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Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The Celebrated Negro Melodies, as Sung by the Virginia Minstrels, 1843
The minstrel show, or minstrelsy, was an American form of entertainment developed in the early 19th century. Each show consisted of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music performances that mocked people specifically of African descent. The shows were performed by white people in make-up or blackface for the purpose of playing the role of black people. There were also some African-American performers and all-black minstrel groups that formed and toured under the direction of white people.
Minstrel shows lampooned black people as dim-witted, lazy, buffoonish, superstitious, and happy-go-lucky.
Minstrel shows emerged as brief burlesques and comic entr'actes in the early 1830s in the Northeastern states. They were developed into full-fledged form in the next decade. By 1848, blackface minstrel shows were the national artform, translating formal art such as opera into popular terms for a general audience.
By the turn of the 20th century, the minstrel show enjoyed but a shadow of its former popularity, having been replaced for the most part by vaudeville. The form survived as professional entertainment until about 1910; amateur performances continued until the 1960s in high schools and local theaters.[citation needed ] The genre has had a lasting legacy and influence and was featured in a television series as recently as the late 1970s. Generally, as the civil rights movement progressed and gained acceptance, minstrels lost popularity.
The typical minstrel performance followed a three-act structure. The troupe first danced onto stage then exchanged wisecracks and sang songs. The second part featured a variety of entertainments, including the pun-filled stump speech. The final act consisted of a slapstick musical plantation skit or a send-up of a popular play.
Minstrel songs and sketches featured several stock characters, most popularly the slave and the dandy. These were further divided into sub-archetypes such as the mammy, her counterpart the old darky, the provocative mulatto wench, and the black soldier. Minstrels claimed that their songs and dances were authentically black, although the extent of the black influence remains debated. Spirituals (known as jubilees) entered the repertoire in the 1870s, marking the first undeniably black music to be used in minstrelsy.
Blackface minstrelsy was the first theatrical form that was distinctly American. During the 1830s and 1840s at the height of its popularity, it was at the epicenter of the American music industry. For several decades it provided the means through which American whites viewed black people. On the one hand, it had strong racist aspects; on the other, it afforded white Americans a singular and broad awareness of what some whites considered significant aspects of black culture in America.
Although the minstrel shows were extremely popular, being "consistently packed with families from all walks of life and every ethnic group", they were also controversial. Integrationists decried them as falsely showing happy slaves while at the same time making fun of them; segregationists thought such shows were "disrespectful" of social norms as they portrayed runaway slaves with sympathy and would undermine the southerners' "peculiar institution".
History [ edit ] Early development [ edit ] Thomas D. Rice from sheet music cover of "Sich a Getting Up Stairs", 1830s
Minstrel shows were popular before slavery was abolished, sufficiently so that Frederick Douglass described blackface performers as "...the filthy scum of white society, who have stolen from us a complexion denied them by nature, in which to make money, and pander to the corrupt taste of their white fellow citizens." Although white theatrical portrayals of black characters date back to as early as 1604, the minstrel show as such has later origins. By the late 18th century, blackface characters began appearing on the American stage, usually as "servant" types whose roles did little more than provide some element of comic relief. Eventually, similar performers appeared in entr'actes in New York theaters and other venues such as taverns and circuses. As a result, the blackface "Sambo" character came to supplant the "tall-tale-telling Yankee" and "frontiersman" character-types in popularity, and white actors such as Charles Mathews, George Washington Dixon, and Edwin Forrest began to build reputations as blackface performers. Author Constance Rourke even claimed that Forrest's impression was so good he could fool blacks when he mingled with them in the streets.
Thomas Dartmouth Rice's successful song-and-dance number, "Jump Jim Crow", brought blackface performance to a new level of prominence in the early 1830s. At the height of Rice's success, The Boston Post wrote, "The two most popular characters in the world at the present are [Queen] Victoria and Jim Crow." As early as the 1820s, blackface performers called themselves "Ethiopian delineators"; from then into the early 1840s, unlike the later heyday of minstrelsy, they performed either solo or in small teams.
Blackface soon found a home in the taverns of New York's less respectable precincts of Lower Broadway, the Bowery, and Chatham Street. It also appeared on more respectable stages, most often as an entr'acte. Upper-class houses at first limited the number of such acts they would show, but beginning in 1841, blackface performers frequently took to the stage at even the classy Park Theatre, much to the dismay of some patrons. Theater was a participatory activity, and the lower classes came to dominate the playhouse. They threw things at actors or orchestras who performed unpopular material, and rowdy audiences eventually prevented the Bowery Theatre from staging high drama at all. Typical blackface acts of the period were short burlesques, often with mock Shakespearean titles like "Hamlet the Dainty", "Bad Breath, the Crane of Chowder", "Julius Sneezer" or "Dars-de-Money".
Meanwhile, at least some whites were interested in black song and dance by actual black performers. Nineteenth-century New York slaves shingle danced for spare change on their days off, and musicians played what they claimed to be "Negro music" on so-called black instruments like the banjo.[citation needed ] The New Orleans Picayune wrote that a singing New Orleans street vendor called Old Corn Meal would bring "a fortune to any man who would start on a professional tour with him". Rice responded by adding a "Corn Meal" skit to his act. Meanwhile, there had been several attempts at legitimate black stage performance, the most ambitious probably being New York's African Grove theater, founded and operated by free blacks in 1821, with a repertoire drawing heavily on Shakespeare. A rival theater company paid people to "riot" and cause disturbances at the theater, and it was shut down by the police when neighbors complained of the commotion.
White, working-class Northerners could identify with the characters portrayed in early blackface performances. This coincided with the rise of groups struggling for workingman's nativism and pro-Southern causes, and faux black performances came to confirm pre-existing racist concepts and to establish new ones. Following a pattern that had been pioneered by Rice, minstrelsy united workers and "class superiors" against a common black enemy, symbolized especially by the character of the black dandy. In this same period, the class-conscious but racially inclusive rhetoric of "wage slavery" was largely supplanted by a racist one of "white slavery". This suggested that the abuses against northern factory workers were a graver ill than the treatment of black slaves'--or by a less class-conscious rhetoric of "productive" versus "unproductive" elements of society. On the other hand, views on slavery were fairly evenly presented in minstrelsy, and some songs even suggested the creation of a coalition of working blacks and whites to end the institution.
Among the appeals and racial stereotypes of early blackface performance were the pleasure of the grotesque and its infantilization of blacks. These allowed'--by proxy, and without full identification'--childish fun and other low pleasures in an industrializing world where workers were increasingly expected to abandon such things. Meanwhile, the more respectable could view the vulgar audience itself as a spectacle.
Height [ edit ] With the Panic of 1837, theater attendance suffered, and concerts were one of the few attractions that could still make money.[citation needed ] In 1843, four blackface performers led by Dan Emmett combined to stage just such a concert at the New York Bowery Amphitheatre, calling themselves the Virginia Minstrels. The minstrel show as a complete evening's entertainment was born. The show had little structure. The four sat in a semicircle, played songs, and traded wisecracks. One gave a stump speech in dialect, and they ended with a lively plantation song. The term minstrel had previously been reserved for traveling white singing groups, but Emmett and company made it synonymous with blackface performance, and by using it, signalled that they were reaching out to a new, middle-class audience.
The Herald wrote that the production was "entirely exempt from the vulgarities and other objectionable features, which have hitherto characterized negro extravaganzas." In 1845, the Ethiopian Serenaders purged their show of low humor and surpassed the Virginia Minstrels in popularity. Shortly thereafter, Edwin Pearce Christy founded Christy's Minstrels, combining the refined singing of the Ethiopian Serenaders (epitomized by the work of Christy's composer Stephen Foster) with the Virginia Minstrels' bawdy schtick. Christy's company established the three-act template into which minstrel shows would fall for the next few decades. This change to respectability prompted theater owners to enforce new rules to make playhouses calmer and quieter.[citation needed ]
Minstrels toured the same circuits as opera companies, circuses, and European itinerant entertainers, with venues ranging from lavish opera houses to makeshift tavern stages. Life on the road entailed "endless series of one-nighters, travel on accident-prone railroads, in poor housing subject to fires, in empty rooms that they had to convert into theaters, arrest on trumped up charges, exposed to deadly diseases, and managers and agents who skipped out with all the troupe's money." The more popular groups stuck to the main circuit that ran through the Northeast; some even went to Europe, which allowed their competitors to establish themselves in their absence. By the late 1840s, a southern tour had opened from Baltimore to New Orleans. Circuits through the Midwest and as far as California followed by the 1860s.[citation needed ] As its popularity increased, theaters sprang up specifically for minstrel performance, often with names such as the Ethiopian Opera House and the like. Many amateur troupes performed only a few local shows before disbanding. Meanwhile, celebrities like Emmett continued to perform solo.[citation needed ]
The rise of the minstrel show coincided with the growth of the abolitionist movement. Many Northerners were concerned for the oppressed blacks of the South, but most had no idea how these slaves lived day-to-day. Blackface performance had been inconsistent on this subject; some slaves were happy, others victims of a cruel and inhuman institution. However, in the 1850s minstrelsy became decidedly mean-spirited and pro-slavery as race replaced class as its main focus. Most minstrels projected a greatly romanticized and exaggerated image of black life with cheerful, simple slaves always ready to sing and dance and to please their masters. (Less frequently, the masters cruelly split up black lovers or sexually assaulted black women.) The lyrics and dialogue were generally racist, satiric, and largely white in origin. Songs about slaves yearning to return to their masters were plentiful. The message was clear: do not worry about the slaves; they are happy with their lot in life. Figures like the Northern dandy and the homesick ex-slave reinforced the idea that blacks did not belong, nor did they want to belong, in Northern society.
Minstrelsy's reaction to Uncle Tom's Cabin is indicative of plantation content at the time. Tom acts largely came to replace other plantation narratives, particularly in the third act. These sketches sometimes supported Stowe's novel, but just as often they turned it on its head or attacked the author. Whatever the intended message, it was usually lost in the joyous, slapstick atmosphere of the piece. Characters such as Simon Legree sometimes disappeared, and the title was frequently changed to something more cheerful like "Happy Uncle Tom" or "Uncle Dad's Cabin". Uncle Tom himself was frequently portrayed as a harmless bootlicker to be ridiculed. Troupes known as Tommer companies specialized in such burlesques, and theatrical Tom shows integrated elements of the minstrel show and competed with it for a time.
Minstrelsy's racism (and sexism) could be rather vicious. There were comic songs in which blacks were "roasted, fished for, smoked like tobacco, peeled like potatoes, planted in the soil, or dried up and hung as advertisements", and there were multiple songs in which a black man accidentally put out a black woman's eyes. On the other hand, the fact that the minstrel show broached the subjects of slavery and race at all is perhaps more significant than the racist manner in which it did so. Despite these pro-plantation attitudes, minstrelsy was banned in many Southern cities. Its association with the North was such that as secessionist attitudes grew stronger, minstrels on Southern tours became convenient targets of anti-Yankee sentiment.
Non-race-related humor came from lampoons of other subjects, including aristocratic whites such as politicians, doctors, and lawyers. Women's rights was another serious subject that appeared with some regularity in antebellum minstrelsy, almost always to ridicule the notion. The women's rights lecture became common in stump speeches. When one character joked, "Jim, I tink de ladies oughter vote", another replied, "No, Mr. Johnson, ladies am supposed to care berry little about polytick, and yet de majority ob em am strongly tached to parties." Minstrel humor was simple and relied heavily on slapstick and wordplay. Performers told nonsense riddles: "The difference between a schoolmaster and an engineer is that one trains the mind and the other minds the train."
With the advent of the American Civil War, minstrels remained mostly neutral and satirized both sides. However, as the war reached Northern soil, troupes turned their loyalties to the Union. Sad songs and sketches came to dominate in reflection of the mood of a bereaved nation. Troupes performed skits about dying soldiers and their weeping widows, and about mourning white mothers. "When this cruel war is over" became the hit of the period, selling over a million copies of sheet music. To balance the somber mood, minstrels put on patriotic numbers like "The Star Spangled Banner", accompanied by depictions of scenes from American history that lionized figures like George Washington and Andrew Jackson. Social commentary grew increasingly important to the show. Performers criticized Northern society and those they felt responsible for the breakup of the country, who opposed reunification, or who profited from a nation at war. Emancipation was either opposed through happy plantation material or mildy supported with pieces that depicted slavery in a negative light. Eventually, direct criticism of the South became more biting.
Decline [ edit ] Minstrelsy lost popularity during the war. New entertainments such as variety shows, musical comedies and vaudeville appeared in the North, backed by master promoters like P. T. Barnum who wooed audiences away. Blackface troupes responded by traveling farther and farther afield, with their primary base now in the South and Midwest.[citation needed ]
Those minstrels who stayed in New York and similar cities followed Barnum's lead by advertising relentlessly and emphasizing the spectacle of minstrelsy. Troupes ballooned; as many as 19 performers could be on stage at once, and J. H. Haverly's United Mastodon Minstrels had over 100 members. Scenery grew lavish and expensive, and specialty acts like Japanese acrobats or circus freaks sometimes appeared.[citation needed ] These changes made minstrelsy unprofitable for smaller troupes.
Many later minstrel troupes, such as this one in 1910, tried to project an image of refinement. Note that only the endmen are in blackface.
This new minstrelsy maintained an emphasis on refined music. Most troupes added jubilees, or spirituals, to their repertoire in the 1870s. These were fairly authentic religious slave songs borrowed from traveling black singing groups. Other troupes drifted further from minstrelsy's roots. When George Primrose and Billy West broke with Haverly's Mastodons in 1877, they did away with blackface for all but the endmen and dressed themselves in lavish finery and powdered wigs. They decorated the stage with elaborate backdrops and performed no slapstick whatsoever. Their brand of minstrelsy differed from other entertainments only in name.
Social commentary continued to dominate most performances, with plantation material constituting only a small part of the repertoire. This effect was amplified as minstrelsy featuring black performers took off in its own right and stressed its connection to the old plantations. The main target of criticism was the moral decay of the urbanized North. Cities were painted as corrupt, as homes to unjust poverty, and as dens of "city slickers" who lay in wait to prey upon new arrivals. Minstrels stressed traditional family life; stories told of reunification between mothers and sons thought dead in the war. Women's rights, disrespectful children, low church attendance, and sexual promiscuity became symptoms of decline in family values and of moral decay. Of course, Northern black characters carried these vices even further.African-American members of Congress were one example, pictured as pawns of the Radical Republicans.
By the 1890s, minstrelsy formed only a small part of American entertainment, and by 1919 a mere three troupes dominated the scene. Small companies and amateurs carried the traditional minstrel show into the 20th century, now with an audience mostly in the rural South, while black-owned troupes continued traveling to more outlying areas like the West. These black troupes were one of minstrelsy's last bastions, as more white actors moved into vaudeville. (Community amateur blackface minstrel shows persisted in northern New York State into the 1960s. The University of Vermont banned the minstrel-like Kake Walk as part of the winter Carnival in 1969.)
Black minstrels [ edit ] In the 1840s and '50s, William Henry Lane and Thomas Dilward became the first African Americans to perform on the minstrel stage. All-black troupes followed as early as 1855. These companies emphasized that their ethnicity made them the only true delineators of black song and dance, with one advertisement describing a troupe as "SEVEN SLAVES just from Alabama, who are EARNING THEIR FREEDOM by giving concerts under the guidance of their Northern friends." White curiosity proved a powerful motivator, and the shows were patronized by people who wanted to see blacks acting "spontaneously" and "naturally." Promoters seized on this, one billing his troupe as "THE DARKY AS HE IS AT HOME, DARKY LIFE IN THE CORNFIELD, CANEBRAKE, BARNYARD, AND ON THE LEVEE AND FLATBOAT." Keeping with convention, black minstrels still corked the faces of at least the endmen. One commentator described a mostly uncorked black troupe as "mulattoes of a medium shade except two, who were light. ... The end men were each rendered thoroughly black by burnt cork." The minstrels themselves promoted their performing abilities, quoting reviews that favorably compared them to popular white troupes. These black companies often featured female minstrels.
Plantation scenarios were common in black minstrelsy, as shown here in this post-1875 poster for Callender's Colored Minstrels
One or two African-American troupes dominated the scene for much of the late 1860s and 1870s. The first of these was Brooker and Clayton's Georgia Minstrels, who played the Northeast around 1865. Sam Hague's Slave Troupe of Georgia Minstrels formed shortly thereafter and toured England to great success beginning in 1866. In the 1870s, white entrepreneurs bought most of the successful black companies. Charles Callender obtained Sam Hague's troupe in 1872 and renamed it Callender's Georgia Minstrels. They became the most popular black troupe in America, and the words Callender and Georgia came to be synonymous with the institution of black minstrelsy. J. H. Haverly in turn purchased Callender's troupe in 1878 and applied his strategy of enlarging troupe size and embellishing sets. When this company went to Europe, Gustave and Charles Frohman took the opportunity to promote their Callender's Consolidated Colored Minstrels. Their success was such that the Frohmans bought Haverly's group and merged it with theirs, creating a virtual monopoly on the market. The company split in three to better canvas the nation and dominated black minstrelsy throughout the 1880s. Individual black performers like Billy Kersands, James A. Bland, Sam Lucas, Martin Francis and Wallace King grew as famous as any featured white performer.
Racism made black minstrelsy a difficult profession. When playing Southern towns, performers had to stay in character off stage, dressed in ragged "slave clothes" and perpetually smiling. Troupes left town quickly after each performance, and some had so much trouble securing lodging that they hired whole trains or had custom sleeping cars built, complete with hidden compartments to hide in should things turn ugly. Even these were no haven, as whites sometimes used the cars for target practice. Their salaries, though higher than those of most blacks of the period, failed to reach levels earned by white performers; even superstars like Kersands earned slightly less than featured white minstrels. Most black troupes did not last long.
In content, early black minstrelsy differed little from its white counterpart. As the white troupes drifted from plantation subjects in the mid-1870s however, black troupes placed a new emphasis on it. The addition of jubilee singing gave black minstrelsy a popularity boost as the black troupes were rightly believed to be the most authentic performers of such material. Other significant differences were that the black minstrels added religious themes to their shows while whites shied from them, and that the black companies commonly ended the first act of the show with a military high-stepping, brass band burlesque, a practice adopted after Callender's Minstrels used it in 1875 or 1876. Although black minstrelsy lent credence to racist ideals of blackness, many African-American minstrels worked to subtly alter these stereotypes and to poke fun at white society. One jubilee described heaven as a place "where de white folks must let the darkeys be" and they could not be "bought and sold". In plantation material, aged black characters were rarely reunited with long-lost masters like they were in white minstrelsy.
African Americans formed a large part of the black minstrels' audience, especially for smaller troupes. In fact, their numbers were so great that many theater owners had to relax rules relegating black patrons to certain areas. The reasons for the popularity of this openly racist form of entertainment with black audiences have long been debated by historians. Perhaps they felt in on the joke, laughing at the over-the-top characters from a sense of "in-group recognition". Maybe they even implicitly endorsed the racist antics, or they felt some connection to elements of an African culture that had been suppressed but was visible, albeit in racist, exaggerated form, in minstrel personages. They certainly got many jokes that flew over whites' heads or registered as only quaint distractions. An undeniable draw for black audiences was simply seeing fellow African Americans on stage; black minstrels were largely viewed as celebrities. Formally educated African Americans, on the other hand, either disregarded black minstrelsy or openly disdained it. Still, black minstrelsy was the first large-scale opportunity for African Americans to enter American show business. Black minstrels were therefore viewed as a success.Pat H. Chappelle capitalized on this and created the first totally black-owned black vaudeville show, The Rabbit's Foot Company, performed with an all-black cast that elevated the level of shows with sophisticated and fun comedy. It successfully toured mainly the southwest and southeast, as well as in New Jersey and New York City.
Women In Minstrel Shows [ edit ] Previously, Black women were often cast as the figure of Jezebel, an oversexualized image of black womanhood reinforced by the objectification of early slave owners who raped their slaves. Because of this image, minstrel shows that included women were more like burlesque shows with dancing, singing, and comedy which excited men and exploited African American women for entertainment.
Other minstrel troupes tried to satisfy outlying tastes. Female acts had made a stir in variety shows, and Madame Rentz's Female Minstrels ran with the idea, first performing in 1870 in skimpy costumes and tights. Their success gave rise to at least 11 all-female troupes by 1871, one of which did away with blackface altogether. Ultimately, the girlie show emerged as a form in its own right. Mainstream minstrelsy continued to emphasize its propriety, but traditional troupes adopted some of these elements in the guise of the female impersonator. A well-played wench character became critical to success in the postwar period.
Female characters ranged from the sexually provocative to the laughable. These roles were almost always played by men in drag (most famously George Christy, Francis Leon and Barney Williams), even though American theater outside minstrelsy was filled with actresses at this time. Mammy or the old auntie was the old darky's counterpart. She often went by the name of Aunt Dinah Roh after the song of that title. Mammy was lovable to both blacks and whites, matronly, but hearkening to European peasant woman sensibilities. Her main role was to be the devoted mother figure in scenarios about the perfect plantation family.
Minstrel show performers Rollin Howard (in wench costume) and George Griffin, c. 1855The wench, yaller gal or prima donna was a mulatto who combined the light skin and facial features of a white woman with the perceived sexual promiscuity and exoticism of a black woman. Her beauty and flirtatiousness made her a common target for male characters, although she usually proved capricious and elusive. After the Civil War, the wench emerged as the most important specialist role in the minstrel troupe; men could alternately be titillated and disgusted, while women could admire the illusion and high fashion. The role was most strongly associated with the song "Miss Lucy Long", so the character many times bore that name. Actress Olive Logan commented that some actors were "marvelously well fitted by nature for it, having well-defined soprano voices, plump shoulders, beardless faces, and tiny hands and feet." Many of these actors were teen-aged boys. In contrast was the funny old gal, a slapstick role played by a large man in motley clothing and large, flapping shoes. The humor she invoked often turned on the male characters' desire for a woman whom the audience would perceive as unattractive.
Over time, the presence of black women in these shows ushered in a new platform to showcase their talent and tell their own stories of struggle, success, relationships, and womanhood. Women, such as Ma Rainey, who got her start singing and performing as the "coon shouter" with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels is recognized as one of the innovators of the "Blues" sound. Rainey's songs spoke to the often difficult experience of black women in the South. These songs were "filled with emotion and the sad, hard truths about life". Rainey's raw talent for singing the Blues landed her a record deal in 1923 with Paramount Records. With her success as a performer and businesswoman she is named "The Mother of Blues." Bessie Smith started her career in a Minstrel show at the age of 14 as a dancer, under the influence of Ma Rainey she began to sing. Ma Rainey was one of the first successful Black women to emerge from Minstrel shows, but the 1920 recording of "Crazy Blues" by Bessie Smith created a huge audience and following and "essentially created an industry for blues songs recorded by women." She became very successful after recording an album and selling millions of records. With her success and super stardom she is named "The Empress of Blues." Minstrel shows provided opportunities that would have not been given to Black artist during this time, and that in many ways, became the precursor for later Blues performances.
Structure [ edit ] The Christy Minstrels established the basic structure of the minstrel show in the 1840s. A crowd-gathering parade to the theater often preceded the performance. The show itself was divided into three major sections. During the first, the entire troupe danced onto stage singing a popular song. Upon the instruction of the interlocutor, a sort of host, they sat in a semicircle. Various stock characters always took the same positions: the genteel interlocutor in the middle, flanked by Tambo and Bones, who served as the endmen or cornermen. The interlocutor acted as a master of ceremonies and as a dignified, if pompous, straight man. He had a somewhat aristocratic demeanor, a "codfish aristocrat", while the endmen exchanged jokes and performed a variety of humorous songs. Over time, the first act came to include maudlin numbers not always in dialect. One minstrel, usually a tenor, came to specialize in this part; such singers often became celebrities, especially with women. Initially, an upbeat plantation song and dance ended the act;[citation needed ] later it was more common for the first act to end with a walkaround, including dances in the style of a cakewalk.
The second portion of the show, called the olio, was historically the last to evolve, as its real purpose was to allow for the setting of the stage for act three behind the curtain. It had more of a variety show structure. Performers danced, played instruments, did acrobatics, and demonstrated other amusing talents. Troupes offered parodies of European-style entertainments, and European troupes themselves sometimes performed. The highlight was when one actor, typically one of the endmen, delivered a faux-black-dialect stump speech, a long oration about anything from nonsense to science, society, or politics, during which the dim-witted character tried to speak eloquently, only to deliver countless malapropisms, jokes, and unintentional puns. All the while, the speaker moved about like a clown, standing on his head and almost always falling off his stump at some point. With blackface makeup serving as fool's mask, these stump speakers could deliver biting social criticism without offending the audience, although the focus was usually on sending up unpopular issues and making fun of blacks' ability to make sense of them. Many troupes employed a stump specialist with a trademark style and material.
The afterpiece rounded out the production. In the early days of the minstrel show, this was often a skit set on a Southern plantation that usually included song-and-dance numbers and featured Sambo- and Mammy-type characters in slapstick situations. The emphasis lay on an idealized plantation life and the happy slaves who lived there. Nevertheless, antislavery viewpoints sometimes surfaced in the guise of family members separated by slavery, runaways, or even slave uprisings. A few stories highlighted black trickster figures who managed to get the better of their masters. Beginning in the mid-1850s, performers did burlesque renditions of other plays; both Shakespeare and contemporary playwrights were common targets. The humor of these came from the inept black characters trying to perform some element of high white culture. Slapstick humor pervaded the afterpiece, including cream pies to the face, inflated bladders, and on-stage fireworks. Material from Uncle Tom's Cabin dominated beginning in 1853. The afterpiece allowed the minstrels to introduce new characters, some of whom became quite popular and spread from troupe to troupe.
Characters [ edit ] This reproduction of a 1900 minstrel show poster, originally published by the Strobridge
Litho Co., shows the
blackface transformation from white to "black".
Jim Crow, the archetypal slave character as created by Rice
The earliest minstrel characters took as their base popular white stage archetypes'--frontiersmen, fishermen, hunters, and riverboatsmen whose depictions drew heavily from the tall tale'--and added exaggerated blackface speech and makeup. These Jim Crows and Gumbo Chaffs fought and boasted that they could "wip [their] weight in wildcats" or "eat an alligator". As public opinion toward blacks changed, however, so did the minstrel stereotypes. Eventually, several stock characters emerged. Chief among these were the slave, who often maintained the earlier name Jim Crow, and the dandy, known frequently as Zip Coon, from the song Zip Coon. "First performed by George Dixon in 1834, Zip Coon made a mockery of free blacks. An arrogant, ostentatious figure, he dressed in high style and spoke in a series of malaprops and puns that undermined his attempts to appear dignified."The white actors who portrayed these characters spoke an exaggerated form of Black Vernacular English. The blackface makeup and illustrations on programs and sheet music depicted them with huge eyeballs, very wide noses, and thick-lipped mouths that hung open or grinned foolishly; one character expressed his love for a woman with "lips so large a lover could not kiss them all at once". They had huge feet and preferred "possum" and "coon" to more civilized fare. Minstrel characters were often described in animalistic terms, with "wool" instead of hair, "bleating" like sheep, and having "darky cubs" instead of children. Other claims were that blacks had to drink ink when they got sick "to restore their color" and that they had to file their hair rather than cut it. They were inherently musical, dancing and frolicking through the night with no need for sleep.
Thomas "Daddy" Rice introduced the earliest slave archetype with his song "Jump Jim Crow" and its accompanying dance. He claimed to have learned the number by watching an old, limping black stable hand dancing and singing, "Wheel about and turn about and do jus' so/Eb'ry time I wheel about I jump Jim Crow." Other early minstrel performers quickly adopted Rice's character.
Slave characters in general came to be low-comedy types with names that matched the instruments they played: Brudder Tambo (or simply Tambo) for the tambourine and Brudder Bones (or Bones) for the bone castanets or bones. These endmen (for their position in the minstrel semicircle) were ignorant and poorly spoken, being conned, electrocuted, or run over in various sketches. They happily shared their stupidity; one slave character said that to get to China, one had only to go up in a balloon and wait for the world to rotate below. Highly musical and unable to sit still, they constantly contorted their bodies wildly while singing.
Tambo and Bones's simple-mindedness and lack of sophistication were highlighted by pairing them with a straight man master of ceremonies called the interlocutor. This character, although usually in blackface, spoke in aristocratic English and used a much larger vocabulary. The humor of these exchanges came from the misunderstandings on the part of the endmen when talking to the interlocutor:
Interlocutor: I'm astonished at you, Why, the idea of a man of your mental caliber talking about such sordid matters, right after listening to such a beautiful song! Have you no sentiment left?Tambo: No, I haven't got a cent left.Tambo and Bones were favorites of the audience, and their repartee with the interlocutor was for many the best part of the show. There was an element of laughing with them for the audience, as they frequently made light of the interlocutor's grandiose ways.
The interlocutor was responsible for beginning and ending each segment of the show. To this end, he had to be able to gauge the mood of the audience and know when it was time to move on. Accordingly, the actor who played the role was paid very well in comparison to other non-featured performers.
There were many variants on the slave archetype. The old darky or old uncle formed the head of the idyllic black family. Like other slave characters, he was highly musical and none-too-bright, but he had favorable aspects like his loving nature and the sentiments he raised regarding love for the aged, ideas of old friendships, and the cohesiveness of the family. His death and the pain it caused his master was a common theme in sentimental songs. Alternatively, the master could die, leaving the old darky to mourn. Stephen Foster's "Old Uncle Ned" was the most popular song on this subject. Less frequently, the old darky might be cast out by a cruel master when he grew too old to work. After the Civil War, this character became the most common figure in plantation sketches. He frequently cried about the loss of his home during the war, only to meet up with someone from the past such as the child of his former master. In contrast, the trickster, often called Jasper Jack, appeared less frequently.
The counterpart to the slave was the dandy, a common character in the afterpiece. He was a northern urban black man trying to live above his station by mimicking white, upper-class speech and dress'--usually to no good effect. Dandy characters often went by Zip Coon, after the song popularized by George Washington Dixon, although others had pretentious names like Count Julius Caesar Mars Napoleon Sinclair Brown. Their clothing was a ludicrous parody of upper-class dress: coats with tails and padded shoulders, white gloves, monocles, fake mustaches, and gaudy watch chains. They spent their time primping and preening, going to parties, dancing and strutting, and wooing women.
The black soldier became another stock type during the Civil War and merged qualities of the slave and the dandy. He was acknowledged for playing some role in the war, but he was more frequently lampooned for bumbling through his drills or for thinking his uniform made him the equal of his white counterparts. He was usually better at retreating than fighting, and, like the dandy, he preferred partying to serious pursuits. Still, his introduction allowed for some return to themes of the breakup of the plantation family.
Non-black stereotypes played a significant role in minstrelsy, and although still performed in blackface, were distinguished by their lack of black dialect. American Indians before the Civil War were usually depicted as innocent symbols of the pre-industrial world or as pitiable victims whose peaceful existence had been shattered by the encroachment of the white man. However, as the United States turned its attentions West, American Indians became savage, pagan obstacles to progress. These characters were formidable scalpers to be feared, not ridiculed; any humor in such scenarios usually derived from a black character trying to act like one of the frightful savages. One sketch began with white men and American Indians enjoying a communal meal in a frontier setting. As the American Indians became intoxicated, they grew more and more antagonistic, and the army ultimately had to intervene to prevent the massacre of the whites. Even favorably presented American Indian characters usually died tragically.
Depictions of East Asians began during the California Gold Rush when minstrels encountered Chinese out West. Minstrels caricatured them by their strange language ("ching chang chung"), odd eating habits (dogs and cats), and propensity for wearing pigtails. Parodies of Japanese became popular when a Japanese acrobat troupe toured the U.S. beginning in 1865. A run of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado in the mid-1880s inspired another wave of Asian characterizations.
The few white characters in minstrelsy were stereotypes of immigrant groups like the Irish and Germans. Irish characters first appeared in the 1840s, portrayed as hotheaded, odious drunkards who spoke in a thick brogue. However, beginning in the 1850s, many Irishmen joined minstrelsy, and Irish theatergoers probably came to represent a significant part of the audience, so this negative image was muted. Germans, on the other hand, were portrayed favorably from their introduction to minstrelsy in the 1860s. They were responsible and sensible, though still portrayed as humorous for their large size, hearty appetites, and heavy "Dutch" accents. Part of this positive portrayal no doubt came about because some of the actors portraying German characters were German themselves.
Music and dance [ edit ] "Minstrelsy evolved from several different American entertainment traditions; the traveling circus, medicine shows, shivaree, Irish dance and music with African syncopated rhythms, musical halls and traveling theatre." Music and dance were the heart of the minstrel show and a large reason for its popularity. Around the time of the 1830s there was a lot of national conflict as to how people viewed African Americans. Because of that interest in the Negro people, these songs granted the listener new knowledge about African Americans, who were different from themselves, even if the information was prejudiced. Troupes took advantage of this interest and marketed sheet music of the songs they featured so that viewers could enjoy them at home and other minstrels could adopt them for their act.
How much influence black music had on minstrel performance remains a debated topic. Minstrel music certainly contained some element of black culture, added onto a base of European tradition with distinct Irish and Scottish folk music influences. Musicologist Dale Cockrell argues that early minstrel music mixed both African and European traditions and that distinguishing black and white urban music during the 1830s is impossible. Insofar as the minstrels had authentic contact with black culture, it was via neighborhoods, taverns, theaters and waterfronts where blacks and whites could mingle freely. The inauthenticity of the music and the Irish and Scottish elements in it are explained by the fact that slaves were rarely allowed to play native African music and therefore had to adopt and adapt elements of European folk music. Compounding the problem is the difficulty in ascertaining how much minstrel music was written by black composers, as the custom at the time was to sell all rights to a song to publishers or other performers. Nevertheless, many troupes claimed to have carried out more serious "fieldwork". Similar to American people who come from all over the world creating one big 'melting pot,' it is only fitting that some of the first forms of truly American music and drama are composed of elements from many different places.
Early blackface songs often consisted of unrelated verses strung together by a common chorus. In this pre-Emmett minstrelsy, the music "jangled the nerves of those who believed in music that was proper, respectable, polished, and harmonic, with recognizable melodies." It was thus a juxtaposition of "vigorous earth-slapping footwork of black dances '... with the Irish lineaments of blackface jigs and reels." Similar to the look of a blackface performer, the lyrics in the songs that were sung have a tone of mockery and a spirit of laughing at black Americans rather than with them. The minstrel show texts sometimes even mixed black lore, such as stories about talking animals or slave tricksters, with humor from the region southwest of the Appalachians, itself a mixture of traditions from different races and cultures. Minstrel instruments were also a m(C)lange: African banjo and tambourine with European fiddle and bones In short, early minstrel music and dance was not true black culture; it was a white reaction to it. This was the first large-scale appropriation and commercial exploitation of black culture by American whites.
In the late 1830s, a decidedly European structure and high-brow style became popular in minstrel music. The banjo, played with "scientific touches of perfection" and popularized by Joel Sweeney, became the heart of the minstrel band. Songs like the Virginia Minstrels' hit "Old Dan Tucker" have a catchy tune and energetic rhythm, melody and harmony; minstrel music was now for singing as well as dancing. The Spirit of the Times even described the music as vulgar because it was "entirely too elegant" and that the "excellence" of the singing "[was] an objection to it." Others complained that the minstrels had foregone their black roots. In short, the Virginia Minstrels and their imitators wanted to please a new audience of predominantly white, middle-class Northerners, by playing music the spectators would find familiar and pleasant.
Despite the elements of ridicule contained in blackface performance, mid-19th century white audiences, by and large, believed the songs and dances to be authentically black. For their part, the minstrels always billed themselves and their music as such. The songs were called "plantation melodies" or "Ethiopian choruses", among other names. By using the black caricatures and so-called black music, the minstrels added a touch of the unknown to the evening's entertainment, which was enough to fool audiences into accepting the whole performance as authentic.
Detail from an 1859 playbill of
Bryant's Minstrels depicting the final part of the walk around
The minstrels' dance styles, on the other hand, were much truer to their alleged source. The success of "Jump Jim Crow" is indicative: It was an old English tune with fairly standard lyrics, which leaves only Rice's dance'--wild upper-body movements with little movement below the waist'--to explain its popularity. Dances like the Turkey Trot, the Buzzard Lope, and the Juba dance all had their origins in the plantations of the South, and some were popularized by black performers such as William Henry Lane, Signor Cornmeali ("Old Corn Meal"), and John "Picayune" Butler. One performance by Lane in 1842 was described as consisting of "sliding steps, like a shuffle, and not the high steps of an Irish jig." Lane and the white men who mimicked him moved about the stage with no obvious foot movement. The walk around, a common feature of the minstrel show's first act, was ultimately of West African origin and featured a competition between individuals hemmed in by the other minstrels. Elements of white tradition remained, of course, such as the fast-paced breakdown that formed part of the repertoire beginning with Rice. Minstrel dance was generally not held to the same mockery as other parts, although contemporaries such as Fanny Kemble argued that minstrel dances were merely a "faint, feeble, impotent'--in a word, pale Northern reproductions of that ineffable black conception." The introduction of the jubilee, or spiritual, marked the minstrels' first undeniable adoption of black music. These songs remained relatively authentic in nature, antiphonal with a repetitive structure that relied heavily on call and response. The black troupes sang the most authentic jubilees, while white companies inserted humorous verses and replaced religious themes with plantation imagery, often starring the old darky. Jubilee eventually became synonymous with plantation.
Legacy [ edit ] The minstrel show played a powerful role in shaping assumptions about blacks. However, unlike vehemently anti-black propaganda from the time, minstrelsy made this attitude palatable to a wide audience by couching it in the guise of well-intentioned paternalism.
Popular entertainment perpetuated the racist stereotype of the uneducated, ever-cheerful, and highly musical black well into the 1950s. Even as the minstrel show was dying out in all but amateur theater, blackface performers became common acts on vaudeville stages and in legitimate drama. These entertainers kept the familiar songs, dances, and pseudo-black dialect, often in nostalgic looks back at the old minstrel show. The most famous of these performers is probably Al Jolson, who took blackface to the big screen in the 1920s in films such as The Jazz Singer (1927). His 1930 film Mammy uses the setting of a traveling minstrel show, giving an on-screen presentation of a performance. Likewise, when the sound era of cartoons began in the late 1920s, early animators such as Walt Disney gave characters such as Mickey Mouse (who already resembled blackface performers) a minstrel-show personality; the early Mickey is constantly singing and dancing and smiling. The face of Raggedy Ann is a color-reversed minstrel mask, and Raggedy Ann's creator, Johnny Gruelle, designed the doll in part with the antics of blackface star Fred Stone in mind. As late as 1942, as demonstrated in the Warner Bros. cartoon Fresh Hare, minstrel shows could be used as a gag (in this case, Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny leading a chorus of "Camptown Races") with the expectation, presumably, that audiences would get the reference. Radio shows got into the act, a fact perhaps best exemplified by the popular radio shows Two Black Crows, Sam 'n' Henry, and Amos 'n' Andy, A transcription survives from 1931 of The Blue Coal Minstrels, which uses many of the standard forms of the minstrel show, including Tambo, Bones and the interlocutor. The National Broadcasting Company, in a 1930 pamphlet, used the minstrel show as a point of reference in selling its services.
NBC promotional pamphlet utilizing minstrel show references. Collection of E.O. Costello
As recently as the mid-1970s the BBC broadcast The Black and White Minstrel Show starring the George Mitchell Minstrels. The racist archetypes that blackface minstrelsy helped to create persist to this day; some argue that this is even true in hip hop culture and movies. The 2000 Spike Lee movie Bamboozled alleges that modern black entertainment exploits African-American culture much as the minstrel shows did a century ago, for example.
Meanwhile, African-American actors were limited to the same old minstrel-defined roles for years to come and by playing them, made them more believable to white audiences. On the other hand, these parts opened the entertainment industry to African-American performers and gave them their first opportunity to alter those stereotypes. Many famous singers and actors gained their start in black minstrelsy, including W. C. Handy, Ida Cox, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, and Butterbeans and Susie. The Rabbit's Foot Company was a variety troupe, founded in 1900 by an African American, Pat Chappelle, which drew on and developed the minstrel tradition while updating it and helping to develop and spread black musical styles. Besides Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, later musicians working for "the Foots" included Louis Jordan, Brownie McGhee and Rufus Thomas, and the company was still touring as late as 1950. Its success was rivalled by other touring variety troupes, such as "Silas Green from New Orleans".
The very structure of American entertainment bears minstrelsy's imprint. The endless barrage of gags and puns appears in the work of the Marx Brothers and David and Jerry Zucker. The varied structure of songs, gags, "hokum" and dramatic pieces continued into vaudeville, variety shows, and to modern sketch comedy shows such as Hee Haw or, more distantly, Saturday Night Live and In Living Color. Jokes once delivered by endmen are still told today: "Why did the chicken cross the road?" "Why does a fireman wear red suspenders?" Other jokes form part of the repertoire of modern comedians: "Who was that lady I saw you with last night? That was no lady'--that was my wife!" The stump speech is an important precursor to modern stand-up comedy.
Another important legacy of minstrelsy is its music. The hokum blues genre carried over the dandy, the wench, the simple-minded slave characters (sometimes rendered as the rustic white "rube") and even the interlocutor into early blues and country music incarnations through the medium of "race music" and "hillbilly" recordings. Many minstrel tunes are now popular folk songs. Most have been expunged of the exaggerated black dialect and the overt references to blacks. "Dixie", for example, was adopted by the Confederacy as its unofficial national anthem and is still popular, and "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" was sanitized and made the state song of Virginia until 1997. "My Old Kentucky Home" remains the state song of Kentucky. The instruments of the minstrel show were largely kept on, especially in the South. Minstrel performers from the last days of the shows, such as Uncle Dave Macon, helped popularize the banjo and fiddle in modern country music. And by introducing America to black dance and musical style, minstrels opened the nation to black cultural forms for the first time on a large scale.
The term "digital blackface" is used to refer to Internet meme caricaturing African-Americans and other racial minorities in the cyberspace. In recent years, there has been a considerable amount of debate on memes and the extent to which they borrow from racist caricatures of minority groups.
One can find online what is called "internet minstrelsy", where someone would impersonate a black person, in order to embody blackness and portray some stereotypical features, exactly like the minstrel shows used to portray in the early 19th century. Many Internet memes follow this "digital blackface" phenomenon: the "Ain't no one got time for that" meme which went viral in 2015 is a prime example of it. This can also be found in GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), where black people, and very often black women, are used to portray excessive behaviours. The term "misogynoir" has been used to define hatred toward black women, and some memes have been accused of affording maintenance to it. Trends in Internet memes also carry the phenomenon. The Ugandan knuckles "do you know de wey" meme for instance, found all over the Internet in late 2017 would mock the Uganda people and culture.
Motion pictures with minstrel show routines [ edit ] A small number of films available today contain authentic recreations of Minstrel show numbers and routines. Due to their content they are rarely (if ever) broadcast on television today, but are available on home video.
Babes on Broadway (1941), a musical starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. The next-to-last musical number is a medley of songs performed in blackface.Honolulu (1939), in which Eleanor Powell performs a blackface dance homage to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.Fresh Hare (1942), an animated short featuring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. The final scene, edited out of recent television broadcasts, shows Bunny and Fudd in blackface, along with five tall men in the same condition, singing "Camptown Races".The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944), blackface musicians perform a jolly number on the river vessel, in the scene where Captain Clemens rescues Charles Langdon from a thief.Dixie (1943), a film based on the life of songwriter Daniel Decatur Emmett. It includes Bing Crosby singing the film's title song in blackface.Holiday Inn (1942), contains a musical number entitled "Abraham" with Bing Crosby performing in blackface in the style of a minstrel show. Beginning in the 1980s, this number has been cut from many TV broadcasts.Hollywood Varieties (1950), a collection of stage acts with Glen Vernon and Edward Ryan in a blackface skit.I Dream of Jeanie (1952) aka I Dream of Jeanie (with the Light Brown Hair), a completely fictional film biography of Stephen Foster. Veteran performer Glen Turnbull makes a guest appearance as a blackface Minstrel performer in Christy's Minstrels.The Jazz Singer (1927), the first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences. Based on a play by Samson Raphaelson, the story tells of Jakie Rabinowitz (Al Jolson), the son of a devout Jewish family, who runs away from home to become a jazz singer.Mammy (1930), another Al Jolson film, this relives Jolson's early years as a minstrel man. With songs by Irving Berlin, who is also credited with the original story titled Mr. Bones.Minstrel Man (1944), a fictional film about the rise, fall, and revival of a minstrel performer's career. It was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Original Song and Best Original Score).My Wild Irish Rose (1947), starring Dennis Morgan, Andrea King, and Arlene Dahl, is set in 1890s New York and features several scenes depicting blackface musical numbers.A Plantation Act (1926), a Vitaphone sound-on-disc short film starring Al Jolson. Long thought to have been lost, a copy of the film and sound disc were located and the restored version has been issued as a bonus feature on the DVD release of The Jazz Singer.Show Boat (1936), film starring Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Hattie McDaniel, Paul Robeson. One of the shows on board is a blackface minstrel act.Swanee River (1940), another fictionalized biographical film on Stephen Foster. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Musical Scoring and was the last on-screen appearance of Al Jolson.Torch Song (1953), starring Joan Crawford, Michael Wilding, and Marjorie Rambeau, contains a musical number, done in blackface, entitled "Two-faced Woman."Uncle Tom's Cabin (1903), an early "full-length" movie (between 10 and 14 minutes), was directed by Edwin S. Porter and used white actors in blackface in the major roles. Similar to the earlier "Tom Shows" it featured black stereotypes such as having the slaves dance in almost any context, including at a slave auction.White Christmas (1954), features a full-scale minstrel show number, but without blackface. The lyrics to the songs remove all suggestion that minstrel shows involved blackface, but retain many standard minstrel show features, including the roles of "Mr. Bones" and "Mr. Interlocutor". The lyrics include the line "I'd pawn my overcoat and vest / To see a minstrel show ", which model the assumed careless and carefree nature of poverty.[citation needed ]Yes Sir, Mr. Bones (1951), is based around a young child who finds a rest home for retired minstrel performers. In "flashback" sequences, a number of actual minstrel veterans, including Scatman Crothers, Freeman Davis (aka "Brother Bones"), Ned Haverly, Phil Arnold, "endmen" Cotton Watts and Slim Williams, the dancing team of Boyce and Evans, and the comic duo Ches Davis and Emmett Miller, perform in the roles they popularized in Minstrel shows.Here Come The Waves (1944), contains a show-within-a-show. It includes a minstrel routine performed by Bing Crosby and Sonny Tufts; their two characters then sing a musical number entitled "Ac-Cen-Tchu-Ate the Positive".Swing Time (1936), a musical starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers features a dance number entitled "Bojangles of Harlem" performed by Astaire in blackface.Die Zauberflote/The Magic Flute (2000), a filmed performance of Mozart's opera, released as part of the Kultur series of DVDs, has Volker Vogel play the villainous character Monostatus the Moor in blackface. The producers stated that this was one of many uncomfortable truths included in the performance, to educate audiences about the prejudices common in 1791 when this play first appeared.Masked and Anonymous (2003), set in a dystopian future. Ed Harris plays a blackfaced character in one scene.See also [ edit ] BlackfaceList of blackface minstrel songsList of blackface minstrel troupesList of entertainers who performed in blackfaceCoon songThe Black and White Minstrel Show, a British television and theatre show of the American traditional genre in the 1960s and 1970sStage Irish, the stereotyped portrayal of Irish people once common in plays during the 17th 18th and 20th centuries.Notes [ edit ] ^ a b c d The Coon Character Archived 2012-04-14 at the Wayback Machine., Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, Ferris State University. Retrieved 29 January 2016. ^ John Kenrick, A History of the Musical: Minstrel Shows Archived 2012-06-11 at the Wayback Machine., musicals101.com. 1996, revised 2003. Retrieved 9 November 2011. ^ Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Blackface Minstrelsy and Antebellum American Popular Culture by William J. Mahar, University of Illinois Press (1998) p. 9 ISBN 0-252-06696-0. ^ Nowatzki, Robert (2010). Representing African Americans in Transatlantic Abolitionism and Blackface Minstrelsy. Baton Rouge: LSU Press. p. 36. ISBN 9780807137451. ^ Lott 1993, pp. 17''18 ^ Watkins 1999, p. 82 ^ Sweet, Frank W. A History of the Minstrel Show, p27. ^ A History of the Minstrel Show (2000) By Frank W. Sweet, Backintyme, p. 28 Retrieved 18 March 2010. ^ Padgett, Ken (August 20, 2014). "Blackface! Minstrel Shows". p. 1. Archived from the original on 27 September 2014 . Retrieved 10 December 2014 . ^ Watkins 1994, p. 82, asserts that the character of Othello was traditionally played by an actor in black makeup, since Shakespeare's day. ^ Lewis Hallam is frequently cited as the first actor to perform in blackface based on an impression he did of a drunken black man in a 1769 staging of The Padlock. Later research by Cockrell and others disputes this claim. ^ Strausbaugh 2006, p. 27 et. seq. ^ Rourke, Constance (1931). American Humor: A Study of the National Character. Quoted in Watkins 1994, p. 83. ^ Cockrell 1997, p. 66. ^ Toll 1978 ^ Toll 1974, p. 30 ^ a b Lott 1993, p. 65 et. seq., 75. ^ Cockrell 1997, p. 148; Toll 1974, pp. 10''11. ^ Cockrell 1997, pp. 31''32. ^ Lott 1993, p. 75. ^ Thoms F. De Voe, The Market Book (1862), New York:Burt Franklin 1969, p. 344, quoted in Lott 1993, pp. 41''42. ^ New Orleans Picayune. Quoted in Lott 1993, pp. 41''43. ^ African Grove Theater Archived 2009-02-20 at the Wayback Machine., MAAP (Mapping the African American Past; Columbia CNMTL, JPMorganChase, Teachers College, Curriculum Concepts International). Accessed 2009-07-20. ^ Strausbaugh 2006, p. 76 et. seq. ^ Lott 1993, pp. 137''138. ^ Lott 1993, p. 155. ^ Cockrell 1997, p. 187, note 111. ^ Cockrell 1997, p. 146. ^ Lott 1993, pp. 143''148. ^ Strausbaugh 2006, pp. 102''103 Emmett and the Virginia Minstrel's claim as originators is not undisputed. E. P. Christy did more or less the same, apparently independently, earlier the same year in Buffalo, New York, but Emmett, performing in Manhattan, promptly gained attention that Christy had not. ^ Cockrell 1997, p. 152. ^ New York Herald, February 6, 1843. Quoted in Cockrell 1997, p. 151. ^ Toll 1974, p. 37. ^ Toll 1974, p. 219. ^ Toll 1974, p. 73. ^ Toll 1974, p. 66. ^ Cockrell 1997, pp. 147, 154. ^ a b Toll 1974, p. 81. ^ a b Watkins 1994, p. 93. ^ Toll 1974, p. 85. ^ Lott 1993, pp. 211''233. ^ Lott 1993, pp. 150''152. ^ Lott 1993, p. 90. ^ Lott 1993, p. 38. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 104''105. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 162''163. ^ a b Watkins 1994, p. 91. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 109''112. ^ Toll 1974, p. 117. ^ Watkins 1994, p. 98. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 146''151. ^ Toll 1974, p. 149. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 152''154. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 181''183. ^ Toll 1974, p. 126. ^ Watkins 1994, p. 103. ^ "The Survival of Blackface Minstrel Shows in the Adirondack Foothills". www.nyfolklore.org. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-27 . Retrieved 2015-09-26 . ^ Toll 1974, pp. 197''198. ^ Playbill, "Seven Slaves Just From Alabama", Springfield, Massachusetts, May 7, [1857?]. Quoted in Toll 1974, pp. 198''199. ^ Toll 1974, p. 201. ^ The Clipper, September 6, 1879. Quoted in Toll 1974, p. 205. ^ Toll 1974, p. 200. ^ Toll 1974, p. 203; Watkins 1994, p. 119. ^ Watkins 1994, pp. 109''110. ^ Watkins 1994, pp. 114''117. ^ Toll 1974, p. 220. ^ Toll 1974, p. 223. ^ Watkins 1994, p. 109. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 236''237. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 239''240. ^ Toll 1974, p. 245. ^ Toll 1974, p. 227. ^ Alexander p.168 ^ Toll 1974, p. 258. ^ a b Watkins 1994, pp. 124''129. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 258''259. ^ Toll 1974, p. 226. ^ Watkins 1994, p. 125. ^ Watkins 1994, p. 112. ^ Alexander p.169 ^ "Rabbit's Foot Comedy Company; T. G. Williams; William Mosely; Ross Jackson; Sam Catlett; Mr. Chappelle." News/Opinion, The Freeman, page 6. October 7, 1905. Indianapolis, Indiana ^ Lakey, Lisa. "Ma Rainey, Mother of Blues". Porterbriggs.com . Retrieved 27 May 2018 . ^ Lakey, Lisa. "Ma Rainey, Mother of the Blues". Porterbriggs.com . Retrieved 27 May 2018 . ^ Toll 1974, pp. 37''38. ^ Strausbaugh 2006, p. 104. ^ a b Strausbaugh 2006, p. 105. ^ Lott 1993, p. 153. ^ a b Toll 1974, p. 53. ^ Strausbaugh 2006, pp. 104''105. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 53''54. ^ Toll 1974, p. 161. ^ a b Watkins 1994, p. 92. ^ Watkins 1994, p. 94. ^ Toll 1974, p. 57. ^ "Jim Crow", sheet music. Quoted in Nathan 1962, p. 55. ^ "Blackface!". Archived from the original on 4 February 2002 . Retrieved 10 December 2014 . ^ Virginia Serenaders (1844). "Lubly Fan Will You Come Out?", sheet music. Quoted in Toll 1974, p. 67. ^ Toll 1974, p. 67. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 69''70. ^ Toll 1974, p. 63, note 63. ^ Paskman & Spaeth 1928. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 78''79. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 118''119. ^ Toll 1974, p. 172. ^ Strausbaugh 2006, p. 131. ^ Toll 1974, p. 174. ^ Padgett, Ken (August 20, 2014). "Blackface! Minstrel Shows". http://black-face.com/minstrel-shows.htm. Archived from the original on 27 September 2014 . Retrieved 10 December 2014 . ^ Cockrell 1997, pp. 86''7. ^ Sullivan 2001, pp. 25''26. ^ Watkins 1994, p. 116. ^ Lott 1993, pp. 41, 94. ^ Cockrell 1997, p. 80. ^ Lott 1993, p. 94. ^ While much of the literature relating to the bones has assumed it to be an African instrument because of ethnocentric ideas about their "primitiveness", historical and musicological evidence supports a European origin for the bones in North America. See Beth Lenz' thesis, The Bones in the United States: History and Performance Practice. M. A. Thesis, University of Michigan, 1989, and articles in The Rhythm Bones Player, the official publication of the Rhythm Bones Society. ^ Lott 1993, pp. 101''103. ^ Watkins 1994, p. 82. ^ March 18, 1841. Playbill, Bowery Theatre. Quoted in Cockrell 1997, p. 148. ^ Cockrell 1997, p. 156. ^ October 9, 1847, writing about the Ethiopian Serenaders. Quoted in Lott 1993, p. 153. ^ Toll 1974, pp. 50''51. ^ Lott 1993, p. 39. ^ Toll 1974, p. 43. ^ Blesh, Rudi, and Janis, Harriet. Unpublished notes. Quoted in Stearns, Marshall and Jean (1968). Jazz Dance, 50-55. Quoted later in Toll 1974, p. 44. ^ Kemble, Fanny. Quoted in Lott 1993, pp. 115''116. ^ Toll 1974, p. 244. ^ Toll 1974, p. 119. ^ Sacks & Sacks 1993, p. 158. ^ Robin Bernstein, Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights, (New York: New York University Press, 2011), pp. 146-93. ^ Stark 2000, p. 72. ^ "Gentlemen, Be Seated!" New York: National Broadcasting Company, Inc. 1930. The pamphlet specifically describes the marketing for the Dutch Masters Minstrel Show, a show broadcast Saturday nights at 9.30 ET on the Blue Network, with the frontispiece showing the two endmen in blackface. One passage reads: "Reminiscent of those mellowed days of Primrose and West, Honey Boy Eveans and Lew Docstader, this specific greeting is both a cordial invitation and a subtle suggestion. For the appeal of these delightful entertainers is directly primarily, though not exclusively, to men whose memories still cherish the illusive fancies of bygone days -- whose recollections can conjure the faded odors of glue and greasepaint, wafted across the limelight of some small town Opera House, back in the Gay 90s." ^ Jackson 2006, p. 47. ^ Toll 1974, p. 196. ^ Smith 2006. ^ Oliver 1972 ^ Malone & Stricklin 2002, p. 26. ^ Lott 1993, p. 5 for Hee Haw, in particular. ^ "'...the sort of comedy featured on Hee Haw and the Grand Ole Opry is simply a minstrel survival with a new coat of paint." Wald 2004, p. 51. ^ Robin Bernstein, Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights, (New York: New York University Press, 2011), p. 7. ^ Marc, 1997 & 28. ^ www.50states.com Virginia State Song, 50states.com. Accessed online 2006-09-03, 2009-07-20. ^ Watkins 1994, p. 106. ^ M. Jackson, Lauren (14 January 2018). "Digital Blackface, and the death of memes". www.radionz.co.nz. Archived from the original on 6 February 2018. ^ a b c M. Jackson, Laur (August 28, 2014). "Memes and Misogynoir". www.theawl.com. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. ^ M. Jackson, Lauren (August 2, 2017). "We Need to Talk About Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs". Teen Vogue. Archived from the original on December 2, 2017. ^ Alexander, Julia (January 8, 2018). " ' Ugandan Knuckles' is overtaking VRChat". www.polygon.com. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. ^ The First Uncle Tom's Cabin Film: Edison-Porter's Slavery Days (1903) Archived 2007-03-13 at the Wayback Machine., Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture, a Multi-Media Archive, accessed April 19, 2007. ^ " " Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive": song History, Commentary, Discography, Performances on Video". greatamericansongbook.net. Archived from the original on 2016-08-18. References [ edit ] Michelle Alexander (16 January 2012). The New Jim Crow. New Press. ISBN 978-1-59558-819-7. Bauch, Marc A. (2012), "Gentlemen, Be Seated!" - The Rise and the Fall of the Minstrel Show, Munich, Germany: Grin Verlag, ISBN 978-3656086369 Cantwell, Robert (1984), Bluegrass Breakdown : The Making of the Old Southern Sound, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-306-80495-6 . Reprinted 2003.Cockrell, Dale (1997), Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and their World, Cambridge University Press / Cambridge Studies in American Theatre and Drama, ISBN 0-521-56828-5 .Jackson, Ronald L., II (2006), Scripting the Black Masculine Body: Identity, Discourse, and Racial Politics in Popular Media, Albany: State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-306-80495-6 . Reprinted 2003.Lenz, Beth (1989), The Bones in the United States: History and Performance Practice . M. A. Thesis, University of Michigan.Lott, Eric (1993), Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-509641-X .Malone, Bill C.; Stricklin, David (2003), Southern Music/American Music (Revised ed.), Lexington: University Press of Kentucky .Marc, David (1997), Comic Visions: Television Comedy & American Culture (2nd ed.), Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc. .Nathan, Hans (1962), Dan Emmett and the Rise of Early Negro Minstrelsy, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press ."Official Song of the State of Virginia". 50states.com. Retrieved September 3, 2006.Oliver, Paul (1972), The Story of the Blues, Penguin, ISBN 0-14-003509-5 .Paskman, Dailey; Spaeth, Sigmund (1928), Gentlemen, Be Seated!, Garden City: Doubleday, Doran & Company . The relevant excerpt is available online: "A Working Model". Retrieved September 8, 2005.Sacks, Howard L.; Sacks, Judith (1993), Way up North in Dixie: A Black Family's Claim to the Confederate Anthem, Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press .Smith, Peter Dunbaugh (2006), Ashley Street Blues: Racial Uplift and the Commodification of Vernacular Performance in Lavilla, Florida, 1896-1916 (PDF) , Florida State University, archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-26 , retrieved 2009-05-03 Sotiropoulos, Karen (2006). "Staging Race: Black Performers in Turn of the Century America" Cambridge: (Harvard University Press).Stark, Seymour (2000), Men in Blackface: True Stories of the Minstrel Show, Xlibris .Strausbaugh, John (2006). Black Like You. Tarcher. ISBN 1-58542-498-6Sullivan, Megan (2001), "African-American music as rebellion: From slavesong to hip-hop", Discoveries, 3: 21''39 .Sweet, Frank W. (2000). A History of the Minstrel Show. Backintyme. ISBN 0-939479-21-4.Toll, Robert C. (1974), Blacking Up: The Minstrel Show in Nineteenth-century America, New York: Oxford University Press .Toll, Robert C. (April''May 1978), "Behind the Blackface: Minstrel Men and Minstrel Myths", American Heritage, 29 (3), archived from the original on 2009-01-09 .Watkins, Mel (1994), On the Real Side: Laughing, Lying, and Signifying'--The Underground Tradition of African-American Humor that Transformed American Culture, from Slavery to Richard Pryor, New York: Simon & Schuster .Watkins, Mel (1999), On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy from Slavery to Chris Rock, Chicago, Illinois: Lawrence Hill Books, ISBN 1-55652-351-3 .Wald, Elijah (2004), Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues, New York: Amistad, ISBN 0-06-052423-5 .External links [ edit ] "Minstrel Potpourri" performed by the Edison Minstrels (possibly The Haydn Quartet)"Waiting for the Robert E. Lee" performed by the Heidelberg Quintet (from the Internet Archive)Ruckus! American Entertainments at the Turn of the Twentieth Century From the collection of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale UniversityThe Frank Dumont Minstrelsy Scrapbook 1850-1902, compiled by minstrel performer and manager Frank Dumont, containing more than 50 years of documentation about minstrelsy and its origins is available for research use at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.The JUBA Project: Early Blackface Minstrelsy in Britain, 1842-1852Guide to American Minstrel Show Collection at Houghton Library, Harvard UniversityAmerican Minstrel Show Collection, Princeton UniversityHistorical Notes for Collection 1: African-American and Jamaican Melodies, includes biographical sketches of many black minstrel composers and access to their music.Metropolitan Police Minstrels - from the 1920sMinstrel show by white people as reported in the Los Angeles Times of November 2, 1901Cartoons of white minstrels in blackface, Los Angeles Times, May 2, 1902Guide to the Minstrel show performance collections housed at the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research CenterPopular culture once embraced racist blackface minstrel shows - Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois newspaper)
Larry Hoover Born ( 1950-11-30 ) November 30, 1950 (age 67) Sallis, Mississippi, U.S. Other namesKing LarryCriminal penalty150''285 years imprisonment(six life sentences)Criminal statusimprisoned at ADX Florence supermax prison in Florence, Colorado Spouse(s) Winndye Jenkins(common''law wife)ChildrenLarry Bernard, Larry Hoover, Jr., Tyree Hoover Conviction(s) Murder, conspiracy, extortion, and continuing to engage in a criminal enterprise.Date apprehended
March 16, 1973Larry Hoover (born November 30, 1950) is an American gang leader and founder of the Chicago street gang called the Gangster Disciples. Hoover is currently serving six life sentences at the ADX Florence supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. His sentences include a 150''200 year sentence for a 1973 murder; and in 1997, after a 17-year investigation of conspiracy, extortion, money laundering, and running a continuing criminal enterprise for leading the gang from state prison, he received a life sentence. During an October 2018 summit with President Donald Trump, rapper Kanye West pled for clemency for Hoover.
Biography [ edit ] Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Hoover's parents moved their family (which included brothers, sisters and grandparents) to Chicago, Illinois in search of a better life when Hoover was 4 years old. By the age of 12, Hoover was on the streets with his friends calling themselves "supreme gangsters". As the gang grew, Hoover emerged as its leader. Known as "Prince Larry," Hoover, along with rival gang leader David Barksdale, decided to merge their gangs into one: the Black Gangster Disciple Nation. A grade school dropout, Hoover earned his GED and an emergency medical technician's license while incarcerated.
1973 murder of William Young [ edit ] On the evening of February 26, 1973, William "Pooky" Young, a 19-year old neighborhood youth, was abducted and later shot to death in an alley near 68th Street and Union Avenue in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. His killing was ordered by Hoover after his name was mentioned as one of three people accused of stealing drugs and money from the gang five days earlier. On March 16, 1973, Hoover and Young's killer, Gangster Disciple member Andrew Howard, were both arrested. In November 1973, Howard and Hoover were both charged with murder and sentenced to 150 to 200 years in prison. Hoover was sent to Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois, to serve out his term.
Gangster Disciples Leader [ edit ] In 1974, after Barksdale died from kidney failure due to an earlier shooting, Hoover took the reins of the Gangster Disciples Nation, which now had control of Chicago's South Side. Under Hoover's rule, the Gangster Disciples took over the South Side drug trade. While incarcerated, Hoover helped form the Folks Nation, which added other gangs such as: Black Disciples, Gangster Disciples, Satan Disciples, Cash Money Brothers, La Raza Nation, Maniac Latin Disciples, and Spanish Gangster Disciples. While incarcerated, Hoover ran the gang's illicit drug trade in prison and on the streets, starting from Chicago's West Side and later extending throughout the United States. By early 1993, Hoover claimed to have renounced his violent criminal past and became an urban political celebrity in Chicago. The Gangster Disciples earned fans in the community with charity events and peaceful protests. Hoover proclaimed that initials GD had changed to mean "Growth & Development." A lengthy federal investigation using wiretaps led to Hoover getting another life sentence in 1995. Hoover's gang allegedly had 30,000 "soldiers" in 35 states and made $100 million a year, a total of approximately $3,300.00 per "soldier" annually.
Conviction [ edit ] On August 22, 1995, after a 17-year undercover investigation by the federal government, Hoover was indicted for drug conspiracy, extortion, and continuing to engage in a criminal enterprise. He was arrested at the Vienna Correctional Center by federal agents, and moved to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago to stand trial. In 1997, Hoover was found guilty on all charges. Hoover is currently serving his sentence at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado.
See also [ edit ] Continuing Criminal EnterpriseCooley, Will (2017). "Jim Crow Organized Crime: Black Chicago's Underground Economy in the Twentieth Century," in Building the Black Metropolis: African American Entrepreneurship in Chicago, Robert Weems and Jason Chambers, eds. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 147-170. ISBN 978-0252082948.References [ edit ] External links [ edit ] Charges Against 6 Dropped In Illinois Prison Riot Trial, UPI (June 2, 1981)
What is the 13th Amendment? A Kanye-inspired history lesson. - The Washington Post
The amendment that freed enslaved people almost didn't pass.Kanye brought up the 13th Amendment'--again. This time he was in the Oval Office, sitting across the desk from President Trump Thursday during a particularly surreal encounter.
With cameras clicking and boom microphones amplifying his every word, the controversial rapper, who wore a red ''Make America Great Again'' hat, unleashed another rambling rant:
''There are a lot of things affecting our mental health that makes us do crazy things that puts us back into that trapdoor called the 13th Amendment,'' West said, as Trump sat across from him smiling.
[Kanye West's incredibly bizarre meeting with Donald Trump]
''I did say abolish with the hat on because why would you keep something around that is a trap door?" West asked. ''If you are building a floor '-- the Constitution is the base of our industry'.... of our country'... of our company. Would you build a trap door that if you mess up and you accidentally '-- something happens '-- and you fall, and you end up next to the Unabomber? You've got to remove the trapdoor out of the relationship'--the 13th Amendment out of our relationship. The way the universe works is perfect. You don't have 13 floors. Do we?''
The 13th Amendment, which was ratified by the states on Dec. 6, 1865, abolished slavery, declaring: ''Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.''
Earlier this month, West tweeted about the 13th Amendment and called for it to be abolished:
''This represents good and America becoming whole again,'' he wrote. ''We will no longer outsource to other countries. We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment. Message sent with love.''
Why anybody would want to abolish an amendment that freed enslaved people and was passed more than 153 years ago, has left some people confused.
Ava Duvernay directed the documentary ''13th,'' which traced the amendment's ''exception clause'' from the era of convict leasing after the Civil War when black people convicted of even small crimes were forced to work on plantations to current mass incarceration and prison labor. She tweeted: ''I'm consciously choosing to tweet about plant-based burgers and not current statements about the 13th Amendment from a certain MAGA follower. Respectfully, please don't @ me. I can't do nothing for him.''
Historian Arica L. Coleman watched West's performance at the White House with astonishment.
''This man does not have a clue,'' said Coleman, who is author of ''That the Blood Stay Pure: African Americans, Native Americans, and the Predicament of Race and Identity in Virginia.'' ''Kanye is an entertainer'.... What he is saying is in the guise of history'--in the guise of facts. These are alternative facts, which means no facts at all.''
US Constitution first page. (iStock)Passage of the 13th Amendment was actually prompted by the Emancipation Proclamation, ''which was done as a military necessity," Coleman said. "Lincoln did not issue the Emancipation on moral grounds. It did not free all the slaves.''
According to the National Park Service, Lincoln issued a warning on September 22, 1862, announcing he would issue an "Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that enslaved people in states or areas of 'rebellion against the United States' would be free effective on January 1, 1863.''
No Confederate states heeded Lincoln's demand, so the president made good on his threat. ''After standing in line for hours to greet the customary New Year's Day visitors at the White House, Abraham Lincoln retired to his office upstairs at the Executive Mansion and signed the final version of the Emancipation Proclamation," according to the Park Service account.
"His hands were tired and trembling from shaking so many hands, and as he prepared to sign the document, he paused to let the quivering subside, and declared, as if to reinforce his resolve, 'I never in my life felt more certain that I was doing right than I do in signing this paper...if my name ever goes into history it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.' Lincoln affixed a steady signature to the Emancipation Proclamation, completing what he would later call the great event of the nineteenth century.''
The final Emancipation Proclamation was issued Jan. 1, 1863, targeting areas in rebellion, excluding areas that were controlled by the Union army.
''The document notably excluded the so-called border states of Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri, where slavery existed side by side with Unionist sentiment,'' the Park Services explains. "In areas where the U.S. government had authority, such as Maryland and much of Tennessee, slavery went untouched. In areas where slaves were declared free - most of the South - the federal government had no effective authority.''
When the Civil War ended May 9, 1865, the issue of slavery was still unclear.
''The reason you needed the 13th Amendment was because after the Civil War, the question came up about whether the Emancipation Proclamation was legally binding,'' Coleman said. ''Could this apply to children of slaves? There were a lot of questions. The 13th Amendment was created to put the question of slavery to rest once and for all.''
It almost didn't pass. The Steven Spielberg 2012 film ''Lincoln'' recounted the president's complicated maneuvering to push the 13th Amendment through the House.
But the film skipped the debate that preceded it in the Senate. ''While Lincoln waited until late 1864 to publicly support an abolition amendment (while quietly supporting it behind the scenes), Radical Republicans like Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner and Ohio representative James Ashley called for such action in 1863," a Senate history explains . "Sumner and his allies applauded Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, but they believed the wartime measure did not go far enough. Instead, they demanded what they termed a 'constitutional guarantee' of 'perpetual freedom.' Such debates'--barely hinted at in the movie'--shaped the language of the amendment and influenced an evolving definition of equality.''
On April 8, 1864, according to the Library of Congress, the Senate passed the 13th Amendment on a 38 to 6 vote.
But on June 15, 1864, it was defeated in the House on a 93 to 65 vote. With 23 members of Congress not voting, it failed to meet the two-thirds majority needed to pass a Constitutional amendment.
In his message to Congress on Dec. 6, 1864, Lincoln bemoaned the fact the House had failed to pass the amendment.
''At the last session of Congress a proposed amendment of the Constitution, abolishing slavery throughout the United States, passed the Senate, but failed for lack of the requisite two-thirds vote in the House of Representatives," Lincoln wrote. "Although the present is the same Congress, and nearly the same members, and without questioning the wisdom or patriotism of those who stood in opposition, I venture to recommend the reconsideration and passage of the measure at the present session.''
In January 1865, the amendment was debated again in the House, and Lincoln pushed hard for passage.
One congressman later quoted Lincoln as telling him, ''I am the President of the United States, clothed with immense power, and I expect you to procure those votes.''
On Jan. 31, 1865, the House finally passed the 13th Amendment on a 119 to 56 vote.
The next day, Lincoln submitted the proposed 13th Amendment to the states. A change to the Constitution must be ratified by three-fourths of the states. Twenty -seven of the then-36 states voted in favor of the amendment. The holdouts included Delaware, which didn't ratify the 13th Amendment until 1901; Kentucky, which didn't embrace it until 1976, and Mississippi, which waited until 2013 to officially embrace the end of slavery.
The amendment was added to the Constitution on Dec. 18, 1865. By then, Lincoln had been assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
Some people following West's commentary assume that his comments are not directed at the whole 13th Amendment, but rather the the amendment's ''exception clause,'' which exempts those convicted of a crime from being free of slavery.
The clause prohibits slavery or involuntary servitude, ''except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.''
''They used the words, except for prison,'' Coleman said, ''which leads people to say we went from the prison of slavery to the slavery of prison. What Kanye is doing is drawing a straight line from the 13th Amendment to mass incarceration to the 1994 crime bill under the Clinton Administration...but it is not a straight line from the 13th Amendment to the crime bill, and Kanye is not an expert.''
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Turkish officials 'have FOUND audio recording of the moment journalist was murdered' | Daily Mail Online
Turkish officials have an audio recording of the moment missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by a 15-member assassination squad, it has been claimed.
Authorities recovered the audio, recorded on his Apple Watch, from Mr Khashoggi's iPhone and his iCloud account, according to Turkish newspaper Sabah.
Turkey now reportedly has access to the recording, alongside video footage of his 'interrogation, torture and killing', though it is unknown where this came from.
Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly beaten and killed on October 2 at the Saudi Arabia embassy in Istanbul, Turkey
Officials said they believe a 15-member 'assassination squad' killed Mr Khashoggi when he walked into the Saudi Arabia embassy in Istanbul on October 2.
Mr Khashoggi turned on the recording function on his Apple Watch before entering into the consulate, according to the newspaper.
Then his 'interrogation, torture and killing were audio recorded and sent to both his phone and to iCloud'.
Mr Khashoggi's assailants then reportedly tried to hack into the watch with multiple failed password attempts before using his fingerprint to unlock it and delete some files.
Security forces leading the investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance found the audio file on the phone he had left with his fianc(C)e, according to the paper.
However, unlocking an Apple Watch using fingerprint verification is not a feature of the device, an Apple representative told CNN.
A stock picture of an Apple Watch. Khashoggi's is said to have recorded his 'interrogation, torture and killing' in the Saudi Arabia embassy
It is also unclear how the file transferred from the watch to the phone.
CNN's intelligence and security analyst Robert Baer said it is highly unlikely Khashoggi could have broadcast a signal from his Apple Watch as it was too far for a Bluetooth connection.
He said: 'I think what's happened, clearly, is the Turks have the Saudi consulate wired, they have transmitters.
'The Turks don't trust any diplomats and they have been into most embassies and most consulates in Turkey and they listen to what's going on -- and if indeed there are tapes proving that he was murdered, I think that's probably how they know. But the Turks are very reluctant to admit that.'
Ankara's top diplomat yesterday reiterated a call to Saudi Arabia to open up its consulate, from where Mr Khashoggi disappeared, for Turkish authorities to search.
But Saudi Arabia said it had nothing to do with the journalist's disappearance, without explaining or offering evidence of how he left the consulate and disappeared into Istanbul with his fiancee waiting outside.
Omer Celik, a spokesman for Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party, said Mr Khashoggi's disappearance will be 'investigated strongly.'
A delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey on Friday as part of a joint investigation into the writer's disappearance.
He said: 'Such an act is an attack on all the values of the democratic world. It's an act that will never be forgiven or covered up.
'This is not an act that Turkey would ever consider legitimate. If there are people who committed this, it will have heavy consequences.'
However, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saudi Arabia had not yet co-operated with Turkey on the search for Mr Khashoggi.
He said Turkish 'prosecutors and technical friends must enter' the consulate 'and Saudi Arabia must cooperate with us on this.'
US President Donald Trump has said Saudi Arabia could be behind Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.
He warned that Washington would inflict 'severe punishment' if that is the case.
CCTV of Jamal Khashoggi (wearing black suit jacket) going into the Saudi Arabia embassy in Istanbul on October 2
Trump told CBS's '60 Minutes' program during an interview on Thursday: 'We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment.
'As of this moment, they deny it and they deny it vehemently. Could it be them? Yes.'
The network said it will air the interview in full on Sunday evening.
Conversations between those involved in Khashoggi's alleged assassination were recorded at the embassy, the Washington Post previously reported - but it was not clear how these recordings had been made or later found.
An insider told the newspaper: 'The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered.
'You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic '... You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.'
Despite there being a number of visible CCTV cameras - ringed in red - Saudi Arabia claims none of them worked on the day in question
But Turkish officials have been reluctant to release the recording as it may give away how they spy on foreign entities based at the embassy, the newspaper reported.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia denies claims that something happened to Khashoggi and insist he left unharmed.
CCTV shows Khashoggi going into the embassy and a source has told The Washington Post he was killed and then dismembered by members of security.
The US-based journalist, 59, was critical of some of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies.
His fianc(C)e Hatice Cengiz, 36, had been waiting outside the embassy for him but he never walked out.
She said yesterday that Mr Khashoggi was not nervous when he entered the consulate to obtain paperwork required for their marriage.
'He said, "See you later my darling," and went in,' she said.
Ms Cengiz also said Turkish authorities had not told her about any recordings and Mr Khashoggi was officially 'still missing.'
She said investigators were examining his cellphones, which he had left with her.
Hatice Cengiz, 36, who waited outside for hours for her fiance Khashoggi to return, has spoken of being left in a 'state of deep confusion and sadness'
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he is 'planning' on going to a major investment conference in Saudi Arabia despite the troubling reports.
But several top CEOs and media figures have decided they will no longer attend the conference.
Billionaire mogul Richard Branson has suspended talks with Saudi Arabia over $1billion investment in Virgin Galactic.
Further evidence that Mr Khashoggi never left the consulate include screen grabs from a WhatsApp chat showing he used his phone minutes before entering the building - and then never again
TIMELINE: WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN MR KHASHOGGI'S DISAPPEARANCE OCTOBER 2
03:28: Gulf Stream IV private jet carrying suspected Saudi agents arrives at Istanbul airport.
05:05: The group checking into two hotels nearby to the Saudi consulate building.
12:13: Several diplomatic vehicles are filmed arriving at the consulate, allegedly carrying some of the Saudi agents.
13:06: Jamal Khashoggi is last seen on WhatsApp. He then hands his mobile to his fianc(C)e Hatice Cengiz.
13:14: Khashoggi enters the consulate building.
13.24: A message is delivered to Khashoggi's WhatsApp '' but it is never read.
15:08: Vehicles leave the consulate and are filmed arriving at the nearby Saudi consul's residence.
17:15: A second private jet carrying a number of suspected Saudi officials lands in Istanbul.
17:33: Khashoggi's Turkish fianc(C)e, Hatice Cengiz, is seen on CCTV waiting outside the consulate.
18:20: One of the private jets departs from Istanbul airport.
21:00: The final plane leaves Istanbul.
The Washington Post, for whom Khashoggi writes opinion pieces, raises the alarm, saying Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the consulate.
After an initial period of silence, Saudi Arabia says Khashoggi had disappeared 'after he left the consulate building'.
*All times in Istanbul time.
Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, suggested action should be taken if the Saudi state murdered Khashoggi.
'The first thing for us to do is for us to get together with our allies, the United States, the Europeans and others, to discuss very seriously what's going on,' he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
'The idea that we can treat Saudi as a normal state if it practises state-sponsored murder outside its borders is simply not true.'
He added: 'We may be talking about downgrading diplomatic relations, we may be talking about restricting support for certain areas.'
He also suggested that International Trade Secretary Liam Fox could boycott a major conference in Riyadh.
'I don't think, if this is proven, that British cabinet ministers should be going, but at the moment it isn't proven so we need to be slightly cautious,' he said.
Riyadh faces a chorus of international calls to shed light on what happened to the Washington Post columnist, and business leaders have already shunned the regime.
IMF Christine Lagarde on Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, Saudi Arabia
BALI, Indonesia '-- Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said she is "horrified" at the disappearance and suspected killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi but still plans to attend a conference in Saudi Arabia later this month.
"Human rights, freedom of information are essential rights. And horrifying things have been reported and I am horrified," she told reporters on Saturday in Bali, Indonesia, where the IMF and World Bank are conducting their annual meetings.
"But I have to conduct the business of IMF in all corners of the world, and with many governments," she added. "When I visit a country, I always speak my mind. You know me, I do. At this point in time, my intention is to not change my plan and to be very attentive to the information that is coming out in the next few days, but I speak my mind."
Lagarde was responding to a question on whether she will proceed with her planned visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to attend the Future Investment Initiative, also known as "Davos in the Desert," which is scheduled for Oct. 23 to 25.
Several luminaries and media outlets '-- including CNBC, Financial Times, CNN and The New York Times '-- have withdrawn from the event, citing concerns about the disappearance of Khashoggi and his alleged murder.
Lagarde is not the only one who is going ahead with attending the conference. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Friday that he, too, still plans to attend FII.
"We are concerned about what is the status of Mr. Khashoggi," Mnuchin told CNBC. "If more information comes out and changes, we could look at that, but I am planning on going."
Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royal family, was last seen Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia has denied wrongdoing. Turkey has reportedly informed the U.S. that it has video and audio evidence showing Khashoggi, who wrote for The Washington Post, was killed inside the consulate.
Khashoggi had been living in the United States as a voluntary exile from Saudi Arabia.
Several senators, led by Republicans Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham, have triggered a U.S. investigation into Khashoggi's whereabouts. The White House has said senior administration officials, including President Donald Trump's son-in-law and top advisor Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have been in contact with the crown prince regarding the journalist's disappearance.
'-- CNBC's Mike Calia contributed reporting.
Turkish officials have Apple Watch audio of writer's alleged slaying at Saudi Consulate: report | Fox News
FILE - People hold signs during a protest at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. in Washington. (Associated Press)
Turkish officials have an audio recording of the alleged killing of writer and activist Jamal Khashoggi from the Apple Watch he wore when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago, a Turkish newspaper reported Saturday.
The assertion by the pro-government Sabah newspaper, through which Turkish security officials have leaked information on the Khashoggi case, is reportedly ratcheting up the pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to the missing man.
The writer, who has written critically about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, vanished after going into the consulate on Oct. 2. The kingdom has maintained the allegations against it are "baseless," though an official said on Saturday '-- the date is also Khashoggi's 60th birthday '-- acknowledged for the first time that some believe the man was killed by the kingdom.
President Trump, who has enjoyed close relations with the Saudis since entering office, expressed concern Saturday about Khashoggi's fate and the lack of concrete answers.
"Our first hope was that he was not killed but maybe that's not looking too good from what we hear but there's a lot to learn, there really is," Trump said at the White House while welcoming back American pastor Andrew Brunson, freed after nearly two years of detention in Turkey, according to a report in The Associated Press.
Turkish authorities recovered the audio from Khashoggi's iPhone and his iCloud account, the newspaper said. He reportedly handed his phones to his fianc(C)e before entering the consulate.
The newspaper also alleged Saudi officials tried to delete the recordings, even using his finger in the attempt. However, as noted by AP, Apple Watches do not have a fingerprint ID unlock function like that included on iPhones.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
What the media aren't telling you about Jamal Khashoggi | Spectator USA
As someone who spent three decades working closely with intelligence services in the Arab world and the West, the Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi knew he was taking a huge risk in entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week to try to obtain a document certifying he had divorced his ex-wife.
A one-time regime insider turned critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman '-- the de facto head of the Saudi kingdom which tolerates no criticism whatsoever '-- Khashoggi had been living in Washington for the previous year in self-imposed exile amid a crackdown on independent voices in his homeland.
He had become the darling of western commentators on the Middle East. With almost two million Twitter followers, he was the most famous political pundit in the Arab world and a regular guest on the major TV news networks in Britain and the United States. Would the Saudis dare to cause him harm? It turns out that the answer to that question was 'You betcha.'
Following uneventful visits to the consulate and, earlier, the Saudi embassy in Washington, Khashoggi was lured into a murderous plan so brazen, so barbaric, that it would seem far-fetched as a subplot in a John le Carr(C) novel. He went inside the Istanbul consulate, but failed to emerge. Turkish police and intelligence officials claimed that a team of 15 hitmen carrying Saudi diplomatic passports arrived the same morning on two private jets. Their convoy of limousines arrived at the consulate building shortly before Khashoggi did.
Their not-so-secret mission? To torture, then execute, Khashoggi, and videotape the ghastly act for whoever had given the order for his merciless dispatch. Khashoggi's body, Turkish officials say, was dismembered and packed into boxes before being whisked away in a black van with darkened windows. The assassins fled the country.
Saudi denials were swift. The ambassador to Washington said reports that Saudi authorities had killed Khashoggi were 'absolutely false'. But under the circumstances '-- with his fianc(C)e waiting for him, and no security cameras finding any trace of his leaving the embassy '-- the world is left wondering if bin Salman directed this murder. When another Saudi official chimed in that 'with no body, there is no crime', it was unclear whether he was being ironic. Is this great reforming prince, with aims the West applauds, using brutal methods to dispose of his enemies? What we have learned so far is far from encouraging. A Turkish newspaper close to the government this week published the photographs and names of the alleged Saudi hitmen, and claims to have identified three of them as members of bin Salman's personal protection team.
There are also reports in the American media that all surveillance footage was removed from the consulate building, and that all local Turkish employees there were suddenly given the day off. According to the New York Times, among the assassination team was the kingdom's top forensic expert, who brought a bone saw to dismember Khashoggi's body. None of this has yet been independently verified, but a very dark narrative is emerging.
In many respects, bin Salman's regime has been revolutionary: he has let women drive, sided with Israel against Iran and curtailed the religious police. When Boris Johnson was foreign secretary, he said that bin Salman was the best thing to happen to the region in at least a decade, that the style of government of this 33-year-old prince was utterly different. But the cruelty and the bloodletting have not stopped. Saudi Arabia still carries out many public beheadings and other draconian corporal punishments. It continues to wage a war in Yemen which has killed at least 10,000 civilians.
Princes and businessmen caught up in a corruption crackdown are reported to have been tortured; Shia demonstrators have been mowed down in the streets and had their villages reduced to rubble; social media activists have been sentenced to thousands of lashes; families of overseas-based activists have been arbitrarily arrested. In an attempt to justify this, bin Salman said this week he was 'trying to get rid of extremism and terrorism without civil war, without stopping the country from growing, with continuous progress in all elements,' adding: 'So if there is a small price in that area, it's better than paying a big debt to do that move.'
The fate of Khashoggi has at least provoked global outrage, but it's for all the wrong reasons. We are told he was a liberal, Saudi progressive voice fighting for freedom and democracy, and a martyr who paid the ultimate price for telling the truth to power. This is not just wrong, but distracts us from understanding what the incident tells us about the internal power dynamics of a kingdom going through an unprecedented period of upheaval. It is also the story of how one man got entangled in a Saudi ruling family that operates like the Mafia. Once you join, it's for life, and if you try to leave, you become disposable.
In truth, Khashoggi never had much time for western-style pluralistic democracy. In the 1970s he joined the Muslim Brotherhood, which exists to rid the Islamic world of western influence. He was a political Islamist until the end, recently praising the Muslim Brotherhood in the Washington Post. He championed the 'moderate' Islamist opposition in Syria, whose crimes against humanity are a matter of record. Khashoggi frequently sugarcoated his Islamist beliefs with constant references to freedom and democracy. But he never hid that he was in favour of a Muslim Brotherhood arc throughout the Middle East. His recurring plea to bin Salman in his columns was to embrace not western-style democracy, but the rise of political Islam which the Arab Spring had inadvertently given rise to. For Khashoggi, secularism was the enemy.
He had been a journalist in the 1980s and 1990s, but then became more of a player than a spectator. Before working with a succession of Saudi princes, he edited Saudi newspapers. The exclusive remit a Saudi government''appointed newspaper editor has is to ensure nothing remotely resembling honest journalism makes it into the pages. Khashoggi put the money in the bank '-- making a handsome living was always his top priority. Actions, anyway, speak louder than words.
It was Yasin Aktay '-- a former MP for Turkey's ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) '-- whom Khashoggi told his fianc(C)e to call if he did not emerge from the consulate. The AKP is, in effect, the Turkish branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. His most trusted friend, then, was an adviser to President Erdogan, who is fast becoming known as the most vicious persecutor of journalists on earth. Khashoggi never meaningfully criticised Erdogan. So we ought not to see this as the assassination of a liberal reformer.
Khashoggi had this undeserved status in the West because of the publicity surrounding his sacking as editor of the Saudi daily Al Watan back in 2003. (I broke the news of his removal for Reuters. I'd worked alongside Khashoggi at the Saudi daily Arab News during the preceding years.) He was dismissed because he allowed a columnist to criticise an Islamist thinker considered to be the founding father of Wahhabism. Thus, overnight, Khashoggi became known as a liberal progressive.
The Muslim Brotherhood, though, has always been at odds with the Wahhabi movement. Khashoggi and his fellow travellers believe in imposing Islamic rule by engaging in the democratic process. The Wahhabis loathe democracy as a western invention. Instead, they choose to live life as it supposedly existed during the time of the Muslim prophet. In the final analysis, though, they are different means to achieving the same goal: Islamist theocracy. This matters because, although bin Salman has rejected Wahhabism '-- to the delight of the West '-- he continues to view the Muslim Brotherhood as the main threat most likely to derail his vision for a new Saudi Arabia. Most of the Islamic clerics in Saudi Arabia who have been imprisoned over the past two years '-- Khashoggi's friends '-- have historic ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Khashoggi had therefore emerged as a de facto leader of the Saudi branch. Due to his profile and influence, he was the biggest political threat to bin Salman's rule outside of the royal family.
Worse, from the royals' point of view, was that Khashoggi had dirt on Saudi links to al Qaeda before the 9/11 attacks. He had befriended Osama bin Laden in the 1980s and 1990s in Afghanistan and Sudan while championing his jihad against the Soviets in dispatches. At that same time, he was employed by the Saudi intelligence services to try to persuade bin Laden to make peace with the Saudi royal family. The result? Khashoggi was the only non-royal Saudi who had the beef on the royals' intimate dealing with al Qaeda in the lead-up to the 9/11 attacks. That would have been crucial if he had escalated his campaign to undermine the crown prince.
Like the Saudi royals, Khashoggi dissociated himself from bin Laden after 9/11 (which Khashoggi and I watched unfold together in the Arab News office in Jeddah). But he then teamed up as an adviser to the Saudi ambassador to London and then Washington, Prince Turki Al Faisal. The latter had been Saudi intelligence chief from 1977 until just ten days before the 9/11 attacks, when he inexplicably resigned. Once again, by working alongside Prince Turki during the latter's ambassadorial stints, as he had while reporting on bin Laden, Khashoggi mixed with British, US and Saudi intelligence officials. In short, he was uniquely able to acquire invaluable inside information.
The Saudis, too, may have worried that Khashoggi had become a US asset. In Washington in 2005, a senior Pentagon official told me of a ridiculous plan they had to take 'the Saudi out of Arabia' (as was the rage post-9/11). It involved establishing a council of selected Saudi figures in Mecca to govern the country under US auspices after the US took control of the oil. He named three Saudis the Pentagon team were in regular contact with regarding the project. One of them was Khashoggi. A fantasy, certainly, but it shows how highly he was regarded by those imagining a different Saudi Arabia.
Perhaps it was for this and other reasons '-- and working according to the dictum of keeping your enemies closer '-- that a few weeks ago, according to a friend of Khashoggi, bin Salman had made a traditional tribal offer of reconciliation '-- offering him a place as an adviser if he returned to the kingdom. Khashoggi had declined because of 'moral and religious' principles. And that may have been the fatal snub, not least because Khashoggi had earlier this year established a new political party in the US called Democracy for the Arab World Now, which would support Islamist gains in democratic elections throughout the region. Bin Salman's nightmare of a Khashoggi-led Islamist political opposition was about to become a reality.
The West has been fawning over bin Salman. But how now to overlook what seems to be a brazen Mafia-style murder? 'I don't like hearing about it,' Donald Trump said. 'Nobody knows anything about it, but there's some pretty bad stories going around. I do not like it.' Well, there are plenty more stories where that came from, stories about a ruthless prince whose opponents have a habit of disappearing. The fate of Khashoggi is the latest sign of what's really happening inside Saudi Arabia. For how much longer will our leaders look the other way?
This article was originally published in The Spectator magazine.
Bird SFMTA Application Assessment GUIDING PRINCIPLE EVALUATION CRITERIA APPLICANT PROPOSAL SUMMARY SFMTA ANALYSIS RATING Safety Strategies to educate and train users should result in safe operations of scooters by riders. · Swipe-through screens · Field staff instructed to proactively educate users about safe riding In addition to baseline strategies proposed by most or all other applicants, applicant included some innovative strategies. Training field staff to proactively approach users on safe riding behavior likely to result in safer operations but may not reach all users. FairStrategies to promote and distribute helmets should result in helmet use by riders. · Free helmet upon request; field staff will encourage helmet use Met only baseline strategies proposed by most or all other applicants. Based on the SFMTA's observations during the scooter roll out in spring 2018, these baseline strategies taken alone did not result in high levels of helmet use. Field staff approaching users regarding helmet use is unlikely to improve usage if staff or riders do not have a helmet on hand. PoorDisabled Access Strategies to ensure properly parked scooters, including any commitments to locking or tethering, should result in parking that does not block the right of way. · Willing to implement locking mechanism but does not recommend implementation · Will require photo for proof of proper parking · Will deploy in "nests" on private property Willingness to implement locking technology and variety of additional strategies are likely to result in improved parking behavior compared to scooter roll out in spring 2018; the SFMTA evaluates this strategy at a similar level of effectiveness to most applications. FairUser penalties for poor compliance by users with laws governing scooter operation, including possibility of suspension by the applicant, should support appropriate operation and parking by users. · Provided examples of types of penalties that could be issued, but didn't clearly define when penalties would be levied Lack of detail in response underscored lack of commitment to leveraging penalties and incentives. Poor
Equitable Access Approach to providing service to low-income residents, including diverse payment options and fare discounts, should reduce barriers to participation. · Over 50% discount for low income users · Limited detail in describing mechanism to participate · Cash option; no mention of SMS option Despite significantly discounted rates the SFMTA concludes that low income users would face barriers to accessing applicant's services based on the lack of detail about how users would access/qualify for these benefits. PoorService Area beyond the downtown core and commitment to rebalancing should ensure availability of scooters in underserved areas. · With fewer than 750 scooters, would deploy downtown core only · No commitment to redistributing for geographic equity · Would do community outreach first six months to determine expansion proposal · No mention of service hours The SFMTA concludes that the applicant's proposed small service area and lack of specific rebalancing plans are insufficient to ensure availability in underserved communities. Note: Plans to conduct outreach to identify more equitable service after 6 months are insufficiently detailed to be considered in evaluation of service area. PoorCommunity Outreach Outreach approach should include strategies to ensure that low income residents are aware of service and how to participate.· Mentions outreach to determine where to expand service during second half of pilot to Communities of Concern, for larger numbers of scooters · Mentions but does not describe engagement strategy for providing scooter share service in Communities of Concern that are underserved by transit · Enhanced multilingual communications outreach Applicant demonstrates some understanding of the SFMTA's goals to promote low income programs but does not provide sufficient detail as to how that would be accomplished. The SFMTA negatively evaluates this lack of detail as unlikely to ensure that low income residents are aware of services and how to participate. PoorApproach to outreach should ensure that members of the public, including those that choose not to use scooter services, have the opportunity to be heard and to stay informed about program. · Mentions intent to participate in events to be available to answer questions and build community partnerships to be more affordable and accessible; does not articulate plans to address feedback Attending events and meeting with stakeholders is a baseline strategy proposed by most applicants; without specific goals or plans to address feedback, the SFMTA negatively evaluates lack of detail as unlikely to result in applicant successfully listening to and addressing community feedback. Poor
Labor Should demonstrate understanding of operational needs and resource requirements to ensure service reliability. · Lack of detail regarding operations/rebalancing plan beyond nightly retrieval and recharging · Will hire Fleet Coordinator and Community Manager; rest will be contracted out The SFMTA negatively evaluates applicant's lack of detailed strategy for operations and rebalancing as insufficient to ensure safe and reliable operational practices. PoorApproach to hiring and training employees and/or contractors should ensure that staff have the knowledge and skills to ensure safe operational practices and knowledge of the communities in which they operate. · All field staff (except one Fleet Coordinator and one Community Manager) are independent contractors; this includes maintenance staff · Video training for contractors; contractors are "expected to already have knowledge relevant to the services provided" · No charging facility - chargers charge scooters on their own including in private homes The SFMTA negatively evaluates the applicant's reliance on minimally trained independent contractors for charging and in particular for maintenance activities, which could compromise safety and reliability of system. PoorSustainability Approaches to operations and disposal should demonstrate commitment to environmental sustainability. · No mention of recycling · No mention of battery recycling · "Damaged beyond repair" units are shipped to Southern California for parts salvage or reuse/proper disposal · Units maintained by independent contractors (likely less training) The SFMTA negatively evaluates the applicant's response, which fails to address critical requirements of San Francisco's Zero Waste Policy. PoorExperience & Qualifications Applicant's experience in operating and maintaining shared mobility systems, in San Francisco and elsewhere as well as applicant's history, and the history of their users, in complying with city regulations should demonstrate their capacity to comply with the terms of the scooter share permit. · Have operated shared scooter systems in SF and scooter share and bikeshare in many cities · Public Works impounded 169 improperly parked Bird scooters and issued 5 violations; the initial violation in the amount of $1,637.00 was paid, subsequent violations were outstanding with a total of $13,910.17 owed as of the June 7th application deadline but have since been paid. The applicant demonstrates experience operating shared scooter service, but the SFMTA negatively evaluates applicant's history of violations, which indicates that past strategies have been insufficient to ensure user compliance with laws. Poor
HOPR SFMTA Application Analysis & Rating GUIDING PRINCIPLE EVALUATION CRITERIA APPLICANT PROPOSAL SUMMARY SFMTA ANALYSIS RATING Safety Strategies to educate and train users should result in safe operations of scooters by riders. · Swipe-through screens · 10 free rides for users who take a scooter safety class In addition to baseline strategies proposed by most or all other applicants, included some innovative strategies. Offering incentives for safety classes will result in safer operations compared to most applicants, but may not reach all users. FairStrategies to promote and distribute helmets should result in helmet use by riders. · Helmet provided with rental Providing helmets with rental is the surest way to ensure consistent helmet use. The SFMTA evaluates this strategy as highly likely to result in helmet use compared to baseline strategies. StrongDisabled Access Strategies to ensure properly parked scooters, including any commitments to locking or tethering, should result in parking that does not block the right of way. · Cable tether ready to deploy as of July 2018 · Geofenced preferred parking · Plan to deploy racks Readiness to implement locking technology and variety of additional strategies are likely to result in improved parking behavior compared to scooter roll out in spring 2018. Due to readiness to implement, the SFMTA evaluates this strategy as more effective than most applicants. StrongUser penalties for poor compliance by users with laws governing scooter operation, including possibility of suspension by the applicant, should support appropriate operation and parking by users. · Provided examples of types of penalties that could be issued, but didn't clearly define when penalties would be levied · Points-based incentive system rewards and penalizes users based on riding and parking behavior but little detail on how points would be assigned Lack of detail in response underscored lack of commitment to leveraging penalties and incentives. Poor
Equitable Access Approach to providing service to low-income residents, including diverse payment options and fare discounts, should reduce barriers to participation. · Over 50% discount for low income users · Subscription plan available · Limited description of mechanism for participation · Cash and SMS option Despite significantly discounted rates, the SFMTA concludes that low income users would face barriers to accessing applicant's services based on the lack of detail about how users would access/qualify for these benefits. Poor Equitable Access Community Outreach Service Area beyond the downtown core and commitment to rebalancing should ensure availability of scooters in underserved areas. · Request 1,000 scooters and would deploy in all of SF minus Twin Peaks and south west neighborhoods; do not say whether service area would differ for smaller fleet · No commitment to redistributing for geographic equity · Service hours: 5am to midnight Broad service area for larger fleet would ensure some degree of geographic equity and extended service hours will serve users when transit is limited. However, lack of rebalancing would result in reduced availability in underserved communities throughout the day, and the SFMTA is unable to evaluate service area for smaller fleet sizes. FairOutreach approach should include strategies to ensure that low income residents are aware of service and how to participate.· Mentions but does not describe presence at community events and inclusive, diverse marketing campaigns · Mention but do not describe collaboration with community organizations to promote low-cost scooter share programs The SFMTA negatively evaluates lack of detail as unlikely to ensure that low income residents are aware of services and how to participate. PoorCommunity Outreach Labor Approach to outreach should ensure that members of the public, including those that choose not to use scooter services, have the opportunity to be heard and to stay informed about program. · No mention of attempts to engage members of the public generally Failure to include strategies to engage members of the public who do not choose to use scooter services is a flaw in application. Poor
Community Outreach Labor Should demonstrate understanding of operational needs and resource requirements to ensure service reliability. · Locking racks (HOPR Pods) required for deployment · Lack of detail on rebalancing/redistribution · Labor plan for 300 scooters: 1 operations manager, 1 marketing manager, 1 mechanic, 3 field technicians The SFMTA negatively evaluates applicant's lack of detailed strategy and low level of staffing for operations and rebalancing as insufficient to ensure safe and reliable operational practices. Required locking racks (HOPR Pods) would significantly delay program launch based on required coordination with the City; the SFMTA evaluates this as incompatible with current pilot permit program. PoorLabor Sustainability Approach to hiring and training employees and/or contractors should ensure that staff have the knowledge and skills to ensure safe operational practices and knowledge of the communities in which they operate. · Very limited detail regarding labor and operations · Field and maintenance staff are full & part-time hourly employees · Mentions but does not describe continued training opportunities The SFMTA negatively evaluates lack of detail regarding training programs as unlikely to result in safe operational practices compared to other applicants. PoorApproaches to operations and disposal should demonstrate commitment to environmental sustainability. · No mention of recycling · No mention of battery recycling · No mention of reuse/salvaging of parts · General compliance statement regarding hazardous substances · Electric bikes used for rebalancing The SFMTA negatively evaluates the applicant's response, which fails to address critical requirements of San Francisco's Zero Waste Policy. PoorExperience & Qualifications Applicant's experience in operating and maintaining shared mobility systems, in San Francisco and elsewhere as well as applicant's history, and the history of their users, in complying with city regulations should demonstrate their capacity to comply with the terms of the scooter share permit. · Have operated dockless bikeshare in many cities The SFMTA positively evaluates the applicant's experience operating stationless bikeshare services; however, applicant has not operated a scooter share system nor do they have a history of collaboration with the SFMTA. Fair
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San Francisco Is About to Let Electric Scooters Back the Streets. But One Scooter Company Isn't Happy. - Hit & Run : Reason.com
Benoit Tessier/REUTERS/Newscom After months of hostility, harassment, and the outright seizure of their vehicles by city officials, San Francisco may finally allow dockless electric scooter companies back onto city streets. Come Monday, SFMTA'--the city's transit agency'--plans to allow local scooter start-ups Scoot and Skip to begin operations in the city once again under heavily-conditioned circumstances.
Threatening the return of scooter service however is none other than scooter giant Lime, which was denied a permit and is now suing the city, claiming the process by which these permits were awarded was biased.
"Lime believes that after selecting two other less experienced electric scooter companies and comparatively weaker applications in a process that was riddled with bias, the SFMTA should revisit the decision and employ a fair selection process," said the company in a statement.
Lime had been one of the initial companies to drop its scooters on San Francisco's streets back in March 2018, along with other early entrants Bird and Skip, and thus was on the receiving end of San Francisco's early efforts to quash their permissionless innovation.
Despite their being no prohibition on these dockless e-scooters at the time, San Francisco officials took the view that they were public nuisances, impounding over 500 of the vehicles (including 130 from Lime alone) and sending cease-and-desist letters to the three companies.
What followed was a months-long process by which city hall and SFMTA cobbled together a pilot program that would issue permits to five companies and allow up to 2,500 scooters back onto city streets. At the time Lime, agreed to comply with the new regulations, and along with eleven other scooter companies, applied for a permit.
When permits were finally issued at the end of August, the city inexplicably decided to award them to only two companies'--the aforementioned Scoot and Skip'--and allow them to only deploy 1,250 scooters.
Neither Lime, nor Bird or Spin, were given permits, in what the company is now claiming is an attempt to unfairly penalize them for operating a lawful, but not explicitly-allowed transit service.
"SFMTA's development of the pilot program and permitting process was biased and flawed from the outset, and aimed to punish companies that lawfully deployed scooters earlier this year," said Lime.
All companies applying for permits to operate in San Francisco were evaluated on a number of categories, including safety, community outreach, plans for low-income and disabled access, and crucially each company's "experience and qualifications" operating scooter programs.
Lime, Bird, and Spin'--the three companies to put vehicles out on the street before the city's big scooter crackdown'--were all given a 'poor' grade for this last metric, with SFMTA officials claiming that their jumping the gun on providing scooter service meant these companies could not be trusted to follow city regulations going forward.
Also downgraded in this category was ride-sharing company Lyft, a new player in the scooter market, who'--despite never having deployed a single scooter on San Francisco's streets'--was dinged for the traffic violations its drivers had racked up over the years.
Lyft has also raised complaints about the arbitrary and biased nature of San Francisco's scooter permitting process. In a late September letter sent to San Francisco Mayor London Breed and SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin, Lyft President John Zimmer claimed that initial analysis by city staff ranked his company's application higher, but was then downgraded when the final analysis was released.
"The fact that the final result differed substantially from the initial analysis is indicative of a larger frustration with the process. Scoring criteria was not published in advance, and the scoring analysis that was released afterwards was not tied to the requirements set forth in [permit program regulation]" wrote Zimmer. "This led to what appears to be more arbitrary and inconsistent scoring results."
Zimmer's letter asks the city to reconsider granting only two permits. Lime is going further, demanding that all scooter operations be halted until a fairer appraisal of its application can be conducted.
San Francisco city officials have so far shrugged off Lime's lawsuit, telling the company to work within the system, which they insist was totally above board.
"The SFMTA's permitting process for the pilot program was thoughtful, fair and transparent. It includes an appeal process that Lime should be pursuing instead of wasting everyone's resources by running to court," said City Attorney spokesperson John Cote to the San Francisco Examiner.
While one can quibble with Lime's attempt to temporarily stop scooters' return to San Francisco, one can hardly blame them for not trusting the official appeals process given the continual hostility of city government to scooters.
Indeed, SFMTA's refusal to even issue the maximum number of permits allowed by law shows the degree to which San Francisco officials see e-scooter companies, not as valuable partners offering an innovative new service, but instead as hostile invaders that must be kept at bay.
Teacher on Vonnegut
I am a High School English
teacher in Canada, and I just wanted to thank you for referencing the short
story titled Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut.
After hearing about it on your
podcast, I immediately looked into it and had my students read and deconstruct
the short story. The results were amazing. I just want you to know
how aware students are about this pendulum swing of "hyper equality"
and its impact. My students clearly articulated a variety of opinions
about how all these social justice groups are actually creating a more divisive
society in the end. I was proud of how well my students could see the
errors in society and discuss them (in a non-judgmental environment - unlike
the universities today) openly and freely. There is hope for the
Your show and the work you and
Jon are doing is having an impact directly and indirectly on more people than
Keep up the good work.
Lindsey Graham: 'To the extent that it matters, I'm not gay' - Washington Times
Sen. Lindsey Graham on Friday quashed rumors of being gay after Chelsea Handler wrote a tweet mocking the single Republican as being closeted, which many critics deemed homophobic.
Ms. Handler faced backlash Thursday after she tweeted: ''If you're wondering why Republicans took a sick day today, it's probably because it's #NationalComingOutDay. Looking at you @LindseyGrahamSC.''
Conservatives and members of the gay community accused the tweet of being ''homophobic,'' arguing that Ms. Handler was using sexual orientation as an insult. The comedian, an advocate for women's and LGBT rights, let the tweet stand and never followed up with further explanation.
TMZ caught up with Mr. Graham at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in suburban D.C. on Friday and asked what he thought of Ms. Handler's comments.
''I don't think much about what she says at all,'' the South Carolina Republican said. ''If she wants to live her life that way, that's up to her.
''She knows zero about me,'' he said. ''To the extent that it matters, I'm not gay.''
''These comments '-- I don't think they reflect well on her,'' he added. ''We're moving on from that. Belittling people is not as fun as it used to be, and that's a good thing.''
Mr. Graham, who has never married and has no children, has faced rumors of being gay in left-wing circles that attempt to portray him as a hypocrite on LGBT and women's issues.
In January, Ms. Handler similarly faced backlash for a vulgar tweet calling on Mr. Graham to come out of the closet.
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Analyst '' John C Dvorak(unaffiliated with either party)
Prop. 1 Recommendedvote weak NO
$4 billion debt for California for affordable housing. Thesesorts of funds are commonly squandered by the state bureaucracies and shouldnot be encouraged. Leveraging veterans seems like a trick.
Prop. 2 Recommendedvote weak NO
Another $5.6 debt for California. Again looks like money to be squandered by the bureaucrats. Ballot arguments arecontradictory which creates an automatic NO.
Prop 3. Recommendedvote strong NO
Money grab in the form of a clean water initiative.
Prop. 4 Recommendedvote moderate YES
Reasonable at reasonable costs to benefit Children's hospitals.Good bill. Weak argument against the bill.
Prop. 5 Recommended vote strong YES
Gives a tax break to a few disabled and older people whentransferring their home. The ''no'' campaign is extremely misleading andshameful.
Prop. 6 Recommended vote strong YES
Reasons, very misleading ''no'' campaign for a bill that doesnothing more than repeal a new gasoline tax that was implemented as a moneygrab. Shameless attempt to fool the public with sketchy assertions.
Prop 7 Recommendedvote weak YES
This is a gateway bill that may or may not lead to the dissolutionof the daylight savings time switchover. The arguments are sketchy.
Prop. 8 Recommendedvote moderate NO
This is a hotly contested initiative with contradictoryassertions. This situation should always result in a no vote. The website foreither side are not convincing but the ''yes'' websiteis creepier.
Prop. 9 Recommended vote REMOVED
This was the initiative to split California into threestates.
Prop. 10 Recommendedvote weak YES
This turns over to the local municipalities control of rentstabilization laws taking them away from the state government. That's all itdoes. The ''no'' campaign is very creepy and misleading with unproveableassertions.
Prop 11 Recommendedvote BLANK
There is no counter argument on the ballot information guideor anywhere else leading me to believe these are policies that are already inplace and this initiative is targeting something specific which is neverdiscussed. I'll probably vote NO because this is very suspicious. Will probablypass easily.
Prop. 12 Recommendedvote strong NO
This appears to be misdirection as seen in a lot of thesebills. Very misleading bill from the looks of it as it actuallyre-establishes cruel practices that were already outlawed. Seems to bethe creation of the egg lobby. Bills like this need to always be voted against.
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Prince Estate Demands Trump Stop Playing 'Purple Rain' at Rallies '' Rolling Stone
The Prince estate issued a statement Thursday requesting that Donald Trump cease using ''Purple Rain'' at the president's rallies.
At recent pre-Election Day rallies, like the one Trump held in Mississippi last week, the playlist at the event has featured Prince's ''Purple Rain.'' Word of the song's usage made its way to the Prince estate, which issued the statement through Prince's half-brother Omarr Baker.
''The Prince Estate has never given permission to President Trump or the White House to use Prince's songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately,'' Baker tweeted Thursday. The statement initially appeared on the account belonging to longtime Prince associate Jeremiah ''Dr. Funkenberry'' Freed, the Star Tribune reports.
It's unclear whether the Prince estate '' which was notoriously protective of Prince's music when the singer was alive '' filed an actual cease-and-desist notice to ensure that Trump rallies stop using ''Purple Rain.'' The Prince estate and the Trump administration did not respond to the Associated Press' request for comment.
The Prince estate is the latest in a long line of artists to asked Trump to quit using their music at rallies: The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Aerosmith and more have all demanded that Trump stop employing their songs, a request that dates back to Trump's time campaigning as the Republican presidential candidate.
VIDEO - [FULL VIDEO] Real Time with Bill Maher October 12, 2018 (HBO) - YouTube
October 11, 2018 2018-10-11T14:31:26-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/c28/20181011143533001_hd.jpg President Trump met with musician and record producer Kanye West and former NFL running back Jim Brown in the Oval Office to discuss criminal justice reform and other policy issues. The trio had lunch afterwards as well to continue the conversation.This program contains language some may find offensive.
President Trump met with musician and record producer Kanye West and former NFL running back Jim Brown in the Oval Office to discuss'... read more
President Trump met with musician and record producer Kanye West and former NFL running back Jim Brown in the Oval Office to discuss criminal justice reform and other policy issues. The trio had lunch afterwards as well to continue the conversation.
This program contains language some may find offensive. close
Magdalene Altidor lost her home to foreclosure during the subprime mortgage crisis, but this week she was first in line at a four-day event in Miami where borrowers with poor credit were offered no-down payment, low interest rate loans.
"I left home, it was about 4 a.m.," she laughed. "I'm ready to purchase a home."
The event is one of several being held in cities across America this year, run by the nonprofit, Boston-based brokerage Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, or NACA.
"It's a national disgrace about the low amount of homeownership, mortgages for low- and moderate-income people and for minority homebuyers," said Bruce Marks, CEO of NACA. "In the loans that we've originated in the past 6 years, zero foreclosures."
Marks and NACA were front and center during the subprime mortgage crisis, holding mass mortgage modification events across the country with banks and servicers. Bank of America was there then and the bank is with NACA now, backing the program with $10 billion in mortgage commitments.
"It's total upside," said AJ Barkley, senior vice president of consumer lending at BofA. "We have seen significant wins in this partnership. Just to be clear, when we get those loans with all the heavy lifting here, we're over a 90 percent approval, meaning 90 percent of the people who go through this program that we actually underwrite the loans."
Borrowers can have low credit scores, but have to go through an education session about the program and submit all necessary documents, from income statements to phone bills. Then they go through counseling to understand their monthly budget and ensure they can afford the mortgage payment. The loans are 15- or 30-year fixed with interest rates below market, about 4.5 percent.
"That's what's going to help people who've been locked out of homeownership to really become homeowners and to build wealth," said Marks.
Critics of the program argue that with no down payment, no skin in the game, these borrowers have no reason not to walk away should their homes lose value. That's what happened during the financial crisis. The difference in this program is that the borrowers cannot be investors. In order to get the loan, they have to live in the home.
"People have skin in the game in a real way," said Marks. "The people that walk away are higher-income people who look to homeownership as an investment, just like buying stocks and bonds. Working people look at their investment in homeownership for their family, for their neighborhood, for themselves."
Quentin Carswell is a first-time homebuyer who tried to get a loan from a traditional bank.
"They tell you they have a lot of first-time homebuyer programs, and then once you get there they tell you these outrageous numbers. It's hard for normal class people to afford to get into a house, and you know put $20,000, $30,000 up for down payment. That's a lot of money."
Few programs like this oneHe and his girlfriend were in line early in the morning as well, prepared with an armful of financial documents.
So far more than 10,000 potential borrowers have shown up at various NACA events in cities like Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, according to Marks, and more are planned. NACA receives a $3,000 commission on each loan.
Timothy Trumble | NACA Online Operations
Potential borrowers who are participating in the NACA Homeownership event in Miami, Florida.
While the Veterans Administration offers no-down payment loans to veterans and their families, there are few other programs like this. Most low-down payment programs require mortgage insurance, which can be costly. The NACA program does not.
Following the financial crisis, lenders locked up, requiring much higher credit scores and at least 3 percent down payments. The subprime mortgage crisis was precipitated by lenders offering no-down payment loans with short-term "teaser" rates as low as zero. They asked for no documentation, and sometimes tacked interest onto later years of the loan, so-called, negative amortization loans. The NACA loans are all fixed rate with full documentation.
Another big difference today is the housing market itself. Home prices have been rising strongly, and there is a critical shortage of entry-level homes for sale. If a borrower finds themselves in financial straits, it is far easier today to sell the home quickly.
Altidor is confident she can make the low, monthly payments this time around. A small price, she says, for something far more valuable.
"I think a home, 10, 15 years from now, that's an investment," she said. "Homeownership is freedom."
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The mother of a 7-year-old boy in Ohio is raising the alarm after her son's mosquito bite led to a life-threatening diagnosis, The Canton Repository reported.
Joshua Gay, whose family lives in Canton, complained of a headache, developed a high fever, and then became unresponsive after experiencing a seizure. He was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with the mosquito-borne virus called La Crosse encephalitis, which creates inflammation of the brain and is most severe in children under age 16.
The virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Although it's rare, the 7-year-old isn't the only one to have their world turned upside down by a bite. A 6-year-old in North Carolina nearly died from La Crosse encephalitis, and his mom also shared her story to raise awareness.
Not all species of mosquitoes bite. The bad news? There are more than 3,000 species of the flying pests. To learn more about the ones that do and how to avoid them, here's what doctors and researchers say:
Mosquitoes do bite some people more often than othersIf you feel you get bit more often than others, you might just be right.
''Female mosquitoes require blood, and they do have preferences whom they get it from,'' explains Dr. Tom Rohrer, dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon at SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
While it remains unclear whether mosquitoes prefer certain people or simply dislike biting others more, doctors have a few clues as to who gets bit more often.
It's important to empty stagnant pools of water near and around your home so you prevent mosquitoes from breeding. Getty ImagesThe amount of carbon dioxide you produce, the chemicals in your sweat and your scent all play a role.
''Mosquitos have been shown to prefer people who have recently exercised or have higher levels of uric acid, lactic acid and ammonia,'' he said. ''They are also said to be partial to those with type O blood, pregnant women, and those who have recently consumed beer,'' Rohrer said.
Mosquitoes are also drawn to people with higher temperatures.
Joseph Conlon, a medical entomologist and technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association, told NBC News, that it could be that some people produce chemicals on their skin that make them more repellent and cover up smells that mosquitoes find attractive.
Certain people react more seriously to mosquito bites''When a mosquito bites, some of their saliva is left in the skin. The proteins in the saliva incite an immune response from the skin and create the characteristic red itchy bump,'' Rohrer said.
The reaction isn't about how much blood the mosquito sucked.
''While nearly everyone gets some degree of a reaction to mosquito bites, some people can have very dramatic reactions to the very same bite,'' he said. ''Some people have a much stronger immune response and therefore create a much larger and more itchy red bump.''
How to prevent mosquito bitesOne of the best ways to prevent mosquitoes bites is to prevent the bugs from breeding near your home. After it rains, remove standing water in and around your home. Look for pools of water in places like your garbage or recycling bins and empty flower pots, then dump the water out.
''Wearing protective clothes ... citronella-scented candles, and insect repellents all reduce the likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes,'' the board-certified dermatologist added.
One study found there's another surprisingly simple way to ward off mosquitoes: swat at them.
A scientific paper published in ''Current Biology,'' shows that University of Washington researchers found mosquitos can learn to associate a person's smell with being swatted at. Mosquitoes can learn to avoid that person and remember his or her smell for days.
How do you deal with those itchy bites?A cool compress or over the counter hydrocodone cream can help reduce itching. Oral antihistamines, such as medications used to deal with allergies, are also very effective.
''I tell my patients to avoid creams such as calamine and 'antibiotic' ointments such as Neosporin, Polysporin, and Bacitracin as so many people have allergic reactions to these products.''
If you're having itchiness that keeps you up at night or is interfering with your day, see a doctor. It could be a more serious bite, or something that looks like a bite, but isn't, such as contact dermatitis from an old razor.
If you have a fever, dizziness or shortness of breath, call your doctor right away. Getty ImagesRohrer offered additional guidance:
''Anyone who has had mosquito bites and is experiencing high fever, a rash, red eyes, muscle pain, headache, or difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. In addition, if the mosquito bite is larger than a quarter, begins to fill with fluid, or becomes very red around the bite, it is important to see a board certified dermatologist.''
Some mosquito bites can lead to serious illness like Malaria, dengue fever, eastern equine encephalitis virus, yellow fever, West Nile virus, Zika virus and meningitis.
So take the necessary precautions to protect you and your family.
VIDEO - Watch: Actor Robert Klein Unloads on Trump Supporters -- What if Obama F*cked a Porn Star?!
Actor and comedian Robert Klein on Thursday evening unloaded on Trump supporters outside a West Hollywood hot spot, criticizing President Donald Trump for his long-rumored extramarital affair with pornographic actress Stormy Daniels.***LANGUAGE WARNING***
The heated exchange, captured on video by TMZ, shows an irate Robert Klein debating Trump supporters following a meal at steakhouse Craig's, in which he claimed a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Russian nationals at Trump Tower proves President Trump and the Russian government colluded during the 2016 election.
''How about the Russians that interfered in our elections? He colluded with them'' Klein shouted at a Trump supporter, who appears off-camera.
When the supporter asked Klein to provide instances of collusion, Klein became furious.
''There is lots of proof of it! They had a meeting didn't they?'' Klein asked, referring to the Trump Tower meeting. ''How about 11'... 22 people have been indicted. 11 Russians, Mr. Manafort. These are people who have been indicted. They plead guilty!''
The Trump supporter reminded Klein that Manafort's indictment was related to tax activities prior to the campaign '-- but Klein was unmoved by the fact.
''They plead guilty,'' Klein repeated. ''Any other administration, if a man so close to the president plead guilty for taxes he would be gone.''
The Two Weeks Notice actor then turned his attention to President Trump's purported fling with Stormy Daniels. ''What if Obama had fucked a pornographic actress'... a few months after his wife [first lady Melania Trump] gave birth,'' Klein asked.
The video then cuts to Klein tangling with another Trump supporter, who tells the comedian that he believes the president is moving the U.S. in the right direction. ''I like what he's done for the country,'' the man told Klein. ''That's wonderful. He's a great guy,'' Klein replied sarcastically before claiming President Trump did not introduce him properly before a performance at Mar-a-Lago.
''You like that tax cut and you like those judges,'' Klein is then seen shouting at the Trump supporter. ''Good for you.''
In a bid to lighten the mood, another Trump supporter tried to embrace Klein for a photo.''Get this fucking guy off me,'' Klein muttered as he pushed the man off him.
''This is what America has become,'' Klein said before the video concludes.
VIDEO - What is the Magnitsky Act? How does it apply to Khashoggi's case? | USA News | Al Jazeera
After the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US Senators triggered the terms of the Global Magnitsky Act, which requires the president to investigate and determine if a foreign person is responsible for an extrajudicial killing, torture or other gross violation of internationally recognised human rights.
In a letter, signed by a bipartisan group of 22 Senators on Wednesday, Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, demanded President Donald Trump probe any violations committed against Khashoggi.
The writer disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents needed to get married. Turkish police believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, according to a number of media outlets, citing unnamed Turkish sources. Saudi officials maintain Khashoggi left the consulate before disappearing.
Khashoggi had spent the last year in the United States in self-imposed exile after fleeing Saudi Arabia amid a crackdown on intellectuals and activists critical of the kingdom.
Although President Donald Trump said the US is working with both Turkish and Saudi authorities, pressure from members of Congress continues to mount for more to be done.
Here's a look at the Magnitsky Act and how it applies to Khashoggi's case:
What is the Magnitsky Act?
The Magnitsky Accountability Act was signed into law by then-President Barack Obama in December 2012, in response to human rights abuses against Russian lawyer and auditor Sergei Magnitsky.
Russian authorities arrested Magnitsky in 2008 after he worked with investor William Browder, who had hired him to uncover massive tax fraud totalling $230m linked to people connected to the Kremlin. Magnitsky was beaten in custody and died in 2009, days before his supposed release.
At the time of its passage, the Magnitsky Act targeted 18 Russian individuals, barring them from US entry and US bank dealings.
In 2016, it was expanded to give the executive branch power to impose targeted sanctions or visa bans on individuals who have committed human rights violations anywhere in the world.
Holding a threat of significant sanctions, the law is also meant to deter human rights violators from partaking in future violations, according to Mai El-Sadany, the legal and judicial director at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington.
"The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act is an unprecedented human rights tool ... [it] enables the president of the United States to apply targeted sanctions against individuals involved in human rights violations," El-Sadany told Al Jazeera.
How is it triggered and what does it require the White House do?
Upon receipt of a letter from a chairman and ranking member of an appropriate House or Senate committee, the president has 120 days to determine if a foreign individual committed a human rights violation. A classified or unclassified report is then submitted to the committee explaining whether or not sanctions will be imposed and, if so, what sanctions.
Violations would include "extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights ... against individuals who seek to obtain, exercise, defend, or promote human rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression", according to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
How does it apply in Khashoggi's case? What happens next?
On Wednesday, ranking members and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent a letter to President Trump triggering the Magnitsky Act and an investigation into whether rights violations occurred relating to Khashoggi's disappearance.
Upon receipt of the letter, the White House has 120 days to report back to the committee with a decision and determine whether it will impose sanctions on the foreign individual(s) involved in the "gross violation of internationally recognized human rights against an individual exercising freedom of expression".
Human rights violations would also include "torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges and trial, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, and other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of person," the Committee wrote in its letter on Wednesday.
"Therefore, we request that you make a determination on the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act with respect to any foreign person responsible for such a violation related to Mr. Khashoggi," Senators said. "Our expectation is that in making your determination you will consider any relevant information, including with respect to the highest ranking officials in the Government of Saudi Arabia."
The letter was sent by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Bob Corker (R-TN), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.
The letter was also signed by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), John Barrasso (R-WY), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ed Markey (D-MA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Todd Young (R-IN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chris Coons (D-Del), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and Tom Udall (D-NM).
What will it mean for US-Saudi relations?
The enactment of the Magnitsky Act has been seen as a major blow for US-Saudi relations by many in Washington.
Although Trump told reporters on Thursday that he saw no reason to block Saudi Arabia's investments in the US, an impending investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance could potentially lead to economic and political sanctions on individuals in the oil-rich Gulf state.
James Zogby, founder and president of the Arab American Institute in Washington, DC, said Khashoggi's case has led to "a tremendous shift in public opinion", towards Saudi Arabia, "not only among [Americans] but also in the Senate".
Whether or not the president implements sanctions, he said, Khashoggi's case would continue to haunt Saudi Arabia.
"Not putting sanctions on individuals will only poison the well [for] future arms sales and future exemptions to sanctions," he said. "Clearly in the Senate, where Congress can act without the president, there will be repercussions.
"This is something that has been building. This has got to be a concern for [Saudi Arabia]; having a good relationship with President Trump does not translate to getting a free pass from the Senate."
VIDEO - CIA ad on NPR by makaibye | Free Listening on SoundCloud
by Jim Hoft October 11, 2018Kaitlin Bennett is the grassroots director of Liberty Hangout and founder of Campus Carry Now.
On Wednesday night Kaitlin was interviewing liberal protesters outside the massive Trump rally in Erie, Pennsylvania.
One man threatened to throw her down and rape her.
Feminists around the man defended him and denied it happened.
This is today's Democrat Party.An unhinged violent mob.Last night at the Trump rally in PA, a liberal protester touched me against my consent and said he'd throw me on the ground and rape me. Feminists around him, who say we're supposed to believe women, defended him and denied it happened. This is what the left has come to. #MeToo pic.twitter.com/E6R9c0LA9J
'-- Kaitlin Bennett (@KaitMarieox) October 11, 2018
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Excluded Drivers: Does Everyone in Your Home Need to Be Insured?
Working for an insurance company, I get all sorts of questions from my friends. Over time, I've amassed enough knowledge to answer most of them on my own, but recently, I received a question that I hadn't heard before.
My friend, let's call her Suzi, doesn't drive. She's quite petite (child sized, in fact) and can barely see over the wheel, so she leaves the driving to her 6-foot-tall boyfriend instead. Nevertheless, she's required to be on her boyfriend's car insurance policy. Suzi had heard the term ''excluded driver'' before and wanted to know why it couldn't apply to her.
Stumped, I contacted the experts in our customer service department (such friendly people!). And boy, did they have a lot to say on the subject. Special thanks to Nicole D. and her team of insurance experts!
Excluded driver definedIn some states, if you don't want a driver in your household to be listed on your policy (for example, a roommate who has her own insurance), you can ask your insurance company to specifically exclude that person from your policy. By doing so, you're certifying that this person will not drive your car.
If the excluded driver doesn't have their own insurance (and, in some cases, even if they do), and you let them drive your car, you could be liable for all damages and injuries if they have an accident.
To help protect their customers from this major financial risk, many insurance companies won't allow you to exclude an uninsured driver from your policy.
Who must be listed on a policy?The short answer is that all drivers in your household should be listed on your policy. But I'm much too verbose for a short answer, so here are more details.
In insurance terms, a driver can be anyone who has the knowledge and ability to drive, even if they don't have an active license. This can include someone whose license is expired, suspended, or revoked, as well as someone who's never had a U.S. license, like a recent immigrant.
When drivers live in the same household, everyone theoretically has access to your vehicles. Even someone who ''never drives your car'' might get behind the wheel in an emergency '-- and just imagine what kind of risk someone who never drives could pose!
Additionally, some people may be considered household members even if they don't live with you full time (children in shared custody, for example). Likewise, there are situations where people who don't live with you at all may be required to be on your policy, like if Grandpa cosigned your car loan or Mom is listed on your registration.
If you attempt to leave a driver off your policy and your insurance company later finds out, it could leave you open to a premium increase or even cancellation.
Who can be excluded from a policy?Driver exclusions are not available in every state and they can also vary by insurance company (some charge a fee for excluding a driver).
In some states, you can only exclude a driver if they can provide proof that they're insured on another policy. In states that do allow driver exclusion, there's quite a bit of variance. In Oregon, for instance, Esurance can exclude a driver only if adding them will cause significant financial hardship or if their license is suspended for a medical impairment or major violation (like a DUI). And in Kentucky, spouses and dependents can't be excluded at all.
In states that don't allow exclusions (or if you don't want to exclude the driver from all coverage), you may be able to provide proof that the driver has their own insurance instead of adding them to your policy. If that person then has an accident in your car, you may still be covered under the rules of permissive use.
If the person has never had a license, they may be asked to provide their state ID number so the insurance company can confirm that they're not able to drive. If the person no longer drives due to age or medical impairment, they may need to officially surrender their drivers license to the DMV so they no longer appear in public records as an active driver. Keep in mind that if these unlicensed drivers borrow your car and have an accident, you could be in for a world of financial hurt since your insurance company likely won't cover the damages.
In most states, an excluded driver would have no coverage at all, but some states do require limited liability coverage for excluded drivers. In those states, adding an excluded driver may slightly affect your premium to help cover the risk.
If you're curious about the driver exclusion rules in your state, contact your insurance company. Esurance customers can call our customer service experts anytime at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262).
So, to answer Suzi's question '...Let's look at the facts:
Though my friend avoids driving like the plague, she does have an active license and is physically able to drive. She also lives in a household with a car and could be forced to drive in an emergency. While her boyfriend may gripe at the slight increase to his insurance premium, he could be saving himself from a major financial blow by adding her as a driver '... and isn't that what insurance is all about?
Related linksDoes car insurance follow the car or the driver?Excluded drivers: our expert answers your questions
Insurance 101 | Car insurance 101
about Jessica During her time as senior copywriter at Esurance, Jessica wrote about everything from automotive trends to insurance tips to driving dogs (it's a thing!). In her free time, you can find Jessica hiking with her dog (who cannot drive), devouring a good mystery, or very slowly learning Spanish.
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Minister Bijleveld bevestigt: we zijn in cyberoorlog met de Russen | NOS
Nederland is in een cyberoorlog verwikkeld met Rusland, bevestigde minister Bijleveld van Defensie bij WNL op Zondag. Op de vraag of er een cyberoorlog gaande is met Rusland, zei ze: "ja, dat is het wel". In het televisieprogramma zei Bijleveld dat "we af moeten van de na¯viteit in Nederland."
Volgens de minister wijst de verijdelde hack van Russische spionnen bij de OPCW, die begin deze maand bekend werd gemaakt, erop dat de aard van oorlogsvoering is veranderd. "Men probeert hier publiek debat te be¯nvloeden. Je zag dat onze informatie heeft opgeleverd dat ze bij antidopingorganisatie WADA actief waren en dat ze bij MH17 actief waren".
Bijleveld noemt het gevaarlijk wat er nu gebeurt. Ze zegt dat er Europees en in ander internationaal verband wordt gekeken naar maatregelen en dat er extra wordt ge¯nvesteerd in inlichtingendiensten.
Nederland heeft een eigen defensie cybercommando dat ook internationaal werkt, zei Bijleveld. "Ik heb bij de NAVO aangeboden dat we onze cybersoldaten kunnen inzetten. We zijn actief aan het kijken waar we kunnen beveiligen en de weerbaarheid vergroten, maar ook zelf offensief dingen kunnen doen als het nodig is."
BewijsIn april werden de vier Russische spionnen weggestuurd uit Nederland, omdat ze het wifi-netwerk van de Organisatie voor het Verbod op Chemische Wapens in Den Haag wilden hacken. Nederland arresteerde ze niet, maar in de VS wordt een rechtszaak voorbereid.
Bijleveld herhaalt dat de verstoring heeft bijgedragen aan het bewijs dat nu elders kan worden gebruikt. "De Amerikanen gebruiken dat nu en we hebben relevante inlichtingen kunnen leveren aan andere landen."
Rusland ontkent de beschuldigingen over de hack bij het kantoor van de OPCW in Den Haag.
Jamal Khashoggi '' The Washington Post's Islamist columnist (Petra Marquardt-Bigman) ~ Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News
By Petra Marquardt-BigmanWhen Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggidisappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul at the beginning of this month, themedia reacted with understandable outrage to the growing evidence that he was likely murdered there. Yet even in this situation, there is nojustification for presenting Khashoggi as something he clearly was not.
Accordingto his colleagues at the Washington Post, Khashoggi was a“committed, courageous journalist” who wrote “out of a sense of love for hiscountry [Saudi Arabia] and deep faith in human dignity and freedom.”
Much of the media coverage of the case reflects this glowingassessment.
But a Wall Street Journal reporter noted early on that “Khashoggi was close to several people in the administration ofPresident Erdogan, whom he knew personally and liked,” and apparently,Khashoggi “trusted Turkey even more than the U.S.”
So I started to wonder how a “committed, courageousjournalist” with “deep faith in human dignity and freedom” could feel sopositive about Turkey’s Islamist regime – after all, Turkey reportedly “has the highest number of journalists in jail worldwide.”
By now it is clear that Khashoggi’s admiration for Erdogan’sTurkey was due to the fact that he himself was an Islamist.
An excellent Spectator piece provides a fascinating report under the fitting title “What the media aren’t telling you about JamalKhashoggi.”
The report argues that Khashoggi’s case has “provoked globaloutrage … for all the wrong reasons.”
While much of the media now present Khashoggi as “a liberal,Saudi progressive voice fighting for freedom and democracy,” he apparently “neverhad much time for western-style pluralistic democracy.”
“In the 1970s he joined the MuslimBrotherhood, which exists to rid the Islamic world of western influence. He wasa political Islamist until the end, recently praising the Muslim Brotherhood inthe Washington Post. He championed the ‘moderate’ Islamist opposition in Syria,whose crimes against humanity are a matter of record. Khashoggi frequentlysugarcoated his Islamist beliefs with constant references to freedom anddemocracy. But he never hid that he was in favour of a Muslim Brotherhood arcthroughout the Middle East. His recurring plea to bin Salman in his columns wasto embrace not western-style democracy, but the rise of political Islam […] ForKhashoggi, secularism was the enemy.”
A year ago, just when Khashoggi started writing for the WashingtonPost, he reportedly told Al Jazeera Arabic that “if Saudi Arabia wants to confront Iran, itmust re-embrace its proper religious identity as a Wahhabi Islamic revivaliststate and build alliances with organisations rooted in political Islam such asthe Muslim Brotherhood.”
Is this really a view the Washington Post wanted toamplify when it hired Khashoggi as a regular columnist?
But it’s not only Khashoggi’s Islamist politics that shouldraise eyebrows about the Washington Post’s decision to provide him aprestigious platform as a columnist.
Khashoggi’s own record of work in the media can also hardlycount as a qualification for a columnist in an influential western paper. Asnoted in the Spectator report, “Before working with a succession ofSaudi princes, he edited Saudi newspapers. The exclusive remit a Saudigovernment–appointed newspaper editor has is to ensure nothing remotelyresembling honest journalism makes it into the pages.”
Indeed, Khashoggi was apparently not all that keen onfreedom of speech, as illustrated by what he told Al Jazeera last fall:
“Khashoggi, who spoke to Al Jazeerafrom Washington, DC, expressed hope that Saudi Arabia would go back to assumeits leadership of the Arab world and shift its focus to the causes that arevery important to the Arabs, mainly to support the Palestinians in theirstruggle against Israel. He deplored the authorities' decision to allow somein the Saudi news media to express support for Israel against thePalestinians, while journalists and intellectuals known to support thePalestinian cause were put in jail or felt afraid to speak out.”
Khashoggi also asserted in this interview that it’s “not inthe Saudis’ interest to have relations with Israel. Israel will neither fightour battles nor attack Iran or Hezbollah for us.”
Accordingto the Islamist website Middle East Monitor, Khashoggi alsorecently “called on Muslims to visit Jerusalem,” because Muslims “need toremind the Israelis that Jerusalem is ours.”
The Washington Post and many other influential mediaoutlets now try to create pressure in order to force the Trump administration to downgrade relations with SaudiArabia. In my view, there was plenty of reason for holding Saudi Arabia atarm’s length long before Khashoggi’s disappearance and likely murder – andthere was most definitely never a reason to fawn about Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman like Tom Friedman and otherinfluential commentators and public figures.
But if the media want more distance between the US and theSaudis, the Washington Post might have wasted a golden opportunity whenthey hired Khashoggi as their very own Islamist columnist, but failed to presshim on what he knew about 9/11.
As the Spectator report explains, Khashoggi was seenas a threat by Saudi royals not only because he “emerged as a de facto leaderof the Saudi [Muslim Brotherhood] branch,” but also because “Khashoggi had dirton Saudi links to al Qaeda before the 9/11 attacks. He had befriended Osama binLaden in the 1980s and 1990s in Afghanistan and Sudan while championing hisjihad against the Soviets in dispatches. At that same time, he was employed bythe Saudi intelligence services to try to persuade bin Laden to make peace withthe Saudi royal family. The result? Khashoggi was the only non-royal Saudi whohad the beef on the royals’ intimate dealing with al Qaeda in the lead-up tothe 9/11 attacks.”
What a pity that the Washington Post was content toprovide Khashoggi a platform to promote his Islamist agenda, but apparentlyfailed to find out what he knew about al Qaeda.
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Deciding on which app has access to private information is the best way to limit the risk of those apps tracking your private data. USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES '-- Can a deleted app keep on tracking you, even if the app is off the phone?
The unsatisfying answer: Yes and no.
The app can't follow you around and know your whereabouts. But app developers can engage in "tagging," leaving behind a unique ID on an iPhone so the developer can recall the apps that were on it and the last Wi-Fi network the phone was logged onto. These marks are used to help a company prove that the phone belonged to an individual, says Joseph Jerome, privacy & data policy counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology.
The subject became hotly debated online this week in response to a New York Times profile of ride-hailing app Uber.
Uber had marked iPhones with persistent digital ID tags that would remain after users had deleted the Uber app and wiped the phone, the Times said. Apple CEO Tim Cook scolded Uber CEO Travis Kalanick for the practice, but didn't kick Uber out of the App Store.
Today, Uber says it doesn't track users or their location once they've deleted the app, but it does hold onto tagging data collected as a check against ''fraudsters from loading Uber onto a stolen phone, putting in a stolen credit card, taking an expensive ride and then wiping the phone'--over and over again," the company told USA TODAY in a statement.
Blogger John Gruber, whose Daring Fireball is targeted to app developers, noted that Apple ditched earlier iPhone tools like UDID (Unique Device ID) and Mac addresses for developers several years back (in 2012) because they were ''being abused by privacy invasive ad trackers, analytics packages,'' and companies like Uber.
Saying that Uber 'tracked' users after the app was deleted is misleading. The app couldn't get location info or anything like that.
'-- Benjamin Mayo (@bzamayo) April 23, 2017Uber notes that Apple does allows limited use of fingerprinting, and "merely stipulates which identifiers can be collected from the device, which are used by our team in combination with non-device signals to detect fraudulent activity & suspicious logins."
If app developers could truly track you after you've deleted the app, it would ''violate Apple developer terms and show a giant security hole in,'' the iOS operating system, says Jerome.
@MattRosoff Ah: They tracked the UUID of the device to tie multiple Uber accounts to the physical hardware. Not tracked physically via location svcs.
'-- Alan Danziger (@alandanziger) April 23, 2017The consumer tips for how to protect your privacy are few.
You could try living without apps on your smartphone'--go without Uber, Facebook, Google Maps and the like, and your daily activities won't be tracked. (The phone is the worst abuser of tracking, because it monitors your location, in return for cars showing up to pick you up and GPS directions getting you from where you are to the destination.)
But, ''this is not possible today,'' says Setu Kulkarni, a vice-president with WhiteHat Security. ''Apps are how business will be done in the many decades to come.''
Kulkarni suggests consumers think twice about signing up for apps through Facebook and Google, which are offered as ways to speed up the process and eliminate the typing in of name, address and other information.
''Do you really want the app to access your friend and contacts data?'' he asks. ''Be cognizant about what the app can access.''
Jerome is hoping to hear how Google and Apple, which have upcoming developer conferences in May and June, will clamp down on how the folks who make apps keep tabs of their customers and set new security policies. ''They really need to address this.''
Tim Bajarin, the president of Creative Strategies, expects Apple to stress user privacy at its Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. "It's always a big topic," he says. "Apple stresses personal privacy of data at every WWDC."
Apple and Google didn't respond to requests for comment.
Follow USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham on Twitter, @jeffersongraham.
Back in the late 1980s, two groups of geographers went into civil war. On the left were largely quantitative geographers excited about the rise of Geographic Information Systems (GIS; think Google Maps). On the right, however, were largely theoretical geographers deeply concerned about such systems, to the point that one author wrote in the first line of his article, ''The war against Iraq in 1990-91 was the first full-scale GIS war'', before adding that GIS ''claimed and estimated 200,000 Iraqi lives'' (Smith, 1992). This continued for over a decade, before some middle ground was finally discovered.
Why am I writing about a fight over GIS in a seemingly unrelated discipline to that of this site? At the time of this debate, these systems were incredibly rudimentary compared to what exists now; the idea of tracking hundreds of millions of people down to a few meters for the vast majority of their life was hardly in the picture. Yet, enemies were made at the mere prospect of using technology to index people across geographic space, and geographers were quick to emphasize the importance of maintaining privacy over where people are. The fact they expressed such concerns about these systems decades ago should be a red flag for the incredibly powerful systems that exist today.
Indeed, location privacy is an often underrated subset of the privacy equation. It is not uncommon to give high priority to communication privacy: we use Signal or WhatsApp to mask what we say to our friends, for example, but leave our location services on for convenience. After all, 'where we are' when we send those messages is just meta-data.
Where we are, however, can tell a story. This fact shows its face when we talk about the police's use of Stingrays (cell phone trackers) around protests to monitor who was there, and therefore who might be expressing a political opinion that is in disagreement with that of the state. While this is a hot issue right now, it is critical to understand that location data can reveal things about us in far less direct ways.
Recently I was teaching an undergraduate GIS class about handling sensitive data, a topic that was never even mentioned when I took the same classes. Given that most people don't care too much about privacy, and that in academia it tends to be a stubborn thing to sort out in ethics applications and then forget about, I gave a couple of examples of how location data can ruin someone's life:
A survivor of domestic abuse has been hiding from their abuser for years, but has their health care records leaked because a GIS research assistant put them on Dropbox which ends up getting hacked. Their abuser finds them. A GIS tech for a fitness tracking company accidentally loses an unencrypted hard drive storing location data, revealing several customers who had been visiting HIV treatment clinics every week. Note that it is not records about her domestic abuse that reveals where she is to her abuser, it is health care records, unrelated to that aspect of her life. Similarly, it is not a customer list of those obtaining HIV treatment that reveals who has been getting HIV treatment, it is a completely unrelated source of data. Indeed, the issue with location data is that it is generated from so many sources (cell phone towers, GPS, credit card swipes, license plate scanners, WiFi location, and soon facial recognition, among many, many others) and yet can easily undermine our privacy in other aspects of our lives. In other words, if we don't compartmentalize rigorously, location data easily breaks down the barriers between the various parts of our everyday lives that we would like to keep separate.
Given this revealing power inherent to location data, it should be no surprise that is has become a staple of modern intelligence. Activity Based Intelligence (ABI), for example, is an approach to big data analysis used in the military that brings together vast and varying sources of big data to find targets and collect intelligence. Significantly, ABI finds it critical to add location information to all data sources, as ''only then will an ABI analyst be able to correlate, integrate, and cluster the multi-INT data around a ''spot of interest,'' enabling the discovery of entities, activities, transactions, and begin to relate them'' (Atwood, 2015). Put simply, location data is the key that deciphers what is going on in big data sources for the military.
It must be stressed that location data is what links not only aspects within individuals' lives, but between individuals' lives. Indeed, a core function of ABI is tracking multiple individuals' locations in order to identify when meetings take place, as well as to identify and monitor relationships. This is an often forgotten aspect of location data: it does not only reveal where you go, but can also easily reveal who you're going there with.
My point in discussing ABI is not to suggest that the military will knock on your door tomorrow because you happened to walk near a suspected terrorist by accident, but rather to emphasize the radical potential of location data to dismantle our personal privacy. Apply the techniques of ABI to Google's data collection through Android phones and it becomes hard to imagine what they can deduce about our social graphs just based on where we (and our friends) are, and when.
To sum this all up, location data is inherently sensitive, and it doesn't just reveal when you visit a protest. In a way, it lurks in almost every aspect of your life; you can never not be somewhere. Treat your location privacy as you would treat your communication privacy. To start with: turn off location services on your phone, pay with cash, and use a VPN or Tor. But to go further, be mindful of any time you think your location has been collected, and what you'll realize over time is a much larger and more troubling conclusion: where we are is tracked far more than what we say, and resisting the latter is child's play in comparison.
Want to upgrade your online privacy? I use NordVPN to encrypt my traffic and route it across the globe, and Spideroak for rock solid encrypted cloud storage!
New details emerge on anti-Trump dossier as House GOP seeks Fusion GPS boss testimony | Fox News
Glenn R. Simpson, co-founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, arrives for a scheduled appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
House Republicans still want Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of the firm behind the anti-Trump dossier, to comply with their subpoena to appear on Capitol Hill despite his plans to invoke Fifth Amendment protections, a GOP House Judiciary Committee aide told Fox News on Friday.
The tension with the Fusion GPS co-founder comes as new details emerge about just how widely distributed the unverified and politically funded dossier was back in 2016. A Fox News review of congressional testimony, British court records, emails and other documents indicate that at least five sources worked through other government agencies or fed the dossier to the FBI directly.
Simpson made clear this week that he does not intend to answer congressional questions.
In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., Simpson lawyer Joshua Levy wrote that his client will invoke his First and Fifth Amendment privileges to avoid testifying before the committee next week.
Writing to Goodlatte, Levy accused Republicans on the panel of trying to "discredit and otherwise damage witnesses to Russia's interference in the 2016 election, all as part of an effort to protect a president..."
Levy added that the committee "has abdicated and indeed perverted its constitutional and traditional role" and shown "abundant bad faith" toward Simpson.
But critics point to apparent inconsistencies in Simpson's testimony. During his November 2017 transcribed interview before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Simpson was asked about his contact with the FBI. He said he worked through Justice Department official Bruce Ohr "sometime after Thanksgiving." However, Simpson's testimony contradicts Ohr emails that show contact months earlier, in August 2016.
In a Washington Post opinion piece, former Obama-era State Department official Jonathan Winer acknowledged he had regular contact with ex-British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the controversial anti-Trump dossier.
Winer said that Steele alerted him in the summer of 2016 about "disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials." The two met in Washington in September 2016 to discuss what is now known as the "dossier."
After he reviewed the documents, Winer said, he shared a summary with Victoria Nuland, the former assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
In February, Nuland confirmed to CBS News' "Face the Nation" that the Steele dossier came to the attention of the State Department in July 2016.
"He [Steele] passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding, and our immediate reaction to that was, 'This is not in our purview,'" Nuland said. "'This needs to go to the FBI, if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian Federation. That's something for the FBI to investigate.'"
Nuland went further, saying that "our reaction when we saw this [was] ... we can't evaluate this. And frankly, if every member of the campaign who the Russians tried to approach and tried to influence had gone to the FBI as well in real time, we might not be in the mess we're in today."
Another person caught up in the dossier handoff is David J. Kramer, a former State Department official and associate of the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. In November 2016, he traveled to Surrey, England, to meet with and be briefed by Steele on the dossier. According to British court records reviewed by Fox, Steele told the British court that an arrangement was made so that Fusion GPS's Simpson would provide hard copies of the dossier to McCain via Kramer.
In January 2017 the late Senator's office posted to their website: "Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public. Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI. That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue."
Earlier this year, in an interview with Fox News' Bret Baier, former FBI Director James Comey seemed vague about the dossier, when he learned about it as well as its political origins.
"Sometime in the fall (2016), I don't remember exactly when," Comey said, "I remember they briefed me on it, explained that it came from a reliable source I remember being given a copy of it I don't know if it was September (sic) October some period in that time."
Other information about Russian hacking was also provided to the FBI in 2016 by lawyer Michael Sussmann, whose firm, Perkins Coie, commissioned Simpson's firm for the dossier. The FBI's former general counsel, James Baker, recently confirmed that revelation during a closed-door deposition on Capitol Hill, say sources close to the congressional investigation.
A spokesman for Sussmann said in a recent statement: "Prior to joining Perkins Coie, Michael Sussmann served as a cybercrime prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice during both Republican and Democratic administrations. As a result, Sussmann is regularly retained by clients with complex cybersecurity matters.
"When Sussmann met with Mr. Baker on behalf of a client, the meeting was not connected to the firm's representation of the Hillary Clinton Campaign, the DNC or any Political Law Group client."
Senate Oversight Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Friday requesting all documents about Sussmann's contact with the FBI, as well as the memos that document allegations Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein considered secretly taping the president. Rosenstein and the House Judiciary panel failed to agree on terms for his Capitol Hill appearance this week.
Fox News asked Sussmann's spokesperson for additional comment in light of the Senate letter, but there was no immediate response.
Anathematize | Definition of Anathematize by Merriam-Webster
Definition of anathematize Did You Know?When 16th-century English speakers needed a verb meaning "to condemn by anathema" (that is, by an official curse from church authority), "anathematize" proved to be just the right word. But "anathematize" didn't originate in English as a combination of the noun "anathema" and the suffix -ize. Rather, our verb is based on forebears in Late Latin ("anathematizare") and Greek ("anathematizein"). "Anathematize" can still indicate solemn, formal condemnation, but today it can also have milder applications. The same is true of "anathema," which now often means simply "a vigorous denunciation."
Examples of anathematize in a Sentence heretics anathematized by the church leaders fundamentalist preachers who anathematize any departure from a literal interpretation of the Bible
Recent Examples on the Web
The most serious native challenge to liberalism, made by the slaveholding oligarchy of the Old South, was crushed on the battlefield, and, despite the efforts of an ever-dwindling number of apologists, morally anathematized. '-- Park Macdougald, Daily Intelligencer, "Has the Operating System for the Western World Crashed?," 27 Feb. 2018 In some ways, the grotesqueries of his persona, rather than anathematizing him to voters, only enhanced his appeal among those wishing for something different. '-- Jamelle Bouie, Slate Magazine, "Protest Works," 24 Jan. 2017 BuzzFeed was so anathematized that by presser's end, fellow journalists were picking up their lunch trays and moving to the other side of the cafeteria. '-- Will Oremus, Slate Magazine, "How Trump Is Manipulating the Media," 12 Jan. 2017 But 33 members of the law faculty published a letter anathematizing her. '-- Mona Charen, National Review, "Leftists Feed Extremists They Fear with Attacks on Amy Wax," 8 Sep. 2017 And if anyone shall be led by his cupidity or arrogance to break this truce, by the authority of God and with the sanction of this Council he shall be anathematized. '-- James Carroll, The New Yorker, "Pope Francis Proposes a Cure for Populism," 28 Mar. 2017 These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anathematize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
See More First Known Use of anathematize1566, in the meaning defined above
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What made you want to look up anathematize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
The verb anathematize means to completely condemn, something you would do to a mortal enemy or a truly horrible person.
If you've decided that your math teacher is just plain evil, you might anathematize him, or curse his name. The word anathematize comes from anathema, which means something you really hate. When you anathematize someone, you declare your hatred for that person. The root word is the Greek anathematizein, which means "to denote something to be evil."
Definitions of anathematize
v curse or declare to be evil or anathema or threaten with divine punishment
A White Woman, Teresa Klein, Called the Police on a Black Child She Falsely Said Groped Her - The New York Times
A white woman who called the police after claiming that a young black boy touched her behind in a Brooklyn deli drew a storm of ridicule and criticism on social media, and late on Friday she made a public apology to the child.
Critics characterized the incident as the latest example of a hypersensitive white person calling the police to report black people for dubious reasons. Many detractors imputed racist motives to the woman, Teresa Klein.
She was quickly labeled ''Cornerstore Caroline'' by Jason Littlejohn, 37, a lifelong Flatbush resident who recorded the commotion on Wednesday outside of the Sahara Deli Market on Albemarle Road. Mr. Littlejohn's Facebook recording of the incident had been viewed 4 million times by Friday evening.
''I was just sexually assaulted by a child,'' Ms. Klein is heard saying on the video as she said she was on the phone with the police. The boy, who is about 9, and another child burst into tears outside the store as bystanders confronted Ms. Klein about the incident.
''The son grabbed my ass and she decided to yell at me,'' Ms. Klein continued in the video, referring to his mother. The video was first reported by The New York Post.
The public shaming of people who behave boorishly or spout racist views has become a feature of modern life in New York City, where nearly every person has a cellphone and residents are not shy about confronting one another, often in colorful language.
Last year, a lawyer who threatened to call the immigration authorities on Spanish-speaking employees at a lunch counter made a public apology after a video of his rant was posted online and complaints were made to state court officials.
Ms. Klein, 53, returned to the store on Friday afternoon to buy cigarettes and to face her neighbors, who heckled her as she gave her version of events to journalists. Then, prompted by a reporter, Ms. Klein went inside the store and watched a playback of the bodega's security camera footage from Wednesday evening.
Onlookers crammed inside the bodega's doorway to watch the screening, their phone cameras pointed toward Ms. Klein. Playing on a ceiling-mounted flat-screen television, the video showed the child turning to someone behind him and his backpack brushing Ms. Klein's backside as she leaned over the counter.
Speaking into a television reporter's camera afterward, Ms. Klein made an apology. ''Young man,'' she said, ''I don't know your name but I'm sorry.''
Image Teresa Klein watching a surveillance video of the incident during which she thought a young boy had touched her behind in a Brooklyn bodega. Credit Sean Piccoli Still, Ms. Klein denied she acted out of bigotry toward the boy or that she harbored racist feelings. She said she was willing to meet with the mother to talk out their differences, but complained that the mother had reacted aggressively when she said the boy had touched her.
''A woman charged at me and flashed a badge and said that she would arrest me,'' she said, ''and I called 911.''
For three days, Ms. Klein had been roundly criticized on Twitter. Many people took issue with the idea that a boy of his age would even understand what it meant to grope someone.
The outrage escalated after the surveillance video from the bodega was posted online, showing that the boy, dressed in a school uniform and carrying a large book bag, did not appear to touch Ms. Klein.
''The little kid thought he was going to go to jail for something he didn't do,'' Mr. Littlejohn said in an interview. ''I thought it was someone calling police for unnecessary reasons, especially on a child.''
Nahounha Alexandre, 22, who works at a nearby Baptist church, said the apology was welcome but insufficient unless Ms. Klein also dropped her complaints about the mother's behavior.
''She hurt all of us in this community because when you accuse that one little boy of doing something, you also accuse all of us,'' Ms. Alexandre said.
The incident echoed other recent uproars on social media over white people calling the police to make a complaint about black people.
In Oakland, Calif., a white woman nicknamed ''BBQ Becky'' called the police about black people who she said were barbecuing in a restricted area in a park. Near Cleveland, a white family called the police after black children mowing a neighbor's lawn accidentally mowed a portion of the family's lawn.
And in Philadelphia, a Starbucks employee called the police after two black men asked to use the restroom without purchasing anything. More recently, the police were called on a black man near Atlanta who was babysitting two white children.
''You think something like this only happens in the South, but it's all over the world,'' said Mr. Littlejohn, who had tried to comfort the boy. ''He's going to be traumatized for the rest of his life. This is something that will stick with him.''
Follow Jeffery C. Mays on Twitter: @JeffCMays
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DARPA wants to teach and test 'common sense' for AI | TechCrunch
It's a funny thing, AI. It can identify objects in a fraction of a second, imitate the human voice and recommend new music, but most machine ''intelligence'' lacks the most basic understanding of everyday objects and actions '-- in other words, common sense. DARPA is teaming up with the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to see about changing that.
The Machine Common Sense program aims to both define the problem and engender progress on it, though no one is expecting this to be ''solved'' in a year or two. But if AI is to escape the prison of the hyper-specific niches where it works well, it's going to need to grow a brain that does more than execute a classification task at great speed.
''The absence of common sense prevents an intelligent system from understanding its world, communicating naturally with people, behaving reasonably in unforeseen situations, and learning from new experiences. This absence is perhaps the most significant barrier between the narrowly focused AI applications we have today and the more general AI applications we would like to create in the future,'' explained DARPA's Dave Gunning in a press release.
Not only is common sense lacking in AIs, but it's remarkably difficult to define and test, given how broad the concept is. Common sense could be anything from understanding that solid objects can't intersect to the idea that the kitchen is where people generally go when they're thirsty. As obvious as those things are to any human more than a few months old, they're actually quite sophisticated constructs involving multiple concepts and intuitive connections.
It's not just a set of facts (like that you must peel an orange before you eat it, or that a drawer can hold small items) but identifying connections between them based on what you've observed elsewhere. That's why DARPA's proposal involves building ''computational models that learn from experience and mimic the core domains of cognition as defined by developmental psychology. This includes the domains of objects (intuitive physics), places (spatial navigation) and agents (intentional actors).''
But how do you test these things? Fortunately, great minds have been at work on this problem for decades, and one research group has proposed an initial method for testing common sense that should work as a stepping stone to more sophisticated ones.
I talked with Oren Etzioni, head of the Allen Institute for AI, which has been working on common sense AI for quite a while now, among many other projects regarding the understanding and navigation of the real world.
''This has been a holy grail of AI for 35 years or more,'' he said. ''One of the problems is how to put this on an empirical footing. If you can't measure it, how can you evaluate it? This is one of the very first times people have tried to make common sense measurable, and certainly the first time that DARPA has thrown their hat, and their leadership and funding, into the ring.''
The AI2 approach is simple but carefully calibrated. Machine learning models will be presented with written descriptions of situations and several short options for what happens next. Here's one example:
On stage, a woman takes a seat at the piano. Shea) sits on a bench as her sister plays with the doll.b) smiles with someone as the music plays.c) is in the crowd, watching the dancers.d) nervously sets her fingers on the keys.
The answer, as you and I would know in a heartbeat, is d. But the amount of context and knowledge that we put into finding that answer is enormous. And it's not like the other options are impossible '-- in fact, they're AI-generated to seem plausible to other agents but easily detectable by humans. This really is quite a difficult problem for a machine to solve, and current models are getting it right about 60 percent of the time (25 percent would be chance).
There are 113,000 of these questions, but Etzioni told me this is just the first data set of several.
''This particular data set is not that hard,'' he said. ''I expect to see rapid progress. But we're going to be rolling out at least four more by the end of the year that will be harder.''
After all, toddlers don't learn common sense by taking the GRE. As with other AI challenges, you want gradual improvements that generalize to harder versions of similar problems '-- for example, going from recognizing a face in a photo, to recognizing multiple faces, then identifying the expression on those faces.
There will be a proposers' day next week in Arlington for any researcher who wants a little face time with the people running this little challenge, after which there will be a partner selection process, and early next year the selected groups will be able to submit their models for evaluation by AI2's systems in the spring.
The common sense effort is part of DARPA's big $2 billion investment in AI on multiple fronts. But they're not looking to duplicate or compete with the likes of Google, Amazon and Baidu, which have invested heavily in the narrow AI applications we see on our phones and the like.
''They're saying, what are the limitations of those systems? Where can we fund basic research that will be the basis of whole new industries?'' Etzioni suggested. And of course it is DARPA and government investment that set the likes of self-driving cars and virtual assistants on their first steps. Why shouldn't it be the same for common sense?
Judicial Watch: Justice Department Discloses No FISA Court Hearings Held on Carter Page Warrants - Judicial Watch
'[N]o such hearings were held with respect to the acknowledged FISA applications. Accordingly, no responsive hearing transcripts exist.'
(Washington, DC) '' Judicial Watch today announced that in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Justice Department (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.
In the filing the Justice Department finally revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Page FISA spy warrants, first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times:
[National Security Division] FOIA consulted [Office of Intelligence] '... to identify and locate records responsive to [Judicial Watch's] FOIA request'.... [Office of Intelligence] determined '... that there were no records, electronic or paper, responsive to [Judicial Watch's] FOIA request with regard to Carter Page. [Office of Intelligence] further confirmed that the [Foreign Surveillance Court] considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.
The Department of Justice previously released to Judicial Watch the heavily redacted Page warrant applications. The initial Page FISA warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election.
The DOJ filing is in response to a Judicial Watch lawsuit for the FISA transcripts (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01050)).
In February, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo criticizing the FISA targeting of Carter Page. The memo details how the ''minimally corroborated'' Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ's applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.
Judicial Watch recently filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking the transcripts of all hearings related to the surveillance of Carter Page.
''It is disturbing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump team,'' said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. ''Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton's campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the 'intelligence' used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.''
Virgin Atlantic launches dedicated flight for World Pride 2019 (video) | AIRLIVE.net
Andrew Brunson thanks president and staff for securing deal that brought him home after years in prison
The pastor Andrew Brunson asked God to grant the president 'supernatural wisdom'.Photograph: Mike Theiler/ReutersAndrew Brunson, the American pastor freed from prison in Turkey this week, prayed over Donald Trump at the White House on Saturday. In response, the president asked who Brunson and his wife had voted for in the presidential election that took place weeks after the pastor's arrest in 2016.
Brunson, who said he voted by mail, and his wife, Norine, indicated they backed Trump. The president said he had known that already.
Minutes earlier, Brunson had kneeled, grasped Trump's shoulder and asked God to grant the president ''supernatural wisdom''.
''Make him a great blessing for this country,'' Brunson said in the Oval Office, where he and his family gathered with Trump, administration officials including the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and the national security adviser, John Bolton, and Republican members of Congress.
''From a Turkish prison to the White House in 24 hours, that's not bad,'' Trump said.
Brunson, who moved to Turkey in the mid-1990s, was arrested and accused of having links to the G¼lenist movement, which Turkey says orchestrated a failed 2016 military coup.
On Friday, a Turkish court sentenced Brunson to three years in jail but accounted for time served and suspended the rest of his sentence, making it possible for him to leave the country. Brunson's lawyer, Jay Sekulow, is also a member of Trump's legal team in the Russia inquiry.
On Saturday Brunson repeatedly thanked Trump, his staff and other government representatives. He and his wife will now spend some time with their children, he said, before praying for guidance. He declined to speak about his treatment in Turkey and said he would share that information in future interviews.
NBC reported on Thursday that the Trump administration had reached a deal for Brunson's release and said the US was expected to ease economic pressure on Turkey.
Trump denied that and said the only thing close to a deal ''was a psychological one'', explaining that Brunson's return had improved US feelings towards Turkey.
The two countries remain divided on key issues such as Iran and the civil war in Syria. Before Brunson's hearing on Friday, Turkish president Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan said he was disappointment that US-backed Kurdish militias have not left the Syrian town of Manbij, contrary to an agreement brokered this year.
Trump spoke about Americans released from captivity overseas under his administration, including Aya Hijazi, who was imprisoned in Egypt for three years, and three men released from North Korea in May.
''Chairman Kim [Jong-un] was really great to us,'' he said. He added: ''It's not an easy situation for Turkey either. They had a lot of difficult situations going on and I do want to thank President ErdoÄan for making this possible.''
Trump also faced questions about the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.
Some analysts have suggested there is a connection between the timing of Brunson's release and the search for information on Khashoggi's disappearance. Trump said Brunson's release was a ''total coincidence''.
BREAKING FBI & FAA Again Deny America First Media's FOIA Requests on Las Vegas Shooting
For the 2nd time in two months the Federal Bureau of Investigations along with the Federal Aviation Administration have denied America First Media's Investigators FOIA requests.
This time they denied copies of helicopter radio transmission requests from 9:00 PM PST to 11:00 PM PST. What are they hiding? It's becoming more and more apparent that Las Vegas is a massive cover up my fellow Americans. This along with many other investigations is what our team is fighting for. Over 800 wounded, and almost 60 dead deserve justice for what happened on October 1st, 2017.
The FBI and the FAA continue to deny and refuse to release any information our investigators request. We're staying on it with your help and support.
If you'd like to contribute to our investigations, the link is below.
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DR Congo identifies 'second wave' of Ebola in east
Kinshasa (AFP) - A second wave of the Ebola virus has been confirmed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where an initial outbreak has already killed 125 people, a minister said Saturday.
The latest wave is centred in Beni, a town in North Kivu near the border with Uganda, said Health Minister Dr Oly Ilunga.
"We don't yet know the scale of it," he added. "The epicentre, which was in Mangina is now in Beni." The two towns lie about 20 kilometres (12 miles) apart.
This second wave occurred as a result of community resistance to measures taken to tackle the disease, Ilunga said.
"The epidemic in Beni is high risk.. and the situation is worrying."
Two new cases were confirmed in the Beni region, according to health ministry statistics published Saturday, taking the total to 127 in the area since August 1. There were 35 other suspected cases.
On Friday, the World Health Organization expressed concern over the growing number of cases in recent weeks, especially in Beni.
The latest outbreak is the 10th in DR Congo since Ebola was first detected there in 1976.
Officials in Beni have announced measures to protect health workers after a number of incidents where response teams were assaulted.
Fears and misconceptions about the virus have led to widespread mistrust and resistance to Ebola response workers, including those who come into communities wearing hazmat suits to orchestrate burials.
A staff member of the UN peacekeeper mission MONUSCO was among the latest victims of the virus, the UN and health ministry said.
The work of health officials is also hampered by violence in a region which has long been ravaged by armed conflict.
Microsoft Announces Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise - Voicebot
on September 28, 2018 at 9:44 am Image Credit: Microsoft
At the company's Ignite conference in Florida, Microsoft announced a new Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise. This is a product meant for business voice assistant use. Companies will be able to take advantage of Cortana's natural language processing to develop custom skills. Javier Soltero, Microsoft corporate vice president overseeing Cortana told Mashable:
It's allowing enterprises to build experiences that take advantage of the free-form aspect of ambient [computing]. By allowing these enterprise workflows to be expressed through natural language or voice, interesting things start happening. Many of them were about filling in forms, but with the ability use natural language to ask questions and take action, you can converse about an activity.
Microsoft's John Roach commented in a blog post today about a recent application for a Cortana-enabled IT help desk bot developed by an internal company team.
''As a proof of concept, IT developers at Microsoft used the enterprise platform to create an IT help desk skill that enables Cortana to file tickets for employees who are having computer problems and connect them to someone who can help'...Now, a simple, natural language verbal request to Cortana frees Microsoft employees 'to stay in the flow of what they are doing,' [Soltero] added.''
Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise is currently available only in a private preview. You can apply for early access here. No information is available yet on a general availability release date.
What about the bot framework? Microsoft Bot Framework already allows companies to build and connect intelligent bots, or agents, to interact with users of popular services like text, SMS, Skype, and Office 365 mail. Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise is based on the bot framework and the Azure Cognitive Services Language Understanding feature. Therefore, if a company is already using the bots, they will be able to use the Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise to upgrade its capabilities. Soltero said:
We can take, say, a customer-service bot that is specific to your enterprise and add the element of natural language and the ability to operate across multiple devices.
Sticking With B2B In August 2017, Amazon and Microsoft announced that the companies would integrate Alexa and Cortana. One year later, that integration was rolled out to consumers. Alexa offers Cortana features after connecting to your Microsoft account and saying ''Alexa, talk to Cortana.'' Similarly, Cortana users can invoke Alexa through Windows 10 devices. The pairing brings together the leading smart speaker-based consumer voice assistant by market share with the most used enterprise voice assistant.
A 2016 Voicebot analysis suggested that Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Hound and others would logically begin pursuing specialization in either business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) use cases. The voice assistant use case landscape is so large that no one solution will be expert in everything in the near term, or ever. As a result, the big players were predicted to focus in on where they have particular assets and expertise. Microsoft has deep roots and capabilities in business productivity. The Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise will make it easier for companies to integrate Cortana into business processes.
This approach is logical considering Microsoft's deep roots in enterprise computing, an advantage it has over Amazon and Google. If Microsoft really wants Cortana to succeed, targeting their largest audience first might be the only way to do it. At the initial release of Cortana , Microsoft discussed their ideas for a Cortana integrated business toolkit: Cortana would have complete access to a company's data, and would be able to optimize the productivity of a worker based on analysis of that data. Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise is a step toward realizing that vision.
BMW integrates Alexa and Cortana, Maintains Control Over the User Experience
Xbox Gets Cortana and Alexa Skills, But You Still Need a Smart Speaker
This guest needs almost no introduction. Without him and Dave Winer, the podcasting space as we know it would not exist. An idea turned into a vision that led to an action that has changed the way millions of people consume media today.
This is Adam's story, as no one else can tell it. He is co-host of the Best Podcast in the Universe, No Agenda, and co-founder of the new startup, Small Batch Audio, with an upcoming Kickstarter that I am hopeful the podcasting community will get behind.
As a heads up '' there will be some terms used on in the show today that may seem out of context or confusing if you've never listened to No Agenda. Enjoy the podcast!
Show Links:Curry.comNo Agenda '' The Best Podcast in the Universe
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Hillary Clinton lost security clearance - Washington Times
Five years ago, Apple was forced to temporarily close what was then its only retail store in Shenzhen, China, after it was besieged by lines of hundreds of customers waiting to swap broken iPhones for new devices, according to two former Apple employees who were briefed about the matter. In May 2013, the Shenzhen store logged more than 2,000 warranty claims a week, more than any other Apple retail store in the world, one of those people said.
After some investigation, Apple discovered the skyrocketing requests for replacements was due to a highly sophisticated fraud scheme run by organized teams. Rings of thieves were buying or stealing iPhones and removing valuable components like CPUs, screens and logic boards, replacing them with fake components or even chewing gum wrappers, more than a half-dozen former employees familiar with the fraud said. The thieves would then return the iPhones, claiming they were broken, and receive replacements they could then resell, according to three of those people. The stolen components, meanwhile, were used in refurbished iPhones sold in smaller cities across China, two of the people said.
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Recent Articles 'In the old-school world, this would be a car chop shop, where you would take all the pieces off and sell them,' said Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit. 'Now they're doing that with iPhones.'
Difference Between HTM and HTML | Difference Between
' Categorized under internet | Difference Between HTM and HTML
HTM vs HTML
HTM and HTML refer to file extensions of HTML files. They are files of a plain text type. HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language, which is a markup language used for creating web pages. HTML actually uses markup tags for describing web pages. As file extensions, they are denoted as .htm or .html. If you use HTML files to create your web page, then an .html or .htm will most likely appear at the end of its URL. Here are examples: 'http://code.google.com/chrome/extensions/samples.html' and 'http://edgewisdom.com/Finance1.htm'.
HTM is used only as an alternate extension to .HTML. This happens for some reasons, for example, in some operating systems, like the Disk Operating System and Window 3.X, they do not allow the use of four-letter extensions. Therefore, instead of .html they use .htm. As well as in the world of windows, three-letter extensions are most commonly used, like '.doc' and '.exe', therefore, .htm is more applicable here. However, there are also some cases, with other server's, when they create their default directory to only support .html files. So it means .htm is not allowed on that server.
In actual fact, .htm was usually used back in the old days, like during the time when DOS was popular. In the present time, computers can now easily support big files and wide length of file names, therefore, having a four-letter extension is not a problem anymore.
Anyway, file extensions are useful to operating systems because it helps them identify what type of data file they are dealing with, and also so that they can find an appropriate program to read or edit it. If your computer is unable to open the files, especially files with unknown file extensions, it means that you may not have the associated program installed to be able to read it, or you may have windows registry errors related to the file extensions.
In the case of the internet, web browsers do not really see the file extensions, so when you type a URL with no HTM or HTML extension, the browser can still find the source, and display its contents. HTM and HTML are only two of the thousands of types of file extensions. Although, HTML is the most common web page format used, and that's why they are more popular.
HTM and HTML are both file extensions of HTML files. The only difference is that .HTM is used as an alternate to .HTML for some operating systems and servers that do not accept four-letter extensions. Although today, operating systems have developed, and can now support long file names and four-letter file extensions.
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On Tuesday night, I was in an auditorium with 100 black men in the city of Baltimore, when the subject pivoted to Brett Kavanaugh. I expected to hear frustration that the sexual-assault allegations against him had failed to derail his Supreme Court appointment. Instead, I encountered sympathy. One man stood up and asked, passionately, ''What happened to due process?'' He was met with a smattering of applause, and an array of head nods.
If you think Kavanaugh receiving some measure of support from black men in inner-city Baltimore is as strange as Taylor Swift suddenly feeling the need to become a modern-day Fannie Lou Hamer, then brace yourself: The caping for Kavanaugh does make a twisted kind of sense. Countless times, black men have had to witness the careers and reputations of other black men ruthlessly destroyed because of unproved rape and sexual-assault accusations. And as that Baltimore audience member also argued, if the claims were made by a white woman, expect the damage to be triple.
Kavanaugh's emotional defense of his reputation against the claims of a sympathetic white woman resonated with these unlikely allies. And it wasn't just in Baltimore, at the town hall organized for Ozy Media's ''Take On America'' series. This bizarre kinship was something I noticed in my Twitter mentions, too, where black men were tossing out examples of how white lies had wrecked black lives.
Conor Friedersdorf: The divide over Kavanaugh isn't as big as it appears
If anyone has the right to complain about unproved allegations or cry #HimToo, it's black men. A report released last year, examining 1,900 exonerations over the past three decades, found that 47 percent of the people exonerated were black, despite the fact that blacks make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population. In sexual-assault cases, blacks accounted for 22 percent of convictions, but 59 percent of exonerations.
More StoriesThose disparities also underline an equally important point that seems to be getting lost in the conversation. White men don't ordinarily face the kind of suspicion and presumptions of guilt to which men of color are routinely subjected. If Kavanaugh were black, how many people would empathize and relate to his circumstances?
Some of the comparisons tossed about on Twitter were less apples-to-oranges than apples-to-radiators. But one name continually surfaced from these defenders of Kavanaugh: Brian Banks.
If you haven't heard of Banks, prepare to be outraged. Banks was a senior at Long Beach Poly High School and a promising linebacker who had already committed to the University of Southern California when his playing career was torpedoed by a false rape accusation. As the Los Angeles Times reported in 2012, Banks served five years in prison after striking a plea deal that spared him from serving 41 years in prison.
Peter Beinart: The fear driving conservative support for Kavanaugh
Banks would never have been exonerated had his accuser, Wanetta Gibson, not sent Banks a friend request on Facebook once he was out of prison. Gibson, a high-school sophomore when she accused Banks of rape, agreed to meet with Banks and a private investigator because, she said, she felt guilty and had ''a desire to make amends.''
Banks and his investigator recorded the meeting. On the strength of the new evidence, the California Innocence Project decided to take on Banks's case. It was able to right a very costly wrong. The school district later won a $2.6 million lawsuit against Gibson, forcing her to pay back the $750,000 settlement she had received from the district after Banks's conviction.
But the slow bend toward justice could never undo what had already been done. The 10-year fight to clear his name had robbed Banks of his prime football-playing years, likely along with millions of dollars. After he was cleared, the Atlanta Falcons gave Banks a tryout. He survived the 2013 preseason before they cut him.
I reached out to Banks and asked whether he had any thoughts about this solidarity some black men seem to feel with Kavanaugh, but he politely declined to comment. I can't say that I blame him, since there's probably nothing Banks could say that wouldn't be interpreted as being unsympathetic toward victims.
Josh Rovner: How the law treats kids who didn't grow up like Kavanaugh
But if it's possible to look at Banks's example and understand why some black men identified with Kavanaugh, it's impossible to look at it closely without arriving at a very different set of conclusions. Banks had none of the advantages that Kavanaugh enjoyed: no legions of well-connected friends to vouch for him, no army of partisan defenders, no politicians rallying to his defense. Banks faced spending the bulk of his life in jail; Kavanaugh risked losing a promotion. The reason black men are three and a half times as likely as whites to be exonerated after being convicted of sexual assault is that there's generally been one standard for suburban prep-school athletes, and another for the Brian Bankses of this country.
Black men have every right to be frustrated by the lack of due process and the inevitable rush to judgment they often face in sexual-assault cases. But that's not because they've so often been treated like Kavanaugh'--it's because they so rarely have.
Inside the Pro-Trump Effort to Keep Black Voters From the Polls - Bloomberg
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Members of Prince's estate ask President Trump to not use his music at rallies - StarTribune.com
Prince almost never spoke out for political candidates in his lifetime. / Matt Sayles, Associated Press
Video footage of audience members waving their hands to ''Purple Rain'' at one of President Trump's rallies apparently raised a red flag from some members of Prince's estate, who issued a statement Thursday night asking that ''they cease all use immediately.''
The statement, sent out via Twitter, read, ''The Prince Estate has never given permission to President Trump or the White House to use Prince's songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately.''
The message was reportedly sent on behalf of the estate by longtime Prince associate Jeremiah Freed, aka Dr. Funkenberry, and it was retweeted by Prince's brother, Omarr Baker. It was sent in reaction to the Trump rally in Mississippi last week, not this week's event in Pennsylvania.
Footage shown on Fox News and CNN captured the moment the song was played, which sparked a blowback last week. Anil Dash, founder of the tech company Glitch and a royal Prince fan, tweeted, ''Alright, Prince estate: nobody has more experience shutting down misuses of an artist's work than you do. You got this.''
When he was alive, Prince himself was notorious for having his team shut down unauthorized use of his music seemingly any and every time it came to light. He also staunchly avoided wading into political campaigns, aside from addressing certain hot-button political issues ranging from nuclear escalation in the '80s (''Ronnie Talk to Russia'') to police shootings of young black men in the '10s (''Baltimore'').
As one Prince fan noted in reaction to the statement issued Thursday night, ''This makes perfect sense as he was completely neutral with regard to political affairs.''
Andrew Sullivan: The Danger of Trump's Accomplishments
MP Sarah Wollaston quite rightly wants the police to do more about (and tighten up the prosecution of) potentially dangerous stalkers. But now the crime includes ''Cyber abuse'', her Private Member's Bill is too lax in its definitions about what stalking is, and police guidelines on priorities. Equally worrying, a majority of those sponsoring the legislation have dubious elements in their pasts. In a special investigation, The Slog raises the alarm.
Viewed in the round, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the Tory MP Sarah Wollaston is a good egg. She isn't Party voting fodder, she had a real job as a doctor before entering Parliament, she is suspicious of private sector health rip-offs, and she's enormously popular in her Totnes constituency, where her ability to double and then treble majorities seems immune from the whimsical winds of electoral change as a whole.
She espouses radical reform (in favour of the citizen) in how UK politics operate, and rebelled against the Government to vote against setting up a Royal Charter to regulate the press, believing that many of the activities which had led to the proposal were ''already illegal and being exploited to justify censoring the free press''. Later, she was the joint winner of The Spectator magazine's Parliamentarian of the Year award for her stance.
So yes, we approve of Ms Wollaston. We do, however, feel it could well be that her new Private Member's Bill on the subject of stalking (while well-intentioned) is being promoted by the political Establishment as a Trojan Horse full of anti-liberty control freaks via which dissent can be stifled.
A final bit of throat-clearing before we get into the meat of this issue: I was quite recently grossly cyber-stalked myself for over eighteen months, and so I know perfectly well both how traumatic this can be'....and how difficult it is to get the police to pay any attention.
The Bill has been amended while passing through its initial readings, and has now reached the Report stage. This should be completed by November, and after that it gets a third reading. As the Bill has All-Party support, it is expected to sail through. Then, of course, it will go to the Lords. As the intention of the Act is to protect vulnerable citizens (especially women) and the Lords are in bad odour at the moment thanks to their atrocious anti-Brexit vandalism, it seems highly unlikely that they would risk another confrontation with the Commons on this hugely sensitive issue. Hacking at Sarah Wollaston's Bill is going to seem like the equivalent of supporting a Bill to legalise the use of foxes to hunt badger cubs.
And therein lies one of its problems: the very fact that it has full cross-Party and popular electoral support makes it the perfect piece of legislation to be hijacked by those with ulterior motives.
Compared to many Bills I have trudged through over the years, this one (even after two readings) is a model of clarity. You can read it in full here, but to summarise these are what I see as the main problems with it:
Perhaps above all, there is no clear definition of what stalking is. Not anywhere. The Bill simply announces that it is designed to stop it. That's it. Stalking has been a crime in the UK for six years, since the Government changed the harassment laws to cover actions that involve following, spying on or bombarding someone with unwanted messages online. Normally therefore, the 2012 definition would apply; but the 2012 definition is, in my opinion, nowhere near finite enough.The decision-making tree as described in the Bill '' on whether to apply for an order against ''stalking'' '' is entirely in the hands of 'A chief officer of police', and the only test of validity is 'if it appears to the chief officer that' the accused has been engaging in stalking. It is vague on the subject of what evidence the CPO needs in order to have satisfactory suspicions. Ten years ago, I wouldn't have made this point: today, the poor track record of police senior ranks in resisting politicisation forces me to make it.Specifically in relation to CPO opinion, the third factor the officer is supposed to bear in mind is worrying: 'reasonable cause to believe the proposed order is necessary to protect another person from such a risk' whether or not that person is the subject bringing the complaint. I understand perfectly well, in narrow stalking terms, why that is necessary; but again, what is stalking? What is 'a risk'? This needs to be nailed down, not least because under the 2012 Law, there is no need to prove intention to do physical or mental harm to get a conviction. Indeed, the Wollaston Bill repeats this with 'even if the acts would appear harmless in themselves'.The Bill (understandably) says that even this fairly light burden of proof need not apply ( ie be necessary to show) if the alleged stalker 'is subject to notification requirements under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003'. Now this is really dangerous territory: I am all for ringing alarm bells once it is proved that the accused is a convicted sex offender. But in the years after 2010 '' surely nobody needs reminding of this '' a large number of males (from Ched Evans to Rolf Harris) wound up on the sex offenders' register based on opportunistic, money-motivated, politically driven and commercially vindictive ''evidence'' later shown to require retrials and quashed convictions. In the case of (in particular) charges against BBC and other celebrities, the actions of both the Met Police and Newscorp left many investigators with deep suspicions of politicised corruption.Towards the end of the Bill's provisions are three clauses that should give any but the most gullible cause for concern: The two key phrases here are at (2) 'may from time to time revise the guidance' and at (3) 'to be published in such manner as the Secretary of State considers appropriate'. Effectively, this means the Home Secretary can at any time (without even the need for a legal instrument) revise what the CPO can call 'stalking', and if he or she feels like it, publish this change in the pages of Pub Dominoes Weekly. '--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--''
Now before the Sisters start jumping on my head here, let me reiterate: quite obviously, my purpose is neither to kill the Wollaston Bill nor to protect disturbed stalkers. My goal is to get honest, objective and sensible people in the media commentariat and political life to realise that, in the wrong hands, the Bill would be exceptionally easy to abuse '' to the disadvantage of those citizens who value free speech and constructive dissent.
It is only a matter of months since '' without any reference to anyone at all and while Parliament was in recess '' Theresa May was openly complicit in the bombing of Syria'...an act of war some 80% of Brits (when polled) thought was unjustified based on the evidence available.
In the two years since the British People voted for Brexit, Theresa May has delayed, bungled and capitulated in relation to an EU Executive in a manner clearly designed to overturn a democratic vote that her predecessor promised to carry out.
The Wollaston Bill not only has near unanimous support in Parliament, seven out of its eleven sponsors have the sort of Parliamentary history that isn't going to reassure anyone.
The ''ideas'' of Harriet Harman need no expansion by me. I would observe only that her past includes several examples (during the banking crisis for instance) of being happy to pass retrospective laws, and at other times describing men as unalloyed sexual chancers.
Cheryl Gyllan is a Tory who opposed HS2 because it went close to her home, and then changed her stance once she had sold the home.
Alex Chalk voted to stop any and all investigations into Britain's involvement in the Iraq War, has been devious about his support among the fox-hunting community, and was investigated for exceeding his election expenses in the 2015 General Election.
Antoinette Sandbach reported a 64-year-old constituent to the police for criticising her stance on Brexit in an email sent to the local Conservative Party office. Sandbach had been ''copied-in'' to the letter which she believed to be abusive and inappropriate.
Labour MP Lucian Berger's selection as prospective parliamentary candidate in early 2010 was controversial, because during the selection process she lived at the home of Jane Kennedy, then the sitting MP, whose partner was Labour official Peter Dowling, who ran the selection process. By the beginning the end of March 2018, three people had received custodial sentences for directing antisemitic abuse at Berger. She wrote in The Sunday Times that the cases which required her to appear in court were predominantly ''from individuals on the far-right''.
In June 2013, Richard Graham was advised by the Information Commissioner's Office that he was in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the EU directive concerning Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 after sending political campaign emails to people who had contacted him on parliamentary business without first obtaining their permission. In April 2015, Graham was ordered by a judge to remove tweets that discussed a murder trial in Gloucester after the defendant's barrister accused him of ''a clear attempt to win votes by ingratiating himself with his electors''. In November 2015, Graham was accused of quoting Joseph Goebbels in defending a new surveillance bill with the words ''if you've nothing to hide you have nothing to fear''
Jess Philips is something of a feminist firebrand who seems to have little respect for men's rights. She created a social media storm after mocking the Tory MP Philip Davies for trying to get a debate about International Men's Day. Phillips openly laughed and pulled faces while Davies spoke, stating, ''You'll have to excuse me for laughing. As the only woman on this committee, it seems like every day to me is International Men's Day.'' A year later, in 2016, she asserted on the BBC's Question Time that ''events akin to the mass [Islamic] sexual assaults in Cologne happen every week on Birmingham's Broad Street'', insisting that mass rape ''was not brought here by immigrants''. She then received thousands of ''negative and demeaning'' tweets on Twitter, and complained when the social medium refused to act.
There is, I think it's fair to say, a pattern emerging among those who support Sarah Wollaston's Bill, and it is exactly this which worries me. Not only are some dubious ethics and agendas revealed here, many of us who provide voices of dissent online have seen Bills like this as inevitable sooner or later. For the simple truth is that, as a whole, our legislators react badly to criticism, and attempt to smear those who provide it. They love to transmit and assert, but don't like the heat being turned on them. It is largely because of this that the BBC now stands as an obscene parody of its former role as the most objective State news service in the World. Yet our Parliament relishes the idea of fake news, for it is a sweet slapstick pie to throw at the internet. The internet is the only place left where Brits in search of the truth can still read and hear objective and investgative news stories, rather than the ideologically stultifying or State complicit robocop fake journalism of the MSM.
Everything in Sarah Wollaston's background suggests to me that she is introducing the Stalking Bill from the very best of intentions, and if its application purely to civil cases of disturbing harassment can be tightened up, then I and everyone else of good instincts should support her. But it needs tightening up during the Third Reading. Specifically:
There needs to be a thorough debate reflected in the content of the Bill about the very clear difference being made between a proto-sexual stalker or a persistently crude, lewd and plain nasty online abuser on the one hand, and people in public life reading dissenting, strongly held opinions to theirsWhile the police need generally to take stalking complaints far more seriously per se, many people will be justifiably unhappy to see the decision resting purely with senior officers too often in search of ''results'' as a means of promotion'....and too sensitive to what politicians regard as results. I would prefer for the CPO concerned to see at least some investigative evidence to support the charge, albeit with some form of cease and desist warning to the alleged perpetrator at an early stage.Guidelines are needed (in far more detail, based on real case experience) about what constitutes risk. I cannot see how anything regarded as harmless should be the subject of an offence in Law, but either way the 2012 Law is woolly in this regard.The three Secretary of State clauses should be removed, and replaced by one that specifies exactly what is required to change any guideline, and that a Government cannot simply declare that 'stalking' covers harmless (albeit rumbustuous) political debate and media comment. I find it utterly offensive as an online commentator that the disgraceful obscenities thrown at, for instance, Brexiteers and those who investigate Momentum, are clearly of no interest to legislators. But for myself, I am prepared to shrug broad shoulders and accept it rather than having unaccountable pinched goblins deciding who can say what.Those who care about the erosion of citizen liberty and the creeping creation in Britain of a corporate State have roughly six weeks to make waves about this. I offer a very sincere hat-tip to Jane for alerting me to the Bill; the rest of the research detail is mine.
Pay heed : the EU Parliament (not the Commission) voted yesterday to censure Hungary for its ''declining democratic values', in what is the first step in a process to strip Hungary of its voice in decision-making in the European Union.
This is a pure, naked political decision designed to bully a dissenting member back into line'...Orban's Hungary is more democratic and in touch with its citizens than the European Union will ever be.
Why does it seem that American society is in decline, that fairness and decorum are receding, that mediocrity and tyranny are becoming malignant despite the majority of the public being averse to such philosophies, yet the true root cause seems elusive? What if everything from unsustainable health care and social security costs, to stagnant wages and rising crime, to crumbling infrastructure and metastasizing socialism, to the economic decline of major US cities like Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore, could all be traced to a common origin that is extremely pervasive yet is all but absent from the national dialog, indeed from the dialog of the entire Western world?
Today, on the first day of the new decade of '201x' years, I am going to tell you why that is. I am hereby triggering the national dialog on what the foremost challenge for the United States will be in this decade, which is the ultimate root cause of most of the other problems we appear to be struggling with. What you are about to read is the equivalent of someone in 1997 describing the expected forces governing the War on Terror from 2001-2009 in profound detail.
This is a very long article, the longest ever written on The Futurist. As it is a guide to the next decade of social, political, and sexual strife, it is not meant to be read in one shot but rather digested slowly over an extended period, with all supporting links read as well. As the months and years of this decade progress, this article will seem all the more prophetic.
Executive Summary : The Western World has quietly become a civilization that has tainted the interaction between men and women, where the state forcibly transfers resources from men to women creating various perverse incentives for otherwise good women to inflict great harm onto their own families, and where male nature is vilified but female nature is celebrated. This is unfair to both genders, and is a recipe for a rapid civilizational decline and displacement, the costs of which will ultimately be borne by a subsequent generation of innocent women, rather than men, as soon as 2020.
Now, the basic premise of this article is that men and women are equally valuable, but have different strengths and weaknesses, and different priorities. A society is strongest when men and women have roles that are complementary to each other, rather than of an adverserial nature. Furthermore, when one gender (either one) is mistreated, the other ends up becoming disenfranchised as well. If you disagree with this premise, you may not wish to read further.
The Cultural Thesis
The Myth of Female Oppression : When you tell someone that they are oppressed, against all statistical and logical evidence, you harm them by generating discouragement and resentment. This pernicious effect is the basis of many forms of needlessly inflicted female unhappiness, as well as the basis for unjustified retaliation against men.
All of us have been taught how women have supposedly been oppressed throughout human existence, and that this was pervasive, systematic, and endorsed by ordinary men who did not face hardships as severe as what women endured. In reality, this narrative is entirely incorrect. The average man was forced to risk death on the battlefield, at sea, or in mines, while most women stayed indoors tending to children and household duties. Male life expectancy was always significantly lower than that of females, and still is.
Warfare has been a near constant feature of human society before the modern era, and whenever two tribes or kingdoms went to war with each other, the losing side saw many of its fighting-age men exterminated, while the women were assimilated into the invading society. Now, becoming a concubine or a housekeeper is an unfortunate fate, but not nearly as bad as being slaughtered in battle as the men were. To anyone who disagrees, would you like for the men and women to trade outcomes?
Most of this narrative stems from 'feminists' comparing the plight of average women to the topmost men (the monarch and other aristocrats), rather than to the average man. This practice is known as apex fallacy, and whether accidental or deliberate, entirely misrepresents reality. To approximate the conditions of the average woman to the average man (the key word being 'average') in the Western world of a century ago, simply observe the lives of the poorest peasants in poor countries today. Both men and women have to perform tedious work, have insufficient food and clothing, and limited opportunities for upliftment.
As far as selective anecdotes like voting rights go, in the vast majority of cases, men could not vote either. In fact, if one compares every nation state from every century, virtually all of them extended exactly the same voting rights (or lack thereof) to men and women. Even today, out of 200 sovereign states, there are exactly zero that have a different class of voting rights to men and women. Any claim that women were being denied rights that men were given in even 1% of historical instances, falls flat.
This is not to deny that genuine atrocities like genital mutilation have been perpetrated against women; they have and still are. But men also experienced atrocities of comparable horror at the same time, which is simply not mentioned. In fact, when a man is genitally mutilated by a woman, some other women actually find this humorous, and are proud to say so publicly.
It is already wrong when a contemporary group seeks reparations from an injustice that occurred over a century ago to people who are no longer alive. It is even worse when this oppression itself is a fabrication. The narrative of female oppression by men should be rejected and refuted as the highly selective and historically false narrative that it is. In fact, this myth is evidence not of historical oppression, but of the vastly different propensity to complain between the two genders.
The Masculinity Vacuum in Entertainment : Take a look at the collage of entertainers below (click to enlarge), which will be relevant if you are older than 30. All of them were prominent in the 1980s, some spilling over on either side of that decade. They are all certainly very different from one another. But they have one thing in common - that there are far fewer comparable personas produced by Hollywood today.
As diverse and imperfect as these characters were, they were all examples of masculinity. They represented different archetypes, from the father to the leader to the ladies man to the rugged outdoorsman to the protector. They were all more similar than dissimilar, as they all were role-models for young boys of the time, often the same young boys. Celebrities as disparate as Bill Cosby and Mr. T had majority overlap in their fan bases, as did characters as contrasting as Jean-Luc Picard and The Macho Man Randy Savage.
At this point, you might be feeling a deep inner emptiness lamenting a bygone age, as the paucity of proudly, inspiringly masculine characters in modern entertainment becomes clear. Before the 1980s, there were different masculine characters, but today, they are conspicuously absent. Men are shown either as thuggish degenerates, or as effete androgynes. Sure, there were remakes of Star Trek and The A-Team, and series finales of Rocky and Indiana Jones. But where are the new characters? Why is the vacuum being filled solely with nostalgia? A single example like Jack Bauer is not sufficient to dispute the much larger trend of masculinity purging.
Modern entertainment typically shows businessmen as villains, and husbands as bumbling dimwits that are always under the command of the all-powerful wife, who is never wrong. Oprah Winfrey's platform always grants a sympathetic portrayal to a wronged woman, but never to men who have suffered great injustices. Absurdly false feminist myths such as a belief that women are underpaid relative to men for the same output of work, or that adultery and domestic violence are actions committed exclusively by men, are embedded even within the dialog of sitcoms and legal dramas.
This trains women to disrespect men, wives to think poorly of their husbands, and girls to devalue the importance of their fathers, which leads to the normalization of single motherhood (obviously with taxpayer subsidies), despite the reality that most single mothers are not victims, but merely women who rode a carousel of men with reckless abandon. This, in turn, leads to fatherless young men growing up being told that natural male behavior is wrong, and feminization is normal. It also leads to women being deceived outright about the realities of the sexual market, where media attempts to normalize single motherhood and attempted 'cougarhood' are glorified, rather than portrayed as the undesirable conditions that they are.
The Primal Nature of Men and Women : Genetic research has shown that before the modern era, 80% of women managed to reproduce, but only 40% of men did. The obvious conclusion from this is that a few top men had multiple wives, while the bottom 60% had no mating prospects at all. Women clearly did not mind sharing the top man with multiple other women, ultimately deciding that being one of four women sharing an 'alpha' was still more preferable than having the undivided attention of a 'beta'. Let us define the top 20% of men as measured by their attractiveness to women, as 'alpha' males while the middle 60% of men will be called 'beta' males. The bottom 20% are not meaningful in this context.
Research across gorillas, chimpanzees, and primitive human tribes shows that men are promiscuous and polygamous. This is no surprise to a modern reader, but the research further shows that women are not monogamous, as is popularly assumed, but hypergamous. In other words, a woman may be attracted to only one man at any given time, but as the status and fortune of various men fluctuates, a woman's attention may shift from a declining man to an ascendant man. There is significant turnover in the ranks of alpha males, which women are acutely aware of.
As a result, women are the first to want into a monogamous relationship, and the first to want out. This is neither right nor wrong, merely natural. What is wrong, however, is the cultural and societal pressure to shame men into committing to marriage under the pretense that they are 'afraid of commitment' due to some 'Peter Pan complex', while there is no longer the corresponding traditional shame that was reserved for women who destroyed the marriage, despite the fact that 90% of divorces are initiated by women. Furthermore, when women destroy the commitment, there is great harm to children, and the woman demands present and future payments from the man she is abandoning. A man who refuses to marry is neither harming innocent minors nor expecting years of payments from the woman. This absurd double standard has invisible but major costs to society.
To provide 'beta' men an incentive to produce far more economic output than needed just to support themselves while simultaneously controlling the hypergamy of women that would deprive children of interaction with their biological fathers, all major religions constructed an institution to force constructive conduct out of both genders while penalizing the natural primate tendencies of each. This institution was known as 'marriage'. Societies that enforced monogamous marriage made sure all beta men had wives, thus unlocking productive output out of these men who in pre-modern times would have had no incentive to be productive. Women, in turn, received a provider, a protector, and higher social status than unmarried women, who often were trapped in poverty. When applied over an entire population of humans, this system was known as 'civilization'.
All societies that achieved great advances and lasted for multiple centuries followed this formula with very little deviation, and it is quite remarkable how similar the nature of monogamous marriage was across seemingly diverse cultures. Societies that deviated from this were quickly replaced. This 'contract' between the sexes was advantageous to beta men, women over the age of 35, and children, but greatly curbed the activities of alpha men and women under 35 (together, a much smaller group than the former one). Conversely, the pre-civilized norm of alpha men monopolizing 3 or more young women each, replacing aging ones with new ones, while the masses of beta men fight over a tiny supply of surplus/aging women, was chaotic and unstable, leaving beta men violent and unproductive, and aging mothers discarded by their alpha mates now vulnerable to poverty. So what happens when the traditional controls of civilization are lifted from both men and women?
The Four Sirens : Four unrelated forces simultaneously combined to entirely distort the balance of civilization built on the biological realities of men and women. Others have presented versions of the Four Sirens concept in the past, but I am choosing a slightly different definition of the Four Sirens :
1) Easy contraception (condoms, pills, and abortions): In the past, extremely few women ever had more than one or two sexual partners in their lives, as being an unwed mother led to poverty and social ostracization. Contraception made it possible for females to act on their urges of hypergamy.
2) 'No fault' divorce, asset division, and alimony : In the past, a woman who wanted to leave her husband needed to prove misconduct on his part. Now, the law has changed to such a degree that a woman can leave her husband for no stated reason, yet is still entitled to payments from him for years to come. This incentivizes destruction because it enables women to transfer the costs of irresponsible behavior onto men and children.
3) Female economic freedom : Despite 'feminists' claiming that this is the fruit of their hard work, inventions like the vacuum cleaner, washing machine, and oven were the primary drivers behind liberating women from household chores and freeing them up to enter the workforce. These inventions compressed the chores that took a full day into just an hour or less. There was never any organized male opposition to women entering the workforce (in China, taxes were collected in a way that mandated female productivity), as more labor lowered labor costs while also creating new consumers. However, one of the main reasons that women married - financial support - was no longer a necessity.
Female entry into the workforce is generally a positive development for society, and I would be the first to praise this, if it were solely on the basis of merit (as old-school feminists had genuinely intended). Unfortunately, too much of this is now due to corrupt political lobbying to forcibly transfer resources from men to women.
4) Female-Centric social engineering : Above and beyond the pro-woman divorce laws, further state interventions include the subsidization of single motherhood, laws that criminalize violence against women (but offer no protection to men who are the victims of violence by women, which happens just as often), and 'sexual harassment' laws with definitions so nebulous that women have the power to accuse men of anything without the man having any rights of his own.
These four forces in tandem handed an unprecedented level of power to women. The technology gave them freedom to pursue careers and the freedom to be promiscuous. Feminist laws have done a remarkable job of shielding women from the consequences of their own actions. Women now have as close to a hypergamous utopia as has ever existed, where they can pursue alpha males while extracting subsidization from beta males without any reciprocal obligations to them. Despite all the new freedoms available to women that freed them from their traditional responsibilities, men were still expected to adhere to their traditional responsibilities.
Marriage 2.0 : From the West to the Middle East to Asia, marriage is considered a mandatory bedrock of any functioning society. If marriage is such a crucial ingredient of societal health, then the West is barreling ahead on a suicidal path.
We earlier discussed why marriage was created, but equally important were the factors that sustained the institution and kept it true to its objectives. The reasons that marriage 'worked' not too long ago were :
1) People married at the age of 20, and often died by the age of 50. People were virgins at marriage, and women spent their 20s tending to 3 or more children. The wife retained her beauty 15 years into the marriage, and the lack of processed junk food kept her slim even after that. This is an entirely different psychological foundation than the present urban norm of a woman marrying at the age of 34 after having had 10 or more prior sexual relationships, who then promptly emerges from her svelte chrysalis in an event that can best be described as a fatocalypse.
2) It was entirely normal for 10-20% of young men to die or be crippled on the battlefield, or in occupational accidents. Hence, there were always significantly more women than able-bodied men in the 20-40 age group, ensuring that not all women could marry. Widows were common and visible, and vulnerable to poverty and crime. For these reasons, women who were married to able-bodied men knew how fortunate they were relative to other women who had to resort to tedious jobs just to survive, and treated their marriage with corresponding respect.
3) Prior to the invention of contraception, female promiscuity carried the huge risk of pregnancy, and the resultant poverty and low social status. It was virtually impossible for any women to have more than 2-3 sexual partners in her lifetime without being a prostitute, itself an occupation of the lowest social status.
4) Divorce carried both social stigma and financial losses for a woman. Her prospects for remarriage were slim. Religious institutions, extended clans, and broader societal forces were pressures to keep a woman committed to her marriage, and the notion of leaving simply out of boredom was out of the question.
Today, however, all of these factors have been removed. This is partly the result of good forces (economic progress and technology invented by beta men), but partly due to artificial schemes that are extremely damaging to society.
For one thing, the wedding itself has gone from a solemn event attended only by close family and friends, to an extravaganza of conspicuous consumption for the enjoyment of women but financed by the hapless man. The wedding ring itself used to be a family heirloom passed down over generations, but now, the bride thumbs through a catalog that shows her rings that the man is expected to spend two months of his salary to buy. This presumption that somehow the woman is to be indulged for entering marriage is a complete reversal of centuries-old traditions grounded in biological realities (and evidence of how American men have become weak pushovers). In some Eastern cultures, for example, it is normal even today for either the bride's father to pay for the wedding, or for the bride's family to give custody of all wedding jewelry to the groom's family. The reason for this was so that the groom's family effectively had a 'security bond' against irresponsible behavior on the part of the bride, such as her leaving the man at the (Eastern equivalent of the) altar, or fleeing the marital home at the first sign of distress (also a common female psychological response). For those wondering why Indian culture has such restrictions on women and not men, restrictions on men were tried in some communities, and those communities quickly vanished and were forgotten. There is no avoiding the reality that marriage has to be made attractive to men for the surrounding civilization to survive. Abuse and blackmail of women certainly occurred in some instances, but on balance, these customs existed through centuries of observing the realities of human behavior. Indian civilization has survived for over 5000 years and every challenge imaginable through enforcement of these customs, and, until recently, the Christian world also had comparable mechanisms to steer individual behavior away from destructive manifestations. However, if the wedding has mutated into a carnival of bridezilla narcissism, the mechanics of divorce are far more disastrous.
In an 'at will' employment arrangement between a corporation and an employee, either party can terminate the contract at any time. However, instead of a few weeks of severance, imagine what would happen if the employer was legally required to pay the employee half of his or her paycheck for 20 additional years, irrespective of anything the employee did or did not do, under penalty of imprisonment for the CEO. Suppose, additionally, that it is culturally encouraged for an employee to do this whenever even minor dissatisfaction arises. Would businesses be able to operate? Would anyone want to be a CEO? Would businesses even form, and thus would any wealth be created, given the risks associated with hiring an employee? Keep these questions in mind as you read further.
So why are 70-90% of divorces initiated by women (she files 70% of the time, and the other 20% of the time, she forces the man to file, due to abuse or adultery on the part of the woman)? Women have always been hypergamous, and most were married to beta men that they felt no attraction towards, so what has changed to cause an increase in divorce rates?
Divorce lawyers, like any other professional group, will seek conditions that are good for business. What makes attorneys different from, say, engineers or salespeople, is that a) they know precisely how to lobby for changes to the legal system, bypassing voters and the US constitution, that guarantees more revenue for them, and b) what benefits them is directly harmful to the fabric of society in general, and to children in particular. When they collude with rage-filled 'feminists' who openly say that 90% of the male gender should be exterminated, the outcome is catastrophic.
The concept of 'no fault' divorce by itself may not be unfair. The concepts of asset division and alimony may also be fair in the event of serious wrongdoing by the husband. However, the combination of no-fault divorce plus asset division/alimony is incredibly unfair and prone to extortionary abuse. The notion that she can choose to leave the marriage, yet he is nonetheless required to pay her for years after that even if he did not want to destroy the union, is an injustice that should not occur in any advanced democracy. Indeed, the man has to pay even if the woman has an extramarital affair, possibly even being ordered to pay her psychiatric fees. Bogus claims by 'feminists' that women suffer under divorce are designed to obscure the fact that she is the one who filed for divorce. Defenders of alimony insist that a woman seeking a divorce should not see a drop in living standards, but it is somehow acceptable for the husband to see a drop even if he did not want a divorce. I would go further and declare that any belief that women deserve alimony on a no-fault basis in this day age is utterly contradictory to the belief that women are equals of men. How can women both deserve alimony while also claiming equality? In rare cases, high-earning women have had to pay alimony to ex-husbands, but that is only 4% of the time, vs. the man paying 96% of the time. But it gets worse; much worse, in fact.
Even if the woman chooses to leave on account of 'boredom', she is still given default custody of the children, which exposes the total hypocrisy of feminist claims that men and women should be treated equally. Furthermore, the man is required to pay 'child support' which is assessed at levels much higher than the direct costs of child care, with the woman facing no burden to prove the funds were spent on the child, and cannot be specified by any pre-nuptial agreement. The rationale is that 'the child should not see a drop in living standards due to divorce', but since the mother has custody of the child, this is a stealthy way in which feminists have ensured financial maintenence of the mother as well. So the man loses his children and most of his income even if he did not want divorce. But even that is not the worst-case scenario.
The Bradley Amendment, devised by Senator Bill Bradley in 1986, ruthlessly pursues men for the already high 'child support' percentages, and seizes their passports and imprisons them without due process for falling behind in payments, even if on account of job loss during a recession. Under a bogus 'deadbeat dads' media campaign, 'feminists' were able to obscure the fact that women were the ones ending their marriages and with them the benefit that children receive from a two-parent upbringing, and further demanding unusually high spousal maintenence, much of which does not even go to the child, from a dutiful ex-husband who did not want a divorce, under penalty of imprisonment. So the legal process uses children as pawns through which to extract an expanded alimony stream for the mother. Talk about a multi-layer compounding of evil. The phony tactic of insisting that 'it is for the children' is used to shut down all questions about the use of children as pawns in the extortion process, while avoiding scrutiny of the fact that the parent who is choosing divorce is clearly placing the long-term well-being of the children at a very low priority.
So as it stands today, there are large numbers of middle-class men who were upstanding citizens, who were subjected to divorce against their will, had their children taken from them, pay alimony masked as child support that is so high that many of them have to live out of their cars or with their relatives, and after job loss from economic conditions, are imprisoned simply for running out of money. If 10-30% of American men are under conditions where 70% or more of their income is taken from them under threat of prison, these men have no incentive to start new businesses or invent new technologies or processes. Having 10-30% of men disincentivized this way cannot be good for the economy, and is definitely a contributor to current economic malaise, not to mention a 21st-century version of slavery. Sometimes, the children are not even biologically his.
This one-page site has more links about the brutal tyranny that a man can be subjected to once he enters the legal contract of marriage, and even more so after he has children. What was once the bedrock of society, and a solemn tradition that benefited both men and women equally, has quietly mutated under the evil tinkering of feminists, divorce lawyers, and leftists, into a shockingly unequal arrangement, where the man is officially a second-class citizen who is subjected to a myriad of sadistic risks. As a result, the word 'marriage' should not even be used, given the totality of changes that have made the arrangement all but unrecognizable compared to its intended ideals. Suicide rates of men undergoing divorce run as high as 20%, and all of us know a man who either committed suicide, or admits seriously considering it during the dehumanization he faced even though he wanted to preserve the union. Needless to say, this is a violation of the US Constitution on many levels, and is incompatible with the values of any supposedly advanced democracy that prides itself on freedom and liberty. There is effectively a tyrannical leftist shadow state operating within US borders but entirely outside the US constitution, which can subject a man to horrors more worthy of North Korea than the US, even if he did not want out of the marriage, did not want to be separated from his children, and did not want to lose his job. Any unsuspecting man can be sucked into this shadow state.
Anyone who believes that two-parent families are important to the continuance of an advanced civilization, should focus on the explosive growth in revenue earned by divorce lawyers, court supervisors, and 'feminist' organizations over the past quarter-century. If Western society is to survive, these revenues should be chopped down to a tenth of what they presently are, which is what they would be if the elements that violate the US Constitution were repealed.
Marriage is no longer a gateway to female 'companionship', as we shall discuss later. For this reason, as a Futurist, I cannot recommend 'marriage', as the grotesque parody that it has become today, to any young man living in the US, UK, Canada, or Australia. There are just too many things outside of his control that can catastrophically ruin his finances, emotions, and quality of life.
At a minimum, he should make sure that having children is the most important goal of his life. If not, then he has insufficient reason to enter this contract. If this goal is affirmed, then he should conduct research by speaking to a few divorced men about the laws and mistreatment they were subjected to, and attend a few divorce court hearings at the local courthouse. After gaining this information, if he still wants to take the risk, he should only marry if he can meet the following three conditions, none of which can substitute either of the other two :
1) The woman earns the same as, or more than, he does.
2) He has a properly done pre-nuptial arrangement with lawyers on each side (even though a pre-nup will not affect the worst aspect of divorce law - 'child support' as a cloak for stealth alimony and possible imprisonment).
3) He is deeply competent in the Seduction Arts (Game), and can manage his relationship with his wife effortlessly. Even this is a considerable workload, however. More on this later.
There are still substantial risks, but at least they are somewhat reduced under these conditions. If marriage is a very important goal for a young man, he should seriously consider expatriation to a developing country, where he ironically may have a higher living standard than in the US after adjusting for divorce risk.
So, to review, the differences between Marriage 1.0 and Marriage 2.0 are :
a) No fault asset division and alimony, where the abandoned spouse has to pay if he earns more, even if he did not want a divorce, and even if he is a victim of abuse, cuckolding, or adultery. There are rare instances of high-earning women getting caught in this trap as well. b) Women marrying after having 5 or more sexual partners, compared to just 0-1 previously. This makes it harder for the woman to form a pair bond with her husband. c) Women marrying at an age when very few years of their peak beauty are remaining, compared to a decade or more remaining under Marriage 1.0. d) Child custody is almost never granted to the man, so he loses his children on a 'no fault' basis. Traditional cultures marketed marriage with such punctilious alacrity that most people today dare not even question whether the traditional truths still apply. Hence, hostility often ensues from a mere attempt to even broach the topic of whether marriage is still the same concept as it once was. Everyone from women to sadistic social conservatives to a young man's own parents will pressure and shame him into marriage for reasons they cannot even articulate, and condemn his request for a pre-nup, without having any interest in even learning about the horrendously unequal and carefully concealed laws he would be subjected to in the event that his wife divorces him through no reasons he can discern. But some men with an eye on self-preservation are figuring this out, and are avoiding marriage. By many accounts, 22% of men have decided to avoid marriage. So what happens to a society that makes it unattractive for even just 20% of men to marry?
Women are far more interested in marriage than men. Simple logic of supply and demand tells us that the institution of monogamous marriage requires at least 80% male participation in order to be viable. When male participation drops below 80%, all women are in serious trouble, since there are now 100 women competing for every 80 men, compounded with the reality that women age out of fertility much quicker than men. This creates great stress among the single female population. In the past, the steady hand of a young woman's mother and grandmother knew that her beauty was temporary, and that the most seductive man was not the best husband, and they made sure that the girl was married off to a boy with long-term durability. Now that this guidance has been removed from the lives of young women, thanks to 'feminism', these women are proving to be poor pilots of their mating lives who pursue alpha males until the age of 34-36 when her desirability drops precipitously and not even beta males she used to reject are interested in her. This stunning plunge in her prospects with men is known as the Wile E. Coyote moment, and women of yesteryear had many safety nets that protected them from this fate. The 'feminist' media's attempt to normalize 'cougarhood' is evidence of gasping desperation to package failure as a desirable outcome, which will never become mainstream due to sheer biological realities. Women often protest that a high number of sexual partners should not be counted as a negative on them, as the same is not a negative for men, but this is merely a manifestation of solipism. A complex sexual past works against women even if the same works in favor of men, due to the natural sexual attraction triggers of each gender. A wise man once said, "A key that can open many locks is a valuable key, but a lock that can be opened by many keys is a useless lock."
The big irony is that 'feminism', rather than improving the lives of women, has stripped away the safety nets of mother/grandmother guidance that would have shielded her from ever having to face her Wile E. Coyote moment. 'Feminism' has thus put the average woman at risk in yet another area.
Game (Learned Attraction and Seduction) : The Four Sirens and the legal changes feminists have instituted to obstruct beta men have created a climate where men have invented techniques and strategies to adapt to the more challenging marketplace, only to exceed their aspirations. This is a disruptive technology in its own right. All of us know a man who is neither handsome nor wealthy, but consistently has amazing success with women. He seems to have natural instincts regarding women that to the layperson may be indistinguishable from magic. So how does he do it?
Detractors with a vested interest in the present status quo are eager to misrepresent what 'Game' is, and the presence of many snake-oil salesmen in the field does not help, but as a definition :
The traits that make a man attractive to women are learnable skills, that improve with practice. Once a man learns these skills, he is indistinguishable from a man who had natural talents in this area. Whether a man then chooses to use these skills to secure one solid relationship or multiple brief ones, is entirely up to him.
The subject is too vast for any description over here to do it full justice, but in a nutshell, the Internet age enabled communities of men to share the various bits of knowledge they had field tested and refined (e.g. one man being an expert at meeting women during the daytime, another being an expert at step-by-step sexual escalation, yet another being a master of creating lasting love, etc.). The collective knowledge grew and evolved, and an entire industry to teach the various schools of 'Game' emerged. Men who comprehended the concepts (a minority) and those who could undertake the total reconstitution of their personalities and avalanche of rejections as part of the learning curve (a still smaller minority) stood to reap tremendous benefits from becoming more attractive than the vast majority of unaware men. While the 'pick-up artist' (PUA) implementation is the most media-covered, the principles are equally valuable for men in monogamous long-term relationships (LTRs). See Charlotte Allen's cover story for The Weekly Standard, devoted to 'Game'.
Among the most valuable learnings from the body of knowledge is the contrarian revelation that what women say a man should do is often quite the antithesis of what would actually bring him success. For example, being a needy, supplicative, eager-to-please man is precisely the opposite behavior that a man should employ, where being dominant, teasing, amused, yet assertive is the optimal persona. An equally valuable lesson is to realize when not to take a woman's words at face value. Many statements from her are 'tests' to see if the man can remain congruent in his 'alpha' personality, where the woman is actually hoping the man does not eagerly comply to her wishes. Similarly, the 'feminist' Pavlovian reaction to call any non-compliant man a 'misogynist' should also not be taken as though a rational adult assigned the label after fair consideration. Such shaming language is only meant to deflect scrutiny and accountability from the woman uttering it, and should be given no more importance than a 10-year-old throwing a tantrum to avoid responsibility or accountability. Far too many men actually take these slurs seriously, to the detriment of male rights and dignity.
Success in internalizing the core fundamentals of Game requires an outside-the-box thinker solidly in the very top of Maslow's Hierarchy, and in my experience, 80% of men and 99.9% of women are simply incapable of comprehending why the skills of Game are valuable and effective. Many women, and even a few pathetic men, condemn Game, without even gaining a minimal comprehension for what it truly is (which I have highlighted in red above), and how it benefits both men and women. Most of what they think they know about Game involves strawmen, a lack of basic research, and their own sheer insecurity.
For anyone seeking advice on learning the material, there is one rule you must never break. I believe it is of paramount importance that the knowledge be used ethically, and with the objective of creating mutually satisfying relationships with women. It is not moral to mistreat women, even if they have done the same to countless men. We, as men, have to take the high road even if women are not, and this is my firm belief. Nice guys can finish first if they have Game.
'Feminism' as Unrestrained Misandry and Projection : The golden rule of human interactions is to judge a person, or a group, by their actions rather than their words. The actions of 'feminists' reveal their ideology to be one that seeks to secure equality for women in the few areas where they lag, while distracting observers from the vast array of areas where women are in a more favorable position relative to men (the judicial system, hiring and admissions quotas, media portrayals, social settings, etc.). They will concoct any number of bogus statistics to maintain an increasingly ridiculous narrative of female oppression.
Feminists once had noble goals of securing voting rights, achieving educational parity, and opening employment channels for women. But once these goals were met and even exceeded, the activists did not want to lose relevance. Now, they tirelessly and ruthlessly lobby for changes in legislation that are blatantly discriminatory against men (not to mention unconstitutional and downright cruel). Not satisfied with that, they continue to lobby for social programs designed to devalue the roles of husbands and fathers, replacing them with taxpayer-funded handouts.
As it is profitable to claim victimhood in this age, a good indicator is whether any condemnation by the supposedly oppressed of their oppressor could be similarly uttered if the positions were reversed. We know that what Rev. Jeremiah Wright said about whites could not be said by a white pastor about blacks, and we see even more of a double standard regarding what women and men can say about each other in America today. This reveals one of the darkest depths of the human mind - when a group is utterly convinced that they are the 'victims' of another group, they can rationalize any level of evil against their perceived oppressors.
Go to any major 'feminist' website, such as feministing.com or Jezebel.com, and ask polite questions about the fairness of divorce laws, or the injustice of innocent men being jailed on false accusations of rape without due process. You will quickly be called a 'misogynist' and banned from commenting. The same is not true for any major men's site, where even heated arguments and blatant misandry are tolerated in the spirit of free speech and human dignity. When is the last time a doctrinaire 'feminist' actually had the courage to debate a fair woman like Camille Paglia, Tammy Bruce, or Christina Hoff Somers on television?
Ever-tightening groupthink that enforces an ever-escalating narrative of victimhood ensures that projection becomes the normal mode of misandrist thought. The word 'misogynist' has expanded to such an extreme that it is the Pavlovian response to anything a 'feminist' feels bad about, but cannot articulate in an adult-like manner. This reveals the projected gender bigotry of the 'feminist' in question, which in her case is misandry. For example, an older man dating women 10 years younger than him is also referred to as a 'misogynist' by the older bitterati. Not an ageist, mind you, but a misogynist. A man who refuses to find obese women attractive is also a 'misogynist', as are gay men who do not spend money on women. The male non-compliance labeled as 'misogyny' thus becomes a reaction to many years of unopposed misandry heaped on him first, when he initially harbored no such sentiments. Kick a friendly dog enough times, and you get a nasty dog.
There are laws such as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), that blatantly declares that violence against women is far worse than violence against men. VAWA is very different from ordinary assault laws, because under VAWA, a man can be removed from his home at gunpoint if the woman makes a single phonecall. No due process is permitted, and the man's Constitutional rights are jettisoned. At the same time, half of all domestic violence is by the woman against the man. Tiger Woods' wife beat him with a blunt weapon and scratched his face, only to be applauded by 'feminists' in a 'you go girl' manner. Projection can normalize barbarism.
Rape legislation has also bypassed the US Constitution, leaving a man guilty until he proves himself innocent, while the accusing woman faces no penalty for falsely sending a man to prison for 15 years, where he himsef will get raped. The Duke Lacrosse case was a prominent example of such abuse, but hundreds of others occur in America each year. The laws have been changed so that a victim has 1 month to 'decide' if she has been raped, and such flexibility predicatably leads to instances of a woman reporting rape just so that she does not have to tell her husband that she cheated on him (until it becomes profitable to divorce him). 40-50% of all rape accusations are false, but 'feminists' would rather jail scores of innocent men than let one guilty man get away, which is the exact opposite of what US Constitutional jurisprudence requires.
But, unimaginably, it gets even worse. Polls of men have shown that there is one thing men fear even more than being raped themselves, and that is being cuckolded. Men see cuckolding as the ultimate violation and betrayal, yet there is an entire movement among 'feminists' to enshrine a woman's right to commit adultery and use the resources of her husband to dupe him into thinking the child is his. These misandrists even want to outlaw the right of a man to test the paternity of a child.
So, to review, if a woman has second thoughts about a tryst a few days later, she can, without penalty, ruin a man financially and send him to prison for 15 years. 'Feminists' consider this acceptable. At the same time, even though men consider being cuckolded a worse fate than being raped, 'feminists' want to make this easier for a woman to do, by preventing paternity testing. They already have rigged laws so that the man, upon 'no fault' divorce, has to pay alimony, to a woman who cuckolded him.
This is pure evil, ranking right up there with the worst tyrannies of the last century. Modern misandry masking itself as 'feminism' is, without equal, the most hypocritical ideology in the world today. The laws of a society are the DNA of that society. Once the laws are tainted, the DNA is effectively corrupted, and mutations to the society soon follow. Men have been killed due to 'feminism'. Children and fathers have been forcibly separated for financial gain via 'feminism'. Slavery has returned to the West via 'feminism'. With all these misandric laws, one can fairly say that misandry is the new Jim Crow.
Shaming Language and Projection as a Substitute for Rational Debate : As discussed previously, any legitimate and polite questions about the fairness of anti-male realities in the legal system and media are quickly met with Pavlovian retorts of 'misogynist' and 'loser'. Let us deconstruct these oft-used examples of shaming language, and why misandrists are so afraid of legitimate debate.
Contrary to their endless charges of 'misogyny' (a word that many 'feminists' still manage to misspell), in reality, most men instinctively treat women with chivalry and enshrine them on exalted pedestals. Every day, we see men willing to defend women or do favors for them. There is infinitely more chivalry than misogyny exhibited by the male population. On the other hand, we routinely see anti-male statements uttered by 'feminists', and a presumption that all men are monsters guilty of crimes committed by a small number of people of the same gender. When well-known 'feminists' openly state that 90% of the male population should be exterminated, the unsupported accusation of 'misogyny' is a very pure manifestion of their own misandric projection.
On the second charge of being a 'loser who cannot get laid', any observation of the real world quickly makes it obvious that men who have had little experience with women are the ones placing women on pedestals, while those men who have had substantial sexual experience with women are not. Having sex with a large number of women does not increase respect for women, which is the exact opposite of the claim that 'feminists' make. Again, this charge of 'loserdom' is merely the psychosexual frustration of 'feminists' projected outwards, who express surprise that unrelenting hatred by them towards men is not magically metabolized into love for these particular 'feminists'.
That misandrists are so unchallenged is the reason that they have had no reason to expand their arsenal of venom beyond these two types of projection. Despite my explanation of this predictable Pavlovian response, the comments section will feature misandrists use these same two slurs nonetheless, proving the very point that they seek to shout down, and the very exposure they seek to avoid. My pre-emption will not deter them from revealing their limitations by indulging in it anyway. They simply cannot help themselves, and are far from being capable of discussing actual points of disagreement in a rational manner.
Men, of course, have to be savvy about the real reason their debate skills are limited to these two paths of shaming language, and not be deterred. Once again, remember that this should be taken no more seriously than if uttered by a 10-year-old, and there is no reason to let a 'feminist' get away with anything you would not let a man get away with. They wanted equality, didn't they?
'Feminism' as Genuine Misogyny : The greatest real misogyny, of course, has been unwittingly done by the 'feminists' themselves. By encouraging false rape claims, they devalue the credibility of all claims, and genuine victims will suffer. By incentivizing the dehumanization of their ex-husbands and the use of children as pawns, they set bad examples for children, and cause children to resent their mothers when they mature. By making baseless accusations of 'misogyny' without sufficient cause, they cause resentment among formerly friendly men where there previously was none. By trying to excuse cuckolding and female domestic violence, they invite formerly docile men to lash out in desperation.
One glaring example of misandry backfiring is in the destruction of marriage and corresponding push of the 'Sex in the City/cougar' fantasy. Monogamous marriage not only masked the gap between 'alpha' and 'beta' men, but also masked the gap between attractiveness of women before and after their Wile E. Coyote moment. By seducing women with the myth that a promiscuous single life after the age of 35 is a worthy goal, many women in their late 30s are left to find that they command far less male attention than women just a decade younger than them. 'Feminism' sold them a moral code entirely unsuited to their physical and mental realities, causing great sadness to these women.
But most importantly, 'feminists' devalued the traditional areas of female expertise (raising the next generation of citizens), while attaching value only to areas of male expertise (the boardroom, the military, sexual promiscuity) and told women to go duplicate male results under the premise that this was inherently better than traditional female functions. Telling women that emulating their mothers and grandmothers is less valuable than mimicking men sounds quite misogynistic to me, and unsurprisingly, despite all these 'freedoms', women are more unhappy than ever after being inflicted with such misogyny.
So how did the state of affairs manage to get so bad? Surely 'feminists' are not so powerful?
Social Conservatives, White Knights, and Girlie-Men : It would be inaccurate to deduce that misandrists were capable of creating this state of affairs on their own, despite their vigor and skill in sidestepping both the US Constitution and voter scrutiny. Equally culpable are men who ignorantly believe that acting as obsequious yes-men to 'feminists' by turning against other men in the hope that their posturing will earn them residual scraps of female affection.
Chivalry has existed in most human cultures for many centuries, and is seen in literature from all major civilizations. Chivalry greatly increased a man's prospects of marriage, but the reasons for this have been forgotten. Prior to the modern era, securing a young woman's hand in marriage usually involved going through her parents. The approval of the girl's father was a non-negotiable channel in the process. If a young man could show the girl's parents that he would place her on a pedestal, they could be convinced to sanction the union. The girl herself was not the primary audience of the chivalry, as the sexual attraction of the girl herself was rarely aroused by chivalry, as the principles of Game have shown.
Hence, many men are still stuck in the obsolete, inobservant, and self-loathing notion that chivalry and excess servility are the pathways to sex today, despite the modern reality that a woman's sexual decisions are no longer controlled by her parents, and are often casual rather than locked in matrimony. Whether such men are religious and called 'social conservatives', or effete leftists and called 'girlie men', they are effectively the same, and the term 'White Knights' can apply to the entire group. Their form of chivalry when exposed to 'feminist' histrionics results in these men harming other men at the behest of women who will never be attracted to them. This is why we see peculiar agreement between supposedly opposed 'social conservatives' and 'feminists' whenever the craving to punish men arises. A distressingly high number of men actually support the imprisonment of innocent men for false rape accusations or job loss causing 'child support' arrears merely because these 'men' don't want to risk female disapproval, incorrectly assuming that fanatically vocal 'feminists' represent the official opinion of all women. These men are the biggest suckers of all, as their pig-headed denial of the effectiveness of Game will prevent them from deducing that excess agreeability and willingness to do favors for the objects of their lust are exactly the opposite of what makes women sexually attracted to men. No woman feels attraction for a needy man.
For this reason, after lunatic 'feminists', these pedestalizing White Knights are the next most responsible party for the misandry in Western society today. The average woman is not obsessively plotting new schemes to denigrate and swindle men, she merely wants to side with whoever is winning (which presently is the side of misandry). But pedestalizing men actually carry out many dirty deeds against other men in the hopes of receiving a pat on the head from 'feminists'. Hence, the hierarchy of misandric zeal is thus :
Strident 'feminist' > pedestalizer/white knight > average woman.
For reasons described earlier, even a declaration that many men are bigger contributors to misandry than the average woman will not deter 'feminists' from their Pavlovian tendency to call articles such as this one 'misogynist'.
Lastly, the religious 'social conservatives' who continue their empty sermonizing about the 'sanctity of marriage' while doing absolutely nothing about the divorce-incentivizing turn that the laws have taken, have been exposed for their pseudo-moral posturing and willful blindness. What they claim to be of utmost importance to them has been destroyed right under their noses, and they still are too dimwitted to comprehend why. No other interest group in America has been such a total failure at their own stated mission. To be duped into believing that a side-issue like 'gay marriage' is a mortal threat to traditional marriage, yet miss the legal changes that correlate to a rise in divorce rates by creating incentives for divorce (divorce being what destroys marriage, rather than a tiny number of gays), is about as egregious an oversight as an astronomer failing to be aware of the existence of the Moon. Aren't conservatives the people who are supposed to grasp that incentives drive behavior? An article worthy of being written by The Onion could conceivably be titled 'Social conservatives carefully seek to maintain perfect 100% record of failure in advancing their agenda'.
Why There is No Men's Rights Movement : At this point, readers may be wondering "If things are this bad, why don't we hear anything about it?". Indeed, this is a valid question, and the answer lies within the fundamentals of male psychology. Most beta men would rather die than be called a 'loser' by women (alpha men, of course, know better than to take this at face value). White Knights also join in the chorus of shaming other men since they blunderously believe that this is a pathway to the satiation of their lust. So an unfairly ruined man is faced with the prospect of being shamed by women and a large cohort of men if he protests about the injustice, and this keeps him suffering in silence, leading to an early death. We have millions of fine young men willing to die on the battlefield to defend the values enshrined in the US Constitution, but we don't see protests of even 100 divorced men against the shamefully unconstitutional treatment they have received. The destruction of the two-parent family by incentivizing immoral behavior in women is at least as much of a threat to American safety and prosperity as anything that ever could have come out of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, or Saudi Arabia. Men being too afraid to be the 'squeaky wheel' even when they have lost their children and their present and future assets is a major contributor to the prevailing status quo. Alpha men have no incentive beyond altruism to act as they benefit from the current climate, and thus my altruism will be limited to putting forth these ideas.
Any serious movement has to start a think tank or two to produce research reports, symposiums, and specific policy recommendations, and the few divorce lawyers who were compelled by their conscience to leave the dark side have to be recruited as experts. Subsequently, televised panel discussions have to be conducted at top medical, business, and graduate engineering schools (where young men about to embark on lucrative careers are approaching marriage age, but know nothing about the law), documentary films have to be produced, prominent victims like Mel Gibson, Paul McCartney, Hulk Hogan, and Tiger Woods have to be recruited as spokesmen, and visibly powerful protests outside of divorce courts have to be organized. In this age of Web 2.0/social media/viral tools, all this should be easy, particularly given how quickly leftist groups can assemble a comparable apparatus for even obscure causes.
Instead, all that exists are Men's Rights Authors (MRAs) that run a few websites and exchange information on their blogs. 'Something is better than nothing' is the most generous praise I could possibly extend to their efforts, and this article I am presenting here on The Futurist is probably the single biggest analysis of this issue to date, even though this is not even a site devoted to the subject and I am not the primary author of this site. Hence, there will be no real Men's Rights Movement in the near future. The misandry bubble will instead be punctured through the sum of millions of individual market forces.
The Faultline of Civilization : After examining all the flaws in modern societies, and the laws that exacerbate them, it becomes apparent that there are two realms of legal/judicial thought that stand alone in determining whether our civilization is going to be ever-improving or merely cyclical. These two legal areas are a) the treatment of paternity rights, and b) the treatment of due process in rape accusations. The human brain is wired to value the well-being of women far higher than that of men (for reasons that were once valid, but no longer are today), which is why extending due process to a man falsely accused of rape is not of particular interest to people who otherwise value due process. Similarly, there is little resistance to 'feminist' laws that have stripped away all types of paternity rights from fathers. The father is not seen as valuable nor as worthy of rights, as we have seen above. These two areas of law are precisely where our society will decide if it ascends or declines. All other political sideshows, like immigration, race relations, and even terrorism are simply not as important as none of those can destroy an entire society the way these laws can.
The Economic Thesis
Ceilings and Floors of Glass : Misandrists shriek about a supposed 'glass ceiling' of pervasive sexism that explains why 50% of the CEOs of major corporations are not women. What is never mentioned is the equally valid 'glass floor', where we see that 90% of imprisonments, suicides, and crippling occupational injuries are of men. If these outcomes are the results of the actions or choices of men who suffer from them, then is that not the same reason that determines who rises above the 'glass ceiling'? The inability of misandrists to address these realities in good faith tells us something (but not everything) about the irrational sense of entitlement they have.
One of the most dishonest myths of all is the claim that 'women earn just 75% of men for the same job'. Let me dispense of this myth, in the process of which we will see why it is profitable and seductive for them to broadcast this bogus belief.
It is true that women, on average, earn less per year than men do. It is also true that 22-year-olds earn less, on average, than 40-year-olds. Why is the latter not an example of age discrimination, while the former is seized upon as an example of gender discrimination?
If women truly did earn less for doing exactly the same job as a man, any non-sexist CEO could thrash his competition by hiring only women, thus saving 25% on employee salaries relative to his competitors. Are we to believe that every major CEO and Board of Directors is so sexist as to sacrifice billions of dollars of profit? When the 'Director of Corporate Social Responsibility' of a nun congregation wrote to TJ Rodgers, CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, that his company should have more women in its Board of Directors, Rodgers replied with a letter explaining why the pursuit of profit could not accommodate such political correctness. That a nun congregation pays a recession-proof salary to someone as a 'Director of Corporate Social Responsibility' is itself an example of a pampered existence, and I was unaware that convents were now advancing secular Marxist beliefs.
Furthermore, women entrepreneurs could hire other women and out-compete any male-dominated business if such a pay gap existed, but we do not see this happening in any country in the world. Market forces would correct such mispricings in female compensation, if they actually existed. But they do not, and those who claim that they do are not just advertising an extreme economic illiteracy, but are quite happy to make similarly illiterate women angry about an injustice that does not exist. I notice that women who actually are/were CEOs of publicly traded companies never claim that there is a conspiracy to underpay women relative to their output.
I am willing to pass laws to ensure that 50% of all Fortune 500 CEOs are women, if we also legally mandate that 50% of all imprisonments are of women, and 50% of the jobs that involve working with heavy machinery, being outdoors in inclement weather, inhaling toxic fumes, or apprehending dangerous criminals are also occupied by women. Fair is fair. Any takers?
The 'Mancession' and the 'Sheconomy' : I would be the first to be happy if the economic success of women were solely on the basis of pure merit. For many of them, it is. But far too much has been the result of not market forces or meritocracy, but political graft and ideology-driven corruption.
In the recent recession and ongoing jobless recovery, the male unemployment rate continues to be much higher than the female unemployment rate. If this was simply due to market forces, that would be fine. However, 'feminist' groups have lobbied hard to ensure that government stimulus funds were steered to boost female employment at the expense of assistance for men. The leftist Obama administration was more than eager to comply, and a forcible transfer of wealth was enacted, even though it may not have been the best deployment of money for the economy.
Maria Shriver, a woman who has the most fortunate of lives from the vast wealth earned first by her grandfather and then by her husband, recently published 'A Woman's Nation : The Shriver Report', consisting of gloating about how women were now outperforming men economically. The entire research report is full of all the standard bogus feminist myths and flawed statistics, as thoroughly debunked here, as well as the outright sexism of statements like 'women are better managers' (imagine a man saying the reverse). Furthermore, the report reveals the typical economic illiteracy (evidenced by, among other things, the ubiquitous 'women are underpaid' myth), as well as belief that businesses exist to act as vehicles of social engineering rather than to produce a profit.
All of this bogus research and organized anti-male lobbying has been successful. As of today, the male unemployment rate is worse than the female unemployment rate by an unprecedented chasm. The 'mancession' continues as the US transitions to a 'sheconomy', and among the millions of unemployed men, some owe prohibitive levels of 'child support' despite not being the ones wanting to deprive their children of a two-parent household, landing in prison for lack of funds. Furthermore, I emphasize again that having 10-30% of the US male workforce living under an effective 70% marginal tax rate will kill their incentives for inventing new technologies or starting new companies. It is petty to debate whether the top federal income tax bracket should be 35% or 39.6%, when a slice of the workforce is under a 70% tax on marginal income. Beyond the tyranny of this, it also costs a lot of taxpayer money to jail a growing pool of unemployed men. Clearly, moving more and more men out of a tax-generating capacity and into a tax-consuming capacity is certainly going to do two-fold damage to governmental budgets. The next time you hear someone say that 'the US has the largest prison population in the world', be sure to mention that many of these men merely lost their jobs, and were divorced against their will. The women, in the meantime, are having a blast.
The Government Bubble : While public sector vs. private sector workforce distribution is not highly correlated to gender, it is when the focus is on women earning over $100,000 or more. This next chart from the Cato Institute shows that when total compensation (wages + benefits) are taken into account, the public sector has totally outstripped the private sector this decade. Has the productivity of the typical government employee risen so much more than that of the private worker, that the government employee is now paid twice as much? Are taxpayers receiving value for their money?
It goes further. The vast majority of social security taxes are paid by men, but are collected by women (due to women living 7 years longer than men on average). That is not troubling by any means, but the fact that women consume two-thirds of all US healthcare, despite most of this $2.5 Trillion annual expenditure being paid by men, is certainly worthy of debate. It may be 'natural' for women to require more healthcare, since they are the ones who give birth. But it was also 'natural' for men to finance this for only their wives, not for the broader community of women. The healthcare profession also employs an immense number of women, and not just in value-added roles such as nursing, but even in administrative and bureaucratic positions. In fact, virtually all government spending except for defense and infrastructure, from Medicare to Obamacare to welfare to public sector jobs for women to the expansion of the prison population, is either a net transfer of wealth from men to women, or a byproduct of the destruction of Marriage 1.0. In either case, 'feminism' is the culprit.
This Cato Institute chart of Federal Government spending (click to enlarge) shows how non-defense expenditures have steadily risen since 1960. The decline in defense spending, far from being a 'peace dividend' repatriated back to taxpayers, was used to fund more social programs. No one can seriously claim that the American public receives better non-defense governance in 2010 than in 1960 despite the higher price, and as discussed earlier, most of this increase is a direct or indirect result of 'feminism'. When state and local government wastage is added to this, it would appear that 20% of GDP is being spent just to make the government a substitute for the institution of Marriage, and yet still has not managed to be an effective replacement. Remember again that the earnings of men pays 70%-80% of all taxes.
The left has finally found a perfect Trojan Horse through which to expand a tyrannical state. 'Feminists' can lobby for a transfer of wealth from men to women and from private industry to the government, while knowing that calling any questioner a 'misogynist' will silence him far more effectively than their military fifth columnist and plain socialist brethren could ever silence their respective opponents. Conservatives are particularly vulnerable to such shaming language, and most conservatives will abandon their stated principles to endlessly support any and all socialism if it can be packaged as 'chivalry', the opposition to which makes one a 'misogynist'. However, there is reason to believe that tax collection in many parts of the US, such as in states like CA, NY, NJ, and MA, has reached saturation. As the optimal point has already been crossed, a rise in tax rates will cause a decrease, rather than an increase in revenue, and the increase in Federal tax rates exactly one year from today on 1/1/2011 is likely to cause another recession, which will not be so easily transferred to already-impoverished men the next time.
When men are severed from their children with no right to obstruct divorce, when they are excluded from the labor market not by market forces but rather by social engineering, and when they learn that the society they once believed in and in some cases joined the military to protect, has no respect for their aspirations, these men have no reason to sustain such a society.
The Contract Between the Sexes : A single man does not require much in order to survive. Most single men could eke out an adequate existence by working for two months out of the year. The reason that a man might work hard to earn much more than he needs for himself is to attract a wife amidst a competitive field, finance a home and a couple of children, and ultimately achieve status as a pillar of the community. Young men who exhibited high economic potential and favorable compatibility with the social fabric would impress a girl's parents effectively enough to win her hand in marriage. The man would proceed to work very hard, with the fruits of his labor going to the state, the employer, and the family. 80-90% of a man's output went to people other than himself, but he got a family and high status in return, so he was happy with the arrangement.
The Four Sirens changed this, which enabled women to pursue alpha males despite the mathematical improbability of marrying one, while totally ignoring beta males. Beta males who were told to follow a responsible, productive life of conformity found that they were swindled.
Men who excelled under the societal rules of just two decades ago are often left totally betrayed by the rules of today, and results in them refusing to sustain a society heavily dependent on their productivity and ingenuity. Women believed that they could free themselves from all their traditional obligations (only to find, amusingly, that they are unhappier now than they were then), while men would still fulfill all of their traditional obligations, particularly as bankrollers of women and protectors of women. Needless to say, despite the chivalry ground into men, eventually, they will feel that chivalry requires a level of gratitude that is not forthcoming.
To see what happens when the role of the husband and father is devalued, and the state steps in as a replacement, look no further than the African American community. In Detroit, the average home price has fallen from $98,000 as recently as 2003 to just $14,000 today. The auto industry moved jobs out of Detroit long before 2003, so the decline cannot be attributed to just industrial migration, and cities like Baltimore, Oakland, Cleveland, and Philadelphia are in scarcely better shape. For those who believe that this cannot happen in white communities, have a look at the white underclass in Britain. The lower half of the US white population is vulnerable to the same fate as the black community, and cities like Los Angeles are perilously close to 'Detroitification'.
Additionally, people seem to have forgotten that the physical safety of society, particularly of women, is entirely dependent on ratio of 'aggressor' men to 'protector' men staying below a certain critical threshold. As more men get shut out of the labor market, crime becomes an alternative. Even highly educated men who feel betrayed can lash out, and just about every shooting spree and every recent terrorist attempt in the West was by men who were educated and had good career prospects, but were unloved.
While professional men will certainly never resort to crime, what they could resort to is an unwillingness to aid a damsel in distress. More men will simply lose interest in being rescuers, and this includes policemen who may also feel mistreated by the prevailing misandry. Safety is like air - it is only noticed when it is gone. Women have a tremendous amount to lose by creating a lot of indifferent men.
Patriarchy works because it induces men and women to cooperate under their complementary strengths. 'Feminism' does not work, because it encourages immoral behavior in women, which eventually wears down even the durable chivalry of beta men, making both genders worse off. It is no secret that single motherhood is heavily subsidized, but it is less understood that single spinsterhood is also heavily subsidized through a variety of unsustainable and unreciprocated means. The default natural solution is for the misandric society to be outcompeted and displaced.
Population Displacement : So we have arrived at a society where 'feminists' feel that they are 'empowered', 'independent', and 'confident', despite being heavily dependent on taxes paid mostly by men, an unconstitutional shadow state that extracts alimony and 'child support' from men, an infrastructure maintained by men, technologies invented by men, and a level of safety that men agree to maintain. So exactly what has society received from this population of women who are the most privileged class of humans ever to have lived?
Now, let me be clear; I believe a woman should get to decide how many children she bears, or even whether or not to have any children at all. However, a childless old woman should not then be able to extract resources from the children of other women. Fair is fair, and the obligation of working-age people to support the elderly should not be socialized in order to subsidize women who chose not to reproduce.
Let us take a hypothetical example of three 20-year-old single women, one who is an urban lefto-'feminist', one who is a rural conservative, and one who is a devout Muslim. The following table charts the parallel timelines of their lives as their ages progress in tandem, with realistic estimates of typical life events. When people talk about falling birth rates in the West, they often fail to account for the additional gap caused by having children at age 23 vs. at age 33. As the table shows, a 1:1:1 ratio of three young ladies takes only 40 years to yield a 12:4:0 ratio of grandchildren. Consider, also, that we are already 20 years into this 40-year process, so each of these women are 40 years old today.
So how do we estimate the value society will ultimately receive from organizing itself in a manner that young women could choose a life of bar-hopping, shopping for $300 purses, and working as government bureaucrats to make the government a more complete husband substitute? If the sight of a pitiful 60-year-old Code Pink harpy lecturing 12 Muslim adolescents that 'gender is a social construct' seems amusing, then let us move on to the macro chart. This world map(click to enlarge) shows how many children under the age of 15 existed in the major countries of the world in 2005 (i.e. born between 1990 and 2005), in proportion to the country with the most children. Notably, Mexico and the US have the same number of children, while Pakistan and Bangladesh each have about as many as all of Western Europe. While developing countries are seeing their fertility rates converge to Western levels, the 1990-2005 births already seal certain realities. Needless to say, if we move time forward just 15 years, the proportions in this chart reflect what the proportions of adults aged 20-35 (the female reproductive years) will be per nation in the year 2025. Even the near future belongs to those who show up.
Lefto-'feminists' will be outbred and replaced very quickly, not by the conservatives that they hate, but by other cultures antithetical to 'feminism'. The state that lefto-'feminists' so admire will quickly turn on them once the state calculates that these women are neither producing new taxpayers nor new technologies, and will find a way to demote them from their present 'empowered' position of entitlement. If they thought having obligations to a husband was such an awful prospect, wait until they have obligations to the husband-substitute state.
The Fabric of Humanity Will Tear
Humans like ourselves have been around for about 100,000 years, and earlier hominids similar to us for another 1-3 million years before that. For the first 99.99% of humanoid existence, the primary purpose of our species was the same as that of every other species that ever existed - to reproduce. Females are the scarcer reproductive resource, since the number of babies that can be produced does not fall even if most men die, but it does fall for each woman that dies (humans did not live much past age 40-45 in the past, as mentioned earlier). For this reason, the human brain continued the evolutionary hardwiring of our ancestors, placing female well-being at a premium while males remain expendable. Since funneling any and all resources to women closely correlated with the survival of children, both men and women evolved to see this status quo as normal. The Female Imperative (FI) was the human imperative.
As human society progressed, priorities adjusted. For one thing, advances in technology and prosperity ensured that child mortality fell from about 50% to very low levels, so 12 births were no longer needed to produce 6 children who reach adulthood. Secondly, as humans moved away from agriculture into a knowledge-based economy, the number of children desired fell, and almost all high and middle-income countries have birth rates lower than 2 as of today, with many women producing zero children. Thirdly, it has become evident that humans are now the first species to produce something more than just offspring; humans now produce technology. As a result, the former direct correlation between funneling resources to women and the survival of children, which was true for 99.99% of our existence, now no longer is.
Yet, our hardwired brains have not adapted to this very recent transformation, and perhaps cannot adapt. Women are programmed to extract resources endlessly, and most men are programmed to oblige. For this once-valid but now obsolete biological reason, society still unquestioningly funnels the vast majority of resources to women. But instead of reaching children, this money now finds its way into consumer products geared towards women, and a shadow state designed to transfer all costs and consequences away from women. Most people consider our existing society to be normal, but they have failed to observe how diverting money to women is now obsolete. In the 21st century, there is no reason for any resource distribution, if there must be one at all, to be distributed in any manner other than 50-50.
Go to any department store or mall. At least 90% of the products present there are ones no ordinary man would consider buying. Yet, they occupy valuable shelf space, which is evidence that those products do sell in volume. Who buys them? Look around in any prosperous country, and we see products geared towards women, paid for by money that society diverted to women. From department store products, to the proliferation of take-out restaurants, to mortgage interest, to a court system rigged to subsidize female hypergamy, all represent the end product of resources funneled to women, for a function women have greatly scaled back. This is the greatest resource misallocation ever, and such malinvestment always results in a correction as the bubble pops.
This is not to suggest that we should go back to birth rates of 12, for that is neither desirable nor necessary. The bigger picture here is that a major aspect of the human psyche is quite obsolete, with men and women both culpable. When this situation corrects, it will be the most disruptive event humanity has ever faced. Some call this a variant of the 'Technological Singularity', which will happen much later than 2020 (more like 2060-65), but even prominent thinkers steer clear of any mention of the obvious correction in gender-tilted resource flows that will occur.
The Four Horsemen of Male Emancipation
We earlier examined how the Four Sirens of Feminism unexpectedly combined and provided women with choices they never could have dreamed of before. Some women made positive contributions to society, but quite a few let misandry and unrestrained greed consume them, and have caused the disastrous situation we presently see. Technology always causes disruption in the status quo, always creating new winners and losers with each wave. In centuries past, Gloria Steinem would be a governess and Mystery would be a court jester.
The title of this article is not the 'Misandry Crisis' or even 'The War on Misandry'. It is 'The Misandry Bubble', because the forces that will ensure the demise of the present mistreatment of men are already on the horizon. So allow me to introduce the Four Horsemen of Male Emancipation as a coalescence of many of the forces we have discussed, which will shred the present, unsustainable hierarchal order by 2020 :
1) Game : Learning the truth about how the female mind works is a precious and transcendant body of knowledge for any man. Whether he uses it to become a fully immersed pick-up artist, to create a soulmate bond in a lifelong monogamous marriage, or even to engage in only infrequent yet efficient trysts with women, a man is free from the crushing burdens that uninitiated beta men are capitulating under.
When a man learns that there is no reason for him to buy a $50,000 car, $20,000 ring, $50,000 bridezilla festival, overpriced house contrary to any logical financial analysis, or a divorce lawyer to save him from ruin even though he was the victim of spousal abuse, there is no greater feeling of liberation and jubilation, equating to a windfall of $2 Million for all objective and subjective purposes. When a man realizes that reducing his income by half will now have little detriment to his sexual prospects, he can downsize to an easier job with a shorter commute and lower stress. When a man learns that appeasing a woman is the exact opposite of what he should be doing during the process of romancing and seducing her, that entire humiliating gauntlet of rituals can be jettisoned.
The ecstasy of two or even three concurrent relationships with women of substantially above average beauty are quite attainable to a man who has scaled the summit, which further deprives the hapless betas (again, male attractiveness to women is zero-sum in a way that female attractiveness to men is not). Thus, while 80% of men have no intellectual capacity to grasp and master Game, if the number of solid practitioners even begins to approach 20%, multiple parasitic beasts, from female moochers to the tax-swilling state to the corrupt real-estate and divorce lawyer industries, can be effectively starved.
2) Adult Entertainment Technologies of 2020 : What of the 80% of men who cannot conceptualize or master the core skills of Game? Won't they be condemned to live a life of frustration, humiliation, and near-slavery as second class citizens? Thankfully, these poor souls will experience a satisfactory release through technology, just like women did through technologies such as contraceptive pills, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners.
For a number of reasons, Internet pornography is substantially more addictive to the male brain than the VHS cassette or 'Skinimax' content of the 1990s. When yet another generation of technology diffuses into the market, the implications will be profound enough to tear the current sexual market asunder.
This site has written in the past about how haptic, motion sensing, and graphical technologies would elevate video games to the premier form of entertainment by 2012. 3-D/holographic images with haptic interfaces and sufficient AI will make rudimentary 'virtual sex' a technology available to many men well before 2020, but by 2020 we will see this cross certain thresholds that lead to a dramatic market impact far greater than contraceptive pills and Internet pornography combined. A substantial portion of the male population will drift into addiction to virtual sex without even realizing it.
For those (mostly women) who claim that the VR sex of 2020 would not be a sufficient substitute for the real thing, that drawback is more than superceded by the inescapable fact that the virtual woman would be made to be a 10/10+ in appearance, while the real women that the typical beta male user has access to would be in the 4-7 range. Real 10 > VR 10 > Real 7, making irrelevant the claim that a virtual 10 is not as good as a real 10 (under 1% of all women), when the virtual 10 is really competing with the majority of women who are 7s and lower. Women are largely unaware how vastly different the male reaction is to a 10 relative to a 7, let alone to women of even lower scores. As single men arrive home from work on Friday evening, they will simply default into their VR immersion, giving a whole new meaning to the concept of 'beta testing'. These sequestered men will be conspicuously absent from the bars and nightclubs that were the former venues of expenditure and frustration, causing many establishments to go out of business. The brains of these men will warp to the extent that they can no longer muster any libido for the majority of real women. This will cause a massive devaluation in the sexual market value of most women, resulting in 8s being treated like 5s, and 35-year-old women unable to attract the interest of even 55-year-old men. The Wile E. Coyote moment for women will move a few years ahead, and the alphas with Game competence will find an even easier field of desperate women to enjoy.
Another technology making advancements in Japan is that of lifelike female robots. I do not believe that 'sexbots' will be practical or economical relative to software/gaming-derived solutions, simply because such a robot is not competitive with VR on cost, privacy, versatility, and upgradeability.
Some 'feminists' are not blind to the cataclysmic sexual devaluation that women will experience when such technologies reach the market, and are already moving to seek bans. Such bans will not be possible, of course, as VR sex technologies are inseparable from broader video game and home theater technologies. Their attempts to lobby for such bans will be instructive, however.
Another positive ramification of advanced adult entertainment technologies is that women will have to sharpen the sole remaining attribute which technology cannot substitute - the capacity to make a man feel loved. Modern women will be forced to reacquaint themselves with this ancient concept in order to generate a competitive advantage. This necessity could lead to a movement of pragmatic women conducting a wholesale repudiation of misandry masquerading as 'feminism' that has created this state of affairs, and thus will be the jolt that benefits both men and women.
3) Globalization : The Third Horseman is a vast subject that contains many subtopics. The common theme is that market forces across the world eventually find a way around legislative fences constructed in any one country :
a) Islam : Aside from the higher birthrates of Muslims living in the same Western cities that 'feminists' reside in, an Achilles heel of leftists in general and misandrists in particular is their unwillingess to confront other cultures that actually do place restrictions on women. In Britain, Islamic courts are now in operation, deciding cases through Sharia principles. British divorce laws are even more misandric than US divorce laws, and so many British men, in desperation, are turning to Sharia courts in order to avoid the ruin that British law would inflict on them. The Islamic courts are more than happy to accomodate these men, and 'feminists' dare not protest too loudly. By driving British men to Sharia courts, misandry is beautifully self-defeating. The irony is that the group that was our enemy in the crisis of the prior decade are now de-facto allies in the crisis of this decade. I do not say this simply because I am a Muslim myself.
b) Expatriation : While America continues to attract the greatest merit and volume of (legal) immigrants, almost every American man who relocates to Asia or Latin America gives a glowing testimonial about the quality of his new life. A man who leaves to a more male-friendly country and marries a local woman is effectively cutting off a total of three parasites in the US - the state that received his taxes, the potential wife who would take his livelihood, and the industries he is required to spend money on (wedding, diamond, real estate, divorce attorney). Furthermore, this action also shrinks the number of available men remaining in America. The misandrists who project their pathology outward by calling such men 'misogynists' are curiously troubled that these same men are leaving the US. Shouldn't 'feminists' be happy if 'misogynists' are leaving? We thus see yet another example of 'feminists' seeking to steal from men while not providing them any benefit in return.
The more unfair a place becomes, the more we see talented people go elsewhere. When word of US divorce laws becomes common in India and China, this might even deter some future taxpayers from immigrating to America, which is yet another reason the government is losing money to misandry.
c) Medical Tourism : The sum total of donor eggs + IVF + surrogacy costs $150,000 or more in the US, but can be done in India for just $20,000 at top-quality clinics that are building a strong track record. While most customers of Indian fertility clinics are couples, there have been quite a few single men opting to create their own biological babies this way. While this avenue is not for everyone, the ability to have a child for $20,000 (and even two children in parallel with two different surrogates in a two-for-one bundle deal for $35,000) now exists. The poor surrogate mother in India earns more than she could earn in 10 years in her prior vocation of construction or housecleaning. It is a win-win for everyone involved, except for the Western woman who was priced out of the market for marriage to this man.
Medical tourism also prices the US healthcare system out of contention for certain procedures, and the US healthcare system employs a large number of women, particularly in administrative and bureaucratic roles that pay them over twice what they could make in the private sector. Such women will experience what male manufacturing workers did a generation earlier, despite the increasinglly expensive government bubble that has kept these women's inflated salaries safe for so long.
So as we can see, the forces of globalization are far bigger than those propping up the current lop-sided status quo.
4) Male Economic Disengagement and Resultant Tax-Base Erosion : Earlier passages have highlighted how even the most stridently egomaniacal 'feminist' is heavily dependent on male endeavors. I will repeat again that there will never, ever be a successful human society where men have no incentive to aspire to the full maximum of their productive and entrepreneurial capabilities.
The contract between the sexes has been broken in urban America (although is still in some effect in rural America). The 'progressive' income tax scale in the US was levied under the assumption that men who could earn 10 times more than they needed for themselves would always do so, for their families. A man with no such familial aspirations may choose an easier job at lower pay, costing the state more than he costs himself. Less tax revenue not just means fewer subsidies for single mothers and government jobs for women, but less money for law enforcement. Less tax revenue also means fewer police officers, and fewer court resources through which to imprison men. The 'feminist' hypergamous utopia is not self-financing, but is precariously dependent on every beta man working at his full capacity, without which the government bubble, inseparable from the misandry bubble, collapses. Misandry is thus mathematically impossible to finance for any extended period of time. A state with a small government is far more sustainable than a state seeking an ever-expanding government, which then cannot be financed, and descends into a mass of contradictions that is the exact opposite of what the statists intended. See the gangster capitalism that dominates contemporary Russia.
These Four Horsemen will all converge at the end of this decade to transfer the costs of misandry from men onto women, and on 1/1/2020, we will assess how the misandry bubble popped and the fallout that women are suffering under for having made the mistake of letting 'feminists' control their destiny. Note that I did not list the emergence of any Men's Rights Movement as one of the Four Horsemen, as this is unlikely to happen for aforementioned reasons.
For those who dispute the Four Horsemen (I'd like to see their track record of predictions to compare against my own), women had their Four Sirens, and now the pendulum has to swing at the same amplitude in the other direction. Keep the Four Horsemen in mind throughout this decade, and remember what you read here on the first day of 2010.
Who Should Care?
As we leave a decade where the prime threat to US safety and prosperity was Islamic terrorism and enter a decade where the prime threat is misandry, anyone concerned with any of the following topics should take heed :
Anyone with a son, brother, nephew, or mentee entering marriage, particularly without the partial protection of a pre-nuptial agreement. As described earlier, he can be ruined, separated from his children, and jailed in a manner few would suspect could happen in any advanced democracy. The suicide rate of divorced men is shockingly high. Anyone who agrees that a civilization where most adults are part of two-parent families will always outcompete and displace a civilization where a large portion of adults are not leading two-parent families. Anyone with minor grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or great-grandchildren. The divorce laws incentivize using children as pawns during divorce, and no serious thinker can dispute the trouble that haunts the children of divorce for years thereafter. 'Feminists' concoct bogus research about the role of the father being superfluous, but observation of real-world examples proves otherwise. Anyone who owns an expensive home in a community of families. The growing aversion of men for marriage will create fewer new families, and thus fewer buyers for those homes. I remind everyone that if they have 20% equity in their home and an 80% mortgage, even a 20% decline in home prices is a 100% decline in your equity, which might be all of your net worth. Detroit, the first major US city to see a loss of beta male employment prospects, saw the average home price drop from $98,000 as recently as 2003 to just $14,000 today. A decline smaller than this would devastate the net worth of remaining home owners, and can happen in any community of single-family homes. If you own a home, your net worth is inseparably tied to the formation and preservation of two-parent families. Anyone concerned about rising crime. 72% of African American children are born to single mothers, and the number among white children is approaching 30%. Furthermore, the 'mancession' will eventually ensure that the only means of survival for many men is to form gangs and take valuables by force. Unloved men, who in the past would have been paired with wives, are easy for both gangs and terrorist organizations to recruit. Anyone concerned about the widening federal and state budget shortfalls and medicare/healthcare costs, for which the state continues to insist on raising taxes rather than cut spending. Fewer men choosing to work the long hours needed to earn high incomes will break the model of the top 10% paying 75% of taxes, and more men being jailed for alimony arrears, not being good enough in bed, or defending himself from spousal violence will drain tax coffers. It costs $60,000 a year to maintain a prisoner. Anyone who thinks the US Constitution is a valuable document. 'Innocent until proven guilty' does not apply in many areas of feminist-heavy law. The previously discussed shadow state is using 'feminism' to conduct all sorts of horrible tyranny against innocent men, which greatly compromises America's ability to claim that it is still the land of the free. Anyone concerned about national security. As more men feel that this society is betraying him, fewer will risk their lives in the military only to find that divorce lawyers have been persuading his wife to leave the marriage while he is deployed. Coming home from one battlefield only to be inserted in another is a shameful betrayal of our finest young men. Furthermore, I have already mentioned how British men are turning to Islamic courts in the hopes avoiding ruin at the hands of British misandrist laws. Quite a few men may conclude that Islam offers them more than their native society that has turned against their gender, and will act towards self-preservation. Any woman who is appalled by the treatment of any woman who deviates from 'feminist' doctrine, and who is troubled by the words and actions of self-proclaimed 'feminists' today. If you believe that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, you should worry about what 'feminists' are courting by kicking a friendly dog too many times. Lastly, anyone with a young daughter or sister, who is about to enter a world where it is much harder for all but the most beautiful women to marry, where the costs of crazed 'feminism' are soon going to be transferred away from men and onto women, even if she had no interest in this doctrine of hate. As stated in the Executive Summary at the start, 'feminists' are leading average women into the abyss. I could list even more reasons to care, but the point is clear. The biggest challenge of the decade is summarized before us.
Update (7/1/2012) : On this day, July 1, 2012, exactly 25% of the decade described in this article has passed. I did not include a poll on the original launch date of 1/1/2010, as the concepts described here were too radical for the majority of readers. But now that these ideas have become more mainstream, I can include a simple poll on the subject of whether we are indeed in a Misandry Bubble (poll closed after 60 days).
I am just an observer, and will not become an activist of any sort, although, as described earlier, being an 'inactivist' in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi is also powerful. As a Futurist, I have to predict things before they become obvious to everyone else. Regular readers know of my track records of predictions being accurate, and heed my words when I say that the further inflation and subsequent precipitous deflation of the misandry bubble will define the next American decade. So here, on the first day of the '201x' decade, I am unveiling the article that will spawn a thousand other articles.
As mentioned at the top, what you have just finished reading is the equivalent of someone in 1997 predicting the entire War on Terror in vivid detail. The level of detail I have provided about the collapse of the Misandry Bubble will unfold with comparable accuracy as when this site predicted the real estate bubble two years beforehand, and the exact level the stock market would bottom at, 6 months before the fact. I know a bubble when I see one, and misandry is the premier one of this age. Bet against my predictions at your own risk.
This website has predicted that the US will still be the only superpower in 2030, and while we are not willing to rescind that prediction, I will introduce a caveat that US vitality by 2030 is contingent on a satisfactory and orderly unwinding of the Misandry Bubble. It remains to be seen which society can create economic prosperity while still making sure both genders are treated well, and the US is currently not on the right path in this regard. For this reason, I am less confident about a smooth deflation of the Misandry Bubble. Deflate it will, but it could be a turbulent hurricane. Only rural America can guide the rest of the nation into a more peaceful transition. Britain, however, may be beyond rescue.
I want to extend my thanks to Instapundit, Dr. Helen , Kim du Toit , The Spearhead , RooshV, and many others for their support of this article.
Required Reading :
Democrats and Republicans Unite to Form Misandry Party
The Sixteen Commandments of Game
No Country for Burly Men
The Medicalization of Maleness
The Feminist War on Everything Civilized
Feminists : Filthy and Feral
Feminist Gulag : No Prosecution Necessary
Decivilizing : Human Nature Unleashed
F Roger Devlin articles
Note on Comments : Just because I linked to a particular blog does NOT mean that I endorse all of the other views of that author. Are 'feminists' all willing to be responsible for all of the extremism that any other feminist utters (note that I have provided links to 'feminists' openly calling for slavery, castration, and murder of men without proving him guilty of anything)? Also, you will see Pavlovian use of the word 'misogyny' dozens upon dozens of times, so remember what I wrote about the importance of not taking that at face value, as it is merely a manifestation of projected misandry, as well as a defense mechanism to avoid taking responsibility for genuine wrongdoings of 'feminists'.
Writer named on Shitty Media Men list sues its creator | Media | The Guardian
On Wednesday, just shy of a year after he says the ''Shitty Media Men'' list began making the rounds online, the writer Stephen Elliott '' who was listed by several women for alleged ''rape accusations and sexual harassment'' '' has filed a defamation suit against its creator, the journalist Moira Donegan, who has written for the Guardian, asking for $1.5m in damages.
Claiming their actions were ''malicious in nature'', Elliott also included in his suit 30 ''Jane Does'' '' the currently anonymous women who contributed to the list last year. He intends to identify them.
According to his complaint, filed in a New York district court, Elliott and his lawyer plan to subpoena Google metadata to obtain the identities of those who contributed to the list, uncovering their ''names, email address, pseudonyms and/or 'Internet handles'''.
Google told the Daily Beast it would ''oppose any attempt by Mr Elliott to obtain information about this document from us''. The data is likely to be gone from the company's systems anyway, the site noted.
Created in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein allegations and then burgeoning #MeToo movement, the list was intended to serve as a way for women in media to warn one another about potential aggressors in their workplaces. Anonymous contributors added names and allegations, and the crowdsourced Google spreadsheet quickly filled with reports of harassment, abuse, and other misconduct '' all intended to be taken with a ''grain of salt'', according to directions included at the top of the document.
The list didn't stay secret for long and soon after a slew of articles were published, Donegan came forward as its creator.
''In the beginning, I only wanted to create a place for women to share their stories of harassment and assault without being needlessly discredited or judged,'' she wrote in an essay published by New York Magazine's The Cut. ''The hope was to create an alternate avenue to report this kind of behavior and warn others without fear of retaliation.''
Elliott, who vehemently denies the allegations that were listed under his name, says that inclusion on the list destroyed his career and caused depression. His suit comes on the heels of a personal essay, published in September, called How An Anonymous Accusation Derailed My Life, in which he describes his sexual preferences and how difficult his life has been since the list emerged.
Responses to the essay were swift, and included a tweet thread in which one of his former colleagues, Lyz Lenz, a writer for the Columbia Journalism Review and an array of other publications, detailed the ways in which she said he had harassed her.
''Since your name was on the list I have gotten so many emails from women talking about the harassment you put them through. I'm talking so they don't have to,'' she wrote.
Support for Donegan came quickly, and on Thursday a GoFundMe had been created to help cover any potential legal fees. In less than 20 hours, 1,275 people had donated and the fund had grown to over $63,500. ''Moira Donegan did us all a huge favor,'' the page's creator, Lauren Hough, wrote in the description. ''She made our world safer, and she has paid more than her share. Now she's going to need some help.''
Elliott has aligned himself with the attorney Andrew Miltenberg, a lawyer who specializes in fighting sexual assault claims and who has raised concern over Title IX protections. Miltenberg made a name for himself representing hundreds of male college students accused of sexual assault, challenging what he has told reporters is a system that is unfair to men.
Donegan could not be reached for comment. On Twitter, she posted a link to the essay she wrote last year, saying: ''I opened the spreadsheet a year ago today, and I wrote this essay, the hardest thing I've ever written, a few months later. I still stand by it.''
Bad batch of K2 may be responsible for 4 deaths, 140 people sickened, DC officials say - Story | WTTG
Image Gallery 2 PHOTOS A person being treated by first responders for a possible synthetic marijuana overdose in the 1400 block of Good Hope Road in Southeast D.C. on July 16, 2018. WASHINGTON - A bad batch of synthetic marijuana may be connected to several deaths and more than 100 people sickened in Washington D.C.
According to a D.C. Fire and EMS spokesperson, there have been about 140 cases of people falling ill after using K2 since Saturday, not including several cases firefighters responded to Wednesday evening.
A firefighter told FOX 5 that 11 people were sickened at E and 3rd streets in Northwest D.C. at around 5 p.m. Wednesday. He compared the zombie-like state of patients to a scene out of "Night of the Living Dead."
Firefighter tells me K2 calls have been almost nonstop today. Man is out cold at E & 4th Nw. Have seen a few people walking around like zombies, totally out of it. In addition to 140 cases since Sat, about 11 sick at E & 3rd around 5pm. More on @fox5dc 10/11 pic.twitter.com/aHp0kZ4z7y
'-- Lindsay Watts (@LindsayAWatts) July 19, 2018 RIGHT NOW: It's like a scene out of the walking dead. A block from the @DCPoliceDept station, several people are dropping like flies all day from what's being called by first responders, "bad K2". https://t.co/yc5r3SuMaz @LindsayAWatts pic.twitter.com/pJbiQwKoyk
'-- Van Applegate (@vbagate) July 19, 2018Officials said they believe four deaths could be related to the synthetic drug, with the most recent happening Wednesday morning on 2nd and K street in Northwest D.C. A police source told FOX 5 that a man was found dead on the sidewalk.
Many of the suspected overdoses have been taking place near the CCNV homeless shelter located at 2nd and D streets, which is located a few blocks from D.C. police headquarters.
Fire officials said being dehydrated from the summer heat can cause people to be more susceptible from synthetic marijuana overdoses.
''You will see people that are unconscious, people that are vomiting, people that are collapsing or maybe being overly aggressive '' those are signs that they may be impacted or under the influence,'' said D.C. Fire and EMS Chief Gregory Dean.
Multiple city agencies including the police and fire departments along with the Department of Human Services and the Department of Behavioral Health are working with local shelters to help curb this ongoing problem.
''Anytime you have an increase, it has an impact. So we, the city agencies, are collaborating together to address this impact," Dean said.
The city has created an "Emergency Alert" flier with information about K2 and drug addiction resources that officers and homeless advocates are now passing out.
NEW: Just got this emergency alert on potentially deadly batch of K2 in DC. Police say they'll be handing this out tonight, targeting area around NW homeless shelter where man found dead this morning. @fox5dc pic.twitter.com/axYg9JTFcw
'-- Lindsay Watts (@LindsayAWatts) July 18, 2018K2, also known as Spice, is a collection of chemicals that is being sold for a few dollars per rolled cigarette in the District.
"Synthetic drugs are dangerous and illegal chemicals made in laboratories, often located outside the United States," according to D.C. police on their website. "They are potent hallucinogens that have been found for sale at some retail establishments, such as liquor stores and gas stations. The products are frequently packaged under brand names such as K2, Scooby Snax, Bizzaro or Spice."
Synthetic marijuana can cause hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia, confusion, elevated heart rate, unconsciousness or even death.
Selling synthetic marijuana is illegal in D.C.
Trump administration demands Facebook info on anti-Trump activists
September 28, 2017 | 11:22pm | Updated May 11, 2018 | 3:12pm
The Trump administration reportedly has obtained search warrants that would allow them access to the Facebook pages of thousands of anti-Trump protesters.
The requested data '-- which targets all the information in three accounts '-- would include information on about 6,000 individuals who ''liked'' an anti-Donald Trump Facebook page, according to CNN.
The ACLU is fighting the warrant, claiming it seeks information that is not relevant to the federal probe.
''What is particularly chilling about these warrants is that anti-administration political activists are going to have their political associations and views scrutinized by the very administration they are protesting,'' said ACLU attorney Scott Michelman.
Requested data would go back to Nov. 1, 2016, a week before the presidential election.
One of the users targeted ran the disruptj20 page, where Inauguration Day protests were organized, CNN said.
The user, Emmelia Talarico, said in a court filing that if the government obtained her information, it would have access to her ''personal passwords, security questions and answers, and credit card information,'' plus ''the private lists of invitees and attendees to multiple political events sponsored by the page.''
A spokesperson for Facebook said the company had fought in court to notify the three main individuals about the government's request for their information.
''We are grateful to the companies and civil society organizations that supported us in arguing for people's ability to learn about and challenge overly broad search warrants.'' the spokesperson told The Post in a statement.
Cheese Protects You From All Causes Of Death, Says Science - Secret London
'What do we say to the God of Death?' Nothing '' just offer him some cheese!A big dziÄki to our friends in Poland: namely Professor Maciej Banach of the University of Å"dÅº. For Banach and his plucky team of researchers have just completed a thrilling meta-analysis of 29 cohort studies that confirm what we've always chosen to believe: cheese can help you not die.
Thus spake the scientists: 'cheese and yogurt were found to protect against both total mortality '-- death from any cause '-- and mortality from cerebrovascular causes.'
Verily, cheese is the shield that can protect us against the slings and arrows of modern life, including stroke and heart attack, according to the European Society of Cardiology, which presented the research.
Studying over 20,000 adults over 11 years, consumption of cheese was associated with an 8% lower total mortality risk. Not bad, cheese, not bad at all.
So frolic in the traffic, run with scissors, play with matches: defy death and all his minions by simply slathering yourself with melted cheese. (Don't drink too much milk though, as that was found to have the opposite effect. Mystifying, innit.)
Alternatively, try The Cheese Bar in Camden, TraTra's bottomless cheese and charcuterie board, Pop Brixton's raclette bar Alpes or the Orrery's splendid cheese trolley.
In other good news, hot baths might be as good for you as exercise.
Current advice to limit dairy intake should be reconsidered, research suggests -- ScienceDaily
The consumption of dairy products has long been thought to increase the risk of death, particularly from coronary heart disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease, and cancer, because of dairy's relatively high levels of saturated fat. Yet evidence for any such link, especially among US adults, is inconsistent. With the exception of milk, which appears to increase the risk of CHD, dairy products have been found to protect against both total mortality and mortality from cerebrovascular causes, according to research presented today at ESC Congress 2018, the annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology.
Therefore, current guidelines to limit consumption of dairy products, especially cheese and yogurt, should be relaxed; at the same time, the drinking of non-fat or low-fat milk should be recommended, especially for those who consume large quantities of milk. "A meta-analysis of 29 cohort studies published in 2017 found no association between the consumption of dairy products and either cardiovascular disease (CVD) or all-cause mortality," said Professor Maciej Banach, from the Department of Hypertension at Medical University of Lodz, Poland. "Yet a large 20-year prospective study of Swedish adults, also published in 2017, found that higher consumption of milk was associated with a doubling of mortality risk, including from CVD, in the cohort of women."
Professor Banach and his co-researchers examined data from a 1999-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) study of 24,474 adults with a mean age of 47.6 years, 51.4% of whom were female. (NHANES is conducted by the US's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.) During the follow-up period of 76.4 months, 3,520 total deaths were recorded, including 827 cancer deaths, 709 cardiac deaths, and 228 cerebrovascular disease deaths. The researchers found consumption of all dairy products to be associated with a 2% lower total mortality risk and consumption of cheese to be associated with an 8% lower total mortality risk (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.98, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.95-0.99; HR: 0.92, 95% CI: 0.87-0.97, respectively). For cerebrovascular mortality, they found a 4% lower risk with total dairy consumption and 7% lower risk with milk consumption (HR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.94-0.98; HR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.91-0.96, respectively).
A meta-analysis by Professor Banach and his co-researchers of 12 prospective cohort studies with 636,726 participants who were followed for approximately 15 years confirmed these results. But milk consumption was also associated with a 4% higher CHD mortality, while consumption of fermented dairy products such as yogurt was associated with a 3% lower rate of total mortality. The yogurt finding, however, was determined to be not significant after further adjustment (Q4: HR: 0.98, p=0.125).
The researchers concluded that among US adults, higher total dairy consumption protected against both total mortality and mortality from cerebrovascular causes. At the same time, higher milk consumption was associated with an increased risk of CHD, an association that needs further study. Causality, however, could be difficult to determine, as most people who consume milk also consume other dairy products. "In light of the protective effects of dairy products," said Professor Banach, "public health officials should revise the guidelines on dairy consumption. And given the evidence that milk increases the risk of CHD, it is advisable to drink fat-free or low-fat milk."
Materials provided by European Society of Cardiology. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Democrat Senators Traded 15 Trump Judge Confirmations to Go Campaign
With the November midterms approaching, Senate Democrats on Thursday night made a deal with their Republican colleagues to allow their endangered incumbents to get home and campaign, according to multiple reports.
In exchange for the ability to go campaign, Democrats agreed to confirm 15 federal judges'--a lifetime appointment'--who had been nominated by President Donald Trump. Politico reported that it was a calculated move by the Democrats because, under Senate rules, even if they spent 30 hours of debate on each nominee, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would still have been able to push them through before the election.
So, the Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, made the deal to go home.
Liberal activists were upset, especially on the heels of the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed despite multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Chris Kang, the chief counsel for activist group Demand Justice, called it "totally unnecessary" and "a bitter pill to swallow so soon after the Kavanaugh fight," according to The New York Times.
Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin speaks as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer listens during a news briefing on October 10 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Democrats reportedly traded 15 judge confirmations for the ability to go home and campaign. Alex Wong/Getty Images
But Democrats said they simply would not have been able to stop the Trump-nominated federal judges from reaching the bench.
"The fact of the matter is, we don't have the votes to stop these nominees," Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono told The Washington Post. "I do know that the elections matter, and I'd like to enable my colleagues to go home, and every day that goes by that they're not touching base with their constituents is not a good thing."
No Democrats objected to the deal as it was read on the Senate floor.
"I am surprised," Republican Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told Politico. "The difficulty [Democrats] have is an angry base after the Kavanaugh confirmation, and trying to explain to them this is a necessary thing to do. That's why Senator Schumer gets paid the big bucks."
There did seem to be a way for Democrats to slow the process of confirmations. Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, told Splinter on Thursday before the vote: "The easy solution here is that the red state Democrats skip town to go home and campaign if they want, but the rest of the caucus keeps the Senate in session to slow down Trump's judges. Let Chris Van Hollen and Mark Warner hold down the fort in DC while Joe Donnelly stumps in Indiana."
But that slow down did not happen.
As they hit the campaign trail, Democrats are certainly hoping the midterms will bring them solid results since the GOP currently controls both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Polling has shown it could be close, with a number of important races looking like toss-ups.
Cross in Lesvos pulled down after coexistence group on the island claims it's offensive to migrants · Greek City Times
A huge cement Christian cross, which was built on the rocky shore of Apelli, under the castle of Mytilene in Lesvos, in honour of the people that have died swimming there has been pulled down as a co-existence group based on the island claimed it was offensive to migrants who are not Christian.
According to Lesvos News, the placement of the cross caused negative reactions from aid organisations and a letter was sent to the Harbour Minister of Lesvos and the Mayor of Lesvos, by a coexistence group in Lesvos, stating the Cross was placed there to prevent migrants from swimming.
''A few days ago they placed at Apeli of Mytilene a large cross, in order to prevent other people (refugees and migrants) from coming to swim. This act is illegal, unsightly (reminiscent of a grave) but mostly offensive to the symbol of Christianity, a symbol of love and sacrifice, not racism and intolerance.''
''Please we ask for you to get rid of this inappropriateness of a religious symbol in a swimming site and its conversion into a tool of aspiring crusaders.''
A few days after this, the cross was taken down overnight.
The announcement of coexistence has caused strong reactions from locals who believe it goes against the religious beliefs of the majority of the inhabitants on the island.
*Source: Lesvos News
GCT October 9, 2018
U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked
UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.
Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of '"eco- refugees,'² '² threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.
He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.
As the warming melts polar icecaps, ocean levels will rise by up to three feet, enough to cover the Maldives and other flat island nations, Brown told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday.
Coastal regions will be inundated; one-sixth of Bangladesh could be flooded, displacing a fourth of its 90 million people. A fifth of Egypt's arable land in the Nile Delta would be flooded, cutting off its food supply, according to a joint UNEP and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study.
'"Ecological refugees will become a major concern, and what's worse is you may find that people can move to drier ground, but the soils and the natural resources may not support life. Africa doesn't have to worry about land, but would you want to live in the Sahara?'" he said.
UNEP estimates it would cost the United States at least $100 billion to protect its east coast alone.
Shifting climate patterns would bring back 1930s Dust Bowl conditions to Canadian and U.S. wheatlands, while the Soviet Union could reap bumper crops if it adapts its agriculture in time, according to a study by UNEP and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
Excess carbon dioxide is pouring into the atmosphere because of humanity's use of fossil fuels and burning of rain forests, the study says. The atmosphere is retaining more heat than it radiates, much like a greenhouse.
The most conservative scientific estimate that the Earth's temperature will rise 1 to 7 degrees in the next 30 years, said Brown.
The difference may seem slight, he said, but the planet is only 9 degrees warmer now than during the 8,000-year Ice Age that ended 10,000 years ago.
Brown said if the warming trend continues, '"the question is will we be able to reverse the process in time? We say that within the next 10 years, given the present loads that the atmosphere has to bear, we have an opportunity to start the stabilizing process.'"
He said even the most conservative scientists '"already tell us there's nothing we can do now to stop a ... change'" of about 3 degrees.
'"Anything beyond that, and we have to start thinking about the significant rise of the sea levels ... we can expect more ferocious storms, hurricanes, wind shear, dust erosion.'"
He said there is time to act, but there is no time to waste.
UNEP is working toward forming a scientific plan of action by the end of 1990, and the adoption of a global climate treaty by 1992. In May, delegates from 103 nations met in Nairobi, Kenya - where UNEP is based - and decided to open negotiations on the treaty next year.
Nations will be asked to reduce the use of fossil fuels, cut the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases such as methane and fluorocarbons, and preserve the rain forests.
'"We have no clear idea about the ecological minimum of green space that the planet needs to function effectively. What we do know is that we are destroying the tropical rain forest at the rate of 50 acres a minute, about one football field per second,'" said Brown.
Each acre of rain forest can store 100 tons of carbon dioxide and reprocess it into oxygen.
Brown suggested that compensating Brazil, Indonesia and Kenya for preserving rain forests may be necessary.
The European Community istalking about a half-cent levy on each kilowatt- hour of fossil fuels to raise $55 million a year to protect the rain forests, and other direct subsidies may be possible, he said.
The treaty could also call for improved energy efficiency, increasing conservation, and for developed nations to transfer technology to Third World nations to help them save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions, said Brown.
Hearing aids and cataract surgery may prevent dementia | Daily Mail Online
Wearing a hearing aid or undergoing cataract surgery could prevent dementia, two major studies suggest.
Cognitive decline, which affects both memory and thinking skills, is slowed after a patient's hearing and sight improve.
The rate of decline is halved following cataract surgery and is reduced by 75 per cent following the adoption of hearing aids, scientists found.
Manchester University researchers, who led the trials, branded the results 'exciting' as the battle for a dementia cure continues.
They believe retaining sight and hearing keeps a person physically active and socially engaged, reducing their risk of the disease.
Wearing a hearing aid or undergoing cataract surgery could prevent dementia (stock)
The research on cataract surgery - which assessed participants between 2002 and 2014 - was published in the journal PLOS One.
It compared survey answers from 2,068 people who underwent cataract surgery in England w ith 3,636 people who had not.
The trial on hearing aids - which followed participants between 1996 and 2014 - was published in the Journal of the America Geriatrics Society.
It was carried out using 2,040 participants from the American Health and Retirement survey.
Both surveys assessed cognitive decline by testing the participants' memories.
They were asked to immediately recall 10 words and then again at the end of the session.
The scientists compared the rates of decline before and after the patients had surgery or started wearing hearing aids.
Dr Asri Maharani, co-author of the studies, said: 'Age is one of the most important factors implicated in cognitive decline.
'We find that hearing and vision interventions may slow it down and perhaps prevent some cases of dementia.'
She described the results as 'exciting' but added further trials are required to confirm the link.
Dr Piers Dawes, fellow co-author, said: 'These studies underline just how important it is to overcome the barriers which deny people from accessing hearing and visual aids.
'It's not really certain why hearing and visual problems have an impact on cognitive decline, but I'd guess that isolation, stigma and the resultant lack of physical activity that are linked to hearing and vision problems might have something to do with it.
'And there are barriers to overcome: People might not want to wear hearing aids because of stigma attached to wearing them, or they feel the amplification is not good enough or they're not comfortable.
'Perhaps a way forward is adult screening to better identify hearing and vision problems and in the case of hearing loss, demedicalising the whole process so treatment is done outside the clinical setting.
'That could reduce stigma.'
Gemma Twitchen, senior audiologist at Action on Hearing Loss said: 'Getting hearing aids as early as possible has a number of significant advantages.
'Research shows that early use of hearing aids makes it easier for the wearer to adapt to them, getting the most out of them.
'Hearing loss is a significant health issue, which, if ignored or unmanaged, can lead to isolation, dementia and mental health problems.
'Hearing aids are vital in helping people who rely on them to communicate better, stay in work and continue to have an active life, and are the only viable treatment.
She added attempts to introduce rationing of hearing aids had largely been fought off - but one clinical commissioning group, North Staffordshire, still rations them.
She said: 'We fought vigorously against the cuts to hearing aid provision for people with mild and moderate hearing loss.
'We are particularly concerned that North Staffordshire CCG remains the only CCG to have implemented cuts to hearing aid provision and did so against both public opinion and all clinical evidence demonstrating that hearing aids are the only viable treatment for many people with hearing loss.
'We will continue to fight against these cuts and believe hearing aids should be available to all who need them.'
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said the research 'helps underline why it is so important for older people to have access to good quality hearing aids and eye care.
She added: 'Correcting problems with vision and hearing can help open up a world that was previously closed off and reduce some of the isolation and loneliness that these problems can bring.'
WHAT IS DEMENTIA? THE KILLER DISEASE THAT ROBS SUFFERERS OF THEIR MEMORIESDementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders
A GLOBAL CONCERN
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders, that is, conditions affecting the brain.
There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer's disease is the most common.
Some people may have a combination of types of dementia.
Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience their dementia in their own unique way.
Dementia is a global concern but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?
The Alzheimer's Society reports there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, of which more than 500,000 have Alzheimer's.
It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2025 will rise to over 1 million.
In the US, it's estimated there are 5.5 million Alzheimer's sufferers. A similar percentage rise is expected in the coming years.
As a person's age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia.
Rates of diagnosis are improving but many people with dementia are thought to still be undiagnosed.
IS THERE A CURE?
Currently there is no cure for dementia.
But new drugs can slow down its progression and the earlier it is spotted the more effective treatments are.
Source: Dementia UK
Facebook purged over 800 accounts and pages pushing political messages for profit - Los Angeles Times
Facebook said Thursday that it has purged more than 800 U.S publishers and accounts for flooding users with politically oriented content that violated the company's spam policies, a move that could reignite accusations of political censorship.
The accounts and pages, with names like Reasonable People Unite and Reverb Press, were likely domestic actors using clickbait headlines and other spammy tactics to drive users to websites where they could target them with ads, the company said. Some had hundreds of thousands of followers and expressed a range of political viewpoints, including a page which billed itself as the first publication to endorse President Trump. They did not appear to have ties to Russia, company officials said.
Facebook said it was removing the publishers and accounts not because of the type of content they posted, but because of the behaviors they engaged in, including spamming Facebook groups with identical pieces of content and using fake profiles.
"Today, we're removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior," the company said in a blog post. "People will only share on Facebook if they feel safe and trust the connections they make here."
But the move to target American politically oriented sites, just weeks before the congressional midterm elections, is sure to be a flashpoint for political groups and their allies, which are already attacking the tech giant for political bias and for arbitrary censorship of political content.
Ever since Russian operatives used Facebook to target American voters ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook has been under immense pressure to crack down on content that could disrupt the democratic process in the United States. But the challenge of policing domestic content is even thornier than going after foreign interference because it is harder to define what constitutes legitimate political expression. By removing the groups entirely, Facebook is effectively saying that they will not have an opportunity to redeem themselves.
One of the pages '-- "Nation In Distress" '-- pitched itself as the "first online publication to endorse President Donald J Trump." Founded in 2012, it had amassed more than 3.2 million likes and over 3 million followers, according to a Washington Post review on Thursday. In recent posts and photos, it had criticized journalists for failing to report on Trump's approach to China and shared a link to a story that had called Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) "demented." The page affiliated itself with a website called "America's Freedom Fighters," which appeared to post its own content and duplicate press releases written by others about violent crimes and gun rights '-- all alongside a sidebar of ads.
Another page, Reverb Press, had more than 700,000 followers. Posts attacked Trump and referred to Republicans as "cheating scumbags." Reasonable People Unite, another left-leaning page that Facebook purged, had posted a screenshot from a Twitter user who said, "Somewhere in America, a teenage girl is listening to her parents defend Brett Kavanaugh and she is thinking to herself, if something like that happens to me, I have nowhere to go."
Facebook has long struggled with where to draw lines around domestic content. After the 2016 election, company executives declined to purge thousands of misleading pages for fear that doing so would alienate conservatives, according to two people familiar with the discussions.
''It is totally reasonable for companies to say, 'If you abuse our mechanisms, we will punish you, even if the individual content is OK,' '' said Alex Stamos, who resigned as Facebook's chief security officer this summer and is now a Stanford University professor. ''Facebook first reduced the ability to use ads to punish extreme content. Now they are attacking organic recommendation systems, such as the likes and shares used to artificially inflate posts.''
Even though Facebook removed accounts and pages, many of the sites that appear to be behind that content remained alive and active elsewhere on the web '-- a reflection that the challenge of stamping out potentially misleading content online far transcends Facebook.
In the ''about'' section of the now-suspended Nation in Distress page, for example, was a link to the America's Freedom Fighters website. That site pointed to another suspended Facebook page and a still-active Twitter profile, which continued posting even minutes after Facebook had taken action against its accounts.
The left-leaning Reverb Press, meanwhile, maintains an active website which links to the disabled Facebook page, a still-available Twitter profile and smartphone apps available for iPhone and Android.
Twitter didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither website immediately responded to a request for comment.
2:55 p.m.: This article was updated with comment from Stanford professor Alex Stamos and with information about the online presences of groups whose Facebook pages were purged.
This article was originally published at 11:15 a.m.