Immigration

Mike Maden — Drone — Videos

Posted on August 2, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Crime, Crisis, Doumentary, Drones, Drug Cartels, Education, Energy, Entertainment, Fiction, Films, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government spending, history, Homicide, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Movies, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Resources, Reviews, Security, Transportation, Video, War, Weapons, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Mike Maden

mike maden

Obama defends US drone attacks

Peter Singer: Drone Warfare

The Morality of Drone Warfare

DRONE WARS, PART ONE: THE DRONE LANDSCAPE

DRONE WARS, PART TWO: THE DRONE ECONOMY

DRONE WARS, PART THREE: THE DRONE MORALITY

Drone Boom Why Drones Aren’t Just for Dropping Bombs Anymore

Drone Laws Restrict Civilian UAV’s but allow Government

Rise of the Drones(full documentary)HD

RISE OF THE DRONES – NOVA (full documentary)

The Costs of Drone Warfare – Documentary

Richard Clarke – U.S. Drone Program Under Obama “Got Out of Hand”

EVERYONE needs to see this! Drone Strikes

Top 10 Drones in the world

ex CEO Colin Guinn is ALIVE, Files legal Injunction against DJI Innovations

 

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Illegal Alien Invasion of The United States of America — Videos

Posted on August 2, 2014. Filed under: Agriculture, American History, Beef, Blogroll, College, Communications, Crime, Demographics, Drug Cartels, Economics, Education, Employment, Family, Farming, Federal Government, Food, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, Friends, government spending, history, Homicide, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Public Sector, Resources, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Water, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

The Illegal Invasion of America

The Illegal Invasion From Ground Zero

Obama’s Border Crisis Could Result In The Deaths Of Millions Of Americans

Illegal Invasion Destroying Small Town America

A once prosperous Texas town is now drowning in debt due to the swarm of illegals destroying property,spreading disease and filling up mass graves on the taxpayer’s dime. Infowars reporter Jon bowne speaks with Falfurrias Texas judge Raul Ramirez about the red level warning signs for main street America.

Tidal Wave of Illegals Overrun Brownsville, Texas

Judge Jeanine Pirro Opening Statement – Illegal Alien Released Kills US Citizen – Obama’s Crisis

TV In Central America Telling Illegals To Go The US With Your Child – “You Won’t Be Turned Away”

 

 

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George J. Borjas — Heaven’s Door: Immigration Policy and The American Economy — Videos

Posted on July 22, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Data, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Illegal, Immigration, Investments, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Technology, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

george_borjas

George J. Borjas: Costs of Immigration – Economics Roundtable

The Implications of Economics for Immigration Policy

The 2012 Richard Grandin Shepherd Lecture in Economics at Kenyon College by George Borjas

.@fordschool – Immigration, Public Policy, and the Skills Debate Panel

 

 

George J. Borjas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
George J. Borjas
Born Jorge Jesus Borjas
October 15, 1950 (age 63)
Havana, Cuba
Residence Lexington, Massachusetts
Citizenship American
Fields Economist
Institutions Harvard Kennedy School
Alma mater St. Peter’s College
Columbia University
Known for research on immigration

George Jesus Borjas (born Jorge Jesus Borjas; October 15, 1950)[1] is an American economist and the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.[2] He is most well known for his advocacy of reducing the rates of immigration to the United States.

Personal life and education

Borjas was born in Havana, Cuba on October 15, 1950. He migrated to the United States in October, 1962 with his mother. He graduated with a B.S. in economics and mathematics from St. Peter’s College in 1971. He then completed his M.A. in economics from Columbia University in 1974. He completed his M.Phil and Ph.D. in economics from Columbia in 1975 for thesis titled Job Investment, Labor Mobility and Earnings.[3]

He is married and has three children.[3]

Academic career

Borjas became an assistant professor of economics at Queens College, City University of New York from 1975 to 1977. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Economics, University of Chicago from 1977 to 1978. He was also a Senior Research Analyst, National Bureau of Economic Research from 1972 to 1978.[3]

He joined the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1980 and remained there for ten years. He then became a professor at the University of California, San Diego from 1990 to 1995. He joined the faculty at Harvard University in 1995.[3]

Work

Borjas was called ‘America’s leading immigration economist’ by BusinessWeek and The Wall Street Journal. He is an influential figure in the debate on immigration and his research on the economic impact of immigration plays a central role in the debate over immigration policy in the United States.[1]

He has written many books and has published more than 100 articles in books and scholarly journals, including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics.[2] His most recent book is Immigration Economics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014).

Honors

Borjas was listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry and Who’s Who in Economics. He was elected a fellow of the Econometric Society in 1998 and a fellow of the Society of Labor Economists in 2004. He was also a member of the Council of Economic Advisors for the Governor of California from 1993 to 1998, of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on the Demographic and Economic Impact of Immigration from 1995 to 1997, and chaired the National Science Foundation’s Committee of Visitors for the Economics Program in 1996.[2]

In 2011 he was named co-winner of the IZA Prize in Labor Economics.[4]

Books

The following are the books published by Borjas.

  • Wage Policy in the Federal Bureaucracy (American Enterprise Institute, 1980)
  • Friends or Strangers: The Impact of Immigrants on the U.S. Economy (Basic Books, 1990)
  • Labor Economics (McGraw-Hill, 1996; 2nd Edition, 2000, 3rd edition, 2005, 4th edition, 2008, 5th edition, 2010,)
  • Heaven’s Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy (Princeton University Press, 1999)

References

  1. Davis, Bob (April 26, 1996). “Despite His Heritage, Prominent Economist Backs Immigration Cut”. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-06-30.[dead link]
  2. “Biography of George J. Borjas”. Harvard University. Retrieved 2008-06-30.[dead link]
  3. “Curriculum Vitae of George J. Borjas” (pdf). Harvard University. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  4. George Borjas Named Co-Winner of 2011 IZA Prize in Labor Economics Harvard Kennedy School, July 21, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2012

External links

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Peter Brimelow — Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster — Videos

Posted on July 21, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, Catholic Church, Communications, Computers, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Employment, Family, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, IRS, Islam, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Medicine, Natural Gas, Non-Fiction, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Psychology, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Reviews, Security, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Water, Wealth, Weather, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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peter_brimelow

VDARE.com

What Price Mass Immigration – Peter Brimelow Introduction

 

Peter Brimelow of VDare on How Republican Party Has to be More White

Alien Nation: America’s Immigration Disaster

Mr. Brimelow discussed his book Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster, published by Random House. The book focuses on U.S. immigration policy and cycles of control on immigration. Mr. Brimelow argues that legislation passed in 1965 has resulted in negative trends in immigration to the United States, including an influx of immigrants from a very few countries that he says are engulfing America. The author says that the latest immigration wave consists of immigrants who are less educated, less skilled, and less likely to share American ideals, which he argues is a detriment to American culture.

Peter Brimelow Reflects on Immigration in America, Post-Alien Nation

Michael Coren Interviews Peter Brimelow

Peter Brimelow, Immigration Road to Hell

Peter Brimelow speaks CPAC 2012

Inequality and Immigration (1 of 3)

Inequality and Immigration (2 of 3)

Inequality & Immigration (3 of 3)

Peter Brimelow On Western Culture At The Thomas Jefferson Club

The Libertarian Case Against Open Immigration | Peter Brimelow

Related Articles and Videos

George J. Borjas: Costs of Immigration – Economics Roundtable

 

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Kurdistan — A New Nation In The Making With 40 Million Kurds — Turkey (15 Million +), Iran (7 Million +), Iraq (6 Million +), and Syria (3 Million +) — No Friends But The Mountains — Videos

Posted on June 14, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Constitution, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Genocide, government, history, Illegal, Immigration, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Literacy, media, Natural Gas, Nuclear Power, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

contemporarykurdistanmap-kurdistan-official-map-Washington-Report-Middle-East-Affairs

 

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Kurdistan-Map2

Kurdistan-Map

kurdistan3

kurdistan_map

free-kurdistan-map

Flag_of_Kurdistan.svg

Who are the Kurds

Kurdistan; Paradise of 7 tribes

Iraq: Border crossings into autonomous Kurdistan flooded with fleeing Iraqis

( Kurdistan ) New country in Mideast Kurds aim to create own state amid conflicts

Brief History of Kurdistan

New country in Mideast? Kurds aim to create own state amid conflicts

The Invisible Nation of Kurds

Kurds After the Gulf War

Kurdish Exodess in 1991 part 1

Kurdish Exodess in 1991 part 2

The Kurds: A People in Search of Their Homeland

Iraqi Kurds ‘fully control Kirkuk’ as army flees

2014 – BBC World News – Imminent ISIS Attack on Baghdad; Iraqi Kurds Seize Ctrl of Kirkuk

Kurdish Special Forces VS isis 2014

Syrias Kurdish Islamist terror conflict Ceylanpınar

MidEast In-Depth: What’s the impact of the rift between the Kurds in Syria?

 

Female Fighters of Kurdistan (Part 1/3)

Female Fighters of Kurdistan (Part 2/3)

Female Fighters of Kurdistan (Part 3/3)

Women fighters in kurdistan 2013 (documentary)

Cases: The Condition of Kurds in Turkey

26 years of Kurdish struggle in Turkey 

DN! US Journalist (1) on Plight of Kurds Deported from Turkey

DN! US Journalist (2) on Plight of Kurds Deported from Turkey

Documentary: Good Kurds, Bad Kurds 1/8

Documentary: Good Kurds, Bad Kurds 2/8

Documentary: Good Kurds, Bad Kurds 3/8

Documentary: Good Kurds, Bad Kurds 4/8

Documentary: Good Kurds, Bad Kurds 5/8

Documentary: Good Kurds, Bad Kurds 6/8

Documentary: Good Kurds, Bad Kurds 7/8

Documentary: Good Kurds, Bad Kurds 8/8

 

 

 

 

 

The Kurdish Question

History of the Kurdish Aryan Race (Proto indo-European)

BBC – Fast Track, About Kurdistan

The Other Iraq Who are the Kurds

KURDISTAN – CBS NEWS REPORT, WHAT IS KURDISTAN?

Booming Economy in Kurdistan Transforms Region into Business Hub

In A Changing Middle East, Should the U.S. Support Kurdish Independence?

The Invisible Nation of Kurds

KURDISTAN the new Dubai 2012-2031

Kurdish wedding in Dallas Plano

Former US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford on Kurds in Syria

Noam Chomsky (July, 2013) “On the Kurds”

Kurdish oil upsets Washington and Baghdad

Kurdish population

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Kurdish people are an Indo-European ethnic group, whose origins are in the Middle East.[1] They are the largest ethnic group in the world that do not have a state of their own.[2] The region of Kurdistan, the original geographic region of the Kurdish people and the home to the majority of Kurds today, covers contemporary TurkeyIraqIran, and Syria. This geo-cultural region means “Land of the Kurds”. Kurdish populations occupy the territory in and around the Zagros mountains. These arid unwelcoming mountains have been a geographic buffer to cultural and political dominance from neighboring empires.[2] Persians,Arabs and Ottomans were kept away, and a space was carved out to develop Kurdish culture, language and identity.[2]

 

Turkey[edit]

According to a report by Turkish agency KONDA, in 2006, out of the total population of 73 million people in Turkey there were 11.4 million Kurds and Zazas living in Turkey (close to 15.68% of the total population).[3]The Turkish newspaper Milliyet has reported in 2008 that the Kurdish population in Turkey is 12.6 million; although this also includes 3 million Zazas.[4] According to the World Factbook, Kurdish people make up 18% of Turkey’s population (about 14 million, out of 77.8 million people).[5] Kurdish sources put the figure at 20[6] to 25 million Kurds in Turkey.[7]

Kurds mostly live in southeastern and eastern parts of Anatolia. But large Kurdish populations can be found in western Turkey due to internal migration. According to Rüstem Erkan, Istanbul is the province with the largest Kurdish population in Turkey.[8]

Iran[edit]

Main articles: Kurds in Iran and Kurds of Khorasan

From the 7 million Iranian Kurds, a significant portion are Shia.[9] Shia Kurds inhabit Kermanshah Province, except for those parts where people are Jaff, and Ilam Province; as well as some parts of Kurdistan,Hamadan and Zanjan provinces. The Kurds of Khorasan Province in northeastern Iran are also adherents of Shia Islam. During the Shia revolution in Iran the major Kurdish political parties were unsuccessful in absorbing Shia Kurds, who at that period had no interest in autonomy.[10][11][12] However, since the 1990s Kurdish nationalism has seeped into the Shia Kurdish area partly due to outrage against government’s violent suppression of Kurds farther north.[13]

Iraq[edit]

Main article: Kurds in Iraq

Kurds constitute approximately 17% of Iraq’s population. They are the majority in at least three provinces in northern Iraq which are together known as Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurds also have a presence in KirkukMosul,Khanaqin, and Baghdad. Around 300,000 Kurds live in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, 50,000 in the city of Mosul and around 100,000 elsewhere in southern Iraq.[14]

Kurds led by Mustafa Barzani were engaged in heavy fighting against successive Iraqi regimes from 1960 to 1975. In March 1970, Iraq announced a peace plan providing for Kurdish autonomy. The plan was to be implemented in four years.[15] However, at the same time, the Iraqi regime started an Arabization program in the oil-rich regions of Kirkuk and Khanaqin.[16] The peace agreement did not last long, and in 1974, the Iraqi government began a new offensive against the Kurds. Moreover in March 1975, Iraq and Iran signed the Algiers Accord, according to which Iran cut supplies to Iraqi Kurds. Iraq started another wave of Arabization by moving Arabs to the oil fields in Kurdistan, particularly those around Kirkuk.[17] Between 1975 and 1978, 200,000 Kurds were deported to other parts of Iraq.[18]

Syria[edit]

Main article: Kurds in Syria

Kurds are the largest ethnic minority in Syria and make up nine percent of the country’s population.[19] Syrian Kurds have faced routine discrimination and harassment by the government.[20][21]

Syrian Kurdistan is an unofficial name used by some to describe the Kurdish inhabited regions of northern and northeastern Syria.[22] The northeastern Kurdish inhabited region covers the greater part of Hasakah Governorate. The main cities in this region are Qamishli and Hasakah. Another region with significant Kurdish population is Kobanê (Ayn al-Arab) in the northern part of Syria near the town of Jarabulus and also the city of Afrin and its surroundings along the Turkish border.

Many Kurds seek political autonomy for the Kurdish inhabited areas of Syria, similar to Iraqi Kurdistan in Iraq, or outright independence as part of Kurdistan. The name “Western Kurdistan” (Kurdish: Rojavayê Kurdistanê) is also used by Kurds to name the Syrian Kurdish inhabited areas in relation to Kurdistan.[23][24][25] Since the Syrian civil war, Syrian government forces have abandoned many Kurdish-populated areas, leaving the Kurds to fill the power vacuum and govern these areas autonomously.[26]

Armenia[edit]

According to the 2011 Armenian Census, 37,470 Kurds live in Armenia, mainly Yazidi.[27] They mainly live in the western parts of Armenia. The Kurds of the former Soviet Union first began writing Kurdish in the Armenian alphabet in the 1920s, followed by Latin in 1927, then Cyrillic in 1945, and now in both Cyrillic and Latin. The Kurds in Armenia established a Kurdish radio broadcast from Yerevan and the first Kurdish newspaper Riya Teze. There is a Kurdish Department in the Yerevan State Institute of Oriental studies. The Kurds of Armenia were the first exiled country to have access to media such as radio, education and press in their native tongue[28] but many Kurds, from 1939 to 1959 were listed as the Azeri population or even as Armenians.[29]

Georgia[edit]

According to the 2000 Georgian Census, 20,843 Kurds live in Georgia.[30] The Kurds in Georgia mainly live in the capital of Tbilisi and Rustavi.[31] According to a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugeesrerport from 1998, about 80% of the Kurdish population in Georgia are Yazidi Kurds.[31]

Russia[edit]

According to the 2010 Russian Census, 63,818 Kurds live in Russia. Russia has maintained warm relations with the Kurds for a long time, During the early 19th century, the main goal of the Russian Empire was to ensure the neutrality of the Kurds, in the wars against Persia and the Ottoman Empire.[32] In the beginning of the 19th century, Kurds settled in Transcaucasia, at a time when Transcaucasia was incorporated into the Russian Empire. In the 20th century, Kurds were persecuted and exterminated by the Turks and Persians, a situation that led Kurds to move to Russia.[33]

Lebanon[edit]

Main article: Kurds in Lebanon

The existence of a community of at least 100,000 Kurds is the product of several waves of immigrants, the first major wave was in the period of 1925-1950 when thousands of Kurds fled violence and poverty in Turkey.[34] Kurds in Lebanon go back far as the twelfth century A.D. when the Ayyubids arrived there. Over the next few centuries, several other Kurdish families were sent to Lebanon by a number of powers to maintain rule in those regions, others moved as a result of poverty and violence in Kurdistan. These Kurdish groups settled in and ruled many areas of Lebanon for a long period of time.[35]:27 Kurds of Lebanon settled in Lebanon because of Lebanon’s pluralistic society.[36]

Western Europe[edit]

The Kurdish diaspora in Western Europe is most significant in Germany, France, Sweden and the UK. Kurds from Turkey went to Germany and France during the 1960s as immigrant workers. Thousands of Kurdish refugees and political refugees fled from Turkey to Sweden during the 1970s and onward, and from Iraq during the 1980s and 1990s.

In France, the Iranian Kurds make up the majority of the community.[37] However, thousands of Iraqi Kurds also arrived in the mid 1990s.[38] More recently, Syrian Kurds have been entering France illegally[39]

In the United Kingdom, Kurds first began to immigrate between 1974-75 when the rebellion of Iraqi Kurds against the Iraqi government was repressed. The Iraqi government began to destroy Kurdish villages and forced many Kurds to move to barren land in the south.[40] These events resulted in many Kurds fleeing to the United Kingdom. Thus, the Iraqi Kurds make up a large part of the community.[37] In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini came to power in Iran and installed Islamic law. There was widespread political oppression and persecution of the Kurdish community. Since the late 1970s the number of people from Iran seeking asylum in Britain has remained high.[40] In 1988, Saddam Hussein launched the Anfal campaign in the northern Iraq. This included mass executions and disappearances of the Kurdish community. The use of chemical weapons against thousands of towns and villages in the region, as well as the town of Halabja increased the number of Iraq Kurds entering the United Kingdom.[40] A large number of Kurds also came to the United Kingdom following the 1980 military coup in Turkey.[40] More recently, immigration has been due to the continued political oppression and the repression of ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Iran.[40] Estimates of the Kurdish population in the United Kingdom are as high as 200-250,000.[40]

In Denmark, there is a significant number of Iraqi political refugees, many of which are actually Kurds.[41]

In Finland, most Kurds arrived in the 1990s as Iraqi refugees.[42] Kurds in Finland have no great attachment to the Iraqi state because of their position as a persecuted minority. Thus, they feel more accepted and comfortable in Finland, many wanting to get rid of their Iraqi citizenship.[43]

North America[edit]

In the United States, it is believed that the Kurdish population is approximately 58,000,[44] the large majority of which come from Iran.[45] It is estimated that some 23,000 Iranian Kurds are living in the United States.[45]During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, about 10,000 Iraqi refugees were admitted to the United States, most of which were Kurds and Shiites who had assisted or were sympathisers of the U.S –led war.[46] Nashville, Tennessee has the nation’s largest population of Kurdish people, with an estimated 8,000-11,000. There are also Kurds in Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, and San Diego.[47]

In Canada, Kurdish immigration was largely the result of the Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War. Thus, many Iraqi Kurds immigrated to Canada due to the constant wars and suppression of Kurds and Shiites by the Iraqi government.[48]

Oceania[edit]

In Australia, Kurdish migrants first arrived in the second half of the 1960s, mainly from Turkey.[49] However, in the late 1970s families from Syria and Lebanon were also present in Australia.[49] Since the second half of the 1980s, the majority of Kurds arriving in Australia have been from Iraq and Iran; many of them were accepted under the Humanitarian Programme.[49] However, Kurds from Lebanon, Armenia and Georgia have also migrated to Australia. The majority live in Melbourne and Sydney.[49]

Statistics by country[edit]

Traditional areas of Kurdish settlement[edit]

Country Official figures Official figures in % Current est. Kurdish population Further information
 Turkey 2,819,727 (1965 census, Kurdish speakers)a 8.98% 13,261,000 (18.3%)e Kurds in Turkey
 Iran N/A N/A approx. 6,500,000[50] Kurds in Iran
 Iraq N/A N/A approx. 5,000,000[51] Kurds in Iraq
 Syria N/A N/A approx. 2,200,000[52] Kurds in Syria
 Armenia 37,470 (2011 census)d 1.24% Kurds in Armenia

 Azerbaijan6,073 (2009 census)b0.07%150,000–180,000[59][60]Kurds in Azerbaijan

 Russia63,818 (2010 census)c0.04%—Kurds in Russia

 Georgia20,843 (2002 census)[63]0.48%—Kurds in Georgia

Other countries[edit]

Country Official figures Official figures in % Current est. Kurdish population Further information
 Germany N/A N/A approx. 800,000[64]
 Israel N/A N/A approx. 150,000[65] Kurds in Israel
 France N/A N/A approx. 150,000[66]
 Sweden N/A N/A approx. 90,000[67] Kurds in Sweden
 Lebanon N/A N/A approx. 80,000[68] Kurds in Lebanon
 Netherlands N/A N/A approx. 70,000[69]
 Belgium N/A N/A approx. 80,000[70]
 United Kingdom 49,921 (2011 census)[71][72][73] 0.08% Kurds in the United Kingdom

 Kazakhstan 41,431 (2013 annual statistics)[74] 0.25% Kurds in Kazakhstan
 Jordan N/A N/A 30,000[75]–100,000[76] Kurds in Jordan
 Denmark N/A N/A 30,000[77]
 Greece N/A N/A 28,000[78]
 United States 15,361 (2006-2010 ACS)[79] 0.01% Kurds in the United States

  Switzerland 14,699 (2012 statistics, Kurdish speakers)[80] 0.22% N/A
 Kyrgyzstan 13,171 (2009 census)[81][82] 0.25%
 Canada 11,685 (2011 census)[83] 0.04%
 Finland 10,075 (2013 annual statistics, Kurdish speakers)[84] 0.18%
 Australia 6,991 (2011 census)[85]
4,586 (2011 census, Kurdish speakers)[85]
0.03%
0.02%
 Turkmenistan 6,097 (1995 census)[89] 0.14% Kurds in Turkmenistan
 Kuwait N/A N/A 5,000[90]
 Norway N/A N/A 5,000[70]
 Italy N/A N/A 4,000[70]
 Romania N/A N/A 3,000[91]
 Austria 2,133 (2001 census, Kurdish speakers)[92] 0.03% N/A
 Ukraine 2,088 (2001 census)[93] 0%
 Uzbekistan 1,839 (1989 census)[94] 0.01%
 Ireland 128 (2011 census)[95] 0% 1,500[96]
 Cyprus N/A N/A 1,500[97]
 South Korea N/A N/A 1,000[98]
 Spain N/A N/A 1,000[99]
 New Zealand 720 (2013 census)[100]
828 (2013 census, Kurdish speakers)[100]
0.02%
0.02%
 Japan N/A N/A 300–400[101] Kurds in Japan
 Poland 224 (2011 census)[102] 0%
 Hungary 149 (2011 census)[103] 0%
 Bulgaria 147 (2011 census)[104] 0%
 Moldova (1989 census)[105]
132 (Immigrants 1993-2013)[106]
0%
0%
 Czech Republic 100 (2011 census)[107] 0%
 Belarus 81 (2009 census)[108] 0%
 Abkhazia 29 (1989 census)[109] 0.01%
 Latvia 29 (2014 annual statistics)[110] 0%
 Estonia 23 (2011 census)[111] 0%
 Serbia <12 (2011 census)[112] 0%
 Lithuania <10 (2011 census)[113] 0%
 Croatia (2011 census)[114][115] 0%
 Tajikistan (2010 census)[116] 0%
 South Ossetia (1989 census)[109] 0%
Notes
^a According to the Turkish 1965 census, 2,219,502 people indicated Kurdish as their mother language and 429,168 as their second best language spoken. 150,644 people indicated Zaza as their mother language and 20,413 as their second best language spoken.[117]
^b Official Azerbaijani records claim only 6,073 Kurds in 2009,[61] while Kurdish leaders estimate as much as 200,000. The problem is that the historical record of the Kurds in Azerbaijan is filled with lacunae.[118]For instance, in 1979 there was according to the census no Kurds recorded.[119] Not only did Turkey and Azerbaijan pursue an identical policy against the Kurds, they even employed identical techniques like forced assimilation, manipulation of population figures, settlement of non-Kurds in areas predominantly Kurdish, suppression of publications and abolition of Kurdish as a medium of instruction in schools.[119]
^c In the 2010 Russian Census, 23,232 people indicated Kurdish (Курды) as their ethnicity, while 40,586 chose Yazidi (Езиды) as their ethnicity.[120]
^d In the 2011 Armenian Census, 2,131 people indicated Kurdish (Քրդեր) as their ethnicity, while 35,272 indicated Yazidi (Եզդիներ) as their ethnicity.[27]
^e 2006 Konda survey.[121]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdish_population
Kurds
The Kurdish people, or Kurds (Kurdishکورد, Kurd), are an ethnic group in Western Asia, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of IranIraqSyria, and Turkey.They are an Iranian people and speak the Kurdish languages, which are members of the Iranian branch of Indo-European languages.[31] The Kurds number about 30 million, the majority living in West Asia, with significant Kurdish diaspora communities in the cities of western Turkey, in Armenia, Georgia, Israel, Azerbaijan, Russia, Lebanon and, in recent decades, some European countries and the United States.

The Kurds have had partial autonomy in Iraqi Kurdistan since 1991. Nationalist movements in the other Kurdish-populated countries (TurkeySyriaIran) push for Kurdish regional autonomy or the creation of a sovereign state.

 

 

Etymology

The exact origins of the name “Kurd” are unclear.[32] Though it is believed that the term precedes the formation of the ethnic group by centuries or even millennia.

G.S. Reynolds believes that the term Kurd is most likely related to the ancient term Qardu. The common root of Kurd and Qardu is first mentioned in a Sumeriantablet from the third millennium BC as the “land of Kar-da.”[33] Similarly, Hennerbichler believes the term Kurd and similar ethnic labels to have been derived from the Sumerian word stem “kur”, meaning mountain.[34]

The term Qardu however, appears in Assyrian sources, where it refers to the contemporary Mount Judi, and which derived its name from the people inhabiting the region, the Carduchi,[35] mentioned by Xenophon as the tribe who opposed the retreat of the Ten Thousand through the mountains north of Mesopotamia in the 4th century BC. However, according to G. Asatrian, the most reasonable explanation of the ethnonym is its possible connections with the Cyrtii (Cyrtaei).[36]

The word Kurd was first written in sources in the form of Kurt(kwrt-) in the Middle Persian treatise (Karnamak Ardashir Papakan and the Matadakan i Hazar Dastan), used to describe a social group or tribes that existed before the development of the modern ethnic nation.[37] The term was adopted by Arabic writers of the early Islamic era and gradually became associated with an amalgamation of Iranian and Iranicized nomadic tribes and groups in the region[38][39][40] Sherefxan Bidlisi states that there are four division of Kurds: KurmanjLurKalhor and Guran, each of which speak a different dialect or language variation. Of these, according to Ludwig Paul, only Kurmanji and possibly the Kalhuri correspond to the Kurdish language, while Luri and Gurani are linguistically distinct. Nonetheless, Ludwig writes that linguistics does not provide a definition for when a language becomes a dialect, and thus, non-linguistic factors contribute to the ethnic unity of some of the said groups, namely the Kurmanj, Kalhur, and Guran.[41]

Language

Main article: Kurdish languages

Kurdish area in the Middle East(2007)

The Kurdish language (Kurdish: Kurdî or کوردی) refers collectively to the related dialects spoken by the Kurds.[42] It is mainly spoken in those parts of IranIraq,Syria and Turkey which comprise Kurdistan.[43] Kurdish holds official status in Iraq as a national language alongside Arabic, is recognized in Iran as a regional language, and in Armenia as a minority language.

The Kurdish languages belong to the northwestern sub‑group of the Iranian languages, which in turn belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-Europeanfamily.

Most Kurds are either bilingual or multilingual, speaking the language of their respective nation of origin, such as ArabicPersian, and Turkish as a second language alongside their native Kurdish, while those in diaspora communities often speak 3 or more languages. Kurdish Jews and some Kurdish Christians (not be confused with ethnic Assyrians) usually speak Aramaic (for example: Lishana Deni) as their first language. Aramaic is a Semitic language related to Hebrew andArabic rather than Kurdish.[44]

According to Mackenzie, there are few linguistic features that all Kurdish dialects have in common and that are not at the same time found in other Iranian languages.[45]

The Kurdish dialects according to Mackenzie are classified as:[46]

  • Northern group (The Kurmanji dialect group.)
  • Central group (Part of the Sorani dialect group)
  • Southern group (Part of the Sorani dialect group) including Kermanshahi, Ardalani and Laki

The Zaza and Gorani are ethnic Kurds,[citation needed] but the Zaza–Gorani languages are not classified as Kurdish.

Commenting on the differences between the dialects of Kurdish, Kreyenbroek clarifies that in some ways, Kurmanji and Sorani are as different from each other as English and German, giving the example that Kurmanji has grammatical gender and case endings, but Sorani does not, and observing that referring to Sorani and Kurmanji as “dialects” of one language is supported only by “their common origin…and the fact that this usage reflects the sense of ethnic identity and unity of the Kurds.”[47]

Population

Main article: Kurdish population

The number of Kurds living in Southwest Asia is estimated at 26-34 million, with another one or two million living in diaspora. Kurds are the fourth largest ethnicity in Western Asia after the ArabsPersians, and Turks.

Kurds comprise anywhere from 18% to 25% of the population in Turkey,[3][48] 15-20% in Iraq, 9% in Syria,[49][50] 7% in Iran and 1.3% in Armenia. In all of these countries except Iran, Kurds form the second largest ethnic group. Roughly 55% of the world’s Kurds live in Turkey, about 18% each in Iran and Iraq, and a bit over 5% in Syria.[51]

McDowall has estimated that in 1991 the Kurds comprised 19% of the population in Turkey, 23% in Iraq, 10% in Iran, and 8% in Syria. The total number of Kurds in 1991 was in this estimate placed at 22.5 million, with 48% of this number living in Turkey, 18% in Iraq, 24% in Iran, and 4% in Syria.[52]

History

The greatest extent of the Median Empire

Origins

Further information: Gutian peopleMedesCyrtii and Carduchi

The Kurds as an ethnic group appear in the medieval period. The Kurdish people are believed to be of heterogenous origins[53][54] combining a number of earlier tribal or ethnic groups[55] including Median,[54][55][56][57] Lullubi,[58] Guti,[58] Cyrtians,[59] Carduchi.[60] They have also absorbed some elements from Semitic,[55][61][62][63][64]Turkic[65][66][67][68] and Armenian people.[55][69][70][71][72][73] According to J.P. Mallory, the original Gutians precede the arrival of Indo-Iranian peoples (of which the Kurds are one) by some 1500 years.[74] This argument is seconded by F. Hennerbichlers theory which reassigns the ethnic Iranian origin of Kurds (traditionally considered Indo-European) to a people of predominantly unknown ancient Middle Eastern stock, in particular to indigenous Neolithic Northern Fertile Crescent aborigines.[75] This hypothesis is supported by the tentative linguistic identification of Kurds as a people “Iranianized in several waves by militarily organized elites of immigrants from Central Asia”, tentatively ascribing it to carriers of the Y-Dna haplogroup R1a1.[75]

Additionally Minorsky states that there is an “ethno-geographical identification” of present day Kurds as descendent of ancient Medes, an idea based on his “historical, linguistic, and philological” arguments.[76] This was further advanced by I. Gershevitch who provided first “a piece of linguistic confirmation” of Minorsky’s identification and then another “sociolinguistic” argument. Those works of Minorsky were the base of yet another and different approach by Mackenzie. He argued that in contrast to Minorsky (and precisely Gershevitch’s advancement) the evolution of the present day Kurdish language as a Northwestern Iranian language was to “lean more toward Persian” and in turn “marked off from Median”.[76] These disagreements of scholars caused bitter reactions.[76] Dandamaev considers Carduchi (who were from the upper Tigris near the Assyrian and Median borders) less likely than Cyrtians as ancestors of modern Kurds.[77] However according to McDowall, the term Cyrtii was first applied to Seleucid or Parthian mercenary slingers from Zagros, and it is not clear if it denoted a coherent linguistic or ethnic group.[78] Gershevitch and Fisher consider the independent Kardouchoi or Carduchi as the ancestors of the Kurds, or at least the original nucleus of the Iranian-speaking people in what is now Kurdistan.[60]

Legends

Depiction of Noah’s ark landing on the mountain top, from the North French Hebrew Miscellany (13th century)

There are multiple legends that detail the origins of the Kurds. One details the Kurds as being the descendants of King Solomon’s angelic servants (Djinn). These were sent to Europe to bring him five-hundred beautiful maidens, for the king’s harem. However, when these had done so and returned to Israel the king had already passed away. As such, the Djinn settled in the mountains, married the women themselves, and their offspring came to be known as the Kurds.[79]

Additionally, in the legend of Newroz, an evil Assyrian king named Zahak, who had two snakes growing out of his shoulders, had conquered Iran, and terrorized its subjects; demanding daily sacrifices in the form of young men’s brains. Unknowingly to Zahak, the cooks of the palace saved one of the men, and mixed the brains of the other with those of a sheep. The men that were saved were told to flee to the mountains. Hereafter, Kaveh the Blacksmith, who had already lost several of his children to Zahak, trained the men in the mountains, and stormed Zahak’s palace, severing the heads of the snakes and killing the tyrannical king. Kaveh was instilled as the new king, and his followers formed the beginning of the Kurdish people.[80][81]

In the writings of the Ottoman Turkish traveller Evliya Çelebi, there’s also a legend concerning the Kurds to be found. He states to have learned of this legend from a certainMighdisî, an Armenian historian:

According to the chronicler Mighdisî, the first town to be built after Noah’s Flood was the town of Judi, followed by the fortresses of Sinjar and Mifariqin. The town of Judi was ruled by Melik Kürdim of the Prophet Noah’s community, a man who lived no less than 600 years and who travelled the length and width of Kurdistan. Coming to Mifariqin he liked its climate and settled there, begetting many children and descendants. He invented a language of his own, independent of Hebrew. It is neither Hebrew nor Arabic, Farsi, Dari or Pahlavi; they still call it the language of Kürdim. So the Kurdish language, which was invented in Mifariqin and is now used throughout Kurdistan, owes its name to Melik Kürdim of the community of the Prophet Noah. Because Kurdistan is an endless stony stretch of mountains, there are no less than twelve varieties of Kurdish, differing from one another in pronunciation and vocabulary, so that they often have to use interpreters to understand one another’s words.[82]

Ancient Period

Artistic rendition of Ardashir I

The first attestation of the Kurds was during the time of rule of the Sassanids. In the Kar-Namag i Ardashir i Pabagan, a short prose work written in Middle Persian, Ardashir I is depicted as having battled the Kurds and their leader, Madig. After initially sustaining a heavy defeat, Ardashir I was successful in subjugating the Kurds.[83] In a letter Ardashir I received from his foe, Ardavan V, which is also featured in the same work, he’s referred to as being a Kurd himself.

You’ve bitten off more than you can chew
and you have brought death to yourself.
O son of a Kurd, raised in the tents of the Kurds,
who gave you permission to put a crown on your head?[84]

The usage of the term Kurd during this time period most likely was a social term, designating Iranian nomads, rather than a concrete ethnic group.[85][86] At least one author believes Ardashir I to have actually descended from a Kurdish tribe.[87]

Similarly, in 360 CE, the Sassanid king Shapur II marched into the Roman province Zabdicene, to conquer its chief city, Bezabde, present-day Cizre. He found it heavily fortified, and guarded by three legions and a large body of Kurdish archers.[88] After a long and hard-fought siege, Shapur II breached the walls, conquered the city and massacred all its defenders. Hereafter he had the strategically located city repaired, provisioned and garrisoned with his best troops.[88]

There is also a 7th-century text by an unidentified author, written about the legendary Christian martyr Mar Qardagh. He lived in the 4th century, during the reign of Shapur II, and during his travels is said to have encountered Mar Abdisho, a deacon and martyr, who, after having been questioned of his origins by Mar Qardagh and his Marzobans, stated that his parents were originally from an Assyrian village called Hazza, but were driven out and subsequently settled in Tamanon, a village in the land of the Kurds, identified as being in the region of Mount Judi.[89]

Medieval period

Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb, orSaladin, founder of the Ayyubid dynastyin Egypt and Syria

In the early Middle Ages, the Kurds sporadically appear in Arabic sources, though the term was still not being used for a specific people; instead it referred to an amalgam of nomadic western Iranic tribes, who were distinct from Persians. However, in the High Middle Ages, the Kurdish ethnic identity gradually materialized, as one can find clear evidence of the Kurdish ethnic identity and solidarity in texts of the 12th and 13th century,[90] though, the term was also still being used in the social sense.[91]

Al-Tabari wrote that in 639, Hormuzan, a Sasanian general originating from a noble family, battled against the Islamic invaders in Khuzestan, and called upon the Kurds to aid him in battle.[92] They were defeated however, and brought under Islamic rule.

In 838, a Kurdish leader based in Mosul, named Mir Jafar, revolted against the Caliph Al-Mu’tasim who sent the commander Itakh to combat him. Itakh won this war and executed many of the Kurds.[93][94] Eventually Arabs conquered the Kurdish regions and gradually converted the majority of Kurds to Islam, often incorporating them into the military, such as the Hamdanids whose dynastic family members also frequently intermarried with Kurds.[95][96]

In 934 the Daylamite Buyid dynasty was founded, and subsequently conquered most of present-day Iran and Iraq. During the time of rule of this dynasty, Kurdish chief and ruler, Badr ibn Hasanwaih, established himself as one of the most important emirs of the time.[97]

In the 10th-12th centuries, a number of Kurdish principalities and dynasties were founded, ruling Kurdistan and neighbouring areas:

Due to the Turkic invasion of Anatolia, the 11th century Kurdish dynasties crumbled and became incorporated into the Seljuk Dynasty. Kurds would hereafter be used in great numbers in the armies of theZengids.[106] Succeeding the Zengids, the Kurdish Ayyubids established themselves in 1171, first under the leadership of Saladin. Saladin led the Muslims to recapture the city of Jerusalem from the Crusaders at theBattle of Hattin; also frequently clashing with the Hashashins. The Ayyubid dynasty lasted until 1341 when the Ayyubid sultanate fell to Mongolian invasions.

Safavid period

The Safavid Dynasty, established in 1501, also established its rule over Kurdish territories. The paternal line of this family actually had Kurdish roots, tracing back to Firuz-Shah Zarrin-Kolah, a dignitary who moved from Kurdistan to Ardabil in the 11th century.[107][108]

Nevertheless, the Kurds would revolt several times against the Safavids. Shah Ismail I put down a Yezidi rebellion which went on from 1506-1510. A century later, the year-long Battle of Dimdim took place, wherein Shah Abbas I succeeded in putting down the rebellion led by Amir Khan Lepzerin. Hereafter, a large number of Kurds was deported to Khorasan, not only to weaken the Kurds, but also to protect the eastern border from invading Afghan and Turkmen tribes. Others migrated to Afghanistan where they took refuge.[109] Kurds were found in great numbers at the slave markets of Khiva and Bukhara, being sold by the Turkmens. The Kurds of Khorasan, numbering around 700,000, still use the Kurmanji Kurdish dialect.[8][110]

Zand Period

Karim Khan, the Laki ruler of the Zand Dynasty

After the fall of the Safavids, Iran fell into civil war, with multiple leaders trying to gain control over the country. Ultimately, it was Karim Khan, a Laki general of the Zand tribe (perhaps of Kurdish origin)[111] One of the contenders for power was Karim Khan Zand, a member of the Lak tribe near Shiraz.[112][113][114][115][116] who proved to be superiour, and became ruler of Iran with the exception of the Khorasan region.[117]

The country would flourish during Karim Khan’s reign; a strong resurgence of the arts would take place, the economy was restored and international ties were strengthened.[117] Karim Khan was portrayed as being a ruler who truly cared about his subjects, thereby gaining the title Vakil e-Ra’aayaa (Representative of the People).[117]

After Karim Khan’s death, the dynasty would decline in favor of the rivaling Qajars due to infighting between the Khan’s incompetent offspring. It wasn’t until Lotf Ali Khan, 10 years later, that the dynasty would once again be led by an adept ruler. By this time however, the Qajars had already progressed greatly, having taken a number of Zand territories. Lotf Ali Khan made multiple successes before ultimately succumbing to the rivaling faction. Iran and all its Kurdish territories would hereby be incorporated in the Qajar Dynasty.

The Kurdish tribes present in Baluchistan and some of those in Fars are believed to be remnants of those that assisted and accompanied Lotf Ali Khan and Karim Khan, respectively.[118]

Ottoman period

Further information: Sheik Ubeydullah

When Sultan Selim I, after defeating Shah Ismail I in 1514, annexed Armenia and Kurdistan, he entrusted the organisation of the conquered territories to Idris, the historian, who was a Kurd of Bitlis. He divided the territory into sanjaks or districts, and, making no attempt to interfere with the principle of heredity, installed the local chiefs as governors. He also resettled the rich pastoral country between Erzerum and Erivan, which had lain in waste since the passage of Timur, with Kurds from the Hakkari and Bohtan districts.

The Ottoman centralist policies in the beginning of the 19th century aimed to remove power from the principalities and localities, which directly affected the Kurdish emirs. Bedirhan Bey was the last emir of the Cizre Bohtan Emirate after initiating an uprising in 1847 against the Ottomans to protect the current structures of the Kurdish principalities. Although his uprising is not classified as a nationalist one, his children played significant roles in the emergence and the development of Kurdish nationalism through the next century.[119]

The first modern Kurdish nationalist movement emerged in 1880 with an uprising led by a Kurdish landowner and head of the powerful Shemdinan family, Sheik Ubeydullah, who demanded political autonomy or outright independence for Kurds as well as the recognition of a Kurdistan state without interference from Turkish or Persian authorities.[120] The uprising against Qajar Persia and the Ottoman Empire was ultimately suppressed by the Ottomans and Ubeydullah, along with other notables, were exiled to Istanbul.

20th century

2Provisions of the Treaty of Sèvresfor an independent Kurdistan (in 1920).

Kurdish nationalism emerged after World War I with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire which had historically successfully integrated (but not assimilated) the Kurds, through use of forced repression of Kurdish movements to gain independence. Revolts did occur sporadically but only in 1880 with the uprising led by Sheik Ubeydullah were demands as an ethnic group or nation made. Ottoman sultan Abdul Hamid responded by a campaign of integration by co-opting prominent Kurdish opponents to strong Ottoman power with prestigious positions in his government. This strategy appears successful given the loyalty displayed by the Kurdish Hamidiye regiments during World War I.[121]

The Kurdish ethnonationalist movement that emerged following World War I and end of the Ottoman empire was largely reactionary to the changes taking place in mainstream Turkey, primarily radical secularization which the strongly Muslim Kurds abhorred, centralization of authority which threatened the power of local chieftains and Kurdish autonomy, and rampant Turkish nationalism in the new Turkish Republic which obviously threatened to marginalize them.[122]

Kurdish Cavalry in the passes of the Caucasus mountains (The New York Times, January 24, 1915).

Jakob Künzler, head of a missionary hospital in Urfa, has documented the large scale ethnic cleansing of both Armenians and Kurds by the Young Turks during World War I.[123] He has given a detailed account of deportation of Kurds from Erzurum and Bitlis in winter of 1916. The Kurds were perceived to be subversive elements that would take the Russian side in the war. In order to eliminate this threat, Young Turks embarked on a large scale deportation of Kurds from the regions of DjabachdjurPaluMuschErzurum and Bitlis. Around 300,000 Kurds were forced to move southwards to Urfa and then westwards to Aintab and Marasch. In the summer of 1917, Kurds were moved to the Konya region in central Anatolia. Through this measures, the Young Turk leaders aimed at eliminating the Kurds by deporting them from their ancestral lands and by dispersing them in small pockets of exiled communities. By the end of World War I, up to 700,000 Kurds were forcibly deported and almost half of the displaced perished.[124]

Some of the Kurdish groups sought self-determination and the championing in the Treaty of Sèvres of Kurdish autonomy in the aftermath of World War I, Kemal Atatürk prevented such a result. Kurds backed by the United Kingdom declared independence in 1927 and established so-called Republic of AraratTurkey suppressed Kurdist revolts in 1925, 1930, and 1937–1938, while Iran did the same in the 1920s to Simko Shikak at Lake Urmia and Jaafar Sultan of Hewraman region who controlled the region betweenMarivan and north of Halabja. A short-lived Soviet-sponsored Kurdish Republic of Mahabad in Iran did not long outlast World War II.

Kurdish-inhabited areas of the Middle East and the Soviet Union in 1986.

From 1922–1924 in Iraq a Kingdom of Kurdistan existed. When Ba’athist administrators thwarted Kurdish nationalist ambitions in Iraq, war broke out in the 1960s. In 1970 the Kurds rejected limited territorial self-rule within Iraq, demanding larger areas including the oil-richKirkuk region.

During the 1920s and 1930s, several large scale Kurdish revolts took place in Kurdistan Following these rebellions, the area of Turkish Kurdistan was put under martial law and a large number of the Kurds were displaced. Government also encouraged resettlement of Albanians from Kosovo and Assyrians in the region to change the population makeup. These events and measures led to a long-lasting mutual distrust between Ankara and the Kurds .[125] During the relatively open government of the 1950s, Kurds gained political office and started working within the framework of the Turkish Republic to further their interests but this move towards integration was halted with the 1960 Turkish coup d’état.[121] The 1970s saw an evolution in Kurdish nationalism as Marxist political thought influenced a new generation of Kurdish nationalists opposed to the localfeudal authorities who had been a traditional source of opposition to authority, eventually they would form the militant separatist PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, European Union, NATO and many states that includes United States), or Kurdistan Workers Party in English.

Kurds are often regarded as “the largest ethnic group without a state”,[126][127][128][129][130][131] although larger stateless nations exist. Such periphrasis is rejected by leading Kurdologists like Martin van Bruinessen[132] and other scholars who agree that claim obscures Kurdish cultural, social, political and ideological heterogeneity.[133][134][135]Michael Radu argues such meaningless claims mostly come from Western human rights militants, leftists and Kurdish nationalists in Europe.[133]

Kurdish communities

Further information: Kurdistan and Kurdish refugees

Turkey

According to CIA Factbook, Kurds formed approximately 18% of the population in Turkey (approximately 14 million) in 2008. One Western source estimates that up to 25% of the Turkish population is Kurdish (approximately 18-19 million people).[3] Kurdish sources claim there are as many as 20 or 25 million Kurds in Turkey.[136] In 1980, Ethnologue estimated the number of Kurdish-speakers in Turkey at around five million,[137] when the country’s population stood at 44 million.[138] Kurds form the largest minority group in Turkey, and they have posed the most serious and persistent challenge to the official image of a homogeneous society. This classification was changed to the new euphemism of Eastern Turk in 1980.[139]

Several large scale Kurdish revolts in 1925, 1930 and 1938 were suppressed by the Turkish government and more than one million Kurds were forcibly relocated between 1925 and 1938. The use of Kurdish language, dress, folklore, and names were banned and the Kurdish-inhabited areas remained under martial law until 1946.[140] The Ararat revolt, which reached its apex in 1930, was only suppressed after a massive military campaign including destruction of many villages and their populations. In quelling the revolt, Turkey was assisted by the close cooperation of its neighboring states such as Soviet UnionIran and Iraq.[141] The revolt was organized by a Kurdish party called Khoybun which signed a treaty with the Dashnaksutyun (Armenian Revolutionary Federation) in 1927.[141] By the 1970s, Kurdish leftist organizations such as Kurdistan Socialist Party-Turkey (KSP-T) emerged in Turkey which were against violence and supported civil activities and participation in elections. In 1977, Mehdi Zana a supporter of KSP-T won the mayoralty of Diyarbakir in the local elections. At about the same time, generational fissures gave birth to two new organizations: the National Liberation of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Workers Party.[142]

Kurdish boys in Diyarbakir.

The Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (PKK), also known as KADEK and Kongra-Gel, is considered by the US, the EU, and NATO to be a terrorist organization.[143] It is an ethnicsecessionist organization using violence for the purpose of achieving its goal of creating an independent Kurdish state in parts of southeastern Turkey, northeastern Iraq, northeastern Syria and northwestern Iran.

Between 1984 and 1999, the PKK and the Turkish military engaged in open war, and much of the countryside in the southeast was depopulated, as Kurdish civilians moved to local defensible centers such as DiyarbakırVan, and Şırnak, as well as to the cities of western Turkey and even to western Europe. The causes of the depopulation included PKK atrocities against Kurdish clans they could not control, the poverty of the southeast, and the Turkish state’s military operations.[144] State actions also included forced inscription, forced evacuation, destruction of villages, severe harassment and extrajudicial executions.[145][146]

Leyla Zana, the first Kurdish female MP from Diyarbakir, caused an uproar in Turkish Parliament after adding the following sentence inKurdish to her parliamentary oath during the swearing-in ceremony in 1994:[147]

I take this oath for the brotherhood of the Turkish and Kurdish peoples. —

In March 1994, the Turkish Parliament voted to lift the immunity of Zana and five other Kurdish DEP members: Hatip Dicle, Ahmet Turk, Sirri Sakik, Orhan Dogan and Selim Sadak. Zana, Dicle, Sadak and Dogan were sentenced to 15 years in jail by the Supreme Court in October 1995. Zana was awarded the Sakharov Prize for human rights by theEuropean Parliament in 1995. She was released in 2004 amid warnings from European institutions that the continued imprisonment of the four Kurdish MPs would affect Turkey’s bid to join the EU.[148][149] The 2009 local elections resulted in 5.7% for Kurdish political party DTP.[150]

Officially protected death squads are accused of disappearance of 3,200 Kurds and Assyrians in 1993 and 1994 in the so-called mystery killings. Kurdish politicians, human-rights activists, journalists, teachers and other members of intelligentsia were among the victims. Virtually none of the perpetrators were investigated nor punished. Turkish government also encouraged Islamic extremist group Hezbollah to assassinate suspected PKK members and often ordinary Kurds.[151] Azimet Köylüoğlu, the state minister of human rights, revealed the extent of security forces’ excesses in autumn 1994: While acts of terrorism in other regions are done by the PKK; in Tunceli it is state terrorism. In Tunceli, it is the state that is evacuating and burning villages. In the southeast there are two million people left homeless.[152]

Iran

A view of Sanandaj, a major city inIranian Kurdistan.

The Kurdish region of Iran has been a part of the country since ancient times. Nearly all Kurdistan was part of Iranian Empire until its Western part was lost during wars against the Ottoman Empire.[153] Following dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, at Paris Conferences of 1919 Tehran has demanded all lost territories including Turkish Kurdistan,Mosul, and even Diyarbakır, but demands were quickly rejected by Western powers.[154] This area has been divided by modern TurkeySyria and Iraq.[155] Today, the Kurds inhabit mostly north western territories known as Iranian Kurdistan but also north eastern region of Khorasan, and constitute approximately 7-10%[156] of Iran’s overall population (6.5–7.9 million), comparing to 10.6% (2 million) in 1956 or 8% (800 thousand) in 1850.[157]

Major Ethnic Groups of Iran

Unlike in other Kurdish-populated countries, there are strong ethnolinguistical and cultural ties between Kurds, Persians and others as Iranian peoples.[156] Some of modern Iranian dynasties like Safavids and Zands are considered to be partly of Kurdish origin. Kurdish literature in all of its forms (KurmanjiSorani and Gorani) has been developed within historical Iranianboundaries under strong influence of Persian language.[155] Fact that Kurds share much of their history with the rest of Iran is seen as reason why Kurdish leaders in Iran do not want a separate Kurdish state[156][158][159]

The government of Iran has never employed the same level of brutality against its own Kurds like Turkey or Iraq, but it has always been implacably opposed to any suggestion of Kurdish separatism.[156] During and shortly after First World War the government of Iran was ineffective and had very little control over events in the country and several Kurdish tribal chiefs gained local political power, even established large confederations.[158] In the same time, wave of nationalism from disintegrating Ottoman Empire has partly influenced some Kurdish chiefs in border region, and they posed as Kurdish nationalist leaders.[158] Prior to this, identity in both countries largely relied upon religion i.e. Shia Islam in the particular case of Iran.[159][160] In 19th century IranShia–Sunni animosity and describing Sunni Kurds as Ottoman fifth column was quite frenquent.[161]

During late 1910’s and early 1920’s, tribal revolt led by Kurdish chieftain Simko Shikak stroke north western Iran. Although elements of Kurdish nationalism were present in this movement, historians agree these were hardly articulate enough to justify a claim that recognition of Kurdish identity was a major issue in Simko’s movement, and he had to rely heavily on conventional tribal motives.[158] Government forces and non-Kurds were not the only ones to suffer in the attacks, theKurdish population was also robbed and assaulted.[158][162] Rebels do not appear to have felt any sense of unity or solidarity with fellow Kurds.[158] Kurdish insurgency and seasonal migrations in late 1920’s, along with long-running tensions between Tehran and Ankara, resulted in border clashes and even military penetrations in both Iranian and Turkish territory.[154] Two regional powers have used Kurdish tribes as tool for own political benefits: Turkey has provided military help and refuge for anti-Iranian Turcophone Shikak rebels in 1918-1922,[163] while Iran did the same during Ararat rebellion against Turkey in 1930. Reza Shah‘s military victory over Kurdish and Turkic tribal leaders initiaded with repressive era toward non-Iranian minorities.[162] Government’s forced detribalization andsedentarization in 1920’s and 1930’s resulted with many other tribal revolts in Iranian regions of AzerbaijanLuristan and Kurdistan.[164] In particular case of the Kurds, this repressive policies partly contributed to developing nationalism among some tribes.[158]

As a response to growing Pan-Turkism and Pan-Arabism in region which were seen as potential threats to the territorial integrity of Iran, Pan-Iranist ideology has been developed in the early 1920s.[160] Some of such groups and journals openly advocated Iranian support to the Kurdish rebellion against Turkey.[165] Secular Pahlavi dynasty has endorsed Iranian ethnic nationalism[160] which seen the Kurds as integral part of the Iranian nation.[159] Mohammad Reza Pahlavi has personally praised the Kurds as “pure Iranians” or “one of the most noble Iranian peoples“.[166] Another significant ideology during this period was Marxism which arose among Kurds under influence of USSR. It culminated in the Iran crisis of 1946 which included a separatist attempt of KDP-I and communist groups[167] to establish the Soviet puppet government[168][169][170]called Republic of Mahabad. It arose along with Azerbaijan People’s Government, another Soviet puppet state.[156][171] The state itself encompassed a very small territory, including Mahabad and the adjacent cities, unable to incorporate the southern Iranian Kurdistan which fell inside the Anglo-American zone, and unable to attract the tribes outside Mahabad itself to the nationalist cause.[156] As a result, when the Soviets withdrew from Iran in December 1946, government forces were able to enter Mahabad unopposed.[156]

Several Marxist insurgencies continuted for decades (196719791989–96) led by KDP-I and Komalah, but those two organization have never advocated a separate Kurdish state or greater Kurdistan as did the PKK in Turkey.[158][173][174][175] Still, many of dissident leaders, among others Qazi Muhammad and Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, were executed or assassinated.[156] During Iran–Iraq War, Tehran has provided support for Iraqi-based Kurdish groups like KDP or PUK, along with asylum for 1,400,000 Iraqi refugees, mostly Kurds. Although Kurdish Marxist groups have been marginalized in Iran since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, in 2004 new insurrection has been started by PJAK, separatist organization affiliated with the Turkey-based PKK[176] and designated as terrorist by Iran, Turkey and the USA.[176] Some analysts claim PJAK do not pose any serious threat to the government of Iran.[177] Cease-fire has been established on September 2011 following the Iranian offensive on PJAK bases, but several clashes between PJAK and IRGC took place after it.[134]Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, accusations of “discrimination” by Western organizations and of “foreign involvement” by Iranian side have become very frequent.[134]

Kurds have been well integrated in Iranian political life during reign of various governments.[158] Kurdish liberal political Karim Sanjabi has served as minister of education underMohammad Mossadegh in 1952.[166] During the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi some members of parliament and high army officers were Kurds, and there was even a Kurdish Cabinet Minister.[158] During the reign of the Pahlavis Kurds received many favours from the authorities, for instance to keep their land after the land reforms of 1962.[158] In early 2000’s, presence of thirty Kurdish deputies in the 290-strong parliament has also helped to undermine claims of discrimination.[178] Some of influential Kurdish politicians during recent years include former first vice president Mohammad Reza Rahimi and Mohammad Bagher GhalibafMayor of Tehran and second-placed presidential candidate in 2013. Kurdish language is today used more than at any other time since the Revolution, including in several newspapers and among schoolchildren.[178] Large number of Kurds in Iran show no interest in Kurdish nationalism,[156] especially Shia Kurds who even vigorously reject idea of autonomy, preferring direct rule from Tehran.[156][173] Iranian national identity is questioned only in the peripheral Kurdish Sunni regions.[179]

Iraq

The President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, meeting with U.S. officials inBaghdad, Iraq, on April 26, 2006.

Kurds constitute approximately 17% of Iraq’s population. They are the majority in at least three provinces in northern Iraq which are together known as Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurds also have a presence in KirkukMosulKhanaqin, and Baghdad. Around 300,000 Kurds live in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, 50,000 in the city of Mosul and around 100,000 elsewhere in southern Iraq.[180]

Kurds led by Mustafa Barzani were engaged in heavy fighting against successive Iraqi regimes from 1960 to 1975. In March 1970, Iraq announced a peace plan providing for Kurdish autonomy. The plan was to be implemented in four years.[181] However, at the same time, the Iraqi regime started an Arabization program in the oil-rich regions ofKirkuk and Khanaqin.[182] The peace agreement did not last long, and in 1974, the Iraqi government began a new offensive against the Kurds. Moreover in March 1975, Iraq and Iran signed the Algiers Accord, according to which Iran cut supplies to Iraqi Kurds. Iraq started another wave of Arabization by moving Arabs to the oil fields in Kurdistan, particularly those around Kirkuk.[183] Between 1975 and 1978, 200,000 Kurds were deported to other parts of Iraq.[184]

During the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, the regime implemented anti-Kurdish policies and a de facto civil war broke out. Iraq was widely condemned by the international community, but was never seriously punished for oppressive measures such as the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians, the wholesale destruction of thousands of villages and the deportation of thousands of Kurds to southern and central Iraq.

The genocidal campaign, conducted between 1986 and 1989 and culminating in 1988, carried out by the Iraqi government against the Kurdish population was called Anfal (“Spoils of War”). The Anfal campaign led to destruction of over two thousand villages and killing of 182,000 Kurdish civilians.[185] The campaign included the use of ground offensives, aerial bombing, systematic destruction of settlements, mass deportation, firing squads, and chemical attacks, including the most infamous attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988 that killed 5000 civilians instantly.

After the collapse of the Kurdish uprising in March 1991, Iraqi troops recaptured most of the Kurdish areas and 1.5 million Kurds abandoned their homes and fled to the Turkish and Iranian borders. It is estimated that close to 20,000 Kurds succumbed to death due to exhaustion, lack of food, exposure to cold and disease. On 5 April 1991, UN Security Council passed resolution 688 which condemned the repression of Iraqi Kurdish civilians and demanded that Iraq end its repressive measures and allow immediate access to international humanitarian organizations.[186] This was the first international document (since the League of Nationsarbitration of Mosul in 1926) to mention Kurds by name. In mid-April, the Coalition established safe havens inside Iraqi borders and prohibited Iraqi planes from flying north of 36th parallel.[187] In October 1991, Kurdish guerrillas captured Erbil and Sulaimaniyah after a series of clashes with Iraqi troops. In late October, Iraqi government retaliated by imposing a food and fuel embargo on the Kurds and stopping to pay civil servants in the Kurdish region. The embargo, however, backfired and Kurds held parliamentary elections in May 1992 and established Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).[188]

The Kurdish population welcomed the American troops in 2003 by holding celebrations and dancing in the streets.[189][190][191][192] The area controlled by peshmerga was expanded, and Kurds now have effective control in Kirkuk and parts of Mosul. The authority of the KRG and legality of its laws and regulations were recognized in the articles 113 and 137 of the new Iraqi Constitution ratified in 2005.[193] By the beginning of 2006, the two Kurdish administrations of Erbil and Sulaimaniya were unified. On August 14, 2007 Yazidis were targeted in a series of bombings that became the deadliest suicide attack since the Iraq War began, killing 796 civilians, wounding 1,562.[194]

Syria

Main article: Kurds in Syria

PYD militiaman manning acheckpoint in AfrinSyria, during the2012 Syrian Kurdistan rebellion

Kurds account for 9% of Syria‘s population, a total of around 1.6 million people.[195] This makes them the largest ethnic minority in the country. They are mostly concentrated in the northeast and the north, but there are also significant Kurdish populations in Aleppo and Damascus. Kurds often speak Kurdish in public, unless all those present do not. According to Amnesty International, Kurdish human rights activists are mistreated and persecuted.[196] No political parties are allowed for any group, Kurdish or otherwise.

Techniques used to suppress the ethnic identity of Kurds in Syria include various bans on the use of the Kurdish language, refusal to register children with Kurdish names, the replacement of Kurdish place names with new names in Arabic, the prohibition of businesses that do not have Arabic names, the prohibition of Kurdish private schools, and the prohibition of books and other materials written in Kurdish.[197][198] Having been denied the right to Syrian nationality, around 300,000 Kurds have been deprived of any social rights, in violation of international law.[199][200] As a consequence, these Kurds are in effect trapped within Syria. In March 2011, in part to avoid further demonstrations and unrest from spreading across Syria, the Syrian government promised to tackle the issue and grant Syrian citizenship to approximately 300,000 Kurds who had been previously denied the right.[201]

On March 12, 2004, beginning at a stadium in Qamishli (a largely Kurdish city in northeastern Syria), clashes between Kurds and Syrians broke out and continued over a number of days. At least thirty people were killed and more than 160 injured. The unrest spread to other Kurdish towns along the northern border with Turkey, and then to Damascus and Aleppo.[202][203]

As a result of Syrian civil war, since July 2012, Kurds were able to take control of large parts of Syrian Kurdistan from Andiwar in extreme northeast to Jindires in extreme northwest Syria.

Armenia

Between the 1930s and 1980s, Armenia was a part of the Soviet Union, within which Kurds, like other ethnic groups, had the status of a protected minority. Armenian Kurds were permitted their own state-sponsored newspaper, radio broadcasts and cultural events. During the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, many non-Yazidi Kurds were forced to leave their homes since both the Azeri and non-Yazidi Kurds were Muslim.

Azerbaijan

Main article: Kurds in Azerbaijan

In 1920, two Kurdish-inhabited areas of Jewanshir (capital Kalbajar) and eastern Zangazur (capital Lachin) were combined to form the Kurdistan Okrug (or “Red Kurdistan”). The period of existence of the Kurdish administrative unit was brief and did not last beyond 1929. Kurds subsequently faced many repressive measures, including deportations, imposed by the Soviet government. As a result of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, many Kurdish areas have been destroyed and more than 150,000 Kurds have been deported since 1988 by separatist Armenian forces.[204]

Diaspora

Hamdi Ulukaya, Kurdish-American billionaire, founder and CEO ofChobani.

According to a report by the Council of Europe, approximately 1.3 million Kurds live in Western Europe. The earliest immigrants were Kurds from Turkey, who settled inGermanyAustria, the Benelux countries, Great BritainSwitzerland and France during the 1960s. Successive periods of political and social turmoil in the region during the 1980s and 1990s brought new waves of Kurdish refugees, mostly from Iran and Iraq under Saddam Hussein, came to Europe.[8] In recent years, many Kurdish asylum seekers from both Iran and Iraq have settled in the United Kingdom (especially in the town of Dewsbury and in some northern areas of London), which has sometimes caused media controversy over their right to remain.[205] There have been tensions between Kurds and the established Muslim community in Dewsbury,[206][207] which is home to very traditional mosques such as the Markazi. There was substantial immigration of Kurds into North America, who are mainly political refugees and immigrants seeking economic opportunity. Kurdish immigrants started to settle in large numbers in Nashville in 1976,[208] which is now home to the largest Kurdish community in the United States and is nicknamed Little Kurdistan.[209] Kurdish population in Nashville is estimated to be around 11,000.[210] Total number of ethnic Kurds residing in the United States is estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau to be around 15,000.[211] According to the 2006 Canadian Census, there were over 9,000 people of Kurdish ethnic background living in Canada[212]and according to the 2011 Census, more than 10,000 Canadians spoke Kurdish language.[213]

 

Religion

As a whole, the Kurdish people are adherents to a large amount of different religions and creeds, perhaps constituting the most religiously diverse people of West Asia. Traditionally, Kurds have been known to take great liberties with their practices. This sentiment is reflected in the saying “Compared to the unbeliever, the Kurd is a Muslim”.[214]

Islam

Main articles: Islam and Alevi

The Zulfiqar, symbol for the Shia Muslims and Alevis.

Today, the majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslim, belonging to the Shafi school.

There is also a minority of Kurds who are Shia Muslims, primarily living in the Ilam and Kermanshah provinces of Iran, Central and south eastern Iraq (Fayli Kurds)

Mystical practices and participation in Sufi orders are also widespread among Kurds.[215]

The Alevis (usually considered adherents of a branch of Shia Islam) are another religious minority among the Kurds, living in Eastern Anatolia. Alevism developed out of the teachings of Haji Bektash Veli, a 13th-century mystic from Khorasan. Among the Qizilbash, the militant groups which predate the Alevis and helped establish the Safavid Dynasty, there were numerous Kurdish tribes. The American missionary Trowbridge, working at Aintab (present Gaziantep) reported that his Alevi acquaintances considered as their highest spiritual leaders an Ahl-i Haqq sayyid family in the Guran district.[216]

Ahl-i Haqq (Yarsan)

Main article: Yârsânism

Ahl-i Haqq is a syncretic religion founded by Sultan Sahak in the late 14th century in western Iran. Most of its adherents, totaling around 1,000,000, are Kurds. Its central religious text is the Kalâm-e Saranjâm, written in Gurani.

In this text, the religion’s basic pillars are summarized as such:

The Yarsan should strive for these four qualities: purity, rectitude, self-effacement and self-abnegation.[217]

The Yârsân faith’s unique features include millenarismnativismegalitarianismmetempsychosisangelology, divine manifestation and dualism. Many of these features are found in Yazidism, another Kurdish faith, in the faith of Zoroastrians and in Shī‘ah extremist groups; certainly, the names and religious terminology of the Yârsân are often explicitly of Muslim origin. Unlike other indigenous Persianate faiths, the Yârsân explicitly reject class, caste and rank, which sets them apart from the Yezidis and Zoroastrians.[218]

The Ahl-i Haqq consider the Bektashi and Alevi as kindred communities.[216]

Yazidis

Main article: Yazidis

Melek Taus, the central figure of Yezidism.

Yazidism is another syncretic religion practiced among Kurdish communities, founded by Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir, an 12th-century mystic from Lebanon. Their numbers exceed 500,000. Its central religious texts are the Kitêba Cilwe and Meshaf Resh

According to Yazidi beliefs, God created the world but left it in the care of a heptad of holy beings or angels. The most prominent angel is Melek Taus (Kurdish: Tawûsê Melek), the Peacock Angel, God’s representative on earth. Yazidis believe in the periodic reincarnation of the seven holy beings in human form.

Their holiest shrine and the tomb of the faith’s founder is located in Lalish, in northern Iraq.[219]

Zoroastrianism

Main article: Zoroastrianism

Presently, there are a small number of Zoroastrian Kurds, most of which are recent converts. These communities have established new temples and have been attempting to recruit new members to their faith.[220] The Kurdish philosopher Sohrevardi drew heavily from Zoroastrian teachings.[221]

Judaism

Main article: Kurdish Jews

A decorated plaque with Kurdish Jewish Purim poems, 19th century.

Judaism is still practised in very small numbers across Kurdistan. There are however some 200,000 Kurdish Jews, residing in Israel. The Jews of Kurdistan migrated to Palestine during the previous centuries but the overwhelming majority of the Kurdish Jews had fled to Israel together with Iraqi Jews in Operation Ezra and Nehemiah during 1950–1952.

The Jews of Kurdistan are thought to be the descendants of those Jews that were deported from Israel by the Assyrian Empire in the 8th century BC. These later formed the Kingdom of Adiabene, and, after fading into obscurity in centuries thereafter, reappeared in the Middle Ages, where multiple accounts of them were made. One such accounts details the story of David Alroy, a Jewish leader from Amadiyah in the 12th century, who revolted against the Persian rulers and was bent on recapturing Jerusalem.

For centuries thereafter, the Jews had lived as protected subjects of the Kurdish tribal chieftains (aghas) and survived in the urban centers and villages in which they lived. According to Mordechai Zaken, the Kurdistani Jews had managed to survive by supporting their tribal chieftains and village aghas in times of need and through financial contributions, occasional gifts, variety of services as well as taxes and dues in the form of commissions of their commercial and agricultural transactions. In return, the tribal Kurdish aghas would protect their Jewish subjects and grant them patronage in the tribal arena. Indeed, some wealthy Jewish merchants and community leaders had to deal at times with aghas who coveted their vineyards or other material goods and satisfy their needs and fulfil their desire. However, in his research, Zaken points out that there was a kind of tribal tradition, passed on from father to son, to keep and protect the Jewish subjects in the village (at times one or two Jewish families in one village) or the tribal arena.[222] Even though the ancestral origins, as well as the mother tongue of the Kurdish Jews is different from the main Kurdish populace, the vast majority regard themselves as Kurds.[223]

Christianity

Main article: Kurdish Christians

Two Kurds with an Orthodox priest, 1873.

Although historically there have been various accounts of Kurdish Christians, most often these were in the form of individuals, and not as communities. However, in the 19th and 20th century various travel logs tell of Kurdish Christian tribes, as well as Kurdish Muslim tribes who had substantial Christan populations living amongst them. A significant number of these were allegedly originally Armenian or Assyrian,[224] and it has been recorded that a small number of Christian traditions have been preserved. Several Christian prayers in Kurdish have been found from earlier centuries.[225]

However, most contemporary Kurdish Christians are recent converts. Both among Turkish and Iraqi Kurds there have been an increasing number of Kurds converting to Christianity. Some communities of the Iraqi converts have formed their own evangelical churches. Prominent historical Kurdish Christians include Theophobos[226][227] and the brothers Zakare and Ivane.[228][229][230]

Culture

Kurdish culture is a legacy from the various ancient peoples who shaped modern Kurds and their society. As most other Middle Eastern populations, a high degree of mutual influences between the Kurds and their neighbouring peoples are apparent. Therefore, in Kurdish culture elements of various other cultures are to be seen. However, on the whole, Kurdish culture is closest to that of other Iranian peoples, in particular those who historically had the closest geographical proximity to the Kurds, such as the Persiansand Lurs. Kurds, for instance, also celebrate Newroz (March 21) as New Year’s Day.[231]

Women

Kurdish men and women participate in mixed-gender dancing during feasts, weddings and other social celebrations. Major Soane, a British colonial officer during World War I, noted that this is unusual among Islamic people and pointed out that in this respect Kurdish culture is more akin to that of eastern Europe than to their West Asian counterparts.[232]

Folklore and Mythology

The fox; a widely recurring character in Kurdish tales

The Kurds possess a rich tradition of folklore, which, until recent times, was largely transmitted by speech or song, from one generation to the next. Although some of the Kurdish writers’ stories were well-known throughout Kurdistan; most of the stories told and sung were only written down in the 20th and 21st century. Many of these are, allegedly, centuries old.

Widely varying in purpose and style, among the Kurdish folklore one will find stories about nature, anthropomorphic animals, love, heroes and villains, mythological creatures and everyday life. A number of these mythological figures can be found in other cultures, like the Simurgh and Kaveh the Blacksmith in the broader Iranian Mythology, and stories of Shahmaran throughout Anatolia. Additionally, stories can be purely entertaining, or have an educational or religious aspect.[233]

Perhaps the most widely reoccurring element is the fox, which, through cunningness and shrewdness triumphs over less intelligent species, yet often also meets his demise.[233]Another common theme are the origins of a tribe.

Storytellers would perform in front of an audience, sometimes consisting of an entire village. People from outside the region would travel to attend their narratives, and the storytellers themselves would visit other villages to spread their tales. These would thrive especially during winter, where entertainment was hard to find as evenings had to be spent inside.[233]

Coinciding with the heterogeneous Kurdish groupings, although certain stories and elements were commonly found throughout Kurdistan, others were unique to a specific area; depending on the region, religion or dialect. The Kurdish Jews of Zakho are perhaps the best example of this; whose gifted storytellers are known to have been greatly respected throughout the region, thanks to a unique oral tradition.[234] Other examples are the mythology of the Yezidis,[235] and the stories of the Dersim Kurds, which had a substantial Armenian influence.[236]

During the criminalization of the Kurdish language after the coup d’état of 1980, dengbêj (singers) and çîrokbêj (tellers) were silenced, and many of the stories had become endangered. In 1991, the language was decriminalized, yet the now highly available radios and TV’s had as effect a diminished interest in traditional storytelling.[237] However, a number of writers have made great strides in the preservation of these tales.

Weaving

Modern rug from Bijar

Kurdish weaving is renowned throughout the world, with fine specimens of both rugs and bags. The most famous Kurdish rugs are those from the Bijar region, in the Kurdistan Province. Because of the unique way in which the Bijar rugs are woven, they are very stout and durable, hence their appellation as the ‘Iron Rugs of Persia’. Exhibiting a wide variety, the Bijar rugs have patterns ranging from floral designs, medallions and animals to other ornaments. They generally have two wefts, and are very colorful in design.[238]With an increased interest in these rugs in the last century, and a lesser need for them to be as sturdy as they were, new Bijar rugs are more refined and delicate in design.

Another well-known Kurdish rug is the Senneh rug, which is regarded as the most sophisticated of the Kurdish rugs. They are especially known for their great knot density and high quality mountain wool.[238] They lend their name from the region of Sanandaj. Throughout other Kurdish regions like KermanshahSiirtMalatya and Bitlis rugs were also woven to great extent.[239]

Kurdish bags are mainly known from the works of one large tribe: the Jaffs, living in the border area between Iran and Iraq. These Jaff bags share the same characteristics of Kurdish rugs; very colorful, stout in design, often with medallion patterns. They were especially popular in the West during the 1920s and 1930s.[240]

Handicrafts

A Kurdish nobleman bearing ajambiya dagger

Outside of weaving and clothing, there are many other Kurdish handicrafts, which were traditionally often crafted by nomadic Kurdish tribes. These are especially well known in Iran, most notably the crafts from the Kermanshah and Sanandaj regions. Among these crafts are chess boards, talismans, jewelry, ornaments, weaponry, instruments etc.

Kurdish blades include a distinct jambiya, with its characteristic I-shaped hilt, and oblong blade. Generally, these possess double-edged blades, reinforced with a central ridge, a wooden, leather or silver decorated scabbard, and a horn hilt, furthermore they are often still worn decoratively by older men. Swords were made as well. Most of these blades in curcilation stem from the 19th century.

Another distinct form of art from Sanandaj is ‘Oroosi’, a type of window where stylized wooden pieces are locked into each other, rather than being glued together. These are further decorated with coloured glass, this stems from an old belief that if light passes through a combination of seven colours it helps keep the atmosphere clean.

Among Kurdish Jews a common practice was the making of talismans, which were believed to combat illnesses and protect the wearer from malevolent spirits.

Tattoos

Adorning the body with tattoos (Deq in Kurdish) is widespread among the Kurds; even though permanent tattoos are not permissible in Sunni Islam. Therefore, these traditional tattoos are thought to derive from pre-Islamic times.[241]

Tattoo ink is made by mixing soot with (breast) milk and the poisonous liquid from the gall bladder of an animal. The design is drawn on the skin using a thin twig and is, by needle, penetrated under the skin. These have a wide variety of meanings and purposes, among which are protection against evil or illnesses; beauty enhancement; and the showing of tribal affiliations. Religious symbolism is also common among both traditional and modern Kurdish tattoos. Tattoos are more prevalent among women than among men, and were generally worn on feet, the chin, foreheads and other places of the body.[241][242]

The popularity of permanent, traditional tattoos has greatly diminished among newer generation of Kurds. However, modern tattoos are becoming more prevalent; and temporary tattoos are still being worn on special occasions (such as henna, the night before a wedding) and as tribute to the cultural heritage.[241]

Music and Dance

Main article: Kurdish music

Traditionally, there are three types of Kurdish classical performers: storytellers (çîrokbêj), minstrels (stranbêj), and bards (dengbêj). No specific music was associated with the Kurdish princely courts. Instead, music performed in night gatherings (şevbihêrk) is considered classical. Several musical forms are found in this genre. Many songs are epic in nature, such as the popular Lawiks, heroic ballads recounting the tales of Kurdish heroes such as SaladinHeyrans are love ballads usually expressing the melancholy of separation and unfulfilled love, one of the first Kurdish female singers to sing heyrans is Chopy Fatah, while Lawje is a form of religious music and Payizoks are songs performed during the autumn. Love songs, dance music, wedding and other celebratory songs (dîlok/narînk), erotic poetry, and work songs are also popular.

Throughout the Middle East, there are many prominent Kurdish artists. Most famous are Ibrahim TatlisesNizamettin ArıçAhmet Kaya and the Kamkars. In Europe, well-known artists are Darin ZanyarSivan Perwer, and Azad.

Cinema

Bahman Ghobadi at the presentation of his film Nobody Knows About Persian Cats in San Sebastián, 2009

The main themes of Kurdish films are the poverty and hardship which ordinary Kurds have to endure. The first films featuring Kurdish culture were actually shot in Armenia. Zare, released in 1927, produced by Hamo Beknazarian, details the story of Zare and her love for the shepherd Seydo, and the difficulties the two experience by the hand of the village elder.[243] In 1948 and 1959, two documentaries were made concerning the Yezidi Kurds in Armenia. These were joint Armenian-Kurdish productions; with H. Koçaryan and Heciye Cindi teaming up for The Kurds of Soviet Armenia,[244] and Ereb Samilov and C. Jamharyan for Kurds of Armenia.[244]

The first critically acclaimed and famous Kurdish films were produced by Yılmaz Güney. Initially a popular, award-winning actor in Turkey with the nickname Çirkin Kral (the Ugly King, after his rough looks), he spent the later part of his career producing socio-critical and politically loaded films. Sürü (1979), Yol (1982) and Duvar (1983) are his best-known works, of which the second won Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival of 1982,[245] the most prestigious award in the world of cinema.

Another prominent Kurdish film director is Bahman Qubadi. His first feature film was A Time for Drunken Horses, released in 2000. It was critically acclaimed, and went on to win multiple awards. Other movies of his would follow this example;[246] making him one of the best known film producers of Iran of today. Recently, he released Rhinos Season, starring Behrouz VossoughiMonica Bellucci and Yilmaz Erdogan, detailing the tumultuous life of a Kurdish poet.

Other prominent Kurdish film directors are Mahsun KırmızıgülHiner Saleem and before mentioned Yilmaz Erdogan. There’s also been a number of films set and/or filmed in Kurdistan made by non-Kurdish film directors, such as the Wind Will Carry UsTriageThe ExorcistThe Market: A Tale of TradeDurchs wilde Kurdistan (de) and Im Reiche des silbernen Löwen (de).

Sports

Eren Derdiyok, the most famous contemporary Kurdish footballer, striker for the Swiss national football team

The most popular sport among the Kurds is football. Because the Kurds have no independent state, they have no representative team in FIFA or the AFC; however a team representing Iraqi Kurdistan has been active in the Viva World Cup since 2008. They became runners-up in 2009 and 2010, before ultimately becoming champion in 2012.

On a national level, the Kurdish clubs of Iraq have achieved success in recent years as well, winning the Iraqi Premier League four times in the last five years. Prominent clubs are Erbil SCDuhok SCSulaymaniyah FC and Zakho FC.

In Turkey, a Kurd named Celal Ibrahim was one of the founders of Galatasaray S.K. in 1905, as well as one of the original players. The most prominent Kurdish-Turkish club isDiyarbakirspor. In the diaspora, the most successful Kurdish club is Dalkurd FF and the most famous player is Eren Derdiyok.[247]

Another prominent sport is wrestling. In Iranian Wrestling, there are three styles originating from Kurdish regions:

Furthermore, the most accredited of the traditional Iranian wrestling styles, the Bachoukheh, derives its name from a local Khorasani Kurdish costume in which it is practiced.[248]

Kurdish medalists in the 2012 Summer Olympics were Nur Tatar,[249] Kianoush Rostami and Yezidi Misha Aloyan;[250] who won medals in taekwondoweightlifting and boxing, respectively.

Architecture

The Krak des Chevaliers, originally a Kurdish dwelling place known as Hisn al-Akrad (Castle of the Kurds),Homs

The traditional Kurdish village has simple houses, made of mud. In most cases with flat, wooden roofs, and, if the village is built on the slope of a mountain, the roof on one house makes for the garden of the house one level higher. However, houses with a beehive-like roof, not unlike those in Harran, are also present.

Over the centuries many Kurdish architectural marvels have been erected, with varying styles. Kurdistan boasts many examples from ancient Iranic, Roman, Greek and Semitic origin, most famous of these include Bisotun and Taq-e Bostan in Kermanshah, Takht-e Soleyman near Takab, Mount Nemrud near Adiyaman and the citadels of Erbil and Diyarbakir.

The first genuinely Kurdish examples extant were built in the 11th century. Those earliest examples consist of the Marwanid Dicle Bridge in Diyarbakir, the Shadaddid Minuchir Mosque in Ani,[251] and the Hisn al Akrad near Homs.[252]

In the 12th and 13th centuries the Ayyubid dynasty constructed many buildings throughout the Middle East, being influenced by their predecessors, the Fatimids, and their rivals, the Crusaders, whilst also developing their own techniques.[253] Furthermore, women of the Ayyubid family took a prominent role in the patronage of new constructions.[254] The Ayyubids’ most famous works are the Halil-ur-Rahman Mosque that surrounds the Pool of Sacred Fish in Urfa, the Citadel of Cairo[255] and most parts of the Citadel of Aleppo.[256] Another important piece of Kurdish architectural heritage from the late 12th/early 13th century is the Yezidi pilgrimage site Lalish, with its trademark conical roofs.

In later periods too, Kurdish rulers and their corresponding dynasties and emirates would leave their mark upon the land in the form mosques, castles and bridges, some of which have decayed, or have been (partly) destroyed in an attempt to erase the Kurdish cultural heritage, such as the White Castle of the Bohtan Emirate. Well-known examples are Hosap Castle of the 17th century,[257] Sherwana Castle of the early 18th century, and the Ellwen Bridge of Khanaqin of the 19th century.

Most famous is the Ishak Pasha Palace of Dogubeyazit, a structure with heavy influences from both Anatolian and Iranic architectural traditions. Construction of the Palace began in 1685, led by Colak Abdi Pasha, a Kurdish bey of the Ottoman Empire, but the building wouldn’t be completed until 1784, by his grandson, Ishak Pasha.[258][259]Containing almost 100 rooms, including a mosque, dining rooms, dungeons and being heavily decorated by hewn-out ornaments, this Palace has the reputation as being one of the finest pieces of architecture of the Ottoman Period, and of Anatolia.

In recent years, the KRG has been responsible for the renovation of several historical structures, such as Erbil Citadel and the Mudhafaria Minaret.[260]

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurds

 

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Political Establishment Elite (PEE) vs. Tea Party Movement — PEE Republican Candidate Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader Loses To Tea Party Candidate David Brat in Republican Primary — The Remnant Rallies — Videos

Posted on June 13, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Crisis, Economics, Education, Employment, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Math, media, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Public Sector, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Talk Radio, Technology, Television, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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Story 1: Political Establishment Elite (PEE) vs. Tea Party Movement — PEE Republican Candidate Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader Loses To Tea Party Candidate David Brat in Republican Primary — The Remnant Rallies — Videos

Political Establishment Elite (PEE) Candidate Eric Cantor and Republican House Majority Leader Loses Primary

Cantor-Obama


1024px-Eric_Cantor_and_Barack_Obama_shake_handsEric Cantor

Tea Party Movement Candidate David Brat Wins Republican Primary

the_winner

  • That the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice,
  • That all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society,
  • That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government,
  • That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations,
  • That peace is best preserved through a strong national defense,
  • That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers, is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation.

david_brat

• Mark Levin • Tea Party Victory • Cantor Loses • Hannity • 6/10/14

Sarah Palin on Dave Brat Victory: “The Status Quo, Has Got To Go!”

Brat topples Cantor with grassroots enthusiasm

Political Earthquake – Eric Cantor Upset In Virginia GOP Primary – David Brat Wins – Fox & Friends

David Brat Explains How He Beat Congressman Eric Dual-Citizenship Cantor

Mark Levin: Eric Cantor is only pretending to oppose amnesty

GOP leader Eric Cantor loses in shock Tea Party upset

NBC12 Decision Virginia- Cantor ad attacks Brat

Trust

Who Is David Brat? Meet the Economics Professor Who Defeated Eric Cantor

About Dave Brat

5 Things To Know About The Tea Party’s Golden Boy David Brat

Laura Ingraham & Dave Brat at Dominon Club

Beck Interviews Dave Brat Eric Cantor’s GOP Opponent

Eric Cantor: Amnesty for Children of Illegal Immigrants

WATCH: Eric Cantor Addresses Primary Defeat, Resigns as House Majority Leader

Virginia Primary: Eric Cantor Loses To Tea Party-Backed Dave Brat

Dave Brat reacts to his shocking win over Eric Cantor

Eric Cantor Loses Primary in Shocking Upset

BREAKING! HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER ERIC CANTOR LOSES PRIMARY ELECTION TO TEA PARTY CANDIDATE!

Full Show 6/11/14: The Dark Money Machine That Beat Eric Cantor

Mark Levin: Eric Cantor is “a little weasel!”

How $1,000,000 lost for $200,000 in Election: The Grassroot Campaign

Rep. Eric Cantor on Immigration Reform and the Tea Party

Mencken and Nock on Elitist Individualism

Isaiah’s Job | by Albert Jay Nock

 

 

HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER CANTOR DEFEATED IN PRIMARY

In an upset for the ages, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-most powerful man in the House, was dethroned Tuesday by a little-known, tea party-backed Republican primary challenger carried to victory on a wave of public anger over calls for looser immigration laws.

“This is a miracle from God that just happened,” exulted David Brat, an economics professor, as his victory became clear in the congressional district around Virginia’s capital city.

Speaking to downcast supporters, Cantor conceded, “Obviously we came up short” in a bid for renomination to an eighth term.

The victory was by far the biggest of the 2014 campaign season for tea party forces, although last week they forced veteran Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran into a June 24 runoff, and hope state Sen. Chris McDaniel can prevail then.

Cantor’s defeat was the first primary setback for a senior leader in Congress in recent years. Former House Speaker Thomas Foley of Washington and Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota both lost their seats at the polls in the past two decades, but they fell to Republicans, not to challengers from within their own parties.

The outcome may well mark the end of Cantor’s political career, and aides did not respond Tuesday night when asked if the majority leader, 51, would run a write-in campaign in the fall.

But its impact on the fate of immigration legislation in the current Congress seemed clearer still. Conservatives will now be emboldened in their opposition to legislation to create a path to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally, and party leaders who are more sympathetic to such legislation will likely be less willing to try.

The majority leader had been tugged by two warring forces in his party and in recent weeks sought to emphasize his opposition to far-reaching immigration legislation as Brat’s challenge gained force. Last month, a feisty crowd of Brat supporters booed Cantor in front of his family at a local party convention.

Still, neither he nor other House leaders betrayed any serious concern that his tenure was in danger, and his allies leaked a private poll in recent days that claimed he had a comfortable lead over Brat.

In the end, despite help from establishment groups, Cantor’s repudiation was complete in an area that first sent him to Congress in 2000.

With votes counted in 99 percent of the precincts, 64,418 votes were cast, roughly a 37 percent increase over two years ago.

Despite that, Cantor polled fewer votes than he did in 2012 – 28,631 this time, compared with 37,369 then.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, issued a statement hailing Cantor as “a good friend and a great leader, and someone I’ve come to rely upon on a daily basis as we make the tough choices that come with governing.”

It was unclear if Cantor intended to remain in his leadership post for the duration of the year or who might replace him in the new Congress if Republicans hold their majority.

Democrats seized on the upset as evidence that their fight for House control this fall is far from over.

“Eric Cantor has long been the face of House Republicans’ extreme policies, debilitating dysfunction and manufactured crises. Tonight is a major victory for the tea party as they yet again pull the Republican Party further to the radical right,” said the Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi of California. “As far as the midterm elections are concerned, it’s a whole new ballgame.”

Cantor was appointed to his first leadership position in 2002, when he was named chief deputy whip of the party and became the highest-ranking Jewish Republican in Washington. It was a recognition of his fundraising skills as well as his conservative voting record at a time Republican leaders were eager to tap into Jewish donors for their campaigns. Since Boehner became speaker in 2009, Cantor has been seen as both a likely eventual successor and at times a potential rival.

Jay S. Poole, a Cantor volunteer, said Brat tapped into widespread frustration among voters about the gridlock in Washington and issues such as immigration. “I can’t tell you how amazing this is to me,” Poole said.

Much of the campaign centered on immigration, where critics on both sides of the debate have recently taken aim at Cantor. Brat accused him of being a top cheerleader for “amnesty” for immigrants who are living in the U.S. illegally. Cantor responded forcefully by boasting in mailers of blocking Senate plans “to give illegal aliens amnesty.”

It was a change in tone for Cantor, who has repeatedly voiced support for giving citizenship to certain immigrants brought illegally to the country as children. Cantor and House GOP leaders have advocated a step-by-step approach, rather than the comprehensive bill backed by the Senate – but were persistently vague on the details.

Brat teaches at Randolph-Macon College, a small liberal arts school north of Richmond. He raised just over $200,000 for his campaign, while Cantor spent more than $1 million in April and May alone to try to beat back his challenge.

Washington-based groups also spent heavily in the race. The American Chemistry Council, whose members include many blue chip companies, spent more than $300,000 on TV ads promoting Cantor in the group’s only independent expenditure so far this election year. Political arms of the American College of Radiology, the National Rifle Association and the National Association of Realtors also spent money on ads to promote Cantor.

Brat offset the cash disadvantage with endorsements from conservative activists like radio host Laura Ingraham and with help from local tea party activists angry at Cantor.

In the fall, Brat will face Democrat Jack Trammel, also a professor at Randolph-Macon, in the solidly Republican district.

Associated Press writers David Pace and Erica Werner in Washington and Larry O’Dell, Steve Szkotak and Michael Felberbaum in Richmond contributed to this report. Espo reported from Washington.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_VIRGINIA_PRIMARY_CANTOR?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-06-10-20-05-45

Eric Cantor

Eric Ivan Cantor (born June 6, 1963) is the United States Representative for Virginia’s 7th congressional district, serving from 2001. A member of the Republican Party, he became House Majority Leader when the 112th Congressconvened on January 3, 2011. He previously served as House Minority Whip from 2009 to 2011.

His district includes most of the northern and western sections of Richmond, along with most of Richmond’s western suburbs and portions of the Shenandoah Valley. Cantor is the highest-ranking Jewish member of Congress in its history, and currently the only non-Christian Republican in either House.[1][2]

On June 10, 2014, in his bid for re-election, Cantor lost the Republican primary to economics professor Dave Brat. Following his primary defeat, Cantor announced his resignation as House Majority Leader. Cantor will remain a member of Congress until the start of the 114th United States Congress commencing on January 3, 2015.[3][4][5][6][7]

Early life, education and career

Cantor, the second of three children, was born in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Mary Lee (née Hudes), a schoolteacher, and Eddie Cantor, who owned a real estate firm. His family emigrated from Eastern Europe (Russia,Romania, and Latvia) in the late 1800s and early 1900s.[8][9] His father was the state treasurer for Ronald Reagan‘s 1980 presidential campaign.[10] Cantor was raised in Conservative Judaism.[8] He graduated from the Collegiate School, a co-ed private school in Richmond, in 1981. He enrolled at George Washington University (GW) in 1981, and as afreshman he worked as an intern for House Republican Tom Bliley of Virginia and was Bliley’s driver in the 1982 campaign.[11] Cantor was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity while at GW and received his Bachelor of Arts in 1985.[12] He earned a Juris Doctor degree from William & Mary Law School in 1988, and received a Master of Sciencein Real Estate Development from Columbia University in 1989.[13]

Cantor worked for over a decade with his father’s business doing legal work and real estate development.

Virginia House of Delegates

Cantor served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1992–January 1, 2001.[13] At various times he was a member of committees on Science and Technology, Corporation Insurance and Banking, General Laws, Courts of Justice, (co-chairman) Claims.[14][15] Cantor announced on March 14, 2000 that he would seek the seat in the United States House of Representatives that was being vacated by Tom Bliley. Cantor had chaired Bliley’s reelection campaigns for the previous six years, and immediately gained the support of Bliley’s political organization, as well as Bliley’s endorsement later in the primary.[16]

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

During his first term, Cantor was chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare. He has also served on the House Financial Services Committee and on the House International Relations Committeeand the House Ways and Means Committee.

Party leadership

In 2002–only a few weeks after winning a second term–Roy Blunt appointed Cantor Chief Deputy Republican Whip, the highest appointed position in the Republican caucus.[17]

Cantor and other House and Senate leaders meeting with President Barack Obama in November 2010.

On November 19, 2008, Cantor was unanimously elected Republican Whip for the 111th Congress, after serving as Deputy Whip for six years under Blunt. Blunt had decided not to seek reelection to the post after Republican losses in the previous two elections. Cantor was the first member of either party from Virginia to hold the position of Party Whip. As Whip, Cantor was the second-ranking House Republican, behind Minority Leader John Boehner. He was charged with coordinating the votes and messages of Republican House members.[17][1] Cantor became the Majority Leader when the 112th Congress took office on January 3, 2011.[18] He is still the second-ranking Republican in the House behind Speaker Boehner, who is considered the leader of the House Republicans.

Cantor is a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Republican National Committee. He is one of the Republican Party’s top fundraisers, having raised over $30 million for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).[19] He is also one of the three founding members of the GOP Young Guns Program. In the fall of 2010, Cantor wrote a New York Times bestselling book, Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders, with the other two founding members of Young Guns.[20] They describe the vision outlined in the book as “a clear agenda based on common sense for the common good.” [21] Cantor said in 2010 that he worked with the Tea Party movement in his district.[22]

As House Majority Leader, Cantor was named in House Resolution 368, which was passed by the House Rules Committee on the night of September 30, 2013, the night before the October 2013 government shutdown began, as the only member of the House with the power to bring forth bills and resolutions for a vote if both chambers of Congress disagree on that bill or resolution. Prior to the resolution’s passing in committee, it was within the power of every member of the House under House Rule XXII, Clause 4 to be granted privilege to call for a vote. This amendment to the House rules was blamed for causing the partial government shutdown and for prolonging it since Cantor refused to allow the Senate’s continuing resolution to be voted on in the House. Journalists and commentators noted during the shutdown that if the Senate’s version of the continuing resolution were to be voted on, it would have passed the House with a majority vote since enough Democrats and Republicans supported it, effectively ending the government shutdown.[23][24][25]

Legislation

Cantor was a strong supporter of the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act (H.R. 2019; 113th Congress), which he was the one to name in Gabriella Miller’s honor.[26] The bill, which passed in both the House and the Senate, would end taxpayer contributions to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and divert the money in that fund to pay for research into pediatric cancer through the National Institutes of Health.[26][27] The total funding for research would come to $126 million over 10 years.[27][26] As of 2014, the national conventions got about 23% of their funding from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.[28] Cantor said that the bill “clearly reflects Congressional priorities in funding: medical research before political parties and conventions.”[26]

Political positions

As of December 2010, Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in the United States Congress.[13][1][29] He supports strong United States-Israel relations.[12][13] Hecosponsored legislation to cut off all U.S. taxpayer aid to the Palestinian Authority and another bill calling for an end to taxpayer aid to the Palestinians until they stop unauthorized excavations on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.[30] Responding to a claim by the State Department that the United States provides no direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, Cantor claimed that United States sends about US$75 million in aid annually to the Palestinian Authority, which is administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development. He opposed a Congressionally approved three-year package of US$400 million in aid for the Palestinian Authority in 2000 and has also introduced legislation to end aid to Palestinians.[31]

In May 2008, Cantor said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a “constant sore” but rather “a constant reminder of the greatness of America”,[32] and followingBarack Obama‘s election as President in November 2008, Cantor stated that a “stronger U.S.-Israel relationship” remains a top priority for him and that he would be “very outspoken” if Obama “did anything to undermine those ties.”[1][33] Shortly after the 2010 midterm elections, Cantor met privately with Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu, just before Netanyahu was to meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. According to Cantor’s office, he “stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration” and “made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States.”[34] Cantor was criticized for engaging in foreign policy;[35] one basis for the criticism was that in 2007, after Nancy Pelosi met with the President of Syria, Cantor himself had raised the possibility “that her recent diplomatic overtures ran afoul of the Logan Act, which makes it a felony for any American ‘without authority of the United States’ to communicate with a foreign government to influence that government’s behavior on any disputes with the United States.”[36]

Social issues

Cantor opposes public funding of embryonic stem cell research and opposes elective abortion. He is rated 100% by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and 0% by NARAL Pro-Choice America, indicating a pro-life voting record. He is also opposed to same-sex marriage, voting to Constitutionally define marriage as between a male and a female in 2006. In November 2007 he voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. He also supports making flag burning illegal. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) rated him 19% in 2006, indicating an anti-affirmative action voting record. He is opposed to gun control, voting to ban product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers in 2005, and he voted not to require gun registration and trigger-lock laws in the District of Columbia. He has a rating of “A” from the National Rifle Association (NRA).[37] On Nov. 2, 2010, Cantor told Wolf Blitzer of CNN that he would try to trim the federal deficit by reducing welfare.

Economy, budgeting, and trade

Cantor is a supporter of free trade, voting to promote trade with Peru, Chile, Singapore, and Australia. He also voted for the Central America Free Trade Agreement(CAFTA). He voted against raising the minimum wage to US$ 7.25 in 2007. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest federation of trade unions in the United States, rates Cantor 0%, indicating an anti-Union voting record.

In October 2008, Cantor advocated and voted for the TARP program which aided distressed banks.[38]

On September 29, 2008 Cantor blamed Pelosi for what he felt was the failure of the $700 billion economic bailout bill. He noted that 94 Democrats voted against the measure, as well as 133 Republicans.[39] Though supporting the Federal bailout of the nation’s largest private banks, he referred to Pelosi’s proposal to appoint aCar czar to run the U.S. Automobile Industry Bailout as a “bureaucratic” imposition on private business.[40]

The following February, Cantor led Republicans in the House of Representatives in voting against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009[41] and was a prominent spokesman in voicing the many issues he and his fellow Republicans had with the legislation. Cantor voted in favor of a 90% marginal tax rate increase on taxpayer financed bonuses,[42] despite receiving campaign contributions from TARP recipient Citigroup.[43]

In his book Young Guns, Cantor summarized Keynesian economics with the following opinion, “The idea is that the government can be counted on to spend more wisely than the people.”[44]

As Majority Leader, Cantor steered the STOCK Act through the House, which requires Congressmen to disclose their stock investments more regularly and in a more transparent manner.[45] The legislation passed the House in a 417-2 bipartisan vote on February 9, 2012. It was ultimately signed by President Obama on April 4, 2012.[46] In July 2012, CNN reported that changes made by the House version of the legislation excluded reporting requirements by spouses and dependent children. Initially, Cantor’s office insisted it did nothing to change the intent of the STOCK Act; however, when presented with new information from CNN, the Majority Leader’s office recognized that changes had unintentionally been made and offered technical corrections to fulfill the original intent of the legislation.[47] These corrections were passed by Congress on August 3, 2012.[48]

As Majority Leader, Cantor shepherded the JOBS Act through the House, which combined bipartisan ideas for economic growth – like crowdfunding for startups – into one piece of legislation. Ultimately, President Obama, Eric Cantor, Steve Case and other leaders joined together at the signing ceremony.[49]

Cantor has proposed initiatives which purport to help small businesses grow, including a 20 percent tax cut for businesses that employ fewer than 500 people.[50]

Other foreign affairs

In an article he wrote for the National Review in 2007, he condemned Nancy Pelosi‘s diplomatic visit to Syria, and her subsequent meeting with President Bashar al-Assad, whom he referred to as a “dictator and terror-sponsor”; saying that if “Speaker Pelosi’s diplomatic foray into Syria weren’t so harmful to U.S. interests in the Middle East, it would have been laughable.”[51]

Political campaigns

Cantor currently represents Virginia’s 7th congressional district, which stretches from the western end of Richmond, through its suburbs, and northward to Page,Rappahannock Culpeper and parts of Spotsylvania, county. It also includes the towns of Mechanicsville and Laurel. The district is strongly Republican; it has been in Republican hands since 1981 (it was numbered as the 3rd District prior to 1993).[52]

1991

Cantor was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates 73rd district unopposed.[citation needed]

1993

Cantor was opposed by Independent Reed Halstead in his re-election campaign for the Virginia House of Delegates. Cantor won 79.26% of the vote while Halstead won 20.66%.[citation needed]

1995

Cantor was unopposed for re-election to the Virginia House of Delegates.[citation needed]

1997

Cantor was unopposed for re-election to the Virginia House of Delegates.[citation needed]

1999

Cantor was unopposed for re-election to the Virginia House of Delegates.[citation needed]

2000

Cantor was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, succeeding retiring 20-year incumbent Republican Tom Bliley. He defeated the Democratic nominee, Warren A. Stewart, by nearly 100,000 votes.[53] Cantor had won the closely contested Republican primary over state Senator Stephen Martin by only 263 votes. During his first term, he was one of only two Jewish Republicans serving concurrently in the House of Representatives, the other being Benjamin A. Gilman of New York. Gilman retired in 2002 and Cantor has been the only Jewish Republican since.

2002

In 2002, Cantor was opposed by Democrat Ben L. Jones, former Congressman from Georgia, who had played “Cooter Davenport” in the TV Series The Dukes of Hazzard.[citation needed]

2004

In 2004, Cantor was opposed by Independent W. B. Blanton. Cantor won with 75.5% of the vote. Blanton won 24.32% and there were 568 write-in votes.[citation needed]

2006

In 2006, Cantor was opposed by Democrat James M. Nachman and Independent W. B. Blanton. Cantor won 63.85%, Nachman won 34.4%, and Blanton won 1.64%. There were 272 write-in votes.[citation needed]

2008

Cantor won against Democratic nominee Anita Hartke.

In August 2008 news reports surfaced that Cantor was being considered as John McCain‘s Vice Presidential running mate, with McCain’s representatives seeking documents from Cantor as part of its vetting process. Those rumors were later scoffed at by John McCain as just a rumor from the Cantor camp.[54][55][56] The idea for Cantor to be McCain’s running mate was supported by conservative leaders like Richard Land and Erick Erickson.[57][58]

2010

Cantor won against Democratic challenger Rick Waugh, and Independent Green Party[59] candidate Floyd C. Bayne.

2012

Cantor faced a primary challenger, Floyd C. Bayne, in the June 12, 2012 Republican Primary. Cantor won that primary and then defeated Democratic challenger Wayne Powell. Although he won with 58% of the vote, Cantor received his lowest vote percentage since taking the hill in 2000.

2014

In the June 10, 2014 Republican primary, Cantor lost to Tea Party challenger Dave Brat in an upset, becoming the first sitting House majority leader to lose a primary since the position was created in 1899.[5][4][6]

Threats and campaign office incident

After the passage of the health care reform bill in March 2010, Cantor reported that somebody had shot a bullet through a window of his campaign office inRichmond, Virginia. A spokesman for the Richmond Police later stated that the bullet was not intentionally fired at Cantor’s office, saying that it was instead random gunfire, as there were no signs outside the office identifying the office as being Cantor’s.[60] Cantor responded to this by saying that Democratic leaders in the House should stop “dangerously fanning the flames” by blaming Republicans for threats against House Democrats who voted for the health care legislation.[61]

Cantor also reported that he had received threatening e-mails related to the passage of the bill.[62] In March 2010, Norman Leboon was arrested for threats made against Eric Cantor and his family.[63]

In 2011, Cantor was receiving two threatening phone calls, where Glendon Swift, an antisemite, was “screaming, profanity-laden messages (that) allegedly stated that he was going to destroy Cantor, rape his daughter and kill his wife”. Swift was sentenced in April 2012 to 13 months federal prison.[64]

Electoral history

Virginia’s 7th congressional district: Results 2000–2014[65][66][67]
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct Other Party Votes Pct
2000 Warren A. Stewart 94,935 33% Eric Cantor 192,652 67% *
2002 Ben L. “Cooter” Jones 49,854 30% Eric Cantor 113,658 69% *
2004 (no candidate) Eric Cantor 230,765 75% W. Brad Blanton Independent 74,325 24% *
2006 James M. Nachman 88,206 34% Eric Cantor 163,706 64% W. Brad Blanton Independent 4,213 2% *
2008 Anita Hartke 138,123 37% Eric Cantor 233,531 63%
2010 Rick Waugh 79,607 34% Eric Cantor 138,196 59% Floyd Bayne Independent Green 15,164 6% *
2012 E. Wayne Powell 158,012 41% Eric Cantor 222,983 58%
*Write-in candidate notes: In 2000, write-ins received 304 votes. In 2002, write-ins received 153 votes. In 2004, write-ins received 568 votes. In 2006, write-ins received 272 votes. In 2008, write-ins received 683 votes. In 2010, write-ins received 413 votes. In 2012, write-ins received 914 votes.

Personal life

Cantor met his wife, Diana Marcy Fine, on a blind date; they were married in 1989.[14][29][68] They have three children: Evan, Jenna, and Michael. Diana Cantor is a lifelong, liberal Democrat. Contrary to her husband’s stated positions, she is pro-choice and supports same-sex marriage.[69]

Diana Cantor is a lawyer and certified public accountant. She founded, and from 1996 until 2008 was executive director of, the Virginia College Savings Plan (an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia). She was also chairman of the board of the College Savings Plans Network.[68][70][71] Mrs. Cantor is a managing director in a division of Emigrant Bank, a subsidiary of New York Private Bank & Trust Corp. [72]

References

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  9. Jump up^ http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/%7Ebattle/reps/cantor.htm
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  11. Jump up^ Barnes, Fred. “Virginia’s Eric Cantor has risen fast-and the sky’s the limit”.The Weekly Standard, October 1, 2007. Retrieved August 3, 2008. “As a freshman at George Washington University in 1981, Cantor worked as an intern for House Republican Tom Bliley of Virginia and was Bliley’s driver in the 1982 campaign.
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b Bacalis, Lauren (10/7/02). “Students campaign for GW alumnus”. GW Hatchet (Washington, D.C.). Retrieved 2008-12-14. “Ten College Republicans, four Phi Sigma Kappa members and two pro-Israel students traveled to Richmond, Va. early Saturday morning to campaign for Cantor.”
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  30. Jump up^ Samber, Sharon (November 8, 2002). “Jewish minyan grows in Senate; Jew elected to House”. JWeekly. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  31. Jump up^ Garrett, Major (April 17, 2002). “Bush waives law forbidding U.S. aid to PLO”.Inside Politics (CNN). Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  32. Jump up^ Sweet, Lynn (May 12, 2008). “GOP hits Obama over Israel”. The Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  33. Jump up^ “Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, to become majority leader”. European Jewish Press. 3 November 2010. Archived from the original on Nov. 9, 2010.
  34. Jump up^ Rozen, Laura (November 11, 2010), “Before Clinton meeting, Cantor’s one-on-one with Bibi”, Politico, retrieved 2010-11-15
  35. Jump up^ Benen, Steve (November 13, 2010), “When the ‘Water’s Edge’ Standard Disappears”, The Washington Monthly, retrieved 2010-11-15
  36. Jump up^ Cantor, Eric (April 10, 2007), “Assad’s Speaker”, National Review Online, retrieved 2010-11-15
  37. Jump up^ “Eric Cantor on the Issues”. On the Issues. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  38. Jump up^ “Roll Call Number 681. Description: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 – Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) Question: On Motion to Concur in Senate Amendments Bill Number: H R 1424 Date: 2008-10-03″. PoliGu.com The Political Guide. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
  39. Jump up^ “Richmond’s Entertainment, News, and Community Resource – inRich.com”. Inrich.com. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  40. Jump up^ Rogers, David (December 11, 2008). “Bailout backers try to make a deal”.Politico.com. Retrieved 2008-12-14. “Yet in the House debate across the Capitol, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) derided the czar as an unneeded “bureaucratic” imposition on private business.”
  41. Jump up^ Falcone, Michael (February 15, 2009). “The Sunday Word: Sifting Through the Stimulus”. The Caucus (The New York Times). Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  42. Jump up^ Hulse, Carl; Herszenhorn, David M. (March 19, 2009). “House Approves 90% Tax on Bonuses After Bailouts”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
  43. Jump up^ “Follow the Bailout Cash”. Newsweek. March 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
  44. Jump up^ Cantor, E, Ryan, P, McCarthy, K. Young Guns Threshold Editions, 2010 p. 46.
  45. Jump up^ Schroeder, Peter (2012-03-22). “Lawmakers hit bipartisan note following STOCK Act passage – The Hill’s On The Money”. Thehill.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  46. Jump up^ “FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 47″. clerk.house.go.
  47. Jump up^ “CNN exclusive: Congressional insider trading ban might not apply to families”. CNN. July 19, 2012.
  48. Jump up^ “Congress closes STOCK Act loophole”. UPI. August 3, 2012.
  49. Jump up^ “Eric Cantor to make rare appearance with Obama for JOBS Act signing”. Politico. April 1, 2012.
  50. Jump up^ Sherman, Jake (February 1, 2012). “Republican agenda: Small business tax cut”. Politico. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  51. Jump up^ Cantor, Eric (April 10, 2007). “Assad’s Speaker”. The National Review. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  52. Jump up^ Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  53. Jump up^ “2000 election results”. Clerk of the House. November 5, 2000. p. 65. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  54. Jump up^ Rosenbluth, Susan, “Eric Cantor: He’s Young, He’s Conservative, He’s against Dividing Jerusalem, and John McCain’s Considering Him for VP”, Jewish Voice and Opinion, August, 2008.
  55. Jump up^ Lewis, Bob, via Associated Press. “In veep search, McCain asks Cantor for records”, Yahoo! News, August 3, 2008.
  56. Jump up^ “Rep. Cantor Under Closer McCain Scrutiny for Veep”. Fox News Channel. August 2, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
  57. Jump up^ “Evangelical Leader Warns McCain on VP Pick”. CBS News. August 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
  58. Jump up^ “Cantor to Run for Whip”. August 27, 2008.
  59. Jump up^ “The Virginia Public Access Project”. Vpap.org. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  60. Jump up^ Kumar, Anita (March 26, 2010). “Police say gunfire that hit Cantor’s office was random”. Virginia Politics Blog (The Washington Post). Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  61. Jump up^ Kelley, Matt (March 24, 2010). “Rep. Cantor reports bullet hit campaign office”. ONPOLITICS (USA Today). Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  62. Jump up^ Pergram, Chad; Turner, Trish (March 25, 2010). “Cantor Says Campaign Office Was Shot At, Accuses Dems of Exploiting Threats”. FOX News. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
  63. Jump up^ Sherman, Jake (March 29, 2010). “Man arrested for Eric Cantor death threat”. POLITICO.
  64. Jump up^ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/11/glendon-swift-of-tennessee-arrested-for-threatening-to-destroy-eric-cantor/
  65. Jump up^ “Election Statistics”. Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
  66. Jump up^ “2008 Election Results: Pennsylvania to Wyoming”. Boston Globe. November 2008.
  67. Jump up^ “November 2008 Official Results”. “Virginia State Board of Elections”. November 2008.
  68. ^ Jump up to:a b Yearwood, Pauline Dubkin (Fall 2003). “Diana Cantor: Helping Families Finance College”. Jewish Woman (Washington, D.C.: Jewish Women International). Archived from the original on 2003-09-11. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
  69. Jump up^ Maxwell, Zerlina (6 January 2012). “Eric Cantor’s Wife is Pro-Choice, Pro-Marriage Equality”. Loop21. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  70. Jump up^ Cantor, Diana F. (June 2, 2004). “Testimony of Diana F. Cantor before the House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises” (PDF). House Committee on Financial Services. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
  71. Jump up^ Cox, Kirk (February 11, 2008). “HJ382: Commending Diana F. Cantor”. Retrieved 2008-12-14. “Diana F. Cantor will step down from her position in 2008, having served the Commonwealth since April 24, 1996, as the outstanding founding executive director of the Virginia Higher Education Tuition Trust Fund, subsequently renamed the Virginia College Savings Plan…” 02/15/2008 Agreed to by Senate by voice vote.
  72. Jump up^ Roston, Aram (January 23, 2009). “Bank Employing GOP House Leader’s Wife Got Bailout Bucks”. House Committee on Financial Services. Retrieved 2009-03-25.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Cantor

 

Dave Brat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from David Brat)
David Bratwurst
Republican candidate for
Virginia’s 7th congressional district
Election date
November 4, 2014
Opponent(s) Jack Trammell (D)
Personal details
Born David Alan Brat
July 27, 1964 (age 49)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Laura Brat
Children Jonathan
Sophia
Residence Henrico, Virginia
Alma mater Hope College (B.A.)
Princeton Theological Seminary(M.Div.)
American University (Ph.D)[1]
Profession Professor (economics)
Religion Roman Catholicism[2][3]

David AlanDaveBrat (born July 27, 1964)[citation needed] is an American economist, a professor at Randolph–Macon College, and the Republican candidate in the general election for Virginia’s 7th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, which will be held on November 4, 2014. Brat defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the district’s 2014 Republican primary on June 10, 2014.[4] Brat’s primary victory over Cantor, one of the biggest upsets in modern congressional history, made him the first primary challenger to oust a sitting House Majority Leader since the position’s creation in 1899.[5]

 

Background

Originally from Alma, Michigan,[6] Brat moved to Virginia in 1996 with his wife, Laura.[7] Brat attended Hope College in Michigan and received a B.A. in Business Administration in 1986; he also graduated with a Master’s degree in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1990 and earned a Ph.D in economics from American University in 1995.[1]

After working for Arthur Andersen and as a consultant for the World Bank, he became a professor at Randolph–Macon College (RMC) in 1996.[1]

His published papers include “God and Advanced Mammon: Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism?” and “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand.”[8]

David Brat is a Roman Catholic and is a parishioner of St. Mary Catholic Church in Richmond with his wife and their two children.[9]

Politics

A Dave Brat campaign sign

2005–2011 special legislative assistant

Brat worked as a special legislative assistant to Virginia state senator Walter Stosch from 2005 to 2011 concerning higher education.[1]

2011 campaign for 56th House of Delegates seat

Brat announced he was running for the Virginia House of Delegates seat for 56th district; however, there was no primary, and instead six Republican leaders met and chose Peter Farrell instead of Brat.[10]

2014 Elections[edit]

2014 race for 7th congressional district Republican primary

Brat ran against House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for the Republican nomination for Virginia’s 7th congressional district and defeated Cantor by a 12-point margin.[11] Brat was outspent by Cantor 40 to 1.[12] Cantor spent over $5 million and Brat raised $200,000, but did not spend all of it.[13] Brat’s win was a historic and stunning victory,[14][15][16] as it was the first time a sitting House Majority Leader had lost a primary race since the creation of the position in the 19th century.[17]

Brat ran well to Cantor’s right. His campaign laid particular stress on immigration reform, stating Rep. Cantor favored “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.[18] Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham endorsed Brat’s candidacy and hosted a rally with him in a Richmond suburb.[19] Radio talk show host Mark Levin also supported and endorsed Brat.[20] Ann Coulter expressed support for his candidacy.[21]

Brat will face Democratic nominee Jack Trammell, also a professor at Randolph–Macon College, in the November general elections.[22] However, Brat is heavily favored due to the 7th’s significant Republican lean; it has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+10.

Political positions]

Although Brat has stated he does not identify as a Randian, he has acknowledged having been influenced by Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged and has expressed appreciation of Ayn Rand’s case for human freedom and free markets.[23] He openly identifies with the Tea Party movement.[14]

On the campaign trail, he “frequently trumpeted the six elements” of the “Republican Party of Virginia Creed” which were posted at his campaign website:[21]

  • That the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice,
  • That all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society,
  • That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government,
  • That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations,
  • That peace is best preserved through a strong national defense,
  • That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers, is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation.[24]

Boards and leadership positions

Brat is the BB&T Ethics Program Director, serving 2010–2020. The program arose from a $500,000 grant, given by the charitable arm of the Fortune 500 financial services and banking firm BB&T, awarded to Randolph-Macon College for the study of the moral foundations of capitalism and the establishment of a related ethics program. Other board and leadership positions include:

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d David Brat. “Academic CV”. Randolph-Macon College.
  2. Jump up^ About Dave
  3. Jump up^ Isenstadt, Alex (June 10, 2014). “Who is Dave Brat?”. Politico. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  4. Jump up^ “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor loses GOP primary to tea-party challenger”. Dallas Morning News. June 10, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  5. Jump up^ “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Defeated By Tea Party Challenger David Brat In Virginia GOP Primary”. Ibtimes.com. July 25, 2011. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  6. Jump up^ http://michigan.icito.com/tag/david-brat/
  7. Jump up^ “David Alan Brat at Tobacco Issues.com”. Tobaccoissues.com. July 19, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  8. Jump up^ Epstein, Reid J. (June 10, 2014). “Who Is David Brat? Meet the Economics Professor Who Defeated Eric Cantor”. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  9. Jump up^ “David Brat campaign website”. Davebratforcongress.com. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  10. Jump up^ Dr. David Brat seeks 56th House of Delegate Seat
  11. Jump up^ Chad Pergram, Associated Press. (June 10, 2014). “Cantor upset in Virginia GOP primary by Tea Party backed challenger”. Fox News. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  12. Jump up^ Memoli, Michael A. Eric Cantor upset: How Dave Brat pulled off a historic political coup, Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2014.
  13. Jump up^ Mascaro, Lisa, Michael A. Memoli, and Mark Z. Barabak. Washington reels as House’s Eric Cantor loses to tea party challenger, Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2014.
  14. ^ Jump up to:a b Jonathan Martin (June 10, 2014). “Eric Cantor Defeated by David Brat, Tea Party Challenger, in G.O.P. Primary Upset”. New York Times. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  15. Jump up^ Janet Hook and Kristina Peterson (June 10, 2014). “Eric Cantor Loses to Tea Party’s David Brat in Virginia Primary”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  16. Jump up^ Robert Costa, Laura Vozzella and David A. Fahrenthold (June 10, 2014). “Eric Cantor succumbs to tea party challenger Tuesday”. Washington Post. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  17. Jump up^ Chris Moody (June 11, 2014). “Washington is caught totally off guard by Cantor loss”. Yahoo News. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  18. Jump up^ Lee, Tony (May 28, 2014). “Dave Brat: Illegal Immigrants Pouring into USA After Cantor Announced ‘Kids Are Welcome'”. Breitbart.com. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  19. Jump up^ “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor loses GOP primary to tea-party challenger”. The Dallas Morning News. June 10, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  20. Jump up^ Cassidy, John (June 11, 2014). “CANTOR LOSES, AND WASHINGTON GOES APE”. The New Yorker. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  21. ^ Jump up to:a b Bump, Philip (June 10, 2014). “David Brat just beat Eric Cantor. Who is he?”. The Washington Post. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  22. Jump up^ “Dave Brat and his Democratic general election opponent are both professors from the same college”. Vox.com. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  23. Jump up^ Woodruff, Betsy (January 6, 2014). “Eric Cantor’s Challenger from the Right”.National Review (National Review Online). Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  24. Jump up^ “”What We Believe””. Dave Brat for Congress. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  25. Jump up^ “David Brat Faculty CV”. Randolph-Macon College. Randolph-Macon College. Retrieved June 11, 2014.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Brat

Isaiah’s Job

by Albert Jay Nock

 

One evening last autumn, I sat long hours with a European acquaintance while he expounded a political-economic doctrine which seemed sound as a nut and in which I could find no defect. At the end, he said with great earnestness: “I have a mission to the masses. I feel that I am called to get the ear of the people. I shall devote the rest of my life to spreading my doctrine far and wide among the population. What do you think?”

An embarrassing question in any case, and doubly so under the circumstances, because my acquaintance is a very learned man, one of the three or four really first-class minds that Europe produced in his generation; and naturally I, as one of the unlearned, was inclined to regard his lightest word with reverence amounting to awe. Still, I reflected, even the greatest mind can not possibly know everything, and I was pretty sure he had not had my opportunities for observing the masses of mankind, and that therefore I probably knew them better than he did. So I mustered courage to say that he had no such mission and would do well to get the idea out of his head at once; he would find that the masses would not care two pins for his doctrine, and still less for himself, since in such circumstances the popular favourite is generally some Barabbas. I even went so far as to say (he is a Jew) that his idea seemed to show that he was not very well up on his own native literature. He smiled at my jest, and asked what I meant by it; and I referred him to the story of the prophet Isaiah.

It occurred to me then that this story is much worth recalling just now when so many wise men and soothsayers appear to be burdened with a message to the masses. Dr. Townsend has a message, Father Coughlin has one, Mr. Upton Sinclair, Mr. Lippmann, Mr. Chase and the planned economy brethren, Mr. Tugwell and the New Dealers, Mr. Smith and Liberty Leaguers – the list is endless. I can not remember a time when so many energumens were so variously proclaiming the Word to the multitude and telling them what they must do to be saved. This being so, it occurred to me, as I say, that the story of Isaiah might have something in it to steady and compose the human spirit until this tyranny of windiness is overpast. I shall paraphrase the story in our common speech, since it has to be pieced out from various sources; and inasmuch as respectable scholars have thought fit to put out a whole new version of the Bible in the American vernacular, I shall take shelter behind them, if need be, against the charge of dealing irreverently with the Sacred Scriptures.

The prophet’s career began at the end of King Uzziah’s reign, say about 740 B.C. This reign was uncommonly long, almost half a century, and apparently prosperous. It was one of those prosperous reigns, however – like the reign of Marcus Aurelius at Rome, or the administration of Eubulus at Athens, or of Mr. Coolidge at Washington – where at the end the prosperity suddenly peters out and things go by the board with a resounding crash.

In the year of Uzziah’s death, the Lord commissioned the prophet to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come. “Tell them what a worthless lot they are.” He said, “Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don’t mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them. I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you,” He added, “that it won’t do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life.”


II
Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job – in fact, he had asked for it – but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so – if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start – was there any sense in starting it? “Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”

Apparently, then, if the Lord’s word is good for anything – I do not offer any opinion about that, – the only element in Judean society that was particularly worth bothering about was the Remnant. Isaiah seems finally to have got it through his head that this was the case; that nothing was to be expected from the masses, but that if anything substantial were ever to be done in Judea, the Remnant would have to do it. This is a very striking and suggestive idea; but before going on to explore it, we need to be quite clear about our terms. What do we mean by the masses, and what by the Remnant?

As the word masses is commonly used, it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, labouring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority. The mass-man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses. The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.

The picture which Isaiah presents of the Judean masses is most unfavorable. In his view, the mass-man – be he high or be he lowly, rich or poor, prince or pauper – gets off very badly. He appears as not only weak-minded and weak-willed, but as by consequence knavish, arrogant, grasping, dissipated, unprincipled, unscrupulous. The mass-woman also gets off badly, as sharing all the mass-man’s untoward qualities, and contributing a few of her own in the way of vanity and laziness, extravagance and foible. The list of luxury-products that she patronized is interesting; it calls to mind the women’s page of a Sunday newspaper in 1928, or the display set forth in one of our professedly “smart” periodicals. In another place, Isaiah even recalls the affectations that we used to know by the name “flapper gait” and the “debutante slouch.” It may be fair to discount Isaiah’s vivacity a little for prophetic fervour; after all, since his real job was not to convert the masses but to brace and reassure the Remnant, he probably felt that he might lay it on indiscriminately and as thick as he liked – in fact, that he was expected to do so. But even so, the Judean mass-man must have been a most objectionable individual, and the mass-woman utterly odious.


But Isaiah was a preacher and Plato a philosopher; and we tend to regard preachers and philosophers rather as passive observers of the drama of life than as active participants. Hence in a matter of this kind their judgment might be suspected of being a little uncompromising, a little acrid, or as the French say, saugrenu. We may therefore bring forward another witness who was preeminently a man of affairs, and whose judgment can not lie under this suspicion. Marcus Aurelius was ruler of the greatest of empires, and in that capacity he not only had the Roman mass-man under observation, but he had him on his hands twenty-four hours a day for eighteen years. What he did not know about him was not worth knowing and what he thought of him is abundantly attested on almost every page of the little book of jottings which he scribbled offhand from day to day, and which he meant for no eye but his own ever to see.If the modern spirit, whatever that may be, is disinclined towards taking the Lord’s word at its face value (as I hear is the case), we may observe that Isaiah’s testimony to the character of the masses has strong collateral support from respectable Gentile authority. Plato lived into the administration of Eubulus, when Athens was at the peak of its jazz-and-paper era, and he speaks of the Athenian masses with all Isaiah’s fervency, even comparing them to a herd of ravenous wild beasts. Curiously, too, he applies Isaiah’s own word remnant to the worthier portion of Athenian society; “there is but a very small remnant,” he says, of those who possess a saving force of intellect and force of character – too small, preciously as to Judea, to be of any avail against the ignorant and vicious preponderance of the masses.

This view of the masses is the one that we find prevailing at large among the ancient authorities whose writings have come down to us. In the eighteenth century, however, certain European philosophers spread the notion that the mass-man, in his natural state, is not at all the kind of person that earlier authorities made him out to be, but on the contrary, that he is a worthy object of interest. His untowardness is the effect of environment, an effect for which “society” is somehow responsible. If only his environment permitted him to live according to his lights, he would undoubtedly show himself to be quite a fellow; and the best way to secure a more favourable environment for him would be to let him arrange it for himself. The French Revolution acted powerfully as a springboard for this idea, projecting its influence in all directions throughout Europe.


His success is unimpressive. On the evidence so far presented one must say, I think, that the mass-man’s conception of what life has to offer, and his choice of what to ask from life, seem now to be pretty well what they were in the times of Isaiah and Plato; and so too seem the catastrophic social conflicts and convulsions in which his views of life and his demands on life involve him. I do not wish to dwell on this, however, but merely to observe that the monstrously inflated importance of the masses has apparently put all thought of a possible mission to the Remnant out of the modern prophet’s head. This is obviously quite as it should be, provided that the earlier preachers and philosophers were actually wrong, and that all final hope of the human race is actually centred in the masses. If, on the other hand, it should turn out that the Lord and Isaiah and Plato and Marcus Aurelius were right in their estimate of the relative social value of the masses and the Remnant, the case is somewhat different. Moreover, since with everything in their favour the masses have so far given such an extremely discouraging account of themselves, it would seem that the question at issue between these two bodies of opinion might most profitably be reopened.On this side of the ocean a whole new continent stood ready for a large-scale experiment with this theory. It afforded every conceivable resource whereby the masses might develop a civilization made in their own likeness and after their own image. There was no force of tradition to disturb them in their preponderance, or to check them in a thoroughgoing disparagement of the Remnant. Immense natural wealth, unquestioned predominance, virtual isolation, freedom from external interference and the fear of it, and, finally, a century and a half of time – such are the advantages which the mass-man has had in bringing forth a civilization which should set the earlier preachers and philosophers at naught in their belief that nothing substantial can be expected from the masses, but only from the Remnant.

III

But without following up this suggestion, I wish only, as I said, to remark the fact that as things now stand Isaiah’s job seems rather to go begging. Everyone with a message nowadays is, like my venerable European friend, eager to take it to the masses. His first, last and only thought is of mass-acceptance and mass-approval. His great care is to put his doctrine in such shape as will capture the masses’ attention and interest. This attitude towards the masses is so exclusive, so devout, that one is reminded of the troglodytic monster described by Plato, and the assiduous crowd at the entrance to its cave, trying obsequiously to placate it and win its favour, trying to interpret its inarticulate noises, trying to find out what it wants, and eagerly offering it all sorts of things that they think might strike its fancy.


Isaiah, on the other hand, worked under no such disabilities. He preached to the masses only in the sense that he preached publicly. Anyone who liked might listen; anyone who liked might pass by. He knew that the Remnant would listen; and knowing also that nothing was to be expected of the masses under any circumstances, he made no specific appeal to them, did not accommodate his message to their measure in any way, and did not care two straws whether they heeded it or not. As a modern publisher might put it, he was not worrying about circulation or about advertising. Hence, with all such obsessions quite out of the way, he was in a position to do his level best, without fear or favour, and answerable only to his august Boss.The main trouble with all this is its reaction upon the mission itself. It necessitates an opportunist sophistication of one’s doctrine, which profoundly alters its character and reduces it to a mere placebo. If, say, you are a preacher, you wish to attract as large a congregation as you can, which means an appeal to the masses; and this, in turn, means adapting the terms of your message to the order of intellect and character that the masses exhibit. If you are an educator, say with a college on your hands, you wish to get as many students as possible, and you whittle down your requirements accordingly. If a writer, you aim at getting many readers; if a publisher, many purchasers; if a philosopher, many disciples; if a reformer, many converts; if a musician, many auditors; and so on. But as we see on all sides, in the realization of these several desires, the prophetic message is so heavily adulterated with trivialities, in every instance, that its effect on the masses is merely to harden them in their sins. Meanwhile, the Remnant, aware of this adulteration and of the desires that prompt it, turn their backs on the prophet and will have nothing to do with him or his message.

If a prophet were not too particular about making money out of his mission or getting a dubious sort of notoriety out of it, the foregoing considerations would lead one to say that serving the Remnant looks like a good job. An assignment that you can really put your back into, and do your best without thinking about results, is a real job; whereas serving the masses is at best only half a job, considering the inexorable conditions that the masses impose upon their servants. They ask you to give them what they want, they insist upon it, and will take nothing else; and following their whims, their irrational changes of fancy, their hot and cold fits, is a tedious business, to say nothing of the fact that what they want at any time makes very little call on one’s resources of prophesy. The Remnant, on the other hand, want only the best you have, whatever that may be. Give them that, and they are satisfied; you have nothing more to worry about. The prophet of the American masses must aim consciously at the lowest common denominator of intellect, taste and character among 120,000,000 people; and this is a distressing task. The prophet of the Remnant, on the contrary, is in the enviable position of Papa Haydn in the household of Prince Esterhazy. All Haydn had to do was keep forking out the very best music he knew how to produce, knowing it would be understood and appreciated by those for whom he produced it, and caring not a button what anyone else thought of it; and that makes a good job.


Digito monstrari et dicier, Hic est!
In a sense, nevertheless, as I have said, it is not a rewarding job. If you can tough the fancy of the masses, and have the sagacity to keep always one jump ahead of their vagaries and vacillations, you can get good returns in money from serving the masses, and good returns also in a mouth-to-ear type of notoriety:

We all know innumerable politicians, journalists, dramatists, novelists and the like, who have done extremely well by themselves in these ways. Taking care of the Remnant, on the contrary, holds little promise of any such rewards. A prophet of the Remnant will not grow purse-proud on the financial returns from his work, nor is it likely that he will get any great renown out of it. Isaiah’s case was exceptional to this second rule, and there are others, but not many.

It may be thought, then, that while taking care of the Remnant is no doubt a good job, it is not an especially interesting job because it is as a rule so poorly paid. I have my doubts about this. There are other compensations to be got out of a job besides money and notoriety, and some of them seem substantial enough to be attractive. Many jobs which do not pay well are yet profoundly interesting, as, for instance, the job of research student in the sciences is said to be; and the job of looking after the Remnant seems to me, as I have surveyed it for many years from my seat in the grandstand, to be as interesting as any that can be found in the world.

IV

What chiefly makes it so, I think, is that in any given society the Remnant are always so largely an unknown quantity. You do not know, and will never know, more than two things about them. You can be sure of those – dead sure, as our phrase is – but you will never be able to make even a respectable guess at anything else. You do not know, and will never know, who the Remnant are, nor what they are doing or will do. Two things you do know, and no more: First, that they exist; second, that they will find you. Except for these two certainties, working for the Remnant means working in impenetrable darkness; and this, I should say, is just the condition calculated most effectively to pique the interest of any prophet who is properly gifted with the imagination, insight and intellectual curiosity necessary to a successful pursuit of his trade.

The fascination and the despair of the historian, as he looks back upon Isaiah’s Jewry, upon Plato’s Athens, or upon Rome of the Antonines, is the hope of discovering and laying bare the “substratum of right-thinking and well-doing” which he knows must have existed somewhere in those societies because no kind of collective life can possibly go on without it. He finds tantalizing intimations of it here and there in many places, as in the Greek Anthology, in the scrapbook of Aulus Gellius, in the poems of Ausonius, and in the brief and touching tribute, Bene merenti, bestowed upon the unknown occupants of Roman tombs. But these are vague and fragmentary; they lead him nowhere in his search for some kind of measure on this substratum, but merely testify to what he already knew a priori – that the substratum did somewhere exist. Where it was, how substantial it was, what its power of self-assertion and resistance was – of all this they tell him nothing.

Similarly, when the historian of two thousand years hence, or two hundred years, looks over the available testimony to the quality of our civilization and tries to get any kind of clear, competent evidence concerning the substratum of right-thinking and well-doing which he knows must have been here, he will have a devil of a time finding it. When he has assembled all he can and has made even a minimum allowance for speciousness, vagueness, and confusion of motive, he will sadly acknowledge that his net result is simply nothing. A Remnant were here, building a substratum like coral insects; so much he knows, but he will find nothing to put him on the track of who and where and how many they were and what their work was like.

Concerning all this, too, the prophet of the present knows precisely as much and as little as the historian of the future; and that, I repeat, is what makes his job seem to me so profoundly interesting. One of the most suggestive episodes recounted in the Bible is that of a prophet’s attempt – the only attempt of the kind on the record, I believe – to count up the Remnant. Elijah had fled from persecution into the desert, where the Lord presently overhauled him and asked what he was doing so far away from his job. He said that he was running away, not because he was a coward, but because all the Remnant had been killed off except himself. He had got away only by the skin of his teeth, and, he being now all the Remnant there was, if he were killed the True Faith would go flat. The Lord replied that he need not worry about that, for even without him the True Faith could probably manage to squeeze along somehow if it had to; “and as for your figures on the Remnant,” He said, “I don’t mind telling you that there are seven thousand of them back there in Israel whom it seems you have not heard of, but you may take My word for it that there they are.”

At that time, probably the population of Israel could not run to much more than a million or so; and a Remnant of seven thousand out of a million is a highly encouraging percentage for any prophet. With seven thousand of the boys on his side, there was no great reason for Elijah to feel lonesome; and incidentally, that would be something for the modern prophet of the Remnant to think of when he has a touch of the blues. But the main point is that if Elijah the Prophet could not make a closer guess on the number of the Remnant than he made when he missed it by seven thousand, anyone else who tackled the problem would only waste his time.

The other certainty which the prophet of the Remnant may always have is that the Remnant will find him. He may rely on that with absolute assurance. They will find him without his doing anything about it; in fact, if he tries to do anything about it, he is pretty sure to put them off. He does not need to advertise for them nor resort to any schemes of publicity to get their attention. If he is a preacher or a public speaker, for example, he may be quite indifferent to going on show at receptions, getting his picture printed in the newspapers, or furnishing autobiographical material for publication on the side of “human interest.” If a writer, he need not make a point of attending any pink teas, autographing books at wholesale, nor entering into any specious freemasonry with reviewers. All this and much more of the same order lies in the regular and necessary routine laid down for the prophet of the masses; it is, and must be, part of the great general technique of getting the mass-man’s ear – or as our vigorous and excellent publicist, Mr. H. L. Mencken, puts it, the technique of boob-bumping. The prophet of the Remnant is not bound to this technique. He may be quite sure that the Remnant will make their own way to him without any adventitious aids; and not only so, but if they find him employing any such aids, as I said, it is ten to one that they will smell a rat in them and will sheer off.

The certainty that the Remnant will find him, however, leaves the prophet as much in the dark as ever, as helpless as ever in the matter of putting any estimate of any kind upon the Remnant; for, as appears in the case of Elijah, he remains ignorant of who they are that have found him or where they are or how many. They did not write in and tell him about it, after the manner of those who admire the vedettes of Hollywood, nor yet do they seek him out and attach themselves to his person. They are not that kind. They take his message much as drivers take the directions on a roadside signboard – that is, with very little thought about the signboard, beyond being gratefully glad that it happened to be there, but with every thought about the directions.

This impersonal attitude of the Remnant wonderfully enhances the interest of the imaginative prophet’s job. Once in a while, just about often enough to keep his intellectual curiosity in good working order, he will quite accidentally come upon some distinct reflection of his own message in an unsuspected quarter. This enables him to entertain himself in his leisure moments with agreeable speculations about the course his message may have taken in reaching that particular quarter, and about what came of it after it got there. Most interesting of all are those instances, if one could only run them down (but one may always speculate about them), where the recipient himself no longer knows where nor when nor from whom he got the message – or even where, as sometimes happens, he has forgotten that he got it anywhere and imagines that it is all a self-sprung idea of his own.

Such instances as these are probably not infrequent, for, without presuming to enroll ourselves among the Remnant, we can all no doubt remember having found ourselves suddenly under the influence of an idea, the source of which we cannot possibly identify. “It came to us afterward,” as we say; that is, we are aware of it only after it has shot up full-grown in our minds, leaving us quite ignorant of how and when and by what agency it was planted there and left to germinate. It seems highly probable that the prophet’s message often takes some such course with the Remnant.

If, for example, you are a writer or a speaker or a preacher, you put forth an idea which lodges in the Unbewußtsein of a casual member of the Remnant and sticks fast there. For some time it is inert; then it begins to fret and fester until presently it invades the man’s conscious mind and, as one might say, corrupts it. Meanwhile, he has quite forgotten how he came by the idea in the first instance, and even perhaps thinks he has invented it; and in those circumstances, the most interesting thing of all is that you never know what the pressure of that idea will make him do.

For these reasons it appears to me that Isaiah’s job is not only good but also extremely interesting; and especially so at the present time when nobody is doing it. If I were young and had the notion of embarking in the prophetical line, I would certainly take up this branch of the business; and therefore I have no hesitation about recommending it as a career for anyone in that position. It offers an open field, with no competition; our civilization so completely neglects and disallows the Remnant that anyone going in with an eye single to their service might pretty well count on getting all the trade there is.

Even assuming that there is some social salvage to be screened out of the masses, even assuming that the testimony of history to their social value is a little too sweeping, that it depresses hopelessness a little too far, one must yet perceive, I think, that the masses have prophets enough and to spare. Even admitting that in the teeth of history that hope of the human race may not be quite exclusively centred in the Remnant, one must perceive that they have social value enough to entitle them to some measure of prophetic encouragement and consolation, and that our civilization allows them none whatever. Every prophetic voice is addressed to the masses, and to them alone; the voice of the pulpit, the voice of education, the voice of politics, of literature, drama, journalism – all these are directed towards the masses exclusively, and they marshal the masses in the way that they are going.

One might suggest, therefore, that aspiring prophetical talent may well turn to another field. Sat patriae Priamoque datum – whatever obligation of the kind may be due the masses is already monstrously overpaid. So long as the masses are taking up the tabernacle of Moloch and Chiun, their images, and following the star of their god Buncombe, they will have no lack of prophets to point the way that leadeth to the More Abundant Life; and hence a few of those who feel the prophetic afflatus might do better to apply themselves to serving the Remnant. It is a good job, an interesting job, much more interesting than serving the masses; and moreover it is the only job in our whole civilization, as far as I know, that offers a virgin field.


This essay first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1936. See also Jeffrey Tucker on Nock.

Albert Jay Nock (1870–1945) was an influential American libertarian author, educational theorist, and social critic. Murray Rothbard was deeply influenced by him, and so was that whole generation of free-market thinkers. See Nock’s The State of the Union.

The Best of Albert Jay Nock

Albert Jay Nock

Albert Jay Nock
Born October 13, 1870
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Died August 19, 1945 (aged 74)
Wakefield, Rhode Island
Resting place Riverside Cemetery
South Kingstown, Rhode Island
Occupation writer and social theorist
Nationality American
Alma mater St. Stephen’s College
(now known as Bard College)
Subjects Libertarianism

Albert Jay Nock (October 13, 1870 – August 19, 1945) was an influential American libertarian author, educationaltheorist, and social critic of the early and middle 20th century.

 

Life and work

Throughout his life, Nock was a deeply private man who shared few of the details of his personal life with his working partners. He was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania (U.S.), to a father who was both a steelworker and an Episcopal priest, and he was raised in Brooklyn, New York. Nock attended St. Stephen’s College (now known as Bard College) from 1884–1888,[1] where he joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. After graduation he had a brief career playing minor league baseball, then attended a theological seminary and was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1897. Nock married Agnes Grumbine in 1900 and had two children, Francis and Samuel (both of whom became college professors), but separated from his wife after only a few years of marriage.[2] In 1909, Nock left the clergy and became a journalist.

In 1914, Nock joined the staff of The Nation magazine, which was at the time supportive of liberal capitalism. Nock was an acquaintance of the influential politician and orator William Jennings Bryan, and in 1915 traveled to Europe on a special assignment for Bryan, who was then Secretary of State. Nock also maintained friendships with many of the leading proponents of the Georgist movement, one of whom had been his bishop in the Episcopal Church.

However, while Nock was a lifelong admirer of Henry George, he was frequently at odds with the left-leaning movement that claimed his legacy.[citation needed] Further, Nock was deeply influenced by the anti-collectivist writings of theGerman sociologist Franz Oppenheimer, whose most famous work, Der Staat, was published in English translation in 1915. In his own writings, Nock would later build on Oppenheimer’s claim that the pursuit of human ends can be divided into two forms: the productive or economic means and the parasitic, political means.

Between 1920 and 1924, Nock was the co-editor of The Freeman. The Freeman was initially conceived as a vehicle for the single tax movement. It was financed by the wealthy wife of the magazine’s other editor, Francis Neilson,[3] although neither Nock nor Neilson was an dedicated single taxer. Contributors to The Freemanincluded: Charles A. Beard, William Henry Chamberlin, Thomas Mann, Lewis Mumford, Bertrand Russell, Lincoln Steffens, Louis Untermeyer, Thorstein Veblen andSuzanne La Follette, the more libertarian[4] cousin of Senator Robert La Follette. Critic H.L. Mencken wrote:

His editorials during the three brief years of the Freeman set a mark that no other man of his trade has ever quite managed to reach. They were well-informed and sometimes even learned, but there was never the slightest trace of pedantry in them. –H.L. Mencken[5]

When the unprofitable The Freeman ceased publication in 1924, Nock became a freelance journalist in New York City and Brussels, Belgium.

“The Myth of a Guilty Nation,”[6] which came out in 1922, was Albert Jay Nock’s first anti-war book, a cause he backed his entire life as an essential component of a libertarian outlook. The burden of the book is to prove American war propaganda to be false. The purpose of the war, according to Nock, was not to liberate Europe and the world from German imperialism and threats. If there was a conspiracy, it was by the allied powers to broadcast a public message that was completely contradicted by its own diplomatic cables. Along with that came war propaganda designed to make Germany into a devil nation. The book has been in very low circulation ever since. In fact, until a recent release by the Mises Institute, it had been very difficult to obtain in physical form.

In the mid-1920s, a small group of wealthy American admirers funded Nock’s literary and historical work to enable him to follow his own interests. Shortly thereafter, he published his biography of Thomas Jefferson. When Jefferson was published in 1928, Mencken praised it as “the work of a subtle and highly dexterous craftsman” which cleared “off the vast mountain of doctrinaire rubbish that has risen above Jefferson’s bones and also provides a clear and comprehensive account of the Jeffersonian system,” and the “essence of it is that Jefferson divided all mankind into two classes, the producers and the exploiters, and he was for the former first, last and all the time.” Mencken also thought the book to be accurate, shrewd, well-ordered and charming.[5]

In his two 1932 books, On the Disadvantages of Being Educated and Other Essays and Theory of Education in the United States, Nock launched a scathing critique of modern government-run education.

In his 1936 article “Isaiah’s Job”,[7] which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly and was reprinted in pamphlet form in July 1962 by The Foundation for Economic Education, Nock expressed his complete disillusionment with the idea of reforming the current system. Believing that it would be impossible to convince any large portion of the general population of the correct course and opposing any suggestion of a violent revolution, Nock instead argued that libertarians should focus on nurturing what he called “the Remnant“.

The Remnant, according to Nock, consisted of a small minority who understood the nature of the state and society, and who would become influential only after the current dangerous course had become thoroughly and obviously untenable, a situation which might not occur until far into the future.[8] Nock’s philosophy of the Remnant was influenced by the deep pessimism and elitism that social critic Ralph Adams Cram expressed in a 1932 essay, “Why We Do Not Behave Like Human Beings”.[9] In his Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, Nock makes no secret that his educators:

did not pretend to believe that everyone is educable, for they knew, on the contrary, that very few are educable, very few indeed. They saw this as a fact of nature, like the fact that few are six feet tall. [...] They accepted the fact that there are practicable ranges of intellectual and spiritual experience which nature has opened to some and closed to others.

In 1941, Nock published a two-part essay in the Atlantic Monthly titled “The Jewish Problem in America”.[10] The article was part of a multi-author series, assembled by the editors in response to recent anti-Semitic unrest in Brooklyn and elsewhere “in the hope that a free and forthright debate will reduce the pressure, now dangerously high, and leave us with a healthier understanding of the human elements involved.”

Nock’s argument was that the Jews were an Oriental people, acceptable to the “intelligent Occidental” yet forever strangers to “the Occidental mass-man.”[11]Furthermore, the mass-man “is inclined to be more resentful of the Oriental as a competitor than of another Occidental;” the American masses are “the great rope and lamppost artists of the world;” and in studying Jewish history, “one is struck with the fact that persecutions never have originated in an upper class movement”. This innate hostility of the masses, he concluded, might be exploited by a scapegoating state to distract from “any shocks of an economic dislocation that may occur in the years ahead.” He concluded, “If I keep up my family’s record of longevity, I think it is not impossible that I shall live to see the Nuremberg laws reenacted in this country and enforced with vigor” and affirmed that the consequences of such a pogrom “would be as appalling in their extent and magnitude as anything seen since the Middle Ages.”

Despite this obvious dread of anti-Semitism, the article was itself declared by some to be anti-Semitic, and Nock was never asked to write another article, effectively ending his career as a social critic.

Against charges of anti-Semitism, Nock answered, “Someone asked me years ago if it were true that I disliked Jews, and I replied that it was certainly true, not at all because they are Jews but because they are folks, and I don’t like folks.”[citation needed]

In 1943, two years before his death, Nock published his autobiography, Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, the title of which expressed the degree of Nock’s disillusionment and alienation from current social trends. After the publication of this autobiography, Nock became the sometime guest of oilman William F. Buckley, Sr.,[12] whose son, William F. Buckley, Jr., would later become a celebrated author and speaker.

Nock died of leukemia in 1945, at the Wakefield, Rhode Island home of his longtime friend, Ruth Robinson, the illustrator of his 1934 book, “A Journey into Rabelais’ France”. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery, in Wakefield.

Thought

Describing himself as a philosophical anarchist,[13] Nock called for a radical vision of society free from the influence of the political state. He described the state as that which “claims and exercises the monopoly of crime”. He opposed centralization, regulation, the income tax, and mandatory education, along with what he saw as the degradation of society. He denounced in equal terms all forms of totalitarianism, including “BolshevismFascism, Hitlerism, Marxism, [and] Communism” but also harshly criticized democracy. Instead, Nock argued, “The practical reason for freedom is that freedom seems to be the only condition under which any kind of substantial moral fiber can be developed. Everything else has been tried, world without end. Going dead against reason and experience, we have tried law, compulsion and authoritarianism of various kinds, and the result is nothing to be proud of.”[14]

During the 1930s, Nock was one of the most consistent critics of Franklin Roosevelt‘s New Deal programs. In Our Enemy, the State, Nock argued that the New Deal was merely a pretext for the federal government to increase its control over society. He was dismayed that the president had gathered unprecedented power in his own hands and called this development an out-and-out coup d’état. Nock criticized those who believed that the new regimentation of the economy was temporary, arguing that it would prove a permanent shift. He believed that the inflationary monetary policy of the Republican administrations of the 1920s was responsible for the onset of the Great Depression and that the New Deal was responsible for perpetuating it.

Nock was also a passionate opponent of war and what he considered the US government’s aggressive foreign policy. He believed that war could bring out only the worst in society and argued that it led inevitably to collectivization and militarization and “fortified a universal faith in violence; it set in motion endless adventures inimperialism, endless nationalist ambitions,” while, at the same time, costing countless human lives. During the First World War, Nock wrote for The Nation, which was censored by the Wilson administration for opposing the war.

Despite his distaste for communism, Nock harshly criticized the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War following the parliamentary revolution and Bolshevik coup in that country. Before the Second World War, Nock wrote a series of articles deploring what he saw as Roosevelt’s gamesmanship and interventionism leading inevitably to US involvement. Nock was one of the few who maintained a principled opposition to the war throughout its course.

Despite becoming considerably more obscure in death than he had been in life, Nock was an important influence on the next generation of laissez-faire capitalist American thinkers, including libertarians such as Murray Rothbard, Ayn Rand, Frank Chodorov,[15] and Leonard Read, and conservatives such as William F. Buckley, Jr.. Nock’s conservative view of society would help inspire the paleoconservative movement in response to the development of neoconservatism during theCold War. In insisting on the state itself as the root problem, Nock’s thought was one of the main precursors to anarcho-capitalism.

Works

  • The Myth of a Guilty Nation.[1] New York: B.W. Huebsch, 1922. [2]
  • The Freeman Book.[3] B.W. Huebsch, 1924.
  • Jefferson.[4] New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1926 (also known as Mr. Jefferson).
  • On Doing the Right Thing, and Other Essays.[5] New York: Harper and Brothers, 1928.
  • Francis Rabelais: The Man and His Work. Harper and Brothers, 1929.
  • The Book of Journeyman: Essays from the New Freeman.[6] New Freeman, 1930.
  • The Theory of Education in the United States.[7] New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1932.
  • A Journey Into Rabelais’s France. [8] William Morrow & Company, 1934.
  • A Journal of These Days: June 1932–December 1933. William Morrow & Company, 1934.
  • Our Enemy, the State.[9] William Morrow & Company, 1935.
  • Free Speech and Plain Language. William Morrow & Company, 1937.
  • Henry George: An Essay. William Morrow & Company, 1939.
  • Memoirs of a Superfluous Man.[10] New York: Harper and Brothers, 1943.

Miscellany

  • World Scouts,[11] World Peace Foundation, 1912.
  • “Officialism and Lawlessness.” [12] In College Readings on Today and its Problems, Oxford University Press, 1933.
  • Meditations in Wall Street, with an introduction by Albert Jay Nock,[13] W. Morrow & Company, 1940.

Published posthumously:

  • A Journal of Forgotten Days: May 1934–October 1935. [14] Henry Regnery Company, 1948.
  • Letters from Albert Jay Nock, 1924–1945, to Edmund C. Evans, Mrs. Edmund C. Evans, and Ellen Winsor. The Caxton Printers, 1949.
  • Snoring as a Fine Art and Twelve Other Essays.[15] Richard R. Smith, 1958.
  • Selected Letters of Albert Jay Nock. The Caxton Printers, 1962.
  • Cogitations from Albert Jay Nock.[16] The Nockian Society, 1970, revised edition, 1985.
  • The State of the Union: Essays in Social Criticism. Liberty Press, 1991.
  • The Disadvantages of Being Educated and Other Essays. Hallberg Publishing Corporation, 1996.

Notes

  1. Jump up^ Wreszin, Michael (1972). The Superfluous Anarchist: Albert Jay Nock, Brown University Press, p. 11.
  2. Jump up^ Powell, Jim (March 1, 1997). “Albert Jay Nock: A Gifted Pen for Radical Individualism”. The Freeman (Foundation for Economic Education).
  3. Jump up^ Neilson, Francis (1946). “The Story of ‘The Freeman’,” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 3–53.
  4. Jump up^ Presley, Sharon (1981). “Suzanne La Follette: The Freewoman,” Libertarian Review (Cato Institute).
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b Mencken, H.L. (1926). “The Immortal Democrat,” American Mercury, Vol. 9, No. 33, p. 123.
  6. Jump up^ Originally published in 1922 by B. W. Huebsch, Inc. Published in 2011 by the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
  7. Jump up^ Nock, Albert Jay (1956). “Isaiah’s Job”, The Freeman/Ideas on Liberty, Vol. 6, No. 12, pp. 31–7.
  8. Jump up^ Harris, Michael R. (1970). Five Counterrevolutionists in Higher Education: Irving Babbitt, Albert Jay Nock, Abraham Flexner, Robert Maynard Hutchins, Alexander Meiklejohn, Oregon State University Press, p. 97.
  9. Jump up^ Cram, Ralph Adams (1932). “Why We Do Not Behave Like Human Beings,” The American Mercury, Vol. 27, No 105, pp. 41–8.
  10. Jump up^ Nock, Albert Jay (1941). “The Jewish Problem in America,” The Atlantic Monthly, June 1, pp. 699–705.
  11. Jump up^ Crunden, Robert Morse (1964). The Mind and Art of Albert Jay Nock, Henry Regnery Company, pp. 183–84.
  12. Jump up^ Buckley, Jr., William F. (2008). Let Us Talk of Many Things: The Collected Speeches, Basic Books, p. 430.
  13. Jump up^ Wreszin, Michael (1969). “Albert Jay Nock and the Anarchist Elitist Tradition in America,”American Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 2, Part 1, pp. 165–89.
  14. Jump up^ Nock, Albert Jay (1924). “On Doing the Right Thing,” American Mercury, Vol. 3, No. 11, p. 257–62.
  15. Jump up^ Nitsche, Charles G. (1981). Albert Jay Nock and Frank Chodorov: Case Studies in Recent American Individualist and Anti-statist Thought, (Ph.D. Dissertation), University of Maryland.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Jay_Nock

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Obama’s Reckless Endangerment, Human Trafficking and Murder of Illegal Alien Children — Obama’s Response Is $2 Million to Pay For Lawyers — Disease and Virus Spreading To USA — Unbelievable President Obama — Enforce Immigration Laws By Deporting All 30-50 Million Illegal Aliens ! — Videos

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Story 1: Obama’s Reckless Endangerment, Human Trafficking and Murder of Illegal Alien Children — Obama’s Response Is $2 Million to Pay For Lawyers — Disease and Virus Spreading To USA —  Unbelievable President Obama — Enforce Immigration Laws By Deporting All  30-50 Million Illegal Aliens ! — Videos

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Illegal Immigrant Children Causing Border Crisis

Congressman Henry Cuellar talks about the influx of illegal immigrant children

More illegal immigrants mean budget issues for the U.S.

Judge :DHS Assisting Human Traffickers With Children Smuggled Across Mexican Border

Safe Passage’ Brings Legal Aid to Children Facing Deportation

Illegal Aliens Flood Border Using Same Key Phrase To Seek U S Asylum Wake Up America

Hundreds Of Abandoned Immigrant Children Found In Mexico

Obama To Stop Deporting Young Illegal Immigrants

Obama again over-reaching his authority, granting illegal immigrants a stay in the USA

New Immigration Guidelines: Schools Prohibited From Turning Away Children of The Undocumented

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How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2

Mark Levin Interviews Sen. Sessions On Immigration [FULL]

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Crossing Mexico’s Other Border

Living on US-Mexico Border, Native Americans Face Daily Struggles

 

 

EXCLUSIVE–SEN. JEFF SESSIONS: OBAMA ‘COMMITTED TO ESCALATING’ LAWLESSNESS AT BORDER

There’s only a few weeks left until the summer recess swallows Congress’ legislative agenda for 2014, but a group of key Republicans haven’t given up immigration quite yet.

by 

Helping guide a secretive effort to informally gauge support for legislative action on the issue before August are two expected names: Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Paul Ryan (R-WI).

But joining them is a young conservative lawmaker whose efforts on the issue have shocked conservative power brokers and prompted a behind-the-scenes backlash.

“Absolutely,” Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) told Breitbart News, “I have been talking about immigration with my colleagues for months. Talking about important issues is part of my job.”

Mulvaney was quick to add he isn’t “whipping” support for a bill per se – “I haven’t even seen a bill on immigration reform that I could whip even if I wanted to,” he said – and that he remains firmly opposed to the Senate “Gang of Eight” bill.

“I have absolutely no interest in taking up the Senate bill or going to conference on the Senate bill. Securing our borders is my first priority on any immigration reform, and the Senate bill falls woefully short on that point. Furthermore, I will not support a special pathway to citizenship for those who are here illegally. The Senate bill has always been and remains a non-starter,” Mulvaney said.

Still, his support for House action on the issue this year, and his backing for a separate issue, reauthorization of the Export-Import bank, has prompted new scrutiny on Mulvaney from the right.

“He needs to be called out for this,” one prominent conservative says.

Mulvaney not only has one of the most conservative voting records in the House Republican conference, he has been a leader of a group of conservative dissidents looking to push Speaker John Boehner to the right. In 2013, Mulvaney pointedly took a seat near the front of the House chamber and sat silently as his name was called repeatedly during the Boehner’s reelection as speaker.

His new movement on immigration isn’t his first foray into the issue. In February, he was profiled by a New York Times reporter who traveled to his South Carolina district to witness his first town hall conducted in Spanish.

But then, he said legislative action was out of the question because President Obama is an untrustworthy partner. “We are afraid that if we reach an agreement, he will take the parts he likes and he won’t take the parts that he doesn’t like,” Mulvaney told the audience in Spanish, according to the Times.

Mulvaney’s active involvement on the issue now suggests that calculation may have changed for him, although the sentiment is felt even more deeply by top immigration hawks who note President Obama has continued to aggressively wield his executive action pen in the months since.

At a town hall last week, Mulvaney used rhetoric on the issue similar to that of top amnesty proponents.

“Immigration is not a simple issue. There are at least three major parts of it: there’s border security, legal immigration, and the status of the 11 million, 15 million, 30 million … pick a number – it’s the status of the folks who are here illegally. People say, ‘oh, comprehensive reform is a bad idea.’ Ok? But, unless you deal with all three of those you haven’t dealt with immigration,” Mulvaney said.

“There are jobs that American citizens will not do. There are jobs that American citizens will not do. We can talk about why that is. We can talk about how our welfare state is broken, how we encourage people not to work, but that doesn’t help the farmer pick his peaches this summer. We have businesses that rely on migrant – legal – migrant workers, and a lot of them are in this state,” he added.

The secretive immigration talks by Diaz-Balart, Ryan and Mulvaney still face severe hurdles if they are to successfully bring legislation to the floor in June or July.

Many top GOP aides say the tide has not turned since February, when the House GOP leadership’s immigration principles were unveiled to an outcry that foisting a civil war on the party just ahead of a midterm election was political suicide.

Still, last week, Rep. Mark Amodei told a local newspaper that what he described as a “quiet whip effort” was making progress.

“They started a quiet whip count, trying to gauge what the support was for doing something on immigration within the Republican conference. We want to see where we stand on that whip count because, obviously, the Speaker does not want to get out in front of it and then have the limb sawed off behind him,” Amodei said.

“But I said, you know what? I’m hopeful. My sense — and I could be wrong — but I think there are 165 to 180 people in the Republican conference that will be open minded to this and support it,” he added.

Asked for comment about Ryan’s involvement in the issue, his spokesman, Kevin Seifert, said, “Congressman Ryan has laid out his principles for immigration reform. He’s said that the House should not take up or conference with the Senate bill and that there should be no special pathway to citizenship for those here illegally. Congressman Ryan has also said that any reform effort should begin by securing our border and enforcing our laws.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/06/08/Mick-Mulvaneys-Summer-Of-Apostasy

TED CRUZ: ‘OBAMA’S LAWLESSNESS’ RESPONSIBLE FOR SPIKE IN ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

A sharp spike in illegal immigration has caused facilities and resources along the U.S.-Mexico border to become overwhelmed. As a result, U.S. Border Patrol has been releasing thousands of illegal immigrants onto U.S. soil each week. Some released immigrants are even criminals–as Breitbart Texas previously reported, more than 36,000 convicted criminal illegal alienswere released by U.S. authorities in 2013 alone.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz told Breitbart Texas that this “humanitarian crisis” is a “direct consequence” of the Obama Administration’s actions and rhetoric surrounding illegal immigration.

“We need a president who is willing to uphold the law,” Cruz said. “On issue after issue the Obama Administration has openly ignored, defied, and unilaterally tried to change the law. With respect to securing the border, the Obama Administration has handcuffed the courageous men and women who serve in Border Patrol. Morale in ICE is at an all-time low because the political operatives leading this Administration are preventing them from doing their job and upholding the law.”

He continued, “Just a few months before the last election the president illegally and unconstitutionally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people illegally. If the president wants to change federal immigration laws, the Constitution lays out a way to do so–you go and make your case to Congress and you convince Congress to change the laws…unfortunately for President Obama, following the Constitutional structure is apparently too cumbersome. One of the consequences were seeing on the border is a humanitarian crisis that is a direct consequence of Obama’s lawlessness.”

Cruz argued that by granting amnesty to such large numbers of illegal immigrants, Obama prompted a “change in behavior.” In Cruz’s view, the recent spike in illegal immigration can be attributed to such actions by the Administration.

Earlier this week, Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby released leaked photos of children in U.S. processing cells who entered the U.S. illegally and unaccompanied. The photos encapsulated the humanitarian crisis in relation to young, often unaccompanied, border crossers.

Cruz said of the skyrocketing number of children crossers, “When I was down at the border, Border Patrol agents were telling me with horror that roughly 10 percent of apprehended people were unaccompanied minors.”

He continued, “The people who are bringing men, women, and children in illegally are not pleasant, happy, placid coyotes.  These are criminal cartels. These are ruthless, brutal, nasty criminals. The idea that you have parents handing their teenage daughter or son over to a global criminal cartel is a humanitarian crisis. Untold numbers of these teens are facing assault, are facing a life of hell being turned over to drug kingpins.”

“It is a direct consequence of the presidents illegal actions,” he said. “The parents think, ‘If I send my child [to the U.S.], my child will have amnesty.’ That’s what the president of the U.S. has said. It is the exact opposite of a humane approach to immigration or to securing our borders.”

Ultimately, Cruz said there are many areas where the left and right can find common ground.

“There is overwhelming bipartisan support outside of Washington that we need to finally secure our borders, enforce our laws, and stop the problem of illegal immigration,” he concluded. “But that’s not going to happen as long as the president is ordering Border Patrol officers not to enforce the law.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/06/06/Ted-Cruz-Obamas-Lawlessness-Responsible-for-Spike-in-Illegal-Immigration

Border crisis: Why the surge in illegal border-crossers with children? (+video)

US Border Patrol is struggling to cope with throngs of mothers and even unaccompanied children, apparently drawn by rumors that the Obama administration will let undocumented families stay. Critics say Obama’s policies are in fact largely to blame.

By Patrik Jonsson

A recent wave of migrant mothers with children, as well as unaccompanied children, crossing theUS southern border is, to President Obama, an “urgent humanitarian crisis.” To critics, the surge of humanity on America’s doorstep stems at least in part from Mr. Obama’s own policies that appear to lay out the welcome mat for illegal immigrants.

With the surge in needy immigrant families, makeshift camps are springing up at Arizona bus depots, and the US is opening military barracks in Texas to house the growing number of unaccompanied children.

According to press reports, rumors are flying throughout Central America that parents won’t be detained by the US Border Patrol if a child is by their side. That’s true, for the most part. They are sent to live with relatives, or anywhere else, until their deportation hearings (usually within 15 days).

The Border Patrol, in an internal memo, acknowledges it is having to take its eyes off securing the border and busting human- and drug-trafficking rings in the Rio Grande Valley sector in south Texas to focus instead on a wave of migrants, mostly from strife-torn Central American countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

After Arizona officials complained about the Border Patrol shipping migrants in from Texas and dropping them at bus stations, the Department of Homeland Security on Friday halted that policy. The US has instead begun housing unaccompanied migrant children on military installations in Texas and California, under the supervision of Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Craig Fugate.

The new wave of illegal immigrants may also affect the politicking in Washington over immigration reform, given that the emerging crisis appears to be drawing into question the government’s ability to contain the border. An adequately sealed border is a key sticking point in negotiations between Democrats and Republicans over a proposed immigration reform measure that includes a path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrants already in the US.

“For those who are friendly to migration, this gets highlighted for the same reason they highlighted DREAM-ers: There’s a very clear moral proposition” around protecting innocent children, says Allert Brown-Gort, an immigration policy expert at the University of Notre Dame, citing a proposed law to give legal status to undocumented young people brought to the US as minors.

“The other side wants to highlight … the idea of migrants on the other side with catapults, just flinging their children across [the border],” because the US has been signaling that it’s become friendlier, under Mr. Obama, to undocumented migrants, Mr. Brown-Gort adds.

Critics say Obama’s 2012 executive order that lets young people brought to the US illegally as children apply for a two-year deferral from deportation, as well as the Bush administration’s 2008 decision to close a major detention facility in Texas, have helped to create conditions for a new wave of illegal immigration.

Some migrants are telling reporters on the border that they’ve heard in their home countries that there’s a “new opportunity” to emigrate to the US illegally and stay indefinitely, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Cindy Carcamo on Friday.

“The word has gotten back that [the Obama administration] is letting people stay – not just unaccompanied minors, but women with children – which is creating an opportunity to sneak in and get while the getting’s good,” says Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, which backs “low migration.”

“What it means is they haven’t locked down the border, and all this talk about how tough the administration is on enforcement is being exposed as false,” he adds.

The border patrol just tripled its projection of how many “unaccompanied alien children” are expected to cross the border. New estimates project 90,000 so-called unaccompanied children will try to cross this year and as many as 165,000 will try in 2015 (up from about 13,000 in 2012 and 24,000 in 2013).

Overall, illegal immigration from Central America is now inching toward 180,000 people a year – about half of the flow at the 2005 peak, but up from 130,000 two years ago.

Children are about 10 percent of that flow, and as many as 70 percent of those children are unaccompanied, Brown-Gort says. Many of the children are 12 and older, and most are boys. At home, boys that age are chief targets of cartels, and rising violence is pushing them to head north.

“It sounds easy to say, ‘Well, they’re being told that all they have to do is show up and everything will be OK,’ but people are balancing that with the really horribly increased dangers of migration,” including shakedowns and sexual violence, he says. “This kind of migration is a big roll of the dice, and not easy.”

Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello raised alarms about the current policy in an unsigned May 30 memo obtained by the Washington Times and reported by the Associated Press. Releasing mothers with kids and reuniting unaccompanied children with relatives in the US are serving as “incentives to additional individuals to follow the same path,” Mr. Vitiello wrote.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) complained in a recent letter to Obama that the policy has resulted in women and children with few connections in the US lingering in makeshift camps while awaiting deportation hearings, including one at the Phoenix Greyhound station. Meanwhile, churches and nonprofit groups have kicked into overdrive to try to keep susceptible families and children fed and safe in the 110-degree desert heat.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2014/0606/Border-crisis-Why-the-surge-in-illegal-border-crossers-with-children-video

Obama’s two-year ‘amnesty’ for illegal immigrant minors sparks TWELVE-FOLD spike in numbers pouring across border

  • A San Antonio Air Force base, a California Navy base, and a makeshift detention center in Nogales, Arizona have become temporary shelters for children and youths caught crossing the border without their parents
  • Republicans blame the Obama administration for the problem, citing a 2012 policy that relaxed deportations
  • It’s ‘an administration-made disaster,’ says the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
  • President Obama now concedes that it’s an ‘urgent humanitarian situation’ and is setting aside $2 million to pay lawyers for the children
  • The US government expects as many as 80,000 child immigrants to illegally enter the US this year, a twelve-fold jump in just three years
  • More than 33,000 have been picked up in Texas since October; the Arizona facility has ordered 2,000 mattresses to handle its overload
  • ‘Instead of having an application of the immigration law, we are taking mothers and children and dumping them,’ another claimed
  • A federal judge castigated the Obama administration in December, saying it was ‘completing the criminal mission’ of human traffickers

By DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR

President Barack Obama is calling tens of thousands of illegal-immigrant children languishing in temporary U.S. holding pens an ‘urgent humanitarian situation,’ but Republicans are pointing the finger of blame squarely at the White House.

Obama instituted an immigration policy that the GOP says enticed tens of thousands of Central American children to cross America’s southern border illegally without any parents to guide them.

More than 33,000 have been picked up in Texas alone since October. The U.S. border patrol says its forces are overwhelmed, and the courts are bracing for a flood of immigration cases from children held in temporary detention facilities designed to handle a fraction of the numbers. Sanitation problems are beginning to rear their ugly heads.

Obama rolled out a controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, allowing many illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors to escape deportation for two years. The White House gave them another two-year window last week.

As a result, say some GOP leaders, America’s system for handling illegal immigration has been strained to the breaking point and is attracting hundreds of new illegal-immigrant children every day.

Compared to the year before Obama’s policy took effect, twelve times as many kids are coming north illegally this year.

Overflowing: Immigration authorities have opened a shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to house a rising number of unaccompanied minors who have been crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally

Overflowing: Immigration authorities have opened a shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to house a rising number of unaccompanied minors who have been crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally

 

Hundreds of immigrants believed to be in the country illegally from Central America and Mexico being held in crowded concrete rooms similar to a jail cell

Hundreds of immigrants believed to be in the country illegally from Central America and Mexico being held in crowded concrete rooms similar to a jail cell

 

Many of the children appear to be teenagers but some clearly are younger

Many of the children appear to be teenagers but some clearly are younger

 

Lackland has become a temporary shelter for youths caught crossing the border illegally and alone

Lackland has become a temporary shelter for youths caught crossing the border illegally and alone

 

 

A half-century-old section of a U.S. Air Force base in Texas is now a holding and processing center for thousands of children who managed to enter the U.S. alone. The same is true of a Navy base in California.

And a makeshift detention center in Arizona holding 700 illegal immigrant children has ordered 2,000 mattresses to keep up with an expected influx in the coming months.

Judge: US ‘has simply chosen not to enforce … border security laws’

In a landmark court ruling in December, a federal judge ruled against the Department of Homeland Security for releasing a Salvadoran girl to her mother.

The mom had hired a smuggler to transport her daughter into the U.S., and was herself in the country illegally.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hansen wrote that ‘this court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department of Homeland Security of completing the criminal mission of those who are violating the border security of the United States.’

‘The DHS,’ Hansen added, ‘should enforce the laws of the United States – not break them.’ 

Many of the children there were sleeping on plastic boards.

According to the Associated Press, toothbrushes and toothpaste hadn’t arrived yet and were expected Monday.

Hundreds of children had not bathed in days, and were taking turns using just four showers.

Tony Banegas, Honduras’ honorary consul in Phoenix, told the AP that there were 236 Honduran children there on Saturday, including an 8-year-old.

Republicans on Capitol Hill are beyond angry.

Leaked photos from the base, which were obtained by the Breitbart.com news blog, show hundreds of children holed up in crowded concrete rooms, many of them sleeping on the bare floor without blankets or pillows.

‘The recent surge of children and teenagers from Central America showing up at our southern border is an administration-made disaster,’ Virginia GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News last week.

‘Word has gotten out around the world about President Obama’s lax immigration enforcement policies and it has encouraged more individuals to come to the United States illegally,’ Goodlatte said in a statement.

 

 

‘Enforcement at the border and in the interior of the U.S.,’ not ‘another bureaucratic task force’ is needed, he claimed.

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, who sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Friday that ‘instead of having an application of the immigration law, we are taking mothers and children and dumping them … and violating the rule[s] over and over.’

Policy shift: President Barack Obama announced on June 15, 2012 that the U.S. would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who satisfied a broad set of criteria; the move has enticed tens of thousands of children to sneak across the border even though the policy doesn't apply to them

Policy shift: President Barack Obama announced on June 15, 2012 that the U.S. would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who satisfied a broad set of criteria; the move has enticed tens of thousands of children to sneak across the border even though the policy doesn’t apply to them

Immediately contentious: Neil Munro (C), the White House Correspondent for the Daily Caller, peppered Obama with unexpected questions during the announcement, during which the president hadn't planned to take questions at all

Immediately contentious: Neil Munro (C), the White House Correspondent for the Daily Caller, peppered Obama with unexpected questions during the announcement, during which the president hadn’t planned to take questions at all

 

 

 

At the base, children are provided with three hot meals and two snacks a day. They can call home twice a week. They have access to mental health clinicians and on-site medical care

 

At the base, children are provided with three hot meals and two snacks a day. They can call home twice a week. They have access to mental health clinicians and on-site medical care

The minors flooding over the border are often teenagers leaving behind poverty or violence in Mexico and other parts of Central America such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala

The minors flooding over the border are often teenagers leaving behind poverty or violence in Mexico and other parts of Central America such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala

The Obama administration expects as many as 80,000 of these ‘unaccompanied minors’ to cross the border in 2014, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

That number is twelve times what it was in 2011, the year before Obama announced his deferred-action plan.

The administration now estimates the holding facilities where the youngsters are being held cost taxpayers $252 per child per day, far more than the cost of a hotel and more than the children could expect to earn in two weeks of hard work picking crops, work that many were slated to do.

Facing the question of whether to deport the minors or play a game of catch-and-release, the administration has set aside $2 million to pay for their lawyers.

‘We’re taking a historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society,’ Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday in a statement.

‘How we treat those in need, particularly young people who must appear in immigration proceedings – many of whom are fleeing violence, persecution, abuse or trafficking – goes to the core of who we are as a nation.’

Obama’s ‘deferred action’ program for minors, which he announced in a fanfare-laden June 15, 2012 Rose Garden press conference, applies only to children who came to America before mid-2007.

‘It makes no sense to expel talented young people, who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans,’ the president said then.

 

Photos leaked to U.S. and Mexican media outlets on Thursday show unaccompanied children crammed into Border Patrol holding cells elsewhere, sleeping on concrete floors

 

Photos leaked to U.S. and Mexican media outlets on Thursday show unaccompanied children crammed into Border Patrol holding cells elsewhere, sleeping on concrete floors

About 850 that were being housed at the facility have been released to a vetted family member or a sponsor

About 850 that were being housed at the facility have been released to a vetted family member or a sponsor

 

 

Republicans blame President Obama for the situation, pointing to his 2012 policy that sent a message of hope to kids yearning to stay in the U.S.

Republicans blame President Obama for the situation, pointing to his 2012 policy that sent a message of hope to kids yearning to stay in the U.S.

 

Photos leaked Thursday from a U.S. Border Patrol facility in the Rio Grande Valley show overflowing holding facilities of immigrants, many of whom are children

Photos leaked Thursday from a U.S. Border Patrol facility in the Rio Grande Valley show overflowing holding facilities of immigrants, many of whom are children

Children between the ages of 12 and 17 are handed several sheets and towels when they arrive and checked for lice and scabies

Children between the ages of 12 and 17 are handed several sheets and towels when they arrive and checked for lice and scabies

 

 

But Capitol Hill is rife with fears that the message was garbled by the time it reach Guatemala, Honduras and other countries where poverty runs rampant. Many children traveling north on their own hope the policy will include them.

That’s what ‘coyotes,’ the smugglers who bring them in, are telling them to expect, according to Tania Chavez, a representative with La Union del Pueblo Entero, told KRGV-TV. in southern Texas.

The minors flooding over the border are often teenagers leaving behind poverty or violence in Mexico and other parts of Central America such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

With the president traveling in Europe last week, there have been no press briefings at the White House where questions might be put to outgoing press secretary Jay Carney.

But Obama met privately Monday morning with a group of nurses from across the country ‘to discuss the importance of passing commonsense immigration reform,’ according to the White House.

The Associated Press reported Monday that in a May 30 memo to the National Security Council’s transborder security directorate, Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello warned that the influx of unexpected illegals has stretched the border patrol beyond reason.

But releasing them or reuniting them with family members in the United States would serve as ‘incentives to additional individuals to follow the same path.’

President Barack Obama said the sharp influx of unaccompanied children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala was an 'urgent humanitarian situation'

President Barack Obama said the sharp influx of unaccompanied children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala was an ‘urgent humanitarian situation’

 

More than 33,000 minors were apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas since October last year, it has been reported

More than 33,000 minors were apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas since October last year, it has been reported

 

Republicans angered about the situation point to a federal judge who castigated the Obama administration for relaxing its immigration policy and encouraging human traffickers.

In a December ruling, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hansen ripped the Department of Homeland Security for releasing a Salvadoran girl to her mother – a woman who had hired a smuggler to transport her daughter into the U.S., and was herself in the country illegally. of \

Hansen wrote that ‘this court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department of Homeland Security of completing the criminal mission of those who are violating the border security of the United States.’

‘The DHS,’ he added, ‘should enforce the laws of the United States – not break them.’

In a related case, the El Paso Times reported Monday that a Catholic charity was assisting 130 illegal immigrant children flown to El Paso, Texas.

Many were traveling with their parents when they were apprehended trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

One Guatemalan woman named Maria, who enter the United States with her two children, told the Times that she wanted to go to Tennessee to reunite with her sister.

Immigration officials, she said, had released her from custody and let her travel north.

‘Immigration told me, “You are free, you can leave”,’ she said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2653063/Republicans-claim-Obama-policy-enticed-tens-thousands-homeless-illegal-immigrant-children-cross-border-landing-secret-government-holding-pens.html#ixzz34Ac1wb5I

 

SURGE IN KIDS CROSSING BORDER ALONE STRAINS PATROL


Border Patrol agents could arrest as many as 90,000 children trying to illegally cross the Mexican border alone this year, more than three times the number of children apprehended in 2013, according to a draft internal Homeland Security memorandum reviewed by The Associated Press.

In the May 30 memo from Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello to the National Security Council’s transborder security directorate, Vitiello said Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics estimates that by 2015 the number of children apprehended while traveling alone could grow to 142,000.

The government has previously estimated that more than 60,000 children could be apprehended along the border this year. All the estimates are for the government’s fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Children apprehended with their parents are not part of this count of illegal border crossings.

Most of the children caught crossing alone are from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and have been apprehended in the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector in South Texas. That sector is the now the Border Patrol’s busiest area along the Mexican border and has seen a significant increase in the number of border crossers from Central America.

Customs and Border Protection said the memo “appears to be an internal, incomplete working document.”

The spike in children trying cross the border alone has forced DHS to divert resources away from other missions, including combating human and drug trafficking, Vitiello wrote in his four-page memo.

The increase in apprehensions has also led the government to fly some migrants who are from countries other than Mexico to other parts of the border, including Arizona, for processing by Border Patrol agents in less-busy sectors. Many families from countries other than Mexico have been released on their own recognizance in the U.S. while they await deportation proceedings in immigration court.

Releasing those people and taking other actions such as reuniting children caught alone at the border with parents or other relatives already in the U.S. serve as “incentives to additional individuals to follow the same path,” Vitiello wrote.

The number of children found trying to cross the Mexican border without parents has spiked in recent years. Between 2008 and 2011, 6,000 to 7,500 children per year ended up in the custody of the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. In 2012 border agents apprehended 13,625 unaccompanied children and that number surged to more than 24,000 last year.

Vitiello’s memo was drafted just days before President Barack Obama declared the situation on the border an “urgent humanitarian situation” and appointed the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Craig Fugate, to manage the government’s response. In a presidential memo issued Monday, Obama said the government would temporarily house some of the children at two military bases.

Last month the Office of Management and Budget said in a two-page letter to the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee that the increase in the number of children crossing alone would likely cost the government at least $2.28 billion, about $1.4 billion more than the administration had initially asked lawmakers to budget for its “Unaccompanied Alien Children” program.

Rampant crime and poverty across Central America and a desire to reunite with parents or other relatives are thought to be driving many of the young immigrants.

Detained children are supposed to be transferred within 72 hours to HHS to be housed in shelters until they can be reunited with parents or guardians. Officials then begin searching for relatives or other potential guardians in the U.S.

The average stay for a child in a U.S. shelter last year was 45 days. Most are reunited with family to wait for their immigration cases to move forward. Migrant kids remain in removal proceedings even after they’re reunited with their parents here, though many have been able to win permission from a judge to stay in the U.S.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_IMMIGRATION_MIGRANT_CHILDREN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-06-05-18-22-42

Surge in kids illegally crossing into U.S. alone strains Border Patrol

Numbers far worse than Obama administration had admitted

The flood of young children pouring across the southwestern border is worse than the administration has previously acknowledged, and efforts to deal with unaccompanied minors are overwhelming the Border Patrol, distracting it from going after smugglers and other illegal immigrants, according to an internal draft memo from the agency.

The four-page memo, authored by Deputy Border Patrol Chief Ronald D. Vitiello and dated May 30, contradicts the administration’s argument that the border is secure enough to begin legalizing current illegal aliens already in the U.S.


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Instead, Chief Vitiello paints a picture of a government struggling to cope, leaving the children suffering poor conditions, agents unable to focus on major security threats and little sense that it will get better.

Known within the Homeland Security Department as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), their numbers have skyrocketed this year, forcing the department to siphon manpower and money from its other critical border duties.

“The large quantity of DHS interdiction, intelligence, investigation, processing, detention and removal resources currently being dedicated to address UAC is compromising DHS capabilities to address other transborder criminal areas, such as human smuggling and trafficking and illicit drug, weapons, commercial and financial operations,” Chief Vitiello wrote in the memo, which was viewed by The Washington Times.

“Insufficient attention to these mission areas will have immediate and potentially long-lasting impacts on criminal enterprise operations within the Rio Grande Valley and across the country,” Chief Vitiello wrote.

According to the draft memo’s estimates, agents and officers will apprehend more than 90,000 unaccompanied children on the border this year, rising to 142,000 in 2015. By contrast, there were fewer than 40,000 caught last year.

The numbers represent a stunning percentage of the illegal crossers — and only account for those caught. An unknown number get by the Border Patrol and make their way into the interior of the country.


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Chiefly from Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador, they are usually fleeing horrendous poverty or gang violence. They brave harsh conditions and, in the case of the girls, often face being raped, during their journey through Mexico and across the U.S. border.

A Customs and Border Protection official said the memo was “an internal, incomplete working document, neither signed nor made official.”

But the official acknowledged the large increase in unaccompanied children crossing the border and the intense steps being taken to combat it.

“The rising flow of unaccompanied children and family units into the Rio Grande Valley present unique operational and resource challenges for CBP and [the Department of Health and Human Services],” the official told The Washington Times on condition of anonymity.

Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress the problem is a top priority for him.

“I have been closely following this emerging issue since coming into office, with a particular focus on the Rio Grande Valley,” he said in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee. “I traveled to McAllen, Texas, to view the situation and saw the children there firsthand — an overwhelming number of whom were under 12 years old.”

Earlier this week he and the White House announced that the government’s emergency management director will coordinate the response to the flood of children.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/5/surge-in-kids-crossing-border-alone-strains-patrol/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

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The Obama Jobs Recession Continues — Labor Participation Rate of 62.8% with 145.8 Million Employed in May 2014 vs. 66% Labor Participation Rate with 146.6 Million Employed in November 2007 — Videos

Posted on June 9, 2014. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Data, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Language, Law, Legal, Links, Monetary Policy, Money, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Transportation, Unemployment, Unions, War, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: The Obama Jobs Recession Continues — Labor Participation Rate of 62.8% with 145.8 Million Employed in May 2014 vs. 66% Labor Participation Rate with 146.6 Million Employed in November 2007 — Videos

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Labor Secretary Dismisses Historical Drop in Labor Participation Rate

Labor Force Participation Rate

Labor participation rate is down to unprecedented levels

BLS Commissioner Groshen on drop in job participation rate- “It’s certainly not a sign of strength.”

Will The Unemployment Rate Stall

 

Employment Level

145,814,000

 

employment_level

 

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 136559(1) 136598 136701 137270 136630 136940 136531 136662 136893 137088 137322 137614
2001 137778 137612 137783 137299 137092 136873 137071 136241 136846 136392 136238 136047
2002 135701 136438 136177 136126 136539 136415 136413 136705 137302 137008 136521 136426
2003 137417(1) 137482 137434 137633 137544 137790 137474 137549 137609 137984 138424 138411
2004 138472(1) 138542 138453 138680 138852 139174 139556 139573 139487 139732 140231 140125
2005 140245(1) 140385 140654 141254 141609 141714 142026 142434 142401 142548 142499 142752
2006 143150(1) 143457 143741 143761 144089 144353 144202 144625 144815 145314 145534 145970
2007 146028(1) 146057 146320 145586 145903 146063 145905 145682 146244 145946 146595 146273
2008 146378(1) 146156 146086 146132 145908 145737 145532 145203 145076 144802 144100 143369
2009 142152(1) 141640 140707 140656 140248 140009 139901 139492 138818 138432 138659 138013
2010 138451(1) 138599 138752 139309 139247 139148 139179 139427 139393 139111 139030 139266
2011 139287(1) 139422 139655 139622 139653 139409 139524 139904 140154 140335 140747 140836
2012 141677(1) 141943 142079 141963 142257 142432 142272 142204 142947 143369 143233 143212
2013 143384(1) 143464 143393 143676 143919 144075 144285 144179 144270 143485 144443 144586
2014 145224(1) 145266 145742 145669 145814
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

Civilian Labor Force

155,613,000

Civilain Labor force

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153404(1) 153720 153964 154642 154106 153631 153706 154087 153971 153631 154127 153639
2011 153198(1) 153280 153403 153566 153526 153379 153309 153724 154059 153940 154072 153927
2012 154328(1) 154826 154811 154565 154946 155134 154970 154669 155018 155507 155279 155485
2013 155699(1) 155511 155099 155359 155609 155822 155693 155435 155473 154625 155284 154937
2014 155460(1) 155724 156227 155421 155613
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

 

Labor Participation Rate

62.8%

Labor Participation Rate

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.9 63.8 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.7 63.6 63.6
2013 63.6 63.5 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.5 63.4 63.2 63.2 62.8 63.0 62.8
2014 63.0 63.0 63.2 62.8 62.8

Unemployment Level

9,799,000

unemployment level

 

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 14953 15121 15212 15333 14858 14483 14527 14660 14578 14520 15097 14373
2011 13910 13858 13748 13944 13873 13971 13785 13820 13905 13604 13326 13090
2012 12650 12883 12732 12603 12689 12702 12698 12464 12070 12138 12045 12273
2013 12315 12047 11706 11683 11690 11747 11408 11256 11203 11140 10841 10351
2014 10236 10459 10486 9753 9799

Unemployment Rate U-3

6.3%

unemployment rate U 3

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.7 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.8 9.4
2011 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.5
2012 8.2 8.3 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.1 7.8 7.8 7.8 7.9
2013 7.9 7.7 7.5 7.5 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.2 7.2 7.2 7.0 6.7
2014 6.6 6.7 6.7 6.3 6.3

Unemployment Rate U-6

12.2%

unemployment rate u 6

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                    USDL-14-0987
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, June 6, 2014

Technical information: 
  Household data:     (202) 691-6378  •  cpsinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/cps
  Establishment data: (202) 691-6555  •  cesinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:        (202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov


                            THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- MAY 2014


Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 217,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was
unchanged at 6.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment
increased in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, food
services and drinking places, and transportation and warehousing. 

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate held at 6.3 percent in May, following a decline of 0.4 percentage
point in April. The number of unemployed persons was unchanged in May at 9.8 million.
Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by
1.2 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (5.9 percent),
adult women (5.7 percent), teenagers (19.2 percent), whites (5.4 percent), blacks
(11.5 percent), and Hispanics (7.7 percent) showed little or no change in May. The
jobless rate for Asians was 5.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed
from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary
jobs declined by 218,000 in May. The number of unemployed reentrants increased by
237,000 over the month, partially offsetting a large decrease in April. (Reentrants
are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning
their current job search.) (See table A-11.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially
unchanged at 3.4 million in May. These individuals accounted for 34.6 percent of the
unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by
979,000. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged in May, at 62.8 percent.
The participation rate has shown no clear trend since this past October but is down by 0.6
percentage point over the year. The employment-population ratio, at 58.9 percent, was
also unchanged in May and has changed little over the year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as
involuntary part-time workers), at 7.3 million, changed little in May. These individuals
were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable
to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In May, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially
unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a
job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they
had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 697,000 discouraged workers in May, little
different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged
workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are
available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor
force in May had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family
responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 217,000 in May, with gains in professional
and business services, health care and social assistance, food services and drinking
places, and transportation and warehousing. Over the prior 12 months, nonfarm payroll
employment growth had averaged 197,000 per month. (See table B-1.)

Professional and business services added 55,000 jobs in May, the same as its average
monthly job gain over the prior 12 months. In May, the industry added 7,000 jobs each in
computer systems design and related services and in management and technical consulting.
Employment in temporary help services continued to trend up (+14,000) and has grown by
224,000 over the past year.

In May, health care and social assistance added 55,000 jobs. The health care industry
added 34,000 jobs over the month, twice its average monthly gain for the prior 12 months.
Within health care, employment rose in May by 23,000 in ambulatory health care services
(which includes offices of physicians, outpatient care centers, and home health care
services) and by 7,000 in hospitals. Employment rose by 21,000 in social assistance,
compared with an average gain of 7,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places continued
to grow, increasing by 32,000 in May and by 311,000 over the past year.

Transportation and warehousing employment rose by 16,000 in May. Over the prior 12
months, the industry had added an average of 9,000 jobs per month. In May, employment
growth occurred in support activities for transportation (+6,000) and couriers and
messengers (+4,000).

Manufacturing employment changed little over the month but has added 105,000 jobs over
the past year. Within the industry, durable goods added 17,000 jobs in May and has
accounted for the net job gain in manufacturing over the past 12 months.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction,
wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, and government,
showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.5
hours in May. The manufacturing workweek increased by 0.2 hour in May to 41.1 hours, and
factory overtime was unchanged at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and
nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See
tables B-2 and B-7.)

In May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by
5 cents to $24.38. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1
percent. In May, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory
employees increased by 3 cents to $20.54. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

After revision, the change in total nonfarm employment for March remained +203,000, and the
change for April was revised from +288,000 to +282,000. With these revisions, employment
gains in March and April were 6,000 lower than previously reported.

_____________
The Employment Situation for June is scheduled to be released on Thursday, July 3, 2014,
at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).


  ________________________________________________________________________________________
 |                                                                                        |
 |                       Upcoming Changes to the Establishment Survey Data                |
 |                                                                                        |
 |Effective with the release of July 2014 data on August 1, 2014, the establishment survey|
 |will implement new sample units into production on a quarterly basis, replacing the     |
 |current practice of implementing new sample units annually. There is no change to the   |
 |establishment survey sample design. More information about the quarterly sample         |
 |implementation is available at www.bls.gov/ces/cesqsi.htm.                              |
 |________________________________________________________________________________________|



 

  • Access to historical data for the “A” tables of the Employment Situation Release
  • Access to historical data for the “B” tables of the Employment Situation Release
  • HTML version of the entire news release
  • Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

    HOUSEHOLD DATA
    Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

    [Numbers in thousands]

    Category May
    2013
    Mar.
    2014
    Apr.
    2014
    May
    2014
    Change from:
    Apr.
    2014-
    May
    2014

    Employment status

    Civilian noninstitutional population

    245,363 247,258 247,439 247,622 183

    Civilian labor force

    155,609 156,227 155,421 155,613 192

    Participation rate

    63.4 63.2 62.8 62.8 0.0

    Employed

    143,919 145,742 145,669 145,814 145

    Employment-population ratio

    58.7 58.9 58.9 58.9 0.0

    Unemployed

    11,690 10,486 9,753 9,799 46

    Unemployment rate

    7.5 6.7 6.3 6.3 0.0

    Not in labor force

    89,754 91,030 92,018 92,009 -9

    Unemployment rates

    Total, 16 years and over

    7.5 6.7 6.3 6.3 0.0

    Adult men (20 years and over)

    7.2 6.2 5.9 5.9 0.0

    Adult women (20 years and over)

    6.5 6.2 5.7 5.7 0.0

    Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

    24.1 20.9 19.1 19.2 0.1

    White

    6.6 5.8 5.3 5.4 0.1

    Black or African American

    13.5 12.4 11.6 11.5 -0.1

    Asian (not seasonally adjusted)

    4.3 5.4 5.7 5.3 -

    Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

    9.1 7.9 7.3 7.7 0.4

    Total, 25 years and over

    6.1 5.4 5.2 5.2 0.0

    Less than a high school diploma

    11.0 9.6 8.9 9.1 0.2

    High school graduates, no college

    7.4 6.3 6.3 6.5 0.2

    Some college or associate degree

    6.5 6.1 5.7 5.5 -0.2

    Bachelor’s degree and higher

    3.8 3.4 3.3 3.2 -0.1

    Reason for unemployment

    Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

    6,094 5,489 5,236 5,018 -218

    Job leavers

    944 815 784 875 91

    Reentrants

    3,326 3,037 2,620 2,857 237

    New entrants

    1,257 1,169 1,043 1,062 19

    Duration of unemployment

    Less than 5 weeks

    2,704 2,461 2,447 2,559 112

    5 to 14 weeks

    2,642 2,581 2,359 2,390 31

    15 to 26 weeks

    1,934 1,677 1,533 1,441 -92

    27 weeks and over

    4,353 3,739 3,452 3,374 -78

    Employed persons at work part time

    Part time for economic reasons

    7,917 7,411 7,465 7,269 -196

    Slack work or business conditions

    4,837 4,512 4,555 4,453 -102

    Could only find part-time work

    2,697 2,731 2,669 2,537 -132

    Part time for noneconomic reasons

    18,957 19,216 18,886 19,040 154

    Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

    Marginally attached to the labor force

    2,164 2,168 2,160 2,130 -

    Discouraged workers

    780 698 783 697 -

    - Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
    NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

 

 

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

Category May
2013
Mar.
2014
Apr.
2014(p)
May
2014(p)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

199 203 282 217

Total private

222 200 270 216

Goods-producing

2 21 46 18

Mining and logging

4 4 8 2

Construction

5 13 34 6

Manufacturing

-7 4 4 10

Durable goods(1)

-2 14 6 17

Motor vehicles and parts

5.0 -0.5 0.3 5.0

Nondurable goods

-5 -10 -2 -7

Private service-providing(1)

220 179 224 198

Wholesale trade

7.7 7.8 16.2 9.9

Retail trade

34.7 28.9 43.1 12.5

Transportation and warehousing

-1.5 13.9 12.1 16.4

Information

-2 -1 1 -5

Financial activities

9 0 6 3

Professional and business services(1)

77 47 71 55

Temporary help services

23.3 22.1 16.0 14.3

Education and health services(1)

29 40 39 63

Health care and social assistance

18.9 34.9 28.5 54.9

Leisure and hospitality

53 31 24 39

Other services

12 9 13 4

Government

-23 3 12 1

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES(2)
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES

Total nonfarm women employees

49.4 49.4 49.4 49.4

Total private women employees

48.0 48.0 48.0 48.0

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.6 82.7 82.7 82.7

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.5 34.5 34.5 34.5

Average hourly earnings

$23.89 $24.32 $24.33 $24.38

Average weekly earnings

$824.21 $839.04 $839.39 $841.11

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

98.5 100.1 100.4 100.6

Over-the-month percent change

0.5 0.7 0.3 0.2

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

112.3 116.2 116.5 117.0

Over-the-month percent change

0.6 0.9 0.3 0.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

33.7 33.7 33.7 33.7

Average hourly earnings

$20.06 $20.48 $20.51 $20.54

Average weekly earnings

$676.02 $690.18 $691.19 $692.20

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2002=100)(3)

106.0 107.8 108.1 108.3

Over-the-month percent change

0.2 1.1 0.3 0.2

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2002=100)(4)

142.0 147.5 148.1 148.6

Over-the-month percent change

0.3 1.0 0.4 0.3

DIFFUSION INDEX(5)
(Over 1-month span)

Total private (264 industries)

61.6 59.7 65.9 62.7

Manufacturing (81 industries)

48.8 53.7 53.7 55.6

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(p) Preliminary

 

 

37.2%: Percentage Not in Labor Force Remains at 36-Year High

June 6, 2014 – 8:05 AM

By Ali Meyer

The percentage of American civilians 16 or older who do not have a job and are not actively seeking one remained at a 36-year high in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In December, April, and now May, the labor force participation rate has been 62.8 percent. That means that 37.2 percent were not participating in the labor force during those months.

Before December, the last time the labor force participation rate sunk as low as 62.8 percent was February 1978, when it was also 62.8 percent. At that time, Jimmy Carter was president.

In April, the number of those not in the labor force hit a record high of 92,018,000. In May, that number declined by 9,000 to 92,009,000. Yet, the participation rate remained the same from April to May at 62.8 percent.

The labor force, according to BLS, is that part of the civilian noninstitutional population that either has a job or has actively sought one in the last four weeks. The civilian noninstitutional population consists of people 16 or older, who are not on active duty in the military or in an institution such as a prison, nursing home, or mental hospital.

jobs

In May, according to BLS, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, hit 247,622,000. Of those, 155,613,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 155,613,000 who participated in the labor force equaled only 62.8 percent of the 247,622,000 civilian noninstitutional population, matching (along with the 62.8 percent rate in May) the lowest labor force participation rate in 36 years.

At no time during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, did such a small percentage of the civilian non-institutional population either hold a job or at least actively seek one.

When President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, the labor force participation rate was 65.7 percent. By the beginning of 2013, the start of Obama’s second term, it had dropped to 63.6 percent. Since January 2014, when the participation rate was 63.0,it has continued to decline, hitting a 36-year low of 62.8 percent in May.

People in the civilian noninstitutional population who did not have a job and did not actively seek one in the last four weeks are considered “not in the labor force.” The number of Americans not in the labor force has climbed by 11,480,000 since Obama took office, rising from 80,529,000 in January 2009 to 92,009,000 in May 2014.

 

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/372-percentage-not-labor-force-remains-36-year-high

 

Sessions: 7 Million Have Left Workforce Since Obama Took Office

 BY DANIEL HALPER

Senator Jeff Sessions has released a statement that says, “7 Million People Have Left The Workforce Since The President Took Office.” The statement is in response to today’s jobs numbers.

“Today’s jobs numbers are only enough to tread even with population growth, maintaining unemployment at 6.3 percent. When you include discouraged workers, the unemployment rate doubles to an alarming 12.2 percent. There are still 3.2 million fewer full-time employed persons than there were in 2007,” says Sessions.

“Since President Obama came into office in 2009, 7.2 million people have left the workforce entirely. One out of every six men aged 25–54 is not working. Employment in this group fell by 72,000 last month, while the number of employed women aged 25–54 fell by 37,000. Meanwhile, the workforce participation rate for women is at its lowest level in 23 years. Median household income is down almost $2,300 from what it was when the President took office. Real wages are lower than they were in 1999. Growth in the first quarter of this year was negative.

“These numbers are grim and make clear that this economy is nowhere close to performing at an acceptable level.”

 

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/sessions-7-million-have-left-workforce-obama-took-office_794443.html

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NSA Metadata To Be Held By Telephone Companies — Great Distraction — Still Collecting and Intercepting All Americans Telephone Calls and All Information Transmitted Over The Internet and Telephone Exchanges — Stop Deceiving The American People Mr. President — Videos

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Story 1: NSA Metadata To Be Held By Telephone Companies — Great Distraction — Still Collecting and Intercepting All Americans Telephone Calls and All Information Transmitted Over The Internet and Telephone Exchanges — Stop Deceiving The American People Mr. President — Videos

Obama: NSA Proposal Satisfies Public Concerns

 

Obama announces overhaul of NSA metadata collection

NSA – Changes To Metadata Program – Special Report All Star

President Obama Names Michael Rogers As New Head Of The NSA

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Through a PRISM, Darkly – Everything we know about NSA spying [30c3]

Published on Dec 30, 2013

Through a PRISM, Darkly
Everything we know about NSA spying

From Stellar Wind to PRISM, Boundless Informant to EvilOlive, the NSA spying programs are shrouded in secrecy and rubber-stamped by secret opinions from a court that meets in a faraday cage. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kurt Opsahl explains the known facts about how the programs operate and the laws and regulations the U.S. government asserts allows the NSA to spy on you.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil society organization, has been litigating against the NSA spying program for the better part of a decade. EFF has collected and reviewed dozens of documents, from the original NY Times stories in 2005 and the first AT&T whistleblower in 2006, through the latest documents released in the Guardian or obtained through EFF’s Freedom of Information (government transparency) litigation. EFF attorney Kurt Opsahl’s lecture will describe how the NSA spying program works, the underlying technologies, the targeting procedures (how they decide who to focus on), the minimization procedures (how they decide which information to discard), and help you makes sense of the many code names and acronyms in the news. He will also discuss the legal and policy ramifications that have become part of the public debate following the recent disclosures, and what you can do about it. After summarizing the programs, technologies, and legal/policy framework in the lecture, the audience can ask questions.

Speaker: Kurt Opsahl
EventID: 5255
Event: 30th Chaos Communication Congress [30c3] by the Chaos Computer Club [CCC]
Location: Congress Centrum Hamburg (CCH); Am Dammtor; Marseiller Straße; 20355 Hamburg; Germany
Language: english

Glenn Becks “SURVEILLANCE STATE”

Inside the NSA

Ed Snowden, NSA, and Fairy Tales

AT&T Spying On Internet Traffic

For years the National Securities Agency, has been spying on each & every keystroke. The national headquarters of AT&T is in Missouri, where ex-employees describe a secret room. The program is called “Splitter Cut-In & Test Procedure.”

NSA Whistle-Blower Tells All – Op-Docs: The Program

The filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.

NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post

He told you so: Bill Binney talks NSA leaks

William Benny – The Government is Profiling You (The NSA is Spying on You)

‘After 9/11 NSA had secret deal with White House’

The story of Whistleblower Thomas Drake

Whistleblowers, Part Two: Thomas Drake

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake speaks at National Press Club – March 15, 2013

Meet Edward Snowden: NSA PRISM Whistleblower

The Truth About Edward Snowden

N.S.A. Spying: Why Does It Matter?

Inside The NSA~Americas Cyber Secrets

NSA Whistleblower Exposes Obama’s Dragnet

AT&T whistleblower against immunity for Bush spy program-1/2

AT&T Whistleblower Urges Against Immunity for Telecoms in Bush Spy Program

The Senate is expected to vote on a controversial measure to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act tomorrow. The legislation would rewrite the nation’s surveillance laws and authorize the National Security Agency’s secret program of warrantless wiretapping. We speak with Mark Klein, a technician with AT&T for over twenty-two years. In 2006 Klein leaked internal AT&T documents that revealed the company had set up a secret room in its San Francisco office to give the National Security Agency access to its fiber optic internet cables.

AT&T whistleblower against immunity for Bush spy program-2/2

Enemy Of The State 1998 (1080p) (Full movie)

Background Articles and Videos

Stellar Wind

Stellar Wind was the open secret code name for four surveillance programs by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) during the presidency of George W. Bush and revealed by Thomas Tamm to The New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau.[1] The operation was approved by President George W. Bush shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001.[2] Stellar Wind was succeeded during the presidency of Barack Obama by four major lines of intelligence collection in the territorial United States, together capable of spanning the full range of modern telecommunications.[3]

The program’s activities involved data mining of a large database of the communications of American citizens, including e-mail communications, phone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity.[1] William Binney, a retired Technical Leader with the NSA, discussed some of the architectural and operational elements of the program at the 2012 Chaos Communication Congress.[4]

There were internal disputes within the Justice Department about the legality of the program, because data are collected for large numbers of people, not just the subjects of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.[4]

During the Bush Administration, the Stellar Wind cases were referred to by FBI agents as “pizza cases” because many seemingly suspicious cases turned out to be food takeout orders. According to Mueller, approximately 99 percent of the cases led nowhere, but “it’s that other 1% that we’ve got to be concerned about”.[2] One of the known uses of these data were the creation of suspicious activity reports, or “SARS”, about people suspected of terrorist activities. It was one of these reports that revealed former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s use of prostitutes, even though he was not suspected of terrorist activities.[1]

In March 2012 Wired magazine published “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)” talking about a vast new NSA facility in Utah and says “For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail,” naming the official William Binney, a former NSA code breaker. Binney went on to say that the NSA had highly secured rooms that tap into major switches, and satellite communications at both AT&T and Verizon.[5] The article suggested that the otherwise dispatched Stellar Wind is actually an active program.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_Wind_%28code_name%29

PRISM

PRISM is a clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) since 2007.[1][2][3][Notes 1] PRISM is a government codename for a data collection effort known officially as US-984XN.[8][9] It is operated under the supervision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).[10] The existence of the program was leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Guardian and The Washington Post on June 6, 2013.

A document included in the leak indicated that the PRISM SIGAD was “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports.”[11] The President’s Daily Brief, an all-source intelligence product, cited PRISM data as a source in 1,477 items in 2012.[12] The leaked information came to light one day after the revelation that the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had been requiring the telecommunications company Verizon to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers’ telephone calls on an ongoing daily basis.[13][14]

According to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, PRISM cannot be used to intentionally target any Americans or anyone in the United States. Clapper said a special court, Congress, and the executive branch oversee the program and extensive procedures ensure the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of data accidentally collected about Americans is kept to a minimum.[15] Clapper issued a statement and “fact sheet”[16] to correct what he characterized as “significant misimpressions” in articles by The Washington Post and The Guardian newspapers.[17]

History

Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the US

Details of information collected via PRISM

PRISM is a “Special Source Operation” in the tradition of NSA’s intelligence alliances with as many as 100 trusted U.S. companies since the 1970s.[1] A prior program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program, was implemented in the wake of the September 11 attacks under the George W. Bush Administration but was widely criticized and had its legality questioned, because it was conducted without approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).[18][19][20][21] PRISM was authorized by an order of the FISC.[11] Its creation was enabled by the Protect America Act of 2007 under President Bush and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which legally immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with US intelligence collection and was renewed by Congress under President Obama in 2012 for five years until December 2017.[2][22] According to The Register, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 “specifically authorizes intelligence agencies to monitor the phone, email, and other communications of U.S. citizens for up to a week without obtaining a warrant” when one of the parties is outside the U.S.[22]

PRISM was first publicly revealed on June 6, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Washington Post and The Guardian by American Edward Snowden.[2][1] The leaked documents included 41 PowerPoint slides, four of which were published in news articles.[1][2] The documents identified several technology companies as participants in the PRISM program, including (date of joining PRISM in parentheses) Microsoft (2007), Yahoo! (2008), Google (2009), Facebook (2009), Paltalk (2009), YouTube (2010), AOL (2011), Skype (2011), and Apple (2012).[23] The speaker’s notes in the briefing document reviewed by The Washington Post indicated that “98 percent of PRISM production is based on Yahoo, Google and Microsoft.”[1]

The slide presentation stated that much of the world’s electronic communications pass through the United States, because electronic communications data tend to follow the least expensive route rather than the most physically direct route, and the bulk of the world’s internet infrastructure is based in the United States.[11] The presentation noted that these facts provide United States intelligence analysts with opportunities for intercepting the communications of foreign targets as their electronic data pass into or through the United States.[2][11]

According to The Washington Post, the intelligence analysts search PRISM data using terms intended to identify suspicious communications of targets whom the analysts suspect with at least 51 percent confidence to not be United States citizens, but in the process, communication data of some United States citizens are also collected unintentionally.[1] Training materials for analysts tell them that while they should periodically report such accidental collection of non-foreign United States data, “it’s nothing to worry about.”[1]

Response from companies

The original Washington Post and Guardian articles reporting on PRISM noted that one of the leaked briefing documents said PRISM involves collection of data “directly from the servers” of several major internet services providers.[2][1]

Initial Public Statements

Corporate executives of several companies identified in the leaked documents told The Guardian that they had no knowledge of the PRISM program in particular and also denied making information available to the government on the scale alleged by news reports.[2][24] Statements of several of the companies named in the leaked documents were reported by TechCrunch and The Washington Post as follows:[25][26]

Slide listing companies and the date that PRISM collection began

  • Microsoft: “We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.”[25]
  • Yahoo!: “Yahoo! takes users’ privacy very seriously. We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.”[25] “Of the hundreds of millions of users we serve, an infinitesimal percentage will ever be the subject of a government data collection directive.”[26]
  • Facebook: “We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.”[25]
  • Google: “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a backdoor for the government to access private user data.”[25] “[A]ny suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.”[26]
  • Apple: “We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.”[27]
  • Dropbox: “We’ve seen reports that Dropbox might be asked to participate in a government program called PRISM. We are not part of any such program and remain committed to protecting our users’ privacy.”[25]

In response to the technology companies’ denials of the NSA being able to directly access the companies’ servers, The New York Times reported that sources had stated the NSA was gathering the surveillance data from the companies using other technical means in response to court orders for specific sets of data.[13] The Washington Post suggested, “It is possible that the conflict between the PRISM slides and the company spokesmen is the result of imprecision on the part of the NSA author. In another classified report obtained by The Post, the arrangement is described as allowing ‘collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,’ rather than directly to company servers.”[1] “[I]n context, ‘direct’ is more likely to mean that the NSA is receiving data sent to them deliberately by the tech companies, as opposed to intercepting communications as they’re transmitted to some other destination.[26]

“If these companies received an order under the FISA amendments act, they are forbidden by law from disclosing having received the order and disclosing any information about the order at all,” Mark Rumold, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told ABC News.[28]

Slide showing two different sources of NSA data collection. The first source the fiber optic cables of the internet handled by the Upstream program and the second source the servers of major internet companies handled by PRISM.[29]

On May 28, 2013, Google was ordered by United States District Court Judge Susan Illston to comply with a National Security Letter issued by the FBI to provide user data without a warrant.[30] Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in an interview with VentureBeat said, “I certainly appreciate that Google put out a transparency report, but it appears that the transparency didn’t include this. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were subject to a gag order.”[31]

The New York Times reported on June 7, 2013, that “Twitter declined to make it easier for the government. But other companies were more compliant, according to people briefed on the negotiations.”[32] The other companies held discussions with national security personnel on how to make data available more efficiently and securely.[32] In some cases, these companies made modifications to their systems in support of the intelligence collection effort.[32] The dialogues have continued in recent months, as General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has met with executives including those at Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Intel.[32] These details on the discussions provide insight into the disparity between initial descriptions of the government program including a training slide which states “Collection directly from the servers”[29] and the companies’ denials.[32]

While providing data in response to a legitimate FISA request approved by FISC is a legal requirement, modifying systems to make it easier for the government to collect the data is not. This is why Twitter could legally decline to provide an enhanced mechanism for data transmission.[32] Other than Twitter, the companies were effectively asked to construct a locked mailbox and provide the key to the government, people briefed on the negotiations said.[32] Facebook, for instance, built such a system for requesting and sharing the information.[32] Google does not provide a lockbox system, but instead transmits required data by hand delivery or secure FTP.[33]

Post-PRISM Transparency Reports

In response to the publicity surrounding media reports of data-sharing, several companies requested permission to reveal more public information about the nature and scope of information provided in response to National Security requests.

On June 14, 2013, Facebook reported that the U.S. Government had authorized the communication of “about these numbers in aggregate, and as a range.” In a press release posted to their web site, Facebook reported, “For the six months ending December 31, 2012, the total number of user-data requests Facebook received from any and all government entities in the U.S. (including local, state, and federal, and including criminal and national security-related requests) – was between 9,000 and 10,000.” Facebook further reported that the requests impacted “between 18,000 and 19,000″ user accounts, a “tiny fraction of one percent” of more than 1.1 billion active user accounts.[34]

Microsoft reported that for the same period, it received “between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 consumer accounts from U.S. governmental entities (including local, state and federal)” which impacted “a tiny fraction of Microsoft’s global customer base”.[35]

Google issued a statement criticizing the requirement that data be reported in aggregated form, stating that lumping national security requests with criminal request data would be “a step backwards” from its previous, more detailed practices on its site transparency report. The company said that it would continue to seek government permission to publish the number and extent of FISA requests.[36]

Response from United States government

Executive branch

Shortly after publication of the reports by The Guardian and The Washington Post, the United States Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, on June 7 released a statement confirming that for nearly six years the government of the United States had been using large internet services companies such as Google and Facebook to collect information on foreigners outside the United States as a defense against national security threats.[13] The statement read in part, “The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer to collection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They contain numerous inaccuracies.”[37] He went on to say, “Section 702 is a provision of FISA that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States.”[37] Clapper concluded his statement by stating “The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.”[37] On March 12, 2013, Clapper had told the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the NSA does “not wittingly” collect any type of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.[38] In an NBC News interview, Clapper said he answered Senator Wyden’s question in the “least untruthful manner by saying no”.[39]

Clapper also stated that “the NSA collects the phone data in broad swaths, because collecting it (in) a narrow fashion would make it harder to identify terrorism-related communications. The information collected lets the government, over time, make connections about terrorist activities. The program doesn’t let the U.S. listen to people’s calls, but only includes information like call length and telephone numbers dialed.”[15]

On June 8, 2013, Clapper said “the surveillance activities published in The Guardian and The Washington Post are lawful and conducted under authorities widely known and discussed, and fully debated and authorized by Congress.”[40][10] The fact sheet described PRISM as “an internal government computer system used to facilitate the government’s statutorily authorized collection of foreign intelligence information from electronic communication service providers under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).”[10]

The National Intelligence fact sheet further stated that “the United States Government does not unilaterally obtain information from the servers of U.S. electronic communication service providers. All such information is obtained with FISA Court approval and with the knowledge of the provider based upon a written directive from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.” It said that the Attorney General provides FISA Court rulings and semi-annual reports about PRISM activities to Congress, “provid[ing] an unprecedented degree of accountability and transparency.”[10]

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, said on June 7 “What you’ve got is two programs that were originally authorized by Congress, have been repeatedly authorized by Congress. Bipartisan majorities have approved them. Congress is continually briefed on how these are conducted. There are a whole range of safeguards involved. And federal judges are overseeing the entire program throughout.”[41] He also said, “You can’t have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. You know, we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”[41]

In separate statements, senior (not mentioned by name in source) Obama administration officials said that Congress had been briefed 13 times on the programs since 2009.[42]

Legislative branch

In contrast to their swift and forceful reactions the previous day to allegations that the government had been conducting surveillance of United States citizens’ telephone records, Congressional leaders initially had little to say about the PRISM program the day after leaked information about the program was published. Several lawmakers declined to discuss PRISM, citing its top-secret classification,[43] and others said that they had not been aware of the program.[44] After statements had been released by the President and the Director of National Intelligence, some lawmakers began to comment:

Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

  • June 9 “We passed the Patriot Act. We passed specific provisions of the act that allowed for this program to take place, to be enacted in operation,”[45]

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee

  • June 9 “These programs are within the law”, “part of our obligation is keeping Americans safe”, “Human intelligence isn’t going to do it”.[46]
  • June 9 “Here’s the rub: the instances where this has produced good — has disrupted plots, prevented terrorist attacks, is all classified, that’s what’s so hard about this.”[47]
  • June 11 “It went fine…we asked him[ Keith Alexander ] to declassify things because it would be helpful (for people and lawmakers to better understand the intelligence programs).” “I’ve just got to see if the information gets declassified. I’m sure people will find it very interesting.”[48]

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), member of Senate Intelligence Committee and past member of Homeland Security Committee

  • June 11 “I had, along with Joe Lieberman, a monthly threat briefing, but I did not have access to this highly compartmentalized information” and “How can you ask when you don’t know the program exists?”[49]

Representative John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the House of Representatives

  • June 11 “He’s a traitor”[50] (referring to Edward Snowden)

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), principal sponsor of the Patriot Act

  • June 9, “This is well beyond what the Patriot Act allows.”[51] “President Obama’s claim that ‘this is the most transparent administration in history’ has once again proven false. In fact, it appears that no administration has ever peered more closely or intimately into the lives of innocent Americans.”[51]

Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI), a Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

  • June 9 “One of the things that we’re charged with is keeping America safe and keeping our civil liberties and privacy intact. I think we have done both in this particular case,”[46]
  • June 9 “Within the last few years this program was used to stop a program, excuse me, to stop a terrorist attack in the United States we know that. It’s, it’s, it’s important, it fills in a little seam that we have and it’s used to make sure that there is not an international nexus to any terrorism event that they may believe is ongoing in the United States. So in that regard it is a very valuable thing,”[52]

Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)

  • June 9 “I don’t think the American public knows the extent or knew the extent to which they were being surveilled and their data was being collected.” “I think we ought to reopen the Patriot Act and put some limits on the amount of data that the National Security (Agency) is collecting,” “It ought to remain sacred, and there’s got to be a balance here. That is what I’m aiming for. Let’s have the debate, let’s be transparent, let’s open this up”.[46]

Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN)

  • June 10 “We have no idea when they [ FISA ] meet, we have no idea what their judgments are”,[53]

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

  • June 6 “When the Senate rushed through a last-minute extension of the FISA Amendments Act late last year, I insisted on a vote on my amendment (SA 3436) to require stronger protections on business records and prohibiting the kind of data-mining this case has revealed. Just last month, I introduced S.1037, the Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act,”[54]
  • June 9 “I’m going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level. I’m going to be asking the Internet providers and all of the phone companies: ask your customers to join me in a class-action lawsuit.”[45]

Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

  • June 9 “We will be receiving secret briefings and we will be asking, I know I’m going to be asking to get more information. I want to make sure that what they’re doing is harvesting information that is necessary to keep us safe and not simply going into everybody’s private telephone conversations and Facebook and communications. I mean one of the, you know the terrorists win when you debilitate freedom of expression and privacy.”[52]

Judicial branch

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has not acknowledged, denied or confirmed any involvement in the PRISM program at this time. It has not issued any press statement or release relating to the current situation and uncertainty.

Applicable law and practice

On June 8, 2013, the Director of National Intelligence issued a fact sheet stating that PRISM “is not an undisclosed collection or data mining program”, but rather computer software used to facilitate the collection of foreign intelligence information “under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).”[10] Section 702 provides that “the Attorney General [A.G.] and the Director of National Intelligence [DNI] may authorize jointly, for a period of up to 1 year from the effective date of the authorization, the targeting of persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information.”[55] In order to authorize the targeting, the A.G. and DNI need to get an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) pursuant to Section 702 or certify that “intelligence important to the national security of the United States may be lost or not timely acquired and time does not permit the issuance of an order.”[55] When asking for an order, the A.G. and DNI must certify to FISC that “a significant purpose of the acquisition is to obtain foreign intelligence information.”[55] They do not need to specify which facilities or property that the targeting will be directed at.[55]

After getting a FISC order or determining that there are emergency circumstances, the A.G. and DNI can direct an electronic communication service provider to give them access to information or facilities to carry out the targeting and keep the targeting secret.[55] The provider then has the option to: (1) comply with the directive; (2) reject it; or (3) challenge it to FISC.

If the provider complies with the directive, it is released from liability to its users for providing the information and reimbursed for the cost of providing it.[55]

If the provider rejects the directive, the A.G. may request an order from FISC to enforce it.[55] A provider that fails to comply with FISC’s order can be punished with contempt of court.[55]

Finally, a provider can petition FISC to reject the directive.[55] In case FISC denies the petition and orders the provider to comply with the directive, the provider risks contempt of court if it refuses to comply with FISC’s order.[55] The provider can appeal FISC’s denial to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review and then appeal the Court of Review’s decision to the Supreme Court by a writ of certiorari for review under seal.[55]

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the FISA Courts had been put in place to oversee intelligence operations in the period after the death of J. Edgar Hoover. Beverly Gage of Slate said, “When they were created, these new mechanisms were supposed to stop the kinds of abuses that men like Hoover had engineered. Instead, it now looks as if they have come to function as rubber stamps for the expansive ambitions of the intelligence community. J. Edgar Hoover no longer rules Washington, but it turns out we didn’t need him anyway.”[56]

Involvement of other countries

Australia

The Australian government has said it will investigate the impact of the PRISM program and the use of the Pine Gap surveillance facility on the privacy of Australian citizens.[57]

Canada

Canada’s national cryptologic agency, the Communications Security Establishment, said that commenting on PRISM “would undermine CSE’s ability to carry out its mandate”. Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart lamented Canada’s standards when it comes to protecting personal online privacy stating “We have fallen too far behind,” Stoddart wrote in her report. “While other nations’ data protection authorities have the legal power to make binding orders, levy hefty fines and take meaningful action in the event of serious data breaches, we are restricted to a ‘soft’ approach: persuasion, encouragement and, at the most, the potential to publish the names of transgressors in the public interest.” And, “when push comes to shove,” Stoddart wrote, “short of a costly and time-consuming court battle, we have no power to enforce our recommendations.”[58]

Germany

Germany did not receive any raw PRISM data, according to a Reuters report.[59]

Israel

Israeli newspaper Calcalist discussed[60] the Business Insider article[61] about the possible involvement of technologies from two secretive Israeli companies in the PRISM program – Verint Systems and Narus.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, University of Otago information science Associate Professor Hank Wolfe said that “under what was unofficially known as the Five Eyes Alliance, New Zealand and other governments, including the United States, Australia, Canada, and Britain, dealt with internal spying by saying they didn’t do it. But they have all the partners doing it for them and then they share all the information.”[62]

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has had access to the PRISM program on or before June 2010 and wrote 197 reports with it in 2012 alone. PRISM may have allowed GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material.[63][64]

Domestic response

Unbalanced scales.svg
The neutrality of this section is disputed. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (June 2013)

The New York Times editorial board charged that the Obama administration “has now lost all credibility on this issue,”[65] and lamented that “for years, members of Congress ignored evidence that domestic intelligence-gathering had grown beyond their control, and, even now, few seem disturbed to learn that every detail about the public’s calling and texting habits now reside in a N.S.A. database.”[66]

Republican and former member of Congress Ron Paul said, “We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk…. They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret.”[67] Paul denounced the government’s secret surveillance program: “The government does not need to know more about what we are doing…. We need to know more about what the government is doing.”[67] He called Congress “derelict in giving that much power to the government,” and said that had he been elected president, he would have ordered searches only when there was probable cause of a crime having been committed, which he said was not how the PRISM program was being operated.[68]

In response to Obama administration arguments that it could stop terrorism in the cases of Najibullah Zazi and David Headley, Ed Pilkington and Nicholas Watt of The Guardian said in regards to the role of PRISM and Boundless Informant interviews with parties involved in the Zazi scheme and court documents lodged in the United States and the United Kingdom indicated that “conventional” surveillance methods such as “old-fashioned tip-offs” of the British intelligence services initiated the investigation into the Zazi case.[69] An anonymous former CIA agent said that in regards to the Headley case, “That’s nonsense. It played no role at all in the Headley case. That’s not the way it happened at all.”[69] Pilkington and Watt concluded that the data-mining programs “played a relatively minor role in the interception of the two plots.”[69] Michael Daly of The Daily Beast stated that even though Tamerlan Tsarnaev had visited Inspire and even though Russian intelligence officials alerted U.S. intelligence officials about Tsarnaev, PRISM did not prevent him from carrying out the Boston bombings, and that the initial evidence implicating him came from his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and not from federal intelligence. In addition Daly pointed to the fact that Faisal Shahzad visited Inspire but that federal authorities did not stop his attempted terrorist plot. Daly concluded “The problem is not just what the National Security Agency is gathering at the risk of our privacy but what it is apparently unable to monitor at the risk of our safety.”[70] In addition, political commentator Bill O’Reilly criticized the government, saying that PRISM did not stop the Boston bombings.[71]

In a blog post, David Simon, the creator of The Wire, compared the NSA’s programs, including PRISM, to a 1980s effort by the City of Baltimore to add dialed number recorders to all pay phones to know which individuals were being called by the callers;[72] the city believed that drug traffickers were using pay phones and pagers, and a municipal judge allowed the city to place the recorders. The placement of the dialers formed the basis of the show’s first season. Simon argued that the media attention regarding the NSA programs is a “faux scandal.”[72][73] George Takei, an actor who had experienced Japanese American internment, said that due to his memories of the internment, he felt concern towards the NSA surveillance programs that had been revealed.[74]

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an international non-profit digital-rights group based in the U.S., is hosting a tool, by which an American resident can write to their government representatives regarding their opposition to mass spying.[75]

On June 11, 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the NSA citing that PRISM “violates Americans’ constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy”.[76]

International response

Reactions of Internet users in China were mixed between viewing a loss of freedom worldwide and seeing state surveillance coming out of secrecy. The story broke just before US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California.[77][78] When asked about NSA hacking China, the spokeswoman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China said “China strongly advocates cybersecurity”.[79] The party-owned newspaper Liberation Daily described this surveillance like Nineteen Eighty-Four-style.[80] Hong Kong legislators Gary Fan and Claudia Mo wrote a letter to Obama, stating “the revelations of blanket surveillance of global communications by the world’s leading democracy have damaged the image of the U.S. among freedom-loving peoples around the world.”[81]

Sophie in ‘t Veld, a Dutch Member of the European Parliament, called PRISM “a violation of EU laws”.[82]

Protests at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

The German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Peter Schaar, condemned the program as “monstrous”.[83] He further added that White House claims do “not reassure me at all” and that “given the large number of German users of Google, Facebook, Apple or Microsoft services, I expect the German government […] is committed to clarification and limitation of surveillance.” Steffen Seibert, press secretary of the Chancellor’s office, announced that Angela Merkel will put these issues on the agenda of the talks with Barack Obama during his pending visit in Berlin.[84]

The Italian president of the Guarantor for the protection of personal data, Antonello Soro, said that the surveillance dragnet “would not be legal in Italy” and would be “contrary to the principles of our legislation and would represent a very serious violation”.[85]

William Hague, the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, dismissed accusations that British security agencies had been circumventing British law by using information gathered on British citizens by Prism[86] saying, “Any data obtained by us from the United States involving UK nationals is subject to proper UK statutory controls and safeguards.”[86] David Cameron said Britain’s spy agencies that received data collected from PRISM acted within the law: “I’m satisfied that we have intelligence agencies that do a fantastically important job for this country to keep us safe, and they operate within the law.”[86][87] Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, said that if the British intelligence agencies were seeking to know the content of emails about people living in the UK, then they actually have to get lawful authority.[87] The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office was more cautious, saying it would investigate PRISM alongside other European data agencies: “There are real issues about the extent to which U.S. law agencies can access personal data of UK and other European citizens. Aspects of U.S. law under which companies can be compelled to provide information to U.S. agencies potentially conflict with European data protection law, including the UK’s own Data Protection Act. The ICO has raised this with its European counterparts, and the issue is being considered by the European Commission, who are in discussions with the U.S. Government.”[82]

Ai Weiwei, a Chinese dissident, said “Even though we know governments do all kinds of things I was shocked by the information about the US surveillance operation, Prism. To me, it’s abusively using government powers to interfere in individuals’ privacy. This is an important moment for international society to reconsider and protect individual rights.”[88]

Kim Dotcom, a German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur who owned Megaupload, which was closed by the U.S. federal government, said “We should heed warnings from Snowden because the prospect of an Orwellian society outweighs whatever security benefits we derive from Prism or Five Eyes.”[89] The Hong Kong law firm representing Dotcom expressed a fear that the communication between Dotcom and the firm had been compromised by U.S. intelligence programs.[90]

Russia has offered to consider an asylum request from Edward Snowden.[91]

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said “We knew about their past efforts to trace our system. We have used our technical resources to foil their efforts and have been able to stop them from succeeding so far.”[92][93]

Related government Internet surveillance programs

A parallel program, code-named BLARNEY, gathers up metadata as it streams past choke points along the backbone of the Internet. BLARNEY’s summary, set down in the slides alongside a cartoon insignia of a shamrock and a leprechaun hat, describes it as “an ongoing collection program that leverages IC [intelligence community] and commercial partnerships to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence obtained from global networks.”[94]

A related program, a big data visualization system based on cloud computing and free and open-source software (FOSS) technology known as “Boundless Informant”, was disclosed in documents leaked to The Guardian and reported on June 8, 2013. A leaked, top secret map allegedly produced by Boundless Informant revealed the extent of NSA surveillance in the U.S.[95]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_%28surveillance_program%29

ThinThread

ThinThread is the name of a project that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) pursued during the 1990s, according to a May 17, 2006 article in The Baltimore Sun.[1] The program involved wiretapping and sophisticated analysis of the resulting data, but according to the article, the program was discontinued three weeks before the September 11, 2001 attacks due to the changes in priorities and the consolidation of U.S. intelligence authority.[2] The “change in priority” consisted of the decision made by the director of NSA General Michael V. Hayden to go with a concept called Trailblazer, despite the fact that ThinThread was a working prototype that protected the privacy of U.S. citizens.

ThinThread was dismissed and replaced by the Trailblazer Project, which lacked the privacy protections.[3] A consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was awarded a $280 million contract to develop Trailblazer in 2002.[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThinThread

Trailblazer

Trailblazer was a United States National Security Agency (NSA) program intended to develop a capability to analyze data carried on communications networks like the Internet. It was intended to track entities using communication methods such as cell phones and e-mail.[1][2] It ran over budget, failed to accomplish critical goals, and was cancelled.

NSA whistleblowers J. Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, Ed Loomis, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer Diane Roark complained to the Department of Defense’s Inspector General (IG) about waste, fraud, and abuse in the program, and the fact that a successful operating prototype existed, but was ignored when the Trailblazer program was launched. The complaint was accepted by the IG and an investigation began that lasted until mid-2005 when the final results were issued. The results were largely hidden, as the report given to the public was heavily (90%) redacted, while the original report was heavily classified, thus restricting the ability of most people to see it.

The people who filed the IG complaint were later raided by armed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. While the Government threatened to prosecute all who signed the IG report, it ultimately chose to pursue an NSA Senior Executive — Thomas Andrews Drake — who helped with the report internally to NSA and who had spoken with a reporter about the project. Drake was later charged under the Espionage Act of 1917. His defenders claimed this was retaliation.[3][4] The charges against him were later dropped, and he agreed to plead guilty to having committed a misdemeanor under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, something that Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project (which helped represent him) called an “act of civil disobedience”.[5]

Background

Trailblazer was chosen over a similar program named ThinThread, a less costly project which had been designed with built-in privacy protections for United States citizens.[4][3] Trailblazer was later linked to the NSA electronic surveillance program and the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy.[3]

In 2002 a consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was chosen by the NSA to produce a technology demonstration platform in a contract worth $280 million. Project participants included Boeing, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Booz Allen Hamilton. The project was overseen by NSA Deputy Director William B. Black, Jr., an NSA worker who had gone to SAIC, and then been re-hired back to NSA by NSA director Michael Hayden in 2000.[6][7][8] SAIC had also hired a former NSA director to its management; Bobby Inman.[9] SAIC also participated in the concept definition phase of Trailblazer.[10][11]

Redacted version of the DoD Inspector General audit, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Project on Government Oversight and others. [12][5]

The NSA Inspector General issued a report on Trailblazer that “discussed improperly based contract cost increases, non-conformance in the management of the Statement of Work, and excessive labor rates for contractor personnel.” [13]

In 2004 the DoD IG report criticized the program (see the Whistleblowing section below). It said that the “NSA ‘disregarded solutions to urgent national security needs'” and “that TRAILBLAZER was poorly executed and overly expensive …” Several contractors for the project were worried about cooperating with DoD’s audit for fear of “management reprisal.”[5] The Director of NSA “nonconcurred” with several statements in the IG audit, and the report contains a discussion of those disagreements.[14]

In 2005, NSA director Michael Hayden told a Senate hearing that the Trailblazer program was several hundred million dollars over budget and years behind schedule.[15] In 2006 the program was shut down,[3] after having cost billions of US Dollars.[16] Several anonymous NSA sources told Hosenball of Newsweek later on that the project was a “wasteful failure”.[17]

The new project replacing Trailblazer is called Turbulence.[3]

Whistleblowing

According to a 2011 New Yorker article, in the early days of the project several NSA employees met with Diane S Roark, an NSA budget expert on the House Intelligence Committee. They aired their grievances about Trailblazer. In response, NSA director Michael Hayden sent out a memo saying that “individuals, in a session with our congressional overseers, took a position in direct opposition to one that we had corporately decided to follow … Actions contrary to our decisions will have a serious adverse effect on our efforts to transform N.S.A., and I cannot tolerate them.”[3]

In September 2002, several people filed a complaint with the Department of Defense IG’s office regarding problems with Trailblazer: they included Roark (aforementioned), ex-NSA senior analysts Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe, and Senior Computer Systems Analyst Ed Loomis, who had quit the agency over concerns about its mismanagement of acquisition and allegedly illegal domestic spying.[3][18][19] A major source for the report was NSA senior officer Thomas Andrews Drake. Drake had been complaining to his superiors for some time about problems at the agency, and about the superiority of ThinThread over Trailblazer, for example, at protecting privacy.[19] Drake gave info to DoD during its investigation of the matter.[19] Roark also went to her boss at the House committee, Porter Goss, about problems, but was rebuffed.[20] She also attempted to contact William Renquist, the Supreme Court Chief Justice at the time.[19]

Drake’s own boss, Maureen Baginski, the third-highest officer at NSA, quit partly over concerns about the legality of its behavior.[3]

In 2003, the NSA IG (not the DoD IG)[19] had declared Trailblazer an expensive failure.[21] It had cost more than $1 billion.[8][22][23]

In 2005, the DoD IG produced a report on the result of its investigation of the complaint of Roark and the others in 2002. This report was not released to the public, but it has been described as very negative.[18] Mayer writes that it hastened the closure of Trailblazer, which was at the time in trouble from congress for being over budget.[3]

In November 2005, Drake contacted Siobhan Gorman, a reporter of The Baltimore Sun.[24][17][25] Gorman wrote several articles about problems at the NSA, including articles on Trailblazer. This series got her an award from the Society of Professional Journalists.[17]

In 2005, President George W. Bush ordered the FBI to find whoever had disclosed information about the NSA electronic surveillance program and its disclosure in the New York Times. Eventually, this investigation led to the people who had filed the 2002 DoD IG request, even though they had nothing to do with the New York Times disclosure. In 2007, the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe were raided by armed FBI agents. According to Mayer, Binney claims the FBI pointed guns at his head and that of his wife. Wiebe said it reminded him of the Soviet Union.[3][18] None of these people were ever charged with any crime. Four months later, Drake was raided in November 2007 and his computers and documents were confiscated.

In 2010 Drake was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of obstructing justice, providing false information, and violating the Espionage Act of 1917,[17][26][27] part of President Barack Obama’s crackdown on whistleblowers and “leakers”.[24][17][28][18] The government tried to get Roark to testify to a conspiracy, and made similar requests to Drake, offering him a plea bargain. They both refused.[3]

In June 2011, the ten original charges against Drake were dropped, instead he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.[5]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AXwwSq_me4

Boundless Informant

Boundless Informant is a big data analysis and data visualization system used by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) to give NSA managers summaries of NSA’s world wide data collection activities.[1] It is described in an unclassified, For Official Use Only Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) memo published by The Guardian.[2] According to a Top Secret heat map display also published by The Guardian and allegedly produced by the Boundless Informant program, almost 3 billion data elements from inside the United States were captured by NSA over a 30-day period ending in March 2013.

Data analyzed by Boundless Informant includes electronic surveillance program records (DNI) and telephone call metadata records (DNR) stored in an NSA data archive called GM-PLACE. It does not include FISA data, according to the FAQ memo. PRISM, a government codename for a collection effort known officially as US-984XN, which was revealed at the same time as Boundless Informant, is one source of DNR data. According to the map, Boundless Informant summarizes data records from 504 separate DNR and DNI collection sources (SIGADs). In the map, countries that are under surveillance are assigned a color from green, representing least coverage to red, most intensive.[3][4]

History

Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the US.

Intelligence gathered by the United States government inside the United States or specifically targeting US citizens is legally required to be gathered in compliance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) and under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court).[5][6][7]

NSA global data mining projects have existed for decades, but recent programs of intelligence gathering and analysis that include data gathered from inside the United States such as PRISM were enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under President Obama in December 2012.[8]

Boundless Informant was first publicly revealed on June 8, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Guardian.[1][9] The newspaper identified its informant, at his request, as Edward Snowden, who worked at the NSA for the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.[10]

Technology

According to published slides, Boundless Informant leverages Free and Open Source Software—and is therefore “available to all NSA developers”—and corporate services hosted in the cloud. The tool uses HDFS, MapReduce, and Cloudbase for data processing.[11]

Legality and FISA Amendments Act of 2008

The FISA Amendments Act (FAA) Section 702 is referenced in PRISM documents detailing the electronic interception, capture and analysis of metadata. Many reports and letters of concern written by members of Congress suggest that this section of FAA in particular is legally and constitutionally problematic, such as by targeting U.S. persons, insofar as “Collections occur in U.S.” as published documents indicate.[12][13][14][15]

The ACLU has asserted the following regarding the FAA: “Regardless of abuses, the problem with the FAA is more fundamental: the statute itself is unconstitutional.”[16]

Senator Rand Paul is introducing new legislation called the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013 to stop the NSA or other agencies of the United States government from violating the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution using technology and big data information systems like PRISM and Boundless Informant.[17][18]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundless_Informant

ECHELON

ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement[1] (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to by a number of abbreviations, including AUSCANNZUKUS[1] and Five Eyes).[2][3] It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications.[4]

ECHELON, according to information in the European Parliament document, “On the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system)” was created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War in the early 1960s.[5]

The system has been reported in a number of public sources.[6] Its capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001,[5] and by author James Bamford in his books on the National Security Agency of the United States.[4] The European Parliament stated in its report that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.[5]

Bamford describes the system as the software controlling the collection and distribution of civilian telecommunications traffic conveyed using communication satellites, with the collection being undertaken by ground stations located in the footprint of the downlink leg.

Organization

UKUSA Community
Map of UKUSA Community countries with Ireland

Australia
Canada
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States of America

The UKUSA intelligence community was assessed by the European Parliament (EP) in 2000 to include the signals intelligence agencies of each of the member states:

  • the Government Communications Headquarters of the United Kingdom,
  • the National Security Agency of the United States,
  • the Communications Security Establishment of Canada,
  • the Defence Signals Directorate of Australia, and
  • the Government Communications Security Bureau of New Zealand.
  • the National SIGINT Organisation (NSO) of The Netherlands

The EP report concluded that it seemed likely that ECHELON is a method of sorting captured signal traffic, rather than a comprehensive analysis tool.[5]

Capabilities

The ability to intercept communications depends on the medium used, be it radio, satellite, microwave, cellular or fiber-optic.[5] During World War II and through the 1950s, high frequency (“short wave”) radio was widely used for military and diplomatic communication,[7] and could be intercepted at great distances.[5] The rise of geostationary communications satellites in the 1960s presented new possibilities for intercepting international communications. The report to the European Parliament of 2001 states: “If UKUSA states operate listening stations in the relevant regions of the earth, in principle they can intercept all telephone, fax and data traffic transmitted via such satellites.”[5]

The role of satellites in point-to-point voice and data communications has largely been supplanted by fiber optics; in 2006, 99% of the world’s long-distance voice and data traffic was carried over optical-fiber.[8] The proportion of international communications accounted for by satellite links is said to have decreased substantially over the past few years[when?] in Central Europe to an amount between 0.4% and 5%.[5] Even in less-developed parts of the world, communications satellites are used largely for point-to-multipoint applications, such as video.[9] Thus, the majority of communications can no longer be intercepted by earth stations; they can only be collected by tapping cables and intercepting line-of-sight microwave signals, which is possible only to a limited extent.[5]

One method of interception is to place equipment at locations where fiber optic communications are switched. For the Internet, much of the switching occurs at relatively few sites. There have been reports of one such intercept site, Room 641A, in the United States. In the past[when?] much Internet traffic was routed through the U.S. and the UK, but this has changed; for example, in 2000, 95% of intra-German Internet communications was routed via the DE-CIX Internet exchange point in Frankfurt.[5] A comprehensive worldwide surveillance network is possible only if clandestine intercept sites are installed in the territory of friendly nations, and/or if local authorities cooperate. The report to the European Parliament points out that interception of private communications by foreign intelligence services is not necessarily limited to the U.S. or British foreign intelligence services.[5]

Most reports on ECHELON focus on satellite interception; testimony before the European Parliament indicated that separate but similar UK-US systems are in place to monitor communication through undersea cables, microwave transmissions and other lines.[10]

Controversy

See also: Industrial espionage

Intelligence monitoring of citizens, and their communications, in the area covered by the AUSCANNZUKUS security agreement has caused concern. British journalist Duncan Campbell and New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager asserted in the 1990s that the United States was exploiting ECHELON traffic for industrial espionage, rather than military and diplomatic purposes.[10] Examples alleged by the journalists include the gear-less wind turbine technology designed by the German firm Enercon[5][11] and the speech technology developed by the Belgian firm Lernout & Hauspie.[12] An article in the US newspaper Baltimore Sun reported in 1995 that European aerospace company Airbus lost a $6 billion contract with Saudi Arabia in 1994 after the US National Security Agency reported that Airbus officials had been bribing Saudi officials to secure the contract.[13][14]

In 2001, the Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System recommended to the European Parliament that citizens of member states routinely use cryptography in their communications to protect their privacy, because economic espionage with ECHELON has been conducted by the US intelligence agencies.[5]

Bamford provides an alternative view, highlighting that legislation prohibits the use of intercepted communications for commercial purposes, although he does not elaborate on how intercepted communications are used as part of an all-source intelligence process.

Hardware

According to its website, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is “a high technology organization … on the frontiers of communications and data processing”. In 1999 the Australian Senate Joint Standing Committee on Treaties was told by Professor Desmond Ball that the Pine Gap facility was used as a ground station for a satellite-based interception network. The satellites were said to be large radio dishes between 20 and 100 meters in diameter in geostationary orbits.[citation needed] The original purpose of the network was to monitor the telemetry from 1970s Soviet weapons, air defence radar, communications satellites and ground based microwave communications.[15]

Name

The European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System stated: “It seems likely, in view of the evidence and the consistent pattern of statements from a very wide range of individuals and organisations, including American sources, that its name is in fact ECHELON, although this is a relatively minor detail.”[5] The U.S. intelligence community uses many code names (see, for example, CIA cryptonym).

Former NSA employee Margaret Newsham claims that she worked on the configuration and installation of software that makes up the ECHELON system while employed at Lockheed Martin, for whom she worked from 1974 to 1984 in Sunnyvale, California, US, and in Menwith Hill, England, UK.[16] At that time, according to Newsham, the code name ECHELON was NSA’s term for the computer network itself. Lockheed called it P415. The software programs were called SILKWORTH and SIRE. A satellite named VORTEX intercepted communications. An image available on the internet of a fragment apparently torn from a job description shows Echelon listed along with several other code names.[17]

Ground stations

The 2001 European Parliamentary (EP) report[5] lists several ground stations as possibly belonging to, or participating in, the ECHELON network. These include:

Likely satellite intercept stations

The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 54 ff) as likely to have, or to have had, a role in intercepting transmissions from telecommunications satellites:

  • Hong Kong (since closed)
  • Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station (Geraldton, Western Australia)
  • Menwith Hill (Yorkshire, U.K.) Map (reportedly the largest Echelon facility)[18]
  • Misawa Air Base (Japan) Map
  • GCHQ Bude, formerly known as GCHQ CSO Morwenstow, (Cornwall, U.K.) Map
  • Pine Gap (Northern Territory, Australia – close to Alice Springs) Map
  • Sugar Grove (West Virginia, U.S.) Map
  • Yakima Training Center (Washington, U.S.) Map
  • GCSB Waihopai (New Zealand)
  • GCSB Tangimoana (New Zealand)
  • CFS Leitrim (Ontario, Canada)
  • Teufelsberg (Berlin, Germany) (closed 1992)

Other potentially related stations

The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 57 ff) as ones whose roles “cannot be clearly established”:

  • Ayios Nikolaos (Cyprus – U.K.)
  • BadAibling Station (BadAibling, Germany – U.S.)
    • relocated to Griesheim in 2004[19]
    • deactivated in 2008[20]
  • Buckley Air Force Base (Aurora, Colorado)
  • Fort Gordon (Georgia, U.S.)
  • Gander (Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada)
  • Guam (Pacific Ocean, U.S.)
  • Kunia Regional SIGINT Operations Center (Hawaii, U.S.)
  • Lackland Air Force Base, Medina Annex (San Antonio, Texas)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON

Room 641A

Room 641A is a telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency that commenced operations in 2003 and was exposed in 2006.[1][2]

Description

Room 641A is located in the SBC Communications building at 611 Folsom Street, San Francisco, three floors of which were occupied by AT&T before SBC purchased AT&T.[1] The room was referred to in internal AT&T documents as the SG3 [Study Group 3] Secure Room. It is fed by fiber optic lines from beam splitters installed in fiber optic trunks carrying Internet backbone traffic[3] and, as analyzed by J. Scott Marcus, a former CTO for GTE and a former adviser to the FCC, who has access to all Internet traffic that passes through the building, and therefore “the capability to enable surveillance and analysis of internet content on a massive scale, including both overseas and purely domestic traffic.”[4] Former director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, William Binney, has estimated that 10 to 20 such facilities have been installed throughout the United States.[2]

The room measures about 24 by 48 feet (7.3 by 15 m) and contains several racks of equipment, including a Narus STA 6400, a device designed to intercept and analyze Internet communications at very high speeds.[1]

The very existence of the room was revealed by a former AT&T technician, Mark Klein, and was the subject of a 2006 class action lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T.[5] Klein claims he was told that similar black rooms are operated at other facilities around the country.

Room 641A and the controversies surrounding it were subjects of an episode of Frontline, the current affairs documentary program on PBS. It was originally broadcast on May 15, 2007. It was also featured on PBS’s NOW on March 14, 2008. The room was also covered in the PBS Nova episode “The Spy Factory”.

Lawsuit

Basic diagram of how the alleged wiretapping was accomplished. From EFF court filings[4]

More complicated diagram of how it allegedly worked. From EFF court filings.[3] See bottom of the file page for enlarged and rotated version.

Main article: Hepting v. AT&T

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecommunication company of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in a massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications. On July 20, 2006, a federal judge denied the government’s and AT&T’s motions to dismiss the case, chiefly on the ground of the States Secrets Privilege, allowing the lawsuit to go forward. On August 15, 2007, the case was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and was dismissed on December 29, 2011 based on a retroactive grant of immunity by Congress for telecommunications companies that cooperated with the government. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.[6] A different case by the EFF was filed on September 18, 2008, titled Jewel v. NSA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A

List of government surveillance projects for the United States

United States

A top secret document leaked by Edward Snowden to The Guardian in 2013, originally due to be declassified on 12 April 2038.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_government_surveillance_projects

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