North America, as the theatre upon which the great drama is to be enacted, for graphic and picturesque description of the physical characteristics of the continent is not surpassed in literature: nor is there any subdivision of the work in which the severest philosophy is not invested with the grace of poetry, and the driest statistics with the charm of romance. Western emigration seemed commonplace and prosaic till M. de Tocqueville said, "This gradual and continuous progress of the European race toward the Rocky Mountains has the solemnity of a providential event; it is like a deluge of men rising unabatedly, and daily driven onward by the hand of God!"

That a youth of twenty-six should entertain a design so broad and bold implies singular intellectual intrepidity. He had neither model nor precedent. The vastness and novelty of the undertaking increase admiration for the remarkable ability with which the task was performed.

Although by birth and sympathies an aristocrat, M. de Tocqueville saw that the reign of tradition and privilege at last was ended. He perceived that civilization, after many bloody centuries, had entered a new epoch. He beheld, and deplored, the excesses that had attended the genesis of the democratic spirit in France, and while he loved liberty, he detested the crimes that had been committed in its name. Belonging neither to the class which regarded the social revolution as an innovation to be resisted, nor to that which considered political equality the universal panacea for the evils of humanity, he resolved by personal observation of the results of democracy in the New World to ascertain its natural consequences, and to learn what the nations of Europe had to hope or fear from its final supremacy.

Napoleon, "The mighty somnambulist of a vanished dream," had abolished feudalism and absolutism, made monarchs and dynasties obsolete, and substituted for the divine right of kings the sovereignty of the people.

"Democracy in America," the first of four volumes upon "American Institutions and their Influence," was published in 1835. It was received at once by the scholars and thinkers of Europe as a profound, impartial, and entertaining exposition of the principles of popular, representative self-government.

In 1831, commissioned ostensibly to investigate the penitentiary system of the United States, he visited this country, with his friend, Gustave de Beaumont, travelling extensively through those parts of the Republic then subdued to settlement, studying the methods of local, State, and national administration, and observing the manners and habits, the daily life, the business, the industries and occupations of the people.

Bred to the law, he exhibited an early predilection for philosophy and political economy, and at twenty-two was appointed judge-auditor at the tribunal of Versailles.

Nearly two-thirds of a century has elapsed since the appearance of "Democracy in America," by Alexis Charles Henri Clerel de Tocqueville, a French nobleman, born at Paris, July 29, 1805.

Special Introduction By Hon. John J. Ingalls

Hon. John T. Morgan

In the future of the Republic, we must encounter many difficult and dangerous situations, but the principles established in the Constitution and the check upon hasty or inconsiderate legislation, and upon executive action, and the supreme arbitrament of the courts, will be found sufficient for the safety of personal rights, and for the safety of the government, and the prophetic outlook of M. De Tocqueville will be fully realized through the influence of Democracy in America. Each succeeding generation of Americans will find in the pure and impartial reflections of De Tocqueville a new source of pride in our institutions of government, and sound reasons for patriotic effort to preserve them and to inculcate their teachings. They have mastered the power of monarchical rule in the American Hemisphere, freeing religion from all shackles, and will spread, by a quiet but resistless influence, through the islands of the seas to other lands, where the appeals of De Tocqueville for human rights and liberties have already inspired the souls of the people.

M. De Tocqueville found in these minor local jurisdictions the theoretical conservatism which, in the aggregate, is the safest reliance of the State. So we have found them, in practice, the true protectors of the purity of the ballot, without which all free government will degenerate into absolutism.

The test of moral character and devotion to the duties of good citizenship are ignored in the laws, because the courts can seldom deal with such questions in a uniform and satisfactory way, under rules that apply alike to all. Thus the voter, selected by law to represent himself and four other non-voting citizens, is often a person who is unfit for any public duty or trust. In a town government, having a small area of jurisdiction, where the voice of the majority of qualified voters is conclusive, the fitness of the person who is to exercise that high representative privilege can be determined by his neighbors and acquaintances, and, in the great majority of cases, it will be decided honestly and for the good of the country. In such meetings, there is always a spirit of loyalty to the State, because that is loyalty to the people, and a reverence for God that gives weight to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship.

The voter is selected, under our laws, because he has certain physical qualifications -- age and sex. His disqualifications, when any are imposed, relate to his education or property, and to the fact that he has not been convicted of crime. Of all men he should be most directly amenable to public opinion.

If M. De Tocqueville could now search for a law that would negative this provision in its effect upon social equality, he would fail to find it. But he would find it in the unwritten law of the natural aversion of the races. He would find it in public opinion, which is the vital force in every law in a free government. This is a subject that our Constitution failed to regulate, because it was not contemplated by its authors. It is a question that will settle itself, without serious difficulty. The equality in the suffrage, thus guaranteed to the negro race, alone -- for it was not intended to include other colored races -- creates a new phase of political conditions that M. De Tocqueville could not foresee. Yet, in his commendation of the local town and county governments, he applauds and sustains that elementary feature of our political organization which, in the end, will render harmless this wide departure from the original plan and purpose of American Democracy. "Local Self-Government," independent of general control, except for general purposes, is the root and origin of all free republican government, and is the antagonist of all great political combinations that threaten the rights of minorities. It is the public opinion formed in the independent expressions of towns and other small civil districts that is the real conservatism of free government. It is equally the enemy of that dangerous evil, the corruption of the ballot-box, from which it is now apprehended that one of our greatest troubles is to arise.

In his introductory chapter, M. De Tocqueville says: "Amongst the novel objects that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of conditions." He referred, doubtless, to social and political conditions among the people of the white race, who are described as "We, the people," in the opening sentence of the Constitution. The last three amendments of the Constitution have so changed this, that those who were then negro slaves are clothed with the rights of citizenship, including the right of suffrage. This was a political party movement, intended to be radical and revolutionary, but it will, ultimately, react because it has not the sanction of public opinion.

We are frequently indebted to him for able expositions and true doctrines relating to subjects that have slumbered in the minds of the people until they were suddenly forced on our attention by unexpected events.

De Tocqueville examined, with the care that is worthy the importance of the subject, the nature and value of the system of "local self-government," as we style this most important feature of our plan, and (as has often happened) when this or any subject has become a matter of anxious concern, his treatment of the questions is found to have been masterly and his preconceptions almost prophetic.

Had De Tocqueville lived to examine the history of the United States from 1860 to 1870, his misgivings as to this power of self- preservation would, probably, have been cleared off. He would have seen that, at the end of the most destructive civil war that ever occurred, when animosities of the bitterest sort had banished all good feeling from the hearts of our people, the States of the American Union, still in complete organization and equipped with all their official entourage, aligned themselves in their places and took up the powers and duties of local government in perfect order and without embarrassment. This would have dispelled his apprehensions, if he had any, about the power of the United States to withstand the severest shocks of civil war. Could he have traced the further course of events until they open the portals of the twentieth century, he would have cast away his fears of our ability to restore peace, order, and prosperity, in the face of any difficulties, and would have rejoiced to find in the Constitution of the United States the remedy that is provided for the healing of the nation.

He had a strong conviction that no government could be ordained that could resist these internal forces, when, they are directed to its destruction by bad men, or unreasoning mobs, and many then believed, as some yet believe, that our government is unequal to such pressure, when the assault is thoroughly desperate.

When De Tocqueville wrote, we had lived less than fifty years under our Constitution. In that time no great national commotion had occurred that tested its strength, or its power of resistance to internal strife, such as had converted his beloved France into fields of slaughter torn by tempests of wrath.

The pride and comfort that the American people enjoy in the great commentaries of De Tocqueville are far removed from the selfish adulation that comes from a great and singular success. It is the consciousness of victory over a false theory of government which has afflicted mankind for many ages, that gives joy to the true American, as it did to De Tocqueville in his great triumph.

The judgment of all who have studied his commentaries seems to have been unanimous, that his talents and learning were fully equal to his task. He began with the physical geography of this country, and examined the characteristics of the people, of all races and conditions, their social and religious sentiments, their education and tastes; their industries, their commerce, their local governments, their passions and prejudices, and their ethics and literature; leaving nothing unnoticed that might afford an argument to prove that our plan and form of government was or was not adapted especially to a peculiar people, or that it would be impracticable in any different country, or among any different people.

His researches were logical and exhaustive. They included every phase of every question that then seemed to be apposite to the great inquiry he was making.

A French aristocrat of the purest strain of blood and of the most honorable lineage, whose family influence was coveted by crowned heads; who had no quarrel with the rulers of the nation, and was secure against want by his inherited estates; was moved by the agitations that compelled France to attempt to grasp suddenly the liberties and happiness we had gained in our revolution and, by his devout love of France, to search out and subject to the test of reason the basic principles of free government that had been embodied in our Constitution. This was the mission of De Tocqueville, and no mission was ever more honorably or justly conducted, or concluded with greater eclat, or better results for the welfare of mankind.

He found that the American people, through their chosen representatives who were instructed by their wisdom and experience and were supported by their virtues -- cultivated, purified and ennobled by self-reliance and the love of God -- had matured, in the excellent wisdom of their counsels, a new plan of government, which embraced every security for their liberties and equal rights and privileges to all in the pursuit of happiness. He came as an honest and impartial student and his great commentary, like those of Paul, was written for the benefit of all nations and people and in vindication of truths that will stand for their deliverance from monarchical rule, while time shall last.

De Tocqueville was scarcely thirty years old when he began his studies of Democracy in America. It was a bold effort for one who had no special training in government, or in the study of political economy, but he had the example of Lafayette in establishing the military foundation of these liberties, and of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton, all of whom were young men, in building upon the Independence of the United States that wisest and best plan of general government that was ever devised for a free people.

He had just witnessed the spread of republican government through all the vast continental possessions of Spain in America, and the loss of her great colonies. He had seen that these revolutions were accomplished almost without the shedding of blood, and he was filled with anxiety to learn the causes that had placed republican government, in France, in such contrast with Democracy in America.

De Tocqueville had a special inquiry to prosecute, in his visit to America, in which his generous and faithful soul and the powers of his great intellect were engaged in the patriotic effort to secure to the people of France the blessings that Democracy in America had ordained and established throughout nearly the entire Western Hemisphere. He had read the story of the French Revolution, much of which had been recently written in the blood of men and women of great distinction who were his progenitors; and had witnessed the agitations and terrors of the Restoration and of the Second Republic, fruitful in crime and sacrifice, and barren of any good to mankind.

When, in 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville came to study Democracy in America, the trial of nearly a half-century of the working of our system had been made, and it had been proved, by many crucial tests, to be a government of "liberty regulated by law," with such results in the development of strength, in population, wealth, and military and commercial power, as no age had ever witnessed.

When the Constitution was thus perfected and established, a new form of government was created, but it was neither speculative nor experimental as to the principles on which it was based. If they were true principles, as they were, the government founded upon them was destined to a life and an influence that would continue while the liberties it was intended to preserve should be valued by the human family. Those liberties had been wrung from reluctant monarchs in many contests, in many countries, and were grouped into creeds and established in ordinances sealed with blood, in many great struggles of the people. They were not new to the people. They were consecrated theories, but no government had been previously established for the great purpose of their preservation and enforcement. That which was experimental in our plan of government was the question whether democratic rule could be so organized and conducted that it would not degenerate into license and result in the tyranny of absolutism, without saving to the people the power so often found necessary of repressing or destroying their enemy, when he was found in the person of a single despot.

In the eleven years that separated the Declaration of the Independence of the United States from the completion of that act in the ordination of our written Constitution, the great minds of America were bent upon the study of the principles of government that were essential to the preservation of the liberties which had been won at great cost and with heroic labors and sacrifices. Their studies were conducted in view of the imperfections that experience had developed in the government of the Confederation, and they were, therefore, practical and thorough.

Special Introduction By Hon. John T. Morgan


Boeing vs Airbus

It was the batteries

The NTSB says a short circuit in one of eight cells in the APU battery of a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 led to the fire in the aircraft at Boston Logan Airport Jan. 7. At a news conference on Thursday, NTSB Chairman Debra Hersman said evidence from the flight data recorder and damage to the battery itself indicates the battery and not the aircraft systems were at fault. "That cell showed multiple signs of short circuiting, leading to a thermal runaway condition, which then cascaded to other cells," said an NTSB news release. "Charred battery components indicated that the temperature inside the battery case exceeded 500 degrees Fahrenheit." That was a factor. While the finding shines most of the spotlight on battery manufacturer Yuasa, the NTSB does not leave the FAA and Boeing off the hook.

NDAA Legalities

Man Hunt

Satam al-Suqami - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 01:54

Satam al-SuqamiBornSatam al-Suqami (in Arabic: ¯"¯á¯¤ô· ¯¤ô¯"ô­¯¤ô·ôÉ)(1976-06-28)June 28, 1976DiedSeptember 11, 2001(2001-09-11) (aged 25)Manhattan, New York, U.S.Cause of deathPlane Crash - murder-suicideA law student, Satam Muhammed Abdel Rahman al-Suqami (Arabic: ¯"¯á¯¤ô· ¯¤ô¯"ô­¯¤ô·ôÉ'Ú, Sa‡ÕЀªm as-Suq€ªm€) (June 28, 1976 '' September 11, 2001) was one of five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11 as part of the September 11 attacks.

A Saudi, Suqami had been a law student until he was recruited into al-Qaeda along with Majed Moqed, another hijacker, and traveled to Afghanistan where he would be chosen to participate in the 9/11 attacks.

He arrived in the United States in April 2001. On September 11, 2001, Suqami boarded American Airlines Flight 11 and participated in the hijacking of the plane so that it could be crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center as part of the coordinated attacks.

[edit]HistoryA native of the Saudi Arabian city of Riyadh, Suqami was a law student at the King Saud University. While there he joined a (possible) former roommate named Majed Moqed in training for al-Qaida at Khalden, a large training facility near Kabul that was run by Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. In November 2000, the two flew into Iran from Bahrain together.

The FBI says Suqami first arrived in the U.S. on April 23, 2001, with a visa that allowed him to remain in the country until May 21. However, at least five residents of the Spanish Trace Apartments claim to recognize the photographs of both Suqami and Salem al-Hazmi as living in the San Antonio complex earlier in 2001. Interestingly however, these residents and several others who claim to have known the hijackers, claim that the FBI photographs of Suqami and Hazmi are reversed.[2] Other reports conflictingly suggested that Suqami was staying with Waleed al-Shehri in Hollywood, Florida and rented a black Toyota Corolla from Alamo Rent-A-Car agency.

On May 19, Suqami and Waleed al-Shehri took a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport, Bahamas where they had reservations at the Princess Resort. Lacking proper documentation however, they were stopped upon landing, and returned to Florida the same day and rented a red Kia Rio from Avis Rent-A-Car agency.[3]

He was one of nine hijackers to open a SunTrust bank account with a cash deposit around June 2001, and on July 3 he was issued a Florida State Identification Card. Around this time, he also used his Saudi license to gain a Florida drivers' license bearing the same home address as Wail al-Shehri. (A Homing Inn in Boynton Beach). Despite this, the 9/11 Commission claims that Suqami was the only hijacker to not have any US identification.[citation needed]

During the summer, Suqami and both Wail and Waleed al-Shehri purchased one month passes to a Boynton Beach gym owned by Jim Woolard. (Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi also reportedly trained at a gym owned by Woolard, in Delray Beach.)

Known as Azmi during the preparations,[4] Suqami was called one of the "muscle" hijackers, who were not expected to act as pilots. CIA director George Tenet later said that they "probably were told little more than that they were headed for a suicide mission inside the United States."[5]

[edit]AttacksOn September 10, 2001, Suqami shared a room at the Milner Hotel in Boston with three of the Flight 175 hijackers, Marwan al-Shehhi, Fayez Banihammad, and Mohand al-Shehri.

On the day of the attacks, Suqami checked in at the flight desk using his Saudi passport, and boarded American Airlines Flight 11. At Logan International Airport, he was selected by CAPPS,[6] which required his checked bags to undergo extra screening for explosives and involved no extra screening at the passenger security checkpoint.[7]

An FAA memo, circulated in February 2002, claimed that Suqami shot passenger Daniel M. Lewin (Seat 9B), co-founder of Akamai Technologies and a former member of the IsraeliSayeret Matkal, for attempting to foil the hijacking.[citation needed] While based on the frantic phonecall received from a stewardess of the flight, the report has been a matter of some controversy, since both the FAA and FBI have strongly denied the presence of firearms smuggled aboard. It is now believed that Suqami stabbed Lewin as he attempted to intervene in the hijacking[citation needed]

Suqami's passport was found by a passerby, reportedly in the vicinity of Vesey Street,[8] before the towers collapsed.[9] (This was mistakenly reported by many news outlets to be Mohamed Atta's passport.)[citation needed][10] A columnist for the British newspaper The Guardian expressed incredulity about the authenticity of this report,[11] questioning whether a paper passport could survive the inferno unsinged when the plane's black boxes were never found. According to testimony before the 9/11 Commission by lead counsel Susan Ginsburg, his passport had been "manipulated in a fraudulent manner in ways that have been associated with al Qaeda."[9] Passports belonging to Ziad Jarrah and Saeed al-Ghamdi were found at the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 as well as an airphone.[12]

[edit]Millennium plotSuqami and fellow hijacker Ahmed al-Ghamdi were both tied to a foiled plot to blow up several tourist sites.[citation needed]

[edit]References^http://www.historycommons.org/events-images/a232_satam_al_suqami_2050081722-15966.jpg^Joe Conger (January 10, 2001). "2 hijackers identified as former S.A. residents". mysanantonio.com. Archived from the original on May 14, 2003. http://web.archive.org/web/20030514140351/http://news.mysanantonio.com/story.cfm?xla=kens5&xlb=161&xlc=342530. "At least five sources tell KENS 5, two of the men, Satam al-Suqami and Salem al-Hazmi, lived at the Spanish Trace Apartments on the North Side earlier this year"^"911 Commission Report, section 7.4 'Final Strategies and Tactics', page 241". http://www.faqs.org/docs/911/911Report-258.html.^Videotape of recorded will of Abdulaziz al-Omari and others^"Sept. 11 Hijacker Made Test Flights". CBS. October 9, 2002. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/09/eveningnews/main525012.shtml.^"9/11 Commission Report (Chapter 1)". July 2004. http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch1.htm.^"The Aviation Security System and the 9/11 Attacks - Staff Statement No. 3" (PDF). 9/11 Commission. http://www.9-11commission.gov/staff_statements/staff_statement_3.pdf.^"Ashcroft says more attacks may be planned". CNN. September 18, 2001. http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/17/inv.investigation.terrorism/. Retrieved May 23, 2010.^ ab9/11 Commission hearings, January 26, 2004, Opening staff statement, Susan Ginsburg^NYC Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik Says Hijacker's Passport was Found 3-4 Blocks from the WTC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in7bMWVkTi8&feature=related^Karpf, Anne (March 19, 2002). "Uncle Sam's lucky finds". London: The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/september11/story/0,11209,669961,00.html. Retrieved May 23, 2010.^"Remembering September 11th". The Boston Globe. September 11, 2009. http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/09/remembering_september_11th.html#photo14.[edit]External linksPersondataNameSuqami, Satam al-Alternative names¯"¯á¯¤ô· ¯¤ô¯"ô­¯¤ô·ôÉ (Arabic); Alsuqami, Satam (alternate transliteration)Short description9/11 hijackerDate of birthJune 28, 1976Place of birthRiyadh, Saudi ArabiaDate of deathSeptember 11, 2001Place of deathNew York City, United States

D.C. Sniper: Cover for FBI Agent's Murder?

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Thu, 14 Feb 2013 01:52

In light of the latest revelations of corruption and crime regarding the BFEE, Abramoff / GOP , NSA Spying and general usurpation of power, etc. it may be timely to re-visit the investigation of this possible conspiracy and coverup in an attempt, for those who are interested, to conclude that the current criminal octopus could have been involved.A couple of the most comprehensive research sites I found are:


this researcher sums it up fairly well:

D.C. Sniper: Cover for FBI Agent's Murder?Wed Nov 19 00:32:51 2003

Due to facts that are already researched and established about Bush government's complicity in Sept. 11th, every major media event since then is due a close examination. Tonight I did my research, being haunted and plagued by oddities, as the D.C. sniper trial was very suspicious for serveral reasons:

1. Timing: the sniper attack coincided with a two-week debate on the floor of the Senate, led by Sen. Robert Byrd of WV, waving his Constitution in righteous vehemence, sparing no heated words in pressing and examining the truth about the so-called 'justification' and 'war powers' of the President--handed over by Congress, after the President finally agreed to get Congressional approval before proceeding (as he said he did not need Congress approval!)--including the now known Big Lie of WMD in Iraq and that they were aiders and abetters of the infamous "Al-queh-da". (Actually Al-CIA-dah did it!). This major media distraction was meant to instill fear of terrorism, incite war mongering, and prevent newspaper and media coverage of the courageous Senator's lone stand in the Senate against the Usurper. (Byrd's speeches are worth re-reading, and republicans should note that this Senator stands up for Constitutional justice MORE than any other Republican in Congress, save perhaps Ron Paul of Tx).

2. Brainwashing: It has been printed now in the press that the younger Malvo is said to have been "brainwashed" by the elder suspect (tried entirely upon circumstantial evidence by a predjudice jury that could easily have been a frame job). Brainwashing was already in my mind, as it is truth that Manchurian Candidate and controlled killers have already been programmed and used extensively by the CIA! (See research on Mind Control for evidence). So here brainwashing is even admitted, but laid at the feet of the older suspect.

4. Conflicting Witness Reports

5. FEDERALIZATION OF POLICE: It was an excuse to a) have Military involvement with local police and b) the trial makes use of Virginias new "anti-terrorism" laws in a swift trial to get a legal "precedent" established for quick indictment and death penalty (i.e. rush to judgement on slim evidence).

6. ***THE FBI AGENT that was a victim****. This is the thing that haunted me most. Who was this woman and FBI agent? The oldest trick in the book (of assassins) is to hide TRUE INTENDED VICTIM by making it look like a RANDOM killing, by shooting additional innocent victims to cover the truth!! I believe my hunch was right! READ THIS STORY BELOW.....SEE WHO THIS WOMAN WAS....SHE WAS AN FBI AGENT THAT WAS ON "THE KNOW" AND AN INSIDER WHO MAY HAVE FOUND OUT TOO MUCH ABOUT SEPT. 11TH!

And guess where she worked? In FBI counter-terrorism operations!WHAT A COINCIDENCE! READ ON......and pass this one around......



that particular poster also provides many links to http://www.apfn.net/Messageboard/11-20-03/discussion.cg...

I find this the most interesting:


Kenneth Bridges and Linda Franklin did not appear to be typical Americancitizens. Bridges was a political activist, an apparent admirer of LouisFarrakhan. Franklin was a cancer patient, possibly preparing to meet her makerby atoning for any sins she may have committed or known about while working forthe FBI's domestic terrorism division. Bridges and Franklin both had strongpotentials for being declared enemies of the state. »


Here is something that caught my eye the other day just to add to speculation and have no idea whether this can be proven but passed it along to D. Hopsicker , maybe he can come up with something:

Abramoff likes sniper schools?

Funneling money to a Jewish sniper school?

Caught this the other day and e-mailed it to Hopsicker to see if he might come up with something.

Might be worth further investigation.

Wondering if this could be the same "Little Tony Farrari" (One of Abramoff's hired mob gun's?)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20 ...

Until Malvo left, mother and son seemed to be settling into their new life together in Fort Myers. In August, James signed a year lease on a two-bedroom apartment for $450 a month. Tony Ferrari, the landlord, remembers James as a demanding tenant who, even before she moved in, showed up one day and watched as workers cleaned the carpet and then pointed out where they had missed a spot. Once they settled in, Malvo took an active role and complained about any problems with the unit, Ferrari said.


On Oct. 31, James and Neal were divorced in Lee County Circuit Court. According to the divorce filings, she requested that her name be legally restored to Una Sceon James. Around the same time, James moved out of the apartment without giving notice. She broke the year-long lease and left behind her $300 deposit, said the landlord, Ferrari. In the three or so months that James and Malvo lived in the building, on Broadway Avenue just south of downtown, Ferrari did not recall ever seeing anyone there who matched the description of Muhammad.


I've often wondered if the Beltway Sniper incident was a product of a clandestine operation, mind control (Sembler)

There is quite a bit of information out there to be googled and please feel free to post it here i.e. Mind control / MK-Ultra, etc.

The questions to be asked are:

Who would benefit from the dc sniper terrorisim?Who were their handlers? (rogue FBI, CIA, Military)Can we associate any names with Abramoff or any of his contacts?Can we find a connection between Abramoff or others and CIA, FBI rogue elements?Can we find any association between Abramoff and Antigua (haven for gambling interest?)What did Linda Franklin know?Where did John Muhammed get his money?

Many unanswered questions. Some may never be answered...but we can try! All it takes is one or two connectons to further the research.

Chris Dorner's Wallet Found - Twice!

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Wed, 13 Feb 2013 22:38

Story ViewsNow:Last Hour:Last 24 Hours:Total:Chris Dorner's Wallet Found '' Twice!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:23

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.(Before It's News)

Chris Dorner's wallet has been found now....twice. First we learn from USA Today that Chris Dorner's wallet has miraculously been found within the charred remains of the cabin that he had been hiding out in and presumably died in. However, Chris Dorner's wallet was also found last Thursday, according to this story in the LA Times. This guy Dorner has the worst luck with losing his wallets! I'm sure the LAPD is thankful. First, from USAToday:Investigators were picking through the rubble of a burned-out cabin in California's San Bernardino Mountains on Wednesday, trying to piece together details of the violent last stand for a fugitive former Los Angeles police officer whose life apparently ended hours earlier in a barrage of bullets and blazing fire.The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office said charred human remains were found in the rubble where Christopher Dorner is said to have been cornered Tuesday. "We have reason to believe that it is him," sheriff's spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman said.A wallet with a California driver's license bearing the name Christopher Dorner also was found, the Associated Press reported, citing a law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation but declined to be named because of the ongoing probe.

So, they've found Chris Dorner's wallet in the burned out cabin where they pinned him down. Fortunately for them, the wallet survived the fire somehow. This event is quite similar to the passport found in the charred rubble of the World Trade Center after 9/11: "According to ABC News and the Associated Press, the passport of hijacker Satam Al Suqami was found a few blocks from the WTC."Strangely enough, Christopher Dorner's wallet was also found last Thursday as well, after Chris allegedly tried to steal a boat in San Diego. From the LA Times story.:Dorner allegedly attempted to steal a boat in San Diego and, after subduing the captain, said he was taking the vessel to Mexico, according to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint in federal court in Los Angeles. Dorner is accused of telling the captain that he could recover his boat in Mexico."The attempt failed when the bow line of the boat became caught in the boat's propeller, and the suspect fled," according to the affidavit by inspector U.S. Marshal Craig McClusky.After authorities interviewed the boat captain early Thursday, they found Dorner's wallet and identification cards "at the San Ysidro Point of Entry" near the U.S.-Mexico border. That same day, a guard at the Point Loma Naval Base told authorities he had spotted a man matching Dorner's description trying sneak onto the base, according to the court records. More below...

Who and what are we to believe? The CIA's Anderson Cooper tells us Chris is dead. We've heard that his wallet was found in the fire from USA Today. He MUST have been inside the cabin when it burned to the ground if his wallet was inside, right? It's quite amazing to me that Chris's wallet survived the fire. Almost as amazing as them finding his wallet, twice.Related Stories

Dorner believed dead after gunfight, cabin fire

If the man inside proves to be Christopher Dorner, the search for the most wanted man in America over the last week would have ended the way he had expected -- death, with the police pursuing him.

The Times reported that one maid eventually broke free and called police. About a half hour later, the suspect got into gunfights with authorities, one of whom was killed.

Family member Jay Hylton told KABC-TV the pair wasn't hurt. The Los Angeles Times reported the women surprised Dorner on Tuesday, and he tied them up and fled in a purple vehicle.

The events that ended with the cabin fire started when Dorner encountered a mother and daughter pair of housekeepers at a cabin in the mountains east of the city.

Dorner manhunt: Maids surprised suspect in cabin, escaped, called cops - latimes.com

The discovery of a man who police believe to be Christopher Dorner began when two maids ran into him Tuesday morning as they arrived to clean a vacant cabin in the Big Bear area near where the fugitive ex-cop's car was set ablaze last week.

One of the maids was eventually able to break free and called 911 at 12:20 p.m., officials said

The two maids entered a cabin in the 1200 block of Club View Drive, close to Snow Summit and Bear Mountain Resort, and surprised a man who they said resembled the fugitive, a law enforcement official said. The man tied up the maids, and then took off in a purple Nissan parked near the cabin, authorities said.

Hostages Tied Up By Christopher Dorner Hold Press Conference

REAL Arab Spring

From Sir THomas in Bahrain


Now we will have some news

Today is th 2nd annaversary of the Pearl Roundabout occupation.

Roads were / are blocked by vigilante groups all over the country. Apparently a young boy was killed here this morning

Youths throwing molotovs in the evenings

Police have a dirridgible hanging over the city

Eye in the sky.

Companies sending folks home early expecting issues

Protest marches....

But i think it will heat up on friday then insta cool by sat evening...we shall see...

I kept my kids out of school today...told the wife to stay home.

Bars are open and.the hookers are still busy nothing stops them....

Jazeera and CNN/BBC will have sme traction.

Lots o fun!!!


Tom in Bahrain!!!


Duits onderwijsminister treedt af na plagiaatschandaal

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Wed, 13 Feb 2013 19:22

De Duitse minister van Onderwijs en Wetenschappen Annette Schavan, een partijgenote van bondskanselier Angela Merkel, treedt af nadat ze de voorbije dagen onder druk kwam te staan wegens beschuldigingen over diplomafraude.

Tijdens een gezamenlijke persconferentie verklaarde Merkel het ontslag van Schavan te aanvaarden 'met een zwaar hart', maar ze prees de CDU-politica nog om haar verwezenlijkingen tijdens haar 17-jaar durende politieke carri¬re.

Vorige dinsdag besliste een panel van de Heinrich Heine universiteit van D¹sseldorf Shavan haar doctoraatstitel te ontnemen, nadat gebleken was dat ze in 1980 haar doctorstitel verwierf wegens 'systematisch en opzettelijk' plagiaat in haar proefschrift. Volgens de universiteit beging ze citaatinbreuken en vermeldde ze bronnen niet correct.

'Heb geen bedrog gepleegd'

Vorige week verklaarde de CDU-politica nog niet van plan te zijn af te treden. Zaterdag herhaalde Schavan wel de beslissing van de universiteit juridisch te zullen aanvechten. 'Ik heb niet gekopieerd noch bedrog gepleegd', zo zei ze. 'De beschuldigingen hebben me diep getroffen'.

Schavan is na de voormalige Defensieminister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg het tweede regeringslid van kanselier Angela Merkel dat wegens plagiaat een doctorale graad wordt ontnomen. Ironisch genoeg was Schavan destijds een van de felste critici voor zu Guttenberg.

Schavans opvolger wordt wellicht Johanna Wanka (61), voormalig CDU-minister voor Wetenschappen voor de Duitse deelstaten Brandenburg en Nedersaksen.

Het aftreden van Schavan is voor Merkel alweer een tegenslag in de aanloop naar de Bondsdagverkiezingen in september van dit jaar.


To recalculate and restore retirement annuity obligations of the United States Postal Service, eliminate the requirement that the United States Postal Service pre-fund the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, place restrictions on the closure of p

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Thu, 14 Feb 2013 18:14

GovTrack's Bill SummaryWe don't have a summary available yet.

Library of Congress SummaryThe summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

No summary available.

House Republican Conference SummaryThe summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus SummaryThe House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.

So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference's summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That's because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.

We'll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.

Culture Creationism

Steven Spielberg to send 'Lincoln' DVDs to schools

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Wed, 13 Feb 2013 16:14

(C) 'Lincoln' / DreamWorks Pictures

Steven Spielberg to send 'Lincoln' DVDs to schools

Feb. 12, 2013, 12:37 PM EST


Steven Spielberg is sending free copies of his historical drama "Lincoln" to schools across the country so students can learn about President Abraham Lincoln.

DVDs will be distributed to every public and private middle and high school in the country as part of an educational outreach campaign called "Stand Tall: Live Like Lincoln," which urges youngsters to follow in the 16th president's example. A statement from Spielberg reads, "As more and more people began to see the film, we received letters from teachers asking if it could be available in their classrooms. We realized that the educational value that 'Lincoln' could have was not only for the adult audiences -- who have studied his life in history books -- but for the young students in the classroom as well."

Bing:Academy Awards: 'Lincoln' vs. 'Argo'

In addition, executives at Participant Media will host special screenings of the Oscars favorite in eight U.S. towns named after Lincoln. They will take place on Tuesday -- the date of the president's birthday. Next month, 15 schools named in Lincoln's honor will also be treated to new equipment, including widescreen TVs, Blu-ray and DVD players, projectors and speakers.

Pope Prophecy

Penny for your thoughts: Ratzinger Resigns: Follow the Vatican Bank Money

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Thu, 14 Feb 2013 04:24

UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM. OF, THE FLASHBACK TYPE...Ratzinger's sudden resignation; The first such resignation in hundreds of yearsWhy?

Pope Ratzinger emulating the GrinchAn opinion piece from Kevin Annett

The Rat Scurries from the Vat: The Latest Coup in Rome: by Kevin D. Annett

Theories are abounding this week now that the first pope in seven centuries is resigning his office. But as always, the most direct way to the truth behind the world's oldest corporation is simply by following the money: and specifically, Vatican Bank money.Let's put to rest, first of all, the fallacy that "looming scandals" about child rape and coverup are behind Joseph Ratzinger's resignation. That's just the cover story.

Nobody in the church hierarchy is losing much sleep over their standing, canon-law endorsed policy of concealing and protecting child rapists in their ranks. Even the International Criminal Court application about such crimes has been stymied by catholic-run legislators and jurists.

What pronounced the death knell on Pope Benedict was his personal implication in the bribery and money-laundering practices of the Vatican Bank, comically known as The Institute of Religious Works (IOR); and how that dirty connection gave the anti-Ratzinger faction in the College of Cardinals the lever they needed to dump the obstinate German from the papal throne.

We had a whiff of that dump-Rat Boy agenda last year, when "Vatileaks" broke into the news with a ludicrous story of how Ratzinger's loyal butler Paolo Gabriele disclosed the pope's dirty secrets to the Italian media. In fact, the damning documents detailing Ratzinger's secret rewarding of Vatican contracts to his friends and family members originated in the Vatican Secretary of State's office, which the fall-guy butler could not have had access to.

The Secretary of State and the real power behind the papacy is Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, an old insider who also engineered the sacking of Gotti Tedeschi, head of the Vatican Bank, last May. Tedeschi had taken seriously the call of the European Parliament for "greater transparency" by the Vatican Bank /IOR, and was about to disclose to Brussels how his bosses had been laundering money for the mob for decades. The last Pope who had tried such a disclosure, John Paul 1, died from poisoning in September, 1978 after less than a month in office.

But even with Tedeschi silenced, the IOR house of cards kept tumbling, as the European Parliament seized from it 300 million Euros fraudulently acquired, and even the American Securities and Exchange Commission declared the IOR's assets and practices "insecure". A major Vatican housecleaning was required; or at least, the appearance of one.

It was the pivotal Cardinal Bertone who leaked the pope's diary and other incriminating papers to a catholic-friendly journalist in Rome last year the same month that Tedeschi was sacked, to prepare the world for Ratzinger's removal. For it is Bertone who is now reaping the benefits of the papal housecleaning; he is not only a primary contender for the pope's position but a key player in the IOR.

"Nobody becomes pope without a sordid past, because only with such liabilities can he be controlled by the Curia. It's the same in any big company. Well, Ratzinger made many indiscretions as a Cardinal and made many enemies. His signing letters ordering criminal concealment was just one sin. He was to be the scapegoat for all of the trash that the church knew would surface"

FLASHBACK: Vatican Bank being Investigated- AgainJP Morgan was involved back when this news was breaking...Refresh your memory

Shocking Alien Fears Force Pope From Office

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Wed, 13 Feb 2013 16:50

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February 13, 2013

Shocking Alien Fears Force Pope From Office

By:Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

A stunning Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) report prepared for President Putin, which is circulating in the Kremlin today, states that Pope Benedict XVI was forced to resign this past week over Catholic Church fears that this 85-year-old leader of over 1 billion Christians was ''mentally and physically unprepared'' to deal with the coming revelation about the truth of alien beings.

In our 22 January report, Russia Orders Obama: Tell World About Aliens, Or We Will, we detailed how the issue of extraterrestrial beings was brought to the forefront of the World Economic Forum (WEF) with the naming in their 2013 Executive Summary of the danger posed to our world over the discovery of alien life with their stating: ''Proof of life elsewhere in the universe could have profound psychological implications for human belief systems.''

Also noted in our previous report were Prime Minister Medvedev's 7 December 2012 off-air comments to reporters which were recorded and wherein he stated: ''Along with the briefcase with nuclear codes, the president of the country is given a special 'top secret' folder. This folder in its entirety contains information about aliens who visited our planet'... Along with this, you are given a report of the absolutely secret special service that exercises control over aliens on the territory of our country'... More detailed information on this topic you can get from a well-known movie called Men In Black'... I will not tell you how many of them are among us because it may cause panic.''

Spurring Pope Benedict XVI to become the first leader of the Catholic Church to resign in nearly 600 years, this MFA report says, was the appearance over Los Cristianos, Spain on 21 August 2011 of the long prophesized ''bird of prey'' interplanetary spacecraft, and which was followed nearly 3 weeks ago with a fleet of them appearing in the skies over Mexico City.

To fully understand the significance of these ''bird of prey'' UFO's, this report continues, files relating to the 27 September 1989 Voronezh Incident must be studied in length, especially as it relates to the ''messages'' delivered to eyewitnesses from the ''giants''.

In an 11 October 1989 New York Times article about the Voronezh Incident titled U.F.O. Landing Is Fact, Not Fantasy, the Russians Insist it says:

''It is not a joke, nor a hoax, nor a sign of mental instability, nor an attempt to drum up local tourism by drawing the curious, the Soviet press agency Tass insisted today in discussions of what it called an extraterrestrial visit to southern Russia.

Residents of the city of Voronezh insisted today that lanky, three-eyed extraterrestrial creatures had indeed landed in a local park and gone for a stroll and that a seemingly fantastic report about the event carried Monday by the official press agency Tass was absolutely true.

The three-eyed creature, about nine feet tall and fashionably dressed in silvery overalls and bronze boots and with a disk on its chest, disappeared, then landed and came out for a promenade with a companion and a robot.

The aliens seemed to communicate with each other, producing the mysterious appearance of a shining triangle, and activated the robot with a touch.''

Regarding these ''messages'' from the Voronezh ''giants'', this MFA report says, was the warning to human beings that when these ''bird of prey'' UFO's descend upon Earth the whole planet will be in peril.

The Voronezh ''giants'' further related, this report says, that the alien beings associated with these ''bird of prey'' UFO's were the cause of the 14 April 1561 massive ''sky battle'' over Nuremberg, Germany which was depicted in a famous 16th century woodcut by Hans Glaser [photo 3rd left] and described by the residents as: ''A very frightful spectacle.'' ''The sky appeared to fill with cylindrical objects from which red, black, orange and blue white disks and globes emerged. Crosses and tubes resembling cannon barrels also appeared whereupon the objects promptly began to fight one another.''

Important to note is that the Catholic Christian faith headed by Pope Benedict XVI, as well as nearly every other religion on Earth, all prophesize in their teachings a time when the ''gods'' will return to our planet and engage in a battle that could very well bring our entire planet to the brink of destruction.

Equally important to note about Pope Benedict XVI's shock resignation is how it eerily compares with Saint Malachy, who as an Irish saint and Archbishop of Armagh, in the 12th Century, received a vision of 112 Popes later attributed to the apocalyptic list of Prophecy of the Popes. He was the first Irish saint to be canonized by Pope Clement III in 1199.

American authors Tom Horn and Cris Putnam in their 2012 book ''Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here'' about Saint Malachy's prophecies told interviewers last Spring that Pope Benedict XVI would resign by late 2012, or early 2013, and described the next Pope to follow as ''Petrus Romanus,'' or ''Peter the Roman,'' writing: ''In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock among many tribulations; after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people.''

Though the masses of people reading of the things this report contains will, undoubtedly, ridicule them, the same cannot be said of the elite moneyed classes who, even at this writing, are protecting themselves from ''something'' at such a fever-pitched pace it is destabilizing the entire global economy, and as exampled by the highly respected Zero Hedge news service in their article titled ''What Do They Know That We Don't?'' and which, in part, says:

''Friday evening when no one was supposed to pay attention, Google announced that Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt would sell 3.2 million of his Google shares in 2013, 42% of the 7.6 million shares he owned at the end of last year'--after having already sold 1.8 million shares in 2012. But why would he sell 5 million shares, about 53% of his holdings, with Google stock trading near its all-time high?

''Part of his long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity,'' Google mollified us, according to the Wall Street Journal. Soothing words.Nothing but ''a routine diversification of assets.''

Routine? He didn't sell any in 2008 as the market was crashing. He didn't sell at the bottom in early 2009. And he didn't sell during the rest of 2009 as Google shares were soaring, nor in 2010, as they continued to soar. In 2011, he eased out of about 300,000 shares, a mere rounding error in his holdings. But in 2012, he opened the valves, and in 2013, he'd open the floodgates. So it's not ''routine.''

Mr. Schmidt isn't alone. Corporate insiders were ''aggressively selling their shares,'' reported Mark Hulbert. And they were doing so ''at an alarming pace.'' The buy sell-to-buy ratio had risen to 9.2-to-1; insiders had sold over 9 times as many shares as they'd bought. They'd been aggressive sellers for weeks.

Instantly, soothing voices were heard: ''don't be alarmed,'' they said. But Mr. Schmidt and his colleagues at the top of corporate America, multi-billionaires many of them, are immensely well connected, not only to each other but also to the Fed, whose twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks they own and control.''

To why Google Chairman Schmidt did not attend this years World Economic Forum, where the danger of aliens was being discussed, opting instead for a visit to North Korea (who announced yesterday that they had exploded another nuclear weapon) and when coupled with the information contained in this MFA report, is far from being ''soothing'', and is, instead, something well all should be very alarmed about as the end is much nearer than the beginning as those with ''eyes to see'' and ''ears to hear'' already know.

February 13, 2012 (C) EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.

[Ed. Note: Western governments and their intelligence services actively campaign against the information found in these reports so as not to alarm their citizens about the many catastrophic Earth changes and events to come, a stance that the Sisters of Sorcha Faal strongly disagrees with in believing that it is every human beings right to know the truth. Due to our missions conflicts with that of those governments, the responses of their 'agents' against us has been a longstanding misinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discredit and which is addressed in the report ''Who Is Sorcha Faal?''.]

You May Already Be To Late'...But It Has Begun!

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Prophecy of the Popes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Tue, 12 Feb 2013 06:29

The Prophecy of the Popes, attributed to Saint Malachy, is a list of 112 short phrases in Latin. They purport to describe each of the Roman Catholicpopes (along with a few anti-popes), beginning with Pope Celestine II (elected in 1143) and concluding with current pope Benedict XVI's successor, a pope described in the prophecy as "Peter the Roman", whose pontificate will end in the destruction of the city of Rome.

The prophecy was first published in 1595 by Arnold de Wyon, a Benedictine historian, as part of his book Lignum Vit.... Wyon attributed the list to Saint Malachy, the 12th'Îcentury bishop of Armagh in Ireland. According to the traditional account, in 1139, Malachy was summoned to Rome by Pope Innocent II. While in Rome, Malachy purportedly experienced a vision of future popes, which he recorded as a sequence of cryptic phrases. This manuscript was then deposited in the Roman Archive, and thereafter forgotten about until its rediscovery in 1590.

On the other hand, Bernard of Clairvaux's biography of Malachy makes no mention of the prophecy, nor is it mentioned in any record prior to its 1595 publication.[1] Some sources, including the most recent editions of the Catholic Encyclopedia, suggest that the prophecy is a late 16th'Îcentury forgery. Some have suggested that it was created by Nostradamus and was credited to Saint Malachy so the purported seer would not be blamed for the destruction of the papacy. Supporters, such as author John Hogue, who wrote a popular book titled The Last Pope about the claims, generally argue that, even if the author of the prophecies is uncertain, the predictions are still valid.

The Church regards the prophesy as a forgery.[2] The ambiguous symbolism of the Popes and fanatical interpretation thereof are regarded as divination and postdiction, respectively.[3] Since there is no moral certitude of the prophesy's authenticity, according to Normae Congregationis,[4] and since the prophesy is like the prophesies of Nostradamus, which is a sign of forgery,[5] the Prophecy of the Popes is not regarded as authentic by the Church.[6]

Interpretation of the mottos has generally relied on finding correspondences between the mottos and the popes' birthplaces, their personal arms, and the events of their pontificates. For example, the first motto, Ex castro Tiberis (From a castle on the Tiber), fits Pope Celestine II's birthplace in Citt di Castello, on the Tiber.

Pope Clement XIII, referred to in the prophecy as Rosa Umbriae, the rose of Umbria, is stated to have used a rose "as his personal emblem" (his coat of arms does not include one, however, nor was he from Umbria nor had any but the most marginal connection with the region, having been briefly pontifical governor of Rieti, at the time part of Umbria). The technique of word play was evident in instances where interpreters find a phrase fitting more than one explanation.

It is notable that where the interpretation of the prophecy is clear (as is the case for almost all of the Popes prior to 1590), the reference is almost always to some characteristic possessed by the Pope prior to assuming the Papacy'--e.g., his birthplace, his arms, his surname, or his cardinal see. However, for more recent Popes, efforts to connect the prophecy with the pope have often focused on the events of his pontificate.

In recent times, some interpreters of prophetic literature have drawn attention to the prophecies, both because of their success in finding connections between the prophecies and recent popes, and because of the prophecies' imminent conclusion. Interpretations made before the elections of recent popes have not generally predicted their papacies accurately.

This list, adapted from The Prophecies of St. Malachy by Peter Bander, begins its numbering two numbers ahead of the Vatican's numbering of popes (Benedict XVI is the 265th, not the 267th). The reason for this is unclear (perhaps because of the two purported "anti-popes").

The list can be divided into two groups; one of the 74 Popes and Antipopes who reigned prior to the appearance of the Prophecy in 1590, for whom the connection between the motto and the Pope is usually clear but can be seen as postdiction. The other is of the 38 Popes who have reigned since 1590, for whom the connection between the motto and the Pope is often strained or totally opaque and could be viewed as shoehorning.

The text on the silver lines below reproduces the original text (including punctuation and orthography) of the 1595 Lignum Vitae, which consisted of three parallel columns for the Popes before 1590. The first column contained the motto, the second the name of the Pope or Antipope to whom it was attached (with occasional errors), and the third an attempted explanation or justification of the name. The original list was unnumbered.

Pre-appearance Popes (1143''1590)Pope No.Motto (Translation)Regnal Name (Reign)NameHistorical Reference or ExplanationCoat of ArmsEx catro Tiberis.C'letinus. ij.Typhernas.1671. From a castle of the TiberCelestine II (1143''1144)Guido de CastelloAn inhabitant of Tifernum.Born in Citt di Castello, Umbria, on the banks of the Tiber.[7]Inimicus expulus.Lucius. ij.De familia Caccianemica.1682. Enemy expelledLucius II (1144''1145)Gherardo Caccianemici del OrsoOf the Caccianemici family.This motto refers to Gherardo Caccianemici's surname. ''Cacciare'' means ''to hunt'',[8] and ''nemici'' is the Italian word for ''enemies''. As his name foreshadowed, Caccianemici would be driven from Rome by his own subjects.[9]Ex magnitudine mµtis.Eugenius. iij.Patria Ethrucus oppido Montis magni.1693. Out of the greatness of the mountainEugene III (1145''1153)Bernardo dei Pagnelli di MontemagnoTuscan by nation, from the town of Montemagno.The motto refers to Pope Eugene's last name, ''Montemagno.''[10]Abbas Suburranus.Anataius. iiij.De familia Suburra.1704. Suburran abbotAnastasius IV (1153''1154)Corrado di SuburraFrom the Suburra family.De rure albo.Adrianus. iiij.Vilis natus in oppido Sancti Albani.1715. From the white countrysideAdrian IV (1154''1159)Nicholas BreakspearHumbly born in the town of St. Albans.Educated at the St Albans School in Hertfordshire. Nicholas Breakspear was the bishop of Albano before becoming pope.[11]Ex tetro carcere.Victor. iiij.Fuit Cardinalis S. Nicolai in carcere Tulliano.6. Out of a loathsome prison.Victor IV, Antipope (1159''1164)Ottaviano MonticelloHe was a cardinal of St. Nicholas in the Tullian prison.Via Trantiberina.Callitus. iij. [sic]Guido Cremenis Cardinalis S. Mari... Trantiberim.7. Road across the Tiber.Paschal III, Antipope (1164''1168)Guido di CremaGuido of Crema, Cardinal of St. Mary across the Tiber.As a cardinal, he had held the title of Santa Maria in Trastevere.[12]De Pannonia Thuci....Pachalis. iij. [sic]Antipapa. Hungarus natione, Epicopus Card. Tuculanus.8. From Tusculan HungaryCallixtus III, Antipope (1168''1178)Giovanni di StrumiAntipope. A Hungarian by birth, Cardinal Bishop of Tusculum.He was John, Abbot of Struma, originally from Hungary.[13]Ex anere cutode.Alexander. iij.De familia Paparona.1729. Out of the guardian gooseAlexander III (1159''1181)Orlando Bandinelli PaparoniOf the Paparoni family.His family's coat of arms had a goose on it.[14]Lux in otio.Lucius. iij.Lucenis Card. Otienis.17310. A light in the entranceLucius III (1181''1185)Ubaldo AllucingoliA Luccan Cardinal of Ostia.In 1159, he became Cardinal Bishop of Ostia.[15] Lux may also be a wordplay on Lucius.Sus in cribro.Vrbanus. iij.Mediolanenis, familia cribella, qu... Suem pro armis gerit.17411. Pig in a sieveUrban III (1185''1187)Umberto CrivelliA Milanese, of the Cribella (Crivelli) family, which bears a pig for arms.His family name Crivelli means "a sieve" in Italian.Enis Laurentii.Gregorius. viij.Card. S. Laurentii in Lucina, cuius inignia enes falcati.17512. The sword of St. LawrenceGregory VIII (1187)Alberto De MorraCardinal of St. Lawrence in Lucina, of whom the arms were curved swords.He had been the Cardinal of St. Lawrence[16] and his armorial bearing was a drawn sword.[17]De Schola exiet.[18]Clemens. iij.Romanus, domo Scholari.17613 He will come from schoolClement III (1187''1191)Paolo ScolariA Roman, of the house of Scolari.His family name was Scolari.De rure boueni.C'letinus. iij.Familia Boueni.17714. From cattle countryCelestine III (1191''1198)Giacinto BoboneBovensis (Bobone) family.He was from the Bobone family; a wordplay on cattle (boves).Comes Signatus.Innocentius. iij.Familia Comitum Signi....17815. Designated countInnocent III (1198''1216)Lotario dei Conti di SegniFamily of the Counts of Signia (Segni)Descendant of the Segni family.Canonicus de latere.Honorius. iij.Familia Sabella, Canonicus S. Ioannis Lateranensis.17916. Canon from the sideHonorius III (1216''1227)Cencio SavelliSavelli family, canon of St. John LateranHe was a canon for the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, and had served as papal chamberlain in 1188.[19]Auis Otienis.Gregorius. ix.Familia Comitum Signi... Epicopus Card. Otienis.18017. Bird of OstiaGregory IX (1227''1241)Ugolino dei Conti di SegniFamily of the Counts of Segni, Cardinal Bishop of Ostia.Before his election to the papacy, Ugolino dei Conti was the Cardinal Bishop of Ostia, and the family coat of arms bear a bird on a gules background.[20]Leo Sabinus.C'letinus iiij.Mediolanenis, cuius inignia Leo, Epicopus Card. Sabinus.18118. Sabine LionCelestine IV (1241)Goffredo CastiglioniA Milanese, whose arms were a lion, Cardinal Bishop of Sabina.He was Cardinal Bishop of Sabina[21] and his armorial bearing had a lion in it. Also a play on words, referring to the pope's last name, Castiglioni.Comes Laurentius.Innocentius iiij.domo flisca, Comes Lauani..., Cardinalis S. Laurentii in Lucina.18219. Count LawrenceInnocent IV (1243''1254)Sinibaldo FieschiOf the house of Flisca (Fieschi), Count of Lavagna, Cardinal of St. Lawrence in Lucina.He was the Cardinal-Priest of San Lorenzo in Lucca,[22] and his father was the Count of Lavagna.[23]Signum Otiene.Alexander iiij.De comitibus Signi..., Epicopus Card. Otienis.18320. Sign of OstiaAlexander IV (1254''1261)Renaldo dei Signori di IenneOf the counts of Segni, Cardinal Bishop of Ostia.He was Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and member of the Conti-Segni family.[24]Hierualem Campani€.Vrbanus iiii.Gallus, Trecenis in Campania, Patriarcha Hierualem.18421. Jerusalem of ChampagneUrban IV (1261''1264)Jacques PantaleonA Frenchman, of Trecae (Troyes) in Champagne, Patriarch of Jerusalem.Native of Troyes, Champagne, later patriarch of Jerusalem.[25]Draco depreus.Clemens iiii.cuius inignia Aquila vnguibus Draconem tenens.18522. Dragon pressed downClement IV (1265''1268)Guido FulcodiWhose badge is an eagle holding a dragon in his talons.His coat of arms had an eagle crushing a dragon.Anguinus uir.Gregorius. x.Mediolanenis, Familia vicecomitum, qu... angu‡¼¸ pro inigni gerit.18623. Snaky manGregory X (1271''1276)Tebaldo ViscontiA Milanese, of the family of Viscounts (Visconti), which bears a snake for arms.The Visconti coat of arms had a large serpent devouring a male child feet first.[26]Concionator Gallus.Innocentius. v.Gallus, ordinis Pr...dicatorum.18724. French PreacherInnocent V (1276)Pierre de TarentaiseA Frenchman, of the Order of Preachers. He was born in south-eastern France and was a member of the order of Preachers.[27]Bonus Comes.Adrianus. v.Ottobonus familia Flica ex comitibus Lauani....18825. Good Count/companionAdrian V (1276)Ottobono FieschiOttobono, of the Fieschi family, from the counts of Lavagna.He was a count and a wordplay on "good" can be made with his name, Ottobono.Picator Thucus.Ioannes. xxi.antea Ioannes Petrus Epicopus Card. Tuculanus.18926. Tuscan FishermanJohn XXI (1276''1277)Pedro Juli£oFormerly John Peter, Cardinal Bishop of Tusculum.John XXI had been the Cardinal Bishop of Tusculum.[28]Roa compoita.Nicolaus. iii.Familia Vrina, qu... roam in inigni gerit, dictus compoitus.19027. Composite RoseNicholas III (1277''1280)Giovanni Gaetano OrsiniOf the Ursina (Orsini) family, which bears a rose on its arms, called 'composite'.He bore a rose in his coat of arms.[29]Ex teloneo liliacei Martini.Martinus. iiii.cuius inignia lilia, canonicus, & theaurarius S. Martini Turonen[sis].19128. From the tollhouse of lilied MartinMartin IV (1281''1285)Simone de BrionWhose arms were lilies, canon and treasurer of St. Martin of Tours.He was Canon and Treasurer at the Church of St. Martin in Tours, France.Ex roa leonina.Honorius. iiii.Familia Sabella inignia roa leonibus getata.19229. Out of the leonine roseHonorius IV (1285''1287)Giacomo SavelliOf the Sabella (Savelli) family, arms were a rose carried by lions.His coat of arms were emblazoned with two lions supporting a rose.[29]Picus inter ecas.Nicolaus. iiii.Picenus patria Eculanus.[30]19330. Woodpecker between foodNicholas IV (1288''1292)Girolamo MasciA Picene by nation, of Asculum (Ascoli).He was from Ascoli, now called Ascoli Piceno, in Picene country.Ex eremo celus.C'letinus. v.Vocatus Petrus de morrone Eremita.19431. Raised out of the desertSt. Celestine V (1294)Pietro Di MurroneCalled Peter de Morrone, a hermit.Prior to his election he was a hermit (eremita, literally a dweller in the eremus, or desert). Also a play on words (celsus/Coelestinus), referring to the pope's chosen name Celestine.Ex undar(C) bníÎdictione.Bonifacius. viii.Vocatus prius Benedictus, Caetanus, cuius inignia und....19532. From the blessing of the wavesBoniface VIII (1294''1303)Benedetto CaetaniPreviously called Benedict, of Gaeta, whose arms were waves.His coat of arms had a wave through it. Also a play on words, referring to the pope's Christian name, "Benedetto."[29]Concionator patereus. [sic]Benedictus. xi.qui uocabatur Frater Nicolaus, ordinis Pr...dicatorum.19633. Preacher From PataraBenedict XI (1303''1304)Nicholas BoccasiniWho was called Brother Nicholas, of the order of Preachers.This Pope belonged to the Order of Preachers. Patara was the hometown of Saint Nicholas, a namesake of this Pope (born Nicholas Boccasini).[31]De feis aquitanicis.Clemens V.natione aquitanus, cuius inignia fe... erant.19734. From the misfortunes/fesses of AquitaineClement V (1305''1314)Bertrand de GotAn Aquitanian by birth, whose arms were fesses.He was a native of St. Bertrand de Comminges in Aquitaine, and eventually became Archbishop of Bordeaux, also in Aquitaine. His coat of arms displays three horizontal bars, known in heraldry as fesses.De utore oeo.Ioannes XXII.Gallus, familia Oa, Sutoris filius.19835. From a bony cobblerJohn XXII (1316''1334)Jacques DueseA Frenchman, of the Ossa family, son of a cobbler.His family name was Du¬ze, D'Euze, D'Euzes, or Euse, the last of which might be back-translated into Latin as Ossa "bones". The popular legend that his father was a cobbler is probably untrue.Coruus chimaticus.Nicolaus V.qui uocabatur F. Petrus de corbario, contra Ioannem XXII. Antipapa Minorita.36. Schismatic crowNicholas V, Antipope (1328''1330)Pietro Rainalducci di CorvaroWho was called Brother Peter of Corbarium (Corvaro), the Minorite antipope opposing John XXII.The motto is a play on words, referring to Pietro di Corvaro's last name.Frigidus Abbas.Benedictus XII.Abbas Monaterii fontis frigidi.19937. Cold abbotBenedict XII (1334''1342)Jacques FournierAbbot of the monastery of the cold spring.He was an abbot in the monastery of Fontfroide ("cold spring").[32]De roa Attrebateni.Clemens VI.Epicopus Attrebatenis, cuius inignia Ro....20038. From the rose of ArrasClement VI (1342''1352)Pierre RogerBishop of Arras, whose arms were roses.He was Bishop of Arras, (Latin: Episcopus Atrebatensis),[33] and his armorial bearings were emblazoned with six roses.[34]De mµtibus P£machii.Innocentius VI.Cardinalis SS. Ioannis & Pauli. T. Panmachii, cuius inignia ex montes erant.20139. From the mountains of PammachiusInnocent VI (1352''1362)Etienne AubertCardinal of Saints John and Paul, Titulus of Pammachius, whose arms were six mountains.Pope Innocent was born at Mont in the diocese of Limoges, France, and he rose to prominence as the Bishop of Clermont.[35] He had been a cardinal priest with the title of St. Pammachius (i.e., the church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Rome)[36]Gallus Vicecomes.Vrbanus V.nuncius Apotolicus ad Vicecomites Mediolanenes.20240. French viscountUrban V (1362''1370)Guglielmo De GrimoardApostolic nuncio to the Viscounts of Milan.He was born of a noble French family.Nouus de uirgine forti.Gregorius XI.qui uocabatur Petrus Belfortis, Cardinalis S. Mari... nou....20341. New man from the strong virginGregory XI (1370''1378)Pierre Roger de BeaufortWho was called Peter Belfortis (Beaufort), Cardinal of New St. Mary's.From the Beaufort family and Cardinal of Santa Maria Nuova[37]Decruce Apotolica. [sic]Clemens VII.qui fuit Prebyter Cardinalis SS. XII. Apotolor(C) cuius inignia Crux.42. From the apostolic crossClement VII, Antipope (1378''1394)Robert, Count of GenevaWho was Cardinal Priest of the Twelve Holy Apostles, whose arms were a cross.His coat of arms showed a cross, quarterly pierced.[38]Luna Comedina.Benedictus XIII.antea Petrus de Luna, Diaconus Cardinalis S. Mari... in Comedin.43. Cosmedine moon.Benedict XIII, Antipope (1394''1423)Peter de LunaFormerly Peter de Luna, Cardinal Deacon of St. Mary in Cosmedin.He was the famous Peter de Luna, Cardinal of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.[39]Schima Barchinoni(C).Clemens VIII.Antipapa, qui fuit Canonicus Barchinonenis.44. Schism of the BarcelonasClement VIII, Antipope (1423''1429)Gil Sanchez Mu±ozAntipope, who was a canon of Barcelona.[40]De inferno pr...gn£ti.Vrbanus VI.Neapolitanus Pregnanus, natus in loco qu... dicitur Infernus.20445. From a pregnant hell.Urban VI (1378''1389)Bartolomeo PrignanoThe Neapolitan Prignano, born in a place which is called Inferno.His family name was Prignano or Prignani, and he was native to a place called Inferno near Naples.[41]Cubus de mixtione.Bonifacius. IX.familia tomacella Genua Liguri... orta, cuius inignia Cubi.20546. Cube from a mixtureBoniface IX (1389''1404)Pietro TomacelliOf the Tomacelli family, born in Genoa in Liguria, whose arms were cubes.His coat of arms includes a bend checky '-- a wide stripe with a checkerboard pattern.[34]De meliore ydere.Innocentius. VII.uocatus Comatus de melioratis Sulmonenis, cuius inignia ydus.20647. From a better starInnocent VII (1404''1406)Cosmo MiglioratiCalled Cosmato dei Migliorati of Sulmo, whose arms were a star.The prophecy is a play on words, "better" (melior) referring to the pope's last name, Migliorati (Meliorati). There is a shooting star on his coat of arms.[34]Nauta de Ponte nigro.Gregorius XII.Venetus, commendatarius ecclei... Nigropontis.20748. Sailor from a black bridgeGregory XII (1406''1415)Angelo CorrerA Venetian, commendatary of the church of Negroponte.Was Bishop of Venice and the Bishop of Chalcice, Chalcice being located on the Isle of NegropontFlagellum olis.Alexander. V.Gr...cus Archiepicopus Mediolanenis, inignia Sol.49. Whip of the sunAlexander V, Antipope (1409''1410)Petros PhilargesA Greek, Archbishop of Milan, whose arms were a sun.His coat of arms had a large sun on it. Also, a play on words, referring to the pope's last name, "Philarges."[42]Ceruus Siren....Ioannes XXIII.Diaconus Cardinalis S. Eutachii, qui cum ceruo depingitur, Bononi... legatus, Neapolitanus.50. Stag of the sirenJohn XXIII, Antipope (1410''1415)Baldassarre CossaCardinal Deacon of St. Eustace, who is depicted with a stag; legate of Bologna, a Neapolitan.Baldassarre Cossa was a cardinal with the title of St. Eustachius.[43] St. Eustachius converted to Christianity after he saw a stag with a cross between its horns. Baldassarre's family was originally from Naples, which has the emblem of the siren.Corona ueli aurei.Martinus V.familia colonna, Diaconus Cardinalis S. Georgii ad uelum aureum.20851. Crown of the golden curtainMartin V (1417''1431)Oddone ColonnaOf the Colonna family, Cardinal Deacon of St. George at the golden curtain.Oddone Colonna was the Cardinal Deacon of San Giorgio in Velabro.[44] The word "Velabrum" is here interpreted as derived from "velum aureum", or golden veil.[45] His coat of arms had a golden crown resting atop a column.[46]Lupa C'letina,Eugenius. IIII.Venetus, canonicus antea regularis C'letinus, & Epicopus Sen‡¼¸is.20952. Heavenly she-wolfEugene IV (1431''1447)Gabriele CondulmaroA Venetian, formerly a regular Celestine canon, and Bishop of Siena.He belonged to the order of the Celestines and was the Bishop of Siena which bears a she-wolf on its arms.Amator Crucis.Felix. V.qui uocabatur Amad...us Dux Sabaudi..., inignia Crux.53. Lover of the crossFelix V, Antipope (1439''1449)Amadeus Duke of SavoyWho was called Amadeus, Duke of Savoy, arms were a cross.He was previously the count of Savoy and therefore his coat of arms contained the cross of Savoy.[47] Also, the prophecy is a play on words, referring to the antipope's Christian name, "Amadeus."De modicitate Lun....Nicolaus V.Lunenis de Sarzana, humilibus parentibus natus.21054. From the meanness of LunaNicholas V (1447''1455)Tommaso ParentucelliA Lunese of Sarzana, born to humble parents.He was born in Sarzana in the diocese of Luni, the ancient name of which was Luna.Bos pacens.Callitus. III.Hipanus, cuius inignia Bos pacens.21155. Pasturing oxCallixtus III (1455''1458)Alfonso BorjaA Spaniard, whose arms were a pasturing ox.Alonso Borgia's coat of arms had a grazing ox.[46]De Capra & Albergo.Pius. II.Senenis, qui fuit Secretis Cardinalibus Capranico & Albergato.21256. From a nanny-goat and an innPius II (1458''1464)Enea Silvio de PiccolominiA Sienese, who was secretary to Cardinals Capranicus and Albergatus.He had been secretary to Cardinal Domenico Capranica and Cardinal Albergatti before he was elected Pope.[48]De Ceruo & Leone.Paulus. II.Venetus, qui fuit Commendatarius ecclei... Ceruienis, & Cardinalis tituli S. Marci.21357. From a stag and lionPaul II (1464''1471)Pietro BarboA Venetian, who was Commendatary of the church of Cervia, and Cardinal of the title of St. Mark.Possibly refers to his Bishopric of Cervia (punning on cervus, "a stag") and his Cardinal title of St. Mark (symbolized by a winged lion).[49]Picator minorita.Sixtus. IIII.Picatoris filius, Francicanus.21458. Minorite fishermanSixtus IV (1471''1484)Francesco Della RovereSon of a fisherman, Franciscan.He was born the son of a fisherman and a member of the Franciscans, also known as "Minorites".Pr...curor Sicili....Innocentius VIII.qui uocabatur Io£nes Baptita, & uixit in curia Alfoni regis Sicili....21559. Forerunner of SicilyInnocent VIII (1484''1492)Giovanni Battista CibÓWho was called John Baptist, and lived in the court of Alfonso, king of Sicily.Giovanni Battista CibÓ was named after John the Baptist, the precursor of Christ. In his early years, Giovanni served as the Bishop of Molfetta in Sicily.[50]Bos Albanus in portu.Alexander VI.Epicopus Cardinalis Albanus & Portuenis, cuius inignia Bos.21660. Bull of Alba in the harborAlexander VI (1492''1503)Rodrigo de BorgiaCardinal Bishop of Albano and Porto, whose arms were a bull.In 1456, he was made a Cardinal and he held the titles of Cardinal Bishop of Albano and Porto. [51] Also, Pope Alexander had a red bull on his coat of arms[52]De paruo homine.Pius. III.Senenis, familia piccolominea.21761. From a small manPius III (1503)Francesco Todeschini PiccolominiA Sienese, of the Piccolomini family.His family name was Piccolomini, from piccolo "small" and uomo "man".Fructus Iouis iuuabit.Iulius. II.Ligur, eius inignia Quercus, Iouis arbor.21862. The fruit of Jupiter will helpJulius II (1503''1513)Giuliano Della RovereA Genoese, his arms were an oak, Jupiter's tree.On his arms was an oak tree, which was sacred to Jupiter.[52] Pope Julius' family name, "Della Rovere," literally means "of the oak."[53]De craticula Politiana.Leo. X.filius Laurentii medicei, & cholaris Angeli Politiani.21963. From a Politian gridironLeo X (1513''1521)Giovanni de MediciSon of Lorenzo de' Medici, and student of Angelo Poliziano.His educator and mentor was the distinguished humanist and scholar, Angelo Poliziano. The ''Gridiron'' is the motto evidently refers to St. Lawrence, who was martyred on a gridiron. This is a rather elliptical allusion to Lorenzo the Magnificent, who was Giovanni's father.[54]Leo Florentius.Adrian. VI.Flor‡¼¸tii filius, eius inignia Leo.22064. Florentian lionAdrian VI (1522''1523)Adriaen Florenszoon BoeyensSon of Florentius, his arms were a lion.His coat of arms had two lions on it,[52] and his name is sometimes given as Adriaan Florens, or other variants, from his father's first name Florens (Florentius).Flos pilei ...gri.Clemens. VII.Florentinus de domo medicea, eius inignia pila, & lilia.22165. Flower of the sick man's pill[55]Clement VII (1523''1534)Giulio de MediciA Florentine of the Medicean house, his arms were pill-balls and lilies.The Medici coat of arms were emblazoned with six medical balls. One of these balls, the largest of the six, was emblazoned with the Florentine lily.[52]Hiacinthus medicor(C).Paulus. III.Farneius, qui lilia pro inignibus getat, & Card. fuit SS. Come, & Damiani.22266. Hyacinth of the physiciansPaul III (1534''1549)Alessandro FarneseFarnese, who bore lilies for arms, and was Cardinal of Saints Cosmas and Damian.Pope Paul's coat of arms were charged with six hyacinths.[52]De corona montana.Iulius. III.antea uocatus Ioannes Maria de monte.22367. From the mountainous crownJulius III (1550''1555)Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del MonteFormerly called Giovanni Maria of the Mountain (de Monte)His coat of arms showed mountains and palm branches laid out in a pattern much like a crown.[52]Frumentum flocidum. [sic]Marcellus. II.cuius inignia ceruus & frum‡¼¸tum, ideo floccidum, quod pauco tempore uixit in papatu.22468. Trifling grainMarcellus II (1555)Marcello CerviniWhose arms were a stag and grain; 'trifling', because he lived only a short time as pope.His coat of arms showed a stag and ears of wheat.[52]De fide Petri.Paulus. IIII.antea uocatus Ioannes Petrus Caraffa.22569. From Peter's faithPaul IV (1555''1559)Giovanni Pietro CaraffaFormerly called John Peter Caraffa.He is said to have used his second Christian name Pietro.Eculapii pharmacum.Pius. IIII.antea dictus Io. Angelus Medices.22670. Aesculapius' medicinePius IV (1559''1565)Giovanni Angelo de MediciFormerly called Giovanni Angelo Medici.His family name was Medici.Angelus nemorous.Pius. V.Michael uocatus, natus in oppido Bochi.22771. Angel of the groveSt. Pius V (1566''1572)Antonio Michele GhisleriCalled Michael, born in the town of Bosco.He was born in Bosco, (Lombardy); the placename means grove. His name was 'Antonio Michele Ghisleri', and Michele relates to the archangel.Medium corpus pilar(C).Gregorius. XIII.cuius inignia medius Draco, Cardinalis creatus Pio. IIII. qui pila in armis getabat.22872. Half body of the ballsGregory XIII (1572''1585)Ugo BoncompagniWhose arms were a half-dragon; a Cardinal created by Pius IV who bore balls in his arms.The "balls" in the motto refer to Pope Pius IV, who had made Gregory a cardinal. Pope Gregory had a dragon on his coat of arms with half a body.[52]Axis in medietate igni.Sixtus. V.qui axem in medio Leonis in armis getat.22973. Axle in the midst of a sign.Sixtus V (1585''1590)Felice PerettiWho bears in his arms an axle in the middle of a lion.This is a rather straightforward description of the pope's coat of arms.[52]De rore c'li.Vrbanus. VII.qui fuit Archiepicopus Roanenis in Calabria, ubi m£na colligitur.23074. From the dew of the skyUrban VII (1590)Giovanni Battista CastagnaWho was Archbishop of Rossano in Calabria, where manna is collected.He had been Archbishop of Rossano in Calabria where sap called "the dew of heaven" is gathered from trees.[56]For this group of Popes, the published text only provides names for the first three (i.e., those who were Popes between the appearance of the text in 1590, and its publication in 1595) and attempts no explanations.

Post-appearance Popes (1590''present)Pope No.Motto (Translation)Regnal Name (Reign)NameHistorical Reference or ExplanationCoat of ArmsEx antiquitate Vrbis.Gregorius. XIIII.23175 Of the antiquity of the cityGregory XIV (1590''1591)Niccolo SfondratiHis father was a senator of the ancient city of Milan. The word "senator" is derived from the Latin senex, meaning old man.Pia ciuitas in bello.Innocentius. IX.23276 Pious city in warInnocent IX (1591)Giovanni Antonio FacchinettiHe was Patriarch of Jerusalem before succeeding to the Papacy.Crux Romulea.Clemens. VIII.23377 Cross of RomulusClement VIII (1592''1605)Ippolito AldobrandiniHe had been a cardinal with the title of Saint Pancratius, who was a Roman martyr.[57][58]Vndous uir.23478 Wavy manLeo XI (1605)Alessandro Ottaviano De MediciHe had been the Bishop of Palestrina.[59] The ancient Romans attributed the origins of Palestrina to the seafaring hero Ulysses.[60] Also, he had only reigned for 27 days.Gens peruera.23579 Corrupted nationPaul V (1605''1621)Camillo BorghesePope Paul scandalised the Church when he appointed his nephew to the College of Cardinals. The word "nepotism" may have originated during this pope's reign.[61]In tribulatione pacis.23680 In the trouble of peaceGregory XV (1621''1623)Alessandro LudovisiHis reign corresponded with the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War.Lilium et roa.23781 Lily and roseUrban VIII (1623''1644)Maffeo BarberiniHe was a native of Florence, which has a red lily on its coat of arms.[62]Iucunditas crucis.23882 Delight of the crossInnocent X (1644''1655)Giovanni Battista PamphiliHe was raised to the pontificate around the time of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross after a long and difficult conclave.Montium cutos.23983 Guard of the mountainsAlexander VII (1655''1667)Fabio ChigiHis family arms include six hills with a star above them.[63]Sydus olorum.24084 Star of the swansClement IX (1667''1669)Giulio RospigliosiThe "star" in the legend refers Pope Alexander VII, who had made Clement his personal secretary.[63] The Italian word for swan, cigni, rhymes with Pope Alexander's surname, "Chigi."De flumine magno.24185 From a great riverClement X (1670''1676)Emilio AltieriPope Clement was a native of Rome.Bellua inatiabilis.24286 Insatiable beastInnocent XI (1676''1689)Benedetto OdescalchiPope Innocent had a lion on his coat of arms.[63]P'nitentia glorioa.24387 Glorious penitenceAlexander VIII (1689''1691)Pietro OttoboniHis first name was "Pietro", after the apostle Peter who had repented after having denied Christ thrice.Ratrum in porta.24488 Rake in the doorInnocent XII (1691''1700)Antonio Pignatelli del RastrelloHis full name was Antonio Pignatelli del Rastrello.[64] "Rastrello" in Italian means "rake."Flores circundati.24589 Surrounded flowersClement XI (1700''1721)Giovanni Francesco AlbaniHe had been a cardinal with the title of Santa Maria in Aquiro.[65]De bona religione.24690 From good religionInnocent XIII (1721''1724)Michelangelo dei ContiA play on words, referring to the pope's regnal name. He was from the famous Conti family that had produced several Popes.Miles in bello.24791 Soldier in WarBenedict XIII (1724''1730)Pietro Francesco OrsiniBefore he was pope there was a lot of wars in nearby countries, and it is possible he could have fought in one as a soldier.Columna excela.24892 Lofty columnClement XII (1730''1740)Lorenzo CorsiniWhen still a cardinal, he had held the titular church of St Peter in Chains.[66] The name "Peter" is derived from the Greek word "petros," meaning "rock." Clement was a frustrated architect who ordered, and sometimes interfered with, the building of many churches. He managed to salvage two columns of the Parthenon for his chapel at Mantua.Animal rurale.24993 Country animalBenedict XIV (1740''1758)Marcello LambertiniMight be a play on words because of his famous laws about missions in the two papal bulls''.Roa Vmbri....25094 Rose of UmbriaClement XIII (1758''1769)Carlo RezzonicoHe had been a cardinal with the titular church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli.[67] In mystical circles, the Virgin Mary is represented by a rose.Vrus uelox.25195 Swift bear (later misprinted as Cursus velox Swift Course or Visus velox Swift Glance)Clement XIV (1769''1774)Lorenzo Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio GanganelliThe Ganganelli family crest bore a running bear.Peregrin9 apotolic9.[68]25296 Apostolic pilgrimPius VI (1775''1799)Giovanni Angelico BraschiSpent the last two years of his life in exile, a prisoner of the French Revolution.Aquila rapax.25397 Rapacious eaglePius VII (1800''1823)Barnaba ChiaramontiThe Pope's pontificate was overshadowed by Napoleon, whose emblem was the eagle.Canis & coluber.25498 Dog and adderLeo XII (1823''1829)Annibale Sermattei della Genga"Dog" and "snake" are common insults, and Leo was widely hated[citation needed]. The legend could be an allusion to the pope's last name, Sermattei. "Serpente" is the Italian word for snake.Vir religious.25599 Religious manPius VIII (1829''1830)Francesco Saverio CastiglioniAnother play on words, referring to the pope's regnal name.De balneis Ethruri....256100 From the baths of TuscanyGregory XVI (1831''1846)Mauro, or Bartolomeo Alberto CappellariPope Gregory XVI belonged to the Camaldolese Order, which is said to have begun with two monastic houses. The first of these houses was Campus Maldoli, and the second was Fonte Buono, meaning "good fountain" in Italian.[69]Crux de cruce.257101 Cross from crossBl. Pius IX (1846''1878)Giovanni Maria Mastai FerrettiDuring his pontificate, the House of Savoy, whose coat of arms is a white cross on a red background, reunited Italy and stripped the pope of his territorial possessions. Pope Pius XII, commenting on the beatification process of Pius IX, used the words per crucem ad lucem (through the cross to light). Pius IX was finally beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000.Lumen in c'lo.258102 Light in the skyLeo XIII (1878''1903)Gioacchino PecciHis coat of arms had a shooting star.Ignis ardens.259103 Burning fireSt. Pius X (1903''1914)Giuseppe SartoPius advocated the codification of Canon law, daily communion and the use of Gregorian chant in the Catholic liturgy, and was an opponent of Modernism. He was the first pope to be declared a saint in over 400 years, the previous one being Pope Pius V.Religio depopulata.260104 Religion destroyedBenedict XV (1914''1922)Giacomo Della ChiesaReigned during, but had no influence to stop, World War I. This unprecedented period of violence was mainly fought between the Christian powers of Europe, destroying empires which had lasted centuries and began the worldwide spread of atheistic Communism.Fides intrepida.261105 Intrepid faithPius XI (1922''1939)Achille RattiEstablished Vatican City as a sovereign country with the papal office as head of state.Pator angelicus.262106 Angelic shepherdVen. Pius XII (1939''1958)Eugenio PacelliReigned during World War II, he is reported to have covertly helped Italian Jews escape extermination. Said to have received visions, some of which have yet to be revealed.Pator & nauta.263107 Shepherd and sailorBl. John XXIII (1958''1963)Angelo Giuseppe RoncalliPatriarch of Venice, a maritime city (and a fomer naval power), from 1953 to 1958.Flos florum.264108 Flower of flowersPaul VI (1963''1978)Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria MontiniHis coat of arms featured three fleurs-de-lis.De medietate lun....265109 From the midst of the moonJohn Paul I (1978)Albino LucianiHis month-long reign began with the moon half-full[citation needed].De labore solis.266110 From the labour of the sunBl. John Paul II (1978''2005)Karol Wojty­aBorn on the day of a solar eclipse[citation needed] and entombed (April 8, 2005) on the day of a solar eclipse[citation needed].Gloria oliv....267111 Glory of the olive.Benedict XVI (2005''2013)Joseph RatzingerChose the regnal name Benedict after St Benedict of Nursia, founder of the Benedictine Order. The order's crest contains an olive branch. In 'Îsecutione extrema S.R.E. edebit.In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit.[70] Petrus Romanus, qui pacet oues in multis tribulationibus: quibus tranactis ciuitas epticollis diruetur, & Iudex trem‡¼¸dus iudicabit populum uum.[71] Finis.268112 Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end.UnknownUnknownHowever, in the 1595 Lignum Vitae, the line In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit. forms a separate sentence and paragraph of its own, and it is unclear whether it is grammatically related to Gloria Olivae which precedes it, or to Petrus Romanus, which follows it.

There is a claim[72] that the original list written by St. Malachy does not contain a reference to Petrus Romanus and that the last lines were added to the printed text in Wyon's Lignum Vit.... This, however, probably cannot be proved, as the original manuscript (if any) probably no longer exists.

VIDEO: Lightning strikes as Pope resigns

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Source: BBC News - Europe

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 05:05

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Shut Up Slave!

HeERO - As HeERO expands, pan-European eCall moves to next step

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Thu, 14 Feb 2013 05:07

Today, six new European countries join the pan-European project HeERO to develop eCall, the in-vehicle service that could save several hundred lives in Europe yearly.


HeERO 2 kick-off meeting in Madrid

14 January 2013, Madrid - The ground-breaking vehicle safety system eCall took another step forward today with the launch in Spain of the second phase of HeERO (Harmonized eCall European Pilot). HeERO is an international project, supported by the European Union, that aims to help EU Member States in preparing pilot sites for the deployment of eCall in 2015.

eCall is a new road safety service based on the common European Emergency number 112. Using 112, the eCall system automatically calls emergency services if a vehicle is involved in an accident - even if the driver is unconscious or unable to respond. At the emergency call centre, the rescue services will be able to see the location of the accident. As they will also obtain information on the kind of vehicle involved (e.g. small two-seater or seven-seater family van), they will be able to send off the right rescue response immediately.

HeERO, which started in 2011 and will conclude in 2014, aims to prepare Pilot Sites in many EU Member States for the deployment of the eCall system in 2015.

Since January 2011, the nine European countries forming the HeERO consortium have carried out a three-year programme (HeERO 1) leading to the piloting and deployment of eCall. They are: Croatia, The Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands Romania and Sweden. Six new countries, namely Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey, joined the second phase of the project (HeERO 2) on 1 January 2013.

The project has generated such a high level of interest that another four Associated Partner countries will participate at their own cost with another five countries hoping to join in the first quarter of 2013.

"This exciting project will bring this ground-breaking technology to life. The next steps will see the engagement of 19 pilot sites working together to ready those countries for eCall", explains the project coordinator Andy Rooke (ERTICO - ITS Europe).

Note to editors:For further information and a video about the eCall system, please visit: www.heero-pilot.eu

For further information, please contact:Andy Rooke, HeERO Project Coordinatora.rooke@mail.ertico.com+32 (0)2 400 07 80


Background information

About HeERO:

HeERO addresses the pan-European in-vehicle emergency call service "eCall" which is based on 112, the common European Emergency number. Since January 2011, the nine European countries forming the HeERO consortium (Croatia, The Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Romania and Sweden) have carried out a three-year programme leading to the piloting and deployment of eCall.

The second phase of HeERO - HeERO 2 - started on 1st January 2013 and will last for 2 years. 6 new countries (namely Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey) have joined the 9 pilot countries of HeERO 1. Furthermore, the project will welcome new associate partners, both commercial and public, who feel that they will be able to benefit from the expertise of HeERO 1 and 2 (associate status does not provide access to EU funding).

The HeERO consortium is currently testing and validating, in real-condition pilots, the common European eCall standards defined and approved by the European Standardisation Organisations.

The project is partially funded by the European Union under the ICT PSP programme.

About eCall:

eCall is an electronic road safety system which automatically calls the emergency services in case of a serious accident, even if the driver and passengers are unconscious. As soon as the eCall sensors register a severe impact on the car during an accident, it automatically dials 112 emergency and calls to the nearest emergency centre. The call transmits the exact geographic location of the accident scene and other data. eCalls can also be made manually by car occupants, thus enabling them to provide the call centre with additional details of the accident.

Getting immediate information about an accident and pinpointing the exact location of the crash site cut emergency services' response time by 50% in rural and 40% in urban areas. Thanks to this gain in time, eCall is expected to save several hundred lives in the European Union each year, and to mitigate the severity of tens of thousands of injuries. Road accidents cost the EU around '­Â160 billion/ year, but if all cars were equipped with the eCall system, up to '­Â20 billion could be saved annually. eCall will work all over the European Union, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. The Russian Federation is developing a similar accident notification system called ERA GLONASS. It is based on the eCall standards. Both sides, the EU and Russia, are working together in order to make eCall and ERA GLONASS interoperable so that eCall will also work in Russia and ERA GLONASS in the EU.





Fact Sheet President Obama's Plan for Early Education for all Americans

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Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 18:09

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

February 13, 2013

''In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children'...studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own. We know this works. So let's do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind.'' President Barack Obama State of the Union, February 12, 2013

The beginning years of a child's life are critical for building the early foundation needed for success later in school and in life. Leading economists agree that high-quality early learning programs can help level the playing field for children from lower-income families on vocabulary, social and emotional development, while helping students to stay on track and stay engaged in the early elementary grades. Children who attend these programs are more likely to do well in school, find good jobs, and succeed in their careers than those who don't. And research has shown that taxpayers receive a high average return on investments in high-quality early childhood education, with savings in areas like improved educational outcomes, increased labor productivity, and a reduction in crime.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to expand access to high-quality preschool to every child in America. As part of that effort, the President will propose a series of new investments that will establish a continuum of high-quality early learning for a child '' beginning at birth and continuing to age 5. By doing so, the President would invest critical resources where we know the return on our dollar is the highest: in our youngest children.

' Providing High-Quality Preschool for Every Child: The President is proposing a new federal-state partnership to provide all low- and moderate-income four-year old children with high-quality preschool, while also expanding these programs to reach additional children from middle class families and incentivizing full-day kindergarten policies. This investment '' financed through a cost-sharing model with states '' will help close America's school readiness gap and ensure that children have the chance to enter kindergarten ready for success.

' Growing the Supply of Effective Early Learning Opportunities for Young Children: To expand high-quality early learning opportunities in the years before preschool, the President will call for a significant investment in a new Early Head Start-Child Care partnership. Competitive grants will support communities that expand the availability of Early Head Start and child care providers that can meet the highest standards of quality for infants and toddlers, serving children from birth through age 3.

' Extending and Expanding Evidence-Based, Voluntary Home Visiting: Voluntary home visiting programs enable nurses, social workers, and other professionals to connect families to services and educational support that will improve a child's health, development, and ability to learn. President Obama has already committed $1.5 billion to expand home visitation to hundreds of thousands of America's most vulnerable children and families across all 50 states. The President will pursue substantial investments to expand these important programs to reach additional families in need.

The President's Commitment to Early Education

A zip code should never predetermine the quality of any child's educational opportunities. Yet studies show that children from low-income families are less likely to have access to high-quality early education, and less likely to enter school prepared for success. By third grade, children from low-income families who are not reading at grade level are six times less likely to graduate from high school than students who are proficient. Often, the high costs of private preschool and lack of public programs also narrow options for middle-class families.

High-quality early childhood education provides the foundation for all children's success in school and helps to reduce achievement gaps. Despite the individual and economic benefits of early education, our nation has lagged in its commitment to ensuring the provision of high quality public preschool in our children's earliest years. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that the United States ranks 28th out of 38 countries for the share of four-year olds enrolled in early childhood education. And fewer than 3 in 10 four-year olds are enrolled in high-quality programs.

Preschool for All

' The President's proposal will improve quality and expand access to preschool, through a cost sharing partnership with all 50 states, to extend federal funds to expand high-quality public preschool to reach all low- and moderate-income four-year olds from families at or below 200% of poverty. The U.S. Department of Education will allocate dollars to states based their share of four-year olds from low- and moderate-income families and funds would be distributed to local school districts and other partner providers to implement the program. The proposal would include an incentive for states to broaden participation in their public preschool program for additional middle-class families, which states may choose to reach and serve in a variety of ways, such as a sliding-scale arrangement.

' Funds will support states as they ensure that children are enrolled in high-quality programs. In order to access federal funding, states would be required to meet quality benchmarks that are linked to better outcomes for children, which include:

o State-level standards for early learning;o Qualified teachers for all preschool classrooms; ando A plan to implement comprehensive data and assessment systems.

Preschool programs across the states would meet common and consistent standards for quality across all programs, including:o Well-trained teachers, who are paid comparably to K-12 staff;o Small class sizes and low adult to child ratios;o A rigorous curriculum;o Comprehensive health and related services; ando Effective evaluation and review of programs.

' The proposal also encourages states to expand the availability of full-day kindergarten. Only 6 out of 10 of America's kindergarten students have access to a full day of learning. In order to ensure that our kindergartners spend the time they need in school to reach rigorous benchmarks and standards, funds under this program may also be used to expand full-day kindergarten once states have provided preschool education to low- and moderate-income four year-olds.

' Under the President's proposal, investment in the federal Head Start program will continue to grow. The President's plan will maintain and build on current Head Start investments, to support a greater share of infants, toddlers, and three-year olds in America's Head Start centers, while state preschool settings will serve a greater share of four-year olds.

Quality Early Learning for Our Youngest Children

' The President will also launch a new Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program, to support states and communities that expand the availability of Early Head Start and child care providers that can meet the highest standards of quality for infants and toddlers, serving children from birth through age 3. Funds will be awarded through Early Head Start on a competitive basis to enhance and support early learning settings; provide new, full-day, comprehensive services that meet the needs of working families; and prepare children for the transition into preschool. This strategy '' combined with an expansion of publicly funded preschool education for four-year olds '' will ensure a cohesive and well-aligned system of early learning for children from birth to age five.

' The President is proposing to expand the Administration's evidence-based home visiting initiative, through which states are implementing voluntary programs that provide nurses, social workers, and other professionals to meet with at-risk families in their homes and connect them to assistance that impacts a child's health, development, and ability to learn. These programs have been critical in improving maternal and child health outcomes in the early years, leaving long-lasting, positive impacts on parenting skills; children's cognitive, language, and social-emotional development; and school readiness. This will help ensure that our most vulnerable Americans are on track from birth, and that later educational investments rest upon a strong foundation.

Building on Success

President Obama has committed to a comprehensive early learning agenda for America's children that begins at birth and provides the support and services needed to set them on a path of success in school and in life:

' Race to the Top '' Early Learning Challenge: The Early Learning Challenge has rewarded 14 states that have agreed to raise the bar on the quality of their early childhood education programs, establish higher standards across programs and provide critical links with health, nutrition, mental health, and family support for our neediest children.

' Head Start and Early Head Start: President Obama has made historic investments in the Head Start and Early Head Start programs to reach an additional 61,000 children. Under the President's leadership, enrollment in Early Head Start in particular has nearly doubled. The Obama Administration has also implemented needed reform in the Head Start program by identifying lower-performing grantees and ensuring that those failing to meet new, rigorous benchmarks face new competition for continued federal funding.

' Supporting our Federal Child Care System: The President has proposed new investments to expand access and quality in the Child Care and Development Block Grant.

Getting A Car Loan Might Someday Depend On How Well-Updated Your LinkedIn Page Is

Link to Article

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 18:35

Are your LinkedIn connections a good representation of your creditworthiness?

Whether they admit to it or now, we all know that some employers and schools stalk applicants' Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and all the other ways in which someone can make a fool of himself online. But should your social media connections be involved in applying for a loan?The Economist recently looked at the new ways in which lenders are looking beyond bank and tax records to consider an applicant's ability to pay back a loan.

There's a start-up called Neo that uses applicants' online interactions to help lenders decide whether to make the loan. For example, it can use LinkedIn as a way to verify the accuracy of an applicant's employment record. It also looks at that person's professional connections to judge his or her ''character and capacity'' to repay the loan. The company says these searches are done with the applicant's permission.

But there's not much to stop anyone at the bank from simply checking your profile out, so either keep it up to date or make it as private as possible.

Then there's ZestFinance, which has created a loan underwriting algorithm it claims has a default rate 40% lower than that of your average payday lender. The company accumulates all manner of data about potential borrowers, from what they write on Facebook to how they type their words out (do they capitalize or go the all-lower-case route?).

''We feel like all data is credit data, we just don't know how to use it yet,'' the company's CEO, who used to run Google's internal information systems, told the NY Times last year. ''This is the math we all learned at Google. A page was important for what was on it, but also for how good the grammar was, what the type font was, when it was created or edited. Everything. What Gil is doing at Factual is the same. Data matters. More data is always better.''

Overseas, a company called Kreditech asks applicants to allow for temporary access to their Facebook account. The company's founder says it can judge creditworthiness by a borrower's Facebook pals. If the friends have good jobs and live in nice areas, it's a plus. Friends who have defaulted on loans are not good.

Movenbank uses info gleaned from Facebook to tweak users' credit card rates. Say nice things about the bank to your friends, and see your rate drop.

The Economist points out that big banks are likely to stay out of this Facebook-scanning stuff for now, letting the smaller banks deal with the legal hurdles that will inevitably be put in their way.

Citibank's head of social media Frank Eliason (you might remember him as Comcast Frank), says that using social media interactions to judge whether a borrower is creditworthy is ''a dangerous game.''

And we couldn't agree more. While there might be validity to some of these companies' theories and methods, there's a slippery slope involved here.

Merrill and his ilk are operating under the misguided notion that just because you can measure and track someone's behavior, that means you should measure and track that behavior. Should lenders start asking about TV preferences and judging applicants based on whether they watch Animal Planet vs. HGTV? What about the repayment behavior of science-fiction fans vs. chick lit readers '-- and what of those people who enjoy both?

And while there may be hundreds of millions of Facebook accounts, there are still hundreds of millions of people without one '-- and plenty of account-holders who have stopped using the site. These social-media-mining methods of underwriting a loan seem to gloss over this fact.

The fact is that the housing bubble didn't happen because Countrywide was failing to amass oodles of granular data about each borrower's social media interactions. It failed because Countrywide and other lenders were knowingly handing out loans to people that tried-and-true underwriting methods showed were unable to repay.

Homeland Security OKs 'Suspicionless' seizure of electronic devices for any reason; Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from border

Link to Article

Source: Aftermath News

Mon, 11 Feb 2013 18:41

Photo: DeclanTM/Flickr

DHS Watchdog OKs 'Suspicionless' Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border

Wired | Feb 8, 2013

By David Kravets

The Department of Homeland Security's civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation's borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever '-- all in the name of national security.

The DHS, which secures the nation's border, in 2009 announced that it would conduct a ''Civil Liberties Impact Assessment'' of its suspicionless search-and-seizure policy pertaining to electronic devices ''within 120 days.'' More than three years later, the DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties published a two-page executive summary of its findings.

''We also conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits,'' the executive summary said.

The memo highlights the friction between today's reality that electronic devices have become virtual extensions of ourselves housing everything from e-mail to instant-message chats to photos and our papers and effects '-- juxtaposed against the government's stated quest for national security.

The President George W. Bush administration first announced the suspicionless, electronics search rules in 2008. The President Barack Obama administration followed up with virtually the same rules a year later. Between 2008 and 2010, 6,500 persons had their electronic devices searched along the U.S. border, according to DHS data.

According to legal precedent, the Fourth Amendment '-- the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures '-- does not apply along the border. By the way, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation's actual border.

Civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union suggest that ''reasonable suspicion'' should be the rule, at a minimum, despite that being a lower standard than required by the Fourth Amendment.

''There should be a reasonable, articulate reason why the search of our electronic devices could lead to evidence of a crime,'' Catherine Crump, an ACLU staff attorney, said in a telephone interview. ''That's a low threshold.''

The DHS watchdog's conclusion isn't surprising, as the DHS is taking that position in litigation in which the ACLU is challenging the suspicionless, electronic-device searches and seizures along the nation's borders. But that conclusion nevertheless is alarming considering it came from the DHS civil rights watchdog, which maintains its mission is ''promoting respect for civil rights and civil liberties.''

''This is a civil liberties watchdog office. If it is doing its job property, it is supposed to objectively evaluate. It has the power to recommend safeguards to safeguard Americans' rights,'' Crump said. ''The office has not done that and the public has the right to know why.''

Toward that goal, the ACLU on Friday filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding to see the full report that the executive summary discusses.

Meantime, a lawsuit the ACLU brought on the issue concerns a New York man whose laptop was seized along the Canadian border in 2010 and returned 11 days later after his attorney complained.

At an Amtrak inspection point, Pascal Abidor showed his U.S. passport to a federal agent. He was ordered to move to the cafe car, where they removed his laptop from his luggage and ''ordered Mr. Abidor to enter his password,'' according to the lawsuit.

Agents asked him about pictures they found on his laptop, which included Hamas and Hezbollah rallies. He explained that he was earning a doctoral degree at a Canadian university on the topic of the modern history of Shiites in Lebanon.

He was handcuffed and then jailed for three hours while the authorities looked through his computer while numerous agents questioned him, according to the suit, which is pending in New York federal court.

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Security Theatre

BBC News - Scanners ruled out for NI prison searches after pilot

Link to Article

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 03:26

13 February 2013Last updated at14:58 ETBy Vincent KearneyBBC NI home affairs correspondentElectronic scanners like those used in airports will not replace full body searching in prisons in Northern Ireland.

They failed to detect nearly half of all test items during a three month pilot scheme.

Items not detected included drugs, mobile phone batteries, scissors and a knife.

Nearly 1200 prisoners and prison staff were searched using two millimetre wave scanners.

The searches took place at Magilligan prison and Hydebank Wood.

Dissident republicans in the high security prison at Maghaberry, near Lisburn, County Antrim, have been campaigning to have the scanners installed there as an alternative to strip-searching

But any move to introduce the technology is expected to be put on hold due to the results of the pilot scheme, which was introduced by justice minister David Ford.

A prison service evaluation report says the scanners detected just 57% of test items. The items not detected include a knife and scissors.

Prisoners searched using the scanners had to volunteer to be part of the process, so all of the illegal materials detected during the test were carried by prison officers who agreed to be part of the trial.

Dirty protestA report setting out the findings will be discussed by members of the justice committee at Stormont on Thursday.

It says the tests revealed limitations to the technology and that full-body searching provided a higher level of assurance because more test items were detected.

The DUP chairman of the justice committee, Paul Givan, visited Hydebank Wood earlier this month to see one of the scanners being tested.

He said the equipment that he witnessed in operation did not detect "metal objects, mobile phones, or batteries the way in which a full body search would".

"It increases the risk and compromises the security of the prison, its introduction in my view would be wholly unacceptable," he added.

The committee's deputy chairman, Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney, has said this should not be the end of the matter.

"Other people in other jurisdictions have found a way forward, everyone accepts the security of the prisons cannot be compromised, but I think in the 21st century we can find a technological replacement," he said.

In November, dissident republican prisoners in Maghaberry ended a dirty protest against the use of strip searching.

At the time, republican sources said they hoped the move would make it easier for scanners to be introduced if the trials were successful.

The department of justice will now press ahead with plans to test another more sophisticated X-ray scanner.

But those tests cannot start until a special licence is granted because the process uses radiation and the technology has never been used in a UK prison.

Cultural Jihad

Muslim Advocacy Group: There's No Evidence That John Brennan Converted to Islam - Washington Whispers (usnews.com)

Link to Article

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 04:52

Anti-war protesters shout as John Brennan arrives to testify before a hearing on his nomination to be director of the CIA, Feb. 7, 2013.

Former FBI agent John Guandolo incited an Internet buzz this week by accusing John Brennan, President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the CIA, of secretly converting to Islam while working as the CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia from 1996 to 1999.

Guandolo's evidence was scant'--largely that Brennan said during a public address that he "marveled at the majesty of the Hajj," something Guandolo says only could be done as a Muslim inside Mecca, a city that is off-limits to non-Muslims.

World Net Daily'--a website that specializes in reporting on conspiracy theories'--took notice of the interview, followed by more mainstream publications and blogs, including The Daily Mail, Al Arabiya, Salon, and The Blaze.

Ibrahim Hooper, the communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told U.S. News that he has no knowledge of Brennan converting to Islam.

[WATCH: Protesters Interrupt Brennan Hearing]

In fact, Hooper pointed out, his group opposes Brennan's nomination, largely because of his role in operating the CIA drone program that targets terrorists but has also killed civilians.

Hooper predicted that the story would gain traction in the "right-wing echo chamber, [where] someone throws some spaghetti against the wall then they all pick it up and E-mail it to each other."

"You have to look at the source," said Hooper, pointing to Guandolo's role in the firing of a Muslim police officer in Ohio.

Hooper, himself an American convert to Islam, clarified to U.S. News that Muslims believe people actually "revert" to the religion.

[READ:U.S. News Coverage of Brennan Confirmation Hearing]

"Everyone is born in a state of Islam and your parents make you into something else'--Jewish, Christian," he said. The conversion process itself, Hooper noted, is uttering a short profession of faith, the Shahada. "From that moment on you're a Muslim," said Hooper, "of course it helps if you believe it."

The Daily Mail compared Guandolo's accusation about Brennan to the plot of the popular TV show Homeland, in which a Marine is abducted, converted, then sent back to the U.S. to wreak havoc.

Other prominent people accused of secretly being Muslim include former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner'--who is Jewish'--and the United Kingdom's Prince Charles, who will preside over the Church of England if he succeeds his mother to the throne.

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Amsterdam praat niet meer over 'allochtoon' -- Metro

Ambtenaren van de gemeente Amsterdam mogen de termen 'allochtoon' en 'autochtoon'- niet langer meer gebruiken in gemeentelijke documenten en stukken.

Van Dale vermeldt allochtoon voor het eerst in 1961, maar dan nog als bijvoeglijk naamwoord met de betekenis 'van elders aangevoerd'. Pas in 1971 werd het begrip allochtoon geïntroduceerd als een neutraal alternatief voor gastarbeiders, buitenlanders of immigranten.

Het woord allochtoon is de samenvoeging van twee Griekse woorden: allos (ander) en chtoon (land). Een allochtoon is dus letterlijk 'iemand uit een ander land'.

Waar komt de term allochtoon vandaan?

Ambtenaren mogen de woorden nog wel gebruiken als het relevant is, in bijvoorbeeld onderzoeken over zorg, onderwijs of criminaliteit. Het idee allochtoon en autochtoon niet meer te gebruiken, was een voorstel van de PvdA in de hoofdstad.

"Het creëert een tweedeling om die termen te gebruiken", lichtte de zegsman toe. "We willen benadrukken dat het om Amsterdammers gaat. Dus voortaan hebben we het bijvoorbeeld over Poolse Amsterdammers of Marokkaanse Amsterdammers."

John Guandolo: CIA Nominee John Brennan Converted To Islam

Link to Article

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 16:32


Fact Sheet: Afghanistan

Link to Article

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 22:47

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

February 12, 2013


In his State of the Union address, the President announced that the United States will withdraw 34,000 American troops from Afghanistan by this time next year, decreasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by half '' the next step to responsibly bringing this war to a close.

Afghans in the Lead: Beginning in the spring of 2013, Afghan forces will assume the lead across the country. Even as our troops draw down, they will continue to train, advise and assist Afghan forces. In that capacity, we will no longer be leading combat operations, but a sizeable number of U.S. forces will provide support for two additional fighting seasons before Afghan forces are fully responsible for their own security.

Planning for post-2014: We are continuing discussions with the Afghan government about how we can carry out two basic missions beyond 2014: training, advising and equipping Afghan forces, and continued counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda and their affiliates.

The Security Transition Process

At the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon, the United States, our International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) partners, and the Afghan Government agreed to transfer full responsibility for Afghanistan's security to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) by the end of 2014. This transition process allows the international community to responsibly draw down our forces in Afghanistan, while preserving hard-won gains and setting the stage to achieve our core objectives '' defeating al Qaeda and ensuring it can never again use Afghanistan as a launching pad for attacks against us.

At the Chicago NATO Summit in May 2012, leaders reaffirmed this framework for transition and agreed on an interim milestone in 2013 to mark our progress. This milestone will mark the beginning of the ANSF's assumption of the lead for combat operations across the country. When we reach that milestone this spring, ISAF's main effort will shift from combat to supporting the ANSF. As international forces shift our primary focus to training, advising, and assisting, we will ensure that the Afghans have the support they need as they adjust to their new responsibilities.

Today, Afghan forces are already leading nearly 90 percent of operations, and by spring 2013, they will be moving into the operational lead across the country. These forces are currently at a surge strength of 352,000, where they will remain for at least three more years, to allow continued progress toward a secure environment in Afghanistan.

As the international community's role shifts and Afghan forces continue to grow in capabilities, coalition troop numbers will continue to decrease in a planned, coordinated, and responsible manner. By the end of 2014, transition will be complete and Afghan Security Forces will be fully responsible for the security of their country.

Supporting Political Transition

The United States believes that Afghan-led peace and reconciliation is ultimately necessary to end violence and ensure lasting stability of Afghanistan and the region. As the President has said, the United States will support initiatives that bring Afghans together with other Afghans to discuss the future of their country. The United States and the Afghan Government have called upon on the Taliban to join a political process, including by taking those steps necessary to open a Taliban office in Qatar. We have been clear that the outcomes of any peace and reconciliation process must be for the Taliban and other armed opposition groups to end violence, break ties with Al Qaeda, and accept Afghanistan's constitution, including its protections for the rights of all Afghan citizens.

The Afghan Government will be holding presidential and provincial council elections in April 2014 and the United States intends to provide technical assistance and funding to support a fair and inclusive process.

In May 2012, President Obama and President Karzai signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement to cement our long-term relationship in the areas of social and economic development, security, and regional cooperation. The United States remains fully committed to a long-term strategic partnership with the Afghan Government and the Afghan people. The steps we are taking now are intended to normalize our relationship, including withdrawing troops in a way that strengthens Afghan sovereignty and the Afghan state, rather than abandoning it, as the international community did in the 1980's and 90's.

While it is too soon to make decisions about the number of forces that could remain in Afghanistan after 2014, any presence would be at the invitation of the Afghan Government and focused on two distinct missions: training, advising and equipping Afghan forces, and continued counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda and their affiliates. As we move towards decisions about a long-term presence, we will continue to assess the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, assess the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces, and consult with our Afghan and international partners. We also continue negotiations on a Bilateral Security Agreement with the Afghan Government that would provide the protections we must have for any U.S. military presence after 2014. We hope that agreement can be completed as soon as possible.

Consistent with our goal of ensuring that al Qaeda never again threatens the United States from Afghan soil, the United States has committed to seek funds annually to support training, equipping, advising, and sustaining the ANSF. Helping to fund the ANSF is the best way to protect the investment we all have made to strengthen Afghanistan and insulate it from international terrorist groups.

Strengthening Afghan governance and economic development is also key to achieving our core objective. We've made significant economic and development progress in the past decade, but Afghanistan will require substantial international assistance through the next decade to grow its private sector and promote its integration in greater South Asia's thriving economy. The United States has committed to seek, on a yearly basis, funding for social and economic assistance to Afghanistan. At the July 2012 Tokyo Conference, the international community and Afghanistan agreed on a long-term economic partnership, based on the principle of mutual accountability. We expect Afghan progress in fighting corruption, carrying out reform, and providing good governance as the international community provides support after 2014.

Despite Planned Troop Withdrawal, Special Ops & Private Forces Prepare to Continue Afghan War

Link to Article

Source: What Jamie Flarity is reading.

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 19:47

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US military announces new medal for cyberwarfare and drone operation

Link to Article

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 22:30

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has announced a new medal for troops who fight from behind a screen. According to unnamed officials, the "Distinguished Warfare Medal" will honor members of the military who have performed an accomplishment "so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from comrades or from other persons in similar situations." Unlike other medals of its level, though, it doesn't require an "act of valor" that would put one's life in danger during combat. That means it can be given to drone pilots or members of military cyberwarfare operations.

In a statement, Panetta, said the Distinguished Warfare Medal was meant to recognize that "since September 11th, 2001, technological advances have, in some cases, dramatically changed how we conduct and support combat and other military operations." It can be awarded for any accomplishment since September 11th in the domains of "air, land, maritime, space, and cyberspace," and it specifically cannot be awarded for direct valor in combat, making it very specifically for people who would be shut out by the traditional definitions of warfare. In ranking, it's slightly above the Bronze Star, directly below the Distinguished Flying Cross; a sketch can be seen above.

"Extraordinary achievement, not involving acts of valor, directly impacting combat operations."

In some ways, the Distinguished Warfare Medal is a big change to how higher-level medals can be awarded, built for a world where actual combat often no longer involves physical risk. The last new medal, the Bronze Star, was created after World War II. Otherwise, though, it maintains the same standards as similar awards: it's meant only for "extraordinary achievement, not involving acts of valor, directly impacting combat operations or other military operations," with "directly impacting" meaning hands-on use of a tool (real or virtual) that had direct effects in an engagement.

F the Chiners

Chinese Workers'--in Greenland? - Businessweek

Link to Article

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 18:34

At remote encampments near the Arctic Circle on the island of Greenland, thousands of Chinese laborers toil to build a vast iron ore mine. It sounds farfetched. But climate change, Greenland's thirst for economic development, and China's appetite for minerals could soon make it possible.

Greenland, a semiautonomous Danish protectorate with a mostly Inuit population of 57,000, is courting foreign investors to tap mineral deposits that are becoming more accessible as rising temperatures shrink the island's ice cap. In one of the most ambitious projects, a British company wants to open a $2.3 billion iron ore mine that would be financed, built, and operated mainly by the Chinese. The company, London Mining (LOND), has talked with a state-owned mining company in China's Sichuan Province about financing the project, although no agreement has been reached. Plans call for exporting most of the mine's output to China.

Greenland's semiautonomous government supports the project. The island's parliament last year passed a law to set up legal mechanisms for developing large mining projects, including the granting of labor permits to an estimated 2,300 migrant Chinese workers who would build the mine.

Greenland ''is not a rich society,'' Prime Minister Minister Kuupik Kleist told journalists at a recent briefing in Copenhagan. ''We need to establish new, significant economic activities'' to supplement income from fishing and from aid provided by Denmark, which now supplies 40 percent of the island's annual revenue. ''The obvious opportunities are within the sector of mineral resources,'' he said.

Not all Kleist's countrymen share his enthusiasm. The opposition Siumut party, which now holds nine of 31 seats in the Greenland parliament, has said it will scrap the new law if it wins scheduled parliamentary elections on March 11. Siumut leaders, who have support from labor union leaders in Denmark, have warned that an influx of foreign workers could depress wages and disrupt the traditional way of life. The government says its legislation would require Chinese employees to be paid at least the current minimum wage on the island. Kleist said most foreign workers would live in isolated camps and would have little interacton with Greenlanders.

Along with the proposed iron mine, the government has granted exploration licenses to companies interested in scores of other projects, including proposed mines for uranium and rare-earth minerals. Alcoa has voiced the idea of building an aluminium smelter in Greenland, although the company has not decided whether to proceed with the plan.

Rare-earth elements, used in manufacturing computers and other high-tech items, could make Greenland a flashpoint for tensions between China and Europe. The European Union has urged Greenland to restrict Chinese development of rare-earth projects there, as China already accounts for 95 percent of the world's rare-earth mineral supply. The Greenland government, however, has said that it has no plans to give preference to Europeans over Chinese in developing rare-earth resources.

In a recent paper entitled ''Greenland'--China's Foothold in Europe,'' analyst Paula Briscoe of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York warned that increased Chinese influence in Greenland ''could help buy Beijing a proxy vote in Arctic matters.'' China's Arctic ambitions include not only natural resources but also fishing rights and shipping routes, she wrote. ''If Greenland, lured by the promise of investments and earlier autonomy from Denmark, allows itself to be overwhelmed by foreign companies, then China in particular could use its economic influence to Beijing's advantage.''

War on Africa

Presidential Memorandum -- Presidential Determination Regarding Drawdown Under Section 506 (a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as Amended, for Chad and France to Support Their Efforts in Mali

Link to Article

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 04:56

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

February 11, 2013



SUBJECT: Drawdown Under Section 506(a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as Amended, for Chad and France to Support Their Efforts in Mali

Pursuant to the authority vested in me by section 506(a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, 22 U.S.C. 2318(a)(1)(the "Act"), I hereby determine that an unforeseen emergency exists that requires immediate military assistance to Chad and France in their efforts to secure Mali from terrorists and violent extremists. I further determine that these requirements cannot be met under the authority of the Arms Export Control Act or any other provision of law.

I, therefore, direct the drawdown of up to $50 million in defense services of the Department of Defense for these purposes and under the authorities of section 506(a)(1) of the Act.

The Secretary of State is authorized and directed to report this determination to the Congress, arrange for its publication in the FederalRegister, and coordinate the implementation of this drawdown.


Ministry of Truth

Iran's photoshop team hard at work

Link to Article

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 16:05

Iran photo shop artists are at it again. This time they didn't just put Iran's supposed new stealth jet on a show floor, they have it flying over Mount Damavand.

The staff at GizModo took notice and quickly tracked down the stock photo at PickyWallpapers'Ñ.com that was then featured in the media blitz for Iran's supposed Qaher 313 stealth fighter.

We've been here before. On Feb. 2, Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran Defense Ministry Ahmad Vahidi were supposedly on hand when the Iranians rolled out the Qaher 313. Plenty of flaws were found in the supposed fighter to include the cockpit and the lack of rivets on the aircraft.

These new photos only go further to confirm the hoax.

Iran's military has been keeping the photo shop team in Iran busy for awhile now. Who can forget in 2008 when Iran bolstered a supposed missile test by photo shopping a few extra missiles into the frame?

February 13th, 2013 | Air, Air Force, Iran | 193272 Commentshttp%3A%2F%2Fdefensetech.org%2F2013%2F02%2F13%2Firans-photo-shop-team-hard-at-work%2FIran%27s+photoshop+team+hard+at+work2013-02-13+15%3A44%3A41Mike+Hoffmanhttp%3A%2F%2Fdefensetech.org%2F%3Fp%3D19327

Ludicrous Bin Laden Fable Changes Yet Again

Link to Article

Source: Dprogram.net

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 05:56

February 11th, 2013

(PaulWatson) '' The White House continues to struggle to get its fairytale straight. The Navy SEAL who claims he shot Bin Laden says the terror leader did use his ''wife'' as a human shield, despite the White House acknowledging that the woman was not Osama's wife and was not used by him as a human shield.

RELATED: 'I could see his brains spilling out..I watched him take his last breath': Navy SEAL describes moment he shot bin Laden three times in head before zip-tying his screaming wife to her bed '' http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2276972/Navy-SEAL-describes-moment-shot-Osama-bin-Laden-3-times-head.html#axzz2KaOIXlm6

RELATED: WHITE HOUSE SAYS OBL DID NOT USE HIS WIFE AS HUMAN SHIELD '' http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2011/05/02/white-house-osama-used-his-wife-as-human-shield/

RELATED: Osama bin Laden 'was not armed and did not use wife as human shield' '' http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8489658/Osama-bin-Laden-was-not-armed-and-did-not-use-wife-as-human-shield.html

Tags: bin laden, fableThis entry was posted on Monday, February 11th, 2013 at 10:51 pm and is filed under Coup D'etat, Dictatorship, Education/Mind Control, Fascism, Film/Video, NWO. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


Message -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Libya

Link to Article

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 19:59

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

February 13, 2013


Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13566 of February 25, 2011, is to continue in effect beyond February 25, 2013.

Colonel Muammar Qadhafi, his government, and close associates took extreme measures against the people of Libya, including by using weapons of war, mercenaries, and wanton violence against unarmed civilians. In addition, there was a serious risk that Libyan state assets would be misappropriated by Qadhafi, members of his government, members of his family, or his close associates if those assets were not protected. The foregoing circumstances, the prolonged attacks, and the increased numbers of Libyans seeking refuge in other countries caused a deterioration in the security of Libya, posed a serious risk to its stability, and led me to declare a national emergency to deal with this threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

We are in the process of winding down the sanctions in response to developments in Libya, including the fall of Qadhafi and his government and the establishment of a democratically elected government. We are working closely with the new Libyan government and with the international community to effectively and appropriately ease restrictions on sanctioned entities, including by taking actions consistent with the U.N. Security Council's decision to lift sanctions against the Central Bank of Libya and two other entities on December 16, 2011. The situation in Libya, however, continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States and we need to protect against this threat and the diversion of assets or other abuse by certain members of Qadhafi's family and other former regime officials. Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to Libya.



Statement from United States President Barack Obama, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jos(C) Manuel Barroso

Link to Article

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 20:00

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

February 13, 2013

Washington, D.C. '' We, the Leaders of the United States and the European Union, are pleased to announce that, based on recommendations from the U.S.-EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth co-chaired by United States Trade Representative Kirk and European Trade Commissioner De Gucht, the United States and the European Union will each initiate the internal procedures necessary to launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. ''The transatlantic economic relationship is already the world's largest, accounting for half of global economic output and nearly one trillion dollars in goods and services trade, and supporting millions of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. ''We are committed to making this relationship an even stronger driver of our prosperity. In that regard, we welcome the High Level Working Group's recommendations on how we can expand further our transatlantic trade and investment partnership, promoting greater growth and supporting more jobs. ''A high-standard Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would advance trade and investment liberalization and address regulatory and other non-tariff barriers. ''Through this negotiation, the United States and the European Union will have the opportunity not only to expand trade and investment across the Atlantic, but also to contribute to the development of global rules that can strengthen the multilateral trading system.''

BBC News - EU and US free-trade talks launched

Link to Article

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 19:50

13 February 2013Last updated at12:09 ETThe European Union and the US will begin formal talks on a free-trade agreement, paving the way for the biggest trade deal in history.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso made the announcement following President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

A deal would bring down trading barriers between the two biggest economies in the world.

EU-US trade is worth around 455bn euros (£393bn; $613bn) a year.

"A future deal between the world's two most important economic powers will be a game-changer, giving a strong boost to our economies on both sides of the Atlantic," said Mr Barroso, speaking in Brussels.

The EU estimates that a "comprehensive and ambitious agreement" will boost annual GDP growth by 0.5%.

Mr Obama announced US support for talks as part of his annual address to the US Congress on Tuesday, saying a free-trade deal would "boost American exports, support American jobs and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia".

It is not clear how long the talks will take, but similar trade deals have involved years of negotiations, and the BBC's Gavin Hewitt in Brussels says the most optimistic timeframe given by European officials is two years.

Continue reading the main storyOne aim of the free-trade agreement would be to eliminate or reduce tariffs - taxes that apply to imported goods.

For both the EU and US average tariffs are already low, below 3% on one measure. But further reductions could nonetheless stimulate additional trade and there are some areas where tariffs are much higher, notably food.

Beyond that, the negotiations would try to reduce regulatory barriers to trade. That is more complex, but the experience of Europe's internal market shows it is sometimes possible.

The desire for bilateral trade liberalisation on both sides of the Atlantic reflects the failure of negotiations for a global deal in the World Trade Organization.

Those talks were launched 11 years ago and are nowhere near concluding. The big powers are anxious to use any opportunity to boost their economic performance.

A US-EU working group was established in 2011 to discuss the prospect of a free-trade agreement.

Low tariffsEU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told the BBC that free trade between the US and the EU had been under discussion for several years, and said he hoped talks would begin in the summer.

But he admitted that the negotiations would be "difficult" and "complex", but he warned: "As the two biggest economies in the world, failure is not an option."

The EU says the deal will focus on bringing down remaining tariffs and other barriers to trade, and standardise technical regulations and certifications.

Currently the US and EU impose relatively low tariffs on goods traded between them, but analysts say other barriers are often in place to prevent European companies competing in the US and vice versa.

One example is found in the car industry, where the EU and the US employ equally strict - but differing - safety standards, meaning that European car makers must meet both before they can sell cars in the US market, putting them at a disadvantage.

Mr De Gucht estimates that such barriers are equivalent to a traditional imports tariff of 10-20%.

Rise of ChinaAgriculture is also likely to be a significant bone of contention. The European farming industry is already heavily subsidised through the Common Agricultural Policy, and the European agriculture minister has already expressed reservations about the impact a free-trade deal might have.

The US government is also likely to come under pressure from domestic businesses who have in the past called for protectionist measures to prevent the market from being swamped by cheaper Chinese imports.

The EU has already said that certain "sensitive" sectors will require more negotiation but said no sectors would be excluded from the deal completely.

The chief European economist at Barclays, Philippe Gudin, suggested that the emergence of China as an economic power along with other emerging markets has encouraged the US and Europe to unify in order to remain economic leaders.

Mr De Gucht denied that they were seeking to combat Chinese growth, saying: "We are the leading economies and it's important that we remain the leaders, but in a way that allows others to develop."

Steve Davies from the Institute of Economic Affairs, a think tank, said he believed the economic crisis in Europe was a far more important factor.

"It's happening now because there has been seriously depressed growth in the EU, and this will be good news for economic growth," he said.

"On the American side, the critical factor is that Obama is now in his second term, so he doesn't have the protectionist pressures from US businesses to worry about."

Noodles Culture

Adam in PA

I still haven't gotten though the 2-7-13 show, so much good stuff in there!

I also live in Pittsburgh, and am a "coder / designer" (whatever the hell

you want to call it) for a major company in the area.

The corporate "Hurry Up and WORK WORK WORK" culture is so rampant at this

place I KID YOU NOT...

I was in the bathroom taking a leak, and noticed a peculiar sound coming

from the stall next to me. It was a GUY ON A LAPTOP banging away on his

keyboard while he was TAKING A SHIT (and he also had piles of manilla

folders on the floor around him while he was sorting papers)...

FUCKA LUNCH BREAK! THESE retards are so crazy about working "effeciently"

they don't even feel they can take a SHIT without having to be "PRODUCTIVE."

I've also had to sit in training classes where I am ALSO supposed to be

working on my laptop getting PROJECTS finished. It is the equivalent of a

school "cutting costs" by teaching HISTORY and MATH class together (with 2

teachers in the front of the room teaching simultaneously, expecting the

kids to absorb all of the material from both).

Needless to say I am on the hunt for bigger and better things!

Thanks for the laughs!

Adam in Pittsburgh, PA


SOTU PacMan Enhanced YouTube ScreenShot

This GIF of Obama's Exploding Bipartisan Fist Bump Is the State of the Union Highlight

Link to Article

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 19:49

By Max Read, Feb 12, 2013 10:11 PM

This is President Obama doing an exploding fist bump with someone Sen. Mark Kirk (R - Ill.), who had a stroke in 2012, after the president's arrival and before his speech. That's right: not just an exploding fist bump, an exploding fist bump with a Republican. The state of our union is dope, y'all.

[Thanks to Jonathon Heide for spotting this!]

Next story >>

SOTU '' Clean energy focus, but ''nuclear'' treated as the other 'N' word that cannot be spoken

Link to Article

Source: Atomic Insights

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 22:40

During President Obama's February 12, 2013 State of the Union address, he spoke for six and a half minutes about the importance of energy to the American economy and the importance of being a world leading supplier of clean energy technology.

As a proud contributor at an American clean energy company that is developing a new product that is going to help reshape the energy industry, it felt good to hear the President describe the national level impact of the work we are doing every day. I was, however, slightly disappointed that the President failed to mention our project and failed to say a single word about my favorite clean energy source.

I'm sure it was just an oversight and that his speech would have included the 'N' word if he had just had a little more time to think about what he wanted to say. Perhaps he wanted to say something about nuclear energy, but just did not have any more time to allot after he had spent so much of his speech extolling the virtues of a ''nearly 100 year'' supply of natural gas '' which will actually last a little less than 90 years as long as we do not increase our current consumption rate.

His speechwriters must have forgotten to include the line that would have described how the USA has uranium and thorium resources that might provide several hundred thousand years of emission free power, even if use of those heavy metals grows to supply ALL of our energy needs.

I apologize for the snarky tone, but it can be a bit discouraging at times to be a nuke. I often feel like the smart kid in the back of the room who has correctly answered so many questions that the teacher refuses to call on him because she wants the other students to get a chance. That's okay in a classroom setting where there is a goal for all to learn, but it is a silly way to run a marketplace. Some energy products '' like wind turbines and solar panels '' are inherently inferior. They are less reliable and less useful than fuels like hydrocarbons and heavy metals; they do not deserve continued investments from the taxpayers.I'd like to repurpose a comment that I posted earlier in response to someone who thinks there is an energy source somewhere that we have not yet discovered that can beat both nuclear energy and hydrocarbons in the market for clean, reliable, affordable, acceptably safe energy.


Pretend I am from Missouri. Stop pointing to academic studies and models created by ''many fine people.'' Show me a place anywhere in the world that provides an example of a reasonably large body of people who are living in a style even remotely close to the American middle class suburban lifestyle that I have enjoyed throughout my life while depending on an energy source other than hydrocarbons, nuclear energy or large hydroelectric dams for the lion's share of the power they use in their daily lives.

Whenever your references include a strong dependence on people like Mark Z. Jacobson you will eventually find out that you are on the wrong technical path. He is an unreliable charlatan when it comes to real world energy production.

You keep telling us here that you care about people who struggle to make ends meet, yet you also claim that your favored energy sources cannot compete because fossil fuels are too cheap. You then claim that nuclear is losing in the market because its cost seems too high.

I refuse to play the energy game by your rules or the rules that have been imposed by the establishment. In my analysis, hydrocarbon fuel sources are far too expensive. They are moving farther and farther out of the reach of the people who need them the most to lift themselves out of dire poverty. It is time for the Kobayashi Maru solution to a game that has been programmed to force nuclear energy off of the list of available options.

The standard that you have implicitly applied to natural gas is a pretty good one to apply to nuclear energy; as long as an energy source is substantially better (cleaner, safer, etc) than our existing coal power plants, then it is worth developing and improving.

Nuclear energy met that standard almost as soon as the self-sustaining chain reaction was discovered. Within 13 years after the historic operation of Fermi's CP-1 demonstration, Rickover's USS Nautilus reported that it was underway on nuclear power. That ship dramatically showed the world that the atom had tremendous potential for clean, reliable power, even in the most challenging possible application '' a sealed submarine under a deep ocean. Within a couple of years after its launch, the USS Nautilus made a trip from Hawaii to the UK by way of the North Pole. The Shippingport reactor started providing commercial quantities of electricity on the fifteen year anniversary of the successful demonstration at CP-1, despite the disadvantage of 13 years worth of strict secrecy about the technology.

In reaction to the proven potential for nuclear energy to take markets away from fossil fuels, fission energy's hydrocarbon competitors teamed up with vendors and construction contractors who learned about cost control from their experiences in the military industrial complex. They developed a government regulatory agency influenced by scientists who felt that they were guilty of original sin because of their involvement with The Bomb. That coalition of common interests developed designs and processes that elevated the cost of nuclear energy (and the revenue from building the plants) to its currently uncompetitive level. Many scientists and some engineers kept going along with the program because it led to a reasonably steady flow of research dollars for an unachievable goal of perfect safety.

There is no need to tighten nuclear energy regulations; far from it. There is a crying need to relax prescriptive regulations, to encourage real quality assurance programs adapted from industries like commercial aviation, automobiles, and shipbuilding that seek to improve results at ever lower costs by reducing wasteful rework, and to allow nuclear fission's inherent energy density advantage to drive DOWN the cost of energy.

Making energy cheap will force hydrocarbons to become cheap again. It will protect the very places where you prefer to camp and kayak; oil and gas companies will stop trying to extract resources from the Arctic, the deep ocean, the tar sands and the mountains of North Dakota because those places contain large quantities of high production cost resources that could not compete in a market of abundant fission energy.

Disclaimer: Though I work for The Babcock & Wilcox Company on the B&W mPowerTM Reactor project, I do not speak for the company. My thoughts on Atomic Insights are strictly my personal views and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of my employer.

The Unending Gitmo Nightmare - The Daily Beast

Link to Article

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 15:23

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama proposed bringing greater transparency to the war on al Qaeda and creating a new group to research alternatives to fossil fuels. One thing he didn't mention was a pledge he made four years ago: the closing of Guantnamo Bay. Today, there are still 166 detainees languishing in America's most notorious prison'--and most of them won't be leaving any time soon.

In this file photo made June 27, 2006, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba. (Brennan Linsley/AP)

Last month, Obama quietly transferred Dan Fried, whose job was to relocate detainees off the island, to a new job overseeing U.S. sanctions. The fact that he won't be replaced suggests relocations aren't a big priority these days. Already, Congress has blocked detainees from being moved to U.S. prisons while imposing tough conditions on those who have been cleared to go to other countries. Dozens of prisoners are deemed too dangerous to be released altogether.

The Obama administration insists it's doing everything possible to fulfill the president's pledge. ''We are absolutely still committed to closing Gitmo,'' National Security Council spokesman, Tommy Vietor, said in an interview. He put the blame elsewhere, saying, ''The unfortunate reality is that Congress has gone out of its way to prevent us from doing so, but we still believe closing the facility is in our national security interest."

Yet experts say the chances of Gitmo closing, at least before Obama's out of office in 2016, are exceptionally slim.

''Guantanamo is not going to close any time soon,'' said Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a right-leaning think tank. ''There are too many problems to solve. There are still Yemenis who can't be repatriated to their home country, there are detainees too dangerous to transfer anywhere and quite a few prisoners who the administration says they cannot try in an open court.''

Obama has not sent a Guantnamo detainee to Yemen since that country's al Qaeda affiliate nearly blew up a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Take the 46 detainees deemed too dangerous. The Obama administration has never released a list of these prisoners. It's possible that their status could change in the future. In 2011, Obama signed an executive order to create an appeal process for these men, similar to a parole board. That panel, however, has yet to meet. One State Department official said he expects what is known as the ''periodic review board'' to begin meeting this year and reviewing cases.

There are an additional 56 detainees from Yemen. Obama has not sent a Guantnamo detainee to Yemen since that country's al Qaeda affiliate nearly blew up a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit at the end of 2009. Senior Obama administration officials say 26 of those Yemeni detainees have been approved for transfer. In the last two years, the State Department has quietly explored whether third countries could take them in.

One big obstacle is the increasingly stringent requirements Congress has imposed on transferring detainees to a third country. Since 2009, Congress has required the secretary of Defense to confirm that there is little to no risk that a detainee sent to a third country will return to terrorism. That appears to be a tough thing to guarantee.

So perhaps it's no surprise that the State Department transferred Fried, leaving two lawyers who used to work for him in charge of relocating prisoners. They will now do their work out of the State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser.

In four years, Fried and his team helped relocate 71 detainees out of Guantnamo, 40 of whom went to third countries. But most of those transfers occurred in 2009, before the Obama administration proposed a moratorium on transfers to Yemen and before Congress imposed the certification requirements for the secretary of Defense. In 2012, Fried transferred only four detainees, two of whom were Uighers, the Chinese Muslim minority, and part of a group determined in 2008 to no longer be enemy combatants. Those Uighers were sent to El Salvador.

Another one of those detainees was Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who was captured when he was 15 years old in Afghanistan. He was transferred to a Canadian prison where he is eligible for parole this year.

''It's incredibly difficult, and each year it gets more difficult,'' one senior administration official working on transfer policy told the Daily Beast. This official said the biggest issue was having to certify that a detainee will not reengage in terrorism, but this official also said that new governments in the Middle East brought about by the Arab Spring have made it more difficult to gain assurances that detainees will be monitored after being released from Guantnamo.

Andrea Prasow, a senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch, said it was still possible to close the Bush-era prison before Obama leaves office by either prosecuting or transferring the remaining 166 prisoners. But, she said, ''the reality is that it requires some political will that seems to be lacking.'' Prasow and other civil liberties advocates point out that Obama has signed the Defense authorization bills that include the new congressional restrictions on transfers of detainees. Chris Anders, a senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said, ''For the past three years there has not even been a point person at the White House to coordinate all the different parts of government required to meet the president's pledge to close Guantnamo.''

When Obama delivered his first State of the Union speech in 2009, he appeared to have that political will to close Guantnamo. He said, ''There is no force in the world more powerful than the example of America. That is why I have ordered the closing of the detention center at Guantnamo Bay, and will seek swift and certain justice for captured terrorists'--because living our values doesn't make us weaker, it makes us safer and it makes us stronger.''

Obama's State of the Union Recap, in GIFs - Politics

Link to Article

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 18:06

The most powerful moment of the State of the Union on Tuesday night came when President Obama said the victims of gun violence '-- people like Gabby Giffords and the family of Hadiya Pendleton '-- deserve a vote on gun control measures. Obama pushed back against a Republican effort to rebrand the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester into the "Obamaquester." Obama made it clear he thought the sequester was a "bad idea." But he offered Republicans an olive branch on Medicare cuts. John Boehner rolled his eyes when Obama said that if Congress didn't act to address climate change, he would. But Boehner smiled when Obama said members of Congress like job-creating projects because "I've seen you all at the ribbon-cuttings." Obama gave an exploding fist bump. McCain fake smiled when Obama mentioned his name, then managed to real smile. And Marco Rubio took a very important sip of water during his rebuttal:

(You can read and watch Obama's speech, Rubio's GOP response, and Rand Paul's GOP response, plus all the instant reactions, but scroll down to re-live the entire night, with GIFs!)

11:38p.m.: A CNN poll of 53 Americans who watched Obama's speech found that 53 percent had a "very positive" reaction, and 22 percent had a "somewhat positive reaction." Twenty-two percent had a negative reaction.

11:30p.m.: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul gave the Tea Party response, and the most interesting part is his call for the GOP to embrace immigrants. Paul said, "We must be the party that says, 'If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.'"

10:56p.m.: Let's deconstruct Rubio's drink of water in the middle of his State of the Union response. First, there was the look -- was the water still there?

It was. Then there was the reach -- done while maintaining eye contact with the camera and keeping his head level.

At the moment of contact, Rubio has to look. A false move and he would have toppled the minibottle. So it's a quick camera-bottle-camera zag. Poor guy didn't know his nose was behind the C-SPAN logo.

Then he smoothly regains his posture while drinking. Rubio does this while staring deep into your eyes. He seems to know he's doing something wrong, but he can't stop.

Thirst quenched, he then sets the bottle down.

Bottle dealt with, Rubio actually talks his way back up into position, at which point he clasps his hand together, as if he's getting back to business.

Rubio, who seems to have a sense of humor, is trying to own the moment. He tweeted:

10:49p.m.: How did John McCain like it when Obama praised him in his speech? The White House pool reports:

Sen. John McCain ... passed by the press pool right after the address ended. Your pooler asked what he thought of the president's address.

"Great," he said.

It's not clear whether that was a "Great." or a "Great!" or a "Great!!"

10:43p.m.: The only sign so far Rubio is nervous: he awkwardly takes a drink of bottled water. He's not sure whether to look at the camera while he does it.

He must have been very thirsty.

10:35p.m.: Rubio says big government hurts people, and Republicans do not only care about rich people:

But his favorite attack of all is that those who don't agree with him '' they only care about rich people. Mr. President, I still live in the same working class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren't millionaires...

So Mr. President, I don't oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.

Rubio says big government will hurt those neighbors by slowing economic growth. He also says he would never hurt Medicare, because he loves his mom.

I would never support any changes to Medicare that would hurt seniors like my mother. But anyone who is in favor of leaving Medicare exactly the way it is right now, is in favor of bankrupting it.

Paul Ryan used this same reasoning during the 2012 presidential campaign.

10:31p.m.: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio begins his response. He's better at giving speeches than previous State of the Union rebutters. And he's avoided the look of an empty room by standing in front of what looks like a fake window.

Here's the full text of his speech.

10:19p.m.:Gawker's Max Read posts Obama's exploding handshake from earlier tonight.

10:15p.m.: During the guns section of Obama's speech, a woman yelled out a victim's name. NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell says the woman was removed.

10:12p.m.: The section of Obama's speech about gun control bills shows their limited chances of success. "Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that's your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote." Obama says Gabby Giffords deserves a vote, as does Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed by a bullet at age 15 last month after performing in Washington for the inauguration.

10:06p.m.: Biden has trouble sitting still.

10:02p.m.: Obama sees an end to the war in Afghanistan, though the definition of victory has been scaled back.

Tonight, we stand united in saluting the troops and civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us. Because of them, we can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan, and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al Qaeda. Already, we have brought home 33,000 of our brave servicemen and women. This spring, our forces will move into a support role, while Afghan security forces take the lead. Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.

That would seem to accept that some al Qaeda presence is acceptable, just not the "core."

9:58p.m.: Obama calls for the passage of Paycheck Fairness Act, which addresses pay discrimination based on gender. Not all the ladies in the hall are pleased.

9:52p.m.: Obama says the federal minimum wage should be raised to $9 an hour. "So here's an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year: let's tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on." The camera cuts to Paul Ryan.

9:46p.m.: John McCain fake smiles, then slowly real smiles, when Obama mentions his past work on climate change. "I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago," Obama says.

9::38p.m.: It's amusing to watch the difference in reactions of Joe Biden and John Boehner. Speaking of the American Jobs Act, Obama says, "I thank the last Congress for passing some of that agenda, and I urge this Congress to pass the rest." Biden loves it, Boehner does not.

When Obama says of climate change, "But if Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will," Boehner rolls his eyes.

Finally, Obama gets a bipartisan smile when he says: "The CEO of Siemens America '' a company that brought hundreds of new jobs to North Carolina '' has said that if we upgrade our infrastructure, they'll bring even more jobs. And I know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts. I've seen you all at the ribbon-cuttings."

9:32p.m.: Cantor has practiced his neutral face as if he knew he'd be on TV. Here he's listening to Obama talk about tax reform.

9:28p.m.: Obama says the sequester is a "really bad idea." He lays out what cuts to Medicare he might accept: lowering payments to health care providers and means-testing -- making seniors who have more money pay more.

We'll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors. We'll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn't be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital '' they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive.

9:21p.m.: And here it is: Obama says the line we've all been waiting for:

Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.

Obama is clearly building toward something here. In 2011, he said the state of our union was "strong." In 2012, he said it was "getting stronger." Perhaps he's headed in the same direction as Bill Clinton, who said in his last State of the Union address, "the state of our Union is the strongest it has ever been."

9:13p.m.: Obama has entered the hall. And now those lawmakers who saved aisle seats for 12 hours just to get a chance to shake Obama's hand on TV are getting what they waited for.

9:09p.m.: Only half the Supreme Court showed up tonight. Conservative justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia skipped the fun.

9:02p.m.: Senate BFFs Lindsey Graham and John McCain chat before the speech begins.

9:01p.m.: Michelle Obama is wearing a dark red sheath dress tonight. Joe Biden was wearing little glasses to read names, but he's taken them off.

8:39p.m.: Obama is expected to address gun control tonight. Just before he began speaking, the National Rifle Association released an ad with a kinder, gentler, more reasonable tone than the last one it released, which targeted Obama's teen daughters. The NRA's new ad says new gun laws will be ineffective. It's just a guy talking to the camera and talking about a Justice Department memo saying new gun control won't be effective without a gun buyback program.

8:27p.m.: Energy Secretary Steven Chu will be our president if the House of Representatives blows up, is incinerated by aliens, or whatever your doomsday scenario might be. It's not a terrible alternate reality. "Steven Chu will be our emergency president; imagine the benevolent technocracy of robots, solar panels and lasers!" Quartz's Tim Fernholtz tweets.

8:21p.m.:Some political pundits are getting bumped for coverage of Christopher Dorner, the Los Angeles ex-cop who allegedly exchanged fire with police during a standoff in the mountains near Big Bear ski resort. The cabin he was reportedly holed up in is on fire.

8:06p.m.: State of the Union guests will include several people affected by mass shootings. But The New York Time's Michael Cooper points out that so many gun violence victims have come to these things that it's now "a somewhat grim State of the Union tradition."

7:58p.m.: BuzzFeed's John Stanton posts this photo of Ted Nugent "strolling through the bowels" of a congressional office building. He is a guest of Texas Rep. Steve Stockman. I assume the population of people who know of Nugent as "cool rock star" is shrinking while the population of people who know him as "old guy with some relationship to music and conservative political views" is growing. Not that that makes his political views any less relevant than they ever were.

6:02 p.m. The White House has released excerpts of the President's speech in advance of the 9 p.m. address from the Capitol:

''It is our generation's task, then, to reignite the true engine of America's economic growth '' a rising, thriving middle class.

It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country '' the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.

It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation of ours.''


''A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs '' that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?''


''Tonight, I'll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat '' nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It's not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.''

And here are excerpts of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's response from Republicans:

''This opportunity '' to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life '' it isn't bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs. Presidents in both parties '' from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan '' have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class prosperity. But President Obama? He believes it's the cause of our problems.''


''Mr. President, I still live in the same working class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren't millionaires. They're retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They're workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They're immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy. The tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle class families. It will cost them their raises. It will cost them their benefits. It may even cost some of them their jobs. And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to save Medicare and Social Security. So Mr. President, I don't oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.''


''Economic growth is the best way to help the middle class. Unfortunately, our economy actually shrank during the last three months of 2012. But if we can get the economy to grow at just 4 percent a year, it would create millions of middle class jobs. And it could reduce our deficits by almost $4 trillion dollars over the next decade. Tax increases can't do this.Raising taxes won't create private sector jobs. And there's no realistic tax increase that could lower our deficits by almost $4 trillion. That's why I hope the President will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead work with us to achieve real growth in our economy.''


''The real cause of our debt is that our government has been spending 1 trillion dollars more than it takes in every year. That's why we need a balanced budget amendment. The biggest obstacles to balancing the budget are programs where spending is already locked in. One of these programs, Medicare, is especially important to me. It provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately die with dignity. And it pays for the care my mother receives now. I would never support any changes to Medicare that would hurt seniors like my mother. But anyone who is in favor of leaving Medicare exactly the way it is right now, is in favor of bankrupting it.''


''Despite our differences, I know that both Republicans and Democrats love America. I pray we can come together to solve our problems, because the choices before us could not be more important. If we can get our economy healthy again, our children will be the most prosperous Americans ever. And if we do not, we will forever be known as the generation responsible for America's decline.''

And here are excerpts of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's Tea Party response:

o We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future. We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities. We must be the party that says, 'If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.'

o The path we are on is not sustainable, but few in Congress or in this Administration seem to recognize that their actions are endangering the prosperity of this great nation.

o Both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of protecting their sacred cows, of backroom deals in which everyone up here wins, but every taxpayer loses. It is time for a new bipartisan consensus. It is time Democrats admit that not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred. And it is time Republicans realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud.

o Not only should the sequester stand, many pundits say the sequester really needs to be at least $4 trillion to avoid another downgrade of America's credit rating. Both parties will have to agree to cut, or we will never fix our fiscal mess.

o Washington acts in a way that your family never could '' they spend money they do not have, they borrow from future generations, and then they blame each other for never fixing the problem.

o If Congress refuses to obey its own rules, if Congress refuses to pass a budget, if Congress refuses to read the bills, then I say: Sweep the place clean. Limit their terms and send them home!

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments or send an email to the author at ereeve at theatlantic dot com. You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.

Drone Nation

To protect citizens, Texas may pass toughest anti-drone laws in America

Link to Article

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 17:56

(NaturalNews) Texas lawmakers are considering what would become the toughest anti-drone law in the nation, following revelations the Obama administration has legally justified targeting American citizens only suspected of engaging in terrorist activities with drones.Under a measure filed by state Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican, the bill would essentially outlaw the use of drones over Texas by individuals or by state and federal law enforcement agencies.

In an interview with San Antonio radio station WOAI, Gooden said his bill would contain exceptions but that those would be limited. For instance, it would allow drones within 25 miles of the Rio Grande river for use in interdicting drug smugglers and illegal immigrants. It would also allow use by law enforcement with a valid search or arrest warrant, with "probable cause to believe that a person has committed a felony."

"Do we want our local police departments laying off officers and simply parking drones over our homes to keep an eye on all of us?" Gooden asked.

Don't mess with Texas skies

The lawmaker's bill would also make it illegal to use any image captured with a drone in civil or criminal court proceedings.

"These drones are going to get so cheap that soon you'll be able to buy your own drone at (electronics retail chain) Best Buy," Gooden told the station. "You could park it a foot above the ground in your neighbor's back yard and film into their house. If someone wanted to film your children out playing by the pool and put that video on the Internet, as creepy as that sounds," they would be able to do so, he added.

Gooden said he is introducing his measure now, rather than five or 10 years from now when drone usage will be much more ubiquitous, because now is the time to implement laws defining and/or restricting their usage before a so-called "drone lobby" forms to protect the drone industry.

As an example, Gooden argued that if states and the federal government had implemented laws 15 years ago prohibiting texting while driving, the activity would not be as big a problem today.

"Soon you will be able to park your own drone over someone's private property and perform indiscriminate surveillance all day long," he said.

The Texan's bill will also prohibit federal law enforcement or other federal officials and agencies from flying drones over Texas just to spy randomly on state citizens. The legislation would require said agencies to limit their surveillance to individuals they reasonably suspect are engaged in criminal activity, and only after a judge has issued a warrant permitting the surveillance.

The bill is gaining support following the Obama administration's tortured legal justification for killing American citizens who are only suspected of illicit activity (this from the same president who once vowed to close down the terrorist detention center in Guantanamo Bay because he believed the foreign suspects held there were being denied their civil rights).

State measures 'largely symbolic?'

Gooden's bill would also allow a person who was victimized by unauthorized drone surveillance to sue for damages, whether the drone was flown by an individual or a government official.

The lawmaker admits there are legitimate uses for drone technology, from ranchers who want to keep an eye on their cattle to realtors getting good, interesting photos for use in making a sales pitch. But, he told WOAI, the time has come for Texans to reaffirm their Fourth Amendment right to be free from "unreasonable searches" in all forms, even if - or especially if - that "search" is being carried out by an unmanned flight platform.

Other states are also considering bans or restrictions on the use of drones.

Charlottesville, Va., passed the nation's first anti-drone measure Feb. 4, The Christian Science Monitor reported, adding that nine additional states including Massachusetts and California are "considering some form of legislation" regulating drones.

The paper said; however, that the measures were "largely symbolic" because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the authority to regulate all U.S. airspace use and is currently charged with developing drone-usage regulations by 2015.





people have commented on this article.

John Brennan and the ''So-Called'' Americans

Link to Article

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 05:31

''One of the problems is, once the drone program is so public, and one American is caught up, people don't know much about this one 'American citizen''--so called,'' said Senator Dianne Feinstein, in her questioning of John Brennan, President Obama's nominee for C.I.A. director, on Thursday. (John Cassidy has more on the hearing.) She was referring to Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a drone strike in Yemen, in 2011, and was a ''so-called'' American because he was an American, born in New Mexico. ''They don't know what he's been doing,'' Feinstein continued. ''They don't know the incitement he has stirred up. I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about Mr. Awlaki and what he's been doing.''

Brennan demurred at first, since the question was about an ''operation.'' Feinstein jumped in:

See, that's the problem. When people hear ''American,'' they think someone who's upstanding. And this man was not upstanding by a long shot.


FEINSTEIN: And maybe you cannot discuss it here, but I've read enough to know that he was a real problem.

Brennan agreed, saying that al-Awlaki ''was intimately involved in activities that were designed to kill innocent men, women, and children, mostly Americans. He was not just a propagandist.'' (He neglected to mention that al-Awlaki's American teen-age son was also killed, in a separate strike.) Feinstein then led him through a number of incidents; in some cases, Brennan agreed that al-Awlaki was an organizer, and in others he spoke obliquely about ''inspiring'' and ''inciting individuals.'' Feinstein summed up the exchange with what may have been the most disturbing line in the three-hour hearing, worse, even, than the waterboarding joke that Senator Burr told a few minutes later:

''And, so, Mr. Awlaki is not an American citizen by where anyone in America would be proud.''

''Proud,'' ''upstanding,'' ''so-called American'''--is this the basis on which the Senate is judging fundamental questions of American rights and due process? Before the hearing, I wondered what picture of Americans we were supposed to have when we heard about the executive giving itself the power to kill them. Feinstein could hardly have given a less reassuring answer. When and on what basis will any of us get a ''so-called'' in front of our nationality? That there may have been a good deal of evidence against al-Awlaki is why his case should have gone before a court, not why it shouldn't have. What happened to the idea that it is precisely when we are the most enraged, and the least popular, that we need to be the most careful?

The Obama Administration, as far as we've seen in a leaked Department of Justice white paper, is making a contradictory case: it claims that it is deliberate and careful, acting only when it must to say lives. But, when challenged, it descends into emotion and an abandonment of law. Angus King, the new Independent Senator from Maine'--a white mustachioed, affable, Sandra Day O'Connor-quoting figure'--asked why there couldn't be something like a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court that reviewed evidence before a strike. (Otherwise, what's to stop the President from acting on, or making, unfounded accusations?) Brennan said that he'd be interested in talking about it, but then made a comment that goes to the heart of what's so troubling about the Administration's targeted-killing policies:

None of those actions are to determine past guilt for those actions that they took. The decisions that they made are to take actions to prevent a future action'--to protect American lives. And that is an inherently executive function.

So the President gets to make guesses, perhaps about someone who has not done anything that wasn't upstanding? It got more confusing when Ron Wyden, of Oregon, asked Brennan whether American citizens on a ''kill list'' should be given an opportunity to surrender. Brennan said that anyone who was in Al Qaeda ''should know well that they, in fact, are part of an enemy against us'''--suggesting that past associations are enough. The white paper seconds this, with a notion of people who are ''continually planning'' and, as has been much noted, has a definition of ''imminence'' and preventing ''future actions'' that is elastic to the point of meaninglessness. Nor does the white paper limit killing power to Al Qaeda'--it includes vaguely defined ''associated forces.''

If the hearing accomplished one thing, it was to make it very clear that the level of transparency and oversight have been insufficient. Brennan demonstrated this himself, in the course of dodging questions about what torture had yielded and cost us; he said that a classified Senate Intelligence Committee report had been ''disturbing,'' and had made him question much of what he thought he knew. (He mentioned ''inaccurate information that was put forward.'') If someone in Brennan's position can say that, the public needs to read the report before being asked to acquiesce the next time. It was also striking that the White House let the Senators but not their staffs see the legal memos that were the basis of the white paper.

Is Brennan angry about getting bad information about torture? Throughout the hearing, he offered his own passions as justifications'--''I go to bed worrying that I didn't do enough,'' he said. (The passions were then justified with jokes about how he was from New Jersey.) Americans don't understand, he said, ''the agony we go through'' to make sure that there aren't collateral deaths in drone strikes. He may do so, but his internal pain is ultimately less interesting than the precedents he is crafting and the way that future Presidents'--whether dispassionate or vindictive or caught up in a crisis'--might use them. As Senator Jay Rockefeller said, ''the drones are going to grow.''

There was, however, one point in which Brennan put his feelings aside. He was asked by Carl Levin if waterboarding was torture. Brennan said that, though in a personal sense he thought it was ''reprehensible,'' he couldn't answer the question: ''I'm not a lawyer.''

Photograph by Chris Maddaloni/Getty

Follow the Pipes

Pakistan to build $1.5bn Iran pipeline

Link to Article


Tue, 12 Feb 2013 06:07

PakistanAffairs.pkBy Farhan Bokhari

Pakistan has decided to go ahead with a controversial $1.5bn pipeline to import Iranian gas, a senior government official has said, in a move that risks alienating the US.

''A decision has been made that we can't delay this project for any longer. This is Pakistan's essential lifeline. We are going ahead with this project,'' the official told the Financial Times on Thursday.

Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan's president, unexpectedly cancelled a trip to Iran at the last minute in December, amid concerns in Islamabad over stiff US opposition to a project considered essential for tackling mounting energy shortages. Some Pakistani officials had expected Mr Zardari to consent to the project during the trip.

The plan would see Pakistan build a pipeline connecting its national gas supply grid in the southern Sindh province to the Iranian border in southwest Baluchistan. Iranian officials say they have already built the pipeline on their side of the border to within 100km of Pakistan.

The US has opposed the pipeline on the grounds it would inject foreign exchange into the Iranian economy at a time when western countries have imposed a number of ever tighter sanctions in an effort to prevent Tehran from advancing its nuclear weapons programme.Independent economists said it was too early to predict whether the project would go ahead. ''The companies involved from Pakistan may face the danger of being exposed to US-led western sanctions,'' warned Sakib Sherani, an economist. ''There are also technical issues in undertaking such a large project.''

However, Islamabad has become all too aware of the political and economic risks posed by chronic electricity shortages after people took to the streets in cities across the country last summer in protest at power cuts up to 20 hours long.

Pakistan appeared confident the US would not hit it with tough sanctions, according to a senior western diplomat in Islamabad. ''In their [Pakistan's] calculus, they believe that the US needs Pakistan to ensure a successful drawdown from Afghanistan by December next year,'' the diplomat said.

''The Pakistanis probably believe there will be a lot of huff and puff but no painful sanctions. In all honesty, Pakistan has a terrible situation on energy and these [energy] shortages can undermine the country's stability.''

Iran has offered its neighbour at least $500m to help finance the project. The money was ''just the beginning'', the Pakistani official said. ''The Iranians have said they will provide more funding for this project if there is a need.''

The Iranian pipeline offers Pakistan the shortest supply route from any gas surplus country, officials say. Asim Hussain, chief adviser on oil and natural resources to the government, told the FT last December: ''It's a feasible project for Pakistan. It's the quickest route, the cheapest route where we can fulfil our energy needs.''

Via PakistanAffairs.pk

Turkey, Azerbaijan reach agreement on natural gas pipeline

Link to Article

Source: Gitmo Nation News

Mon, 11 Feb 2013 19:06

''Turkey has reported the imminent launch of a major natural gas pipeline from Central Asia.

TANAP will be a gas pipeline from Turkey's eastern border to the western border, transporting gas from Azerbaijan's offshore Shah Deniz field to Europe through Turkey.

Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said Turkey has been preparing for the launch of construction of the Azeri-Turkish Trans Anatolia Pipeline in 2013.

Erdogan said the governments in Azerbaijan and Turkey have approved the project, signed in June 2012.

''We took a new step with Azerbaijan,'' Erdogan told a news conference on Feb. 6.

''The agreement for TANAP has been approved in the parliaments of both sides.''

Officials said the project, led by Turkey's Botas and Azerbaijan's

Socar, was meant to be completed by 2020 and cost $7 billion.

The officials said Azerbaijan would pump gas to Turkey, which would relay the fuel to Western Europe.''

Read more here: Turkey, Azerbaijan reach agreement on natural gas pipeline | World Tribune.

UK Distraction

Justice and Security Bill [HL] 2012-13 -- UK Parliament

Government to hold horsemeat summit

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Europe

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 05:40

11 February 2013Last updated at19:49 ETEnvironment Secretary Owen Paterson will meet Food Standards Agency and food industry representatives later to discuss the horsemeat crisis.

Mr Paterson told the Commons on Monday that it appeared "criminal activity" had been at the heart of the scandal.

MPs will discuss the issue after Labour called a debate on Tuesday afternoon.

It comes after some Tesco Everyday Value spaghetti bolognese, withdrawn from sale last week, was found to contain 60% horsemeat.

Horsemeat has been detected in several brand and supermarket-own processed meat products.

Tougher testingThe summit will be the environment secretary's second meeting with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and members of the food industry in a matter of days.

On Saturday, Mr Paterson held an emergency meeting to try to discover how products labelled as beef and sold in supermarkets in fact contained up to 100% horsemeat.

Continue reading the main storyExperts say horsemeat itself should be no more dangerous than beef to eatThe Food Standards Agency (FSA) has ordered food businesses to check for horsemeat in all processed beef products, such as beef burgers, meatballs and lasagne. The first set of results is expected on Friday 15 FebruaryThere is concern that some horses are given a drug called bute (phenylbutazone) which can be dangerous to humansAnimals treated with phenylbutazone are not allowed to enter the food chain for this reasonThe FSA says all horse carcasses in the UK have been tested for bute since 30 JanuaryThe FSA has also ordered Findus to test its lasagne containing horsemeat for buteRetailers have agreed to carry out tougher testing of beef products and Mr Paterson warned that "more bad news" could come when the results are revealed on Friday.

The minister said there were plans to test all processed beef in the UK.

Mr Paterson told MPs testing should take place every three months, and the FSA should be notified of the results.

Labour will urge the government to speed up testing in order to restore consumer confidence when MPs debate the issue in the Commons later.

Tesco became the latest firm to announce it was dropping French food supplier Comigel after DNA tests on the frozen bolognese were known.

The supermarket giant took the product off the shelves when it found out it came from the same factory as Findus beef lasagne, also at the centre of the horsemeat controversy.

Tesco said the level of contamination suggested Comigel was "not following the appropriate production process".

Tesco Group technical director Tim Smith said: "We are very sorry that we have let customers down."

'Comprehensively address'On Wednesday, EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg and other European ministers will meet in Brussels to consider the impact of the horsemeat scandal.

The meeting was called by the Irish Republic, which currently holds the EU presidency.

Irish Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said the summit would discuss "whatever steps may be necessary at EU level to comprehensively address this matter".

French inspectors have been at the Comigel headquarters in Metz, north-east France. Findus meals were made by the company at its Luxembourg factory.

Investigators were also at the offices of importer Spanghero, in the south of France, which brought the meat to France from Romania.

Romania has rejected claims that it was responsible for wrongly describing horsemeat from its abattoirs as beef.

Email from Andrew

Hi John + Adam,

Don't know if you two have covered this in great detail as I haven't had a

chance to get to the second half of the show recently but I am sure at

least Adam is aware of the HORSEMEAT SCANDAL in the UK.

This has been going on for about a week now but has gained ridiculous

coverage in the past few days and I have had BBC News channel on live since

8am (it is 1pm now) and they have talked NON-STOP about this SCANDAL. The

thing is, I have spoken to many of my fellow shitizens of gitmonation east

and not one of us gives two shits about eating horsemeat.

The horsemeat has been tested and found not to be dangerous and yet the

media is rambling on about this bullshit about how everyone is "OUTRAGED"

when we simply are not.

I propose that this is a HUGE-scale distraction created by the government

at this time when they are trying to pass the "Justice and Security Bill"

which has had it's second reading in the Commons this week. This bill is a

bill that would allow the UK government to make anything "secret" in the

interests of NATIONAL SECURITY, a phrase that is well over-used in the USA

but not so much here. The media have not reported on this one bit and I did

see a commentator on the BBC try to bring it up and was taken off camera

and told he was out of time within seconds.


This bill allows the UK government to make the proceedings of ANY court

case private for whatever reason they want. This bill poses a real risk to

the UK shitizens and yet it is being COMPLETELY HIDDEN by this fake


I hope you could provide some publicity of the TRUE scandal going on here,

if you have time.




Zombie hoax blamed on lax passwords by U.S. broadcasters | Reuters

Link to Article

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 05:14

By Jim Finkle

Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:58pm EST

(Reuters) - A hacker infiltration of the U.S. emergency broadcast system on TV stations in at least four states came down to the fact that the stations had failed to change factory default passwords, broadcasters said on Wednesday.

The Monday attacks, which broadcast bogus warnings that the United States was under attack by zombies, prompted the government to order television stations to change passwords on the equipment that connects them to the nation's Emergency Alert System, or EAS.

The FCC would not comment, but in an urgent advisory sent to television stations on Tuesday the agency said: "All EAS participants are required to take immediate action."

It instructed them to change passwords on equipment from all manufacturers, making sure that gear was secured behind firewalls and to also inspect systems to ensure that hackers had not queued "unauthorized alerts" for future transmission.

While a zombie hoax appeared to be somewhat innocuous, the fact that hackers could easily broadcast an emergency message showed that they might be able to wreak havoc with more alarming communications.

"It isn't what they said. It is the fact that they got into the system. They could have caused some real damage," said Karole White, president of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.

Two stations were attacked in Michigan, in addition to several in California, Montana and New Mexico, according to White.

A male voice addressed viewers in a video posted on the Internet of the bogus warning broadcast from KRTV in Great Falls, Montana, a CBS affiliate: "Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from the grave and attacking the living." The voice warned not "to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are extremely dangerous."

Bill Robertson, vice president of privately held electronics manufacturer Monroe Electronics of Lyndonville, New York, told Reuters that equipment from his company had been compromised in at least some of the attacks after hackers gained access to their default passwords.

Monroe publishes the default passwords for its equipment in user manuals that can be accessed on its public website.

He said that the company is working to improve the security of its products and may update its software to force broadcasters to change default passwords.

"They were compromised because the front door was left open. It was just like saying 'Walk in the front door,'" he said.

Mike Davis, a hardware security expert with a firm known as IOActive Labs, told Reuters that he was able to use Google Inc's search engine to identify some 30 alert systems across the United States that he believed were vulnerable to attack as of Wednesday morning.

"Somebody could have delivered their message to a lot more systems," said Davis, who last month sent a detailed report about vulnerabilities in EAS equipment to the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or US-CERT.

Officials with US-CERT could not be reached.

Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dan Watson said the breach did not have any impact on the government's ability to activate the Emergency Alert System.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Sensory processing disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 05:13

Sensory processing disorder or SPD is a neurological disorder causing difficulties with taking in, processing, and responding to sensory information about the environment and from within one's own body (visual, auditory, tactile, olfaction, gustatory, vestibular, and proprioception).

For those identified as having SPD, sensory information may be sensed and perceived in a way that is different from most other people. Unlike blindness or deafness, sensory information can be received by people with SPD, the difference is that information is often registered, interpreted and processed differently by the brain. The result can be unusual ways of responding or behaving, finding things harder to do. Difficulties may typically present as difficulties planning and organizing, problems with doing the activities of everyday life (self care, work and leisure activities), and for some with extreme sensitivity, sensory input may result in extreme avoidance of activities, agitation, distress, fear or confusion.[1]

The term SPD is now often used (though not without controversy) instead of the earlier term sensory integration dysfunction which was originally used by occupational therapist A. Jean Ayres as part of her theory that deficits in the processing and interpretation of sensation from the body and the environment could lead to sensorimotor and learning problems in children. The theory is widely acknowledged, but also has generated tremendous controversy.

Some state that sensory processing disorder is a distinct diagnosis, while others argue that differences in sensory responsiveness are features of other diagnoses.[2] SPD is not recognized in any standard medical manuals such as the ICD-10[3] or the DSM-IV-TR.[4] The committee that prepares the DSM-5 has requested that additional studies be done before the disorder can be recognized.[2] On the other hand, SPD is in Stanley Greenspan's Diagnostic Manual for Infancy and Early Childhood and as Regulation Disorders of Sensory Processing part of the The Zero to Three's Diagnostic Classification.[5]

SPD is often associated with a range of neurological, psychiatric, behavioral and language disorders.[6]

There is no known cure; however, there are many treatments available.[citation needed]

[edit]ClassificationsInitially the term traditionally used for children and adults with sensory processing difficulties was Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID).

A new nosology has been proposed by Lucy J. Miller, Ph.D., OTR and colleagues. The new terms are meant to increase understanding between Occupational Therapists and other professionals who frequently encounter SID and physicians and other health professionals who approach sensory integration dysfunction from a more neurobiological vantage.

This understanding is critical as physicians are responsible for diagnosing SPD, which is a necessary step in accessing reimbursement (eventually from insurance companies) for professional services to treat SPD.

Sensory Processing Dysfunction is now being used as a global umbrella term that includes all forms of this disorder, including three primary diagnostic groups:

Type I - Sensory Modulation DisorderType II - Sensory Based Motor DisorderType III - Sensory Discrimination DisorderType I - Sensory Modulation Disorder (SMD). Over, or under responding to sensory stimuli or seeking sensory stimulation. This group may include a fearful and/or anxious pattern, negative and/or stubborn behaviors, self-absorbed behaviors that are difficult to engage or creative or actively seeking sensation.

Type II - Sensory Based Motor Disorder (SBMD). Shows motor output that is disorganized as a result of incorrect processing of sensory information affecting postural control challenges and/or dyspraxia.

Type III - Sensory Discrimination Disorder (SDD). Sensory discrimination or incorrect processing of sensory information. Incorrect processing of visual or auditory input, for example, may be seen in inattentiveness, disorganization, and poor school performance.

This information is adapted from research and publications by: Lucy, J. Miller, Ph.D., OTR, Marie Anzalone, Sc.D., OTR, Sharon A. Cermak, Ed.D., OTR/L, Shelly J., Lane, Ph.D, OTR, Beth Osten, M.S,m OTR/L, Serena Wieder, Ph.D., Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D..

[edit]Sensory modulationSensory modulation refers to a complex central nervous system process by which neural messages that convey information about the intensity, frequency, duration, complexity, and novelty of sensory stimuli are adjusted.

Behaviorally, this is manifested in the tendency to generate responses that are appropriately graded in relation to incoming sensations, neither underreacting nor overreacting to them.

[edit]Sensory modulation problemsSensory registration problems - This refers to the process by which the central nervous system attends to stimuli. This usually involves an orienting response. Sensory registration problems are characterized by failure to notice stimuli that ordinarily are salient to most people.Sensory defensiveness - A condition characterized by over-responsivity in one or more systems.Gravitational insecurity - A sensory modulation condition in which there is a tendency to react negatively and fearfully to movement experiences, particularly those involving a change in head position and movement backward or upward through space.(Case-Smith, (2005)

[edit]Hyposensitivities and hypersensitivitiesSensory integration disorders vary between individuals in their characteristics and intensity. Some people are so mildly afflicted, the disorder is barely noticeable, while others are so impaired they have trouble with daily functioning.

Children can be born hypersensitive or hyposensitive to varying degrees and may have trouble in one sensory modality, a few, or all of them. Hypersensitivity is also known as sensory defensiveness. Examples of hypersensitivity include feeling pain from clothing rubbing against skin, an inability to tolerate normal lighting in a room, a dislike of being touched (especially light touch) and discomfort when one looks directly into the eyes of another person.

Hyposensitivity is characterized by an unusually high tolerance for environmental stimuli. A child with hyposensitivity might appear restless and seek sensory stimulation.

In treating sensory dysfunctions, a "just right" challenge is used: giving the child just the right amount of challenge to motivate him and stimulate changes in the way the system processes sensory information but not so much as to make him shut down or go into sensory overload.

The "just right" challenge is absent if the activity and the child's perception of activity do not match. In addition, deep pressure is often calming for children who have sensory dysfunctions. It is recommended that therapists use a variety of tactile materials, a quiet, subdued voice, and slow, linear movements, tailoring the approach to the child's unique sensory needs.

While occupational therapy sessions focus on increasing a child's ability to tolerate a variety of sensory experiences, both the activities and environment should be assessed for a "just right" fit with the child. Overwhelming environmental stimuli such as flickering fluorescent lighting and bothersome clothing tags should be eliminated whenever possible to increase the child's comfort and ability to engage productively. Meanwhile, the occupational therapist and parents should jointly create a "sensory diet," a term coined by occupational therapist Patricia Wilbarger.[7]

The sensory diet is a schedule of daily activities that gives the child the sensory fuel their body needs to get into an organized state and stay there. According to SI theory, rather than just relying on individual treatment sessions, ensuring that a carefully designed program of sensory input throughout the day is implemented at home and at school can create profound, lasting changes in the child's nervous system.

Parents can help their child by realizing that play is an important part of their child's development. Therapy involves working with an occupational therapist and the child will engage in activities that provide vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile stimulation. Therapy is individualized to meet the child's specific needs for development. Emphasis is put on automatic sensory processes in the course of a goal-directed activity. The children are engaged in therapy as play which may include activities such as: finger painting, using Play-Doh type modeling clay, swinging, playing in bins of rice or water, climbing, etc.

[edit]Relationship to other disorders[edit]Autistic spectrum disorders and difficulties of sensory processingSensory processing disorder is a common comorbidity with autism spectrum disorders.[8] Although responses to sensory stimuli are more common and prominent in autistic children and adults, there is no good evidence that sensory symptoms differentiate autism from other developmental disorders.[9] Differences are greater for under-responsivity (for example, walking into things) than for over-responsivity (for example, distress from loud noises) or for seeking (for example, rhythmic movements).[10] The responses may be more common in children: a pair of studies found that autistic children had impaired tactile perception while autistic adults did not.[11]

[edit]Other disordersThe neuroscientist David Eagleman has proposed that SPD may be a form of synesthesia, a perceptual condition in which the senses are blended.[12] Specifically, Eagleman suggests that instead of a sensory input "connecting to [a person's] color area [in the brain], it's connecting to an area involving pain or aversion or nausea".[13]

Some argue that sensory related disorders may be misdiagnosed as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but they can coexist, as well as emotional problems, aggressiveness and speech-related disorders such as aphasia. Sensory processing, they argue, is foundational, like the roots of a tree, and gives rise to a myriad of behaviors and symptoms such as hyperactivity and speech delay.

For example, a child with an under-responsive vestibular system may need extra input to his "motion sensor" in order to achieve a state of quiet alertness; to get this input, the child might fidget or run around, appearing ostensibly to be hyperactive, when in fact, he suffers from a sensory related disorder

Researchers have described a treatable inherited sensory overstimulation disorder that meets diagnostic criteria for both attention deficit disorder and sensory integration dysfunction.[14]

[edit]Sensory integration therapySeveral therapies have been developed to treat SID.[15] Some of these treatments (for example, sensorimotor handling) have a questionable rationale and no empirical evidence. Other treatments (for example, prism lenses, physical exercise, and auditory integration training) have had studies with small positive outcomes, but few conclusions can be made about them due to methodological problems with the studies.[16] Although replicable treatments have been described and valid outcome measures are known, gaps exist in knowledge related to sensory integration dysfunction and therapy.[17] Empirical support is limited, therefore systematic evaluation is needed if these interventions are used.[18]

The main form of sensory integration therapy is a type of occupational therapy that places a child in a room specifically designed to stimulate and challenge all of the senses.

During the session, the therapist works closely with the child to provide a level of sensory stimulation that the child can cope with, and encourage movement within the room. Sensory integration therapy is driven by four main principles:

Just Right Challenge (the child must be able to successfully meet the challenges that are presented through playful activities)Adaptive Response (the child adapts his behavior with new and useful strategies in response to the challenges presented)Active Engagement (the child will want to participate because the activities are fun)Child Directed (the child's preferences are used to initiate therapeutic experiences within the session).Children with lower sensitivity (hyposensitivity) may be exposed to strong sensations such as stroking with a brush, vibrations or rubbing. Play may involve a range of materials to stimulate the senses such as play dough or finger painting.

Children with heightened sensitivity (hypersensitivity) may be exposed to peaceful activities including quiet music and gentle rocking in a softly lit room. Treats and rewards may be used to encourage children to tolerate activities they would normally avoid.

While occupational therapists using a sensory integration frame of reference work on increasing a child's ability to tolerate and integrate sensory input, other OTs may focus on environmental accommodations that parents and school staff can use to enhance the child's function at home, school, and in the community (Biel and Peske, 2005). These may include selecting soft, tag-free clothing, avoiding fluorescent lighting, and providing ear plugs for "emergency" use (such as for fire drills).

There is a growing evidence base that points to and supports the notion that adults also show signs of sensory processing difficulties. In the United Kingdom early research and improved clinical outcomes for clients assessed as having sensory processing difficulties is indicating that the therapy may be an appropriate treatment (Urwin and Ballinger 2005) [19] for a range of presentations seen in adult clients including for those with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome, as well as adults with dyspraxia and some mental health difficulties (Brown, Shankar and Smith 2009)[20] that therapists suggest may arise from the difficulties adults with sensory processing difficulties encounter trying to negotiate the challenges and demands of engaging in everyday life(Brown, Shankar and Smith 2006).[21]

[edit]Alternative viewsNot all professionals agree with the notion that hypersensitive or hyposensitive senses necessarily constitute a disorder. However, sensory integration dysfunction, sometimes called sensory processing disorder, is only diagnosed when the sensory behavior interferes significantly with learning, playing, and activities of daily living (ADL).

Sensory issues can be located on a spectrum. Being annoyed and distracted by the sound of a noisy ventilation system or the scratchiness of a sweater is considered to be a typical sensory response. When a child is so strongly affected by background noise or tactile sensations that he totally withdraws, becomes hyperactive and impulsive, or lashes out as part of a primitive fight-or-flight response, the child's sensory issues are severe enough to warrant intervention.

In addition to experiencing hypersensitivity, a person can experience hyposensitivity (undersensitivity to sensory stimuli). One example of this is insensitivity to pain. A child with sensory integration dysfunction may giggle when given an injection or not even blink when receiving a second-degree burn.

There is no empirical evidence that hypersensitivity results from sensory integration issues. There is anecdotal evidence that sensory integration therapy results in more typical sensory responses and sensory processing. For example, Temple Grandin has reported that the deep pressure, or proprioceptive input, created by a cattle squeeze machine she used in her youth resulted in her being able to interact in her environment.

Additionally, over 130 articles on sensory integration have been published in peer-reviewed (mostly occupational therapy) journals. The difficulties of designing double-blind research studies of sensory integration dysfunction have been addressed by Temple Grandin and others. More research is needed.

It is speculated that SID may be a misdiagnosis for persons with attention problems. For example, a student who fails to repeat what has been said in class (due to boredom or distraction) might be referred for evaluation for sensory integration dysfunction. The student might then be evaluated by an occupational therapist to determine why he is having difficulty focusing and attending, and perhaps also evaluated by an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist for auditory processing issues or language processing issues.

As part of the auditory evaluation, the student may be asked to listen to signals coming from either side of a pair of headphones and identify where they are coming from. If the student is bored or distracted, or confused by the oral directions given, the test may be inconclusive and may not isolate what the problem is. The assessor must consider sensory and language factors in evaluating the student's performance on the test. Diagnoses based on single tests are unreliable, and integrated assessment utilizing multiple sources of information is the preferred means of diagnosis.

Similarly, a child may be mistakenly labeled "ADHD" or "ADD" because impulsivity has been observed, when actually this impulsivity is limited to sensory seeking or avoiding. A child might regularly jump out of his seat in class despite multiple warnings and threats because his poor proprioception (body awareness) causes him to fall out of his seat, and his anxiety over this potential problem causes him to avoid sitting whenever possible.

If the same child is able to remain seated after being given an inflatable bumpy cushion to sit on (which gives him more sensory input), or, is able to remain seated at home or in a particular classroom but not in his main classroom, it is a sign that more evaluation is needed to determine the cause of his impulsivity.

Children with FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) display many sensory integration problems.

While the diagnosis of sensory integration dysfunction is accepted widely among occupational therapists and also educators, these professionals have been criticized for overextending a model that attempts to explain emotional and behavioral problems that could be caused by other conditions.

Children who receive the diagnosis of sensory integration dysfunction may also have signs of anxiety problems, ADHD, food intolerances, and behavioral disorders, as well as for autism, and may have genetic problems such as Fragile X syndrome. Sensory integration dysfunction is not considered to be on the autism spectrum, and a child can receive a diagnosis of sensory integration dysfunction without any comorbid conditions.

Because comorbid conditions are common with sensory integration issues, a child may have other conditions as well which make him or her reactive, "touchy", or unpredictable, and manifest in a manner similar to that characterized by occupational therapists as sensory integration dysfunction.

The theory of SI points out that children learn through their senses. A child who seems to have difficulty processing sensory information, may not be developmentally on track (in terms of social skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, language, etc.)

SI therapy is not "one size fits all." According to SI theory, children with sensory integration issues have their own unique set of sensory responses that need to be addressed. What is calming and focusing for one child may be overstimulating for another, and vice versa. Treatment often depends on the child's unique set of sensory responses.

Some adults identify themselves as having sensory integration dysfunction; that is, they report that their hypersensitivity, hyposensitivity, and related sensory processing issues, such as poor self-regulation, continue to cause significant interference in their daily lives at home, at work, and at school.

Alternatively, there is evidence to suggest that some gifted children also have an increased tendency toward hypersensitivity (e.g., finding all shirt tags unbearable), which may be correlated with their greater intellectual proclivity toward perceiving the world in unconventional ways.[22][23][24][25]

[edit]See also[edit]References^"Sensory Processing Disorder Explained". SPD Foundation. http://www.spdfoundation.net/about-sensory-processing-disorder.html.^ abJoanne Flanagan (2009). "Sensory processing disorder". Pediatric News. BNET. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb4384/is_8_43/ai_n45484253/.^"ICD 10". http://priory.com/psych/ICD.htm.^"APA Diagnostic Classification DSM-IV-TR | BehaveNet". http://behavenet.com/apa-diagnostic-classification-dsm-iv-tr#301.^"Infants and Toddlers Who Require Specialty Services and Supports" (pdf). Department of Community Health'--Mental Health Services to Children and Families. http://www.mi-aimh.org/documents/crosswalkaccess_eligibilitywithdch_title__121807.pdf.^"Educator Fact Sheet Signs and Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder". Spiral Foundation. http://www.thespiralfoundation.org/pdfs/Fact%20Sheet%20for%20Educators.pdf.^"Therapeutic Brushing Techniques". http://www.ot-innovations.com/content/view/55/46/. Retrieved 31 January 2013.^Natalie Russo et al. Multisensory processing in children with autism: high-density electrical mapping of auditory-somatosensory integration. Autism Research, August 17, 2010^Rogers SJ, Ozonoff S (2005). "Annotation: what do we know about sensory dysfunction in autism? A critical review of the empirical evidence". J Child Psychol Psychiatry46 (12): 1255''68. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01431.x. PMID 16313426.^Ben-Sasson A, Hen L, Fluss R, Cermak SA, Engel-Yeger B, Gal E (2008). "A meta-analysis of sensory modulation symptoms in individuals with autism spectrum disorders". J Autism Dev Disord39 (1): 1''11. doi:10.1007/s10803-008-0593-3. PMID 18512135.^Williams DL, Goldstein G, Minshew NJ (2006). "Neuropsychologic functioning in children with autism: further evidence for disordered complex information-processing". Child Neuropsychol12 (4''5): 279''98. doi:10.1080/09297040600681190. PMC 1803025. PMID 16911973. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1803025/.^Cytowic RE and Eagleman DM (2009). Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia. Cambridge: MIT Press.^The blended senses of synesthesia, Los Angeles Times, Feb 20, 2012.^Segal MM, Rogers GF, Needleman HL, Chapman CA (2007). "Hypokalemic sensory overstimulation". J Child Neurol22 (12): 1408''10. doi:10.1177/0883073807307095. PMID 18174562.^"Sensory integrative therapy". Research Autism. http://www.researchautism.net/interventionitem.ikml?print&ra=28&infolevel=4. Retrieved 2007-10-08.^Baranek GT (2002). "Efficacy of sensory and motor interventions for children with autism". J Autism Dev Disord32 (5): 397''422. doi:10.1023/A:1020541906063. PMID 12463517.^Schaaf RC, Miller LJ (2005). "Occupational therapy using a sensory integrative approach for children with developmental disabilities". Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev11 (2): 143''8. doi:10.1002/mrdd.20067. PMID 15977314.^Hodgetts S, Hodgetts W (2007). "Somatosensory stimulation interventions for children with autism: literature review and clinical considerations". Can J Occup Ther74 (5): 393''400. doi:10.2182/cjot.07.013. PMID 18183774.^URWIN Rosalind; BALLINGER Claire; Title: The effectiveness of sensory integration therapy to improve functional behaviour in adults with learning disabilities: five single-case experimental designs. Reference: British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68(2), February 2005, pp.56-66.^Brown, S; Shankar, R; Smith, K "Borderline personality disorder and sensory processing impairment" Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry Volume 13, Issue 4, pages 10''16, July/August 2009^Brown S, Shankar R, Smith K, et al. Sensory Processing Disorder in mental health. Occupational Therapy News 2006;May:28-29.^Dabrowski, K. (1967). Personality Shaping Though Positive Disintegration. Boston, Mass.: Little Brown.^Lysy, K. Z., and M. M. Piechowski. (1983). "Personal Growth: An Empirical Study Using Jungian and Dabrowskian Measures." Genetic Psychology Monographs 108: 267-320.^Piechowski, M. M. (1986). "The Concept of Developmental Potential." Roeper Review 8, no. 3: 190-97.^Piechowski, M. M., and N. B. Miller. (1995). "Assessing Developmental Potential in Gifted Children: A Comparison of Methods." Roeper Review 17: 176-80.[edit]Further readingCase-Smith, Jane. (2005) Occupational Therapy for Children. 5th Edn. Elsevier Mosby: St. Louis, MO. ISBN 0-323-02873-XBiel, Lindsey, OTR/L and Peske, Nancy. (2005, 2009) Raising A Sensory Smart Child. Penguin: New York. ISBN 0-14-3115340, website: http://www.sensorysmarts.comHeller, Sharon, Ph.D., 2003. "Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight: What to do if you are sensory defensive in an overstimulating world.", Quill: New York. ISBN 0-06-019520-7 or 0-06-093292-9 (pbk.) ((Focuses on Adults))Schaaf, R.C., and L.J. Miller. 2005. "Occupational therapy using a sensory integrative approach for children with developmental disabilities", Ment. Retard. Dev. Disabil. Res. Rev. 11(2):143-148.Newman B (2000). "On inventing your own disorder". Skept Inq24 (6): 56''57. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_6_24/ai_66496173.[dead link]Herbert JD, Sharp IR, Gaudiano BA (2002). "Separating fact from fiction in the etiology and treatment of autism: a scientific review of the evidence". Sci Rev Ment Health Pract1 (1): 23''43. http://www.srmhp.org/0101/autism.html.Heilbroner PL (2005). "Why "sensory integration disorder" is a dubious diagnosis". QuackWatch. http://quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/sid.html. Retrieved 2008-06-02.Hartley Steiner (2010). "What is SPD?". SPD Blogger Network. http://www.spdbloggernetwork.com/what-is-spd/. Retrieved 2011-05-20.Hartley Steiner (2010). "Tips for Newly Diagnosed Families with SPD". Hartley's Life With 3 Boys. http://www.hartleysboys.com/2010/01/tips-for-newly-diagnosed-families-with.html. Retrieved 2011-05-20.

What Is Sensory Processing Disorder? How To Diagnose Children With Sensory Issues

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Source: What Melissa Jones is reading.

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 05:10

Written by Beth Arky.

This story is part of Speak Up for Kids, an annual public education program held during National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week (May 6-12, 2012).

It usually happens in the preschool years. You notice that your toddler seems to have an unusual aversion to noise or light. A teacher observes that, compared to other kids her age, your daughter is clumsy and has difficulty with fine motor skills like wielding a pencil. You've noticed that she is very, very picky about shoes, which are often deemed too tight, and clothes that are ''too scratchy.''

More baffling -- and alarming -- to parents are their children's meltdowns over things like their faces getting splashed or being dressed. Or a child might crash into walls (and people), touch everything or put inedible items, including rocks and paint, into his mouth.

These behaviors are all signs of problems with what's known as sensory processing, found in children who have difficulty integrating information from their senses. In its extreme form, when it interferes seriously with a child's functioning, it's called Sensory Processing Disorder, or SPD, although it's not recognized by the psychiatrists' bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

Sensory issues are associated with autism because they are common in children and adults on the autism spectrum, though most children with SPD are not on the spectrum. They can also be found in those with ADHD, OCD and other developmental delays -- or with no other diagnosis at all. In fact, a 2009 study suggests that one in every six children has sensory issues that impede their daily functioning, socialization and learning.

What parents often notice first is odd behavior and wild, inexplicable mood swings. For instance, a first-grader may do fine in a quiet setting with a calm adult. But place that child in a grocery store filled with an overload of visual and auditory stimulation and you might have the makings of an extreme meltdown.

"These kids' tantrums are so intense, so prolonged, so impossible to stop once they've started, you just can't ignore it," notes Nancy Peske, whose son Cole, now 13, was diagnosed at 3 with SPD and developmental delays. Peske is coauthor with occupational therapist Lindsey Biel, who worked with Cole, of "Raising a Sensory Smart Child."

Another response to being overwhelmed is to flee. If a child dashes out across the playground or parking lot, oblivious to the danger, Peske says that's a big red flag that he may be heading away from something upsetting, which may not be apparent to the rest of us, or toward an environment or sensation that will calm his system. This "fight-or-flight response is why someone with SPD will shut down, escape the situation quickly, or become aggressive when in sensory overload," she says. "They're actually having a neurological 'panic' response to everyday sensations the rest of us take for granted."

Children, teens and adults with SPD experience either over-sensitivity (hypersensitivity) or under-sensitivity (hyposensitivity) to an impairing or overwhelming degree. The theory behind SPD is based on the work of occupational therapist Dr. A. Jean Ayres. In the 1970s, Dr. Ayres introduced the idea that certain people's brains can't do what most people take for granted: process all the information coming in through seven -- not the traditional five -- senses to provide a clear picture of what's happening both internally and externally.

Along with touch, hearing, taste, smell and sight, Dr. Ayres added the "internal" senses of body awareness (proprioceptive) and movement (vestibular). When the brain can't synthesize all this information coming in simultaneously, "It's like a traffic jam in your head," Peske says, "with conflicting signals quickly coming from all directions, so that you don't know how to make sense of it all."

What are these two "extra" senses in Dr. Ayres' work?

Proprioceptive receptors are located in the joints and ligaments, allowing for motor control and posture. The proprioceptive system tells the brain where the body is in relation to other objects and how to move. Those who are hyposensitive crave input; they love jumping, bumping and crashing activities, as well as deep pressure such as that provided by tight bear hugs. If they're hypersensitive, they have difficulty understanding where their body is in relation to other objects and may bump into things and appear clumsy; because they have trouble sensing the amount of force they're applying, they may rip the paper when erasing, pinch too hard or slam objects down.

The vestibular receptors, located in the inner ear; tell the brain where the body is in space by providing the information related to movement and head position. These are key elements of balance and coordination, among other things. Those with hyposensitivity are in constant motion; crave fast, spinning and/or intense movement; and love being tossed in the air and jumping on furniture and trampolines. Those who are hypersensitive may be fearful of activities that require good balance, including climbing on playground equipment, riding a bike, or balancing on one foot, especially with eyes closed. They, too, may appear clumsy.

To help parents determine if their child's behavior indicates possible SPD, Peske and Biel have created a detailed sensory checklist that covers responses to all types of input, from walking barefoot to smelling objects that aren't food, as well as questions involving fine and gross motor function, such as using scissors (fine) and catching a ball (gross). The SPD Foundation also offers a litany of "red flags." The list for infants and toddlers includes a resistance to cuddling, to the point of arching away when held, which may be attributed to feeling actual pain when being touched. By preschool, over-stimulated children's anxiety may lead to frequent or long temper tantrums. Grade-schoolers who are hyposensitive may display "negative behaviors" including what looks like hyperactivity, when in fact they're seeking input.

Peske sums up the way sensory issues can affect kids this way: "If you're a child who is oversensitive to certain sensations, you are not only likely to be anxious or irritable, even angry or fearful, you're likely to be called 'picky' and 'oversensitive.' If you rush away because you're anxious or you're over-stimulated and not using your executive function well because your body has such a powerful need to get away, you're 'impulsive.' If you have trouble with planning and executing your movements due to poor body awareness and poor organization in the motor areas of the brain, you're 'clumsy.' Because you're distracted by your sensory issues and trying to make sense of it all, you may be developmentally delayed in some ways, making you a bit 'immature' or young for your age."

Amid this confusion, there may be relief for more than a few parents in recognizing what may be causing otherwise inexplicable behavior -- and in the potential for kids to get help in the form of specialized occupational therapy and what are called sensory gyms.

"When I describe sensory issues to parents whose kids have it," Peske says, "the usual reaction is 'Oh, my gosh, that's it!' They've been trying to put a finger on 'it' for many months, even years! The sense of relief that they finally know what 'it' is is humongous."

Child Mind Institute's Speak Up for Kids is an annual public education program held during National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week (May 6-12, 2012) aimed at ending the stigma, lack of awareness, and misinformation that cause children to miss out on treatment that can change their lives.

Read more articles about children's mental health here.

IBM Watson providing superior cancer treatment plans and will accelerate the adoption of new cancer research

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Mon, 11 Feb 2013 17:19

Tweet The IBM Watson system gained fame by beating human contestants on the television quiz show Jeopardy! almost two years ago. Since that time, Watson has evolved from a first-of-a-kind status, to a commercial cognitive computing system gaining a 240 percent improvement in system performance, and a reduction in the system's physical requirements by 75 percent and can now be run on a single Power 750 server.IBM Watson trained in medicine to leverage 1.5 million patient records and 2 million pages of cancer research

IBM Watson has ingested more than 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, two million pages of text from 42 medical journals and clinical trials in the area of oncology research. Watson has the power to sift through 1.5 million patient records representing decades of cancer treatment history, such as medical records and patient outcomes, and provide to physicians evidence based treatment options all in a matter of seconds.

In less than a year, Memorial Sloan-Kettering has immersed Watson in the complexities of cancer and the explosion of genetic research which has set the stage for changing care practices for many cancer patients with highly specialized treatments based on their personal genetic tumor type.

Starting with 1,500 lung cancer cases, Memorial Sloan-Kettering clinicians and analysts are training Watson to extract and interpret physician notes, lab results and clinical research, while sharing its profound expertise and experiences in treating hundreds of thousands of patients with cancer.

''It can take years for the latest developments in oncology to reach all practice settings. The combination of transformational technologies found in Watson with our cancer analytics and decision-making process has the potential to revolutionize the accessibility of information for the treatment of cancer in communities across the country and around the world,'' said Craig B.Thompson, M.D., President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. ''Ultimately, we expect this comprehensive, evidence-based approach will profoundly enhance cancer care by accelerating the dissemination of practice-changing research at an unprecedented pace.''

IBM, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and WellPoint are introducing the first commercially based products based on Watson. These innovations represent a breakthrough in how medical professionals can apply advances in analytics and natural language processing to "big data," combined with the clinical knowledge base, including genomic data, in order to create evidence based decision support systems. These Watson-based systems are designed to assist doctors, researchers, medical centers, and insurance carriers, and ultimately enhance the quality and speed of care.

The new products include the Interactive Care Insights for Oncology, powered by Watson, in collaboration with IBM, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and WellPoint. The WellPoint Interactive Care Guide and Interactive Care Reviewer, powered by Watson, designed for utilization management in collaboration with WellPoint and IBM.

New Interactive Care Insights for OncologyThe cognitive systems use insights gleaned from the deep experience of Memorial Sloan-Kettering clinicians to provide individualized treatment options based on patient's medical information and the synthesis of a vast array of updated and vetted treatment guidelines, and published research.

A first of-its-kind Watson-based advisor, available through the cloud, that is expected to assist medical professionals and researchers by helping to identify individualized treatment options for patients with cancer, starting with lung cancer.

Provides users with a detailed record of the data and information used to reach the treatment options.Oncologists located anywhere can remotely access detailed treatment options based on updated research that will help them decide how best to care for an individual patient.

New WellPoint Interactive Care Guide and Interactive Care Reviewer

Delivers the first Watson-based cognitive computing system anticipated to streamline the review processes between a patient's physician and their health plan, potentially speeding approvals from utilization management professionals, reducing waste and helping ensure evidence-based care is provided.

Expected to accelerate accepted testing and treatment by shortening pre-authorization approval time, which means that patients are moving forward with the first crucial step toward treatment more quickly.

Analyzes treatment requests and matches them to WellPoint's medical policies and clinical guidelines to present consistent, evidence-based responses for clinical staff to review, in the anticipation of providing faster, better informed decisions about a patient's care.

WellPoint has deployed Interactive Care Reviewer to a select number of providers in the Midwest, and believes more than 1,600 providers will be using the product by the end of the year.

If you liked this article, please give it a quick review on ycombinator or StumbleUpon. Thanks


VIDEO- TROLL PATROL-Russia Today - UKIP Nigel Farage, EU no better than a banana republic- Feb, 2013 - YouTube

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Mon, 11 Feb 2013 17:12

Warning Some Boeing 737 Next Generation Having Engine Trouble On Takeoff

Obama advisor John Brennan speaks about the beauty of Islam - [VIDEO]

When the Zombie Apocalypse was mentioned in the House of Commons - [VIDEO]

Pentagon Creates NEW Innocent Civilian Killer Merit Badge

"I Don't Know How To Respond To The Recordings" Frm FBI Dir On LAPD Tapes Saying BURN IT DOWN

COPS: We Did Not INTENTIONALLY Burn Down The Cabin! (We Had No Idea That Would Happen)

Carnival pooping in baggie

NBC Hypes Unfounded Rumors of 'Vatican Intrigue' Surrounding Pope's Abdication

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 22:46

At the top of Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie suggested ulterior motives behind Pope Benedict XIV's abdication: "Vatican intrigue. Is there more to Pope Benedict's sudden decision to step down?" In the report that followed, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel insinuated something more: "Although there's no evidence to suggest a motive, other than old age, the Pope's unusual departure has left some wondering."

Dr. Carson: 'An Uneducated Populace Will Fall For Anything' Including 'Pundits On TV'

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 04:39

MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them -- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.

MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 325 South Patrick Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.

Copyright (C) 2013, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.

CNN: Christopher Dorner's Internet Fan Club

Fort Hood Massacre Survivors Treated Like Shit By Obama And Pentagon

CNN: Are You Surprised Los Angeles Cop Killer Chris Dorner Is Getting Sympathy?

Dr. Benjamin Carson 2016? - By Nathaniel Botwinick - The Corner

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Tue, 12 Feb 2013 04:38

In case you missed this, Doctor Benjamin Carson delivered a powerful rebuttal to President Obama and his policies at the National Prayer Breakfast last week:

The Wall Street Journal has already proposed Ben Carson for president, as he eloquently made the case for both a flat tax and health-savings accounts:

What we need to do is come up with something simple. And when I pick up my Bible, you know what I see? I see the fairest individual in the universe, God, and he's given us a system. It's called a tithe. . . . We don't necessarily have to do 10% but it's the principle. He didn't say if your crops fail, don't give me any tithe or if you have a bumper crop, give me triple tithe. So there must be something inherently fair about proportionality. You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10 you put in one. Of course you've got to get rid of the loopholes. Some people say, 'Well that's not fair because it doesn't hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made 10.' Where does it say you've got to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot. We don't need to hurt him. It's that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here building our infrastructure and creating jobs.

Here's my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed'--pretax'--from the time you're born 'til the time you die. If you die, you can pass it on to your family members, and there's nobody talking about death panels. We can make contributions for people who are indigent. Instead of sending all this money to some bureaucracy, let's put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care. And very quickly they're going to learn how to be responsible.

Dr. Benjamin Carson also has an incredible life story that's been turned into a movie and is the chief pediatric neurosurgeon at the world-renowned John Hopkins Hospital.