TILAPIA, THE BAD FISH

http://www.androidmagazines.info/health-experts-are-warning-people-to-stop-eating-tilapia/

tilapia-farm

Eating seafood is a great way to get vital nutrients and vitamins. Tilapia is the most popular farmed fish in America because of its affordability. But health experts are warning consumers to stay as far away as possible from Tilapia. Flip over to the next page to see why…

Tilapia Contains Few Nutrients: Researchers from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine released a report on the omega-3 fatty acid content in popular fish. Tilapia scored far lower than most other fish on the list. Omega-3 fatty acids give fish most of their benefits, including Alzheimer’s risk reduction. Tilapia contains a TON of omega-6 fatty acids, which are terrible for you. The quantity of omega-6 in tilapia is higher than a hamburger or bacon.

Tilapia Could Cause Alzheimer’s: One of the omega-6 fatty acids in tilapia goes by the name of arachidonic acid – a compound which significantly increases the type of inflammatory damage that precedes Alzheimer’s. So while eating healthy fish like mackerel, halibut and sardines would reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, this fish actually increases it.

Most Tilapia Is Farmed: Tilapia is the second most commonly farmed fish in the world. This is largely due to the fish’s hardiness; it can eat just about anything. Good for farmers, bad for consumers. It means they don’t have to spend nearly the money on fish food as they would if they were raising salmon. Farmers commonly feed the fish chicken and pig poop. The fish are also stuffed with antibiotics and genetically modified to grow faster.

Tilapia May Cause Cancer: Tilapia can carry up to 10 times the amount of carcinogens as other fish. This is because of the food the farmers feed the fish–poop, pesticides and industrial-grade chemicals. One toxic chemical researchers have found in the fish is dioxin, which is linked to the development and progression of cancer. What’s more, your body doesn’t actually flush out dioxin for a whopping 7-11 years.

 

HITLER’S 25 POINT PROGRAM

 

Programme of the NSDAP, 24 February 1920The 25 points of the NSDAP Program were composed by Adolf Hitler and Anton Drexler. They were publically presented on 24 February 1920 “to a crowd of almost two thousand and every single point was accepted amid jubilant approval.” (Mein Kampf, Volume II, Chapter I) Hitler explained their purpose in the fifth chapter of the second volume of Mein Kampf:

[T]he program of the new movement was summed up in a few guiding principles, twenty-five in all. They were devised to give, primarily to the man of the people, a rough picture of the movement’s aims. They are in a sense a political creed, which on the one hand recruits for the movement and on the other is suited to unite and weld together by a commonly recognized obligation those who have been recruited.

Hitler was intent on having a community of mutual interest that desired mutual success instead of one that was divided over the control of money or differing values.

THE COMMON INTEREST BEFORE SELF-INTEREST –
THAT IS THE SPIRIT OF THE PROGRAM. BREAKING OF THE THRALDOM OF INTEREST – THAT IS THE KERNEL OF NATIONAL SOCIALISM.

In these straightforward statements of intent, Hitler translated his ideology into a plan of action which would prove its popularity with the German people throughout the coming years. For many, the abruptness of its departure from the tradition of politics as practiced in the western world was as much of a shock as its liberal nature and foresight of the emerging problems of western democracy.


The Programme of the German Workers’ Party is designed to be of limited duration. The leaders have no intention, once the aims announced in it have been achieved, of establishing fresh ones, merely in order to increase, artificially, the discontent of the masses and so ensure the continued existence of the Party.1. We demand the union of all Germany in a Greater Germany on the basis of the right of national self-determination.

2. We demand equality of rights for the German people in its dealings with other nations, and the revocation of the peace treaties of Versailles and Saint-Germain.

3. We demand land and territory (colonies) to feed our people and to settle our surplus population.

4. Only members of the nation may be citizens of the State. Only those of German blood, whatever be their creed, may be members of the nation. Accordingly, no Jew may be a member of the nation.

5. Non-citizens may live in Germany only as guests and must be subject to laws for aliens.

6. The right to vote on the State’s government and legislation shall be enjoyed by the citizens of the State alone. We demand therefore that all official appointments, of whatever kind, whether in the Reich, in the states or in the smaller localities, shall be held by none but citizens.

We oppose the corrupting parliamentary custom of filling posts merely in accordance with party considerations, and without reference to character or abilities.

7. We demand that the State shall make it its primary duty to provide a livelihood for its citizens. If it should prove impossible to feed the entire population, foreign nationals (non-citizens) must be deported from the Reich.

8. All non-German immigration must be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans who entered Germany after 2 August 1914 shall be required to leave the Reich forthwith.

9. All citizens shall have equal rights and duties.

10. It must be the first duty of every citizen to perform physical or mental work. The activities of the individual must not clash with the general interest, but must proceed within the framework of the community and be for the general good.

We demand therefore:
11. The abolition of incomes unearned by work.The breaking of the slavery of interest
12. In view of the enormous sacrifices of life and property demanded of a nation by any war, personal enrichment from war must be regarded as a crime against the nation. We demand therefore the ruthless confiscation of all war profits.13. We demand the nationalization of all businesses which have been formed into corporations (trusts).

14. We demand profit-sharing in large industrial enterprises.

15. We demand the extensive development of insurance for old age.

16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle class, the immediate communalizing of big department stores, and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders, and that the utmost consideration shall be shown to all small traders in the placing of State and municiple orders.

17. We demand a land reform suitable to our national requirements, the passing of a law for the expropriation of land for communal purposes without compensation; the abolition of ground rent, and the prohibition of all speculation in land. *

18. We demand the ruthless prosecution of those whose activities are injurious to the common interest. Common criminals, usurers, profiteers, etc., must be punished with death, whatever their creed or race.

19. We demand that Roman Law, which serves a materialistic world order, be replaced by a German common law.

20. The State must consider a thorough reconstruction of our national system of education (with the aim of opening up to every able and hard-working German the possibility of higher education and of thus obtaining advancement). The curricula of all educational establishments must be brought into line with the requirements of practical life. The aim of the school must be to give the pupil, beginning with the first sign of intelligence, a grasp of the nation of the State (through the study of civic affairs). We demand the education of gifted children of poor parents, whatever their class or occupation, at the expense of the State.

21. The State must ensure that the nation’s health standards are raised by protecting mothers and infants, by prohibiting child labor, by promoting physical strength through legislation providing for compulsory gymnastics and sports, and by the extensive support of clubs engaged in the physical training of youth.

22. We demand the abolition of the mercenary army and the foundation of a people’s army.

23. We demand legal warfare on deliberate political mendacity and its dissemination in the press. To facilitate the creation of a German national press we demand:

(a) that all editors of, and contributors to newspapers appearing in the German language must be members of the nation;
(b) that no non-German newspapers may appear without the express permission of the State. They must not be printed in the German language;
(c) that non-Germans shall be prohibited by law from participating financially in or influencing German newspapers, and that the penalty for contravening such a law shall be the suppression of any such newspaper, and the immediate deportation of the non-Germans involved.

The publishing of papers which are not conducive to the national welfare must be forbidden. We demand the legal prosecution of all those tendencies in art and literature which corrupt our national life, and the suppression of cultural events which violate this demand.

24. We demand freedom for all religious denominations in the State, provided they do not threaten its existence not offend the moral feelings of the German race.

The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not commit itself to any particular denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and without us, and is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health only from within on the basis of the principle: The common interest before self-interest.

25. To put the whole of this programme into effect, we demand the creation of a strong central state power for the Reich; the unconditional authority of the political central Parliament over the entire Reich and its organizations; and the formation of Corporations based on estate and occupation for the purpose of carrying out the general legislation passed by the Reich in the various German states.

The leaders of the Party promise to work ruthlessly — if need be to sacrifice their very lives — to translate this programme into action.

* On April 13, 1928, Adolf Hitler clarified section seventeen in the programme in order to stop political mischaracterizations: “Because of the mendacious interpretations on the part of our opponents of Point 17 of the programme of the NSDAP, the following explanation is necessary.: Since the NSDAP is fundamentally based on the principle of private property, it is obvious that the expression “confiscation without compensation” refers merely to the creation of possible legal means of confiscating when necessary, land illegally acquired, or not administered in accordance with the national welfare. It is therefore directed in the first instance against the Jewish companies which speculate in land.

Global Arms Sales Paint Chilling Picture of World at War

http://theantimedia.org/global-arms-sales-war/

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February 21, 2017 at 1:10 pm

 Global sales of major arms systems have risen over the past five years to the highest volume since the end of the Cold War, according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute’s (SIPRI) annual report on arms sales.

SIPRI, an international institute that researches “conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament,” said on Monday that more weapons were delivered between 2012 and 2016 than any other five-year period since 1990. Between 2007–2011 and 2012–2016, arms imports by national governments in the Middle East rose by 86 percent.

“Saudi Arabia, which leads a military intervention in Yemen that has costs hundreds of civilian lives, was the world’s second largest importer after India, increasing its intake by 212 %, mainly from the US and the UK.”

However, there are some issues with the Guardian’s statement. First, according to the U.N., well over 10,000 civilians have been killed, a staggering difference when compared with the Guardian’s watered down reference to “hundreds of civilians lives.” The vast majority of these civilians have been killed directly by the Saudi-led coalition. Second, the Saudi-led war can hardly be called an intervention considering the brutal and illegal nature of the ongoing operation. The term “war of aggression” is more appropriate.

As a result of this cozy Saudi-U.S. relationship, Saudi arms imports have tripled during the war in Yemen. The Obama administration sold the oil-rich kingdom at least $115 billion worth of weapons, as Anti-Media has previously reported.

SIPRI’s report concluded that Asia was the main recipient region in the world. India was seen to have dwarfed its rivals, China and Pakistan, by accounting for 13 percent of global imports. Most interesting, however, is that India relies primarily on Russian imports as opposed to NATO countries, further complicating alliances in the region.

Together, the United States and Russia have supplied more than half of all exports. Unsurprisingly, the United States continues to remain the world’s biggest arms dealer.

Iran, the country that has been vilified as the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism and regional aggressor, received a mere 1.2 percent of the region’s arms transfers. Conversely, arms imports into Qatar, alone, have risen by 245 per cent.

The report’s damning conclusions reaffirm what many have been warning about for some time now, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev: the whole world is preparing for war.

Creative Commons / Anti-Media / Report a typo

THE HIDDEN CONTINENT UNDER NEW ZEALAND

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/scientists-say-they-ve-discovered-hidden-continent-under-new-zealand-n722796

 

Scientists say they have identified an underwater continent two-thirds the size of Australia — and they are calling it Zealandia.

This newly proposed continent is about 1.74 million square miles in size and 94 percent submerged. But at its highest points, it protrudes above the ocean surface in the form of New Zealand and New Caledonia, according to a paper published in GSA Today, the journal of the Geological Society of America.

Image: An illustration shows what geologists are calling Zealandia, a continent two-thirds the size of Australia lurking beneath the waves in the southwest Pacific
An illustration shows what geologists are calling Zealandia, a continent two-thirds the size of Australia lurking beneath the waves in the southwest Pacific. HANDOUT / Reuters

The proposed recognition of the continent of Zealandia does not represent the discovery of a new land mass. Rather, the paper argues that the geological evidence suggests the land mass should be classified not as a collection of islands and fragments but as a bona fide continent.

“If we could pull the plug on the oceans, it would be clear to everyone we have mountain chains and a big, high-standing continent above the ocean crust,” Nick Mortimer, a geologist at GNS Science in Dunedin, New Zealand, told Reuters.

Mortimer was the lead author of the paper, “Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent.”

New discoveries about the geology of the region prove what has long been suspected, he said.

“Since about the 1920s, from time to time in geology papers people used the word ‘continental’ to describe various parts of New Zealand and the Catham Islands and New Caledonia,” Mortimer said.

Image: An illustration shows what geologists are calling Zealandia, a continent two-thirds the size of Australia lurking beneath the waves in the southwest Pacific
An illustration shows what geologists are calling Zealandia, a continent two-thirds the size of Australia lurking beneath the waves in the southwest Pacific. HANDOUT / Reuters

“The difference now is that we feel we’ve gathered enough information to change ‘continental’ to the noun ‘continent,'” he added.

The land mass meets the geological definition of a continent, according to the paper. It has high elevation compared to the ocean crust. It has certain geological components, including a crust thicker than ocean crust. And it has well-defined limits around an area large enough to be considered a continent rather than a fragment.

Zealandia is believed to have broken away from Australia about 80 million years ago and sunk beneath the sea as part of the break-up of the super-continent Gondwanaland.

By contrast, modern human beings are believed to have emerged only about 200,000 years ago.

Mortimer recognizes that the paper at this point represents the making of a geological case — the opening of an argument rather than its resolution.

“The litmus test will really be if Zealandia appears in maps and atlases in five or 10 years time,” he said.

SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICIAL RANTS ABOUT NUCLEAR ATTACKS

2/16/27

dandy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Anton

Michael Anton (born 1970) is a conservative intellectual and seniornational security official in the Trump administration. He is best 
knownfor his pseudonymous essays written during the 2016 Presidentialcampaign, mainly pro-Trumpism "The Flight 93 Election", which 
compared conservatives letting Hillary Clinton win with passengers 
not charging the cockpit of the Al Qaeda-hijacked flight.
[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] 
Anton was named Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic 
Communications on the United States National Security Council. He is a former speechwriter for Rudy Giuliani and George W. Bush’s Nationa 
Security Council, and most recently worked as managing director of 
investing firm BlackRock.[9] William Kristol, editor of the 
neoconservative political magazine The Weekly Standard, compared Anton'srole to that of the Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt; Anton 
had previously written for the magazine.[10][4]

 

A SENIOR OFFICIAL on President Trump’s embattled National Security Council warned in previously unreported comments that it is “inevitable” an Islamic terrorist group will carry out a successful nuclear attack against the United States and that in its aftermath, the world “will regress hundreds of years politically.” The official, Michael Anton, laid out a dire scenario of multiple nuclear detonations on American soil, saying that terrorists “will, I think, wait until they can hit us with several blows at once, followed by a number of follow-on blows.”

Anton, appointed as the Trump administration’s senior director of strategic communications on the NSC, wrote in 2009 that he was “surprised it hasn’t happened yet” and predicted that once the attacks occur, “economies will collapse … the world will revert to a kind of localism and warlordism.” He added, “If Chicago wakes up one morning and NY is simply not there anymore, and some dude on Al Jazeera is saying, ‘Chicago you are next!’ I don’t see order lasting long.”

New York, he added, seems to be the most likely first target. “I think you do not fully grasp what New York represents to the Islamist Terrorist mind. It is not simply the financial capital of the US, or even of the world. It is quite simply the capital of the western world and of all modernity. It is the center and chief creator and exporter of decadence and corruption. It is quite simply, to them, the most hated place on the planet, and the most important, outside the holy cities.”

Anton, who previously served in a mid-level position on the NSC in the Bush era, published a string of attention-getting essays last year that attempted to make a conservative intellectual argument for supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy. Those essays, while provocative, do not seem to be nearly as controversial or apocalyptic as the comments The Intercept unearthed after receiving a tip from a reader. The comments were made on an obscure website devoted to men’s fashion, Styleforum.net, which also hosts wide-ranging discussions among its members on a variety of political topics. Anton, who previously wrote a book titled “The Suit: A Machiavellian Approach to Men’s Style,” posted on Styleforum.net under the username “Manton,” and his user profile listed his usual shoe width as D medium. He was exceptionally prolific: Since joining the site in 2002, he has posted more than 40,000 comments.
“An all out nuclear war is not inevitable, or even likely,” he wrote in a discussion thread he started about nuclear terrorism. “A regional nuclear exchange between two regional powers is more likely, but still not inevitable. A nuclear detonation in a major US or European city (or Moscow) is inevitable.” He added, “Let’s just say the event is overdue. People have been wanting to do it for a long time, and trying to do it for a long time. … As a general matter, anything that human beings have wanted to do badly enough, that it is physically possible to do, they have eventually found a way to do.”

His concerns were so severe that he provided advice to people thinking of building their own fallout shelters.

“They could be worth a great deal,” Anton wrote. “If they are not underground at all, they are not worth much. [If] they are underground on even one side, their usefulness goes up by a lot. If they are surrounded by at least five feet of earth on four sides, then you are pretty much invulnerable from initial fallout — as long as you can hold out down there. … You would [be] better off having stored water. You never know about a water supply, it might be affected, might not. Best thing to do is to have some means of testing the water on hand. Buy it in advance and put it in the shelter.” Asked by another commenter when he thought the nuclear attack would occur, Anton responded, “Any day now.”

Anton also made provocative comments about diversity and affirmative action, saying they were harmful or unfair. Writing about university affirmative action programs in the humanities and social sciences, he stated, “What actually happens today is a total, consuming obsession with ‘diversity’ defined solely by skin color (and to a lesser extent national origin) coupled with an even more consuming obsession with ideology.” He also argued for the superiority of homogenous societies in which the population has common attributes, such as a shared language and ethnicity.

“The homogenous ones have higher trust levels, greater levels of cross-family cooperation, more public-spiritedness, higher levels of volunteering, charity donations, etc.,” he wrote. “They are also more able and more willing to support safety nets—formal and informal—that benefit non-family members. Heterogeneous societies have lower trust levels, people ‘hunker down’ and avoid contact with neighbors not just of other races/groups but of their own. They are more likely to concentrate solely on taking care of their own and to see taxation and other attempts to fund public goods as robbing Peter (themselves) to pay Paul (the other). Ordinary stuff does not get done or done as well. The state, with all its inefficiencies, has to be larger and more intrusive in order to make up for the lack of a thriving civil society.

The detail and apparent extremism of Anton’s comments appear to go even further than much of what has already emerged from the Trump White House. The comments provide what seems to be the darkest of contexts for understanding the Trump administration’s desire for radical crackdowns on immigration and Muslims in general: a fervent conviction that a civilizational apocalypse caused by Muslims is coming soon.

“I look at the world and I see a whole movement of people who want to kill me, destroy my country, and end my civilization,” Anton wrote to a commenter who in his view had downplayed the threat posed by Muslims. “You either don’t see any of these people or you just think they are a joke. The bombs and the propaganda you alternate between taking in stride, finding pathetic, or dismissing any connection to Islam.” He also told the commenter, “Entirely absent from your analysis is even the possibility that there really is an enemy that wants to do terrible things to us and change us in fundamental, illiberal ways.”

WHAT CONGRESS DID WHILE TRUMP DISTRACTED US

http://theantimedia.org/8-things-congress-distracted-trump/

February 14, 2017 at 2:55 pm—Written by 

c8633e6b1a7468765daeb50f188c8a529d8f5623

1. A House Panel Voted to Terminate the Election Assistance Commission

The House Administration Committee voted 6-3 in favor Republican Congressman Gregg Harper’s billto terminate the Election Assistance Commission. The EAC, which was created in response to the contentious 2000 Florida election results as part of the Help America Vote Act, is a bipartisan commission that certifies voting machines and is responsible for making sure they cannot be hacked.

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While this marks the fifth time Harper has presented the EAC termination bill, The Los Angeles Times and USA Today point to the suspect timing of the bill’s reintroduction — just days after Trump announced his intention to open an investigation into his own claims of voter fraud. Democrats have also raised concerns that the EAC is needed more than ever before given the highly publicized, albeit still unprovenRussian hacking scare in December. Thirty-eight organizations, including the NAACP, League of Women Voters, and Common Cause signed a letter denouncing the panel’s vote. The bill is set to go to a full committee report, a stage only one in four bills succeeds in reaching, according to govtrack.us.

2. Legislation introduced to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency (or at least severely limit it)

This one-sentence bill introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R- FL) is the most direct attack on the EPA amid recent attempts to limit its scope and influence, including legislation presented by Rep. Gary Palmer in January that aims to ‘clarify’ and redirect the EPA’s authority over greenhouse gases by literally striking the phrase from legislation and replacing it with the neutralized term ‘air pollutant.’ The bills are consistent with the anti-climate change sentiment expressed in Republican Congressman Luetkemeyer’s bill from January, which would prohibit the contribution of any U.S. tax dollars to fund the U.N. Climate Change Act.

3. On the day of DeVos’ confirmation hearing, Rep. Massie introduced legislation to terminate the Department of Education altogether

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced a one-sentence bill calling for the termination of the Department of Education on the same day controversial Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos was confirmed by an unprecedented tie-breaking vote from Vice President Pence. In a press release, Massie explained his intention behind the bill, stating:

“Unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. should not be in charge of our children’s intellectual and moral development.”

While the bill brings to mind President Ronald Reagan’s efforts to abolish the Department of Education in 1985 — which failed amid a lack of Congressional support — the high levels of discontent following DeVos’ controversial appointment as Secretary of Education could translate into bipartisan support from Democrats and Republicans alike who feel their schools would be better off without federal oversight. The bill currently has seven co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

4.Roe v. Wade’s protections threatened under Congressional avalanche of anti-abortion legislation

The Life at Conception Act, S. 231, and its companion House bill, H.R. 681, were reintroduced by Senator Rand Paul days after Trump’s Inauguration. The bills are being hailed by the Pro-Life Alliance as a “frontal attack” on Roe v. Wade. The legislation aims to establish that a fetus, or ‘pre-born person,’ is guaranteed equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the constitution. While there is debate about the extent to which the act could nullify the privacy protections afforded by Roe v. Wade, it would present additional considerations for any future court decisions related to abortion laws. If passed, the Life at Conception Act, combined with Trump’s nomination of reputedly pro-life Justice Neil Gorsuch, could provide the conditions needed for a successful Supreme Court challenge to Roe v. Wade.

The reintroduction of The Life at Conception Act is in alignment with several other pieces of legislation proposed in January that would indirectly limit access to legal abortions. Chief among these is S. Res.15, in which Senator Mike Lee recommended the permanent establishment of Reagan’s ‘Mexico City Policy,’ a block on federal funding for non-governmental organizations that provide abortion counseling or referrals. President Trump reinstated the policy by executive order just days later.

Additional pending legislative efforts include H.R. 692, a bill that would prohibit minors from crossing state lines to access abortions, H.R. 718, a bill that would criminalize “reckless disposal” of fetal remains, H.R. 354, a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, and H.R. 7, a bill to limit taxpayer funding for abortion providers, which has already passed in the House and is heading towards a vote in the Senate.

5. More stringent legislation on immigration and refugee resettlement

While attention focused on Trump’s travel ban, Republican lawmakers introduced a series of amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act that would result in more stringent visa and refugee vetting policies. S.180, introduced by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, would change the eligibility criteria for certain H1b and L1 work visas, making them no longer obtainable without a U.S. degree or equivalent.

S.211, or the “State Refugee Security Act,” introduced by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, would allow the governor of a state the ability to reject the settlement of any refugee in that state by default “unless there is adequate assurance that the alien does not present a security risk.

H.R. 643, known as the Visa Overstay Enforcement Act, was introduced by Republican Representative Lou Barletta and would increase penalizations for overstaying visa terms. Under the proposed legislation, those who overstay their visas would face a fine and up to six months in jail with up to two years in jail for any subsequent offense.

There are additional efforts to mandate E-verify, the computerized government record system that confirms employees’ authorizations to work in the U.S. The bill, introduced by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, would also require that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) report anyone who receives a final “nonconfirmation” message — signifying that the employee is not authorized to work in the United States — to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

E-Verify has been criticized in the past as a faulty computerized mechanism for mass deportation. Still, it could be broadly mandated as the electronic iteration of Trump’s ‘build a wall’ immigration policy.

HOMELAND SECURITY & INCREASED VIGILANCE OVER “INSIDER THREATS”

6. The House approves nearly 20 Department of Homeland Security bills

Bills that passed include H.R. 505 to “strengthen accountability or deployment of border security technology,” and H.R. 612, which would establish a grant program to promote cooperative research between the U.S. and Israel on cybersecurity.

Among the bills that passed is also H.R. 666, which would establish an Insider Threat Program to identify the threat that an insider will use his or her authorized access, wittingly or unwittingly, to do harm to the security of the United States, including damage to the United States through espionage, terrorism, the unauthorized disclosure of classified national security information, or through the loss or degradation of departmental resources or capabilities.”

The ‘insider threat’ description offered in H.R. 666 draws to mind cases of whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, who previously released sensitive information about the government. The act, which never mentions the word “whistleblower,” was passed along with two explicit whistleblower protective bills —  H.R.914 and H.R. 67, a.k.a. the “Thoroughly Investigating Retaliation Against Whistleblowers Act.” The contradictory legislation suggests the DHS has a vested interest in maintaining the outside appearance of a pro-whistleblower stance, even as they devote more resources to identifying whistleblowers within the department.

7. The Legislative Battle to Expand vs. Limit President Trump’s access to Nuclear Weapons

  • The House passed H.R. 590, a bill to foster civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies in an apparent fulfillment of the president’s previously expressed desire to “greatly strengthen and expand” U.S. nuclear capability.
  • Alarmed, Democratic Senator Edward Markey and Congressman Ted W. Lieu quickly countered by introducing legislation to prohibit President Trump from launching a “first-use nuclear strike” without a declaration of war by Congress.

“It is a frightening reality that the U.S. now has a Commander-in-Chief who has demonstrated ignorance of the nuclear triad, stated his desire to be ‘unpredictable’ with nuclear weapons, and as President-elect was making sweeping statements about U.S. nuclear policy over Twitter,” Rep. Lieu said in a statement.

8. New bills on marijuana legalization, re-scheduling, and protection from seizure

Given that marijuana was joked to be ‘real winner’ of the 2016 Election, it seems only fitting that two marijuana bills would appear in the House on Inauguration Day. Republican Congressman Griffith Morgan introduced the two bills in succession. The first, H.R. 714, or “LUMMA,” would “provide for the legitimate use of medicinal marihuana in accordance with the laws of the various States.” LUMMA was followed by H.R. 715, or the “Compassionate Access Act,” which would amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and formally recommend to the DEA a rescheduling of marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug to another category. A key provision of H.R. 715 would exclude “cannabidiol” from the definition of “marijuana” and remove it from the CSA.

California Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Dana Rohrabacher also proposed separate bills that would protect residents in states where marijuana is legal from civil forfeiture of property and punishment for use and distribution, respectively. As Anti-Media reported, the legislation comes at a crucial moment of uncertainty regarding the future of federal drug policy and enforcement under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

***

While Trump has been busy eagerly flexing his executive power, a quiet power struggle has begun in Congress between legislators who aim to pass bills that reinforce the efforts of Trump’s administration and legislators frantically introducing bills in attempts to block the administration’s impact. As we head into month two of Trump’s presidency — and as some of these bills head into the next phase of debate — these power struggles will continue playing out, both on Twitter and in Congress

TRUMP AND THE RUSSIANS

Lithuania Daily Life

ww.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-deals-russia-trump-prefers-not-talk-about

By Steve Benen
Donald Trump declared this morning, “I don’t know Putin, have no deals in Russia, and the haters are going crazy – yet Obama can make a deal with Iran, #1 in terror, no problem!” It’s not clear why, exactly, the president made the comment – he probably saw something on television he didn’t like – and it’s even less clear why he thinks his observation makes sense.

For example, President Obama did not single-handedly reach an effective nuclear agreement with Iran; it was actually an international coalition that struck the deal – including Trump’s allies in Moscow. As for the idea that there was “no problem” in response to the breakthrough policy, the new president may not realize this, but the agreement was the subject of intense debate and controversy.

But it was Trump’s assertion that he has “no deals in Russia” that seemed especially noteworthy. He said something similar last month in a pre-inaugural press conference, telling reporters, “I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we’ve stayed away.”

To the extent that reality matters, Trump and his business team did not ”stay away.” The New York Times reported a few weeks ago: Mr. Trump repeatedly sought business in Russia as far back as 1987, when he traveled there to explore building a hotel. He applied for his trademark in the country as early as 1996. And his children and associates have appeared in Moscow over and over in search of joint ventures, meeting with developers and government officials.

During a trip in 2006, Mr. Sater and two of Mr. Trump’s children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, stayed at the historic Hotel National Moscow opposite the Kremlin, connecting with potential partners over the course of several days.

As recently as 2013, Mr. Trump himself was in Moscow. He had sold Russian real estate developers the right to host his Miss Universe pageant that year, and he used the visit as a chance to discuss development deals, writing on Twitter at the time: “TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next.”
Trump once told a biographer, “I know the Russians better than anybody.”

What about the president’s specific claim this morning that he currently has “no deals in Russia”? That may be true, but it’s difficult to know for sure. As the Washington Post recently reported, “It is not possible to verify whether Trump does not have current deals or loans with Russian entities because he has refused to release his tax returns.”

As for the Republican’s assertion that he doesn’t know Russian President Vladimir Putin, it’s worth remembering from time to time that Trump has repeatedly said the exact opposite. Trump told MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts in 2013, “I do have a relationship” with Putin. A year later, Trump said, “I was in Moscow recently and I spoke, indirectly and directly, with President Putin, who could not have been nicer, and we had a tremendous success.”

As recently as late 2015, Trump said in reference to Putin, “I got to know him very well.”

Trump later decided to reverse course on his own claims on the Russian leader. Will he do the same in reference to his denials about Russian deals?

OF MICE AND MEN

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It was on this day in 1937 that John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men was published (books by this author). Of Mice and Men was Steinbeck’s fifth novel (he had also published an excerpt from a novel and a book of short stories). His first novel, Cup of Gold (1929), was a total flop – it didn’t even earn back the $250 that Steinbeck received as an advance. That year, he wrote to a friend: “The book was an immature experiment written for the purpose of getting all the wise cracks (known by sophomores as epigrams) and all the autobiographical material (which hounds us until we get it said) out of my system. […] I think I shall write some very good books indeed. The next one won’t be good nor the next one, but about the fifth, I think will be above the average.”

He began work on Of Mice and Men in 1935. He and his wife, Carol, were living in his family’s three-room vacation cottage near Monterey Bay. It wasn’t meant for year-round living, but Steinbeck built a fireplace and closed off the porch, and they made do. Carol worked as a secretary, and Steinbeck’s parents gave him an allowance of $25 a month. Steinbeck’s new book was titled Something That Happened, but then he read the poem “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns, and was struck by the lines: “The best laid schemes o’ mice and men / gang aft agley, / An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, / For promis’d joy!” So he retitled his work Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck wanted to write in a new style, more like a play than a novel. He considered his audience for the story to be poor working-class people, and he thought they would be more likely to see a play than read a book.

Steinbeck had worked in California as a farm laborer, and he wanted to write about the terrible conditions he witnessed. Of Mice and Men tells the story of two laborers who are best friends: Lennie, who is big and strong with limited mental capabilities, and George, who is small and smart and looks out for Lennie. The story ends tragically after Lennie, unaware of his own strength, kills a woman. Steinbeck based the character of Lennie on a real farm laborer he knew, who killed a ranch foreman with a pitchfork after one of his friends was fired. Steinbeck made sure that the novel was tightly plotted and heavy on dialogue, ready to be adapted to the stage.

Steinbeck wrote in the spring of 1936: “My new work is really going and that makes me very happy – kind of an excitement like that you get near a dynamo from breathing pure oxygen […] This work is going quickly and should get done quickly. I’m using a new set of techniques as far as I know but I am so illy read that it may have been done. Not that that matters at all.” Then his new puppy, Toby, chewed up half of the manuscript. Steinbeck was furious, but a couple of days later, he was able to write to a friend: “Minor tragedy stalked. My setter pup, left alone one night, made confetti of about half of my ms. book. Two months work to do over again. It sets me back. There was no other draft. I was pretty mad but the poor little fellow may have been acting critically. I didn’t want to ruin a good dog on a ms. I’m not sure is good at all. He only got an ordinary spanking with his punishment flyswatter.”

He was forced to start over, but work went quickly again, and he managed to get the work to his publisher a few months later. When Of Mice and Men was published, it had already been chosen by the Book-of-the-Month Club, and got great reviews. The famous playwright and director George S. Kaufman offered to produce it as a play, and Steinbeck spent a week at Kaufman’s Pennsylvania estate, where the two men worked on adapting the work for the stage. About 85 percent of the novel’s original dialogue ended up in the final play. After his week with Kaufman, Steinbeck left the East Coast. When a reporter asked him if he would stick around, he replied: “Hell no. I’ve got work to do out in California.” He refused to come back either for rehearsals or to see the final product. He did ask his publisher to call and give him a full report on the play’s opening night, but he had to go to a friend’s house to use the telephone since he didn’t have one of his own. The play was a huge hit.

-The Writer’s Almanac for February 6, 2017

JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH

 

Opinions show focus: religious rights, limits on government

In 2013, the Hobby Lobby craft-store chain sued to challenge the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that an employer’s insurance policy must cover all forms of birth control. Lewis Geyer, Longmont Times-Call

Defending religious liberties and limiting government’s regulatory power defined Neil Gorsuch’s decade-plus tenure on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

But the judge nominated by President Donald Trump to the U.S. Supreme Court also scolded his fellow jurists for overreaching in a law-enforcement case and upheld Colorado’s clean-energy rules in a challenge from the coal industry.

Gorsuch’s conservative credentials and artful writing style are evident in his rulings and dissents. So is his independent streak, The Denver Post found in a review of his judicial record.

Religious beliefs

The caseHobby Lobby Stores vs. Sebelius, 2013. The Hobby Lobby craft store chain sued to challenge the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that an employer’s insurance policy must cover all forms of birth control.

The ruling: The 10th Circuit ruled that federal law prohibited the requirement from applying to closely held corporations, with Judge Gorsuch in agreement. The U.S. Supreme Court later upheld that view in a 5-4 decision.

In his concurring opinion, Gorsuch defended religious freedom, writing that it “doesn’t just apply to protect popular religious beliefs: it does perhaps its most important work in protecting unpopular religious beliefs, vindicating this nation’s long-held aspiration to serve as a refuge of religious tolerance.” He argued that the ACA would force businesses “to underwrite payments for drugs or devices that can have the effect of destroying a fertilized human egg.”

Quote: “It is not for secular courts to rewrite the religious complaint of a faithful adherent, or to decide whether a religious teaching about complicity imposes ‘too much’ moral disapproval on those only ‘indirectly’ assisting wrongful conduct.”

Rights of religious orders

The caseLittle Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged vs. Burwell, 2015. After the Hobby Lobby case, the Denver-based Little Sisters of the Poor challenged the birth-control mandate on different legal grounds.

The ruling: The health care law allowed nonprofits to opt out, but the Catholic Little Sisters suggested it still substantially burdened their religious exercise.

Gorsuch joined a dissenting opinion arguing for a full court review. “The opinion of the panel majority is clearly and gravely wrong — on an issue that has little to do with contraception and a great deal to do with religious liberty,” the opinion opened. The Supreme Court later sent the case back to lower courts to find a settlement that accommodates the Catholic order’s religious beliefs.

Quote: “When a law demands that a person do something the person considers sinful, and the penalty for refusal is a large financial penalty, then the law imposes a substantial burden on that person’s free exercise of religion.”

Federal executive authority

The caseGutierrez-Brizuela vs. Lynch, 2016. A man applied for lawful immigration status, but his case became entangled between administrative rules and related court decisions.

The ruling: Writing for the court, Gorsuch ruled that immigration officials overstepped their authority. But what makes this ruling stand out is Gorsuch’s questions about what is called the Chevron doctrine. The long-standing but little-noticed tenant suggests the courts should defer to the executive branch to interpret the law.

In his concurring opinion, featuring a lengthy discussion of the Constitutional framers and the separation of powers, Gorsuch argued the courts are the better arbiter when it comes to weighing the legality of government regulations and rules.

Quote: “Chevron and Brand X permit executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little difficult to square with the Constitution of the framers’ design. Maybe the time has come to face the behemoth.”

Planned Parenthood funding

The casePlanned Parenthood Association of Utah vs. Herbert, 2016. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert ordered the state to suspend providing money to Planned Parenthood after the release of videos — later disputed — regarding the alleged sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood sued to block the order.

The ruling: A three-judge panel at the 10th Circuit reversed a lower court ruling to allow Planned Parenthood to receive a preliminary injunction to block the governor’s order while the case proceeded.

An unidentified 10th Circuit judge, without prodding from Utah, sought a rehearing of the case before the full panel. But the majority of the court denied the rehearing. Gorsuch authored a dissenting opinion that argued the three-judge panel’s initial ruling was inconsistent with its uniform practices regarding burden of proof and legal significance. He went on to suggest the governor’s action was lawful.

Quote: “It is undisputed, too, that the governor was free as a matter of law to suspend the funding in question for this reason.”

Colorado’s clean energy program

The caseEnergy and Environment Legal Institute vs. Epel, 2015. An organization that represents out-of-state coal producers challenged Colorado’s renewable energy standard in 2004, arguing it was unconstitutional under the dormant commerce clause.

The ruling: In an opinion for the court, Gorsuch rejected the challenge and sided with the lower court, writing that the lawsuit sought to invoke “the most dormant doctrine in dormant commerce clause jurisprudence.”

The commerce clause has been used by judges to strike down state laws that interfere with interstate commerce. But Gorsuch said the doctrine is “absent from the Constitution’s text and incompatible with its structure.”

Quote: “If there’s any disproportionate adverse effect felt by out-of-state producers or any disproportionate advantage enjoyed by in-state producers, it hasn’t been explained to this court.”

Defendant’s right to counsel

The caseWilliams vs. Jones, 2009. The question involved whether a defendant’s right to effective counsel was violated. The defendant wanted to accept a 10-year prison term for a guilty plea on a second-degree murder charge. His counsel refused to represent him should he take the deal. The defendant was convicted at trial of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The ruling: The 10th Circuit ruled that the defendant’s rights were violated as counsel wrongly interpreted the law. Gorsuch wrote a dissenting opinion.

Quote: “The Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel is an instrumental right designed to ensure a fair trial. By his own admission, (the defendant) received just such a trial, at the end of which he was convicted of first-degree murder by a jury of his peers. We have no authority to disturb this outcome. … due process guarantees a fair trial, not a good bargain.”

Judicial overreach

The caseA.M. on behalf of her minor child vs.

Holmes, 2016. The question focused on whether qualified immunity — where government officials are protected from liability — extended to school officials was justified. A 13-year-old boy was handcuffed and arrested on a misdemeanor charge of disrupting the educational process for having burped incessantly in gym class. The family sued.

The ruling: The court ruled that police reasonably used the law to declare the boy had disrupted class and that qualified immunity applied. Gorsuch dissented, saying his judicial colleagues had overreached in their determination and the police response should be in proportion to the offense.

Quote: “I would have thought this authority sufficient to alert any reasonable officer in this case that arresting a now compliant class clown for burping was going a step too far. … Indeed, a judge who likes every result he reaches is very likely a bad judge, reaching for results he prefers rather than those the law compels.”

Police use of force

The caseWilson vs. City of Lafayette, 2013. Police chased a drug suspect on foot for nearly a mile. When ordered to stop, the suspect reached to his right pants pocket several times and was tasered. One of the prongs pierced his head. He died after being disabled. The lower court ruled against the man’s family and granted the officer’s qualified immunity from suit.

The ruling: The 10th Circuit Court held the officer was entitled to qualified immunity and that officers must reasonably know their actions violate a defendant’s constitutional rights in order to be held culpable. Gorsuch authored the unanimous opinion.

Quote: “The situation at the time the officer fired his taser was … replete with uncertainty and a reasonable officer in his shoes could have worried he faced imminent danger from a lethal weapon. A reasonable officer need not await the glint of steel before taking self-protective action.”