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George Washington Flogged and Hung Deserters, Barack Obama Trades Terrorists for Deserter/POW? — Negotiates With Terrorists For Deserter! — Videos

Posted on June 7, 2014. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Economics, Energy, Faith, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, government, government spending, Homicide, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Religion, Resources, Science, Security, Shite, Sunni, Terrorism, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 271: June 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 270: May 30, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 269: May 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 268: May 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 267: May 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 266: May 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 265: May 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 264: May 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 263: May 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 262: May 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 261: May 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 260: May 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 259: May 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 258: May 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 257: May 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 256: May 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 255: May 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 254: May 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 253: April 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 252: April 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 251: April 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 250: April 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 249: April 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 248: April 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 247: April 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 246: April 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 245: April 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 244: April 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 243: April 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 242: April 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 241: April 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 240: April 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 239: April 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 238: April 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 237: April 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 236: April 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 235: March 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 234: March 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 233: March 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 232: March 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 231: March 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 230: March 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 229: March 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 228: March 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 227: March 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 226: March 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 225: March 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 224: March 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 223: March 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 222: March 3, 2014

Story 1: George Washington Flogged and Hung Deserters, Barack Obama Trades Terrorists for Deserter/POW? — Negotiates With Terrorists For Deserter! — Videos

washington_a_life_by_ron_chernow-460x307

Revolution – American History in HD – Documentary

Army Sergeant Who Served With Bowe Bergdahl Says He Needs To Be Tried For Desertion

Army deserter benefits

Ralph Peters: POW Bowe Bergdahl Was A Deserter

Carney on Whether Bergdahl is a ‘Deserter’

State Dept: Bergdahl Was Not a Deserter

Ted Cruz: I would Have Used Military Force to Rescue Afghan POW Bergdahl

6/2/14 Background of the 5 detainees we traded for Bergdahl, a deserter and possibly traitor

Military Psy Ops Expert: Bowe Bergdahl Is A Traitor!

Was Bowe Bergdahl Working With The Sopranos Of Afghanistan?

US Soldier Bowe Bergdahl release: Taliban detainees ‘arrive in Qatar’

Cruz Hits Obama Administration For POW Release; Rice Defends Move As ‘Sacred Obligation’

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl Recovering in Germany After Being Freed From Captivity in Afghanistan

Fellow Soldiers Call Bowe Bergdahl A Deserter, Not A Hero

The Real Price We Paid! Six Soldiers Died Looking For ‘Deserter’ Bowe Bergdahl!

(EXCLUSIVE) Obama Speech On US Soldier Freed By Taliban In Afghanistan

US Soldier Released After Five Years Of Captivity – Bowe Bergdahl Released By Taliban

Kelly File | 5 Gitmo Prisoners demanded for P.O.W

New video of Army POW Bowe Bergdahl surfaces

Ralph Peters, Bill O’Reilly Dub Bowe Bergdahl “Crazy, Disturbed”

War Deserters – USA

Soldiers’ Traumas – From World War Two to Afghanistan | Frontline Club Talks

Afghanistan: Outside The Wire

Never Ending War in Afghanistan Full Documentary

Russia’s War in Afghanistan : Documentary on 10 Years of Soviet War in Afghanistan

AFGHANISTAN After US Withdrawal: Return Of The TALIBAN & CIVIL WAR

Bob Bergdahl, the father of current POW, Sgt Bowe Bergdahl speaks Out!

Benghazi Cover Up – CIA Employee Suspended For Refusal To Sign Non-Disclosure On Benghazi

THE EXECUTION OF PRIVATE SLOVIK

Is Ransomed U.S. Soldier Bowe Bergdahl a Deserter? UPDATED: Was Release of Taliban Prisoners Illegal?

Two GOP lawmakers charge that the Obama administration violated a law requiring the White House to give Congress a month’s notice before transferring or releasing Gitmo captivies. From the AP via Business Insider:

The White House said it moved as quickly as possible given the opportunity that arose to secure Bergdahl’s release. Citing “these unique and exigent circumstances,” the White House said a decision was made to go ahead with the transfer despite the legal requirement of 30 days advance notice to Congress.

 

For President Barack Obama (and thus America), foreign policy in every way remains a disaster. The latest incident? In swapping five Taliban leaders for a U.S. soldier who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years, Obama may have just exchanged somecertifiably bad guys for…a deserter from the U.S. Army. CNN’s Jake Tapper explains:

The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him—veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose “selfish act” ended up costing the lives of better men.

“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahldeserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”

There’s this:

According to first-hand accounts from soldiers in his platoon, Bergdahl, while on guard duty, shed his weapons and walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera, and a diary.

At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika Province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.

 

This is all completely apart from the question of whether exchanging prisoners for prisoners is a good idea while the U.S. still has over 30,000 troops in Afghanistan (and more than 100 detainees in Gitmo). And once again, yesterday, Susan Rice—she of Benghazi talking points fame—was making spurious claims on Sunday talk shows. She emphasized that Bergdahl had been“captured” on the battlefield, which may not be exactly right. Or even at all right.

I caught a few minutes of MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier today and co-host Mika Brzezinski cautioned that whatever else we know about the five-for-one prisoner deal (which involves the Taliban going to Qatar, where they will be monitored by the government there for at least a year), we don’t know everything. Which is likely accurate and besides the point: Leaving aside the Obama administration’s constant invocations about its super-fantastic dedication to transparency, this White House has managed to make itself toxic to increasing swaths of the public and drive faith in its best intentions and ability to cross the street through the floor.

Here’s hoping that after more than a dozen years of poorly conceived and executed wars—and declining public support for the idea of America as globocop—that official foreign policy will start to appreciate the idea that we cannot undertake large and small-scale military interventions lightly.

http://reason.com/blog/2014/06/02/is-ransomed-us-soldier-bowe-bergdahl-a-d

 

The Gitmo detainees swapped for Bergdahl: Who are they?

Together with the announcement that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released after nearly five years of captivity came the news that five detainees at Guantanamo Bay were being transferred to Qatar.
A plane carrying the detainees left the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo, Cuba, after the announcement that Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2009, had been exchanged for the five men.
Saturday’s transfer was brokered through the Qatari government, a senior Defense official said. According to senior administration officials, Qatar agreed to take custody of the detainees and provide assurances they would not pose a threat to the United States, including a one-year ban from travel out of Qatar.
Two senior administration officials confirmed the names of the five released detainees as Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Nori, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mohammad Nabi Omari.
They were mostly mid- to high-level officials in the Taliban regime and had been detained early in the war in Afghanistan, because of their positions within the Taliban, not because of ties to al Qaeda.
CNN profiled them two years ago, when their names first surfaced as candidates for a transfer as part of talks with the Taliban:
Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa
Khairkhwa was an early member of the Taliban in 1994 and was interior minister during the Taliban’s rule. He hails from the same tribe as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and was captured in January 2002. Khairkhwa’s most prominent position was as governor of Herat province from 1999 to 2001, and he was alleged to have been “directly associated” with Osama bin Laden. According to a detainee assessment, Khairkhwa also was probably associated with al Qaeda’s now-deceased leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi. He is described as one of the “major opium drug lords in western Afghanistan” and a “friend” of Karzai. He was arrested in Pakistan and was transferred to Guantanamo in May 2002. During questioning, Khairkhwa denied all knowledge of extremist activities.
Mullah Mohammad Fazl
Fazl commanded the main force fighting the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in 2001, and served as chief of army staff under the Taliban regime. He has been accused of war crimes during Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1990s. Fazl was detained after surrendering to Abdul Rashid Dostam, the leader of Afghanistan’s Uzbek community, in November 2001. He was wanted by the United Nations in connection with the massacre of thousands of Afghan Shiites during the Taliban’s rule. “When asked about the murders, he did not express any regret,” according to the detainee assessment. He was alleged to have been associated with several militant Islamist groups, including al Qaeda. He was transferred into U.S. custody in December 2001 and was one of the first arrivals at Guantanamo, where he was assessed as having high intelligence value.
Mullah Norullah Noori
Noori served as governor of Balkh province in the Taliban regime and played some role in coordinating the fight against the Northern Alliance. Like Fazl, Noori was detained after surrendering to Dostam, the Uzbek leader, in 2001. Noori claimed during interrogation that “he never received any weapons or military training.” According to 2008 detainee assessment, Noori “continues to deny his role, importance and level of access to Taliban officials.” That same assessment characterized him as high risk and of high intelligence value.
Abdul Haq Wasiq
Wasiq was the deputy chief of the Taliban regime’s intelligence service. His cousin was head of the service. An administrative review in 2007 cited a source as saying that Wasiq was also “an al Qaeda intelligence member” and had links with members of another militant Islamist group, Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. Wasiq claimed, according to the review, that he was arrested while trying to help the United States locate senior Taliban figures. He denied any links to militant groups.
Mohammad Nabi Omari
Omari was a minor Taliban official in Khost Province. According to the first administrative review in 2004, he was a member of the Taliban and associated with both al Qaeda and another militant group Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. He was the Taliban’s chief of communications and helped al Qaeda members escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Omari acknowledged during hearings that he had worked for the Taliban but denied connections with militant groups. He also said that he had worked with a U.S. operative named Mark to try to track down Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/31/us/bergdahl-transferred-guantanamo-detainees/index.html

 

The bizarre tale of America’s last known POW

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last known American POW, was freed after five years in captivity — an ordeal that began and ended in Afghanistan under a shroud of mystery.

The Taliban turned over Bergdahl Saturday morning to US special forces in exchange for five notorious Islamic militants who had been held at Guantanamo Bay and will be sent to Qatar, where they will stay for a year under the terms of the trade.

At least one of the prisoners, ranking Taliban leader Khairullah Khairkhwa, had direct ties to Osama bin Laden.

Bergdahl was picked up by helicopter in western Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border.

After climbing aboard, the 28-year-old Idahoan, trying to communicate with his rescuers over the roar of the rotors, scrawled “SF?” on a paper plate — asking his rescuers whether they were special forces.

“Yes,” one of the men shouted. “We’ve been looking for you for a long time.”

The Army infantryman — himself nicknamed “SF” by his comrades for his gung-ho interest in special-forces tactics — began to weep.

Bergdahl’s parents, who had lobbied continuously for his ­release, had not seen him by Saturday night, but intimated that he faces an arduous recovery from his ordeal.

Bergdahl is speaking in what appears to be Pashto, said his dad, Bob Bergdahl. It was not clear whether his son can still even speak English, Bob said.

When the father spoke to his son — for the first time in five worried years — it was to say both in Pashto and English, “I am your father, Bowe.”

“We will continue to stay strong for Bowe while he recovers,” said his mom, Jani.

The search for Bergdahl began soon after he went missing on June 30, 2009, in the same rugged wilds of southeastern Afghanistan where NFL player-turned-Army Ranger Pat Tillman was killed.

Bergdahl’s mysterious disappearance from the small military outpost there and the subsequent revelation that he was in enemy hands prompted questions that still linger.

But in the weeks before his capture, Bergdahl had made murky statements that suggested he was gravitating away from the soldiers in his unit and toward ­desertion, a member of his platoon told Rolling Stone.

“He spent more time with the Afghans than he did with his platoon,” former Spc. Jason Fry told the magazine in 2012.

As a teen, the home-schooled son of Calvinists took up ballet — recruited to be a “lifter” by “a beautiful local girl,” Rolling Stone reported, “the guy who holds the girl aloft in a ballet sequence.” The strategy worked: Bergdahl — who also began dabbling in Budd­hism and tarot card reading — soon moved in with the woman.

Even as a teen, he could fire a .22-caliber rifle with precision.

At age 20, he traveled to Paris and started learning French in hopes of joining the French Foreign Legion.

His application was rejected, and he was devastated, the magazine reported.

Bergdahl would drift for years, working mainly at a coffee shop near home. He briefly considered moving to Uganda to help villagers being terrorized by militias before deciding on a different ­adventure.

“I’m thinking of joining the Army,” he told his folks after ­already having signed up.

Bergdahl’s dream was to help Afghan villagers rebuild their lives and learn to defend themselves, his dad told the magazine.

“The whole ‘COIN’ thing,” Bob explained, referring to America’s strategy of counter-insurgency. “We were given a fictitious picture, an artificially created picture of what we were doing in ­Afghanistan,” the dad said.

Bowe Bergdahl would detail his disillusionment with the Afghanistan campaign in an email to his parents three days before he went missing.

“I am sorry for everything here,” he wrote. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid.”

Bergdahl also complained about fellow soldiers. The battalion commander was a “conceited old fool,” he said, and the only “decent” sergeants, planning to leave the platoon “as soon as they can,” told the privates — Bergdahl then among them — “to do the same.”

“I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,” he concluded. “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”

Bob Bergdahl responded in an email: “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”

One night, after finishing a guard-duty shift, Bowe Bergdahl asked his team leader whether there would be a problem if he left camp with his rifle and night-vision goggles — to which the team leader replied “yes.”

Bergdahl then returned to his bunker, picked up a knife, water, his diary and a camera, and left camp, according to Rolling Stone.

The next morning, he was reported missing, and later that day, a drone and four fighter jets ­began to search for him.

Weeks of searching turned into months. The military pushed his parents and fellow soldiers to sign nondisclosure agreements. But before everyone signed, a comrade from his unit publicly called on Facebook for Bergdahl’s execution as a deserter.

Propaganda videos of his captivity — which featured Bergdahl denouncing American foreign policy — were released.

At least once, in 2011, the prisoner, looking more haggard, fought back and tried to escape.

“He fought like a boxer,” a Taliban fighter told Newsweek.

Why Bergdahl was captured in the first place remained a mystery by the time high-level US government talks began in 2012 regarding a trade for his release.

“Frankly, we don’t give a s–t why he left,” one White House official said at the time. “He’s an American soldier. We want to bring him home.”

There was fierce debate over exchanging him for the five Taliban combatants. Sen. John McCain, himself a former POW, once described the five as “the five biggest murderers in world history,” according to Rolling Stone.

We Lost Soldiers in the Hunt for Bergdahl, a Guy Who Walked Off in the Dead of Night

Nathan Bradley Bethea

For five years, soldiers have been forced to stay silent about the disappearance and search for Bergdahl. Now we can talk about what really happened.
It was June 30, 2009, and I was in the city of Sharana, the capitol of Paktika province in Afghanistan. As I stepped out of a decrepit office building into a perfect sunny day, a member of my team started talking into his radio. “Say that again,” he said. “There’s an American soldier missing?”

There was. His name was Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl, the only prisoner of war in the Afghan theater of operations. His release from Taliban custody on May 31 marks the end of a nearly five-year-old story for the soldiers of his unit, the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. I served in the same battalion in Afghanistan and participated in the attempts to retrieve him throughout the summer of 2009. After we redeployed, every member of my brigade combat team received an order that we were not allowed to discuss what happened to Bergdahl for fear of endangering him. He is safe, and now it is time to speak the truth.

And that the truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.

On the night prior to his capture, Bergdahl pulled guard duty at OP Mest, a small outpost about two hours south of the provincial capitol. The base resembled a wagon circle of armored vehicles with some razor wire strung around them. A guard tower sat high up on a nearby hill, but the outpost itself was no fortress. Besides the tower, the only hard structure that I saw in July 2009 was a plywood shed filled with bottled water. Soldiers either slept in poncho tents or inside their vehicles.

The next morning, Bergdahl failed to show for the morning roll call. The soldiers in 2nd Platoon, Blackfoot Company discovered his rifle, helmet, body armor and web gear in a neat stack. He had, however, taken his compass. His fellow soldiers later mentioned his stated desire to walk from Afghanistan to India.

The Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey later wrote that “[w]hether Bergdahl…just walked away from his base or was lagging behind on a patrol at the time of his capture remains an open and fiercely debated question.” Not to me and the members of my unit. Make no mistake: Bergdahl did not “lag behind on a patrol,” as was cited in news reports at the time. There was no patrol that night. Bergdahl was relieved from guard duty, and instead of going to sleep, he fled the outpost on foot. He deserted. I’ve talked to members of Bergdahl’s platoon—including the last Americans to see him before his capture. I’ve reviewed the relevant documents. That’s what happened.

Our deployment was hectic and intense in the initial months, but no one could have predicted that a soldier would simply wander off. Looking back on those first 12 weeks, our slice of the war in the vicinity of Sharana resembles a perfectly still snow-globe—a diorama in miniature of all the dust-coated outposts, treeless brown mountains and adobe castles in Paktika province—and between June 25 and June 30, all the forces of nature conspired to turn it over and shake it. On June 25, we suffered our battalion’s first fatality, a platoon leader named First Lieutenant Brian Bradshaw. Five days later, Bergdahl walked away.

His disappearance translated into daily search missions across the entire Afghanistan theater of operations, particularly ours. The combat platoons in our battalion spent the next month on daily helicopter-insertion search missions (called “air assaults”) trying to scour villages for signs of him. Each operations would send multiple platoons and every enabler available in pursuit: radio intercept teams, military working dogs, professional anthropologists used as intelligence gathering teams, Afghan sources in disguise. They would be out for at least 24 hours. I know of some who were on mission for 10 days at a stretch. In July, the temperature was well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit each day.

These cobbled-together units’ task was to search villages one after another. They often took rifle and mortar fire from insurgents, or perhaps just angry locals. They intermittently received resupply from soot-coated Mi-17s piloted by Russian contractors, many of whom were Soviet veterans of Afghanistan. It was hard, dirty and dangerous work. The searches enraged the local civilian population and derailed the counterinsurgency operations taking place at the time. At every juncture I remember the soldiers involved asking why we were burning so much gasoline trying to find a guy who had abandoned his unit in the first place. The war was already absurd and quixotic, but the hunt for Bergdahl was even more infuriating because it was all the result of some kid doing something unnecessary by his own volition.

On July 4, 2009, a human wave of insurgents attacked the joint U.S./Afghan outpost at Zerok. It was in east Paktika province, the domain of our sister infantry battalion (3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry). Two Americans died and many more received wounds. Hundreds of insurgents attacked and were only repelled by teams of Apache helicopters. Zerok was very close to the Pakistan border, which put it into the same category as outposts now infamous—places like COP Keating or Wanat, places where insurgents could mass on the Pakistani side and then try to overwhelm the outnumbered defenders.

One of my close friends was the company executive officer for the unit at Zerok. He is a mild-mannered and generous guy, not the kind of person prone to fits of pique or rage. But, in his opinion, the attack would not have happened had his company received its normal complement of intelligence aircraft: drones, planes, and the like. Instead, every intelligence aircraft available in theater had received new instructions: find Bergdahl. My friend blames Bergdahl for his soldiers’ deaths. I know that he is not alone, and that this was not the only instance of it. His soldiers’ names were Private First Class Aaron Fairbairn and Private First Class Justin Casillas.

Though the 2009 Afghan presidential election slowed the search for Bergdahl, it did not stop it. Our battalion suffered six fatalities in a three-week period. On August 18, an IED killed Private First Class Morris Walker and Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen during a reconnaissance mission. On August 26, while conducting a search for a Taliban shadow sub-governor supposedly affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss was shot in the face and killed. On September 4, during a patrol to a village near the area in which Bergdahl vanished, an insurgent ambush killed Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews and gravely wounded Private First Class Matthew Martinek, who died of his wounds a week later. On September 5, while conducting a foot movement toward a village also thought affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey stepped on an improvised land mine. He died the next day.

It is important to name all these names. For the veterans of the units that lost these men, Bergdahl’s capture and the subsequent hunt for him will forever tie to their memories, and to a time in their lives that will define them as people. He has finally returned. Those men will never have the opportunity.

Bergdahl was not the first American soldier in modern history to walk away blindly. As I write this in Seoul, I’m about 40 miles from where an American sergeant defected to North Korea in 1965. Charles Robert Jenkins later admitted that he was terrified of being sent to Vietnam, so he got drunk and wandered off on a patrol. He was finally released in 2004, after almost 40 hellish years of brutal internment. The Army court-martialed him, sentencing him to 30 days’ confinement and a dishonorable discharge. He now lives peacefully with his wife in Japan—they met in captivity in North Korea, where they were both forced to teach foreign languages to DPRK agents. His desertion barely warranted a comment, but he was not hailed as a hero. He was met with sympathy and humanity, and he was allowed to live his life, but he had to answer for what he did.

The war was already absurd and quixotic, but the hunt for Bergdahl was even more infuriating because it was the result of some kid doing something unnecessary by his own volition.

I believe that Bergdahl also deserves sympathy, but he has much to answer for, some of which is far more damning than simply having walked off. Many have suffered because of his actions: his fellow soldiers, their families, his family, the Afghan military, the unaffiliated Afghan civilians in Paktika, and none of this suffering was inevitable. None of it had to happen. Therefore, while I’m pleased that he’s safe, I believe there is an explanation due. Reprimanding him might yield horrible press for the Army, making our longest war even less popular than it is today. Retrieving him at least reminds soldiers that we will never abandon them to their fates, right or wrong. In light of the propaganda value, I do not expect the Department of Defense to punish Bergdahl.

He’s lucky to have survived. I once saw an insurgent cellphone video of an Afghan National Police enlistee. They had young boys hold him down, boys between the ages of 10 and 15, all of whom giggled like they were jumping on a trampoline. The prisoner screamed and pleaded for his life. The captors cut this poor man’s head off. That’s what the Taliban and their allies do to their captives who don’t have the bargaining value of an American soldier. That’s what they do to their fellow Afghans on a regular basis. No human being deserves that treatment, or to face the threat of that treatment every day for nearly five years.

But that certainly doesn’t make Bergdahl a hero, and that doesn’t mean that the soldiers he left behind have an obligation to forgive him. I just hope that, with this news, it marks a turning point for the veterans of that mad rescue attempt. It’s done. Many of the soldiers from our unit have left the Army, as I have. Many have struggled greatly with life on the outside, and the implicit threat of prosecution if they spoke about Bergdahl made it much harder to explain the absurdity of it all. Our families and friends wanted to understand what we had experienced, but the Army denied us that.

I forgave Bergdahl because it was the only way to move on. I wouldn’t wish his fate on anyone. I hope that, in time, my comrades can make peace with him, too. That peace will look different for every person. We may have all come home, but learning to leave the war behind is not a quick or easy thing. Some will struggle with it for the rest of their lives. Some will never have the opportunity.

And Bergdahl, all I can say is this: Welcome back. I’m glad it’s over. There was a spot reserved for you on the return flight, but we had to leave without you, man. You’re probably going to have to find your own way home.

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/02/we-lost-soldiers-in-the-hunt-for-bergdahl-a-guy-who-walked-off-in-the-dead-of-night.html

 

Five of the Most Dangerous Taliban Commanders in U.S. Custody Exchanged for American Captive

3:42 PM, MAY 31, 2014 • BY THOMAS JOSCELYN

The Obama administration announced today that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held by the Taliban for several years, has been freed from his captors. Reading the stories of his newfound freedom it is impossible not to feel joy for Bergdahl and his family. NBC News reports that Bergdahl held up a sign once he was on board an American helicopter that read, “SF?” The operators quickly confirmed that they were in fact U.S. Special Forces: “Yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time.”

Gitmo

“On behalf of the American people, I was honored to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal,” President Obama said in a statement. The president rightly noted: “Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.”

Unfortunately, America is not the only party in this war that is committed to leaving no man behind. So are the Taliban and other al Qaeda-linked groups. But the president did not say who America exchanged for Bergdahl: five of the most dangerous Taliban commanders in U.S. custody.

The Taliban has long demanded that the “Gitmo 5” be released in order for peace talks to begin in earnest. The Obama administration has desperately sought to engage the Taliban as American forces are drawn down in Afghanistan, but those talks have gone nowhere to this point.  At first, the administration set preconditions for the talks, including that the Taliban break its relationship with al Qaeda. When it became clear that this was a non-starter, the administration decided to make the Taliban’s desired break with al Qaeda a goal, and no longer a precondition, for its diplomacy.

There is little hope that the peace talks will be more successful now. But the president seems to believe that Bergdahl’s exchange for the Gitmo 5 (who are reportedly being transferred to Qatar) may break the ice. “While we are mindful of the challenges, it is our hope Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery could potentially open the door for broader discussions among Afghans about the future of their country by building confidence that it is possible for all sides to find common ground,” Obama said in his statement.

The Obama administration says that security measures have been put into place to make sure that the Gitmo 5 do not pose a threat to American national security. Let’s hope that is true; it certainly has not been the case with many ex-Gitmo detainees in the past.

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has profiled these jihadists previously on multiple occasions, and what follows below is culled from these accounts.

There are good reasons why the Taliban has long wanted the five freed from Gitmo. All five are among the Taliban’s top commanders in U.S. custody and are still revered in jihadist circles.

Two of the five have been wanted by the UN for war crimes. And because of their prowess, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) deemed all five of them “high” risks to the U.S. and its allies.

The Obama administration wants to convince the Taliban to abandon its longstanding alliance with al Qaeda. But these men contributed to the formation of that relationship in the first place. All five had close ties to al Qaeda well before the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, it is difficult to see how their freedom would help the Obama administration achieve one of its principal goals for the hoped-for talks.

Here are short bios for each of the five Taliban commanders. All quotes are drawn from declassified and leaked documents prepared at Guantanamo.

Mullah Mohammad Fazl (Taliban army chief of staff): Fazl is “wanted by the UN for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiites.” Fazl “was associated with terrorist groups currently opposing U.S. and Coalition forces including al Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), and an Anti-Coalition Militia group known as Harakat-i-Inqilab-i-Islami.” In addition to being one of the Taliban’s most experienced military commanders, Fazl worked closely with a top al Qaeda commander named Abdul Hadi al Iraqi, who headed al Qaeda’s main fighting unit in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 and is currently detained at Guantanamo.

Mullah Norullah Noori (senior Taliban military commander): Like Fazl, Noori is “wanted by the United Nations (UN) for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims.” Beginning in the mid-1990s, Noori “fought alongside al Qaeda as a Taliban military general, against the Northern alliance.” He continued to work closely with al Qaeda in the years that followed.

Abdul Haq Wasiq (Taliban deputy minister of intelligence): Wasiq arranged for al Qaeda members to provide crucial intelligence training prior to 9/11. The training was headed by Hamza Zubayr, an al Qaeda instructor who was killed during the same September 2002 raid that netted Ramzi Binalshibh, the point man for the 9/11 operation. Wasiq “was central to the Taliban’s efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against U.S. and Coalition forces after the 11 September 2001 attacks,” according to a leaked JTF-GTMO threat assessment.

Khairullah Khairkhwa (Taliban governor of the Herat province and former interior minister): Khairkhwa was the governor of Afghanistan’s westernmost province prior to 9/11. In that capacity, he executed sensitive missions for Mullah Omar, including helping to broker a secret deal with the Iranians. For much of the pre-9/11 period, Iran and the Taliban were bitter foes. But a Taliban delegation that included Kharikhwa helped secure Iran’s support for the Taliban’s efforts against the American-led coalition in late 2001. JTF-GTMO found that Khairkhwa was likely a major drug trafficker and deeply in bed with al Qaeda. He allegedly oversaw one of Osama bin Laden’s training facilities in Herat.

Mohammed Nabi (senior Taliban figure and security official): Nabi “was a senior Taliban official who served in multiple leadership roles.” Nabi “had strong operational ties to Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) groups including al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), some of whom remain active in ACM activities.” Intelligence cited in the JTF-GTMO files indicates that Nabi held weekly meetings with al Qaeda operatives to coordinate attacks against U.S.-led forces.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/five-most-dangerous-taliban-commanders-us-custody-released-pow-exchange_794017.html?page=2

 

The best biography of George Washington yet

Ron Chernow’s extraordinary new book paints the first president as a man in a struggle to contain his emotions

Two unforgettable images run through Ron Chernow’s great book, “Washington: A Life,” and they have nothing to do with cherry trees or wooden teeth or silver dollars thrown across the Potomac.

The first is the image of a gallows. It appears early in the narrative, when Colonel George Washington of the Virginia Militia, seeking to terrify his untutored, undisciplined, ragamuffin soldiers into obedience, builds a 40-foot-high gibbet. Soon after, he sentences 14 of his men to death for desertion and insubordination. Though he will eventually spare 12 from the noose, he will still punish them with absolutely fierce and shocking floggings, an average of 600 lashes per prisoner. “Washington made a point of hanging people in public,” Ron Chernow writes, “to deter others.” It is an expression of “his blazing temper.” It is also a result of his experience as explorer and soldier in the Virginia wilderness, “which darkened his view of human nature.” His lifelong practice will be to see “people as motivated more by force than kindness.” When he hangs his first man, the year is 1756, Virginia is still a British colony, and Washington is 24 years old.

These gallows will recur. They are what novelists call a “through-line” or motif, a pattern of figures within a story. To a historian they are that and more. They are a kind of portal into Washington’s famously elusive, enigmatic character.

Gallows and nooses were, of course, an ordinary part of Washington’s time and world. To hang a disobedient solider — or rebel — was commonplace in 18th century warfare. The British government routinely punished treason this way, with the additional flourish of disemboweling the offender while he was still alive, and then decapitating him. When Benjamin Franklin cautions the Continental Congress that “we must all hang together, or we will all hang separately,” only the first part of his famous sentence is metaphorical.

 

FORMER OFFICER: SOLDIERS WERE ‘THREATENED’ IF THEY QUESTIONED BERGDAHL STORY

by 

A former U.S. officer who served in Afghanistan with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl claims that soldiers were threatened by U.S. authorities if they questioned his story.

After he was captured, Bergdahl said on a video from his captors that he lagged behind on patrol, although other sources in the military suggested anonymously that he walked away from his post.

“Not only has this nebulous non-story been put out for years but you know these soldiers of 4th Brigade 25th Infantry Division were threatened with legal repercussions if they spoke about Bergdahl. Everybody officially mandated silencing of what we saw has been so frustrating,” Bethea explained on BBC World Service Radio today.

Bethea served in Sgt. Bergdahl’s unit, and was an infantry officer in the U.S. Army from 2007 to 2014

CNN’s Jake Tapper also reported that many of Bergdahl’s fellow troops signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl’s disappearance and the efforts to recapture him.

Bethea explained that now he was safe, more soldiers would be trying to tell the truth of his disappearance.

BBC interviewed Bethea after he wrote an article for the Daily Beast, asserting that Bergdahl was a deserter.

“He is safe, and now it is time to speak the truth,” he wrote. “And that the truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.”

Bethea admitted that it would probably be unlikely that Bergdahl would face a court martial, because it would cast doubt on the deal the United States made with the Taliban to secure his release.

“I would at least like to see an official statement on what happened,” he said, referring to the Department of Defense.

Bergdahl is currently at an American military hospital in Germany, where he is being evaluated.

Bethea said that he would reserve judgement whether or not Bergdahl betrayed his country.

“I’m not going to call the guy a traitor just because it sounds like a stronger or harsher word than deserter,” Bethea said, admitting that he didn’t know what happened to him after he was captured.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/06/02/Former-Officer-Soldiers-Were-Threatened-if-They-Questioned-Bergdahl-Story

 

AWOL and Desertion

By 

Many people confuse the terms, AWOL and Desertion. Some people believe that AWOL is when someone is absent for less than 30 days, and someone absent from the military for 30 days or more is a deserter. That’s not quite true.

Unauthorized absence from the military fall under three articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ): Article 85Desertion,Article 86AWOL, and Article 87Missing Movement. Of the three, Desertion is the most serious offense.

Missing Movement

A military member has violated Article 87 if he/she is ordered to be on a ship or an aircraft, or deploy with a unit on a certain date and time, and then fails to show up. It doesn’t matter if the member failed to show up through intention or because of neglect, but it is required that the member knew about the movement. A viable defense would be that the member missed the movement through physical inability (as long as that physical inability wasn’t a result of misconduct or neglect). The possible punishment is more severe if the member missed the movement on purpose. It’s not uncommon for Missing Movement to be charged in conjunction with AWOL or Desertion, depending on the circumstances.

AWOL

AWOL, or “Absent without Leave,” is usually called “Unauthorized Absence” (or UA) by the Navy and Marine Corps, and AWOL by the Army and Air Force. The use of “UA” by the Navy/Marine Corps and “AWOL” by the Army/Air Force is historical. Prior to enactment of the Uniform Code of Military Justice in 1951 the services were governed by separate laws. However, its official title under the current UCMJ is “AWOL” (a rose by any other name is still a rose). It simply means not being where you are supposed to be at the time you are supposed to be there. Being late for work is a violation of Article 86. Missing a medical appointment is a violation. So is disappearing for several days (or months, or years). The maximum possible punishments, which I’ll discuss later in this article, depends on the exact circumstances of the absence.

Desertion

Did you know that desertion can result in the death penalty? It’s true. The maximum punishment for desertion during “time of war” is death. However, since the Civil War, only one American servicemember has ever been executed for desertion — Private Eddie Slovik in 1945.

The offense of desertion, under Article 85 carries a much greater punishment than the offense of AWOL, under Article 86. Many people believe that if one is absent without authority for 30 days or more, the offense changes from AWOL to desertion, but that’s not quite true.

The primary difference between the two offenses is “intent to remain away permanently,” or if the purpose of the absence is to shirk “important duty,” (such as a combat deployment).

If one intends to return to “military control” someday, one is guilty of AWOL, not desertion, even if they were away for 50 years. Conversely, if a person was absent for just one minute, and then captured, he could be convicted of desertion, if the prosecution could prove that the member intended to remain away from the military permanently.

If the intent of the absence was to “shirk important duty,” such as a combat deployment, then the “intent to remain away permanently” to support a charge of desertion is not necessary. However, Such services as drill, target practice, maneuvers, and practice marches are not ordinarily “important duty.” “Important duty” may include such duty as hazardous duty, duty in a combat zone, certain ship deployments, etc. Whether a duty is hazardous or a service is important depends upon the circumstances of the particular case, and is a question of fact for the court-martial to decide.

More About AWOL and Desertion

Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
ART. 85. DESERTION
 More of this Feature
• UCMJ Menu
• Punitive Articles of the UCMJ
 Join the Discussion
Military Law
 Related Resources
• Court Martials
• Nonjudicial Punishment (Art 15)
• Administrative Discharges
• Military Lawyers 

 From Other Guides
• Crime & Punishment
• Current Events: Law
• Government
• US Government Info

 

 

(a) Any member of the armed forces who–

(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;

(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or

(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States;

is guilty of desertion.

(b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.

(c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.

Note: For specific details concerning this offense, including elements of proof, maximum punishments, and detailed explanation, see Punitive Articles of the UCMJ.

Next Article > ART. 86. ABSENCE WITHOUT LEAVE >

 

 

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Freak Out On Google Glass Name Tag App — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 205: February 5, 2014 

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Story 1: Freak Out On Google Glass Name Tag App —  Videos

name_tag

glass-face-recognition

google-glass-facial-recognition.si_

NameTag – Google Glass Facial Recognition Beta App Demo

World’s First Real-Time Google Glass Facial Recognition App Demo – November 26 2013

NameTag – Facial Recognition App for Google Glass #CES2014

Googlicious : Google Glass gets a new look

Google Glass How-to: Getting Started

How it Feels [through Google Glass]

Google Glass Review

Google Glass eyes-on review

Panel Robert Scoble and Andrew Keen on Google Glass and privacy issues at TNW Conference Europe 2013

Amazing Google Glasses Demonstration at Google I/O 2012

Facebook Using Face Recognition Software

Facebook’s New Facial-Recognition Technology

Facial Recognition Systems Going Mainstream

Chic - Le Freak

Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Freak out!
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Freak out!
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Freak out!
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Freak out!

Have you heard about the new dance craze?
Listen to us, I’m sure you’ll be amazed
Big fun to be had by everyone
It’s up to you, it surely can be done

Young and old are doing it, I’m told
Just one try and you too will be sold
It’s called Le Freak! They’re doing it night and day
Allow us, we’ll show you the way

Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
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Le Freak, c’est Chic
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Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
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Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
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All that pressure got you down
Has your head spinning all around
Feel the rhythm, check the rhyme
Come on along and have a real good time

Like the days of stomping at the Savoy
Now we freak, oh what a joy!
Just come on down to 54
Find a spot out on the floor

Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
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Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Freak out!
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Freak out!
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Freak out!

Now freak!
I said freak!
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All that pressure got you down
Has your head spinning all around
Feel the rhythm, check the ride
Come on along and have a real good time

Like the days of stomping at the Savoy
Now we freak, oh what a joy!
Just come on down 54
Find a spot out on the floor

Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Freak out!
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Freak out!
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Freak out!
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Freak out!

Just When You Thought Google Glass Couldn’t Get Creepier: New App Allows Strangers to ID You Just by Looking at You

ave you ever seen someone wearing Google Glass out at the bar? Like a real person at a real bar actually wearing Google Glass? If so, you know how absolutely ridiculous they look. Which may be the only factor we have that will stop this:

A new app will allow total strangers to ID you and pull up all your information, just by looking at you and scanning your face with their Google Glass. The app is called NameTag and it sounds CREEPY.

The “real-time facial recognition” software “can detect a face using the Google Glass camera, send it wirelessly to a server, compare it to millions of records, and in seconds return a match complete with a name, additional photos and social media profiles.”

NEWS: Google Glass Users Can Now Wink to Take Photos, Which Is Horrible

The information listed could include your name, occupation, any social media profiles you have set up and whether or not you have a criminal record (“CRIMINAL HISTORY FOUND” pops up in bright red letters according to the demo).

And NameTag may have already added you to their database.

Two million entries have already been uploaded to FacialNetwork.com. Once the app officially goes live, you can sign up for NameTag and opt-out, instead of the alternative: Having to opt-in to allow them to show your information.

How is that OK?

WATCH: RadioShack’s Awesome Super Bowl Commercial Recruits the Best ’80s Stars

“It’s not about invading anyone’s privacy,” one NameTag’s creators claimed (viaIndependent). “It’s about connecting people that want to be connected. We will even allow users to have one profile that is seen during business hours and another that is seen in social situations. NameTag can make the big, anonymous world we live in as friendly as a small town.”

It may not be about invading anyone’s privacy, but that sounds like what it does. And forcing people to opt-out if they want to maintain their privacy is wrong (we would go so far as to say it should be illegal). But the purported benefits of the app are almost even worse:

They continue, “It’s much easier to meet interesting new people when we can simply look at someone, see their Facebook, review their LinkedIn page or maybe even see their dating site profile. Often we were interacting with people blindly or not interacting at all. NameTag on Google Glass can change all that.”

Gross.

It’s enough to make you root for that app that lets you film Google Glass porn. If you had to pick one. Luckily, Google has banned facial-recognition software from the Glass—for now.

http://www.eonline.com/news/507361/just-when-you-thought-google-glass-couldn-t-get-creepier-new-app-allows-strangers-to-id-you-just-by-looking-at-you

Bay Area Researcher Developing Facial Recognition Glasses To Help Stop Crime

y now, you have probably heard about the Google Glass wearable computer. Soon, a Mountain View startup will begin selling 3-D eyewear with technology so sophisticated, it could help crime fighters stop crime before it happens.

It’s not a new concept. The 2002 Hollywood film “Minority Report” gave us a look into the future when actor Tom Cruise catches and arrests a criminal before he commits the crime.

y now, you have probably heard about the Google Glass wearable computer. Soon, a Mountain View startup will begin selling 3-D eyewear with technology so sophisticated, it could help crime fighters stop crime before it happens.

It’s not a new concept. The 2002 Hollywood film “Minority Report” gave us a look into the future when actor Tom Cruise catches and arrests a criminal before he commits the crime.

Allen Yang is a University of California at Berkeley researcher and founder of Atheer, the startup developing the glasses.

The 3-D glasses are a wearable computer where users are wirelessly immersed in their own computer through virtual images.

“…And it’s streaming live from the internet to your glasses,” said Theo Goguely, senior product manager at Atheer.

The glasses will ultimately be used by business for work or for regular users for entertainment.

One could put on their glasses and instantly see a 3-D screen with a daytime calendar with a list of things to do. The smart glasses can assist users looking at their kitchen cupboard and they will help visualize nutritional needs.

One of its goals is for use by law enforcement. For example, police wearing the glasses could scan a crowd and possibly locate a suspect or a lost child.

This technology could have helped police find the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing sooner. Although police had images of the suspects, it took investigators days to identify them. Current facial recognition programs were limited in identifying the low resolution images of the suspects from surveillance cameras.

But Yang said Atheer has developed a better mousetrap. Even if 60 percent of the image is corrupted, Yang said his company’s technology can convert it to an identifiable image.

Yang said the program will be available within two or three years and could help police identify known suspects before they commit another crime.

“In the optimal scenario, they can actually get an alert when they’re patrolling on the streets and they can prevent something from happening before even the event happens,” said Yang.

In addition, the program can be used on surveillance cameras on bridges, roads or buildings to help find missing or kidnapped people.

The 3-D glasses will available next month. The cost: $350 for a model that connects to smart phones and $850 for the standalone version.

All of the programs are still in the early stages of development.

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/02/04/bay-area-researcher-developing-facial-recognition-glasses-to-help-stop-crime/

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Downsize Federal Government — Eliminate The Department of Energy — Home Energy Score — Government Intervention Into The Private Sector — Videos

Posted on January 13, 2014. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Constitution, Demographics, Economics, Education, Energy, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, history, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Natural Gas, Nuclear Power, Oil, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Programming, Psychology, Raves, Regulations, Science, Talk Radio, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Our Ever Growing Dependence on Government

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Giving Away Money Costs More Than You Think

Downsizing the Federal Government

Downsize the Department of Energy

Can We Eliminate the Department of Education? (Charles Murray)

$5 Billion Loan for Solar Energy — Department of Energy

Phil Kerpen on Neil Cavuto to discuss the DOE loan program

Our Ever Growing Dependence on Government

Obamanomics: A Legacy of Wasteful Spending

Why Does Big Business Love Big Government? (Domhoff, Rothbard, and Evers)

G. William Domhoff is a research professor in psychology and sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the author of Who Rules America? (1967), Bohemian Grove and Other Retreats: A Study in Ruling-Class Cohesiveness (1974), and other books.

A prolific author and Austrian economist, Murray Rothbard promoted a form of free market anarchism he called “anarcho-capitalism.”

Bill Evers was a resident scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution (and is currently a research fellow there) and also served as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development in the U.S. Department of Education from 2007-09.

In this lecture Domhoff, Rothbard, and Evers talk about the “interlocking overlappers” that get together to influence the government, in California and in the country generally. They each spend some time describing what it is that draws businesspeople to market-capturing and rent-seeking behaviors, and take questions from the audience.

Walter Block – Free-Market Environmentalism [Australian Mises Seminar 2012]

How Murray Rothbard Became a Libertarian

The tide is rising for America’s libertarians

By Edward Luce

The new spirit in a rising climate of anti-politics has become an attitude, rather than a movement

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Robert Nozick, the late US libertarian, smoked pot while he was writing Anarchy, State and Utopia. He would applaud the growth of libertarianism among today’s young Americans. Whether it is their enthusiasm for legalised marijuana and gay marriage – both spreading across the US at remarkable speed – or their scepticism of government, US millennials no longer follow President Barack Obama’s cue. Most of America’s youth revile the Tea Party, particularly its south-dominated nativist core. But they are not big-government activists either. If there is a new spirit in America’s rising climate of anti-politics, it is libertarian.

On the face of it this ought to pose a bigger challenge to the Republican party – at least for its social conservative wing. Mr Obama may have disappointed America’s young, particularly the millions of graduates who have failed to find good jobs during his presidency. But he is no dinosaur. In contrast, Republicans such as Rick Santorum, the former presidential hopeful, who once likened gay sex to “man on dog”, elicit pure derision. Even moderate Republicans, such as Chris Christie, who until last week was the early frontrunner for the party’s 2016 nomination, are considered irrelevant. Whether Mr Christie was telling the truth last week, when he denied knowledge of his staff’s role in orchestrating a punitive local traffic jam, is beside the point. Mr Christie’s Sopranos brand of New Jersey politics is not tailored to the Apple generation.

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The opposite is true of Rand Paul, the Kentucky senator, whose chances of taking the 2016 prize rose with Mr Christie’s dented fortunes last week. Unlike Ron Paul, the senator’s father, who still managed to garner a large slice of the youth vote in 2008, Rand Paul eschews the more outlandish fringes of libertarian thought. Rather than promising an isolationist US withdrawal from the world, he touts a more moderate “non-interventionism”. Instead of pledging to end fiat money, he promises to audit the US Federal Reserve – “mend the Fed”, rather than “end the Fed”. Both find echo among the Y generation. So too does his alarmism about the US national debt. Far from being big spenders, millennials are more concerned about US debt than other generations, according to polls. They are also strongly in favour of free trade. More than a third of the Republican party now identifies as libertarian, according to the Cato Institute. Just under a quarter of Americans do so too, says Gallup.

All of which looks ominous for Ted Cruz, the Texan Republican whose lengthy filibuster against Obamacare last year lit the fuse for the US government shutdown. Mr Cruz, also a 2016 aspirant, leads the pugilistic wing of the Republican party that is prepared to burn the house down in order to save the ranch. Although also a Tea Partier, Mr Paul is cultivating a sunnier Reaganesque optimism that draws on the deep roots of US libertarianism. His brand of politics also strikes a chord with those who fear the growth of the US surveillance state – the types who view Edward Snowden (another millennial) as a hero rather than a traitor. Last year the US House of Representatives came within 12 votes of passing a bill to defund the National Security Agency. Mr Paul led the bill in the Senate. Next time they could succeed.

November 2012: While Obama lost ground among white male voters, his 2012 victory was the product of perhaps the most diverse electoral coalition in American history. Voters talk about how they interpret the president’s re-election

What does it mean for the Democrats? In terms of social values, libertarians are almost identical to liberals. Smoking pot and same-sex marriage both meet with big approval. The same is not necessarily true of guns. In spite of recent school massacres, 40 US states now have “concealed weapons” laws – many passed in the past 12 months. Again, millennials are surprisingly sceptical of gun control, say the polls. But it is on economic policy where they really part company with liberals. The Great Depression helped forge a generation of solid Democrats. The same does not appear to be true of the Great Recession. Franklin Roosevelt helped dig people out of misery in the 1930s by providing direct public employment. Mr Obama, on the other hand, has stuck largely to economic orthodoxy. He may have missed a golden opportunity to mould a generation of social democrats.

He has also inadvertently fuelled scepticism about the role of government. Mr Obama came to power in 2008 on a surge of voluntarism. He did so in part by appealing to youthful idealism about public service. That now feels like a long time ago. Distrust in public institutions has continued to rise during his presidency – most strongly among the youngest generation. The share of voters who identify as independents, rather than Democrats or Republicans, recently hit an all-time high of 42 per cent, according to Gallup. This is bad news for established figures in either party – and, indeed, in any walk of life. Hillary Clinton should beware. So should Jeb Bush.

On the minus side, libertarians have no real answer to many of America’s biggest problems – not least the challenges posed to US middle-class incomes by globalisation and technology. Nor are they coherent as a force. Libertarianism is an attitude, rather than an organisation. It is also potentially fickle. Young Americans disdain foreign entanglements. That could change overnight with a big terrorist attack on the homeland. They feel let down by Democrats and hostile to mainstream Republicans. Yet they could flock to an exciting new figure in either party. Theirs is a restless generation that disdains authority. Establishment figures should take note. Tomorrow belongs to them.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cc9a31b8-7928-11e3-b381-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2qJAO0w8t

DOE Plugs Energy Rating for Homes, Similar to MPG Rating for Cars

The Energy Department on Tuesday is rolling out new, improved software to help Americans measure the energy efficiency of their homes.

DOE says its energy-scoring software — called the Home Energy Scoring Tool – is like a vehicle’s mile-per-gallon rating because it allows homeowners to compare the energy performance of their homes to other homes nationwide. It also provides homeowners with suggestions for improving their homes’ efficiency.

The software is part of the government’s effort to reduce the nation’s energy consumption; but it’s also billed as a way to keep home-retrofitting going, at a time when stimulus funds for weather-proofing have run out.

The Home Energy Scoring Tool “can be a powerful motivator in getting homeowners to make energy efficiency improvements,” DOE says. “It’s also a great way to help trained workers enter the private sector energy improvement market as funding for weatherization efforts decline.”

DOE says its Home Energy Score is useful if you are a homeowner looking to renovate or remodel your home, lower your utility bills, improve the comfort of your home, or reduce your energy usage. Moreover, “the score serves as an official way to document these improvements and thereby enhance your home’s appeal when you’re ready to sell.”

Right now, getting your home scored is voluntary.

To produce a Home Energy Score, a trained, “qualified assessor” comes to your home — for a fee — and collects approximately 40 pieces of data about the home’s “envelope” (e.g., walls, windows, heating and cooling systems) during an hour-long walk-through.

Based on the home’s characteristics, the DOE software estimates the home’s annual energy use, assuming “typical homeowner behavior.” The software then converts the estimated energy use into a score, based on a 10-point scale (10 being the most energy-efficient). The 1-10 scale accounts for differences in weather conditions by using the zip code to assign the house to one of more than 1,000 weather stations.

In addition to showing the home’s current energy efficiency — or inefficiency — the score also shows where a home would rank if all of the energy-saving improvements identified during the home walk-through were made. That may prompt some homeowners to buy new windows or doors, for example, boosting the market for home retro-fitters.

DOE recommends getting a Home Energy Score “as soon as the program becomes available in your area.” The program launched in 2012, and at this time, only single-family homes and townhouses can be scored.

The scoring is available only through DOE’s participating partners, which include state and local governments, utilities, and non-profits. DOE does not determine how much an assessor charges to score a house. “It will depend on what the local market supports.” But DOE says its partners “have indicated plans to charge between $25 and $125 for the Home Energy Score.”

And yes, the size of the home matters because larger homes use more energy.

The Home Energy Score and the associated report is generated through DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory software. The 2014 version of DOE’s Home Energy Scoring Tool will be introduced at a webinar on Tuesday.

So far,

home energy scoreThe Home Energy Score is similar to a vehicle’s mile-per-gallon rating, says the U.S. Energy Department. (Graphic is from DOE website)

DOE says more than 8,500 homes have been scored by the Energy Department’s growing network of more than 25 partners and 175 qualified assessors.

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

- See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/doe-plugs-energy-rating-homes-similar-mpg-rating-cars#sthash.CQAafjhv.9gcKr0Ng.dpuf

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/doe-plugs-energy-rating-homes-similar-mpg-rating-cars

Home Energy Assessments

Cathy Zoi on the new Home Energy Score pilot program

Acting Under Secretary Cathy Zoi talks about the new Home Energy Score pilot program that was announced today by Vice President Biden and U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The Home Energy Score will offer homeowners straightforward, reliable information about their homes’ energy efficiency. A report provides consumers with a home energy score between 1 and 10, and shows them how their home compares to others in their region. The report also includes customized, cost-effective recommendations that will help to reduce their energy costs and improve the comfort of their homes.

200,000 homes weatherized under the Recovery Act

Home Energy Score Pilot Program Launched By DOE

Home Energy Score Qualified Assessor module 1 intro

Home Energy Score Qualified Assessor module 2

Home Energy Score Qualified Assessor module 3

Home Energy Score Qualified Assessor module 4

Home Energy Score Qualified Assessor module 5

Home Energy Score Qualified Assessor module 6

Home Energy Score Qualified Assessor module 7

Home Energy Score Qualified Assessor module 8

Home Energy Score Qualified Assessor module 9

Home Energy Score Qualified Assessor module 10

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Record Low Temperatures in United States As Mother Nature Changes Weather and Climate To Global Cooling — The Coming Ice Age — Need Nuclear Power To Keep Warm and Cool — Videos

Posted on January 6, 2014. Filed under: American History, Biology, Blogroll, Books, Business, Chemistry, Climate, Communications, Computers, Culture, Economics, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Physics, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Reviews, Science, Security, Technology, Video, Water, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 187: January 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 186: January 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 185: January 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 184: December 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 183: December 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 182: December 16, 2013

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Pronk Pops Show 180: December 12, 2013

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Pronk Pops Show 178: December 5, 2013

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Pronk Pops Show 176: November 27, 2013

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Pronk Pops Show 169: November 18, 2013

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Pronk Pops Show 160: November 1, 2013

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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Story 1: Record Low Temperatures in United States As Mother Nature Changes Weather and Climate To Global Cooling — The Coming Ice Age — Need Nuclear Power To Keep Warm and Cool — Videos

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North America set for record low temperatures as cold snap stretches

Arctic freeze hits US Midwest with record low temperatures

What is an Ice Age?

Climate Change in 12 Minutes – The Skeptic’s Case

The Next Ice Age and The Gulf Stream – Future Focus

In Search Of… The Coming Ice Age (1978) [Global Cooling]

Global Cooling: The Coming Ice Age

Dr Matthew J Penn suggests global cooling – new Little Ice Age

Global Cooling || UN Climate Report Reveals Rate Of Global Warming About Half Average Rate – Dobbs

Global Warming or a New Ice Age: Documentary Film

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Global Warming Scientists Trapped in Antarctic Ice — Alarmists Bang The Gong for Help — Rescued By Carbon Burning Helicopter — Passengers and Luggage Air Lifted Out — Videos

Posted on January 2, 2014. Filed under: Blogroll, Climate, Communications, Economics, Federal Government, Food, government spending, media, People, Physics, Politics, Rants, Raves, Religion, Science, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Video, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

MV_Akademik_Shokalskiysintists_passengers_trappedantarctica-rescuecommonwealth-bay-region-of-antarctica-ship_trappedMV-Akademik-Shokalskiy-Shiphelicopter-rescue-for-ship-in-ice

ANTARCTIC RESCUE BEGINS ON THE ICE-BOUND SHIP – BBC NEWS

All passengers airlifted from stranded Antarctic ship Akademik Shokalskiy

Frozen Out: 98% of Stories Ignore That Ice-bound Ship Was On Global Warming Mission

By Mike Ciandella January 2, 2014

A group of climate change scientists were rescued by helicopter Jan. 2, after being stranded in the ice since Christmas morning. But the majority of the broadcast networks’ reports about the ice-locked climate researchers never mentioned climate change.

The Russian ship, Akademic Shokalskiy, was stranded in the ice while on a climate change research expedition, yet nearly 98 percent of network news reports about the stranded researchers failed to mention their mission at all. Forty out of 41 stories (97.5 percent) on the network morning and evening news shows since Dec. 25 failed to mention climate change had anything to do with the expedition.

In fact, rather than point out the mission was to find evidence of climate change, the networks often referred to the stranded people as “passengers,” “trackers” and even “tourists,” without a word about climate change or global warming.

Chris Turney, the expedition’s leader, is a professor of climate change at the University of South Wales. According to Turney’s personal website, the purpose of the expedition is to “discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south.”

Twenty-two crew members stayed with the ship for the time being, as the scientists and researchers were rescued. According to CNN, the ship has enough supplies for “a very long time.”

Three rescue attempts had been thwarted by growing levels of sea ice and weather conditions.

“Outside, blizzard conditions packing an abnormal amount of ice in to the area for this time of the year, summer in the Antarctic,” ABC News Correspondent Gio Benitez reported on “Good Morning America” Dec. 31.

On Jan. 2, all 52 passengers were airlifted to a nearby Australian icebreaker ship which had tried, and failed, to plow through the ice and free the Akademic Shokalskiy, on Dec. 30. “Good Morning America” said on Dec. 30, that “the ice could be as thick as 13 feet.”

According to Fox News, Turney admitted “we’re stuck in our own experiment.” They reported on Dec. 30, that a statement from the Australasian Antarctic Expedition said, “Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up.”

There was only one news story out of 41 that mentioned climate change. That was CBS “This Morning” Dec. 30. “Despite being frozen at a standstill, the team’s research on climate change and Antarctic wildlife is moving forward,” CBS News Correspondent Don Dahler said. That night, all three evening news programs still failed to make any mention of the group’s climate change research.

The MRC’s Business and Media Institute was unable to view a copy of CBS “Sunday Morning” for Dec. 29, so that broadcast had to be excluded from the tally.

Before their ship got stuck in ice, the researchers were following the trail of the explorer Douglas Mawson, who was stranded in Antarctica for more than a year, beginning in December 1912, according to the website about the expedition.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mike-ciandella/2014/01/02/frozen-out-98-stories-ignore-ice-bound-ship-was-global-warming-missi

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mike-ciandella/2014/01/02/frozen-out-98-stories-ignore-ice-bound-ship-was-global-warming-missi#ixzz2pHVy2JVs

MSM Glosses Over Irony Of Global Warming Scientists Trapped In Antarctic Ice

Somewhere far, far to the south where it is summer, a group of global warming scientists are trapped in the Antarctic ice. If you missed the irony of that situation, it is because much of the mainstream media has glossed over that rather inconvenient bit of hilarity. As an example here is an Associated Press story that avoids mentioning the real mission of the scientists aboard the icebound Russian ship:

The Snow Dragon icebreaker came within 7 miles (11 kilometers) of the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which has been stuck since Christmas Eve, but had to retreat after the ice became too thick, said expedition spokesman Alvin Stone.

The Akademik Shokalskiy, which has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard’s whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. The ship wasn’t in danger of sinking, and there are weeks’ worth of supplies for the 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, but the vessel cannot move.

So what was the exact mission of these scientists? AP is rather vague about this reporting only:

The scientific team on board the research ship — which left New Zealand on Nov. 28 — had been recreating Australian explorer Douglas Mawson’s century-old voyage to Antarctica when it became trapped. They plan to continue their expedition after they are freed, expedition leader Chris Turney said.

Um, there is a bit more to the expedition than merely following in the footsteps of a century-old voyage. But what that mission really is, AP won’t say. If AP is vague about the mission’s purpose, Reuters provides even less information.

Since the MSM isn’t forthcoming as to the real purpose of those scientists traveling to Antarctica, we turn to Whats Up With That for more insight:

The expedition is being led by Chris Turney, “climate scientist”, who has “set up a carbon refining company called Carbonscape which has developed technology to fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green bi-products, helping reduce greenhouse gas levels.” The purpose of the expedition is “to discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south.”

It seems they found out what the “environmental changes taking place in the south.” are.

Finally, National Geographic bluntly states the mission purpose:

…The current crop of explorers are hoping to document some of the same data and compare them to Mawson’s numbers, “using the twist of modern technology,” Turney told National Geographic earlier this month.

As may be expected, global warming might play a role in this, he suggests, particularly with respect to melted ice in the East Antarctic.

Ah, so now we see why the MSM reluctance to flat out state why the scientists are in the Antarctic. Anything to avoid an inconvenient (but accurate) headline like this:

GLOBAL WARMING SCIENTISTS TRAPPED IN ANTARCTIC ICE

Ship stuck in Antarctica awaits rescue: A ship remains stranded in Antarctica as rescue crews battle treacherous ice to reach it. CNN’s Isa Soares reports.

Libtard “Global Warming” Update: The Ice Thickens; Stranded Ship In Antarctic Awaits New Rescue Plan

52 People Trapped in Antarctica Ring in New Year 2014

Ship trapped in Antarctica

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Antarctica’s Ice on the Move – Antarctica’s Climate Secrets

Global Warming Hoax Explained

Nigel Farage confronts Barroso on global warming scam (State of the Union 2013)

Global Warming or a New Ice Age: Documentary Film

Global cooling was a conjecture during the 1970s of imminent cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere along with a posited commencement of glaciation. This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s and press reports that did not accurately reflect the scientific understanding of ice age cycles. In contrast to the global cooling conjecture, the current scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth has not durably cooled, but undergone global warming throughout the twentieth century.

Concerns about nuclear winter arose in the early 1980s from several reports. Similar speculations have appeared over effects due to catastrophes such as asteroid impacts and massive volcanic eruptions. A prediction that massive oil well fires in Kuwait would cause significant effects on climate was quite incorrect.

The idea of a global cooling as the result of global warming was already proposed in the 1990s. In 2003, the Office of Net Assessment at the United States Department of Defense was commissioned to produce a study on the likely and potential effects of a modern climate change, especially of a shutdown of thermohaline circulation. The study, conducted under ONA head Andrew Marshall, modelled its prospective climate change on the 8.2 kiloyear event, precisely because it was the middle alternative between the Younger Dryas and the Little Ice Age. The study caused controversy in the media when it was made public in 2004. However, scientists acknowledge that “abrupt climate change initiated by Greenland ice sheet melting is not a realistic scenario for the 21st century”.

Currently, the concern that cooler temperatures would continue, and perhaps at a faster rate, has been observed to be incorrect by the IPCC. More has to be learned about climate, but the growing records have shown that the cooling concerns of 1975 have not been borne out.

As for the prospects of the end of the current interglacial (again, valid only in the absence of human perturbations): it isn’t true that interglacials have previously only lasted about 10,000 years; and Milankovitch-type calculations indicate that the present interglacial would probably continue for tens of thousands of years naturally. Other estimates (Loutre and Berger, based on orbital calculations) put the unperturbed length of the present interglacial at 50,000 years. Berger (EGU 2005 presentation) believes that the present CO2 perturbation will last long enough to suppress the next glacial cycle entirely.

As the NAS report indicates, scientific knowledge regarding climate change was more uncertain than it is today. At the time that Rasool and Schneider wrote their 1971 paper, climatologists had not yet recognized the significance of greenhouse gases other than water vapor and carbon dioxide, such as methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. Early in that decade, carbon dioxide was the only widely studied human-influenced greenhouse gas. The attention drawn to atmospheric gases in the 1970s stimulated many discoveries in future decades. As the temperature pattern changed, global cooling was of waning interest by 1979

The Great Global Warming Swindle Full Movie

World’s climate warming faster than feared, scientists say

Scientists say the world’s climate is warming faster than feared because previous predictions were too “optimistic” and overestimated the cooling impact of clouds

By Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney

As the planet marked its fourth hottest year on record, a study published in the journal Nature found increasing levels of carbon dioxide will lead to thinner ocean clouds and reduce their cooling impact, causing temperature rises of at least 5.6F (3C) over the course of the century.

The team of scientists said the findings show some climate models have been too “optimistic” and previous estimates of a minimum temperature rise of only 2.7F (1.5C) could now be discounted. The optimistic models did not properly assess the impact of water evaporation, which sometimes rises only a short distance into the atmosphere and causes updraughts that reduce cloud cover, the study found.

”These models have been predicting a lower climate sensitivity but we believe they’re incorrect,” Professor Steven Sherwood, from the University of New South Wales, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

”The net effect of [climate change] is you have less cloud cover.”

The study comes amid a controversy in Australia over claims by Maurice Newman, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s top business adviser, who said the world had been taken “hostage to climate change madness”.

Mr Newman said the climate change establishment, led by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, remained “intent on exploiting the masses and extracting more money”.

“The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling,” he wrote in The Australian. “Global temperatures have gone nowhere for 17 years… If the IPCC were your financial adviser, you would have sacked it long ago.”

Mr Newman, a former chairman of the Australian Stock Exchange, was criticised by the opposition and pilloried by scientists, who said he was expressing “flat earth” views and should be sacked.

“His piece is a mix of common climate change myths, misinformation and ideology,” said Professor David Karoly, from the University of Melbourne, in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I would not choose a person who believes that the Earth is flat to advise Australian shipping or airline businesses on how to plan routes to travel around the world. It is clearly not sensible to have a person who believes that climate change science is a delusion as leader of the prime minister’s Business Advisory Council.”

Mr Abbott, who is something of a climate change sceptic, once claimed that “climate change is “absolute crap”, though he later said he accepts it is “real”.

Since winning a federal election last September, he has moved to scrap Labor’s tax on carbon emissions and instead proposes to address climate change by paying polluters to reduce emissions, though critics say the plan is underfunded and will not achieve its reduction targets.

The debate comes as Australia in 2013 marked its hottest year since reliable recordings began in 1910. The world’s driest continent also recorded its hottest day, hottest month, hottest winter’s day and hottest summer.

The run of warmer weather began late in 2012 and was so great that Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology last year changed its official weather forecasting map to include new colours – deep purple and pink – for areas with temperatures above 50C (122F).

Globally, according to figures released in December by the United States National Climatic Data Center, 2013 was set to be the fourth hottest year in 134 years of records behind 2010, 2005 and 1998.

Meteorologists said it was the hottest year on record for a non-El Niño year.

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Hostile Government Takeover of Health Care Sector Continues — Fight Back Do Not Enroll — Repeal Obamacare Now (ROT) — ROT NOW! — Videos

Posted on November 30, 2013. Filed under: American History, Babies, Biology, Blogroll, Catholic Church, Chemistry, College, Communications, Computers, Computers, Constitution, Crime, Culture, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Fraud, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Medicine, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Programming, Psychology, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Science, Security, Strategy, Systems, Talk Radio, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Healthcare.gov finally ready for prime-time?

Obamacare Delay – Critics – THE BIG QUESTION: Is Obama A President Or A King? – The Kelly File

ObamaCare: Three Years of Broken Promises

Henry Chao: 30-40% of HealthCare.gov Still Needs To Be Built

DHS Cannot Provide Answers Regarding the Security of Healthcare.gov

Obamacare Website Healthcare.gov Crashes During Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ Visit

Pelosi taken apart by David Gregory on false Obamacare promises

Dennis Miller-special Nancy Pelosi

11-13-13 “ObamaCare Implementation: The Rollout of HealthCare.gov” Pt. I

11-13-13 “ObamaCare Implementation: The Rollout of HealthCare.gov” Pt. 2

11-13-13 “ObamaCare Implementation: The Rollout of HealthCare.gov” Pt. 3

Megyn Kelly Outraged Obama Lied about Americans being able to keep coverage, shows proof

Megyn Kelly Interviews Charles Krauthammer on Obamacare Outrage – Kelly File – 10/30/13

More Than a Website

Health Site Is Improving But Likely to Miss Saturday Deadline

By

Louise Radnofsky and Spencer E. Ante

Despite recent progress at HealthCare.gov, a raft of problems will remain beyond the Obama administration’s Saturday deadline to make the troubled federal insurance website work.

The news isn’t all bad: Users say the site looks better, pages load faster, and more people are getting through to sign up for health plans.

But technical problems still affect HealthCare.gov’s ability to verify users’ identities and transmit accurate enrollment data to insurers, officials say. The data center that supports the site faces continuing challenges, and tools for processing payments to insurers haven’t been built.

Technical staff in Washington have been racing up to the end-of-November deadline. In their last public pronouncement on the effort, three days before the deadline, officials said they had much to do to get the site into a condition where it functions smoothly for a majority of users.

The success of the White House’s signature domestic initiative is riding on the technicians’ ability to fix the site, as well as the rest of the federal technology supporting enrollment. Across the nation, that effort is being eyed hopefully by supporters of the law, since the site is the centerpiece of the effort to overhaul American health care and extend coverage to millions of people.

Those hopes were deflated by a series of blows for the administration right up until Nov. 30, and the site continued to experience outages, both planned and unplanned, in the week leading up to the deadline.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the administration was planning to change its Web-hosting provider from Verizon Communications Inc. VZ -0.62% Verizon Communications Inc. U.S.: NYSE $49.62 -0.31 -0.62% Nov. 29, 2013 1:00 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) : 4.30M AFTER HOURS $49.79 +0.17 +0.34% Nov. 29, 2013 4:42 pm Volume (Delayed 15m): 611,247 P/E Ratio 65.29 Market Cap $141.91 Billion Dividend Yield 4.27% Rev. per Employee $651,745 11/27/13 H-P Will Replace Verizon for W… 11/20/13 Investors Tell AT&T, Verizon t… 11/18/13 Supreme Court Declines to Hear… More quote details and news » VZ in Your Value Your Change Short position subsidiary Terremark to Hewlett-Packard Co. in the spring, a complex transition that could introduce new challenges and take months; and the same day, the administration said it was shelving for a year any attempts to operate an online exchange for small businesses. On Wednesday, Verizon declined to comment on its clients.

Officials mixed optimism with caution. “November 30th does not represent a relaunch of HealthCare.gov,” said Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which operates the site. “It is not a magical date. There will be times after November 30th when the site, like any website, does not perform optimally.”

Find Your State’s Health-Insurance Exchange

For the fix-it drive that began in late October, the administration tapped former White House adviser Jeff Zients and QSSI, a unit of UnitedHealth Group, to act as the new lead contractor, establishing a 24-hour “war room” operations center to coordinate contractors who previously weren’t working well together. Since then, officials have focused on fixing the kinds of wrinkles that were most obvious to users.

They have reported success in speeding up the response time of the system, lowering it from an average of eight seconds at launch to less than one second for most users. They say they have eliminated a host of glitches in the software so that pages now load incorrectly less than 1% of the time. And they say they have added “visual cues” to help users navigate the system more easily.

Technicians have been racing to add new computer server, storage and database capacity to the website, hoping to get the site ready to withstand 50,000 simultaneous users by Sunday, as was originally intended, said people familiar with the work. “I think we are close,” said one.

Some people involved with enrollment say they have seen a notable uptick in recent weeks. Maine Community Health Options, a nonprofit plan based in Lewiston, Maine, now is getting “hundreds of enrollments” a day, rather than the dozens it saw trickling in earlier this month, said Chief Executive Kevin Lewis.

But problems with the performance of the site’s databases, storage and servers and their interaction with each other continue to slow the site or make it unavailable for short periods, according to government officials and contractors working on the project.

Explore how America’s health-care overhaul will affect you on this first-person adventure. CLICK THE IMAGE to start interactive experience.

Karen Egozi, CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, which has trained nearly 50 people to help others enroll, said the performance of the website has improved in recent weeks but suffers from unpredictable glitches. On Nov. 19, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius visited a medical center in Miami and watched a member of Ms. Egozi’s staff help a couple fill out an application. The website failed, in front of a local TV camera crew.

On the weekend of Nov. 23 and 24, Ms. Egozi said her navigators were able to sign up a few people. But on Nov. 25, she said the site was down for a little while. “Sometimes, similar to when the secretary was here, the site does not let us through to the next section,” she said. “It was not working today, but yesterday it worked well.”

One source of early problems: The government had bought web-hosting services from Terremark subsidiary that initially gave it a highly virtualized system of servers shared by other groups within the Medicare center, rather than a dedicated group of computer servers for HealthCare.gov. Plans are in place to replace the Verizon unit with H-P this spring.

HHS also didn’t initially contract for a backup website or monitoring tools like those used by sophisticated consumer sites, according to people familiar with the matter.

The website still has no separate backup copy, but it did replace the virtual database with dedicated hardware, and bought and installed monitoring software.

Meanwhile, the site has a backlog of users who encountered problems in its first weeks of operation. Some appear to be locked out from the early stages unless they can get their account deleted. Others are stuck at the next big stage, persuading the federal government of their identity and their income so their application for tax credits can be processed. 

Yannette Castellano waits to talk to a navigator about health-care options available under the Affordable Care Act, at the North Shore Medical Center, on Nov. 19 in Miami. AP

Guy Dicharry of Los Lunas, N.M., said he had been in limbo at the identity-verification stage since Oct. 5, despite giving the site personal information several times so it can confirm his income. He hasn’t heard back about a paper application submitted Nov. 1.

“This has been botched and is not getting fixed. If it’s not fixed, I’ll be ringing in 2014 as a newly uninsured person. I suspect that is the opposite of what the ACA was supposed to achieve,” said Mr. Dicharry, who described himself as a supporter of the Affordable Care Act. Because of their age and income, Mr. Dicharry and his wife stand to gain valuable subsidies toward the cost of coverage, but only if he buys it through the website.

Ronald Gallagher of Paradise Valley, Ariz., said he had been helping his daughter shop for coverage. After 16 hours over four days starting Oct. 1, they were told her identity was verified and she could pick a plan. But when they logged in to the website, it said her application was “In Progress.”

After failing to get help from a call center, father and daughter filled out an application over the phone in early November, but they still haven’t received a letter telling what insurance plans she qualifies for. “So far, nothing the government has done has worked,” Mr. Gallagher said.

Even when people successfully enroll, insurers say they sometimes get incorrect data. Ms. Bataille, the government spokeswoman, said officials have seen “marked improvements” in the information transmitted to insurers but “we know there are still issues that remain.” An HHS official also said that there had been improvements in identity verification, but that the agency knew it wasn’t fully fixed.

Mr. Lewis of Maine Community Health Options also worried about a larger volume of applicants, especially since insurers have now been told to find ways to process applications that come in from people as late as Dec. 23 in time for their coverage to begin Jan. 1, rather than a previous Dec. 15 deadline.

If “there’s an avalanche on that last date, I don’t know if the system will be able to support all that,” he said.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303332904579228413800602836

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Obama and Kerry Appease Iran — Netanyahu “Historic Mistake” — Bolton “Abject Surrender” — Peace in our Time or Time for Israel To Take Out Iran’s Nuclear Facilities Like It Did In Syria — Lessons of The Munich Agreement — Videos

Posted on November 24, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Diasters, Energy, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Nuclear Power, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Raves, Science, Technology, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Declaration-September-1938

Peace in our Time September 1938

Neville Chamberlain – Peace in our Time

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Sen Bob Corker (R-TN) Reacts To Iran Nuclear Deal On Fox News Sunday

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October 1 2013 Breaking News Mounting evidence suggests Israeli strike on Iran approaching

Israel versus Iran – Capabilities of War Defense Technologies – A must see!!!

The Road to World War 3

Israel blasts Iran nuclear deal as ‘historic mistake’

By Hazel Ward

Israel on Sunday lashed out at the Geneva nuclear deal brokered by world powers as being heavily stacked in Iran’s favour, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling it a “historic mistake.”

Following a months-long diplomatic campaign warning of the dangers of easing economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for steps to curb its contested nuclear programme, senior cabinet ministers chimed in, with one saying Israel reserved the right to strike Iran on its own.

Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday that “what was achieved yesterday in Geneva is not a historic agreement but rather a historic mistake,” according to a post on spokesman Ofir Gendelman’s Twitter account.

“This is a bad agreement,” said Netanyahu’s office in an earlier statement.

“It gives Iran exactly what it wanted — a significant easing of sanctions and allows it to keep hold of the most essential parts of its nuclear programme,” it said just hours after the historic accord was signed in Switzerland.

“The agreement allows Iran to continue enriching uranium and leaves all the centrifuges in place which allow it to create fissile material for nuclear weapons.

“Economic pressure on Iran could have produced a much better agreement that would have led to a dismantling of Iran’s nuclear capacities,” it concluded.

Israel …

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the agreement conferred legitimacy on Iran’s uranium enrichment programme in what he described as a diplomatic coup for the Islamic republic.

“This agreement is the greatest diplomatic victory of Iran, which has gained recognition for its so-called legitimate right to enrich uranium,” he told public radio.

‘All options are on table’

The hawkish, blunt-talking chief diplomat, who returned to office earlier this month after seeing off graft charges, stressed that “all options are on the table”.

“The responsibility for the security of the Jewish people and the population of Israel remains the sole responsibility of the Israeli government,” Lieberman said.

“All decisions in this regard will be taken independently and responsibly,” he added.

View gallery.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) speaks …

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) speaks near Israeli Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelbl …

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said the agreement was likely to bring Iran “closer” rather than further away from building a bomb.

“The current deal … is more likely to bring Iran closer to having a bomb. Israel cannot participate in the international celebration, which is based on Iranian deception and world self-delusion,” he said in a statement from his office.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the far-right Jewish Home, said Israel was not bound by the Geneva deal and had a right to self-defence.

“Iran is threatening Israel and Israel has the right to defend itself,” he told army radio.

Israel and much of the West believe Iran’s nuclear programme is a front for a weapons drive, a charge which Iran has repeatedly denied saying it is only for civilian purposes.

Tehran has a long history of belligerent statements towards the Jewish state, notably under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Israel has repeatedly warned that a nuclear Iran would pose an existential threat, refusing to rule out a preventative military strike on Iran’s atomic infrastructure.

The holocaust-denying Ahmadinejad, who was president for eight years, often questioned Israel’s right to exist, famously saying Israel should be “wiped from the page of time,” which was mistranslated as “wiped off the map”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, a key player in the marathon talks that led to the interim deal, had earlier tried to head off criticism by saying the agreement would push back the threat and ultimately make the Jewish state more secure.

“This first step, I want to emphasise, actually rolls back the programme from where it is today, enlarges the breakout time, which would not have occurred unless this agreement existed.

“It will make our partners in the region safer. It will make our ally Israel safer,” Kerry told reporters.

Israel — widely assumed to be the Middle East’s only atomic-armed nation — has warned the West against being hoodwinked by Iran’s apparent newfound moderation since President Hassan Rouhani, himself a former nuclear negotiator, replaced Ahmadinejad in August.

Kerry said Netanyahu had been updated on progress in the talks and that any differences between the United States and Israel on the issue were cosmetic.

“There is no difference whatsoever between the US and Israel of what the end goal is — that Iran will not have a nuclear weapon,” he added.

http://news.yahoo.com/israel-pm-says-iran-deal-historic-mistake-093026133.html

Abject Surrender by the United States

What does Israel do now?

BY JOHN BOLTON

Negotiations for an “interim” arrangement over Iran’s nuclear weapons program finally succeeded this past weekend, as Security Council foreign ministers (plus Germany) flew to Geneva to meet their Iranian counterpart.  After raising expectations of a deal by first convening on November 8-10, it would have been beyond humiliating to gather again without result.  So agreement was struck despite solemn incantations earlier that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

This interim agreement is badly skewed from America’s perspective.  Iran retains its full capacity to enrich uranium, thus abandoning a decade of Western insistence and Security Council resolutions that Iran stop all uranium-enrichment activities. Allowing Iran to continue enriching, and despite modest (indeed, utterly inadequate) measures to prevent it from increasing its enriched-uranium stockpiles and its overall nuclear infrastructure, lays the predicate for Iran fully enjoying its “right” to enrichment in any “final” agreement.  Indeed, the interim agreement itself acknowledges that a “comprehensive solution” will “involve a mutually defined enrichment program.”  This is not, as the Obama administration leaked before the deal became public, a “compromise” on Iran’s claimed “right” to enrichment. This is abject surrender by the United States.

In exchange for superficial concessions, Iran achieved three critical breakthroughs. First, it bought time to continue all aspects of its nuclear-weapons program the agreement does not cover (centrifuge manufacturing and testing; weaponization research and fabrication; and its entire ballistic missile program). Indeed, given that the interim agreement contemplates periodic renewals, Iran may have gained all of the time it needs to achieve weaponization not of simply a handful of nuclear weapons, but of dozens or more.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/abject-surrender-united-states_768140.html

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United Nations Earth Summit Agenda 21 — Sustainable Development — Videos

Posted on November 5, 2013. Filed under: Agriculture, American History, Banking, Biology, Blogroll, Books, Business, Chemistry, Climate, College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Culture, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Enivornment, European History, Farming, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Genocide, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Homes, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Medicine, Monetary Policy, Money, Natural Gas, Nuclear Power, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Physics, Politics, Press, Programming, Psychology, Quotations, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Science, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Video, War, Water, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , |

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Sustainability

Glenn Beck – Agenda 21 On O’Reilly

Glenn Beck Supports Agenda 21…His Book that is!

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Honourable Ann Bressington Exposes UN Agenda 21 Club of Rome Population Control World Government

Whistleblower Scientist Exposing Secrets of Agenda 21 Part1

Whistleblower Scientist Exposing Secrets of Agenda 21 Part 2

H.A.A.R.P., Agenda 21 and Google’s Role In The Sinister DNA Plan – Mature Content

Agenda 21: Global Control Starts Here – An Interview with Glenn Beck

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► Agenda 21, the NWO, Executive Order 13575, Sustainable Development, and Population Reduction

UN AGENDA 21 ” Sustainable Development “…..For Dummies. (Low).flv

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United Nations Agenda 21

Nature of Sustainable Development / United Nations AGENDA 21

John Birch Society on Agenda 21

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Death To America — Videos

Posted on November 2, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Bomb, Business, Comedy, Communications, Crime, Demographics, Diasters, Drug Cartels, Economics, Employment, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Islam, Life, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Press, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Science, Security, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

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Madtv: Death to America!

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Obamacare’s Metal Plans (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) With Higher Premiums and Deductibles — The Road To The Single Government Option Lead Plan — Videos

Posted on October 26, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Diasters, Economics, Education, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, History of Economic Thought, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Medicine, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Reviews, Science, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 156: October 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 155: October 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 154: October 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 153: October 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 152: October 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 151: October 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 150: October 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 149: October 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 148: October 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 147: October 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 146: October 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 145: October 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 144: October 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 143: October 4 2013

Pronk Pops Show 142: October 3, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 141: October 2, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 140: September 30, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 139: September 27, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 138: September 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 137: September 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 136: September 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 135: September 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 134: September 20, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 133: September 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 132: September 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 131: September 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 130: September 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 129: September 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 128: September 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 127: September 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 126: September 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 125: September 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 124: September 6, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-156

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Petty Petulant President Obama With Naricissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) Has Breakdown & Loses Composure — Totally Lacks Empathy — Should Be Committed — American People Pray He Will — Videos

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Narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder[1] in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. This condition affects one percent of the population.[better source needed][2][3] First formulated in 1968, it was historically called megalomania, and is severeegocentrism.[citation needed]

History

The use of the term “narcissism” to describe excessive vanity and self-centeredness predates by many years the modern medical classification of narcissistic personality disorder. The condition was named after a mythological Greek youth named Narcissus who became infatuated with his own reflection in a lake. He did not realize at first that it was his own reflection, but when he did, he died out of grief for having fallen in love with someone that did not exist outside of himself. Although this may not be the only version of the myth, it is one of the more popular ones.

The term “narcissistic personality structure” was introduced by Kernberg in 1967[4] and “narcissistic personality disorder” first proposed by Heinz Kohut in 1968.[5]

Description

Persons diagnosed with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder are characterized by unwarranted feelings of self-importance. They have a sense of entitlement and demonstrate grandiosity in their beliefs and behavior. They have a strong need for admiration, but lack feelings of empathy. These qualities are usually defenses against a deep feeling of inferiority and of being unloved.[6]

Symptoms

Symptoms of this disorder, as defined by the DSM-IV-TR include:[1]

  • Expects to be recognized as superior and special, without superior accomplishments
  • Expects constant attention, admiration and positive reinforcement from others
  • Envies others and believes others envy him/her
  • Is preoccupied with thoughts and fantasies of great success, enormous attractiveness, power, intelligence
  • Lacks the ability to empathize with the feelings or desires of others
  • Is arrogant in attitudes and behavior
  • Has expectations of special treatment that are unrealistic

Per the Mayo Clinic, narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by dramatic, emotional behavior, which is in the same category as antisocial and borderline personality disorders.[7]

Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

  • Believing that you’re better than others
  • Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
  • Exaggerating your achievements or talents
  • Expecting constant praise and admiration
  • Believing that you’re special and acting accordingly
  • Failing to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings
  • Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
  • Taking advantage of others
  • Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
  • Being jealous of others
  • Believing that others are jealous of you
  • Trouble keeping healthy relationships
  • Setting unrealistic goals
  • Being easily hurt and rejected
  • Having a fragile self-esteem
  • Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

In addition to these symptoms, the person may display arrogance, show superiority, and seek power.[8] The symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder can be similar to the traits of individuals with strong self-esteem and confidence; differentiation occurs when the underlying psychological structures of these traits are considered pathological. Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self-worth that they value themselves as inherently better than others, when in reality they have a fragile self-esteem, cannot handlecriticism, and will often try to compensate for this inner fragility by belittling or disparaging others in an attempt to validate their own self-worth. It is this tendency that is characteristic of narcissism as opposed to other psychological conditions affecting level of self-worth.[9]

In children, inflated self-views and grandiose feelings, which are characteristics of narcissism, are part of the normal self-development. Children typically cannot understand the difference between their actual and their ideal self, which causes an unrealistic perception of the self. After about age 8, views of the self, both positive and negative, begin to develop based on comparisons of peers, and become more realistic. Two factors that cause self-view to remain unrealistic are dysfunctional interactions with parents that can be either excessive attention or a lack thereof. The child will either compensate for lack of attention or act in terms of unrealistic self-perception.[10]

The Childhood Narcissism Scale (CNS) measurements concluded that narcissistic children seek to impress others and gain admiration but do not have any interest in creating sincere friendships. Pathological lies and interpersonal exploitation are hallmarks of narcissism. CNS researchers have measured that childhood narcissism has become more prevalent in Western society; any types of activities that focus on overly praising the individual can raise narcissistic levels. More research is needed to find the reasons that promote or protect against narcissism.[10]

Causes

The cause of this disorder is unknown, however Groopman and Cooper list the following factors identified by various researchers as possibilities:[2]

  • An oversensitive temperament at birth
  • Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback
  • Excessive praise for good behaviors or excessive criticism for bad behaviors in childhood
  • Overindulgence and overvaluation by parents, other family members, or peers
  • Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or abilities by adults
  • Severe emotional abuse in childhood
  • Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents
  • Learning manipulative behaviors from parents
  • Valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem

Some narcissistic traits are common and a normal developmental phase. When these traits are compounded by a failure of the interpersonal environment and continue into adulthood, they may intensify to the point where NPD is diagnosed.[11] Some psychotherapists believe that the etiology of the disorder is, in Freudian terms, the result of fixation to early childhood development.[12]

A 1994 study by Gabbard and Twemlow.[13] “The Role of MotherSon Incest in The Pathogenesis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Vol. 42, No. 1, 171–189 (1994)

Theories

Pathological narcissism occurs in a spectrum of severity. In its more extreme forms, it is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). NPD is considered to result from a person’s belief that they are flawed in a way that makes them fundamentally unacceptable to others.[14] This belief is held below the person’s conscious awareness; such a person would, if questioned, typically deny thinking such a thing. In order to protect themselves against the intolerably painful rejection and isolation that (they imagine) would follow if others recognized their (perceived) defective nature, such people make strong attempts to control others’ views of them and behavior towards them.

Pathological narcissism can develop from an impairment in the quality of the person’s relationship with their primary caregivers, usually their parents, in that the parents could not form a healthy and empathic attachment to them.[15] This results in the child’s perception of himself/herself as unimportant and unconnected to others. The child typically comes to believe they have some personality defect that makes them unvalued and unwanted.[16]

To the extent that people are pathologically narcissistic, they can be controlling, blaming, self-absorbed, intolerant of others’ views, unaware of others’ needs and of the effects of their behavior on others, and insistent that others see them as they wish to be seen.[17]

Narcissistic individuals use various strategies to protect the self at the expense of others. They tend to devalue, derogate and blame others, and they respond to threatening feedback with anger and hostility.[18]

People who are overly narcissistic commonly feel rejected, humiliated and threatened when criticised. To protect themselves from these dangers, they often react with disdain, rage, and/or defiance to any slight criticism, real or imagined.[19] To avoid such situations, some narcissistic people withdraw socially and may feign modesty or humility. In cases where the narcissistic personality-disordered individual feels a lack of admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation, he or she may also manifest a desire to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply).

Although individuals with NPD are often ambitious and capable, the inability to tolerate setbacks, disagreements or criticism, along with lack of empathy, make it difficult for such individuals to work cooperatively with others or to maintain long-term professional achievements.[20] With narcissistic personality disorder, the individual’s self-perceived fantastic grandiosity, often coupled with a hypomanic mood, is typically not commensurate with his or her real accomplishments.

Splitting

Main article: Splitting (psychology)

People who are diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder use splitting as a central defense mechanism. According to psychoanalyst Kernberg, “the normal tension between actual self on the one hand, and ideal self and ideal object on the other, is eliminated by the building up of an inflated self-concept within which the actual self and the ideal self and ideal object are confused. At the same time, the remnants of the unacceptable images are repressed and projected onto external objects, which are devalued.”[21]

The merging of the “inflated self-concept” and the “actual self” is seen in the inherent grandiosity of narcissistic personality disorder. Also inherent in this process are the defense mechanisms of devaluationidealization and denial.[22] Other people are either manipulated as an extension of one’s own self, who serve the sole role of giving “admiration and approval”[23] or they are seen as worthless (because they cannot collude with the narcissist’s grandiosity).[24]

Relationship to shame

It has been suggested that narcissistic personality disorder may be related to defenses against shame.[25] Psychiatrist Glen Gabbard suggested NPD could be broken down into two subtypes.[26] He saw the “oblivious” subtype as being grandiose, arrogant, and thick-skinned and the “hypervigilant” subtype as being easily hurt, oversensitive, and ashamed. In his view, the oblivious subtype presents for admiration, envy, and appreciation of a powerful, grandiose self that is the antithesis of a weak internalized self, which hides in shame, while the hypervigilant subtype neutralizes devaluation by seeing others as unjust abusers. Dr. Jeffrey Young, who coined the term “Schema Therapy“, a technique originally developed by psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck (1979), also links NPD and shame. He sees the so-called Defectiveness Schema as a core schema of NPD, along with the Emotional Deprivation and Entitlement Schemas.[27]

Diagnosis

Proposed removal from DSM-5[edit]

The Personality and Personality Disorders Work Group originally proposed[28] the elimination of NPD as a distinct disorder in DSM-5[29] as part of a major revamping of the diagnostic criteria for personality disorders, replacing a categorical with a dimensional approach based on the severity of dysfunctional personality trait domains.

Some clinicians objected to this, characterizing the new diagnostic system as an “unwieldy conglomeration of disparate models that cannot happily coexist” and may have limited usefulness in clinical practice.[30]

In July 2011, the Work Group came back with a major revision to their original proposal. In this revision, NPD was reinstated with dramatic changes to its definition.[31] The general move towards a dimensional (personality trait-based) view of the Personality Disorders has been maintained despite the reintroduction of NPD.

ICD-10[edit]

The World Health Organization‘s ICD-10 lists narcissistic personality disorder under (F60.8) Other specific personality disorders.[32]

It is a requirement of ICD-10 that a diagnosis of any specific personality disorder also satisfies a set of general personality disorder criteria.

Subtypes[edit]

Theodore Millon identified five narcissist subtypes,[3][33] however, there are few pure variants of any subtype.[33]

Subtype Description Personality Traits
Unprincipled narcissist Including antisocial features. A charlatan who is a fraudulent,exploitative, deceptive, and unscrupulous individual Deficient conscience; unscrupulous, amoral, disloyal, fraudulent, deceptive, arrogant, exploitive; a con man and charlatan; dominating, contemptuous, vindictive.
Amorous narcissist Including histrionic features. The Don Juan or Casanova of our times who is erotic, exhibitionist Sexually seductive, enticing, beguiling, tantalizing; glib and clever; disinclines real intimacy; indulges hedonistic desires; bewitches and inveigles others; pathological lying and swindling.
Compensatorynarcissist Including negativistic features Seeks to counteract or cancel out deep feelings of inferiority and lack of self-esteem; offsets deficits by creating illusions of being superior, exceptional, admirable, noteworthy; self-worth results from self-enhancement.
Elitistnarcissist Variant of “pure” pattern. Corresponds to Wilhelm Reich’sphallic narcissistic” personality type Feels privileged and empowered by virtue of special childhood status and pseudo achievements; entitled façade bears little relation to reality; seeks favored and good life; is upwardly mobile; cultivates special status and advantages by association.
Fanaticnarcissist Including paranoid features An individual whose self-esteem was severely arrested during childhood, who usually displays major paranoid tendencies, and who holds on to an illusion of omnipotence. These people are fighting delusions of insignificance and lost value, and trying to re-establish their self-esteem through grandiose fantasies and self-reinforcement. When unable to gain recognition or support from others, they take on the role of a heroic or worshipped person with a grandiose mission.

Other theorists have identified two types of narcissism. Those narcissists who have been diagnosed with narcissistic grandiosity express behavior “through interpersonally exploitative acts, lack of empathy, intense envy, aggression, and exhibitionism.”[34] Another type of narcissism is narcissistic vulnerability. It entails (on a conscious level) “helplessness, emptiness, low self-esteem, and shame, which can be expressed in the behavior as being socially avoidant in situations where their self-presentation is not possible so they withdraw, or the approval they need/expect is not being met.”[34]

Treatment

Clinical strategies are outlined by Heinz KohutStephen M. Johnson and James F. Masterson, while Johns[16] discusses a continuum of severity and the kinds of therapy most effective in different cases. Schema Therapy, a form of therapy developed by Jeffrey Young that integrates several therapeutic approaches (psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral etc.), also offers an approach for the treatment of NPD.[35] It is unusual for people to seek therapy for NPD. Unconscious fears of exposure or inadequacy often cause defensive disdain of therapeutic processes.[36][37] Pattern change strategies, over a long period of time, are for the narcissist to work on increasing their ability to become more empathetic in everyday relationships. To help modify their sense of entitlement and self-centeredness schema is to help them identify how to utilize their unique talents and to help others rather than for their own personal gain. This is not going to change their self-perception of their “entitlement” feeling but more so help them empathize with others. Another type of treatment would be temperament change.[38]

Anger, rage, impulsivity and impatience can be worked on with skill training. Medication can also be an effective addition if needed. Anxiety disorders and somatoma dysfunctions are prevalent but the most common would be depression. Medication can be extremely beneficial when treating the disorder with regular therapy. Medications to help reduce impulsivity, depression, and anger (along with skilled training) will help the person create interpersonal relationships, be less impulsive, be less angry, and treat the depression/anxiety.[38]

Group treatment has its benefits as the effectiveness of receiving peer feedback rather than the clinician’s may be more accepted, but group therapy can also contradict itself as the patient may show “demandingness, egocentrism, social isolation and withdrawal, and socially deviant behavior.” Relationship therapy stresses the importance of learning and applying four basic interpersonal skills: “effective expression, empathy, discussion and problem solving/conflict resolution.” Marital/relationship therapy is most beneficial when both partners participate.[38]

Correlative associations

NPD is comorbid with mood disorders, eating disorders, substance-related disorders and four personality disorders: antisocial, borderline, histrionic and paranoid.[39] NPD is also comorbid with DSM Axis I major depressive disorder.[40]

Eating disorders

The study of Narcissism and the Narcissistic Defenses in the Eating Disorders was concerned with the correlation between eating pathology and narcissism. Two types of narcissism were observed: core narcissism, having extremely positive (high) self-esteem combined with delusions about the level and ability of achievement; and narcissistic defenses, defenses that are triggered when self-esteem is threatened. Such narcissists maintain self-esteem by seeing themselves as misunderstood and a subject to intolerable demands.[41]

Two types of narcissistic defenses that were measured with eating pathology were “poisonous pedagogy” and “narcissistically abused”. Poisonous pedagogy is one who places blame on others and is overly critical of others’ inadequacies. The narcissistically abused are those who put others’ needs before theirs yet see themselves as being poorly treated (“poor me”). Two groups were measured: Clinical (83 women and one male with the mean age of 28.4) and Non Clinical (70 women mean age of 23.2). BMI of groups did not significantly vary. They filled out a questionnaire that was measured by eating characteristic and narcissism levels by the OMNI (O’Brien Multiphasic Narcissism Inventory) and the EDE-Q (Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire). OMNI measures pathological narcissism of narcissistic personality, poisonous pedagogy, and narcissistically abused personality. EDE-Q measures the common eating disorders: restraint, eating concern, body shape concern, and body weight concern.[41]

The basic summaries of the questionnaire’s findings were the poisonous pedagogy defenses was related to restrictive mind-set; narcissistically abused defense related to restraint, eating concern, body shape concern, and body weight concern. The only main difference between the groups was the role of core narcissism in the clinical women’s levels of eating concerns. Further research is needed to better understand the relationship approaches in both groups.[41]

Professional attainment

In 2005, Board and Fritzon published the results of a study in which they interviewed senior business managers, assessing them for the presence of personality disorder.[42]Comparing their findings to three samples of psychiatric patients, they found that their senior business managers were as likely to demonstrate narcissistic traits as the patient population, although were less physically aggressive.

Epidemiology

Lifetime prevalence is estimated at 1% in the general population and 2% to 16% in clinical populations.[2][43]

In 2009, Twenge and Campbell conducted studies suggesting that the incidence of NPD had more than doubled in the US in the prior 10 years, and that 1 in 16 of the population have experienced NPD.[44]

Cultural depictions

In the film To Die ForNicole Kidman’s character wants to appear on television at all costs, even if this involves murdering her husband. A psychiatric assessment of her character noted that she “was seen as a prototypical narcissistic person by the raters: on average, she satisfied 8 of 9 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder… had she been evaluated for personality disorders, she would receive a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder.”[45]

See also

References

  1. Jump up to:a b Narcissistic personality disorder – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth edition Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) American Psychiatric Association(2000)
  2. Jump up to:a b c “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”Personality Disorders – Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Armenian Medical Network. 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-14.Unknown parameter |unused_data= ignored (help)
  3. Jump up to:a b Millon, Theodore (1996). Disorders of Personality: DSM-IV-TM and Beyond. New York: John Wiley and Sons. p. 393. ISBN 0-471-01186-X.
  4. Jump up^ Kernberg O, Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism, 1967
  5. Jump up^ Kohut H The Psychoanalytic Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorders: Outline of a Systematic Approach, 1968
  6. Jump up^ Glossary of Terms -Narcissistic personality disorder
  7. Jump up^ Narcissistic personality disorder: Symptoms – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2011. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/narcissistic-personality-disorder/DS00652/DSECTION=symptoms
  8. Jump up^ Ronnigstam E. (2011). “Narcissistic personality disorder: A clinical perspective”.Journal of Psychiatric Practice 17 (2): 89-99. Ronningstam, E. (2011). “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. Journal of Psychiatric Practice 17 (2): 89–99.doi:10.1097/01.pra.0000396060.67150.40PMID 21430487edit
  9. Jump up^ Narcissistic personality disorder: Symptoms – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2011. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/narcissistic-personality-disorder/DS00652/DSECTION=symptoms
  10. Jump up to:a b Development and Validation of the Childhood Narcissism Scale, SANDER THOMAES,1,2 HEDY STEGGE,1 BRAD J. BUSHMAN,3,4 TJEERT OLTHOF,1 AND JAAP DENISSEN. Department of Psychology, VU University, The Netherlands Department of Psychology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands Department of Psychology, University of Michigan Department of Communication Sciences, VU University, The Netherlands
  11. Jump up^ Cooper AM: Narcissism in normal development, in Character Pathology. Edited by Zales M. New York, Brunner/Mazel, 1984, pp. 39–56.
  12. Jump up^ Joseph Fernando, MPSY, M.D., The Etiology of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, (1998). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 53:141–158.
  13. Jump up^ Gabbard, Glen O., Stuart W. Twemlow. 1994
  14. Jump up^ Golomb, Elan PhD (1992). Trapped in the Mirror. New York: Morrow, pp. 19–20.
  15. Jump up^ Dr. Ken Magid (1987). High risk children without a conscience. Bantam. p. 67.ISBN 0-553-05290-X. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  16. Jump up to:a b Stephen M. Johnson (1 May 1987). Humanizing the narcissistic style. W.W. Norton. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-393-70037-4. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  17. Jump up^ full list in DSM-IV-TR, p. 717.
  18. Jump up^ Identifying and understanding the narcissistic personality Elsa F. Ronningstam. Oxfard University Press Inc.
  19. Jump up^ American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 1994, p. 659.
  20. Jump up^ Golomb, Elan PhD (1992). Trapped in the Mirror. New York: Morrow, p. 22.
  21. Jump up^ Kernberg, O.F. (1970). Factors in the psychoanalytic treatment of narcissistic personalities. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 18:51–85, p. 56
  22. Jump up^ Siegel, J.P. (2006). Dyadic splitting in partner relational disorders. Journal of Family Psychology, 20 (3), 418–422
  23. Jump up^ Kernberg, O.F. (1970). Factors in the psychoanalytic treatment of narcissistic personalities. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 18:51–85, p. 52
  24. Jump up^ Kernberg, O.F. (1970). Factors in the psychoanalytic treatment of narcissistic personalities. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 18:51–85
  25. Jump up^ Wurmser L, Shame, the veiled companion of narcissism, in The Many Faces of Shame, edited by Nathanson DL. New York, Guilford, 1987, pp. 64–92.
  26. Jump up^ Gabbard GO, subtypes of narcissistic personality disorder. Bull Menninger Clin 1989; 53:527–532.
  27. Jump up^ Young, Klosko, Weishaar: Schema Therapy – A Practitioner’s Guide, 2003, p. 375.
  28. Jump up^ DSM-5: Proposed Revisions: Personality and Personality DisordersAmerican Psychiatric Association. 2010-02-13.
  29. Jump up^ Zanor, Charles (29 November 2010). “A Fate That Narcissists Will Hate: Being Ignored”The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  30. Jump up^ Shedler, Jonathan; Aaron Beck, Peter Fonagy, Glen O. Gabbard, John Gunderson, Otto Kernberg, Robert Michels, and Drew Westen (September 2010). “Personality Disorders in DSM-5″American Journal of Psychiatry 167 (9): 1026–1028.doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2010.10050746PMID 20826853. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  31. Jump up^ http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=19
  32. Jump up^ Narcissistic personality disorder – International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10)
  33. Jump up to:a b Millon, Theodore, Personality Subtypes
  34. Jump up to:a b Initial Construction and Validation of the Pathological Narcissism Inventory, Aaron L. Pincus, Emily B. Ansell, Claudia A. Pimentel, Nicole M. Cain, Aidan G. C. Wright, Kenneth N. Levy
  35. Jump up^ Young, Klosko, Weishaar: Schema Therapy – A Practitioner’s Guide, 2003, chapter 10, pp. 373–424.
  36. Jump up^ Golomb, Elan PhD (1992). Trapped in the Mirror. New York: Morrow, p. 23.
  37. Jump up^ Kohut, Heinz, (1971). The Analysis of the Self: A Systematic Approach to the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorders ISBN 978-0-8236-0145-5
  38. Jump up to:a b c Sperry, Lynn (1999) Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Cognitive Behavior Therapy of DSM-IV Personality Disorders: Highly Effective Interventions for the Most Common Personality Disorders. (131-138). Ann Arbor, MI: Edwards Brothers.
  39. Jump up^ NPD prevalence and comorbidity
  40. Jump up^ [1]
  41. Jump up to:a b c Narcissism and Narcissistic Defences in the Eating Disorders Glenn Waller, BA, MClinPsychol, DPhil, Jennie Sines, BSc3, Caroline Meyer, BSc, PhD, Anna Skelton, BSc3, Emma Foster, BSc
  42. Jump up^ “Disorder personalities at work”, Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon, 2005, Psychology, Crime and Law, 11(1), pp.17-32. <http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10683160310001634304>
  43. Jump up^ Megalomaniacs abound in politics/medicine/finance Business Day 2011/01/07
  44. Jump up^ Twenge, Jean M. & Campbell, W. Keith The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement (2009)
  45. Jump up^ Hesse, Morten; Schliewe S, Thomsen RR (2005). “Rating of personality disorder features in popular movie characters”BMC Psychiatry (London: BioMed Central) 5: 45. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-5-45PMC 1325244PMID 16336663.

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Posted on October 2, 2013. Filed under: American History, Babies, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, government, government spending, High School, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Math, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Programming, Psychology, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Reviews, Science, Strategy, Technology, Unemployment, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , |

BL-common-core-update-AUG-2013

What do the Common Core State Standards mean to you?

Ben Swann Exposes Common Core Curriculum

Joy Pullmann on Common Core

Problems with Common Core

PJTV: How the Obama Administration Is Dumbing Down Education

Obama’s Race to the Bottom: US Is Seizing School Power and Setting Lower Education Standards

PJTV: Obama Replacing Classics with Government Propaganda

Common Core State Standards – An Introduction To Marxism 101

FIXING AMERICA’S EDUCATION “BILL GATES” !

Bill Gates at the National Conference of State Legislatures (clip 4)

Bill Gates at the National Conference of State Legislatures (clip 5)

Bill Gates at the National Conference of State Legislatures (clip 6)

Bill Gates: How state budgets are breaking US schools

Why was a parent arrested for protesting Common Core

SHOCKING! Parent Arrested for Objecting to Obama Common Core

Common Core debate: Critics blast new education standards

Reclaiming Education Freedom: The Fight to Stop Common Core National Standards and Tests

“Common Core Common Sense: Why It’s Illiberal and Unconstitutional”

Who Is Behind The Privatization Of Education:Gates, Broad, KIPP, Pearson, WestEd & The Gulen Schools

Bill Bennett Endorses the Common Core

Resource Bank 2013: Confronting the Common Core: Strategic Discussion

Exposing Common Core

The Problem With Common Core – July 27, 2013 Boise, Idaho

Stopping Common Core National Standards and Tests

The Glenn Beck Program: Common Core and Education

You’ll never guess who is supporting Common Core?

GLENN BECK,Did Bill Gates admit the real purpose of Common Core?

The Government will Control Your Childs Every Move? Common Core Disaster?

The Danger Of Common Core – TheBlazeTV – The Glenn Beck Radio Program – 2013.03.15

Common Core Glenn Beck

Learn the Common Core Standards in 10 Minutes

Common Core: Dangers And Threats To American Liberty And Education

Common Core Standards – Fact and Fiction

Part 1 of 5 Stop the Common Core

Part 2 of 5 Stop the Common Core

Part 3 of 5 Stop the Common Core

Part 4 of 5 Stop the Common Core

Part 5 of 5 Stop the Common Core

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Who used chemical weapons in Syria? Syrian Rebels (FSA) or Syrian Regime (SAA) — American People Do Not Want To Take Sides in Syrian Civil War — Videos

Posted on September 3, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Bomb, College, Communications, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Islam, Islam, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Religion, Science, Security, Shite, Sunni, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Transportation, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

Syrian-Rebels-Canister

Syrian “rebels” are firing chemical weapons.

Published on Aug 26, 2013

FSA or SAA?
FSA or SAA?
FSA or SAA?
Syrian “rebels” are firing chemical weapons.
Syrian “rebels” are firing chemical weapons.
Syrian “rebels” are firing chemical weapons.

SYRIA UPDATE: Chemical Weapons Used For False Flag Operations.

FULL: President Obama Decides US to Take Military Action on Syria – Statement 8/31/2013

Syria Rebels testing Tekkim chemicals to use as chem weapons

Published on Dec 5, 2012

This video appeared on YouTube yesterday showing what appears to be a rebel group in Syria testing a chemical combination to be used as a chemical weapon (most likely nerve agents as judged by the reaction of lab rabbits in the video) and threatening to use this chem weapon against civilians in Syria on a sectarian basis.

Non-Arabic speakers: Please click the captions button.

Pat Buchanan: Syria Chemical Weapons Attack “Reeks of False Flag Operation”

SYRIAN CHEMICAL FALSE FLAG – Professor Points Out Why Assad Chemical Attack Doesnt Add Up

50. The 3 Coming False Flag Attacks

What really happened at Tonkin Gulf?

The false flag Gulf of Tonkin Incident Vietnam

Gulf of Tonkin: The Record Set Straight

17 False Flag Operations in AMERICA done by The FBI

Panetta: No new signs Syria prepping WMD

CHEMICAL WEAPONS: US Armed FSA Syrian Rebels Use SARIN NERVE GAS!

Published on May 11, 2013

CHEMICAL WEAPONS: US Armed FSA Syrian Rebels Use SARIN NERVE GAS!

The US Defense Secretary says the old order in the Middle East is disappearing, although it’s still not clear what will replace it. Chuck Hagel stressed the conflict in Syria is becoming increasingly more sectarian and extremist, with the country’s collapse now more real than ever. But, while some US lawmakers make fresh calls for military intervention, Washington’s taken a backseat.

GENEVA — U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.

The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.

“Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.

“This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” she added.

Del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney-general who also served as prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, gave no details as to when or where sarin may have been used.

The Geneva-based inquiry into war crimes and other human rights violations is separate from an investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria instigated by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which has since stalled.

President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the rebels accuse each another of carrying out three chemical weapon attacks, one near Aleppo and another near Damascus, both in March, and another in Homs in December.

The civil war began with anti-government protests in March 2011. The conflict has now claimed an estimated 70,000 lives and forced 1.2 million Syrian refugees to flee.

The United States has said it has “varying degrees of confidence” that sarin has been used by Syria’s government on its people.

President Barack Obama last year declared that the use or deployment of chemical weapons by Assad would cross a “red line”.

UN has testimony showing Syrian rebels used sarin gas

Syrian Rebels Claim Saudi Prince Bandar Responsible For Chemical Weapons Attack

CHEMICAL WARFARE: Al-Nusra REBELS fighters detained in TURKEY after found in possession of SARIN GAS

Is Turkey supplying chemical weapons to rebels in Syria?

Yes, the Syrian Rebels DO Have Access to Chemical Weapons

Washington’s Blog
Sept 2, 2013

One of the U.S. government’s main justifications for its claim that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack is that the rebels don’t have chemical weapons.

However, multiple lines of evidence show that the rebels do have chemical weapons.

Potential Looting of Syrian Weapons

The Washington Post noted last December:

U.S. officials are increasingly worried that Syria’s weapons of mass destruction could fall into the hands of Islamist extremists, rogue generals or other uncontrollable factions.

Last week, fighters from a group that the Obama administration has branded aterrorist organization were among rebels who seized the Sheik Suleiman military base near Aleppo, where research on chemical weapons had been conducted. Rebels are also closing in on another base near Aleppo, known as Safirah, which has served as a major production center for such munitions, according to U.S. officials and analysts.

***

A former Syrian general who once led the army’s chemical weapons training program said that the main storage sites for mustard gas and nerve agents are supposed to be guarded by thousands of Syrian troops but that they would be easily overrun.

The sites are not secure, retired Maj. Gen. Adnan Silou, who defected to the opposition in June, said in an interview near Turkey’s border with Syria. “Probablyanyone from the Free Syrian Army or any Islamic extremist group could take them over,” he said.

***

As the Syrian opposition steadily makes territorial gains, U.S. officials and analysts said the odds are increasing that insurgents will seize control of a chemical weapons site or that Syrian troops guarding the installations will simply abandon their posts.

It’s almost inevitable,” [Michael Eisenstadt, a retired Army officer who directs the military and security studies program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy] said. “It may have already happened, for what we know.”

***

Last week, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the al-Nusra Front — an anti-Assad group that has been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and is also known as Jabhat al-Nusra — had seized a chlorine factory near the town of Safirah, east of Aleppo. “Terrorist groups may resort to using chemical weapons against the Syrian people,” the ministry cautioned.

AP reports:

Questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria’s chemical weapons stores ….

A report by the Office of the Director for National Intelligence outlining that evidence against Syria includes a few key caveats — including acknowledging that the U.S. intelligence community no longer has the certainty it did six months ago of where the regime’s chemical weapons are stored ….

U.S. and allied spies have lost track of who controls some of the country’s chemical weapons supplies, according to the two intelligence officials and two other U.S. officials.

***

U.S. analysts … are also not certain that when they saw what looked like Assad’s forces moving chemical supplies, those forces were able to remove everything before rebels took over an area where weapons had been stored.

AP hit the nail on the head when it wrote:

U.S. intelligence officials are not so certain that the suspected chemical attack was carried out on Assad’s orders, or even completely sure it was carried out by government forces, the officials said.

***

Another possibility that officials would hope to rule out: that stocks had fallen out of the government’s control and were deployed by rebels in a callous and calculated attempt to draw the West into the war.

Looting of Libyan Chemical Weapons

Fox News reported in 2011:

In August, Fox News interviewed Rep. Mike Rogers, R.-Mich., who said he saw a chemical weapon stockpile in the country during a 2004 trip. At the time, he said the U.S. was concerned about “thousands of pounds of very active mustard gas.”

He also said there is some sarin gas that is unaccounted for.

The Wall Street Journal noted in 2011:

Spread across the desert here off the Sirte-Waddan road sits one of the biggest threats to Western hopes for Libya: a massive, unguarded weapons depot that is being pillaged daily by anti-Gadhafi military units, hired work crews and any enterprising individual who has the right vehicle and chooses to make the trip.

In one of dozens of warehouses the size of a single-family home, Soviet-era guided missiles remain wrapped inside crates stacked to the 15-foot ceiling. In another, dusted with sand, are dozens of sealed cases labeled “warhead.” Artillery rounds designed to carry chemical weapons are stashed in the back of another. Rockets, antitank grenades and projectiles of all calibers are piled so high they defy counting….

Convoys of armed groups from all over Libya have made the trek here and piled looted weapons into trailer trucks, dump trucks, buses and even empty meat trucks….

The highly-regarded NTI reported the same year:

In the desert near Sirte, there was no security for dozens of small armories at the complex, where weapons are removed every day by opposition fighters, paid contractors and others. In one structure, the word “warhead” was stamped on dozens of sealed containers. At another depot, empty chemical agent munitions were found.

There is at present no viable Libyan government-sanctioned force with the capacity to keep freelancer fighters from taking what they please from the warehouses, according to the Journal.

***

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) visited the Libyan capital, where he said gaining control over the country’s armories was a “very big topic.”

“We have a game plan to secure the weapon caches, particularly biological and chemical weapons,” McCain said.

The Telegraph reported last year:

Al Qaeda terrorists in North Africa could be in possession of chemical weapons, a leading Spanish intelligence officer said on Monday.

The head of National Police counter-terrorist intelligence, Commissioner-General Enrique Baron, told a strategic security conference in Barcelona that it was believed that the self-styled Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb – AQMI – could have acquired such arms in Libya or elsewhere during the Arab Spring last year.

***

Commissioner Baron told his audience: “The Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb has acquired and used very powerful conventional arms and probably also has non-conventional arms, basically chemical, as a result of the loss of control of arsenals.”

The most likely place where this could have happened was in Libya during the uprising which overthrew the Gaddafi regime, said Commissioner Baron.

In his position as the head of Spanish National Police intelligence the Commissioner-General works closely with MI6, the CIA and other Western European intelligence services.

Remember, the head of the Libyan rebels admitted that the rebels were largely Al Qaeda.  CNN, theTelegraph,  the Washington Times, and many other mainstream sources confirm that Al Qaeda terrorists from Libya have since flooded into Syria to fight the Assad regime … bringing their arms with them.  And the post-Gaddafi Libyan government is also itself a top funder and arms supplier of the Syrian opposition.  (CNN notes that the CIA may have had a hand in this operation.)

Other Countries

A reporter who has written extensively for Associated PressBBC and National Public Radio reports thatlocals in the area hit by chemical weapons allege that Saudi Arabia supplied the chemicals. And see this.

Bush administration official Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson and British MP George Galloway speculate that Israel or another country may have given chemical weapons to the Syrian rebels.

We don’t know which countries did or didn’t give chemical weapons to the rebels. The point is that there are quite a few opportunities or possibilities.

Evidence of Possession and Use

The above, of course, is simply speculation.  More important is actual evidence of possession and use.

Turkish state newspaper Zaman reported earlier this year (Google translation):

The Turkish General Directorate of Security … seized 2 kg of sarin gas in the city of Adana in the early hours of yesterday morning. The chemical weapons were in the possession of Al Nusra terrorists believed to have been heading for Syria.

Haaretz reported on March 24th, “Jihadists, not Assad, apparently behind reported chemical attack in Syria“.

UN investigator Carla Del Ponte said that there is strong evidence that the rebels used chemical weapons, but that there is not evidence that the government used such weapons.

http://www.infowars.com/yes-the-syrian-rebels-do-have-access-to-chemical-weapons/

Russia Claims Syrian Rebels Used Chemical Weapons

By PETER JAMES SPIELMANN and EDITH M. LEDERER

UNITED NATIONS — Russia’s U.N. ambassador said Tuesday that Russian experts determined that Syrian rebels made sarin nerve gas and used it in a deadly chemical weapon attack outside Aleppo in March.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin blamed opposition fighters for the March 19 attack in the government-controlled Aleppo suburb of Khan al-Assal, which he said killed 26 people, including 16 military personnel, and injured 86 others.

The rebels have blamed the government for the attack. The U.S. Britain and France have said they have seen no evidence to indicate that the opposition has acquired or used chemical weapons.

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said “We have yet to see any evidence that backs up the assertion that anybody besides the Syrian government has had the ability to use chemical weapons or has used chemical weapons.”

Churkin told reporters after delivering an 80-page report to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the Assad regime asked Russia, its closest ally, to investigate the attack after a U.N. team of chemical weapons experts was unable to enter the country in a dispute over the probe’s scope.

Acting U.S. Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo said Syrian President Bashar Assad should now allow U.N. chemical weapons experts into the country to conduct an investigation of the Khan al-Assal incident as well as other allegations of chemical weapons use by the U.S., U.K., and France.

The samples taken from the impact site of the gas-laden projectile were analyzed at a Russian laboratory certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Churkin said.

He said the analysis showed that the unguided Basha’ir-3 rocket that hit Khan al-Assal was not a military-standard chemical weapon.

Churkin said the results indicate it “was not industrially manufactured and was filled with sarin.” He said the samples indicated the sarin and the projectile were produced in makeshift “cottage industry” conditions, and the projectile “is not a standard one for chemical use.”

The absence of chemical stabilizers, which are needed for long-term storage and later use, indicated its “possibly recent production,” Churkin said.

“Therefore, there is every reason to believe that it was the armed opposition fighters who used the chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal,” Churkin said.

“According to information at our disposal,” he added, “the production of `Basha’ir 3′ unguided projectiles was started in February 2013 by the so-called `Basha’ir al-Nasr’ brigade affiliated with the Free Syrian Army.”

On Monday, Syria invited Ake Sellstrom, head of the U.N. fact-finding mission on allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria, and U.N. disarmament chief Angela Kane to visit Damascus for foreign-minister level talks on conducting a probe of just the Khan al-Assal attack.

The Russian ambassador strongly backed the idea, calling it “a promising process” that hopefully will lead to an investigation.

Britain, France and the United States have provided the secretary-general with information on other alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Ban has repeatedly said he wants a broader investigation than just Khan al-Assal.

“We support a thorough investigation of all credible allegations,” Churkin said, but added that Russian experts “were not impressed at all” by the material provided to them by the U.K., U.S. and France.

At the White House, Carney said that Syria’s President “Bashar al-Assad called for a U.N. investigation into the use of chemical weapons and then he blocked the ability of the United Nations to conduct that investigation. The way to answer this question is to allow the United Nations to investigate.”

President Barack Obama’s administration says it has “high confidence” that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces have killed up to 150 people with sarin gas.

In a letter to the secretary-general on June 14, then-U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the U.S. had determined that sarin was used in the March 19 attack on Khan al-Assal and also in an April 13 attack on the Aleppo neighborhood of Shaykh Maqsud. She said unspecified chemicals, possibly including chemical warfare agents, were used May 14 in an attack on Qasr Abu Samrah and in a May 23 attack on Adra.

The use of a chemical weapon crossed Obama’s “red line” for escalating U.S. involvement in the conflict and prompted the decision to send arms and ammunition to the opposition, not just humanitarian aid and non-lethal material like armored vests and night goggles.

Churkin said Russia plans to provide the 80-page report to the U.S., U.K. and France, and “I hope they find it persuasive.” But he said it will not be made public.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky had no immediate comment on the issue, noting that the Russian ambassador had delivered the “weighty and quite technical” report only minutes earlier. He said the Department of Disarmament Affairs would study it and provide guidance to the secretary-general.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/09/russia-syria-chemical-weapons_n_3568731.html

Is It Possible The Syrian Rebels (Not Assad) Used Chemical Weapons?

by EYDER PERALTA

August 27, 2013

As it lays the groundwork for a potential military strike against Syria, the Obama administration says it is all but certain that President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his own people last week.

Secretary of State John Kerry made the case Monday. “We know that the Syrian regime maintains custody of these chemical weapons,” Kerry said. “We know that the Syrian regime has the capacity to do this with rockets. We know that the regime has been determined to clear the opposition from those very places where the attacks took place. And with our own eyes, we have all of us become witnesses.” On Tuesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney reiterated the point, saying that “anyone who approaches this logically” would conclude that Assad is responsible.

As you might expect, Russia, which has been an unyielding Assad ally and holds veto power on the U.N. Security Council, rejected those conclusions, and the Assad regime blamed the rebels.

So, is it possible the United States and its allies are wrong? Is it possible that it was the rebels, or another group within Syria, that launched the attack near Damascus that reportedly left hundreds dead and thousands more injured?

“I have been asking myself the same question ever since it happened, because it was difficult to find a rationale [for an Assad-led attack],” says Gwyn Winfield, the editorial director of CBRNe World, a magazine that covers biological and chemical weapons for the industry.

“[A rebel attack] is feasible, but not particularly likely,” said Winfield.

What Winfield means is that this seems like a lose-lose situation for Assad. A chemical attack by the regime would seem to bolster the opposition, because it could mean an international intervention. As for the rebels, there are huge questions about whether they could have pulled off such an attack.

Back in 2002, research conducted by George Lopez, a professor of peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, cast doubt on the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In this situation, Lopez rejects the notion that it was the Syrian rebels who used chemical weapons.

Lopez and Winfield agree that the rebels may have the motivation to use chemical weapons.

“This anarchic, killing stalemate” could motivate anyone, Winfield says, but such a scenario just doesn’t make sense.

For one thing, the alleged chemical attack happened in the Ghouta region of Damascus. It is controlled by the rebels, and civilians in the area sympathize with the rebels.

“The smart thing [for the rebels] would be for you to aim for barracks and maime/kill a significant few hundred soldiers as the best chance for reverberations that played to your advantage,” said Lopez. “This was not done.”

It seems clear, Lopez says,”that some armed unit foot soldiers were sent in by Assad some time after the attack in limited numbers. That achieved the desired effect of making the case that since Assad soldiers were hit, the weapons came from the ‘terrorists;’ but these were exemplars, too few to make a strategic difference for the rebels.”

In making the case against Assad, the U.S. has said it is his forces who have the capabilities to launch such an attack and that the rebels do not.

An August 20 report by the Congressional Research Service (pdf) says that Syria has had a vast stockpile of chemical weapons since the early 1980s and perhaps as far back as 1973. Not only that, but the military was trained by the Soviets and possesses the delivery methods — scud missiles and batteries of rocket launchers — that could be used to “rapidly achieve lethal doses of non-persistent agents in a concentrated area.”

The report goes on to explain that U.S. officials “have unanimously stated that the weapons stockpiles are secure.”

Winfield maintains that the Free Syrian Army has the experience and perhaps even the launching systems to perpetrate such an attack. But that would mean that U.S. officials, and Assad himself, were wrong when they said the chemical stockpiles were secure.

“If [the rebels] have overrun an arms dump which had some of the agent, if a defector brought a limited amount with him, then it would explain why some of the signs and symptoms showed less toxicity than we expected,” Winfield said. “That is a lot of ‘ifs,’ though.”

Lopez concurs: “Western intelligence has been standing on its head to monitor all intel about those groups hostile to the West and what they have in their weapons access and supply. The amount of gas agents seemingly used was way beyond what a clandestine group could mix and develop without detection. And it is unclear they would have the expertise to mix the agents.

“Is it possible that a rebel group overran a storage facility of the government and captured some shells that were ready to be activated and then did so?” Lopez says. “Yes, but it would have had to have been a very large seizure preceded by a big battle between Assad top teams and rebels. It could not have happened without inside/outside knowledge.”

All of that said, note that the U.S. has qualified every statement it has made about the situation.Kerry said it is “undeniable” that chemical weapons had been used in Syria and he set out a case against Assad without directly blaming the regime for the attack.

During his daily press briefing Tuesday, Carney said: “There is also very little doubt, and should be no doubt for anyone who approaches this logically, that the Syrian regime is responsible for the use of chemical weapons on August 21st outside of Damascus.”

Jean Pascal Zanders, who worked for the European Union Institute for Security Studies from 2008 to 2013 and concentrated on the non-proliferation of chemical weapons says until the U.N. investigative team presents its report, “we need to keep our minds open that the events of last Wednesday could in whole or partially have alternative explanations.”

“In fact, we – the public – know very little beyond the observation of outward symptoms of asphyxiation and possible exposure to neurotoxicants, despite the mass of images and film footage,” Zanders added. “For the West’s credibility, I think that governments should await the results of the U.N. investigation.”

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/08/27/216172145/is-it-possible-the-syrian-rebels-not-assad-used-chemical-weapons

Evidence: Syrian Rebels used Chemical Weapons (not Assad)

by  on August 27, 2013 in BlogGeneral
By Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack

Recent news of a chemical weapons attack in Syria smacks of desperation. The question comes down to who is most desperate right now, the Assad regime or the Muslim Brotherhood rebels? Consider that since June, Assad’s forces have been winning. According to a CBS News report from last month, victories for the rebels had become “increasingly rare” and that the Muslim Brotherhood-backed opposition fighters were sustaining “some of their heaviest losses” near Damascus.

Saudi Chemicals in hands of Syrian Rebels

Saudi Chemicals in hands of Syrian Rebels

The New York Times echoed this sentiment, even saying that before gaining the upper hand, concerns were that Assad would use chemical weapons; he did not.

In fact, even before Assad’s forces gained the momentum, a UN official reportedly found evidence of rebels using chemical weapons but no evidence Assad’s regime did. This, from a Washington Times article by Shaun Waterman dated May 6, 2013:

Testimony from victims strongly suggests it was the rebels, not the Syrian government, that used Sarin nerve gas during a recent incident in the revolution-wracked nation, a senior U.N. diplomat said Monday.

Carla del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, told Swiss TV there were “strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof,” that rebels seeking to oust Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad had used the nerve agent.

But she said her panel had not yet seen any evidence of Syrian government forces using chemical weapons, according to the BBC, but she added that more investigation was needed. {emphasis ours}

Today, while the rebels are more desperate than they were at the time of that article, evidence of rebels using chemical weapons is available; evidence Assad’s regime has used them is not.

Waterman wrote…

Rebel Free Syrian Army spokesman Louay Almokdad denied that rebels had use chemical weapons.

That doesn’t square with a video uploaded on August 23, 2013, in which Free Syrian operatives threatened to launch chemical weapons:

A day later, on August 24th, a video was uploaded and featured on facebook that purports to show Syrian rebels loading what very well may be a rocket armed with some sort of chemical agent. The tip of the rocket is armed with a light blue tank or canister that very well contains a nerve agent. At the end of this video, two separate launches of these rockets can be seen:

This video from a Syrian TV news report claims to show chemicals (some of labels on these chemicals are in English) and weapons seized by the Syrian government in the rebel stronghold of Jobar. Note at the :10 mark a label that reads:

“Saudi Factory for Chlorine and Alkalies”

In this video, two Syrian rebels (Muslim Brotherhood gang) can be heard coordinating an attack on a nearby building. As smoke billows a short distance from the building, a rebel on the ground can be heard directing someone – presumably at the source of the launch – to change his direction. At that point, the rebel from the launch point can be heard talking about using sarin gas next:

In this video of a Russia Today news report originally broadcast on or before June 16, 2013, testimony from a United Nations panel is reported to demonstrate that rebel groups – not the Assad regime – was responsible for the use of chemical weapons in general, Sarin gas in particular, which backs up the claims in the previous video. Those who attempt to discredit the report below because it is from Russia Today should have difficulty doing so when factoring in rebels above talking about using sarin gas:

UN Panel implicates Syrian Rebels in Chemical weapons attacks

It’s significant to consider that the rebels were reportedly using chemical weapons at a time when Assad was more desperate than he is now. Again, why would Assad use chemical weapons now and not then? Who is more desperate at this point in the conflict?

The answer is, the Muslim Brotherhood rebels, who have no problem killing themselves (or their own) if the cause of Islam is moved forward.

Even CNN International, which has typically been quick to report favorably for the Muslim Brotherhood rebels, is hedging its bets lately, when it comes to who is responsible for the attack. Here is a video report from Frederik Pleitgen in which he leaves the possibility open that the rebels may have perpetrated or staged the attack:

Back in March, we chronicled evidence of chemical weapons being used by the Syrian rebels. Unfortunately, since google terminated Theodore’s YouTube account, most of the videos in that post have been deleted and have been more than a little difficult to find.

Running concurrent with the tide that turned in Assad’s favor a few months ago was another defeat for the Muslim Brotherhood – in Egypt. That defeat has been taking place ever since Mohammed Mursi was ousted on July 3rd. So why would Assad use chemical weapons now and not months ago, when his situation was much more precarious?

As the Associated Press was reporting that the U.S. is moving ships closer to Syria in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack, Reuters reported that Assad’s army found chemical weapons in tunnels that had been used by the rebels, according to Syrian state television.

Oxford University historian Mark Almond granted Russia Today an interview and explained both why western nations are so willing to blame Assad and why rebels would have a motive to murder their own people. In response to a question about why the U.S., the U.K., and France appear so eager to blame Assad, Almond said:

“Western governments… want to say ‘Gotcha’. They have been demanding the fall of Assad for more than two-and-a-half years now and it has become increasingly frustrating that his regime has shown much more resilience than they had expected, despite the resources that they and the Gulf Kingdoms have thrown into the war on the other side.

It is also like a distraction from the embarrassment of Egypt, where we see the European and the US governments basically using weasel words to avoid any kind of condemnation of a massacre in the streets of Cairo. So there are both the specifics of Syria and the context of what is going on elsewhere in the Arab world, especially in Egypt.”

Almond gives a very interesting answer to the question about why the rebels would intentionally gas their own people:

“We do have some very radical groups who would no doubt say, as they have when they have been challenged about using suicide bombers, killing innocent people, that God will recognize his own when the dead die, that he will save for heaven the justified victims and just send to hell the wicked supporters of Assad. So it is not impossible that somebody has staged this.

Consider that a man many of the Syrian rebels show the utmost of reverence for is the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. When writing about a Muslim tactic known asMuruna, Qaradawi expressed when it is acceptable for Muslims to kill fellow Muslims:

“…killing Muslims whom the unbelievers use as shields… leaving these unbelievers is a danger to the Muslims, so it is permissible to kill these unbelievers even if Muslims are killed with them in the process.” – The Case FOR Islamophobia, p. 56

Of course, if the rebels are desperate enough, Muruna could sanction the murder of their own people if it meant bearing false witness and a blood libel that would engage external forces that want Assad removed. As things stand today, the rebels are more desperate than is the Assad regime.

Specific examples include the staged death of twelve year-old Muhammad Al-Dura by Palestinians. Whether the child was used as a prop in a Palestinian blood-libel or was actually killed, he was clearly put in danger by Palestinians who shot at him as the news cameras rolled for a false report that aired on France 2. They wanted to blame the Israelis.

Earlier this month in Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood supporters were caught behaving as victims of oppression at the hands of the military. They might have gotten away with it if nothing but still shots were taken. Unfortunately for these miscreants, video was recorded that revealed a staged, mass display of despicable behavior.

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood rebels would never get away with launching chemical weapons and taking credit for it. They’d have to do so while blaming Assad. It’s straight out of the Nazi playbook and a violation of two major commandments – Thou shalt not murder and thou shalt not bear false witness. However, the Muslim Brotherhood, as usual, provides more evil spin. It bears false witness while committing murder in order to push an agenda.

Lying, bearing false witness, blood libel, and murder.

Yeah, that smells like the Brotherhood.

**UPDATE at 8:40am EST on August 31, 2013**
Associated Press reporter Dale Gavlak reports in MintPress news that firsthand accounts indicate that the Chemical weapons attack was the result of the rebels’ mishandling of them. According to Gavlak, the weapons came from Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar bin Sultan and were given to rebels who did not know what the weapons were or how to store them, nor were they trained how to use them. If these accounts are correct, the Obama administration – along with more than a handful of Republican congressmen – may be complicit in a blood libel.

http://shoebat.com/2013/08/27/evidence-syrian-rebels-used-chemical-weapons-not-assad/]

First Syria rebels armed and trained by CIA ‘on way to battlefield’

The first cell of Syrian rebels trained and armed by the CIA is making its way to the battlefield, President Barack Obama has reportedly told senators.

The US announced in June that it would send light arms to the rebels but refused to provide anti-aircraft missiles and other heavy weapons.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
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The US announced in June that it would send light arms to the rebels but refused to provide anti-aircraft missiles and other heavy weapons.  Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP

Raf Sanchez in Washington

3:15PM BST 03 Sep 2013

During a meeting at the White House, the president assured Senator John McCain that after months of delay the US was meeting its commitment to back moderate elements of the opposition.

Mr Obama said that a 50-man cell, believed to have been trained by US special forces in Jordan, was making its way across the border into Syria, according to the New York Times.

The deployment of the rebel unit seems to be the first tangible measure of support since Mr Obama announced in June that the US would begin providing the opposition with small arms.

Congressional opposition delayed the plan for several weeks and rebel commanders publicly complained the US was still doing nothing to match the Russian-made firepower of the Assad regime.

Mr McCain has been a chief critic of the White House’s reluctance to become involved in Syria and has long demanded that Mr Obama provide the rebels with arms needed to overthrow the regime.

He and Senator Lindsey Graham, a fellow Republican foreign policy hawk, emerged from the Oval Office meeting on Monday cautiously optimistic that Mr Obama would step up support for the rebels.

“There seems to be emerging from this administration a pretty solid plan to upgrade the opposition,” Mr Graham said.

He added that he hoped the opposition would be given “a chance to speak directly to the American people” to counter US fears that they were dominated by al-Qaeda sympathisers.

“They’re not trying to replace one dictator, Assad, who has been brutal… to only have al-Qaeda run Syria,” Mr Graham said.

The US announced in June, following the first allegations the Assad regime had used chemical weapons, that it would send light arms to the rebels but refused to provide anti-aircraft missiles and other heavy weapons.

American concerns were born partly out of the experience of Afghanistan in the 1980s, when CIA weapons given to the anti-Russian mujahideen were later used by the Taliban.

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Progressive Democrats and Republicans and Neocons Want Another War in The Middle East With Syria, Iran and Russia — Heading Towards World War 3 — Videos

Posted on June 29, 2013. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Biology, Blogroll, Bomb, Chemistry, College, Communications, Constitution, Demographics, Diasters, Dirty Bomb, Drones, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, European History, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Genocide, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Nuclear Power, Oil, People, Philosophy, Pistols, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Rifles, Science, Security, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Water, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Vince Flynn — May He Rest In Peace — Videos

Posted on June 20, 2013. Filed under: Airplanes, American History, Blogroll, Bomb, Books, Business, Communications, Crime, Culture, Diasters, Economics, Employment, Energy, Entertainment, Federal Government, Fiction, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Movies, Oil, People, Philosophy, Pistols, Politics, Psychology, Radio, Raves, Religion, Resources, Rifles, Science, Security, Ships, Talk Radio, Technology, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Last Man

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Excellence in Action — Strategies Sessions — Videos

Posted on April 3, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, High School, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, Math, media, Medicine, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Raves, Religion, Science, Tax Policy, Technology, Unions, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , |

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Breakfast Keynote: Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

Strategy Session 1: Reaching More Students with Vouchers and Tax-credit Scholarships

Whether you are an advocate of education vouchers for all or believe special scholarships should be reserved for students in failing schools, the debate on school choice is one that matters. States across the country are enacting new reforms and expanding those that already exist to ensure vouchers and tax-credit scholarships reach the kids who need them the most. Join these state lawmakers as they discuss strategies to keep up with the growing demand from families for quality school choice options.

Moderator: John Kirtley, Chairman of Step Up for Students and vice chairman of the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation for Children

Panelists: Conrad Appel, Louisiana State Senator Algie Howell, Virginia State Delegate Jason Nelson, Oklahoma State Representative Bill O’Brien, New Hampshire State Representative

Strategy Session 2: Implementing Bold Teacher-Effectiveness Reform

Over the past few years, states across the country have passed reforms linking student-learning data to teacher evaluations. Now, leaders have entered the critical phase of putting the reforms into practice at the local level. Learn how these education chiefs are developing assessments and evaluation systems in their respective states to measure hard-to-test areas and elevate educators’ professional development.

Moderator: Hanna Skandera, New Mexico Secretary-Designate of Public Education and Vice-Chair of Chiefs for Change

Panelists: Kevin Huffman, Tennessee Commissioner of Education Jill Hawley, Colorado Associate Commissioner for Achievement and Strategy Dr. Diane Ullman, Chief Talent Officer for the Connecticut State Department of Education

Strategy Session 3: Accountability-Based Flexibility for School Districts

Across the nation, crisis situations are giving birth to new, student-centered learning models. In the midst of challenging economic times and a national focus on improving the quality of education, a new kind of school district is emerging — one with both autonomy and performance-based accountability. Learn how some of our nation’s most troubled school districts are challenging a conventional structure to change the futures of their students, schools and cities.

Moderator: Dr. Paul Hill, Founder of the Center on Reinventing Public Education

Panelists: David Harris, Founder and CEO of The Mind Trust John White, Louisiana Superintendent of Education Tyrone Winfrey, Chief of Staff of the Michigan Education Achievement Authority

Strategy Session 4: How to Prepare for Common Core Assessments

The state-led transition to Common Core State Standards will change the expectation of what students need to be learning and is aligned with what they’ll need for success after high school in our changing world. The pressure is on for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to deliver new online assessments and for schools to build the technology infrastructure they’ll need to use those assessments. The Common Core transition brings individual opportunities for states but also challenges. Meanwhile, many state leaders are preparing parents, teachers and communities for the initial results which will likely follow new standards and assessments. Join this panel to discuss specific strategies states and districts can take to ensure everyone and everything is prepared to transition to these new assessments.

Moderator: Governor Bob Wise, President of Alliance for Excellent Education

Panelists: Dr. Tony Bennett, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction and Chairman of Chiefs for Change Steve Bowen, Maine Commissioner of Education Laura McGiffert Slover, Senior Vice President of Achieve Dr. Joe Willhoft, Executive Director of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

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Strategy Session 5: Transforming Colleges of Education

Nine out of every ten teachers graduate from traditional teacher prep programs at colleges of education. Should these colleges be held accountable for the caliber of students they admit into their programs and the teachers they send into the classroom? Don’t miss this discussion on what can be done to ensure new teachers entering the profession are fully equipped to help each of their students succeed.

Moderator: Kate Walsh, President of the National Council on Teacher Quality

Panelists: Dr. John Chubb, CEO of Education Sector and member of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education Paul Pastorek, former Louisiana Superintendent of Education

Strategy Session 6: Charter Schools: Accountability and Funding

With over 40 states now authorizing charter schools, the potential for innovation continues to grow. Each state serves as a testing site for diverse approaches to approving, funding and maintaining the accountability of these unique public schools. Learn the best policies states are using to shape high-quality charter schools across the nation.

Moderator: Jeanne Allen, President of the Center for Education Reform

Panelists: Todd Huston, Indiana State Representative Peggy Lehner, Ohio State Senator Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools James H. Shelton III, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education

Strategy Session 7: Thinking Outside the School-Zone Box

From coast to coast, states are proving there is more than one way to provide families with school choice options. Many are developing new strategies to empower parents with the ability to choose the public school that is best for their child. Listen to these battle-proven leaders share lessons learned and strategies to expand public school choice programs and remove barriers limiting students’ education options.

Moderator: Mike Petrilli, Executive Vice President of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Panelists: Matthew Barnes, Executive Director of Families Empowered John Huppenthal, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Luther Olsen, Wisconsin State Senator

Strategy Session 8: College & Career Readiness

State leaders are facing a desperate call to action: just one-third of America’s high school students graduate with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to succeed in college. This tragic reality calls for rigorous standards and innovative policies, ones that incentivize acceleration and launch students into college or gainful employment. It’s time to give students the opportunity to advance to college or careers as soon as they are ready, even if that’s earlier that the traditional K-12 calendar allows. Get the details on what methods states are using to prepare our youngest generation to thrive in today’s competitive global economy.

Moderator: Laysha Ward, President of Community Relations and the Target Foundation

Panelists: David Abbott, Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel at the Rhode Island Department of Education Russell Armstrong, Education and Workforce Policy Advisor to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Joe Pickens, President of St. Johns River State College Kelli Stargel, Florida State Senator

Strategy Session 9: Developing and Retaining Teachers We Can’t Afford to Lose

A teacher’s influence — good or bad — can have life-long effects on the students in his or her classroom. Hear new research on the teacher-retention crisis, and join the ensuing discussion on what can be done to develop and retain the high-quality educators our states need to reverse student decline and elevate the status of the teaching profession.

Moderator: Dr. Stefanie Sanford, Director of Policy & Advocacy, United States Program, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Panelists: Tim Daly, President of the New Teacher Project Christopher Cerf, New Jersey Commissioner of Education Gary Holder-Winfield, Connecticut State Representative

Strategy Session 10: The Florida Formula for Student Achievement

More than a dozen years ago, Florida embarked on a path to reverse a generation of decline in its public schools by forcing the system to focus on the student instead of the adult. Since then, Florida’s formula of high expectations for students, accountability for schools, choices for families and rewards for progress has yielded incredible gains in student learning. In the eight-year period prior to the reforms, graduation rates had declined by nearly seven percent, but since the reforms were put in place, graduation rates have increased by 20 percent. Education in the Sunshine State is now a model for the nation, inspiring leaders to strategically and boldly transform public education. Learn how Florida’s formula can transform student achievement for any state.

Moderator: Julia Johnson, President of Net Communications and former member of Florida’s Board of Education

Panelists: Dr. Christy Hovanetz, Senior Policy Fellow at the Foundation for Excellence in Education Dr. Matthew Ladner, Senior Advisor on Policy and Research to the Foundation for Excellence in Education

Strategy Session 11: Transforming Education for the Digital Age

Last year, Digital Learning Now! released “The Roadmap for Reform: Digital Learning,” a guide providing governors, lawmakers and policymakers with the nuts-and-bolts policies to transition to student-centered education. Now, states are changing the face of education by introducing blended learning models that combine the best of face-to-face instruction with the best of online learning. Hear state and school leaders share what they are doing — and what is yet to be done — to harness the power of technology and provide students with rigorous, high-quality, customized education.

Moderator: John Bailey, Executive Director of Digital Learning Now!

Panelists: Dr. Janet Barresi, Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Mark Edwards, Superintendent of Mooresville Graded School District Pam Myhra, Minnesota State Representative Governor Bev Perdue, North Carolina Chip Rogers, Majority Leader of the Georgia State Senate

General Session: Common Core State Standards

Moderator: Governor Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida from 1999-2007 and Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education

Panelists: David Coleman, President and CEO of the College Board Bob Corcoran, President and Chairman of the GE Foundation Dr. William Schmidt, University Distinguished Professor and Co-Director of the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University, Minnesota State Representative

Lunch Keynote: Mitch Daniels, Indiana Governor

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Stop Obama’s Common Core Curriculum Standards — Progressive Indoctrination, Standardization and Tracking of American Children Into Collectivists — Little Boxes — Videos

Posted on April 2, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government spending, High School, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Math, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Psychology, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Science, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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Moderator: Governor Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida from 1999-2007 and Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education

Panelists: David Coleman, President and CEO of the College Board Bob Corcoran, President and Chairman of the GE Foundation Dr. William Schmidt, University Distinguished Professor and Co-Director of the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University, Minnesota State Representative

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School-Standards Pushback

Conservative Groups Oppose National ‘Common Core’ as an Intrusion on States

By STEPHANIE BANCHERO

The Common Core national math and reading standards, adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia two years ago, are coming under attack from some quarters as a federal intrusion into state education matters.

The voluntary academic standards, which specify what students should know in each grade, were heavily promoted by the Obama administration through its $4.35 billion Race to the Top education-grant competition. States that instituted changes such as common learning goals received bonus points in their applications.

Supporters say the Common Core standards better prepare students for college or the workforce, and are important as the U.S. falls behind other nations in areas such as math proficiency.

A 2010 report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning educational-research group, said the Common Core standards “are clearly superior to those currently in use in 39 states in math and 37 states in English. For 33 states, the Common Core is superior in both math and reading.”

But conservative lawmakers and governors in at least five states, including Utah and Alabama, recently have been pushing to back out, or slow down implementation, of Common Core. They worry that adoption of the standards has created a de facto national curriculum that could at some point be extended into more controversial areas such as science.

Critics argue that the standards are weak and could, for example, de-emphasize literature in favor of informational texts, such as technical manuals. They also dislike that the standards postpone teaching algebra until ninth grade from the current eighth grade in many schools.

A study released this year by a researcher at the Brookings Institution think tank projected Common Core will have no effect on student achievement. The study said states with high standards improved their national math and reading scores at the same rate as states with low standards from 2003 to 2009.

But mainly, critics of Common Core object to what they see as the federal government’s involvement in local-school matters.

“The Common Core takes education out of the hands of South Carolina and parents, so we have no control over what happens in the classroom,” said Michael Fair, a Republican state senator who plans to introduce a measure that would bar his state from spending money on activities related to the standards, such as training teachers and purchasing textbooks.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who took office after the state adopted Common Core, wrote in a letter to Mr. Fair that the state should not “relinquish control of education to the federal government, neither should we cede it to the consensus of other states.”

Common Core could take another hit Friday when the 23-member board of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group of more than 2,000 state lawmakers and business members who back limited government and free markets, among other conservative goals, is set to vote on a resolution to formally oppose the standards. The resolution was passed by the ALEC education task force in December.Model legislation often is drafted from the group’s resolutions and taken by ALEC members to their state legislatures.

Common Core evolved from a drive by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to delineate world-class skills students should possess. The standards, created with funding from, among others, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, set detailed goals, such as first graders should understand place values in math and eighth graders should know the Pythagorean Theorem.

“We brought the best minds in the country together to create international benchmarks that, once mastered, would make our students more competitive, globally,” said Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers. He said his group has no plans to create national science standards.

As the standards were being developed, the Obama administration launched Race to the Top in July 2009, which awarded points to states that adopted “a common set of K-12 standards” that are “substantially identical across all states in a consortium,” according to the grant’s policies. The department didn’t specifically mention Common Core, but it was the only common set of standards being developed.

As a result, most state’s legislatures or state boards of education adopted Common Core.

The standards have yet to show up in many classrooms as states are just beginning to implement them. But in Kentucky, where Common Core rolled out this school year, teachers are altering instruction and searching for new classroom reading materials.

Jahn Owens, a teacher in Owensboro, Ky., said the more rigorous standards require her to teach her fifth-graders how to multiply and divide fractions. Previously, that was taught in sixth grade. First-grade teacher Heidi Dees has added more nonfiction books to her classroom.

“These standards take students much deeper into the subjects and force them to do more critical thinking,” Ms. Owens said. “It’s been hard work for the teachers because the implementation was so quick, but we are now more purposeful about student learning.”

The Obama administration has awarded more than $360 million to two groups to create student assessments aligned to Common Core.

Wireless Generation, an education-technology company owned by News Corp., which also owns The Wall Street Journal, recently purchased Intel-Assess, a company that creates student assessments aligned to Common Core.

Justin Hamilton, a spokesman for the U.S. Department. of Education, called Common Core a “game changer” but said the administration didn’t force states to adopt it. “A bipartisan group of governors created these standards and states collectively adopted them,” he said.

But Emmett McGroarty, executive director of American Principles in Action, a conservative lobbying group that wrote the ALEC resolution, said states were “herded” into adopting the standards with no time to deliberate on their worth. He called the standards “mediocre” and costly to implement.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303630404577390431072241906.html

The Common Core Curriculum
National education standards that even conservatives can love.

By Chester E. Finn, Jr. & Michael J. Petrilli

After votes yesterday in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, 28 states have now embraced the new “Common Core” standards for primary and secondary education. Already, a majority — including red states such as South Carolina, Utah, and Oklahoma — have declared that they will use Common Core English and math standards in their public schools. Yet this profound, and we think positive, shift in American education is occurring with little outcry from the right, save for a half-dozen libertarians who don’t much care for government to start with. How come?

It certainly helps that the new standards were created by a voluntary partnership of 48 states, not by the federal government. But it’s also true that the Common Core standards are remarkably strong, vastly better than the standards most states have developed independently over the past 15 years. Yesterday, our institute released a 370-page study that finds the Common Core standards to be clearly superior to the existing English standards of 37 states and the existing math standards of 39.

One reason the Common Core fared so well is that its authors eschewed the vague and politically correct nonsense that infected so many state standards (and earlier attempts at national standards). They expect students to master arithmetic and memorize their times tables; they promote the teaching of phonics in the early grades; they even expect all students to read and understand the country’s founding documents. The new standards aren’t perfect. Our reviewers found three jurisdictions that did better in English (California, Indiana, and — believe it or not — the District of Columbia), mostly because they better distinguish among different “genres” of literature and other writing. Another dozen states (including Massachusetts) are “too close to call,” meaning that their standards are about equal in content and rigor to the Common Core. But anybody worried that this national effort will dumb down what we expect young Americans to learn in school can relax, at least for now.

Anxiety will surely rise when school kids across the land begin (three or four years hence) to take tests linked to these standards, and even more when those test results start to determine promotion from fifth to sixth grade or graduation from high school. (The development of those tests will soon start, aided by $350 million of federal stimulus funds.) But without tests and results-based accountability, along with solid curricula, quality textbooks, and competent teaching, standards alone have no traction in real classrooms. Adopting good standards is like having a goal for your cholesterol; it doesn’t mean you will actually eat a healthy diet or live longer.

When high expectations for schools and students are combined with smart implementation in thousands of classrooms, policymakers can move mountains. That’s the lesson we take from Massachusetts, which has established high standards, well-designed assessments, a tough-minded (yet humane) accountability system, rigorous certification requirements for teachers, and a high bar that students must clear to earn their diplomas. The Bay State has been making steady achievement gains in reading and math in both fourth and eighth grades. That, of course, is why Massachusetts politicians and policymakers sparred over the proposal by state education commissioner Mitchell Chester to replace the state’s standards and tests with the new national versions.

Until now, however, the vast majority of states have failed to adopt rigorous standards, much less to take actions geared to boosting pupil achievement. In 2007, we published a comparison of states’ “proficiency” expectations under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The results were dismaying: In some places, students could score below the tenth percentile nationally and still be considered “proficient.” In other locales, they had to reach the 77th percentile to wear the same label. And it wasn’t just that expectations varied, but that they varied almost randomly from place to place, grade to grade, and year to year.

Most Americans understand that this is not the way a big, modernized country on a competitive planet should operate its education system. Three years ago, an Education Next poll asked whether people favored “a single national standard and a single national test for all students in the United States? Or do you think that there should be different standards and tests in different states?”

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/243517/common-core-curriculum-chester-e-finn-jr

Who’s Behind the Common Core Curriculum?

Written by 

Like so many education reform initiatives that seem to arise out of nowhere, the Common Core State Standards is another of these sweeping phantom movements that have gotten their impetus from a cadre of invisible human beings endowed with inordinate power to impose their ideas on everybody.

For example, the idea of collecting intimate personal data on public school students and teachers seems to have arisen spontaneously in the bowels of the National Center for Education Statistics in Washington. It required a small army of education psychologists to put together the data handbooks, which are periodically expanded to include more personal information.

Nobody knows who exactly authorized the creation of such a dossier on every student and teacher in American public schools, but the program exists and is being paid for by the taxpayer. And strange as it may seem, it arose seemingly out of nowhere, like a vampire, to suck the freedom out of the American people. Unlike Santa’s elves who work behind the scenes to bring happiness to children, these subterranean phantoms work overtime to find ways of making American children miserable.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is another such vampire calculated not only to suck the freedom out of the American people, but also to suck out the brains of their children. And all of this is planned in the dark, away from the prying eyes of parents and writers like me. Ask any educator: “Who is the author of the Common Core Standards?” and they will not be able to tell you.

So I decided to look into the origin of the CCSS. It is said that it originated with the National Governors Association (NGA). When and where? At what meeting? At whose behest? The NGA’s Mission Statement says on its website:

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.

Sounds wonderful. But why do we need it? Why are we re-inventing the wheel? Didn’t our public schools provide a decent education for the “greatest generation” when they were in school? That generation not only learned enough to win World War II but also enough to create the scientific foundation of our high-tech society. The only reason why we need the CCSS is because all of these graduate educationists need something to do to justify their degrees and the salaries that go with them. And of course the new curriculum will cost billions of dollars which will enable these vampires to live in the style to which they’ve become accustomed. By the way, if you object to my referring to these people as vampires, feel free to use your own designations.

The CCSS adds nothing to what we know about how to teach reading. It adds nothing to how we teach arithmetic and mathematics. It adds nothing to how we teach history, geography, and the “social studies.” In short, it is a fraud to get the American taxpayer to shell out big bucks for something that we already know how to do.  Yes, science has greatly expanded, but it also expanded from 1850 to 1950 and didn’t require a different methodology from the scientific method developed by the great scientists of the past. We may have better equipment which students of science must learn to operate, but the scientific method has not changed.

And of course, the CCSS were made to be as complicated as possible so that no parent or normal human being could understand them. For example, there is something called “Common Core State Standards Official Identifiers and XML Representation.” It states:

As states, territories, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity move from widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to implementation, there is a need to appropriately identify and link assets using a shared system of identifiers and a common XML representation. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), working closely with the standards authors, have released an official, viable approach for publishing identifiers and XML designation to represent the standards, consistent with their adopted format, as outlined below.

So now we know that there is such a body as “the standards authors,” who work closely with such bureaucratic organizations as the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. And to make sure that the Standards are being correctly implemented, we read the following in typical vampire language:

De-referenceable Uniform Resource Identifier (URIs) at the corestandards.org domain, e.g. http://corestandards.org/2010/math/content/6/EE/1 or http://corestandards.org/2010/math/practice/MP7. Matching the published identifiers, these dereferenceable URIs allow individuals and technology systems to validate the content of a standard by viewing the web page at the identifier’s uniform resource locator (URL). The NGA Center and CCSSO strongly recommend that http://www.corestandards.org remain the address of record for referring to standards.

What kind of human beings not only write such gobbledegook but also know what it means? And these educationists are among the well-paid elite who know how to make everything so complicated that only they are capable of understanding their own complexity. Here’s more:

Globally unique identifiers (GUIDs), e.g. A7D3275BC52147618D6CFEE43FB1A47E. These allow, when needed, to refer to standards in both disciplines in a common format without removing the differences in the published identifiers. GUIDs are unwieldy for human use, but they are necessarily complex to guarantee uniqueness, an important characteristic for databases, and are intended for use by computer systems. There is no need for educators to decode GUIDs.

Did you read that line, “GUIDS are unwieldy for human use, but they are necessarily complex to guarantee uniqueness”?  These people are masters at creating complexity for its own sake. The more complex, the more difficult it is for normal human beings to know what in blazes they are talking about.

What is the National Governors Association for Best Practices? Here is what their website says:

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) develops innovative solutions to today’s most pressing public policy challenges and is the only research and development firm that directly serves the nation’s governors….

The mission of NGA Office of Federal Relations is to ensure governors’ views are represented in the shaping of federal policy. Policy positions, reflecting governors’ principles on priority issues, guide the association’s work to influence federal laws and regulations.

The initiative for the Common Core State Standards seems to have arisen from a speech NGA Chairman Governor Paul Patton, Democrat, of Kentucky gave at the NGA meeting on June 12, 2002, in which he said:

Governors are constantly searching for solutions that will help all schools succeed, but some schools require more help than others. The long-term goal for states is to improve overall system performance while closing persistent gaps in achievement between minority and non-minority students. Fortunately, there are places to look for guidance. Although some schools continue to struggle, some have responded successfully to state reform efforts and others have gone far in improving student performance and closing the achievement gap. Current research also suggests there are ways state policies can effectively stimulate and support school improvement.

How that was translated into the need for Common Core State Standards, is not very clear. The Executive Director of the NGA is Dan Crippen, a Washington policy bureaucrat who was director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1999 to 2002. The Director of the NGA Center for Best Practices is David Moore, formerly of the Congressional Budget Office. The Director of the Education Division is Richard Laine. His profile states:

Laine directs research, policy analysis, technical assistance and resource development for the Education Division in the areas of early childhood, K-12, and postsecondary education. The Education Division is working on a number of key policy issues relevant to governors’ efforts to develop and support the implementation of policy, including: birth to 3rd grade access, readiness and quality; the Common Core State Standards, STEM and related assessments; teacher and leader effectiveness; turning around low-performing schools; high school redesign; competency-based learning; charter schools; and postsecondary (higher education & workforce training) access, success & affordability. The Division is also working on policy issues related to bridging the system divides between the early childhood, K-12 and postsecondary systems.

Well now we know who’s in charge of the Common Core State Standards. What is Mr. Laine’s background?

Previous Positions: Director of Education, The Wallace Foundation; Director of Education Policy and Initiatives, Illinois Business Roundtable; Associate Superintendent for Policy, Planning and Resource Management, Illinois State Board of Education; Executive Director, Coalition for Educational Rights; Executive Secretary, Committee for Educational Rights; School Finance Analyst, Chicago Panel on Public School Policy and Finance; Associate Director, California Democratic Congressional Delegation.

Education: M.P.P., M.B.A. and Certificate of Advanced Study in Education Administration and Public Policy, University of Chicago; B.A., University of California — Santa Barbara.

Obviously, Mr. Laine is one of those invisible bureaucrats who create policies for the governors, few of whom ever read them. He was Associate Director of California’s Democratic Congressional Delegation, which includes some of the worst left-wing members of Congress. He’s also in charge of “birth to 3rd grade access,” which the National Education Association strongly favors. Among Mr. Laine’s staff is Albert Wat, whose expertise is Early Childhood Education. His profile states:

Wat provides state policymakers with analyses and information on promising practices and the latest research in early childhood education policy, from birth through third grade. His work focuses on preschool education systems and alignment of early childhood and early elementary practices and policies, including standards, assessments and data systems.

Previous Positions: Research Manager, Senior Research Associate and State Policy Analyst, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Pew Center on the States, Pre-K Now.

Education: Master of Arts in Education Policy Studies, The George Washington University; Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate, Georgetown University; Master of Arts in Education, with focus in Social Sciences in Education and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with Distinction, Stanford University.

Like so many Washington policy wonks, Mr. Wat has to justify his bureaucratic position by thinking up new ways to create costly education reform that no freedom- loving citizen wants. Note his and Mr. Laine’s interest in “birth to 3rd grade” education, an area traditionally left up to parents. But then the totalitarian mind wants control over everything and everybody.

In other words, the Common Core State Standards have no more legitimacy than the plans of your local village idiot to reform education. They are the thought emanations of those who have nothing better to do. Yet, they will cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars and make American public education more confusing than ever.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/opinion/item/13412-whos-behind-the-common-core-curriculum

Common Core State Standards Initiative

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a U.S. education initiative that seeks to bring diverse state curricula into alignment with each other by following the principles of standards-based education reform. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

Development

The past twenty years in the U.S. have also been termed the “Accountability Movement,” as states are being held to mandatory tests of student achievement, which are expected to demonstrate a common core of knowledge that all citizens should have to be successful in this country.[1] As part of this overarching education reform movement, the nation’s governors and corporate leaders founded Achieve, Inc. in 1996 as a bi-partisan organization to raise academic standards, graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability in all 50 states.[2] The initial motivation for the development of the Common Core State Standards was part of the American Diploma Project (ADP).[3]

A report titled, “Ready or Not: Creating a High School Diploma That Counts,” from 2004 found that both employers and colleges are demanding more of high school graduates than in the past.[4] According to Achieve, Inc., “current high-school exit expectations fall well short of [employer and college] demands.”[5] The report explains that the major problem currently facing the American school system is that high school graduates were not provided with the skills and knowledge they needed to succeed.[5] “While students and their parents may still believe that the diploma reflects adequate preparation for the intellectual demands of adult life, in reality it falls far short of this common-sense goal.” (page 1). The report continues that the diploma itself lost its value because graduates could not compete successfully beyond high school,[5] and that the solution to this problem is a common set of rigorous standards.

In 2009 the National Governors Association hired David Coleman and Student Achievement to write curriculum standards in the areas of literacy and mathematics instruction. Announced on June 1, 2009,[6] the initiative’s stated purpose is to “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.”[7] Additionally, “The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers,” which will place American students in a position in which they can compete in a global economy.[7] Forty-five of the fifty states in the United States are members of the initiative, with the states of Texas, Virginia, Alaska, and Nebraska not adopting the initiative at a state level.[8] Minnesota has adopted the English Language Arts standards but not the Mathematics standards.[9]

Standards were released for mathematics and English language arts on June 2, 2010, with a majority of states adopting the standards in the subsequent months. (See below for current status.) States were given an incentive to adopt the Common Core Standards through the possibility of competitive federal Race to the Top grants. President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the Race to the Top competitive grants on July 24, 2009, as a motivator for education reform.[10] To be eligible, states had to adopt “internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the work place.”[11] This meant that in order for a state to be eligible for these grants, the states had to adopt the Common Core State Standards or a similar career and college readiness curriculum. The competition for these grants provided a major push for states to adopt the standards.[12] The adoption dates for those states that chose to adopt the Common Core State Standards Initiative are all within the two years following this announcement.[13] The common standards are funded by the governors and state schools chiefs, with additional support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and others.[14] States are planning to implement this initiative by 2015[15] by basing at least 85% of their state curricula on the Standards.

Standards

In 2010, Standards were released for English language arts and mathematics. Standards have not yet been developed for science or social studies.

English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

The stated goal of the English & Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects standards[16] is to ensure that students are college and career ready in literacy no later than the end of high school (page 3). There are five key components to the standards for English and Language Arts: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Language, and Media and Technology.[17] The essential components and breakdown of each of these key points within the standards are as follows:

Reading

  • As students advance through each grade, there is an increased level of complexity to what students are expected to read and there is also a progressive development of reading comprehension so that students can gain more from what they read.[17]
  • There is no reading list to accompany the reading standards. Instead, students are simply expected to read a range of classic and contemporary literature as well as challenging informative texts from an array of subjects. This is so that students can acquire new knowledge, insights, and consider varying perspectives as they read. Teachers, school districts, and states are expected to decide on the appropriate curriculum, but sample texts are included to help teachers, students, and parents prepare for the year ahead.[17]
  • There is some critical content for all students — classic myths and stories from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, seminal works of American literature, and the writings of Shakespeare — but the rest is left up to the states and the districts.[17]

Writing

  • The driving force of the writing standards is logical arguments based on claims, solid reasoning, and relevant evidence. The writing also includes opinion writing even within the K–5 standards.[17]
  • Short, focused research projects, similar to the kind of projects students will face in their careers as well as long-term, in-depth research is another important piece of the writing standards. This is because written analysis and the presentation of significant findings is critical to career and college readiness.[17]
  • The standards also include annotated samples of student writing to help determine performance levels in writing arguments, explanatory texts, and narratives across the grades.[17]

Speaking and Listening

  • Although reading and writing are the expected components of an ELA curriculum, standards are written so that students gain, evaluate, and present complex information, ideas, and evidence specifically through listening and speaking.[17]
  • There is also an emphasis on academic discussion in one-on-one, small-group, and whole-class settings, which can take place as formal presentations as well as informal discussions during student collaboration.[17]

Language

  • Vocabulary instruction in the standards takes place through a mix of conversations, direct instruction, and reading so that students can determine word meanings and can expand their use of words and phrases.[17]
  • The standards expect students to use formal English in their writing and speaking, but also recognize that colleges and 21st century careers will require students to make wise, skilled decisions about how to express themselves through language in a variety of contexts.[17]
  • Vocabulary and conventions are their own strand because these skills extend across reading, writing, speaking, and listening.[17]

Media and Technology

  • Since media and technology are intertwined with every student’s life and in school in the 21st century, skills related to media use, which includes the analysis and production of various forms of media, are also included in these standards.[17]

Preliminary “example” works to be studied by students include works by Ovid, Atul Gawande, Voltaire, Shakespeare, Turgenev, Poe, Robert Frost, Yeats, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Amy Tan, and Julia Alvarez.[15]

Cursive and keyboarding

The standards do not mandate the teaching of cursive handwriting, although states are free either to add a cursive requirement or to permit individual school districts to require it. The standards include instruction in keyboarding.[18]

Mathematics

The stated goal of the mathematics Standards[19] is to achieve greater focus and coherence in the curriculum (page 3). This is largely in response to the criticism that American mathematics curricula are “a mile wide and an inch deep”.

The mathematics Standards include Standards for Mathematical Practice and Standards for Mathematical Content.

Mathematical practice

The Standards mandate that eight principles of mathematical practice be taught:

  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  4. Model with mathematics.
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

The practices are adapted from the five process standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the five strands of proficiency in the National Research Council’s Adding It Up report.[20] These practices are to be taught in every grade from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Details of how these practices are to be connected to each grade level’s mathematics content are left to local implementation of the Standards.

As an example of mathematical practice, here is the full description of the sixth practice:

6 Attend to precision.

Mathematically proficient students try to communicate precisely to others. They try to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning. They state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the equal sign consistently and appropriately. They are careful about specifying units of measure, and labeling axes to clarify the correspondence with quantities in a problem. They calculate accurately and efficiently, express numerical answers with a degree of precision appropriate for the problem context. In the elementary grades, students give carefully formulated explanations to each other. By the time they reach high school they have learned to examine claims and make explicit use of definitions.

Mathematical content

The Standards lay out the mathematics content that should be learned at each grade level from kindergarten to Grade 8 (age 13-14), as well as the mathematics to be learned in high school. The Standards do not dictate any particular pedagogy or what order topics should be taught within a particular grade level. Mathematical content is organized in a number of domains. At each grade level there are several standards for each domain, organized into clusters of related standards. (See examples below.)

Four domains are included in each of the grades from kindergarten (age 5-6) to fifth grade (age 10-11):

  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking;
  • Number and Operations in Base 10;
  • Measurement and Data;
  • Geometry.

Kindergarten also includes the domain Counting and Cardinality. Grades 3 to 5 also include the domain Number and Operations–Fractions.

Four domains are included in each of the Grades 6 through 8:

  • The Number System;
  • Expressions and Equations;
  • Geometry;
  • Statistics and Probability.

Grades 6 and 7 also include the domain Ratios and Proportional Relationships. Grade 8 includes the domain Functions.

In addition to detailed standards (of which there are 21 to 28 for each grade from kindergarten to eighth grade), the Standards present an overview of “critical areas” for each grade. (See examples below.)

In high school (Grades 9 to 12), the Standards do not specify which content is to be taught at each grade level. Up to Grade 8, the curriculum is integrated; students study four or five different mathematical domains every year. The Standards do not dictate whether the curriculum should continue to be integrated in high school with study of several domains each year (as is done in other countries, as well as New York and Georgia), or whether the curriculum should be separated out into separate year-long algebra and geometry courses (as has been the tradition in most U.S. states). An appendix[21] to the Standards describes four possible pathways for covering high school content (two traditional and two integrated), but states are free to organize the content any way they want.

There are six conceptual categories of content to be covered at the high school level:

  • Number and quantity;
  • Algebra;
  • Functions;
  • Modeling;
  • Geometry;
  • Statistics and probability.

Some topics in each category are indicated only for students intending to take more advanced, optional courses such as calculus, advanced statistics, or discrete mathematics. Even if the traditional sequence is adopted, functions and modeling are to be integrated across the curriculum, not taught as separate courses. In fact, modeling is also a Mathematical Practice (see above), and is meant to be integrated across the entire curriculum beginning in kindergarten. The modeling category does not have its own standards; instead, high school standards in other categories which are intended to be considered part of the modeling category are indicated in the Standards with a star symbol.

Each of the six high school categories includes a number of domains. For example, the “number and quantity” category contains four domains: the real number system; quantities; the complex number system; and vector and matrix quantities. The “vector and matrix quantities” domain is reserved for advanced students, as are some of the standards in “the complex number system”.

Examples of mathematical content

Second grade example: In the second grade there are 26 standards in four domains. The four critical areas of focus for second grade are (1) extending understanding of base-ten notation; (2) building fluency with addition and subtraction; (3) using standard units of measure; and (4) describing and analyzing shapes. Below are the second grade standards for the domain of “operations and algebraic thinking” (Domain 2.OA). This second grade domain contains four standards, organized into three clusters:

Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
1. Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
Add and subtract within 20.
2. Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies. By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
Work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication.
3. Determine whether a group of objects (up to 20) has an odd or even number of members, e.g., by pairing objects or counting them by 2s; write an equation to express an even number as a sum of two equal addends.
4. Use addition to find the total number of objects arranged in rectangular arrays with up to 5 rows and up to 5 columns; write an equation to express the total as a sum of equal addends.

Domain example: As an example of the development of a domain across several grades, here are the clusters for learning fractions (Domain NF, which stands for “Number and Operations—Fractions”) in Grades 3 through 6. Each cluster contains several standards (not listed here):

Grade 3:
  • Develop an understanding of fractions as numbers.

Grade 4:

  • Extend understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering.
  • Build fractions from unit fractions by applying and extending previous understandings of operations on whole numbers.
  • Understand decimal notation for fractions, and compare decimal fractions.

Grade 5:

  • Use equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions.
  • Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division to multiply and divide fractions.

In Grade 6, there is no longer a “number and operations—fractions” domain, but students learn to divide fractions by fractions in the number system domain.

High school example: As an example of a high school category, here are the domains and clusters for algebra. There are four algebra domains (in bold below), each of which is broken down into as many as four clusters (bullet points below). Each cluster contains one to five detailed standards (not listed here). Starred standards, such as the Creating Equations domain (A-CED), are also intended to be part of the modeling category.

Seeing Structure in Expressions (A-SSE)

  • Interpret the structure of expressions
  • Write expressions in equivalent forms to solve problems
Arithmetic with Polynomials and Rational Functions (A-APR)

  • Perform arithmetic operations on polynomials
  • Understand the relationship between zeros and factors of polynomials
  • Use polynomial identities to solve problems
  • Rewrite rational expressions
Creating Equations.★ (A-CED)

  • Create equations that describe numbers or relationships
Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities (A-REI)

  • Understand solving equations as a process of reasoning and explain the reasoning
  • Solve equations and inequalities in one variable
  • Solve systems of equations
  • Represent and solve equations and inequalities graphically

As an example of detailed high school standards, the first cluster above is broken down into two standards as follows:

Interpret the structure of expressions
1. Interpret expressions that represent a quantity in terms of its context.★
a. Interpret parts of an expression, such as terms, factors, and coefficients.
b. Interpret complicated expressions by viewing one or more of their parts as a single entity. For example, interpret P(1+r)n as the product of P and a factor not depending on P.
2. Use the structure of an expression to identify ways to rewrite it. For example, see x4y4 as (x2)2 – (y2)2, thus recognizing it as a difference of squares that can be factored as (x2y2)(x2 + y2).

Different standards, by state

States have individual variations on implementing the standards.

Vermont

  • Emphasize basic arithmetic, fractions in elementary school. Focus on memorization instead of reliance on calculators.
  • An Algebra I capability is perceived for elementary school graduates; Algebra II for high school graduates.
  • Improve difficulty level of books being read. Less emphasis on how students “feel” about a book and more on analyzing content.
  • Testing by computer is planned with results available almost “instantly.”[15]

Criticism

Critics question forcing a rigid template on schools already coping with other initiatives like No Child Left Behind. For some states, this will be the third (or more) major change over the past 16 years.[15]

Some critics also question whether there is a demand for creating state standards to begin with. According to the NGA and the CCSSO one motivating factor is the U.S.’s ranking on international test results; however, there does not seem to be a relationship between the US’s low score on these tests and the US’s economic ranking.[22] The United States has ranked 1st or 2nd on the World Economic Forum since 1998 despite scoring near the bottom on the International Mathematics and Science Studies for the past 50 years.[22]

In June 2011, the Voice of America Special English reported on the common core standards on its weekly Education Report for people learning American English. Some commentators criticized the idea that “one size fits all.”[23][24]

In a Huffington Post piece, “Do We Need a Common Core?”, Nicholas Tampio raised two objections to the Common Core. First, he suggests the importance of “America’s historical commitment to local control over school districts,” and the second is his anecdotal discussion of the Common Core claims that the program provide appropriate benchmarks to all students everywhere. He recounts the changes in his son’s kindergarten as the teacher began spending more time teaching from the Common Core curriculum, and says an “inspired kindergarten curriculum has been replaced with a banal one.”

Adoption of Common Core Standards by states

The chart below contains the adoption status of the Common Core Standards as of January 15, 2013.[25] Texas and Alaska are the only states that are not members of the initiative. Nebraska and Virginia are members but have decided not to adopt the standards. Minnesota rejected the Common Core Standards for mathematics, but accepted the English/Language Arts standards.[9] The District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the American Samoa Islands have also adopted the standards. Puerto Rico has not adopted the standards.

State Adoption stance
Alabama Formally adopted; repeal legislation introduced in upper and lower houses, February, 2013[26]
Alaska Non-member
Arizona Formally adopted
Arkansas Formally adopted
California Formally adopted
Colorado Formally adopted
Connecticut Formally adopted
Delaware Formally adopted
District of Columbia Formally adopted
Florida Formally adopted
Georgia Formally adopted
Hawaii Formally adopted
Idaho Formally adopted
Illinois Formally adopted
Indiana Formally adopted; repealed in State Senate on February 21, 2013
Iowa Formally adopted
Kansas Formally adopted
Kentucky Formally adopted
Louisiana Formally adopted
Maine Formally adopted
Maryland Formally endorsed
Massachusetts Formally adopted
Michigan Formally adopted
Minnesota Adopted (English standards only, math standards rejected)
Mississippi Formally adopted
Missouri Formally adopted
Montana Formally adopted
Nebraska Initiative member (will not adopt)[27]
Nevada Formally adopted
New Hampshire Formally adopted
New Jersey Formally adopted
New Mexico Formally adopted
New York Formally adopted
North Carolina Formally adopted
North Dakota Formally adopted
Ohio Formally adopted
Oklahoma Formally adopted
Oregon Formally adopted
Pennsylvania Formally adopted
Rhode Island Formally adopted
South Carolina Formally adopted
South Dakota Formally adopted
Tennessee Formally adopted
Texas Non-member
Utah Formally adopted
Vermont Formally adopted
Virginia Initiative member (will not adopt)[28]
Washington Formally adopted
West Virginia Formally adopted
Wisconsin Formally adopted
Wyoming Formally adopted

Assessment

With the implementation of new standards, states are also required to adopt new assessment benchmarks to measure student achievement. According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative website, formal assessment is expected to take place in the 2014–2015 school year, which coincides with the projected implementation year for most states.[13] The assessment has yet to be created, but two consortiums were generated with two different approaches as to how to assess the standards.[29] “26 states formed the PARCC RttT Assessment Consortium. Their approach focused on computer-based ‘through-course assessments’ in each grade combined with streamlined end of year tests, including performance tasks.”[30] The second consortium, “the SMARTER Balance Consortium, brought together 31 states proposing to create adaptive online exams.”[30] The final decision of which assessment to use will be determined by individual state education agencies. The Common Core State Standards website explained that some states plan to work together to create a common, universal assessment system based on the common core state standards while other states are choosing to work independently or through these two consortiums to develop the assessment.[31] Both of these leading consortiums are proposing computer-based exams that include fewer selected and constructed response test items, which moves away from what we typically think of as the Standardized Test most students are currently taking. This kind of assessment would be better aligned to college and career readiness, but does pose some interesting challenges considering the limited computer and technology resources available to some schools.

References

  1. ^ Gibbs, T. H. and Howley, A. (2000). “”World-Class Standards” and Local Pedagogies: Can We Do Both?” Thresholds in Education. ERIC Publications. 51 – 55.
  2. ^ “About Achieve.” (2011) Achieve, Inc. http://www.achieve.org/about-achieve
  3. ^ “Closing the Expectations Gap 2011: Sixth Annual 50-State Progress Report.” (2011). Achieve, Inc. <http://www.achieve.org/ClosingtheExpectationsGap2011&gt;
  4. ^ “Ready or Not: Creating a High School Diploma That Counts.” (2004) Achieve, Inc. <http://www.achieve.org/ReadyorNot&gt;
  5. ^ a b c “Ready or Not”
  6. ^ NGA Press Release announcing the Common State Standards Initiative
  7. ^ a b http://www.corestandards.org
  8. ^ http://www.corestandards.org/in-the-states States adopting the Core Standards
  9. ^ a b http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/06/12/daily-circuit-minnesota-adopting-common-core
  10. ^ Department of Education. President Obama, U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan Announce National Competition to Advance School Reform. Ed.gov. 24 July 2009. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2009/07/07242009.html&gt;
  11. ^ “U.S Department of Education”
  12. ^ Fletcher, G. H. (2010). “Race to the Top: No District Left Behind.” T. H. E Journal 37 (10): 17 – 18.
  13. ^ a b http://www.corestandards.org
  14. ^ Anderson, Nick (March 10, 2010). “Common set of school standards to be proposed”. Washington Post. p. A1.
  15. ^ a b c d Walsh, Molly (14 September 2010). “Vermont joins 30 otherws in Common Core”. Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Free Press. pp. 1B.
  16. ^ http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m “Key Points in English Language Arts. (2011). <http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/key-points-in-english-language-arts&gt;
  18. ^ “Hawaii No Longer Requires Teaching Cursive In Schools”. Huffpost Education. 1 August 2011.
  19. ^ mathematics Standards
  20. ^ Garfunkel, S. A. (2010). “The National Standards Train: You Need to Buy Your Ticket.” UMAP J 31 (4): 277 – 280.
  21. ^ appendix
  22. ^ a b Tienken, C. H. (2010). “Common Core State Standards: I Wonder?” Kappa Delta Pi Rec 47 (1): 14 – 17.
  23. ^ Transcript and MP3 of part one:Should All US Students Learn the Same Thing?
  24. ^ Part two: No National Standards: Strength or Weakness for Schools in US?
  25. ^ In the States (Common Core Standards Initiative website)
  26. ^ “Legislation would block Alabama from implementing national curriculum standards (updated)” Alabama Media Group, http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/02/legislation_would_block_alabam.html
  27. ^ “Nebraska one of few states not adopting standards”. The Grand Island Independent. 2013-01-05.
  28. ^ “Virginia’s stance against national standards is a blow for students”. The Washington Post. 2010-06-05.
  29. ^ “Common Core State Standards and Assessment Coalitions.” Education Insider. 9 Sept. 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <http://www.whiteboardadvisors.com/research/education-insider- common-core-standards-and-assessment-coalitions>
  30. ^ a b “Common Core State Standards and Assessment Coalitions”
  31. ^ “Common Core State Standards: In the States”

External links

For resources to use in the classroom visit http://www.commoncoreconversation.com/

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The Progressive End Game — Gun Grabbers — Drugs — Wealth Confiscation — Ending The Second Amendment — Videos

Posted on March 28, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Enivornment, Farming, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Law, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Science, Tax Policy, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Glenn Beck » The Progressive End Game

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Perot Museum Of Nature & Science — Dallas, Texas — Videos

Posted on March 10, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Culture, Education, Entertainment, High School, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Science, Tutorials, Uncategorized, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: |

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Tea Party Conservatives–What We Believe–Videos

Posted on December 8, 2012. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Culture, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Homes, Immigration, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Science, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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What We Believe, Part 1: Small Government and Free Enterprise.

What We Believe, Part 2: The Problem with Elitism

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Ray Kurzweil–How To Create A Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed–Videos

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Ray Kurzweil “How to Create a Mind”, Authors at Google

Exclusive Interview with Ray Kurzweil 

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2012 Vice Presidential Debate–Biden’s Condescending Disrespectfull and Rude Smirk Loses The Undecided Voter-Ryan Wins By Being Polite and Respectful To Biden-Videos

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Eva Cassidy – Chain Of Fools

“If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.”

Proverbs 29:9

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The Vice Presidential debate of 2012

By Michael Vass

“…On Oct 11, 2012 Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (WI) will meet in a debate that will seek to either re-ignite support for the re-election of President Obama, or solidify the lead and likelihood of a win by Mitt Romney. That’s what both political parties are stating about their respective candidates, but a far more realistic view is that while it may be quite entertaining and informative, it has little direct impact on the election if history holds true.

Presidential elections are won and lost by the head of the ticket in most cases. The average American can’t remember what VP Al Gore or Dick Cheney said in a debate, or if President Ford had a Vice President at all (a bit of a trick question there). While the results of Biden vs. Ryan may blip the election polls, that will be eclipsed by any result from the 2nd Presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney. …”

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Mitt Romney’s Vision For America–Acceptance Speech at Republican National Convention–Videos

Posted on August 31, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Enivornment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Homes, Immigration, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Medicine, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Science, Security, Sports, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Mitt Romney Acceptance Speech at the Republican National Convention (C-SPAN) – Full Speech

“I was born in the middle of the century in the middle of the country, a classic baby boomer.  It was a time when Americans were returning from war and eager to work. To be an American was to assume that all things were possible.  When President Kennedy challenged Americans to go to the moon, the question wasn’t whether we’d get there, it was only when we’d get there.

  The soles of Neil Armstrong’s boots on the moon made permanent impressions on OUR souls and in our national psyche. Ann and I watched those steps together on her parent’s sofa. Like all Americans we went to bed that night knowing we lived in the greatest country in the history of the world.

God bless Neil Armstrong.

Tonight that American flag is still there on the moon. And I don’t doubt for a second that Neil Armstrong’s spirit is still with us: that unique blend of optimism, humility and the utter confidence that when the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.”

“It’s the genius of the American free enterprise system – to harness the extraordinary creativity and talent and industry of the American people with a system that is dedicated to creating tomorrow’s prosperity rather than trying to redistribute today’s.

  That is why every president since the Great Depression who came before the American people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction: “you are better off today than you were four years ago.”

Except Jimmy Carter. And except this president.”

“Now is the time to restore the Promise of America. Many Americans have given up on this president but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.

What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It doesn’t take a special government commission to tell us what America needs.

What America needs is jobs.

Lots of jobs.”

 

“I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon.

And unlike the President, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps.

First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.

Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.

Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.

Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.

And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Today, women are more likely than men to start a business. They need a president who respects and understands what they do.

And let me make this very clear – unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.

As president, I will protect the sanctity of life. I will honor the institution of marriage. And I will guarantee America’s first liberty: the freedom of religion.”

“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. MY promise…is to help you and your family.”

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Full Text: Mitt Romney’s Acceptance Speech at the RNC

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/full-text-mitt-romneys-acceptance-speech-at-the-rnc/261822/

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Niall Ferguson–Obama’s Gotta Go–Videos

Posted on August 23, 2012. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Enivornment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Medicine, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Narcissism, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Science, Security, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Ferguson – Hit the Road Barack

Why does Paul Ryan scare the president so much? Because Obama has broken his promises, and it’s clear that the GOP ticket’s path to prosperity is our only hope.

I was a good loser four years ago. “In the grand scheme of history,” I wrote the day after Barack Obama’s election as president, “four decades is not an especially long time. Yet in that brief period America has gone from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. to the apotheosis of Barack Obama. You would not be human if you failed to acknowledge this as a cause for great rejoicing.”

Despite having been—full disclosure—an adviser to John McCain, I acknowledged his opponent’s remarkable qualities: his soaring oratory, his cool, hard-to-ruffle temperament, and his near faultless campaign organization.

Yet the question confronting the country nearly four years later is not who was the better candidate four years ago. It is whether the winner has delivered on his promises. And the sad truth is that he has not.

In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.

In an unguarded moment earlier this year, the president commented that the private sector of the economy was “doing fine.” Certainly, the stock market is well up (by 74 percent) relative to the close on Inauguration Day 2009. But the total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak. Meanwhile, since 2008, a staggering 3.6 million Americans have been added to Social Security’s disability insurance program. This is one of many ways unemployment is being concealed.

In his fiscal year 2010 budget—the first he presented—the president envisaged growth of 3.2 percent in 2010, 4.0 percent in 2011, 4.6 percent in 2012. The actual numbers were 2.4 percent in 2010 and 1.8 percent in 2011; few forecasters now expect it to be much above 2.3 percent this year.

Unemployment was supposed to be 6 percent by now. It has averaged 8.2 percent this year so far. Meanwhile real median annual household income has dropped more than 5 percent since June 2009. Nearly 110 million individuals received a welfare benefit in 2011, mostly Medicaid or food stamps.

Welcome to Obama’s America: nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return—almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit. We are becoming the 50–50 nation—half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.

And all this despite a far bigger hike in the federal debt than we were promised. According to the 2010 budget, the debt in public hands was supposed to fall in relation to GDP from 67 percent in 2010 to less than 66 percent this year. If only. By the end of this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), it will reach 70 percent of GDP. These figures significantly understate the debt problem, however. The ratio that matters is debt to revenue. That number has leapt upward from 165 percent in 2008 to 262 percent this year, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund. Among developed economies, only Ireland and Spain have seen a bigger deterioration.

Not only did the initial fiscal stimulus fade after the sugar rush of 2009, but the president has done absolutely nothing to close the long-term gap between spending and revenue.

His much-vaunted health-care reform will not prevent spending on health programs growing from more than 5 percent of GDP today to almost 10 percent in 2037. Add the projected increase in the costs of Social Security and you are looking at a total bill of 16 percent of GDP 25 years from now. That is only slightly less than the average cost of all federal programs and activities, apart from net interest payments, over the past 40 years. Under this president’s policies, the debt is on course to approach 200 percent of GDP in 2037—a mountain of debt that is bound to reduce growth even further.

And even that figure understates the real debt burden. The most recent estimate for the difference between the net present value of federal government liabilities and the net present value of future federal revenues—what economist Larry Kotlikoff calls the true “fiscal gap”—is $222 trillion.

The president’s supporters will, of course, say that the poor performance of the economy can’t be blamed on him. They would rather finger his predecessor, or the economists he picked to advise him, or Wall Street, or Europe—anyone but the man in the White House.

There’s some truth in this. It was pretty hard to foresee what was going to happen to the economy in the years after 2008. Yet surely we can legitimately blame the president for the political mistakes of the past four years. After all, it’s the president’s job to run the executive branch effectively—to lead the nation. And here is where his failure has been greatest.

On paper it looked like an economics dream team: Larry Summers, Christina Romer, and Austan Goolsbee, not to mention Peter Orszag, Tim Geithner, and Paul Volcker. The inside story, however, is that the president was wholly unable to manage the mighty brains—and egos—he had assembled to advise him.

According to Ron Suskind’s book Confidence Men, Summers told Orszag over dinner in May 2009: “You know, Peter, we’re really home alone … I mean it. We’re home alone. There’s no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes [of indecisiveness on key economic issues].” On issue after issue, according to Suskind, Summers overruled the president. “You can’t just march in and make that argument and then have him make a decision,” Summers told Orszag, “because he doesn’t know what he’s deciding.” (I have heard similar things said off the record by key participants in the president’s interminable “seminar” on Afghanistan policy.)

This problem extended beyond the White House. After the imperial presidency of the Bush era, there was something more like parliamentary government in the first two years of Obama’s administration. The president proposed; Congress disposed. It was Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts who wrote the stimulus bill and made sure it was stuffed full of political pork. And it was the Democrats in Congress—led by Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank—who devised the 2,319-page Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank, for short), a near-perfect example of excessive complexity in regulation. The act requires that regulators create 243 rules, conduct 67 studies, and issue 22 periodic reports. It eliminates one regulator and creates two new ones.

It is five years since the financial crisis began, but the central problems—excessive financial concentration and excessive financial leverage—have not been addressed.

Today a mere 10 too-big-to-fail financial institutions are responsible for three quarters of total financial assets under management in the United States. Yet the country’s largest banks are at least $50 billion short of meeting new capital requirements under the new “Basel III” accords governing bank capital adequacy.

And then there was health care. No one seriously doubts that the U.S. system needed to be reformed. But the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 did nothing to address the core defects of the system: the long-run explosion of Medicare costs as the baby boomers retire, the “fee for service” model that drives health-care inflation, the link from employment to insurance that explains why so many Americans lack coverage, and the excessive costs of the liability insurance that our doctors need to protect them from our lawyers.

Ironically, the core Obamacare concept of the “individual mandate” (requiring all Americans to buy insurance or face a fine) was something the president himself had opposed when vying with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. A much more accurate term would be “Pelosicare,” since it was she who really forced the bill through Congress.

Pelosicare was not only a political disaster. Polls consistently showed that only a minority of the public liked the ACA, and it was the main reason why Republicans regained control of the House in 2010. It was also another fiscal snafu. The president pledged that health-care reform would not add a cent to the deficit. But the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation now estimate that the insurance-coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of close to $1.2 trillion over the 2012–22 period.

The president just kept ducking the fiscal issue. Having set up a bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, headed by retired Wyoming Republican senator Alan Simpson and former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles, Obama effectively sidelined its recommendations of approximately $3 trillion in cuts and $1 trillion in added revenues over the coming decade. As a result there was no “grand bargain” with the House Republicans—which means that, barring some miracle, the country will hit a fiscal cliff on Jan. 1 as the Bush tax cuts expire and the first of $1.2 trillion of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts are imposed. The CBO estimates the net effect could be a 4 percent reduction in output.

The failures of leadership on economic and fiscal policy over the past four years have had geopolitical consequences. The World Bank expects the U.S. to grow by just 2 percent in 2012. China will grow four times faster than that; India three times faster. By 2017, the International Monetary Fund predicts, the GDP of China will overtake that of the United States.

Meanwhile, the fiscal train wreck has already initiated a process of steep cuts in the defense budget, at a time when it is very far from clear that the world has become a safer place—least of all in the Middle East.

For me the president’s greatest failure has been not to think through the implications of these challenges to American power. Far from developing a coherent strategy, he believed—perhaps encouraged by the premature award of the Nobel Peace Prize—that all he needed to do was to make touchy-feely speeches around the world explaining to foreigners that he was not George W. Bush.

In Tokyo in November 2009, the president gave his boilerplate hug-a-foreigner speech: “In an interconnected world, power does not need to be a zero-sum game, and nations need not fear the success of another … The United States does not seek to contain China … On the contrary, the rise of a strong, prosperous China can be a source of strength for the community of nations.” Yet by fall 2011, this approach had been jettisoned in favor of a “pivot” back to the Pacific, including risible deployments of troops to Australia and Singapore. From the vantage point of Beijing, neither approach had credibility.

His Cairo speech of June 4, 2009, was an especially clumsy bid to ingratiate himself on what proved to be the eve of a regional revolution. “I’m also proud to carry with me,” he told Egyptians, “a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: Assalamu alaikum … I’ve come here … to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based … upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.”

Believing it was his role to repudiate neoconservatism, Obama completely missed the revolutionary wave of Middle Eastern democracy—precisely the wave the neocons had hoped to trigger with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. When revolution broke out—first in Iran, then in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria—the president faced stark alternatives. He could try to catch the wave by lending his support to the youthful revolutionaries and trying to ride it in a direction advantageous to American interests. Or he could do nothing and let the forces of reaction prevail.

In the case of Iran he did nothing, and the thugs of the Islamic Republic ruthlessly crushed the demonstrations. Ditto Syria. In Libya he was cajoled into intervening. In Egypt he tried to have it both ways, exhorting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave, then drawing back and recommending an “orderly transition.” The result was a foreign-policy debacle. Not only were Egypt’s elites appalled by what seemed to them a betrayal, but the victors—the Muslim Brotherhood—had nothing to be grateful for. America’s closest Middle Eastern allies—Israel and the Saudis—looked on in amazement.

“This is what happens when you get caught by surprise,” an anonymous American official told The New York Times in February 2011. “We’ve had endless strategy sessions for the past two years on Mideast peace, on containing Iran. And how many of them factored in the possibility that Egypt moves from stability to turmoil? None.”

Remarkably the president polls relatively strongly on national security. Yet the public mistakes his administration’s astonishingly uninhibited use of political assassination for a coherent strategy. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, the civilian proportion of drone casualties was 16 percent last year. Ask yourself how the liberal media would have behaved if George W. Bush had used drones this way. Yet somehow it is only ever Republican secretaries of state who are accused of committing “war crimes.”

The real crime is that the assassination program destroys potentially crucial intelligence (as well as antagonizing locals) every time a drone strikes. It symbolizes the administration’s decision to abandon counterinsurgency in favor of a narrow counterterrorism. What that means in practice is the abandonment not only of Iraq but soon of Afghanistan too. Understandably, the men and women who have served there wonder what exactly their sacrifice was for, if any notion that we are nation building has been quietly dumped. Only when both countries sink back into civil war will we realize the real price of Obama’s foreign policy.

America under this president is a superpower in retreat, if not retirement. Small wonder 46 percent of Americans—and 63 percent of Chinese—believe that China already has replaced the U.S. as the world’s leading superpower or eventually will.

It is a sign of just how completely Barack Obama has “lost his narrative” since getting elected that the best case he has yet made for reelection is that Mitt Romney should not be president. In his notorious “you didn’t build that” speech, Obama listed what he considers the greatest achievements of big government: the Internet, the GI Bill, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam, the Apollo moon landing, and even (bizarrely) the creation of the middle class. Sadly, he couldn’t mention anything comparable that his administration has achieved.

Now Obama is going head-to-head with his nemesis: a politician who believes more in content than in form, more in reform than in rhetoric. In the past days much has been written about Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s choice of running mate. I know, like, and admire Paul Ryan. For me, the point about him is simple. He is one of only a handful of politicians in Washington who is truly sincere about addressing this country’s fiscal crisis.

Over the past few years Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” has evolved, but the essential points are clear: replace Medicare with a voucher program for those now under 55 (not current or imminent recipients), turn Medicaid and food stamps into block grants for the states, and—crucially—simplify the tax code and lower tax rates to try to inject some supply-side life back into the U.S. private sector. Ryan is not preaching austerity. He is preaching growth. And though Reagan-era veterans like David Stockman may have their doubts, they underestimate Ryan’s mastery of this subject. There is literally no one in Washington who understands the challenges of fiscal reform better.

Just as importantly, Ryan has learned that politics is the art of the possible. There are parts of his plan that he is understandably soft-pedaling right now—notably the new source of federal revenue referred to in his 2010 “Roadmap for America’s Future” as a “business consumption tax.” Stockman needs to remind himself that the real “fairy-tale budget plans” have been the ones produced by the White House since 2009.

I first met Paul Ryan in April 2010. I had been invited to a dinner in Washington where the U.S. fiscal crisis was going to be the topic of discussion. So crucial did this subject seem to me that I expected the dinner to happen in one of the city’s biggest hotel ballrooms. It was actually held in the host’s home. Three congressmen showed up—a sign of how successful the president’s fiscal version of “don’t ask, don’t tell” (about the debt) had been. Ryan blew me away. I have wanted to see him in the White House ever since.

.

It remains to be seen if the American public is ready to embrace the radical overhaul of the nation’s finances that Ryan proposes. The public mood is deeply ambivalent. The president’s approval rating is down to 49 percent. The Gallup Economic Confidence Index is at minus 28 (down from minus 13 in May). But Obama is still narrowly ahead of Romney in the polls as far as the popular vote is concerned (50.8 to 48.2) and comfortably ahead in the Electoral College. The pollsters say that Paul Ryan’s nomination is not a game changer; indeed, he is a high-risk choice for Romney because so many people feel nervous about the reforms Ryan proposes.

But one thing is clear. Ryan psychs Obama out. This has been apparent ever since the White House went on the offensive against Ryan in the spring of last year. And the reason he psychs him out is that, unlike Obama, Ryan has a plan—as opposed to a narrative—for this country.

Mitt Romney is not the best candidate for the presidency I can imagine. But he was clearly the best of the Republican contenders for the nomination. He brings to the presidency precisely the kind of experience—both in the business world and in executive office—that Barack Obama manifestly lacked four years ago. (If only Obama had worked at Bain Capital for a few years, instead of as a community organizer in Chicago, he might understand exactly why the private sector is not “doing fine” right now.) And by picking Ryan as his running mate, Romney has given the first real sign that—unlike Obama—he is a courageous leader who will not duck the challenges America faces.

The voters now face a stark choice. They can let Barack Obama’s rambling, solipsistic narrative continue until they find themselves living in some American version of Europe, with low growth, high unemployment, even higher debt—and real geopolitical decline.

Or they can opt for real change: the kind of change that will end four years of economic underperformance, stop the terrifying accumulation of debt, and reestablish a secure fiscal foundation for American national security.

I’ve said it before: it’s a choice between les États Unis and the Republic of the Battle Hymn.

I was a good loser four years ago. But this year, fired up by the rise of Ryan, I want badly to win.

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The Excellent Powder–Saving Millions of Lives With DDT–Videos

Posted on August 8, 2012. Filed under: Agriculture, American History, Babies, Biology, Blogroll, Business, Chemistry, College, Communications, Diasters, Economics, Education, Energy, Federal Government, Food, government, Health Care, High School, history, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Psychology, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Religion, Resources, Science, Strategy, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , |

John Stossel – DDT

Demonizing DDT: Challenging The Scare Campaign That Has Cost Millions of Lives

“In The Excellent Powder: DDT’s Political and Scientific History, Richard Tren and Donald Roberts argue that the infamous insecticide is the world’s greatest public-health success stories, saving millions of lives by preventing insect-borne disease. Unfortunately for those in areas still infested with mosquitoes and other flying bugs, DDT is also the world’s most-misunderstood substance, the target of a decades-long scientifically ignorant and ideologically motivated campaign that has vastly limited its use and applications.

From Rachel Carson in the 1960s to contemporary critics, DDT has been the object of what Roberts, a professor of tropical public health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, calls “scare campaigns” that link DDT to “theoretical harms to wildlife and human life that simply don’t exist.”

Dubbed “the excellent powder” by Winston Churchill for its life-saving qualities, DDT has the potential to transform the developing world from a malarial hell into something else again. Yet as Tren, the winner of the 2009 Julian L. Simon Award, warns, under current international conventions, global DDT production is scheduled to be halted in 2017, thereby consigning much of the world to less-effective and more-expensive alternatives that will consign millions of poor people to living hell.

Reason.tv’s Nick Gillespie sat down with Tren and Roberts, who are part of Africa Fighting Malaria, to talk about how DDT got such a bad rap and what can be done to set the record straight.”

15-108 Science Matters:DDT & Modern Environmental Movement II

Malaria

“…Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by protists (a type of microorganism) of the genus Plasmodium. The protists first infect the liver, then act as parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases progressing to coma or death. The disease is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions in a broad band around the equator, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Five species of Plasmodium can infect and be transmitted by humans. Severe malaria is largely caused by P. falciparum while the disease caused by P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae is generally a milder form that is rarely fatal. The zoonotic species P. knowlesi, prevalent in Southeast Asia, causes malaria in macaques but can also cause severe infections in humans. Malaria is prevalent in tropical regions because the significant amounts of rainfall, consistently high temperatures and high humidity, along with stagnant waters in which mosquito larvae readily mature, provide them with the environment they need for continuous breeding. Disease transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by distribution of mosquito nets and insect repellents, or with mosquito-control measures such as spraying insecticides and draining standing water.

The World Health Organization has estimated that in 2010, there were 216 million documented cases of malaria. Around 655,000 people died from the disease, many of whom were children under the age of five.[1] The actual number of deaths may be significantly higher, as precise statistics are unavailable in many rural areas, and many cases are undocumented. P. falciparum — responsible for the most severe form of malaria — causes the vast majority of deaths associated with the disease. Malaria is commonly associated with poverty, and can indeed be a cause of poverty and a major hindrance to economic development.

Despite a clear need, no vaccine offering a high level of protection currently exists. Efforts to develop one are ongoing. Several medications are available to prevent malaria in travelers to malaria-endemic countries (prophylaxis). A variety of antimalarial medications are available. Severe malaria is treated with intravenous or intramuscular quinine or, since the mid-2000s, the artemisinin derivative artesunate, which is superior to quinine in both children and adults and is given in combination with a second anti-malarial such as mefloquine. Resistance has developed to several antimalarial drugs, most notably chloroquine and artemisinin.

Signs and symptoms

Main symptoms of malaria[2]

Typical fever patterns of malaria

The signs and symptoms of malaria typically begin 8–25 days following infection.[3] However, symptoms may occur later in those who have taken antimalarial medications as prevention.[4] The presentation may include fever, shivering, arthralgia (joint pain), vomiting, hemolytic anemia, jaundice, hemoglobinuria, retinal damage,[5] and convulsions. Approximately 30% of people however will no longer have a fever upon presenting to a health care facility.[4]

The classic symptom of malaria is cyclical occurrence of sudden coldness followed by rigor and then fever and sweating lasting about two hours or more, occurring every two days in P. vivax and P. ovale infections, and every three days for P. malariae. P. falciparum infection can cause recurrent fever every 36–48 hours or a less pronounced and almost continuous fever.[6] For reasons that are poorly understood, but that may be related to high intracranial pressure, children with malaria frequently exhibit abnormal posturing, a sign indicating severe brain damage.[7] Cerebral malaria is associated with retinal whitening, which may be a useful clinical sign in distinguishing malaria from other causes of fever.[8]

Severe malaria is usually caused by P. falciparum, and typically arises 6–14 days after infection.[9] Non-falciparum species have however been found to be the cause of ~14% of cases of severe malaria in some groups.[4] Consequences of severe malaria include coma and death if untreated—young children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable. Splenomegaly (enlarged spleen), severe headache, cerebral ischemia, hepatomegaly (enlarged liver), hypoglycemia, and hemoglobinuria with renal failure may occur. Renal failure is a feature of blackwater fever, where hemoglobin from lysed red blood cells leaks into the urine.[9]

Cause

A Plasmodium sporozoite traverses the cytoplasm of a mosquito midgut epithelial cell in this false-colour electron micrograph.

Malaria parasites are from the genus Plasmodium (phylum Apicomplexa). In humans, malaria is caused by P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. ovale, P. vivax and P. knowlesi.[10][11] Among those infected, P. falciparum is the most common species identified (~75%) followed by P. vivax (~20%).[4] P. falciparum accounts for the majority of deaths.[12] P. vivax proportionally is more common outside of Africa.[13] There have been documented human infections with several species of Plasmodium from higher apes; however, with the exception of P. knowlesi—a zoonotic species that causes malaria in macaques[11]—these are mostly of limited public health importance.[14]

Life cycle

The definitive hosts for malaria parasites are female mosquitoes of the Anopheles genus, which act as transmission vectors to humans and other vertebrates, the secondary hosts. Young mosquitoes first ingest the malaria parasite by feeding on an infected vertebrate carrier and the infected Anopheles mosquitoes eventually carry Plasmodium sporozoites in their salivary glands. A mosquito becomes infected when it takes a blood meal from an infected vertebrate. Once ingested, the parasite gametocytes taken up in the blood will further differentiate into male or female gametes and then fuse in the mosquito’s gut. This produces an ookinete that penetrates the gut lining and produces an oocyst in the gut wall. When the oocyst ruptures, it releases sporozoites that migrate through the mosquito’s body to the salivary glands, where they are then ready to infect a new human host. The sporozoites are injected into the skin, alongside saliva, when the mosquito takes a subsequent blood meal. This type of transmission is occasionally referred to as anterior station transfer.[15]

Only female mosquitoes feed on blood; male mosquitoes feed on plant nectar, and thus do not transmit the disease. The females of the Anopheles genus of mosquito prefer to feed at night. They usually start searching for a meal at dusk, and will continue throughout the night until taking a meal.[16] Malaria parasites can also be transmitted by blood transfusions, although this is rare.[17]

Recurrent malaria

Malaria recurs after treatment for three reasons. Recrudescence occurs when parasites are not cleared by treatment, whereas reinfection indicates complete clearance with new infection established from a separate infective mosquito bite; both can occur with any malaria parasite species. Relapse is specific to P. vivax and P. ovale and involves re-emergence of blood-stage parasites from latent parasites (hypnozoites) in the liver.[4] Describing a case of malaria as cured by observing the disappearance of parasites from the bloodstream can, therefore, be deceptive. The longest incubation period reported for a P. vivax infection is 30 years.[9] Approximately one in five of P. vivax malaria cases in temperate areas involve overwintering by hypnozoites, with relapses beginning the year after the mosquito bite.[18]

Pathogenesis

The life cycle of malaria parasites. A mosquito causes infection by taking a blood meal. First, sporozoites enter the bloodstream, and migrate to the liver. They infect liver cells, where they multiply into merozoites, rupture the liver cells, and return to the bloodstream. Then, the merozoites infect red blood cells, where they develop into ring forms, trophozoites and schizonts that in turn produce further merozoites. Sexual forms are also produced, which, if taken up by a mosquito, will infect the insect and continue the life cycle.

Malaria infection develops via two phases: one that involves the liver or hepatic system (exoerythrocytic), and one which involves red blood cells, or erythrocytes (erythrocytic). When an infected mosquito pierces a person’s skin to take a blood meal, sporozoites in the mosquito’s saliva enter the bloodstream and migrate to the liver where they infect hepatocytes, multiplying asexually and asymptomatically for a period of 8–30 days.[19] After a potential dormant period in the liver, these organisms differentiate to yield thousands of merozoites, which, following rupture of their host cells, escape into the blood and infect red blood cells to begin the erythrocytic stage of the life cycle.[19] The parasite escapes from the liver undetected by wrapping itself in the cell membrane of the infected host liver cell.[20]

Within the red blood cells, the parasites multiply further, again asexually, periodically breaking out of their hosts to invade fresh red blood cells. Several such amplification cycles occur. Thus, classical descriptions of waves of fever arise from simultaneous waves of merozoites escaping and infecting red blood cells.[19]

Some P. vivax sporozoites do not immediately develop into exoerythrocytic-phase merozoites, but instead produce hypnozoites that remain dormant for periods ranging from several months (6–12 months is typical) to as long as three years. After a period of dormancy, they reactivate and produce merozoites. Hypnozoites are responsible for long incubation and late relapses in P. vivax infections, although their existence in P. ovale is uncertain.[21]

The parasite is relatively protected from attack by the body’s immune system because for most of its human life cycle it resides within the liver and blood cells and is relatively invisible to immune surveillance. However, circulating infected blood cells are destroyed in the spleen. To avoid this fate, the P. falciparum parasite displays adhesive proteins on the surface of the infected blood cells, causing the blood cells to stick to the walls of small blood vessels, thereby sequestering the parasite from passage through the general circulation and the spleen.[22] The blockage of the microvasculature causes symptoms such as in placental and cerebral malaria. In cerebral malaria the sequestrated red blood cells can breach the blood–brain barrier possibly leading to coma.[23]

Micrograph of a placenta from a stillbirth due to maternal malaria. H&E stain. Red blood cells are anuclear; blue/black staining in bright red structures (red blood cells) indicate foreign nuclei from the parasites

Although the red blood cell surface adhesive proteins (called PfEMP1, for P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1) are exposed to the immune system, they do not serve as good immune targets, because of their extreme diversity; there are at least 60 variations of the protein within a single parasite and even more variants within whole parasite populations.[22] The parasite switches between a broad repertoire of PfEMP1 surface proteins, thus staying one step ahead of the pursuing immune system.[24]

Some merozoites turn into male and female gametocytes. If a mosquito pierces the skin of an infected person, it potentially picks up gametocytes within the blood. Fertilization and sexual recombination of the parasite occurs in the mosquito’s gut. New sporozoites develop and travel to the mosquito’s salivary gland, completing the cycle. Pregnant women are especially attractive to the mosquitoes, and malaria in pregnant women is an important cause of stillbirths, infant mortality and low birth weight,[25] particularly in P. falciparum infection, but also in other species infection, such as P. vivax.[26]

Genetic resistance

Main article: Genetic resistance to malaria

Due to the high levels of mortality and morbidity caused by malaria—especially the P. falciparum species—it is thought to have placed the greatest selective pressure on the human genome in recent history. Several diseases may provide some resistance to it including sickle cell disease, thalassaemias, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency as well as the presence of Duffy antigens on the subject’s red blood cells.[27][28]

The impact of sickle cell anemia on malaria immunity is of particular interest. Sickle cell anemia causes a defect to the hemoglobin molecule in the blood. Instead of retaining the biconcave shape of a normal red blood cell, the modified hemoglobin S molecule causes the cell to sickle or distort into a curved shape. Due to the sickle shape, the molecule is not as effective in taking or releasing oxygen, and therefore malaria parasites cannot complete their life cycle in the cell. Individuals who are homozygous for sickle cell anemia seldom survive this defect, while those who are heterozygous experience immunity to the disease. Although the potential risk of death for those with the homozygous condition seems to be unfavorable to population survival, the trait is preserved because of the benefits provided by the heterozygous form.[29]

Malarial hepatopathy

Hepatic dysfunction as a result of malaria is rare and is usually a result of a coexisting liver condition such as viral hepatitis and chronic liver disease.[30] Hepatitis, which is characterized by inflammation of the liver, is not actually present in what is called malarial hepatitis; the term as used here invokes the reduced liver function associated with severe malaria.[30] While traditionally considered a rare occurrence, malarial hepatopathy has seen an increase in malaria endemic areas, particularly in Southeast Asia and India.[30] Liver compromise in people with malaria correlates with a greater likelihood of complications and death.[30]

Diagnosis

Main article: Diagnosis of malaria

Malaria is typically diagnosed by the microscopic examination of blood using blood films or using antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests.[31][32] Rapid diagnostic tests that detect P. vivax are not as effective as those targeting P. falciparum.[33] They also are unable to tell how many parasites are present.[4] Areas that cannot afford laboratory diagnostic tests often use only a history of subjective fever as the indication to treat for malaria.[34] Polymerase chain reaction based tests have been developed, though these are not widely implemented in malaria-endemic regions as of 2012, due to their complexity.[4]

Classification

Malaria is divided into severe and uncomplicated by the World Health Organization (WHO).[4] Severe malaria is diagnosed when any of the following criteria are present, otherwise it is considered uncomplicated.[35]

  • Decreased consciousness
  • Significant weakness such that the person is unable to walk
  • Inability to feed
  • Two or more convulsions
  • Low blood pressure (less than 70 mmHg in adults or 50 mmHg in children)
  • Breathing problems
  • Circulatory shock
  • Kidney failure or hemoglobin in the urine
  • Bleeding problems, or hemoglobin less than 5 g/dl
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Low blood glucose (less than 2.2 mmol/l / 40 mg/dl)
  • Acidosis or lactate levels of greater than 5 mmol/l
  • A parasite level in the blood of greater than 2%

Prevention

Anopheles albimanus mosquito feeding on a human arm. This mosquito is a vector of malaria and mosquito control is an effective way of reducing the incidence of malaria.

Methods used to prevent malaria include medications, mosquito eradication and the prevention of bites. The presence of malaria in an area requires a combination of high human population density, high mosquito population density and high rates of transmission from humans to mosquitoes and from mosquitoes to humans. If any of these is lowered sufficiently, the parasite will eventually disappear from that area, as happened in North America, Europe and much of the Middle East. However, unless the parasite is eliminated from the whole world, it could become re-established if conditions revert to a combination that favours the parasite’s reproduction.[36] Many countries are seeing an increasing number of imported malaria cases owing to extensive travel and migration.

Many researchers argue that prevention of malaria may be more cost-effective than treatment of the disease in the long run, but the capital costs required are out of reach of many of the world’s poorest people. There is a wide disparity in the costs of control (i.e. maintenance of low endemicity) and elimination programs between countries. For example, in China—whose government in 2010 announced a strategy to pursue malaria elimination in the Chinese provinces—the required investment is a small proportion of public expenditure on health. In contrast, a similar program in Tanzania would cost an estimated one-fifth of the public health budget.[37]

Vector control

Further information: Mosquito control

Man spraying kerosene oil to protect against mosquitoes carrying malaria, Panama Canal Zone 1912

Efforts to eradicate malaria by eliminating mosquitoes have been successful in some areas. Malaria was once common in the United States and southern Europe, but vector control programs, in conjunction with the monitoring and treatment of infected humans, eliminated it from those regions. In some areas, the draining of wetland breeding grounds and better sanitation were adequate. Malaria was eliminated from most parts of the USA in the early 20th century by such methods, and the use of the pesticide DDT and other means eliminated it from the remaining pockets in the South by 1951.[38] (see National Malaria Eradication Program)

Before DDT, malaria was successfully eradicated or controlled in tropical areas like Brazil and Egypt by removing or poisoning the breeding grounds of the mosquitoes or the aquatic habitats of the larva stages, for example by applying the highly toxic arsenic compound Paris Green to places with standing water. This method has seen little application in Africa for more than half a century.[39]

A more targeted and ecologically friendly vector control strategy involves genetic manipulation of malaria mosquitoes. Advances in genetic engineering technologies make it possible to introduce foreign DNA into the mosquito genome and either decrease the lifespan of the mosquito, or make it more resistant to the malaria parasite.[40] Sterile insect technique is a genetic control method whereby large numbers of sterile males mosquitoes are reared and released. Mating with wild females reduces the wild population in the subsequent generation; repeated releases eventually eradicate the target population. Progress towards transgenic, or genetically modified, insects suggests that wild mosquito populations could be made malaria resistant. Successful replacement of current populations with a new genetically modified population relies upon a drive mechanism, such as transposable elements to allow for non-Mendelian inheritance of the gene of interest. Although this approach has been used successfully to eradicate some parasitic diseases of veterinary importance, technological problems have hindered its effective deployment with malaria vector species.[40]

Indoor residual spraying

Further information: Indoor residual spraying and DDT and malaria

Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is the practice of spraying insecticides on the interior walls of homes in malaria-affected areas. After feeding, many mosquito species rest on a nearby surface while digesting the bloodmeal, so if the walls of dwellings have been coated with insecticides, the resting mosquitoes will be killed before they can bite another victim and transfer the malaria parasite.[41]

The first pesticide used for IRS was DDT.[38] Although it was initially used exclusively to combat malaria, its use quickly spread to agriculture. In time, pest control, rather than disease control, came to dominate DDT use, and this large-scale agricultural use led to the evolution of resistant mosquitoes in many regions. The DDT resistance shown by Anopheles mosquitoes can be compared to antibiotic resistance shown by bacteria. The overuse of antibacterial soaps and antibiotics led to antibiotic resistance in bacteria, similar to how overspraying of DDT on crops led to DDT resistance in Anopheles mosquitoes. During the 1960s, awareness of the negative consequences of its indiscriminate use increased, ultimately leading to bans on agricultural applications of DDT in many countries in the 1970s.[42]

The World Health Organization currently advises the use of 12 insecticides in IRS operations, including DDT as well as alternative insecticides (such as the pyrethroids permethrin and deltamethrin).[43] This public health use of small amounts of DDT is permitted under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which prohibits the agricultural use of DDT.[42] However, because of its legacy, many developed countries previously discouraged DDT use even in small quantities.[44]

One problem with all forms of IRS is insecticide resistance via evolution. Mosquitoes that are affected by IRS tend to rest and live indoors, and due to the irritation caused by spraying, their descendants tend to rest and live outdoors, meaning that they are not as affected—if affected at all—by the IRS, which greatly reduces its effectiveness as a defense mechanism.[45]

Mosquito nets

Main article: Mosquito net

Mosquito nets create a protective barrier against malaria-carrying mosquitoes that bite at night.

Mosquito nets help keep mosquitoes away from people and significantly reduce infection rates and transmission of malaria. The nets are not a perfect barrier and they are often treated with an insecticide designed to kill the mosquito before it has time to search for a way past the net. Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) are estimated to be twice as effective as untreated nets and offer greater than 70% protection compared with no net.[40] Although ITNs are proven to be very effective against malaria, only about 13% of households in sub-Saharan countries own them.[46] Since the Anopheles mosquitoes feed at night, the preferred method is to hang a large “bed net” above the center of a bed to drape over it completely.[47]

Other methods

Community participation and health education strategies promoting awareness of malaria and the importance of control measures have been successfully used to reduce the incidence of malaria in some areas of the developing world.[48] Recognizing the disease in the early stages can stop the disease from becoming fatal. Education can also inform people to cover over areas of stagnant, still water, such as water tanks that are ideal breeding grounds for the parasite and mosquito, thus cutting down the risk of the transmission between people. This is generally used in urban areas where there are large centers of population in a confined space and transmission would be most likely in these areas.[49]

Other interventions for the control of malaria include mass drug administrations[33] and intermittent preventive therapy.[50]

Medications

Main article: Malaria prophylaxis

Several drugs, most of which are used for treatment of malaria, can be taken to prevent contracting the disease during travel to endemic areas. Chloroquine may be used where the parasite is still sensitive.[51] However, due to resistance one of three medications—mefloquine (Lariam), doxycycline (available generically), or the combination of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride (Malarone)—is frequently needed.[51] Doxycycline and the atovaquone and proguanil combination are the best tolerated; mefloquine is associated with higher rates of neurological and psychiatric symptoms.[51]

The prophylactic effect does not begin immediately upon starting the drugs, so people temporarily visiting malaria-endemic areas usually begin taking the drugs one to two weeks before arriving and should continue taking them for four weeks after leaving (with the exception of atovaquone proguanil that only needs to be started two days prior and continued for seven days afterwards). Generally, these drugs are taken daily or weekly, at a lower dose than is used for treatment of a person who contracts the disease. Use of prophylactic drugs is seldom practical for full-time residents of malaria-endemic areas, and their use is usually restricted to short-term visitors and travelers to malarial regions. This is due to the cost of purchasing the drugs, negative adverse effects from long-term use, and because some effective anti-malarial drugs are difficult to obtain outside of wealthy nations.[52] The use of prophylactic drugs where malaria-bearing mosquitoes are present may encourage the development of partial immunity.[53]

Treatment

Further information: Antimalarial medication

The treatment of malaria depends on the severity of the disease; whether people can take oral drugs or must be admitted depends on the assessment and the experience of the clinician.

Uncomplicated malaria

Uncomplicated malaria may be treated with oral medications. The most effective strategy for P. falciparum infection is the use of artemisinins in combination with other antimalarials (known as artemisinin-combination therapy).[54] This is done to reduce the risk of resistance against artemisinin.[54] These additional antimalarials include amodiaquine, lumefantrine, mefloquine or sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine.[35] Another recommended combination is dihydroartemisinin and piperaquine.[35] In the 2000s (decade), malaria with partial resistance to artemisins emerged in Southeast Asia.[55][56]

Severe malaria

Severe malaria requires the parenteral administration of antimalarial drugs. Until the mid-2000s the most used treatment for severe malaria was quinine, but artesunate has been shown to be superior to quinine in both children[57] and adults.[58][59] Treatment of severe malaria also involves supportive measures that are optimally performed in a critical care unit, including management of high fevers (hyperpyrexia) and the subsequent seizures that may result from it, and monitoring for respiratory depression, hypoglycemia, and hypokalemia.[60] Infection with P. vivax, P. ovale or P. malariae is usually treated on an outpatient basis (while a person is at home). Treatment of P. vivax requires both treatment of blood stages (with chloroquine or ACT) as well as clearance of liver forms with primaquine.[61]

Prognosis

Disability-adjusted life yearfor malaria per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004.

   no data
   <10
   10–100
   100–500
   500–1000
   1000–1500
   1500–2000
   2000–2500
   2500–2750
   2750–3000
   3000–3250
   3250–3500
   ≥3500

Severe malaria can progress extremely rapidly and cause death within hours or days.[9] In the most severe cases of the disease, fatality rates can reach 20%, even with intensive care and treatment.[4] Over the longer term, developmental impairments have been documented in children who have suffered episodes of severe malaria.[62] It causes widespread anemia during a period of rapid brain development and also direct brain damage. This neurologic damage results from cerebral malaria to which children are more vulnerable.[62] When properly treated, people with malaria can usually expect a complete recovery.[63]

Epidemiology

Map showing the distribution of malaria in the world.[64]  :  Elevated occurrence of chloroquine- or multi-resistant malaria :  Occurrence of chloroquine-resistant malaria :  No plasmodium falciparum or chloroquine-resistance :  No malaria

Based on documented cases, the WHO estimates that there were 216 million cases of malaria in 2010 resulting in 655,000 deaths.[1] An estimate in The Lancet, based on a systematic analysis of all available mortality data combined with empirical methods for estimating causes of death, places the number of deaths in 2010 at 1.24 million.[65][66] The majority of cases occur in children under five years old;[67] pregnant women are also especially vulnerable. Despite efforts to reduce transmission and increase treatment, there has been little change in which areas are at risk of this disease since 1992.[68] Indeed, if the prevalence of malaria stays on its present upwards course, the death rate could double in the next twenty years.[69] Precise statistics are unknown because many cases occur in rural areas where people do not have access to hospitals or the means to afford health care. As a consequence, the majority of cases are undocumented.[69]

Although coinfection with HIV and malaria does increase mortality, this is less of a problem than with HIV/tuberculosis coinfection, due to the two diseases usually attacking different age ranges, with malaria being most common in the young and active tuberculosis most common in the old.[70] Although HIV/malaria coinfection produces less severe symptoms than the interaction between HIV and TB, HIV and malaria do contribute to each other’s spread. This effect comes from malaria increasing viral load and HIV infection increasing a person’s susceptibility to malaria infection.[71]

Malaria is presently endemic in a broad band around the equator, in areas of the Americas, many parts of Asia, and much of Africa; however, it is in sub-Saharan Africa where 85–90% of malaria fatalities occur.[72] The geographic distribution of malaria within large regions is complex, and malaria-afflicted and malaria-free areas are often found close to each other.[73] Malaria is prevalent in tropical regions because of the significant amounts of rainfall, consistent high temperatures and high humidity, along with stagnant waters in which mosquito larvae readily mature, providing them with the environment they need for continuous breeding.[74] In drier areas, outbreaks of malaria have been predicted with reasonable accuracy by mapping rainfall.[75] Malaria is more common in rural areas than in cities; this is in contrast to dengue fever where urban areas present the greater risk.[76] For example, several cities in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are essentially malaria-free, but the disease is present in many rural regions.[77] By contrast, malaria in Africa is present in both rural and urban areas, though the risk is lower in the larger cities.[78] The Wellcome Trust, UK, has funded the Malaria Atlas Project to map global endemic levels of malaria, providing a more contemporary and robust means with which to assess current and future malaria disease burden.[79] This effort led to the publication of a map of P. falciparum endemicity in 2010.[80] As of 2010, countries with the highest death rate per 100,000 population are Cote d’Ivoire with (86.15), Angola (56.93) and Burkina Faso (50.66) – all in Africa.[81]

History

Main article: History of malaria

Malaria has infected humans for over 50,000 years, and Plasmodium may have been a human pathogen for the entire history of the species.[82] Close relatives of the human malaria parasites remain common in chimpanzees. Some new evidence suggests that the most virulent strain of human malaria may have originated in gorillas.[83]

References to the unique periodic fevers of malaria are found throughout recorded history, beginning in 2700 BC in China.[84] Malaria may have contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire,[85] and was so pervasive in Rome that it was known as the “Roman fever”.[86] Several regions in ancient Rome were considered at-risk for the disease because of the favorable conditions present for malaria vectors. This included areas such as southern Italy, the island of Sardinia, the Pontine Marshes, the lower regions of coastal Etruria and the city of Rome along the Tiber River. The presence of stagnant water in these places was preferred by mosquitoes for breeding grounds. Irrigated gardens, swamp-like grounds, runoff from agriculture, and drainage problems from road construction led to the increase of standing water.[87]

The term malaria originates from Medieval Italian: mala aria — “bad air”; the disease was formerly called ague or marsh fever due to its association with swamps and marshland.[88] Malaria was once common in most of Europe and North America,[89] where it is no longer endemic,[90] though imported cases do occur.[91]

British doctor Ronald Ross received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work on malaria.

Malaria was the most important health hazard encountered by U.S. troops in the South Pacific during World War II, where about 500,000 men were infected.[92] According to Joseph Patrick Byrne, “Sixty thousand American soldiers died of malaria during the African and South Pacific campaigns.”[93] Scientific studies on malaria made their first significant advance in 1880, when a French army doctor working in the military hospital of Constantine in Algeria named Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran observed parasites for the first time, inside the red blood cells of people suffering from malaria. He therefore proposed that malaria is caused by this organism, the first time a protist was identified as causing disease.[94] For this and later discoveries, he was awarded the 1907 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The malarial parasite was called Plasmodium by the Italian scientists Ettore Marchiafava and Angelo Celli.[95] A year later, Carlos Finlay, a Cuban doctor treating people with yellow fever in Havana, provided strong evidence that mosquitoes were transmitting disease to and from humans.[96] This work followed earlier suggestions by Josiah C. Nott,[97] and work by Sir Patrick Manson, the “father of tropical medicine”, on the transmission of filariasis.[98]

In April 1894, a Scottish physician Sir Ronald Ross visited Sir Patrick Manson at his house on Queen Anne Street, London. This visit was the start of four years of collaboration and fervent research that culminated in 1898 when Ross, who was working in the Presidency General Hospital in Calcutta, proved the complete life-cycle of the malaria parasite in mosquitoes. He thus proved that the mosquito was the vector for malaria in humans by showing that certain mosquito species transmit malaria to birds. He isolated malaria parasites from the salivary glands of mosquitoes that had fed on infected birds.[99] For this work, Ross received the 1902 Nobel Prize in Medicine. After resigning from the Indian Medical Service, Ross worked at the newly established Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and directed malaria-control efforts in Egypt, Panama, Greece and Mauritius.[100] The findings of Finlay and Ross were later confirmed by a medical board headed by Walter Reed in 1900. Its recommendations were implemented by William C. Gorgas in the health measures undertaken during construction of the Panama Canal. This public-health work saved the lives of thousands of workers and helped develop the methods used in future public-health campaigns against the disease.[101]

The first effective treatment for malaria came from the bark of cinchona tree, which contains quinine. This tree grows on the slopes of the Andes, mainly in Peru. The indigenous peoples of Peru made a tincture of cinchona to control malaria. The Jesuits noted the efficacy of the practice and introduced the treatment to Europe during the 1640s, where it was rapidly accepted.[102] It was not until 1820 that the active ingredient, quinine, was extracted from the bark, isolated and named by the French chemists Pierre Joseph Pelletier and Joseph Bienaimé Caventou.[103][104] Quinine become the predominant malarial medication until the 1920s, when other medications began to be developed. In the 1940s, chloroquine replaced quinine as the treatment of both uncomplicated and severe falciparum malaria until resistance supervened, first in Southeast Asia and South America in the 1950s and then globally in the 1980s.[59] Artemisinins, discovered by Chinese scientists in the 1970s, are now the recommended treatment for falciparum malaria, administered in combination with other antimalarials as well as in severe disease.[105]

Society and culture

Malaria is not just a disease commonly associated with poverty but also a cause of poverty and a major hindrance to economic development.[106] Tropical regions are affected most; however, malaria’s furthest extent reaches into some temperate zones with extreme seasonal changes. The disease has been associated with major negative economic effects on regions where it is widespread. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a major factor in the slow economic development of the American southern states.[107] A comparison of average per capita GDP in 1995, adjusted for parity of purchasing power, between countries with malaria and countries without malaria gives a fivefold difference ($1,526 USD versus $8,268 USD). In countries where malaria is common, average per capita GDP has risen (between 1965 and 1990) only 0.4% per year, compared to 2.4% per year in other countries.[108]

Poverty is both a cause and effect of malaria, since the poor do not have the financial capacities to prevent or treat the disease. In its entirety, the economic impact of malaria has been estimated to cost Africa $12 billion USD every year. The economic impact includes costs of health care, working days lost due to sickness, days lost in education, decreased productivity due to brain damage from cerebral malaria, and loss of investment and tourism.[67] In some countries with a heavy malaria burden, the disease may account for as much as 40% of public health expenditure, 30–50% of admissions to hospital, and up to 50% of outpatient visits.[109] The slow demographic transition in Africa may be partly attributed to malaria. Total fertility rates were best explained by child mortality, as measured indirectly by infant mortality, in a 2007 study.[110]

A study on the effect of malaria on IQ in a sample of Mexicans found that exposure during the birth year to malaria eradication was associated with increases in IQ. It also increased the probability of employment in a skilled occupation. The author suggests that this may be one explanation for the Flynn effect and that this may be an important explanation for the link between national malaria burden and economic development.[111] The cognitive abilities and school performance are impaired in sub-groups of people (with either cerebral malaria or uncomplicated malaria) when compared with healthy controls. Studies comparing cognitive functions before and after treatment for acute malarial illness continued to show significantly impaired school performance and cognitive abilities even after recovery. Malaria prophylaxis was shown to improve cognitive function and school performance in clinical trials when compared to placebo groups.[62] April 25 is World Malaria Day.[81]

Counterfeit and substandard drugs

Sophisticated counterfeits have been found in several Asian countries such as Cambodia,[112] China,[113] Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, and are an important cause of avoidable death in those countries.[114] The WHO said that studies indicate that up to 40% of artesunate based malaria medications are counterfeit, especially in the Greater Mekong region and have established a rapid alert system to enable information about counterfeit drugs to be rapidly reported to the relevant authorities in participating countries.[115] There is no reliable way for doctors or lay people to detect counterfeit drugs without help from a laboratory. Companies are attempting to combat the persistence of counterfeit drugs by using new technology to provide security from source to distribution.[116]

Another clinical and public health concern is the proliferation of substandard antimalarial medicines resulting from inappropriate concentration of ingredients, contamination with other drugs or toxic impurities, poor quality ingredients, poor stability and inadequate packaging.[117] A 2012 study demonstrated that roughly one-third of antimalarial medications in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa failed chemical analysis, packaging analysis, or were falsified.[118]

War

Throughout history, the contraction of malaria (via natural outbreaks as well as via infliction of the disease as a biological warfare agent) has played a prominent role in the fortunes of government rulers, nation-states, military personnel, and military actions. “Malaria Site: History of Malaria During Wars” addresses the devastating impact of malaria in numerous well-known conflicts, beginning in June 323 B.C. That site’s authors note: “Many great warriors succumbed to malaria after returning from the warfront and advance of armies into continents was prevented by malaria. In many conflicts, more troops were killed by malaria than in combat.”[119] The Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) traces the history of malaria and its impacts farther back, to 2700 BCE.[120]

In 1910, Nobel Prize in Medicine-winner Ronald Ross (himself a malaria survivor), published a book titled The Prevention of Malaria that included a chapter titled “The Prevention of Malaria in War.” The chapter’s author, Colonel C. H. Melville, Professor of Hygiene at Royal Army Medical College in London, addressed the prominent role that malaria has historically played during wars and advised: “A specially selected medical officer should be placed in charge of these operations with executive and disciplinary powers [...].”

Significant financial investments have been made to procure existing and create new anti-malarial agents. During World War I and World War II, the supplies of the natural anti-malaria drugs, cinchona bark and quinine, proved to be inadequate to supply military personnel and substantial funding was funneled into research and development of other drugs and vaccines. American military organizations conducting such research initiatives include the Navy Medical Research Center, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases of the US Armed Forces.[119]

Additionally, initiatives have been founded such as Malaria Control in War Areas (MCWA), established in 1942, and its successor, the Communicable Disease Center (now known as the Centers for Disease Control) established in 1946. According to the CDC, MCWA “was established to control malaria around military training bases in the southern United States and its territories, where malaria was still problematic” and, during these activities, to “train state and local health department officials in malaria control techniques and strategies.” The CDC’s Malaria Division continued that mission, successfully reducing malaria in the United States, after which the organization expanded its focus to include “prevention, surveillance, and technical support both domestically and internationally.”[120]

Eradication efforts

Several notable attempts are being made to eliminate the parasite from sections of the world, or to eradicate it worldwide. In 2006, the organization Malaria No More set a public goal of eliminating malaria from Africa by 2015, and the organization plans to dissolve if that goal is accomplished.[121] Several malaria vaccines are in clinical trials, which are intended to provide protection for children in endemic areas and reduce the speed of transmission of the disease. As of 2012, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has distributed 230 million insecticide-treated nets intended to stop mosquito-born transmission of malaria.[122] According to director Inder Singh, the U.S.-based Clinton Foundation has significantly reduced the cost of drugs to treat malaria, and is working to further reduce the spread of the disease.[123] Other efforts, such as the Malaria Atlas Project focus on analyzing climate and weather information required to accurately predict the spread of malaria based on the availability of habitat of malaria-carrying parasites.[79]

Malaria has been successfully eradicated in certain areas. The Republic of Mauritius, a tropical island located in the western Indian Ocean, considered ecological connections to malaria transmission when constructing their current plan for malaria control. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in aquatic areas, DDT is used in moderate amounts. Additionally, larvae-eating fish are placed in water sources to remove the malaria vectors before they become a threat to the human population. Obstructions are also removed from these sources to maintain water flow and reduce stagnant water. Similarly, marsh or swamp-like environments are drained and filled to diminish mosquito breeding grounds. These actions have produced positive results. The program has cut infection and death rates tremendously, and is cost effective, only requiring $1USD per head each year. This success is a clear indication that responses to adverse environmental conditions can decrease rates of disease.[124]

Research

With the onset of drug-resistant Plasmodium parasites, new strategies are required to combat the widespread disease. One such approach lies in the introduction of synthetic pyridoxal-amino acid adducts, which are channeled into the parasite. Thus, trapped upon phosphorylation by plasmodial PdxK (pyridoxine/pyridoxal kinase), the proliferation of Plasmodium parasites is effectively hindered by a novel compound, PT3, a cyclic pyridoxyl-tryptophan methyl ester, without harming human cells.[125]

Malaria parasites contain apicoplasts, an organelle usually found in plants, complete with their own functioning genomes. These apicoplasts are thought to have originated through the endosymbiosis of algae and play a crucial role in various aspects of parasite metabolism, for example in fatty acid biosynthesis.[126] As of 2003, 466 proteins have been found to be produced by apicoplasts[127] and these are now being investigated as possible targets for novel anti-malarial drugs.[126]

Malaria vaccines have been an elusive goal of research. The first promising studies demonstrating the potential for a malaria vaccine were performed in 1967 by immunizing mice with live, radiation-attenuated sporozoites, which provided significant protection to the mice upon subsequent injection with normal, viable sporozoites.[128] Since the 1970s, there has been a considerable effort to develop similar vaccination strategies within humans. It was determined that an individual can be protected from a P. falciparum infection if they receive over 1,000 bites from infected yet irradiated mosquitoes.[129]

Immunization

Main article: Malaria vaccine

Immunity (or, more accurately, tolerance) does occur naturally, but only in response to repeated infection with multiple strains of malaria.[130] A completely effective vaccine is not yet available for malaria, although several vaccines are under development.[131] SPf66 was tested extensively in endemic areas in the 1990s, but clinical trials showed it to be insufficiently effective.[132] Other vaccine candidates, targeting the blood-stage of the parasite’s life cycle, have also been insufficient on their own.[133] Several potential vaccines targeting the pre-erythrocytic stage are being developed, with RTS,S showing the most promising results so far.[129]

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

DDT

‘…DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is an organochlorine insecticide which is a white, crystalline solid, tasteless, and almost odorless. Technical DDT has been formulated in almost every conceivable form including solutions in xylene or petroleum distillates, emulsifiable concentrates, water-wettable powders, granules, aerosols, smoke candles, and charges for vaporisers and lotions.[2]

First synthesized in 1874, DDT’s insecticidal properties were not discovered until 1939, and it was used with great success in the second half of World War II to control malaria and typhus among civilians and troops. The Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1948 “for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods.”[3] After the war, DDT was made available for use as an agricultural insecticide, and soon its production and use skyrocketed.[4]

In 1962, Silent Spring by American biologist Rachel Carson was published. The book catalogued the environmental impacts of the indiscriminate spraying of DDT in the US and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding their effects on ecology or human health. The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. Its publication was one of the signature events in the birth of the environmental movement, and resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led to DDT being banned in the US in 1972.[5] DDT was subsequently banned for agricultural use worldwide under the Stockholm Convention, but its limited use in disease vector control continues to this day and remains controversial.[6][7]

Along with the passage of the Endangered Species Act, the US ban on DDT is cited by scientists as a major factor in the comeback of the bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, from near-extinction in the contiguous US.[8]

Properties and chemistry

DDT is similar in structure to the insecticide methoxychlor and the acaricide dicofol. It is a highly hydrophobic, nearly insoluble in water but has a good solubility in most organic solvents, fats, and oils. DDT does not occur naturally, but is produced by the reaction of chloral (CCl3CHO) with chlorobenzene (C6H5Cl) in the presence of sulfuric acid, which acts as a catalyst. Trade names that DDT has been marketed under include Anofex (Geigy Chemical Corp.), Cezarex, Chlorophenothane, Clofenotane, Dicophane, Dinocide, Gesarol (Syngenta Crop.), Guesapon, Guesarol, Gyron (Ciba-Geigy Corp. – now Novartis), Ixodex, Neocid (Reckitt & Colman, Ltd), Neocidol (Ciba-Geigy Corp. – now Novartis), and Zerdane.[4]

Isomers and related compounds

o,p’ -DDT, a minor component in commercial DDT.

Commercial DDT is a mixture of several closely–related compounds. The major component (77%) is the p,p’ isomer which is pictured at the top of this article. The o,p’ isomer (pictured to the right) is also present in significant amounts (15%). Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD) make up the balance. DDE and DDD are also the major metabolites and breakdown products in the environment.[4] The term “total DDT” is often used to refer to the sum of all DDT related compounds (p,p’-DDT, o,p’-DDT, DDE, and DDD) in a sample.

Production and use statistics

From 1950 to 1980, DDT was extensively used in agriculture—more than 40,000 tonnes were used each year worldwide[9]—and it has been estimated that a total of 1.8 million tonnes have been produced globally since the 1940s.[1] In the U.S., where it was manufactured by Ciba,[10] Montrose Chemical Company, Pennwalt[11] and Velsicol Chemical Corporation,[12] production peaked in 1963 at 82,000 tonnes per year.[4] More than 600,000 tonnes (1.35 billion lbs) were applied in the U.S. before the 1972 ban. Usage peaked in 1959 at about 36,000 tonnes.[13]

In 2009, 3314 tonnes were produced for the control of malaria and visceral leishmaniasis. India is the only country still manufacturing DDT, with China having ceased production in 2007.[14] India is the largest consumer.[15]

Mechanism of insecticide action

In insects it opens sodium ion channels in neurons, causing them to fire spontaneously, which leads to spasms and eventual death. Insects with certain mutations in their sodium channel gene are resistant to DDT and other similar insecticides. DDT resistance is also conferred by up-regulation of genes expressing cytochrome P450 in some insect species.[16]

In humans, however, it may affect health through genotoxicity or endocrine disruption. See Effects on human health.

History

Commercial product containing 5% DDT

Commercial product (Powder box, 50 g) containing 10% DDT ; Néocide. CibaGeigy DDT ; “Destroys parasites such as fleas, lice, ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, flies, etc.. Néocide Sprinkle caches of vermin and the places where there are insects and their places of passage. Leave the powder in place as long as possible. ” “Destroy the parasites of man and his dwelling”. “Death is not instantaneous, it follows inevitably sooner or later. ” “French manufacturing” ; “harmless to humans and warm-blooded animals” “sure and lasting effect. Odorless.

First synthesized in 1874 by Othmar Zeidler,[4] DDT’s insecticidal properties were not discovered until 1939 by the Swiss scientist Paul Hermann Müller, who was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his efforts.[3]

Use in the 1940s and 1950s

DDT is the best-known of several chlorine-containing pesticides used in the 1940s and 1950s. With pyrethrum in short supply, DDT was used extensively during World War II by the Allies to control the insect vectors of typhus — nearly eliminating the disease in many parts of Europe. In the South Pacific, it was sprayed aerially for malaria and dengue fever control with spectacular effects. While DDT’s chemical and insecticidal properties were important factors in these victories, advances in application equipment coupled with a high degree of organization and sufficient manpower were also crucial to the success of these programs.[17] In 1945, it was made available to farmers as an agricultural insecticide,[4] and it played a minor role in the final elimination of malaria in Europe and North America.[6] By the time DDT was introduced in the U.S., the disease had already been brought under control by a variety of other means.[18] One CDC physician involved in the United States’ DDT spraying campaign said of the effort that “we kicked a dying dog.”[19]

In 1955, the World Health Organization commenced a program to eradicate malaria worldwide, relying largely on DDT. The program was initially highly successful, eliminating the disease in “Taiwan, much of the Caribbean, the Balkans, parts of northern Africa, the northern region of Australia, and a large swath of the South Pacific”[20] and dramatically reducing mortality in Sri Lanka and India.[21] However widespread agricultural use led to resistant insect populations. In many areas, early victories partially or completely reversed, and in some cases rates of transmission even increased.[22] The program was successful in eliminating malaria only in areas with “high socio-economic status, well-organized healthcare systems, and relatively less intensive or seasonal malaria transmission”.[23]

DDT was less effective in tropical regions due to the continuous life cycle of mosquitoes and poor infrastructure. It was not applied at all in sub-Saharan Africa due to these perceived difficulties. Mortality rates in that area never declined to the same dramatic extent, and now constitute the bulk of malarial deaths worldwide, especially following the disease’s resurgence as a result of resistance to drug treatments and the spread of the deadly malarial variant caused by Plasmodium falciparum. The goal of eradication was abandoned in 1969, and attention was focused on controlling and treating the disease. Spraying programs (especially using DDT) were curtailed due to concerns over safety and environmental effects, as well as problems in administrative, managerial and financial implementation, but mostly because mosquitoes were developing resistance to DDT.[22] Efforts shifted from spraying to the use of bednets impregnated with insecticides and other interventions.[23][24]

Silent Spring and the U.S. ban

As early as the 1940s, scientists in the U.S. had begun expressing concern over possible hazards associated with DDT, and in the 1950s the government began tightening some of the regulations governing its use.[13] However, these early events received little attention, and it was not until 1957, when the New York Times reported an unsuccessful struggle to restrict DDT use in Nassau County, New York, that the issue came to the attention of the popular naturalist-author, Rachel Carson. William Shawn, editor of The New Yorker, urged her to write a piece on the subject, which developed into her famous book Silent Spring, published in 1962. The book argued that pesticides, including DDT, were poisoning both wildlife and the environment and were also endangering human health.[5]

Silent Spring was a best seller, and public reaction to it launched the modern environmental movement in the United States. The year after it appeared, President Kennedy ordered his Science Advisory Committee to investigate Carson’s claims. The report the committee issued “add[ed] up to a fairly thorough-going vindication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring thesis,” in the words of the journal Science,[25] and recommended a phaseout of “persistent toxic pesticides”.[26] DDT became a prime target of the growing anti-chemical and anti-pesticide movements, and in 1967 a group of scientists and lawyers founded the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) with the specific goal of winning a ban on DDT. Victor Yannacone, Charles Wurster, Art Cooley and others associated with inception of EDF had all witnessed bird kills or declines in bird populations and suspected that DDT was the cause. In their campaign against the chemical, EDF petitioned the government for a ban and filed a series of lawsuits.[27] Around this time, toxicologist David Peakall was measuring DDE levels in the eggs of peregrine falcons and California condors and finding that increased levels corresponded with thinner shells.

In response to an EDF suit, the U.S. District Court of Appeals in 1971 ordered the EPA to begin the de-registration procedure for DDT. After an initial six-month review process, William Ruckelshaus, the Agency’s first Administrator rejected an immediate suspension of DDT’s registration, citing studies from the EPA’s internal staff stating that DDT was not an imminent danger to human health and wildlife.[13] However, the findings of these staff members were criticized, as they were performed mostly by economic entomologists inherited from the United States Department of Agriculture, whom many environmentalists felt were biased towards agribusiness and tended to minimize concerns about human health and wildlife. The decision not to ban thus created public controversy.[17]

The EPA then held seven months of hearings in 1971–1972, with scientists giving evidence both for and against the use of DDT. In the summer of 1972, Ruckelshaus announced the cancellation of most uses of DDT—an exemption allowed for public health uses under some conditions.[13] Immediately after the cancellation was announced, both EDF and the DDT manufacturers filed suit against the EPA, with the industry seeking to overturn the ban, and EDF seeking a comprehensive ban. The cases were consolidated, and in 1973 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the EPA had acted properly in banning DDT.[13]

The U.S. DDT ban took place amidst a growing public mistrust of industry, with the Surgeon General issuing a report on smoking in 1964, the Cuyahoga River catching fire in 1969, the fiasco surrounding the use of diethylstilbestrol (DES), and the well-publicized decline in the bald eagle population.[26]

Some uses of DDT continued under the public health exemption. For example, in June 1979, the California Department of Health Services was permitted to use DDT to suppress flea vectors of bubonic plague.[28] DDT also continued to be produced in the US for foreign markets until as late as 1985, when over 300 tons were exported.[1]

Restrictions on usage

In the 1970s and 1980s, agricultural use was banned in most developed countries, beginning with Hungary in 1968[29] then in Norway and Sweden in 1970, Germany and the United States in 1972, but not in the United Kingdom until 1984. Vector control use has not been banned, but it has been largely replaced by less persistent alternative insecticides.

The Stockholm Convention, which took effect in 2004, outlawed several persistent organic pollutants, and restricted DDT use to vector control. The Convention has been ratified by more than 170 countries and is endorsed by most environmental groups. Recognizing that total elimination in many malaria-prone countries is currently unfeasible because there are few affordable or effective alternatives, public health use is exempt from the ban pending acceptable alternatives. Malaria Foundation International states, “The outcome of the treaty is arguably better than the status quo going into the negotiations…For the first time, there is now an insecticide which is restricted to vector control only, meaning that the selection of resistant mosquitoes will be slower than before.”[30]

Despite the worldwide ban, agricultural use continues in India[31] North Korea, and possibly elsewhere.[15]

Today, about 3-4,000 tonnes each year are produced for vector control.[14] DDT is applied to the inside walls of homes to kill or repel mosquitoes. This intervention, called indoor residual spraying (IRS), greatly reduces environmental damage. It also reduces the incidence of DDT resistance.[32] For comparison, treating 40 hectares (99 acres) of cotton during a typical U.S. growing season requires the same amount of chemical as roughly 1,700 homes.[33]

Environmental impact

Degradation of DDT to form DDE (by elimination of HCl, left) and DDD (by reductive dechlorination, right)

DDT is a persistent organic pollutant that is readily adsorbed to soils and sediments, which can act both as sinks and as long-term sources of exposure contributing to terrestrial organisms [2]. Depending on conditions, its soil half life can range from 22 days to 30 years. Routes of loss and degradation include runoff, volatilization, photolysis and aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation. Due to hydrophobic properties, in aquatic ecosystems DDT and its metabolites are absorbed by aquatic organisms and adsorbed on suspended particles, leaving little DDT dissolved in the water itself. Its breakdown products and metabolites, DDE and DDD, are also highly persistent and have similar chemical and physical properties.[1] DDT and its breakdown products are transported from warmer regions of the world to the Arctic by the phenomenon of global distillation, where they then accumulate in the region’s food web.[34]

Because of its lipophilic properties, DDT has a high potential to bioaccumulate, especially in predatory birds.[35] DDT, DDE, and DDD magnify through the food chain, with apex predators such as raptor birds concentrating more chemicals than other animals in the same environment. They are very lipophilic and are stored mainly in body fat. DDT and DDE are very resistant to metabolism; in humans, their half-lives are 6 and up to 10 years, respectively. In the United States, these chemicals were detected in almost all human blood samples tested by the Centers for Disease Control in 2005, though their levels have sharply declined since most uses were banned in the US.[36] Estimated dietary intake has also declined,[36] although FDA food tests commonly detect it.[37]

Marine macroalgae (seaweed) help reduce soil toxicity by up to 80% within six weeks.[38]

Effects on wildlife and eggshell thinning

DDT is toxic to a wide range of living organisms, including marine animals such as crayfish, daphnids, sea shrimp and many species of fish. It is less toxic to mammals, but may be moderately toxic to some amphibian species, especially in the larval stage. DDT, through its metabolite DDE, caused eggshell thinning and resulted in severe population declines in multiple North American and European bird of prey species.[39] Eggshell thinning lowers the reproductive rate of certain bird species by causing egg breakage and embryo deaths. DDE related eggshell thinning is considered a major reason for the decline of the bald eagle,[8] brown pelican,[40] peregrine falcon, and osprey.[1] However, different groups of birds vary greatly in their sensitivity to these chemicals. [2] Birds of prey, waterfowl, and song birds are more susceptible to eggshell thinning than chickens and related species, and DDE appears to be more potent than DDT.[1] Even in 2010, more than forty years after the U.S. ban, California condors which feed on sea lions at Big Sur which in turn feed in the Palos Verdes Shelf area of the Montrose Chemical Superfund site seemed to be having continued thin-shell problems. Scientists with the Ventana Wildlife Society and others are intensifying studies and remediations of the condors’ problems.[41]

The biological thinning mechanism is not entirely known, but there is strong evidence that p,p’-DDE inhibits calcium ATPase in the membrane of the shell gland and reduces the transport of calcium carbonate from blood into the eggshell gland. This results in a dose-dependent thickness reduction.[1][42][43][44] There is also evidence that o,p’-DDT disrupts female reproductive tract development, impairing eggshell quality later.[45] Multiple mechanisms may be at work, or different mechanisms may operate in different species.[1] Some studies show that although DDE levels have fallen dramatically, eggshell thickness remains 10–12 percent thinner than before DDT was first used.[46]

Effects on human health

Potential mechanisms of action on humans are genotoxicity and endocrine disruption. DDT may be directly genotoxic,[47] but may also induce enzymes to produce other genotoxic intermediates and DNA adducts.[47] It is an endocrine disruptor; The DDT metabolite DDE acts as an antiandrogen (but not as an estrogen). p,p’-DDT, DDT’s main component, has little or no androgenic or estrogenic activity.[47] Minor component o,p’-DDT has weak estrogenic activity.

Acute toxicity

DDT is classified as “moderately toxic” by the United States National Toxicology Program (NTP)[48] and “moderately hazardous” by the World Health Organization (WHO), based on the rat oral LD50 of 113 mg/kg.[49] DDT has on rare occasions been administered orally as a treatment for barbiturate poisoning.[50]

Chronic toxicity

Diabetes

DDT and DDE have been linked to diabetes. A number of studies from the US, Canada, and Sweden have found that the prevalence of the disease in a population increases with serum DDT or DDE levels.[51][52][53][54][55][56]

Developmental toxicity

DDT and DDE, like other organochlorines, have been shown to have xenoestrogenic activity, meaning they are chemically similar enough to estrogens to trigger hormonal responses in animals. This endocrine disrupting activity has been observed in mice and rat toxicological studies, and available epidemiological evidence indicates that these effects may be occurring in humans as a result of DDT exposure. The US Environmental Protection Agency states that DDT exposure damages the reproductive system and reduces reproductive success. These effects may cause developmental and reproductive toxicity:

  • A review article in The Lancet states, “research has shown that exposure to DDT at amounts that would be needed in malaria control might cause preterm birth and early weaning … toxicological evidence shows endocrine-disrupting properties; human data also indicate possible disruption in semen quality, menstruation, gestational length, and duration of lactation.”[24]
  • Human epidemiological studies suggest that exposure is a risk factor for premature birth and low birth weight, and may harm a mother’s ability to breast feed.[57] Some 21st-century researchers argue that these effects may increase infant deaths, offsetting any anti-malarial benefits.[58] A 2008 study, however, failed to confirm the association between exposure and difficulty breastfeeding.[59]
  • Several recent studies demonstrate a link between in utero exposure to DDT or DDE and developmental neurotoxicity in humans. For example, a 2006 University of California, Berkeley study suggests that children exposed while in the womb have a greater chance of development problems,[60] and other studies have found that even low levels of DDT or DDE in umbilical cord serum at birth are associated with decreased attention at infancy[61] and decreased cognitive skills at 4 years of age.[62] Similarly, Mexican researchers have linked first trimester DDE exposure to retarded psychomotor development.[63]
  • Other studies document decreases in semen quality among men with high exposures (generally from IRS).[64][65][66]
  • Studies generally find that high blood DDT or DDE levels do not increase time to pregnancy (TTP.)[67] There is some evidence that the daughters of highly exposed women may have more difficulty getting pregnant (i.e. increased TTP).[68]
  • DDT is associated with early pregnancy loss, a type of miscarriage. A prospective cohort study of Chinese textile workers found “a positive, monotonic, exposure-response association between preconception serum total DDT and the risk of subsequent early pregnancy losses.”[69] The median serum DDE level of study group was lower than that typically observed in women living in homes sprayed with DDT.[70]
  • A Japanese study of congenital hypothyroidism concluded that in utero DDT exposure may affect thyroid hormone levels and “play an important role in the incidence and/or causation of cretinism.”[71] Other studies have also found the DDT or DDE interfere with proper thyroid function.[72][73]

Other

Occupational exposure in agriculture and malaria control has been linked to neurological problems (i.e. Parkinsons)[74] and asthma.[75]

Carcinogenicity

DDT is suspected to cause cancer. The NTP classifies it as “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen,” the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies it as a “possible” human carcinogen, and the EPA classifies DDT, DDE, and DDD as class B2 “probable” carcinogens. These evaluations are based mainly on the results of animal studies.[1][24]

There is evidence from epidemiological studies (i.e. studies in human populations) that indicates that DDT causes cancers of the liver,[24][36] pancreas[24][36] and breast.[36] There is mixed evidence that it contributes to leukemia,[36] lymphoma[36][76] and testicular cancer.[24][36][77] Other epidemiological studies suggest that DDT/DDE does not cause multiple myeloma,[24] or cancers of the prostate,[24] endometrium,[24][36] rectum,[24][36] lung,[36] bladder,[36] or stomach.[36]

Breast cancer

The question of whether DDT or DDE are risk factors of breast cancer has been repeatedly studied. While individual studies conflict, the most recent reviews of all the evidence conclude that pre-puberty exposure increases the risk of subsequent breast cancer.[36][78] Until recently, almost all studies measured DDT or DDE blood levels at the time of breast cancer diagnosis or after. This study design has been criticized, since the levels at diagnosis do not necessarily correspond to levels when the cancer started.[79] Taken as a whole such studies “do not support the hypothesis that exposure to DDT is an important risk factor for breast cancer.”[47] The studies of this design have been extensively reviewed.[24][80][81]

In contrast, a study published in 2007 strongly associated early exposure (the p,p’- isomer) and breast cancer later in life. Unlike previous studies, this prospective cohort study collected blood samples from young mothers in the 1960s while DDT was still in use, and their breast cancer status was then monitored over the years. In addition to suggesting that the p,p’- isomer is the more significant risk factor, the study also suggests that the timing of exposure is critical. For the subset of women born more than 14 years before agricultural use, there was no association between DDT and breast cancer. However, for younger women—exposed earlier in life—the third who were exposed most to p,p’-DDT had a fivefold increase in breast cancer incidence over the least exposed third, after correcting for the protective effect of o,p’-DDT.[47][82][83] These results are supported by animal studies.[36]

Use against malaria

Malaria remains a major public health challenge in many countries. 2008 WHO estimates were 243 million cases, and 863,000 deaths. About 89% of these deaths occur in Africa, and mostly to children under the age of 5.[84] DDT is one of many tools that public health officials use to fight the disease. Its use in this context has been called everything from a “miracle weapon [that is] like Kryptonite to the mosquitoes,”[85] to “toxic colonialism.”[86]

Before DDT, eliminating mosquito breeding grounds by drainage or poisoning with Paris green or pyrethrum was sometimes successful in fighting malaria. In parts of the world with rising living standards, the elimination of malaria was often a collateral benefit of the introduction of window screens and improved sanitation.[20] Today, a variety of usually simultaneous interventions is the norm. These include antimalarial drugs to prevent or treat infection; improvements in public health infrastructure to quickly diagnose, sequester, and treat infected individuals; bednets and other methods intended to keep mosquitoes from biting humans; and vector control strategies[84] such as larvaciding with insecticides, ecological controls such as draining mosquito breeding grounds or introducing fish to eat larvae, and indoor residual spraying with insecticides, possibly including DDT. IRS involves the treatment of all interior walls and ceilings with insecticides, and is particularly effective against mosquitoes, since many species rest on an indoor wall before or after feeding. DDT is one of 12 WHO–approved IRS insecticides. How much of a role DDT should play in this mix of strategies is still controversial.[87]

WHO’s anti-malaria campaign of the 1950s and 1960s relied heavily on DDT and the results were promising, though temporary. Experts tie the resurgence of malaria to multiple factors, including poor leadership, management and funding of malaria control programs; poverty; civil unrest; and increased irrigation. The evolution of resistance to first-generation drugs (e.g. chloroquine) and to insecticides exacerbated the situation.[15][88] Resistance was largely fueled by often unrestricted agricultural use. Resistance and the harm both to humans and the environment led many governments to restrict or curtail the use of DDT in vector control as well as agriculture.[22]

Once the mainstay of anti-malaria campaigns, as of 2008 only 12 countries used DDT, including India and some southern African states,[84] though the number is expected to rise.[15]

Effectiveness of DDT against malaria

When it was first introduced in World War II, DDT was very effective in reducing malaria morbidity and mortality.[17] The WHO’s anti-malaria campaign, which consisted mostly of spraying DDT, was initially very successful as well. For example, in Sri Lanka, the program reduced cases from about 3 million per year before spraying to just 18 in 1963[89][90] and 29 in 1964. Thereafter the program was halted to save money and malaria rebounded to 600,000 cases in 1968 and the first quarter of 1969. The country resumed DDT vector control but the mosquitoes had acquired resistance in the interim, presumably because of continued agricultural use. The program switched to malathion, which though more expensive proved effective.[21]

Today, DDT remains on the WHO’s list of insecticides recommended for IRS. Since the appointment of Arata Kochi as head of its anti-malaria division, WHO’s policy has shifted from recommending IRS only in areas of seasonal or episodic transmission of malaria, to also advocating it in areas of continuous, intense transmission.[91] The WHO has reaffirmed its commitment to eventually phasing out DDT, aiming “to achieve a 30% cut in the application of DDT world-wide by 2014 and its total phase-out by the early 2020s if not sooner” while simultaneously combating malaria. The WHO plans to implement alternatives to DDT to achieve this goal.[92]

South Africa is one country that continues to use DDT under WHO guidelines. In 1996, the country switched to alternative insecticides and malaria incidence increased dramatically. Returning to DDT and introducing new drugs brought malaria back under control.[93] According to DDT advocate Donald Roberts, malaria cases increased in South America after countries in that continent stopped using DDT. Research data shows a significantly strong negative relationship between DDT residual house sprayings and malaria rates. In a research from 1993 to 1995, Ecuador increased its use of DDT and resulted in a 61% reduction in malaria rates, while each of the other countries that gradually decreased its DDT use had large increase in malaria rates.[33]

Mosquito resistance

Resistance has greatly reduced DDT’s effectiveness. WHO guidelines require that absence of resistance must be confirmed before using the chemical.[94] Resistance is largely due to agricultural use, in much greater quantities than required for disease prevention. According to one study that attempted to quantify the lives saved by banning agricultural use and thereby slowing the spread of resistance, “it can be estimated that at current rates each kilo of insecticide added to the environment will generate 105 new cases of malaria.”[22]

Resistance was noted early in spray campaigns. Paul Russell, a former head of the Allied Anti-Malaria campaign, observed in 1956 that “resistance has appeared after six or seven years.”[20] DDT has lost much of its effectiveness in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Turkey and Central America, and it has largely been replaced by organophosphate or carbamate insecticides, e.g. malathion or bendiocarb.[95]

In many parts of India, DDT has also largely lost its effectiveness.[96] Agricultural uses were banned in 1989, and its anti-malarial use has been declining. Urban use has halted completely.[97] Nevertheless, DDT is still manufactured and used,[98] and one study had concluded that “DDT is still a viable insecticide in indoor residual spraying owing to its effectivity in well supervised spray operation and high excito-repellency factor.”[99]

Studies of malaria-vector mosquitoes in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa found susceptibility to 4% DDT (the WHO susceptibility standard), in 63% of the samples, compared to the average of 86.5% in the same species caught in the open. The authors concluded that “Finding DDT resistance in the vector An. arabiensis, close to the area where we previously reported pyrethroid-resistance in the vector An. funestus Giles, indicates an urgent need to develop a strategy of insecticide resistance management for the malaria control programmes of southern Africa.”[100]

DDT can still be effective against resistant mosquitoes,[101] and the avoidance of DDT-sprayed walls by mosquitoes is an additional benefit of the chemical.[99] For example, a 2007 study reported that resistant mosquitoes avoided treated huts. The researchers argued that DDT was the best pesticide for use in IRS (even though it did not afford the most protection from mosquitoes out of the three test chemicals) because the others pesticides worked primarily by killing or irritating mosquitoes—encouraging the development of resistance to these agents.[101] Others argue that the avoidance behavior slows the eradication of the disease.[102] Unlike other insecticides such as pyrethroids, DDT requires long exposure to accumulate a lethal dose; however its irritant property shortens contact periods. “For these reasons, when comparisons have been made, better malaria control has generally been achieved with pyrethroids than with DDT.”[95] In India, with its outdoor sleeping habits and frequent night duties, “the excito-repellent effect of DDT, often reported useful in other countries, actually promotes outdoor transmission.”[103]

Residents’ concerns

Main article: Indoor residual spraying#Residents’s opposition to IRS

For IRS to be effective, at least 80% of homes and barns in an area must be sprayed.[94] Lower coverage rates can jeopardize program effectiveness. Many residents resist DDT spraying, objecting to the lingering smell, stains on walls, and may exacerbate problems with other insect pests.[95][102][104] Pyrethroid insecticides (e.g. deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin) can overcome some of these issues, increasing participation.[95]

Human exposure

People living in areas where DDT is used for IRS have high levels of the chemical and its breakdown products in their bodies. Compared to contemporaries living where DDT is not used, South Africans living in sprayed homes have levels that are several orders of magnitude greater.[36] Breast milk in regions where DDT is used against malaria greatly exceeds the allowable standards for breast-feeding infants.[105][106][107] These levels are associated with neurological abnormalities in babies.[95][105][106]

Most studies of DDT’s human health effects have been conducted in developed countries where DDT is not used and exposure is relatively low. Many experts urge that alternatives be used instead of IRS.[24][36] Epidemiologist Brenda Eskenazi argues, “We know DDT can save lives by repelling and killing disease-spreading mosquitoes. But evidence suggests that people living in areas where DDT is used are exposed to very high levels of the pesticide. The only published studies on health effects conducted in these populations have shown profound effects on male fertility. Clearly, more research is needed on the health of populations where indoor residual spraying is occurring, but in the meantime, DDT should really be the last resort against malaria rather than the first line of defense.”[108]

Illegal diversion to agriculture is also a concern, as it is almost impossible to prevent, and its subsequent use on crops is uncontrolled. For example, DDT use is widespread in Indian agriculture,[109] particularly mango production,[110] and is reportedly used by librarians to protect books.[111] Other examples include Ethiopia, where DDT intended for malaria control is reportedly being used in coffee production,[112] and Ghana where it is used for fishing.”[113][114] The residues in crops at levels unacceptable for export have been an important factor in recent bans in several tropical countries.[95] Adding to this problem is a lack of skilled personnel and supervision.[102]

Criticism of restrictions on DDT use

Critics claim that restricting DDT in vector control have caused unnecessary deaths due to malaria. Estimates range from hundreds of thousands,[115] to millions. Robert Gwadz of the National Institutes of Health said in 2007, “The ban on DDT may have killed 20 million children.”[116] These arguments have been dismissed as “outrageous” by former WHO scientist Socrates Litsios. May Berenbaum, University of Illinois entomologist, says, “to blame environmentalists who oppose DDT for more deaths than Hitler is worse than irresponsible.”[85] Investigative journalist Adam Sarvana and others characterize this notion as a “myth” promoted principally by Roger Bate of the pro-DDT advocacy group Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM).[117][118]

Criticisms of a DDT “ban” often specifically reference the 1972 US ban (with the erroneous implication that this constituted a worldwide ban and prohibited use of DDT in vector control). Reference is often made to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring even though she never pushed for a ban on DDT. John Quiggin and Tim Lambert wrote, “the most striking feature of the claim against Carson is the ease with which it can be refuted.”[119] Carson actually devoted a page of her book to considering the relationship between DDT and malaria, warning of the evolution of DDT resistance in mosquitoes and concluding:

It is more sensible in some cases to take a small amount of damage in preference to having none for a time but paying for it in the long run by losing the very means of fighting [is the advice given in Holland by Dr Briejer in his capacity as director of the Plant Protection Service]. Practical advice should be “Spray as little as you possibly can” rather than “Spray to the limit of your capacity.”

It has also been alleged that donor governments and agencies have refused to fund DDT spraying, or made aid contingent upon not using DDT. According to a report in the British Medical Journal, use of DDT in Mozambique “was stopped several decades ago, because 80% of the country’s health budget came from donor funds, and donors refused to allow the use of DDT.”[120] Roger Bate asserts, “many countries have been coming under pressure from international health and environment agencies to give up DDT or face losing aid grants: Belize and Bolivia are on record admitting they gave in to pressure on this issue from [USAID].”[121]

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been the focus of much criticism. While the agency is currently funding the use of DDT in some African countries,[122] in the past it did not. When John Stossel accused USAID of not funding DDT because it wasn’t “politically correct,” Anne Peterson, the agency’s assistant administrator for global health, replied that “I believe that the strategies we are using are as effective as spraying with DDT … So, politically correct or not, I am very confident that what we are doing is the right strategy.”[123] USAID’s Kent R. Hill states that the agency has been misrepresented: “USAID strongly supports spraying as a preventative measure for malaria and will support the use of DDT when it is scientifically sound and warranted.”[124] The Agency’s website states that “USAID has never had a ‘policy’ as such either ‘for’ or ‘against’ DDT for IRS. The real change in the past two years [2006/07] has been a new interest and emphasis on the use of IRS in general—with DDT or any other insecticide—as an effective malaria prevention strategy in tropical Africa.”[122] The website further explains that in many cases alternative malaria control measures were judged to be more cost-effective that DDT spraying, and so were funded instead.[125]

Alternatives

Other insecticides

Main article: Indoor residual spraying

Advocates of increased use of DDT in IRS claim that alternative insecticides are more expensive, more toxic, or not as effective. As discussed above, susceptibility of mosquitoes to DDT varies geographically. The same is true for alternative insecticides, so its relative effectiveness varies. Toxicity and cost-effectiveness comparisons lack data. Relative insecticide costs vary by location and ease of access, the habits of the local mosquitoes, the degrees of resistance exhibited by the mosquitoes, and the habits and compliance of the population, among other factors. The choice of insecticide has little impact on the total cost of a round of spraying, since product costs are only a fraction of campaign costs. IRS coverage needs to be maintained throughout the malaria season, making DDT’s relatively long life an important cost savings.

Organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, e.g. malathion and bendiocarb, respectively, are more expensive than DDT per kilogram and are applied at roughly the same dosage. Pyrethroids such as deltamethrin are also more expensive than DDT, but are applied more sparingly (0.02-0.3 g/m2 vs 1-2 g/m2), so the net cost per house is about the same over 6 months.[23]

Non-chemical vector control

Before DDT, malaria was successfully eradicated or curtailed in several tropical areas by removing or poisoning mosquito breeding grounds and larva habitats, for example by filling or applying oil to standing water. These methods have seen little application in Africa for more than half a century.[126]

The relative effectiveness of IRS (with DDT or alternative insecticides) versus other malaria control techniques (e.g. bednets or prompt access to anti-malarial drugs) varies greatly and is highly dependent on local conditions.[23]

A WHO study released in January 2008 found that mass distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and artemisinin–based drugs cut malaria deaths in half in Rwanda and Ethiopia, countries with high malaria burdens. IRS with DDT did not play an important role in mortality reduction in these countries.[127][128]

Vietnam has enjoyed declining malaria cases and a 97% mortaility reduction after switching in 1991 from a poorly funded DDT-based campaign to a program based on prompt treatment, bednets, and pyrethroid group insecticides.[129]

In Mexico, effective and affordable chemical and non-chemical strategies against malaria have been so successful that the Mexican DDT manufacturing plant ceased production due to lack of demand.[130]

While the increased numbers of malaria victims since DDT usage collapsed document its value, many other factors contributed to the rise in cases.

A review of fourteen studies on the subject in sub-Saharan Africa, covering insecticide-treated nets, residual spraying, chemoprophylaxis for children, chemoprophylaxis or intermittent treatment for pregnant women, a hypothetical vaccine, and changing front–line drug treatment, found decision making limited by the gross lack of information on the costs and effects of many interventions, the very small number of cost-effectiveness analyses available, the lack of evidence on the costs and effects of packages of measures, and the problems in generalizing or comparing studies that relate to specific settings and use different methodologies and outcome measures. The two cost-effectiveness estimates of DDT residual spraying examined were not found to provide an accurate estimate of the cost-effectiveness of DDT spraying; furthermore, the resulting estimates may not be good predictors of cost-effectiveness in current programs.[131]

However, a study in Thailand found the cost per malaria case prevented of DDT spraying ($1.87 US) to be 21% greater than the cost per case prevented of lambda-cyhalothrin–treated nets ($1.54 US),[132] at very least casting some doubt on the unexamined assumption that DDT was the most cost-effective measure to use in all cases. The director of Mexico’s malaria control program finds similar results, declaring that it is 25% cheaper for Mexico to spray a house with synthetic pyrethroids than with DDT.[130] However, another study in South Africa found generally lower costs for DDT spraying than for impregnated nets.[133]

A more comprehensive approach to measuring cost-effectiveness or efficacy of malarial control would not only measure the cost in dollars of the project, as well as the number of people saved, but would also consider ecological damage and negative aspects of insecticide use on human health. One preliminary study regarding the effect of DDT found that it is likely the detriment to human health approaches or exceeds the beneficial reductions in malarial cases, except perhaps in malarial epidemic situations. It is similar to the earlier mentioned study regarding estimated theoretical infant mortality caused by DDT and subject to the criticism also mentioned earlier.[134]

A study in the Solomon Islands found that “although impregnated bed nets cannot entirely replace DDT spraying without substantial increase in incidence, their use permits reduced DDT spraying.”[135]

A comparison of four successful programs against malaria in Brazil, India, Eritrea, and Vietnam does not endorse any single strategy but instead states, “Common success factors included conducive country conditions, a targeted technical approach using a package of effective tools, data-driven decision-making, active leadership at all levels of government, involvement of communities, decentralized implementation and control of finances, skilled technical and managerial capacity at national and sub-national levels, hands-on technical and programmatic support from partner agencies, and sufficient and flexible financing.”[136]

DDT resistant mosquitoes have generally proved susceptible to pyrethroids. Thus far, pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles has not been a major problem.[95] …”

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

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American History–Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Ph.D.–The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History Lectures–Videos

Posted on July 14, 2012. Filed under: American History, Baseball, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, European History, Farming, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, High School, history, History of Economic Thought, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Railroads, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Science, Ships, Sports, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, Unemployment, Union, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 1 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Lecture 1, “Themes and Lessons from Colonial America” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 2 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr. 

Lecture 2, “The Constitution: Four Disputed Clauses” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 3 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Lecture 3, “The Principles of ’98″ by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 4 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

 Lecture 4, “Lysander Spooner and Other Antebellum Radicalism” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 5 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr. 

Lecture 5, “Secession and the American Experience” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 6 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr. 

Lecture 6, “Secession and War” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 7 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Lecture 7, “Reconstruction” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 8 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Lecture 8, “Myths and Facts About Big Business” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 9 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Lecture 9, “World War I” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 10 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr. 

Lecture 10, “The 1920s – Domestic and International” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 11 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Lecture 11, “Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 12 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr. 

Lecture 12, “The Economics of the New Deal and World War II” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 13 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Lecture 13, “The History of Foreign Aid Programs” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 14 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Lecture 14, “Civil Rights and the Supreme Court” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 15 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Lecture 15, “Welfare Programs and the Great Society” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.

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American History–The Hidden Faith Of The Founding Fathers–Deism and Freemasonry–Video

Posted on June 8, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Education, European History, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science, Technology, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Our Founding Fathers

“The Founding Fathers were of many different faiths.  Some were Christian and others were Deists.  The fact remains that they created a secular Constitution that respects all religions and guarantees the right not to hold a religious belief.” 

America the Deist Nation

Washington the Freemason (1/2) 

Washington the Freemason (2/2) 

Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers

“…The real questions are: What did the founders believe about Jesus Christ?  Christianity begins with faith in the Person of Christ Himself: what did the founders think of Him?  What did they think of the Gospel?  Were they fighting for Christianity, or against it?
1) The faith of Thomas Paine — the man who inspired the American Revolution, and the writing of the Declaration of Independence.  This film shows how Paine’s influence over the Revolution was critical, while his anti-Christian writings revealed much of what the other founders truly believed.
2) The faith of Thomas Jefferson — author of the Declaration of Independence.  Jefferson said the Book of Revelation was “the ravings of a maniac” and that the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles were full of “imposture” and “stupidity.”  After his private papers were published, he was called “the reviler of Christ” by a leading clergyman.
3) The faith of Benjamin Franklin — the only man to sign all of the original founding documents.  Franklin was part of a radical occult group known as “The Hellfire Club” in England that took part in satanic rituals, which may have included human sacrifice.  Shortly before he died, he openly stated that he did not believe the Gospel.
4) The faith of John Adams — the second President of the United States.  The evidence shows that Adams was no Christian at all, but rather exalted pagan beliefs about God, while abhorring the Gospel, calling it an “awful blasphemy.”
5) The faith of George Washington — known as “the Father of our country.”  Three of Washington’s own pastors doubted his faith in Christ.  Proof is shown that he went to war, not for Christianity, but for a “universal” system that would embrace all religions.  When compelled by the clergy to confess his faith in Christ, Washington refused.
6) Washington & the Jesuits:  Generally unknown is the role of Rome and the Jesuit Order in the American Revolution.  Powerful historic evidence shows that George Washington worked with Jesuits to prevail against their common enemy, England.  This information is ground-breaking and documented beyond any doubt.
7) Bartonian History: we confront David Barton’s fabled view of American history, giving examples (including his appearance on the Glenn Beck program) of how he misquotes the founders to make it appear as if they supported Christianity, when it is provable that they did not.
8) The Question of Freemasonry: Also included is an expose of David Barton’s book on the role of Freemasonry, contending on key points against his assertion that Masonry played no significant role in the founding of the country.
9) Biblical World View: Confronts the idea often suggested that the founders were “deists,” or “agnostics” — whereas, according to the Bible, they were antichrists.”

Is America A Christian Nation (In touch Ministries)

David Barton – Liberty University Convocation

America’s Founding Fathers: Deist or Christian? – by David Barton 

 Background Articles and Videos

Deism

Deism FAQ: God and the Natural Universe

Deism: There Is No Hero Coming 

David Barton on Glenn Beck – Part 1 of 5 

David Barton on Glenn Beck – Part 2 of 5

David Barton on Glenn Beck – Part 3 of 5

David Barton on Glenn Beck – Part 4 of 5

David Barton on Glenn Beck – Part 5of 5

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Population Reduction–Videos

Posted on March 31, 2012. Filed under: American History, Biology, Blogroll, Business, Chemistry, College, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Science, Security, Talk Radio, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

Population Reduction 2012 part 1 of 12

Population Reduction 2012 part 2 of 12

Population Reduction 2012 part 3 of 12

Population Reduction 2012 part 4 of 12

Population Reduction 2012 part 5 of 12

Population Reduction 2012 part 6 of 12

Population Reduction 2012 part 7 of 12

Population Reduction 2012 part 8 of 12

Population Reduction 2012 part 9 of 12

Population Reduction 2012 part 10 of 12

Population Reduction 2012 part 11 of 12

Population Reduction 2012 part 12 of 12

George Carlin – Saving the Planet

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Luigi Colani–3-D Philosopher–Videos

Posted on March 29, 2012. Filed under: Art, Biology, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Culture, Economics, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Resources, Science, Strategy, Technology, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Moscow Design Week 2011 – Day 2 – Colani Bio

Luigi Colani exhibition at Design Museum London

Luigi Colani Bio Design Codex Show / Milano 2011  

The fluidity of form 

Future Cars Luigi Colani Speed Cars 

Future Trucks (big rigs)

Colani trucks  

Luigi Colani Rotor House

 

Luigi Colani Interview part 1/4 

Luigi Colani Interview part 2/4

Luigi Colani Interview part 3/4

Luigi Colani Interview part 4/4

 

Luigi Colani

“…Luigi Colani, (born in Berlin on 2 August 1928 as Lutz Colani), is a Swiss-born German industrial designer[1] whose father came from Madulain near St. Moritz in Switzerland.

The prime characteristic of his designs are the rounded, organic forms, which he terms “biodynamic” and claims are ergonomically superior to traditional designs. His “kitchen satellite” from 1969 is the most prominent example of this school of thought. Many of his designs for small appliances are being mass-produced and marketed, but his larger designs have not been built, “a whole host of futuristic concepts that will have us living in pods and driving cars so flat that leg amputation is the only option.”[2]

The earth is round, all the heavenly bodies are round; they all move on round or elliptical orbits. This same image of circular globe-shaped mini worlds orbiting around each other follows us right down to the microcosmos. We are even aroused by round forms in species propagation related eroticism. Why should I join the straying mass who want to make everything angular? I am going to pursue Galileo Galilei’s philosophy: my world is also round. — Luigi Colani[3]

He has received numerous design awards.

Colani currently resides in Karlsruhe, Germany. His son Solon Luigi Lutz also works as a designer. He lives in Berlin, Germany. …”

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

Elite Find of the Day: Futuristic Striking Designs by Luigi Colani

“…Since ‘40s, Germany-based industrial designer Luigi Colani was engaged in giving a revolutionary meaning to future by offering a curved, streamlined appeal to sedans and trucks, kitchens, spacecraft, furniture, and any sundry thing that he had dreamt of. You may call him a designer, but the title that befits him well is that of a “3-D philosopher,” the one coined by him. Sticking to the concept of round shape of earth and heavenly bodies, Colani wishes to follow Galileo Galilei’s philosophy and declares: “My world is also round.”

http://elitechoice.org/2008/05/28/elite-find-of-the-day-futuristic-striking-designs-by-luigi-colani/

Colani Trading AG

http://www.colani.ch/index.html

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Gas Prices on the Rise and Students Dropping Out–Videos

Posted on March 16, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Food, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Natural Gas, Oil, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Raves, Resources, Science, Security, Strategy, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

Dallas Texas, Dallas Community College District, Richland College, Sabine Hall,

$5 dollar gas dfw dallas

gas prices on the rise and students dropping out

February 29th ChronicleTV News Update

Gas Prices Explained ∞ Dollar Down Inflation Up Ron Paul End the Fed

Obama’s Shifting Energy Policies

Why Gas Prices Are Rising

How Uncertainty, Speculation Factor Into Gas Prices

What’s Behind Gas Price Spike

“No First Strike Against Iran” Says NYT Ad

OBAMA TALKS $12-A-GALLON FOR GAS

Speculation and Watered Down Regulation

Regulations on Speculation Weak, But Better Than Nothing

Secret Exemptions Allowed Speculators to Distort Futures Markets

Iran Sanctions, War, Israel & Gas Prices

Higher Gas Prices in USA, and the War with Iran hasn’t even started

What Will Happen to the US If Israel Attacks Iran?

By BRIAN ROSS (@brianross)

March 5, 2012

 “…President Obama is meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel at the White House today, and will try to talk him out of an immediate strike on Iran’s nuclear sites.

If Israel does decide to bomb Iran, however, what will it mean for the United States? According to former White House counterterrorism official Richard Clarke, Americans should brace for a painful impact. Within a week of the first Israeli attack, says Clarke, a worst case scenario would bring soaring gas prices, terror attacks in U.S. cities, worldwide cyberwar, dead and wounded U.S. sailors, and the real possibility of broad American military involvement. …”

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/israel-attacks-iran-gas-prices-cyberwar-terror-threat/story?id=15848522

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