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First Official Explosive Documentation From Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) — Profiles in Deceit — Obama And Clinton Lying To The Families That Died in Benghazi and The American People — Why? Coverup of CIA Covert Operation Including Supervision of Arms Shipments Through Third Party Cutout To Syrian Rebels Including Al Qaeda and Islamic Jihadist Terrorists (Now Islamic State) And Win Second Term For Obama and First Term For Hillary Clinton — Both Incompetent and Untrustworthy Leftist Liars — Impeach Obama Now! — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 414: February 10, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 411: February 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 410: February 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 409: February 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 408: February 2, 2015

Story 1: First Official Explosive  Documentation From Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)  — Profiles in Deceit — Obama And Clinton Lying To The Families That Died in Benghazi and The American People — Why? Coverup of CIA Covert Operation Including Supervision of Arms Shipments Through Third Party Cutout To Syrian Rebels Including Al Qaeda and Islamic Jihadist Terrorists (Now Islamic State) And Win Second Term For Obama and First Term For Hillary Clinton — Both Incompetent and Untrustworthy Leftist Liars — Impeach Obama Now! — Videos

Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), dated September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack

The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center buildings.

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.  The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.]

The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows:

This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.

US Intel knew about weapons going from Benghazi to Syria

Daily News Collective For May 19, 2015

Hillary Clinton Fires Back Over Benghazi Select Committee On The Record

Hillary’s Benghazi Lies Exposed!

Hillary Clinton feigned ignorance when she was questioned about the Benghazi gun-running program by Senator Rand Paul in January 2013.

However, explosive new documents obtained by Judicial Watch prove conclusively that US intelligence agencies were fully aware weapons were being transferred from Libya to Syria before the attack.

That’s not the only Benghazi fact given the spin by the Obama Administration.

Help us spread the word about the liberty movement, we’re reaching millions help us reach millions more. Share the free live video feed link with your friends & family: http://www.infowars.com/show

Military intel predicted rise of ISIS in 2012, detailed arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria

Rep. Mike Pompeo Discusses 13 Hours At Benghazi

(FULL) 13 Hours in Benghazi: Fox News Special Report

Benghazi: The Truth Behind the Smokescreen

Herridge: Fmr. CIA Director Morell May Have Altered Benghazi Talking Points to Benefit Obama Admin

The Truth About How The US Will Save Syria

CNN Benghazi Claims: Report alleges CIA operatives in Libya were sending weapons to Syrian rebels

Retired Lt Gen Jerry Boykin suspects US Was Running Guns To Syrian Rebels Via Benghazi

SYRIA CNBC: Benghazi Is Not About Libya But An Operation To Put Arms & Men In Syria

Former CIA Spy: Benghazi Was CIA Operation

Benghazi Bombshell: Insiders Confirm CIA Sent Missiles to FSA Rebels

Judge Jeanine Pirro Opening Statement President Obama’s Benghazi Attack Claims

Judicial Watch: Defense, State Department Documents Reveal Obama Administration Knew that al Qaeda Terrorists Had Planned Benghazi Attack 10 Days in Advance

Administration knew three months before the November 2012 presidential election of ISIS plans to establish a caliphate in Iraq 

Administration knew of arms being shipped from Benghazi to Syria

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD)and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance. Rahman is known as the Blind Sheikh, and is serving life in prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist acts.  The new documents also provide the first official confirmation that shows the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria.  The documents also include an August 2012 analysis warning of the rise of ISIS and the predicted failure of the Obama policy of regime change in Syria.

The documents were released in response to a court order in accordance with a May 15, 2014, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against both the DOD and State Department seeking communications between the two agencies and congressional leaders “on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi.”

Spelling and punctuation is duplicated in this release without corrections.

Defense Department document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), dated September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, details that the attack on the compound had been carefully planned by the BOCAR terrorist group “to kill as many Americans as possible.”  The document was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama White House National Security Council.  The heavily redacted Defense Department “information report” says that the attack on the Benghazi facility “was planned and executed by The Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BCOAR).”  The group subscribes to “AQ ideologies:”

The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center buildings.

“A violent radical,” the DIA report says, is “the leader of BCOAR is Abdul Baset ((AZUZ)), AZUZ was sent by ((ZAWARI)) to set up Al Qaeda (AQ) bases in Libya.”  The group’s headquarters was set up with the approval of a “member of the Muslim brother hood movement…where they have large caches of weapons.  Some of these caches are disguised by feeding troughs for livestock.  They have SA-7 and SA-23/4 MANPADS…they train almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scriptures including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology.”

The Defense Department reported the group maintained written documents, in “a small rectangular room, approximately 12 meters by 6 meters…that contain information on all of the AQ activity in Libya.”

(Azuz is again blamed for the Benghazi attack in an October 2012 DIA document.)

The DOD documents also contain the first official documentation that the Obama administration knew that weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria. An October 2012 report confirms:

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

The DIA document further details:

The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.  The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.]

The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons.

Another DIA report, written in August 2012 (the same time period the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist Muslim groups: “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The growing sectarian direction of the war was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the “grave danger” of the rise of ISIS:

The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows:

This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.

Some of the “dire consequences” are blacked out but the DIA presciently warned one such consequence would be the “renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.”

From a separate lawsuit, the State Department produced a document created the morning after the Benghazi attack by Hillary Clinton’s offices, and the Operations Center in the Office of the Executive Secretariat that was sent widely through the agency, including to Joseph McManus (then-Hillary Clinton’s executive assistant).  At 6:00 am, a few hours after the attack, the top office of the State Department sent a “spot report” on the “Attack on U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” that makes no mention of videos or demonstrations:

Four COM personnel were killed and three were wounded in an attack by dozens of fighters on the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi beginning approximately 1550 Eastern Time….

The State Department has yet to turn over any documents from the secret email accounts of Hillary Clinton and other top State Department officials.

“These documents are jaw-dropping. No wonder we had to file more FOIA lawsuits and wait over two years for them.  If the American people had known the truth – that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials knew that the Benghazi attack was an al-Qaeda terrorist attack from the get-go – and yet lied and covered this fact up – Mitt Romney might very well be president. And why would the Obama administration continue to support the Muslim Brotherhood even after it knew it was tied to the Benghazi terrorist attack and to al Qaeda? These documents also point to connection between the collapse in Libya and the ISIS war – and confirm that the U.S. knew remarkable details about the transfer of arms from Benghazi to Syrian jihadists,” stated Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president.  “These documents show that the Benghazi cover-up has continued for years and is only unraveling through our independent lawsuits. The Benghazi scandal just got a whole lot worse for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”

http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-defense-state-department-documents-reveal-obama-administration-knew-that-al-qaeda-terrorists-had-planned-benghazi-attack-10-days-in-advance/

The Worst Day of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign

So far!

8:04 AM, MAY 19, 2015 • BY STEPHEN F. HAYES
Hillary Clinton had a very bad day.

In fact, she’s had a series of bad days since she announced her presidential bid April 12. But Monday was the worst of them.

In a bombshell report, the New York Times reported that Clinton, as secretary of state, used her private email to share private intelligence reports from noted conspiracy theorist and political hitman Sidney Blumenthal, at a time when Blumenthal was being paid by the Clinton Foundation and liberal political organizations that helped lay the groundwork for Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The emails included reports on Libya at a time when Blumenthal was seeking business in the country and included dubious information. The Times reported that Clinton nonetheless “took Mr. Blumenthal’s advice seriously” and “continued to pass around his emails even after other senior diplomats concluded that Mr. Blumenthal’s assessments were often unreliable.”

A second story about Clinton and Libya broke the same day, this one casting further doubt on the Obama administration’s narrative about the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, and specifically on claims Clinton made about nature of those attacks and motivations of the attackers. An intelligence report prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency and sent to Clinton and other senior administration officials on September 12, 2012, just one day after the attacks, concluded that the attack “was planned ten or more days” in advance and was meant to “kill as many Americans as possible.” The report identifies al Qaeda-linked terrorists believed to have been involved in the assault.

Despite this, the Obama administration crafted a public narrative that the attack had evolved from a “spontaneous” protest over a YouTube video and included a wide range of individuals. Clinton cited the video in remarks at a memorial service on September 14, 2012, for those killed in the attacks. She told members of the victims’ families that the administration would bring to justice those responsible for the video. The DIA report and several other Benghazi-related documents were released to Judicial Watch pursuant to a court order in response to a FOIA request.

The DIA report further undermines the administration’s already-tattered claims that its public case was based on intelligence assessments. Emails released in response to a previous Judicial Watch requestshowed that the White House had drafted a set of political talking points that sought to blame the video and not administration policy.

That the DIA report was not released as a result of any previous Benghazi investigations raises additional questions about the administration’s unwillingness to turn over documents related to the attacks and how comprehensive those previous investigations have been. Many of the revelations that have undermined administration claims about Benghazi have come outside of the regular congressional oversight efforts, in part because of the administration’s disinclination to cooperate and in part because of the half-hearted inquiries led by the committees of jurisdiction.

Administration defenders and many in the media claimed that an additional investigation of Benghazi would be unnecessary because of these previous efforts. But these recent revelations validate the decision of House speaker John Boehner to create a select committee and make clear that there is still much more to learn. The State Department only recently turned over documents related to the State Department’s Administrative Review Board examination of Benghazi. The House Oversight Committee first requested those documents more than two years ago – on January 28, 2013. The Benghazi Select Committee is still waiting for reams of documents from the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department.

Beyond that, of course, are questions about emails and documents that the public may never see because Hillary Clinton used private emails to circumvent the record retention requirements of the U.S. government. The committee is examining all options in its attempt to find or recover those discarded emails.

It has been nearly a month since Hillary Clinton took questions from the media. And with the growing stench of scandal it’s likely that she’ll continue to seek to avoid circumstances that might require her to provide answers. That’s a short-term solution to a long-term problem. And even a media that is ideologically sympathetic is showing signs of frustration with her games.

Hillary Clinton has more bad days ahead.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/worst-day-hillary-clintons-campaign_950416.html?page=2

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Breaking News — Tsarnaev Sentenced To Death — Bring Back Prompt Public Executions — Hillary Clinton’s War On Babies A Woman’s Right To Kill Her Baby In The Womb — We Need To Kill More Black Babies? — Black Genocide and Eugenics Through Planned Parenthood — Videos

Posted on May 21, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Babies, Blogroll, British History, Business, Catholic Church, Communications, Constitution, Coptic Christian, Corruption, Culture, Demographics, Diasters, Documentary, Economics, Education, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Homes, IRS, Islam, Language, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Medicine, Middle East, Music, Music, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Politics, Press, Psychology, Quotations, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Religious, Religious, Reviews, Science, Speech, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

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Story 1: Breaking News — Tsarnaev Sentenced To Death — Bring Back Prompt Public Executions — Hillary Clinton’s War On Babies A Woman’s Right To Kill Her Baby In The Womb — We Need To Kill More Black Babies? — Black Genocide and Eugenics Through Planned Parenthood — Videos

Abortion — Killing Babies in The Womb

“it’s not enough to legalize the procedure.

Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced.

And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.’

~ Hillary Clinton

I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision,”

“I am really in awe of her, there are a lot of lessons we can learn from her life”

~ Hillary Clinton

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sentenced to death

Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Sentenced to Death

Boston Marathon Bomber “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev” Gets Death Penalty!

WestVirginia @150 – The Last Public Hanging in West Virginia 1897

Execution of N. Korea defense chief shows cruelty of regime: U.S. State Department

Hillary Clinton Says Religious Beliefs About Abortion Have to be Changed

Would Girl Scouts Want Cookie Ovens Heated with Aborted Kids?

Eugenics, Planned Parenthood & Psychology, Mind Control

Sex Control Police State, Eugenics, Galton, Kantsaywhere, Mind Control Report

The American Eugenics Society and Adolf Hitler: Making the blueprint for a genetic revolution

PJTV — Forgotten Newsreel History: Margaret Sanger Declaring ‘No More Babies’

Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s Racist Founder

Dr Angela Franks- Planned Parenthood:Everything You Didn’t Know

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Planned Parenthood Exposed

The “exterminator” Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger

VERY REVEALING Margaret Sanger Interview MUST SEE ! PLANNED PARENTHOOD

Abortion and Black Genocide (Barack Obama and the Negro Project)

Eugenics in America: Then & Now

Eugenics Glenn Beck w/ Edwin Black author of “War Against the Weak” talk Al Gore & Margaret Sanger

EUGENICS! PLANNED PARENTHOOD’s ROOTS &Socialism’s Ideology

MAAFA 21 [A documentary on eugenics and genocide]

American Eugenics movement, the truth is here, must see!

Scientific Racism The Eugenics of Social Darwinism

Harvest of Despair Soviet Communism engineered Ukraine Famine Genocide 1933)

USSR, The Genocidal Communist Empire (FULL video)

The Bloody History of Communism Full

BBC’s World at War- The Final Solution part 1

BBC’s World at War- The Final Solution part 2

Mao’s Bloody Revolution

Mao’s Great Famine HDTV great leap foward, history of china

Stephanopoulos Discloses $75K Donation To Clinton Foundation

Peter Schweizer This Week Abc Stephanopoulos Challenges Clinton Cash Author Is There a Smoking Gun

George Stephanopoulos Apologizes on ‘GMA’ For Not Disclosing Clinton Foundation Donations

Should George Stephanopoulos​ Be Fired?

Stephanopoulos: “Bill Clinton has no character problem”

Three Reasons: The War Room

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George Stephanopoulos Interview, describing Clinton 2 of 2

The War Room Trailer

THE WAR ROOM with D.A. Pennebaker

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Rock Me Baby-BB King/Eric Clapton/Buddy Guy/Jim Vaughn

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Hillary Clinton’s keynote address at the 2015 Women in the World Summit

The presidential hopeful made her sixth appearance at the Women in the World Summit with a keynote address that challenged viewers to be champions for change.

Tsarnaev sentenced to death

By Milton J. Valencia, Patricia Wen, Kevin Cullen, John R. Ellement and Martin Finucane
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death Friday for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the terror attack on the finish line of the storied race that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

Tsarnaev, 21, had been convicted last month in US District Court in Boston of 17 charges that carried the possibility of the death penalty.

The death sentence handed down Friday by the seven-woman, five-man jury came at the end of a lengthy, high-profile trial. Tsarnaev, who had taken a sharp turn from hopeful immigrant college student to radical jihadist, also was convicted in the murder of a police officer.

The April 15, 2013, bombing was one of the worst terror attacks in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

Wearing a blazer and a collared shirt, Tsarnaev, as has been his habit for most of the trial, had no expression as a court clerk read the verdict sentencing him to death. The jury took 14 1/2 hours over three days to render its decision on the penalty.

View Story
Explore the evidence from the trial
A look at the witnesses, evidence, and key players in the trial.
Tsarnaev sentencing verdict form
Live updates from the courtroom

US District Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. will impose the sentence at a hearing where Tsarnaev’s victims will be able to confront him and he also has the option of addressing the court.

After the verdict was announced, O’Toole told jurors, at least three of whom wiped away tears, “You should be justly proud of your service in this case.”

Those in the courtroom included Bill and Denise Richard, parents of 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, the youngest victim of the attack. Despite the devastating impact on their family, the Richards had called for life in prison, rather than death, for Tsarnaev.

Federal prosecutors said Tsarnaev was a remorseless self-radicalized terrorist who had participated in the bombing to make a political statement. Defense attorneys, seeking to save Tsarnaev’s life, portrayed him as the puppy dog-like follower of his troubled, violence-prone older brother, Tamerlan, who became obsessed with waging jihad and died in a firefight with police.

The jurors decided Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be sentenced to death for the people he was found directly responsible for killing when he placed one of the two homemade pressure cooker bombs: Martin Richard and 23-year-old Boston University graduate student Lingzi Lu.

The panel also had the right to sentence Tsarnaev to death for the second bomb placed by Tamerlan Tsarnaev, which killed Krystle Campbell, 29, of Arlington. But the jury chose not to impose the death penalty for her death.

The jurors also decided against imposing the death penalty for the subsequent murder of MIT Police Officer Sean A. Collier, whom the defense argued was shot to death by Tamerlan, not Dzhokhar.

The response to the death sentence was immediate from some of the hundreds of people who were injured.

One of those who turned to social media to share their views was Sydney Corcoran, who was seriously injured along with her mother, Celeste, who lost both legs in the blast.

“My mother and I think that NOW he will go away and we will be able to move on. Justice,’’ Sydney Corcoran wrote on the Twitter account. “In his own words, ‘an eye for an eye.’ “

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement that the “verdict provides a small amount of closure to the survivors, families, and all impacted by the violent and tragic events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon.’’

“We will forever remember and honor those who lost their lives and were affected by those senseless acts of violence on our City,’’ Walsh said. “Today, more than ever, we know that Boston is a City of hope, strength and resilience, that can overcome any challenge.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted last month of 30 charges, including 17 that carried a possible death penalty, in the first phase of the two-phase federal death penalty trial.

The defense never contested his guilt, focusing instead on the second phase of the trial, in which the jury was asked to determine whether Tsarnaev should get life in prison without parole or a death sentence. Over 11 days of testimony jurors heard from more than 60 witnesses, most of them called by the defense in an effort to humanize Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev did not testify himself during either phase, showing little emotion as he sat in the courtroom, leaving him an inscrutable figure to the jury that decided his fate.

But in a statement he wrote when he was hiding from police several days after the bombing, he said he had acted because the US government was “killing our innocent civilians. … We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.”

Prosecutor Steven Mellin, in his closing argument, cited a line from the note that said, “Now I don’t like killing innocent people, but in this case it is allowed.”

“These are the words of a terrorist who thought he did the right thing,” Mellin told jurors. “His actions have earned him a sentence of death.”

Defense attorney Judy Clarke suggested that Tsarnaev’s parents were emotionally, and later physically, absent from his life, and that Tamerlan had filled the void.

The root cause of the violence that erupted on Boylston Street on April 15, 2013, was Tamerlan, Clarke said.

“Dzhokhar would not have done this but for Tamerlan,” she said.

“We’re asking you to choose life,” she said. “Yes, even for the Boston Marathon bomber. It’s a sentence that reflects justice and mercy.”

The homemade pressure cooker bombs planted by the Tsarnaev brothers went off just before 3 p.m. at the race, a colorful rite of spring in which thousands of runners, including top competitors from around the world, stream down the course into the heart of the city.

In addition to the three people killed, more than 260 others were injured, including 17 who lost limbs. First responders and people in the crowd rushed forward to help, and the city’s renowned medical community saved lives that were hanging by a thread.

A massive manhunt followed that ended several days later in a violent, chaotic showdown. After authorities released their pictures, Tsarnaev, who was 19 at the time, and his 26-year-old brother murdered Collier while he sat in his cruiser on the night of April 18, 2013, in an unsuccessful attempt to get a second gun.

When police caught up with the brothers in Watertown, just outside the city, in the early hours of April 19, the brothers hurled more deadly bombs and fired dozens of shots at police. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after being shot by police and run over by his own brother as he made his escape.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev slipped away from the legions of police who swarmed to the area as the governor, in an unprecedented step, urged residents of Boston, Watertown and other nearby areas to stay indoors and “shelter in place.” But Tsarnaev was ultimately captured later in the day, hiding in a boat stored in a Watertown back yard, where he had written the note explaining his actions. A stunned region breathed a sigh of relief.

People in Boston and beyond rallied together after the attacks, expressing sympathy and offering support to the bombing victims. At the same time, questions were raised and investigations launched into why the attacks weren’t prevented.

One mystery remaining at the heart of the case was how Dzhokhar Tsarnaev transformed from a hard-working teenager to a failing college student who joined a deadly terrorist plot.

“If you expect me to have an answer, a simple clean answer, I don’t have it,” Clarke said in her closing argument.

Tsarnaev arrived in America with his family when he was 9 years old. Jurors heard from his teachers in Cambridge that as a young boy, he was an A student, smart, popular, and kind. He became captain of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School wrestling team and went on to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and witnesses described him as a laid-back, and fun-loving college student.

But jurors also heard about Tsarnaev’s upbringing in a dysfunctional immigrant Chechen family that held to old cultural traditions that gave outsized rank to the oldest brother. And an expert on Chechnya described how that country’s struggles for independence became intertwined over the last two decades with the global jihad movement by Islamic militants.

When his parents returned to Russia in 2012, the jihad-obsessed Tamerlan was the only adult figure in his life, the defense said.

Prosecutors rejected the idea that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had influenced his young brother.

“These weren’t youthful crimes,” said prosecutor William Weinreb. “There was nothing immature or impulsive about them. These were political crimes, designed to punish the United States . . . by killing and mutilating innocent civilians on US soil.”

Governor Charlie Baker met reporters at the State House after the verdict, but refused to say whether he believed the death sentence was the right choice to have been made. Instead, he said, the verdict resulted from the persistence of the 12 jurors who were in court day after day and for 10 weeks.

“This was their call,’’ he said.

As a parent and husband, Baker said he was stunned by the “randomness” of the bombings. He also said that the region would be reminded about the bombings every April when the Marathon is held.

“I think it will be a long time before this event and all that came with it ever lands in my rear view mirror,’’ Baker said. “It changed the Marathon and thereby by definition, changed Boston as well.’’

He said that he hopes some closure, some healing will be forthcoming for anyone connected to the bombings.

Hillary Clinton Reaffirms Her Commitment to Women’s Rights

At Tina Brown’s Women in the World conference, the presidential hopeful spoke about the obstacles women still face in this country and abroad.

Today at Tina Brown’s Women in the World summit, presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the stage to reaffirm her commitment to women’s and girls’ rights, and outlined what will likely be her talking points on women, girls, and minorities as she travels the country trying to gain voter support in the coming months.

“It’s not just enough for some women to get ahead,” Clinton said, adding that all women need support, “no matter where you live and who you are.”

Clinton outlined issues facing women from birth through retirement, noting that “all the evidence tells us that despite the enormous obstacles that remain, there has never been a better time in history to be born female.” But when women enter the workforce, she said, they face a pay gap, which is particularly wide for women of color. She pointed to the recent Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision to assert that a woman’s boss should not determine what kind of health care she can access.Sexual assault on college campuses and in the military remains a pressing issue in need of legislative solutions, Clinton said. And she criticized discrimination in retirement benefits, saying, “When we deny women access to retirement that is secure, when we continue as we do to discriminate against women in the Social Security system, we are leaving too many women on their own.”

The way forward, Clinton said — and presumably what she will campaign on — is to embrace those who have long been marginalized in American society.

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced as our colleagues and friends, not fired from good jobs because of who they love and who they are,” she said. Immigrants too, Clinton said, need protections and a path to citizenship. Striking a populist tone, Clinton highlighted economic inequality and the value of closing the wage gap — not just for women and their families, but for the U.S. economy as a whole.

Tina Brown’s Women in the World is a global conference, and Clinton emphasized her longtime advocacy for international women’s rights. She famously spoke at the 1995 Beijing conference on women’s rights, where she declared, “Women’s rights are human rights once and for all.” And at Women in the World today, she not only focused heavily on a domestic agenda centered on women’s rights, but mentioned her Beijing work, saying that when she gave her speech back in 1995, 189 countries came together to declare that “human rights are women rights and women rights are human rights, once and for all. And finally, the world began to listen.”

But, Clinton said, “Despite all this progress, we’re just not there yet. Yes, we’ve nearly closed the global gender gap in primary school, but secondary school remains out of reach for so many girls around the world. Yes, we’ve increased the number of countries prohibiting domestic violence, but still more than half the nations in the world have no such laws on the books, and an estimated one in three women still experience violence. Yes, we’ve cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth.”

Clinton announced her run for president earlier this month and is the presumptive Democratic nominee. But when she sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2008, she moved away from her women’s rights bona fides, staking out a more gender-neutral position.

Now, running again eight years later, Clinton may be more inclined to embrace her potentially historic role as the first female candidate for president from a major political party. A month before she announced her intent to run, Clinton gave the keynote speech at the anniversary gala of EMILY’s List, an organization that raises money for pro-choice female politicians.

The Women in the World speech focused on women and girls, handily avoiding any mention ofallegations of inappropriate relationships between governments Clinton dealt with at the State Department and her family’s nonprofit, the Clinton Foundation. Those allegations originated in a book called Clinton Cash written by a Republican consultant, and the accusations of unethical behavior are now being investigated further by several media outlets, including The New York Times and TheWashington Post.

The Women in the World conference runs through Friday and features a long list of female activists and celebrities, including actresses Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd, Robin Wright, and Friedo Pinto; journalists Katie Couric, Poppy Harlow, Nora O’Donnell, and Mika Brzezinski; writers Tavi Gevinson, Jon Krakauer, and Janet Mock; and political leaders Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris.

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/news/a39517/hillary-clinton-women-in-the-world/

Why Hillary Clinton’s pro-choice stance is incredibly racist

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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Bishop Fulton J. Sheen — Words of Wisdom — Work Hard — Happy Easter — Videos

Posted on April 4, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Catholic Church, Communications, Culture, Education, Faith, Family, Freedom, Friends, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Money, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Psychology, Quotations, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Religious, Speech, Talk Radio, Television, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Fulton Sheen

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen – Wasting Your Life, Part 1 of 3

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen – Wasting Your Life, Part 2 of 3

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen – Wasting Your Life, Part 3 of 3

Choice – Venerable Fulton Sheen

Character Building – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

How to Improve Your Mind (Part 1) – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

How to Improve Your Mind (Part 2) – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

How to Improve Your Mind (Part 3) – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

The Greatest Trial in History | Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

His Last Words ~ Venerable Fulton J Sheen

Bishop Fulton Sheen on Temptation

How to Think – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Nice People | Bishop Fulton J.Sheen

Youth and Sex – Venerable Fulton Sheen

Marriage & Incompatibility – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

The Superiority Complex | Bishop Fulton.J.Sheen

Angels ~ Ven Fulton J Sheen

Soul | Bishop Fulton J.Sheen

How to Psychoanalyze Yourself | Bishop Fulton J.Sheen

The Psychology of the Rat Race | Bishop Fulton.J.Sheen

Tressures of the Subconscious | Bishop Fulton.J.Sheen

Three Greatest Confessions of History – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen – Loneliness

Suffering ~ Venerable Fulton J Sheen

Fulton J Sheen – False Compassion

Selfishness ~ Ven Fulton J Sheen

Guilt | Bishop Fulton.J.Sheen

Does Capitalism Still Exist | Bishop Fulton.J.Sheen

The Sacrament of Confession ~ Ven Fulton J Sheen

The Death of God – Venerable Fulton J Sheen

The New Exodus | Bishop Fulton.J.Sheen

Traditional Latin Catholic Mass: Easter Sunday

Traditional Latin Mass filmed on Easter Sunday in 1941 at Our Lady of Sorrows church in Chicago. The film presents the ceremonies of the Missa Solemnis or Solemn High Mass in full detail with narration by then-Mgr. Fulton J. Sheen. Celebrated by Rev. J. R. Keane of the Order of Servites (hence the white habits and cowls), the ceremonies are accompanied by a full polyphonic choir, orchestra, and fifty Gregorian Chanters.

The attention to detail in the ceremonies is impressive. Notice, for example, how the servers and ministers always take great care to move in order. Notice too that the servers are all almost identical in height. The Ordinary of the Mass, composed by Rev. Edwin V. Hoover, while pleasant in places, is very much a reflection of its time. The Proper on the other hand is timeless and sung admirably by a healthy throng of Seminarians from Mundelein, Illinois.

Unfortunately due to size restrictions at Youtube around 20 mins have been cut from the original, however, I hope to upload a full version somewhere soon. In addition to the cuts I have added new captions and edited the opening credits which had deteriorated in the original. Other than this the film remains largely unchanged. Apologies for the error in the captions for the two parts of the Mass (software). The first part is of couse the Mass of the Catechumens, the second is the Mass of the Faithful.

Vaticano – 2012-07-22 – Pope Benedict XVI remembers meeting Bishop Fulton Sheen

 

Fulton J. Sheen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Venerable and Most Reverend
Fulton John Sheen
BpSheen.png
See Rochester
Appointed October 21, 1966
Term ended October 6, 1969
Predecessor James Edward Kearney
Successor Joseph Lloyd Hogan
Other posts Titular Archbishop of Neoportus
Orders
Ordination September 20, 1919
by Edmund M. Dunne
Consecration June 11, 1951
by Adeodato Giovanni Piazza
Personal details
Birth name Peter John Sheen
Born May 8, 1895[1]
El Paso, Illinois[1]
Died December 9, 1979 (aged 84)
New York, New York
Buried St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York
Nationality American
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
Alma mater
Motto Da per matrem me venire(English: Grant that I may come [to You] through the mother [Mary])
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Sainthood
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Title as Saint Venerable

Venerable Fulton John Sheen (born Peter John Sheen, May 8, 1895 – December 9, 1979) was an American bishop (later archbishop) of theRoman Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. His cause for canonization as a saint was officially opened in 2002. In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially recognized a decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints stating that he lived a life of “heroic virtues” – a major step towards beatification – so he is now referred to as “Venerable“.[2][3]

Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919,[1] Sheen quickly became a renowned theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923. He went on to teach theology and philosophy at The Catholic University of America as well as acting as aparish priest before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York in 1951. He held this position until 1966 when he was made the Bishop of Rochester from October 21, 1966 to October 6, 1969, when he resigned[4] and was made the Archbishop of the Titular Seeof Newport, Wales.

For 20 years as Father, later Monsignor, Sheen hosted the night-time radio program The Catholic Hour (1930–1950) before moving to television and presenting Life Is Worth Living (1951–1957). Sheen’s final presenting role was on the syndicated The Fulton Sheen Program (1961–1968) with a format very similar to that of the earlier Life is Worth Living show. For this work, Sheen twice won an Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Television Personality, the only personality appearing on the DuMont Network ever to win a major Emmy award.[clarification needed] Starting in 2009, his shows were being re-broadcast on the EWTN and the Trinity Broadcasting Network‘s Church Channel cable networks.[5] Due to his contribution to televised preaching Sheen is often referred to as one of the first televangelists.[6][7]

Childhood

Sheen was born in El Paso, Illinois, the oldest of four sons of Newton[8] and Delia Sheen.[9] Though he was known as Fulton, his mother’s maiden name, he was baptized as Peter John Sheen.[10][1] As an infant, Sheen contracted tuberculosis.[11] After the family moved to nearbyPeoria, Illinois, Sheen’s first role in the Church was as an altar boy at St. Mary’s Cathedral.[1][10]

Education

After earning high school valedictorian honors at Spalding Institute in Peoria in 1913, Sheen was educated at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, Illinois, attended Saint Paul Seminary in Minnesota before his ordination on September 20, 1919,[1] then followed that with further studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C..[10][12] His youthful appearance was still evident on one occasion when a local priest asked Sheen to assist as altar boy during the celebration of the Mass.[10]

Sheen earned a doctorate in philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in 1923.[12] While there, he became the first American ever to win the Cardinal Mercier award for the best philosophical treatise.[10] In 1924 Sheen pursued further studies in Rome earning a Sacred Theology Doctorate at the Pontificium Collegium Internationale Angelicum, the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas,Angelicum.[13][14]

Priestly life

Sheen was for a year assistant to the pastor at St. Patrick’s Church, Soho Square in London while teaching theology at St. Edmund’s College, Ware, where he met Ronald Knox. Although Oxford and Columbia wanted him to teach philosophy, in 1926 Bishop Edmund Dunne of theRoman Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Illinois asked Sheen to take over St. Patrick’s Parish. After nine months, Dunne returned him to Catholic University, where he taught philosophy until 1950.[15][10]

In 1929, Sheen gave a speech at the National Catholic Educational Association. He encouraged teachers to “educate for a Catholic Renaissance” in the United States. Sheen was hoping that Catholics would become more influential in their country through education, which would help attract others to the faith. He believed that Catholics should “integrate” their faith into the rest of their daily life.[16]

He was consecrated a bishop on June 11, 1951,[4] and served as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York from 1951 to 1965. The Principal Consecrator was the Discalced Carmelite Cardinal Adeodato Giovanni Piazza, the Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina e Poggio Mirteto and the Secretary of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation (what is today the Congregation for Bishops). The Principal Co-Consecrators were Archbishop Leone Giovanni Battista Nigris, Titular Archbishop of Philippi and the Secretary of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (what is today the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples); and Archbishop Martin John O’Connor, Titular Archbishop of Laodicea in Syria and President Emeritus of thePontifical Council for Social Communications.

Media career

Styles of
Fulton J. Sheen
Archbishop Sheen COA.svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Your Excellency
Posthumous style Venerable

Radio

A popular instructor, Sheen wrote the first of 73 books in 1925, and in 1930 began a weekly Sunday night radio broadcast, The Catholic Hour.[12]Sheen called WWII not only a political struggle, but also a “theological one.” He referred to Hitler as an example of the “Anti-Christ.”[17] Two decades later, the broadcast had a weekly listening audience of four million people. Time referred to him in 1946 as “the golden-voiced Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, U.S. Catholicism’s famed proselytizer” and reported that his radio broadcast received 3,000–6,000 letters weekly from listeners.[18] During the middle of this era, he conducted the first religious service broadcast on the new medium of television, putting in motion a new avenue for his religious pursuits.

Television

In 1951 he began a weekly television program on the DuMont Television Network titled Life Is Worth Living. Filmed at the Adelphi Theatre in New York City, the program consisted of the unpaid Sheen simply speaking in front of a live audience without a script or cue cards, occasionally using a chalkboard.

The show, scheduled in a graveyard slot on Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m., was not expected to challenge the ratings giants Milton Berle andFrank Sinatra, but did surprisingly well. Berle, known to many early television viewers as “Uncle Miltie” and for using ancient vaudeville material, joked about Sheen, “He uses old material, too”, and observed that “[i]f I’m going to be eased off the top by anyone, it’s better that I lose to the One for whom Bishop Sheen is speaking.”[10] Sheen responded in jest that maybe people should start calling him “Uncle Fultie”.[19] Life and Time magazine ran feature stories on Bishop Sheen. The number of stations carrying Life Is Worth Living jumped from three to fifteen in less than two months. There was fan mail that flowed in at a rate of 8,500 letters per week. There were four times as many requests for tickets than could be fulfilled. Admiral, the sponsor, paid the production costs in return for a one-minute commercial at the opening of the show and another minute at the close.[20] In 1952 Sheen won an Emmy Award for his efforts,[21] accepting the acknowledgment by saying, “I feel it is time I pay tribute to my four writers—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.” Time called him “the first ‘televangelist'”, and the Archdiocese of New York could not meet the demand for tickets.[10]

One of his best-remembered presentations came in February 1953, when he forcefully denounced the Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin. Sheen gave a dramatic reading of the burial scene from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, substituting the names of prominent Soviet leaders Stalin, Lavrenty Beria, Georgy Malenkov, and Andrey Vyshinsky for the original Caesar, Cassius, Marc Antony, and Brutus. He concluded by saying, “Stalin must one day meet his judgment.” The dictator suffered a stroke a few days later and died within a week.[22]

The show ran until 1957, drawing as many as 30 million people on a weekly basis. In 1958, Sheen became national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, serving for eight years before being appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, New York, on October 26, 1966. He also hosted a nationally syndicated series, The Fulton Sheen Program, from 1961 to 1968 (first in black and white and then in color). The format of this series was essentially the same as Life Is Worth Living.

International cassette tape ministry

In September 1974, the Archbishop of Washington asked Sheen to be the speaker for a retreat for diocesan priests at the Loyola Retreat House[23] in Faulkner, Maryland. This was recorded on reel-to-reel tape, state of the art at the time.[24]

Sheen requested that the recorded talks be produced for distribution. This was the first production of what would become a worldwide cassette tape ministry called Ministr-O-Media, a nonprofit company that operated on the grounds of St. Joseph’s Parish. The retreat album was titled, Renewal and Reconciliation, and included nine 60-minute audio tapes.[24]

For several years, Ministr-O-Media was one of the largest distributors of non-musical tapes in the United States.[citation needed] The operation started in the St. Joseph’s rectory dining room and eventually grew into five temporary classrooms on the church property, employing nine parishioners full-time, and at one point 18 workers in all. At its height, Ministr-O-Media staff and volunteers were packaging and mailing 500 albums a week and, in ten years, shipped a million tapes to clients worldwide. The effort generated income of $15,000 per week.[citation needed]

St. Joseph’s Parish was targeted to be closed due to lack of funding for repairs before the chance connection between Sheen and Brady.[citation needed] The parish, founded in 1763, owed its continued existence to the intervention of Sheen and the tape ministry that rebuilt the church, in collaboration with a dedicated workforce of parish volunteers.[citation needed]

At Sheen’s direction, most of the tape ministry profits were turned over to the pope’s worldwide missionary effort, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In its decade of existence, Ministr-O-Media routed over a quarter million U.S. dollars to this charity.[citation needed]

Evangelization

Sheen was credited with helping convert a number of notable figures to the Catholic faith, including agnostic writer Heywood Broun, politician Clare Boothe Luce, automaker Henry Ford II, Communist writer Louis F. Budenz, theatrical designer Jo Mielziner, violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler, and actress Virginia Mayo. Each conversion process took an average of 25 hours of lessons, and reportedly more than 95% of his students in private instruction were baptized.[10]

Fallout with Cardinal Spellman

According to the foreword written for a 2008 edition of Sheen’s autobiography, Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen, Catholic journalist Raymond Arroyo wrote why Sheen “retired” from hosting Life is Worth Living “at the height of its popularity … [when] an estimated 30 million viewers and listeners tuned in each week.”[25] Arroyo wrote that “It is widely believed that Cardinal Spellman drove Sheen off the air.”[25]

Arroyo relates that “In the late 1950s the government donated millions of dollars worth of powdered milk to the New York Archdiocese. In turn, Cardinal Spellman handed that milk over to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith to distribute to the poor of the world. On at least one occasion he demanded that the director of the Society, Bishop Sheen, pay the Archdiocese for the donated milk. He wanted millions of dollars. Despite Cardinal Spellman’s considerable powers of persuasion and influence in Rome, Sheen refused. These were funds donated by the public to the missions, funds Sheen himself had personally contributed to and raised over the airwaves. He felt an obligation to protect them, even from the itchy fingers of his own Cardinal.”[25]

Spellman later took the issue directly to Pope Pius XII, pleading his case with Sheen present. The Pope sided with Sheen. Spellman later confronted Sheen stating “I will get even with you. It may take six months or ten years, but everyone will know what you are like.”[25] Besides being pressured to leave television Sheen also “found himself unwelcome in the churches of New York. Spellman cancelled Sheen’s annual Good Friday sermons at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and discouraged clergy from befriending the Bishop.”[25] In 1966 Spellman had Sheen reassigned to Rochester, New York and caused his leadership at the Society for the Propagation of the Faith to be terminated (a position he had held for 16 years and raised hundreds of millions for, to which he had personally donated 10 million of his own earnings).[25]

Sheen never talked about the situation, only making vague references to his “trials both inside and outside the Church”.[25] He even went so far as to praise Spellman in his autobiography.[25]

Later years

While serving in Rochester, he created the Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation, which survives to this day. He also spent some of his energy on political activities, such as his denunciation of the Vietnam War in late July 1967.[26] On Ash Wednesday in 1967, Sheen decided to give St. Bridget’s Parish building to the federal Housing and Urban Development program. Sheen wanted to let the government use it for black Americans. There was a protest, since Sheen acted on his own accord. The pastor disagreed, saying that “There is enough empty property around without taking down the church and the school.” The deal fell through.[27]

On October 15, 1969, one month after celebrating his 50th anniversary as a priest, Sheen resigned from his position and was then appointed Archbishop of the Titular See of Newport (Wales) by Pope Paul VI. This ceremonial position allowed Sheen to continue his extensive writing. Archbishop Sheen wrote 73 books and numerous articles and columns.[21]

On October 2, 1979, two months before Sheen’s death, Pope John Paul II visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and embraced Sheen, saying, “You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are a loyal son of the Church.”[citation needed]

Death and legacy

Beginning in 1977 Sheen “underwent a series of surgeries that sapped his strength and even made preaching difficult.”[25] Throughout this time he continued to work on his autobiography, parts of which “were recited from his sickbed as he clutched a crucifix.”[25] Sheen died of heart disease on December 9, 1979, having previously had open-heart surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital.[21] He is interred in the crypt of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, near the deceased Archbishops of New York.

The official repository of Sheen’s papers, television programs, and other materials is at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Rochester, New York.[28]

Joseph Campanella introduces the re-runs of Sheen’s various programs that are aired on EWTN. Reruns are also aired on Trinity Broadcasting Network. In addition to his television appearances, Sheen can also be heard on Relevant Radio.

The Fulton J. Sheen Museum, which is operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria and located in Peoria, Illinois, houses the largest collection of Sheen’s personal items in 5 collections.[29] The Museum is located just one block south of Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception where Sheen served as an altar boy, had his first communion and confirmation, was ordained and celebrated his first Mass. Another museum is located in Sheen’s home town of El Paso, Illinois. This museum contains various Sheen artifacts, but is not connected to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria.[30]

Cause for canonization

The Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation was formed in 1998 by Gregory J. Ladd and Lawrence F. Hickey to make known the life of the archbishop. The foundation approached Cardinal John O’Connor of the Archdiocese of New York for permission to commence the process of for cause, which was under the authority of the Diocese of Peoria.[5]

In 2002, Sheen’s Cause for Canonization as a saint was officially opened by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria, and from then on Sheen was referred to as a “Servant of God“.

On February 2, 2008, the archives of Sheen were sealed at a ceremony during a special Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Illinois, where the diocese was sponsoring his canonization.[21]

In November 2010, it was announced that the cause would be paused due to a disagreement with the Archdiocese of New York upon an unsettled debate concerning the return of Sheen’s remains to the Diocese of Peoria.[31]

In 2009, the diocesan phase of the investigation came to an end, and the records were sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican in Rome.

On June 28, 2012, the Vatican announced[32] officially that it had recognized Sheen’s life as one of “heroic virtue”. This is a major step towards an eventual beatification. From this moment on, Sheen is styled “Venerable Servant of God”.

According to Catholic News Service and The Catholic Post (the official newspaper of the Peoria Diocese), the case of a boy who as an infant had no discernible pulse for 61 minutes (who was about to be declared dead at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois, as a stillborn infant) and yet allegedly still lived to be healthy – without physical or mental impairment – is in the preliminary stages of being investigated as the possible miracle needed for Archbishop Sheen’s potential beatification. If the miracle is approved at the diocesan level, and then by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican (being both medically unexplainable and directly attributable theologically to Sheen’s intercession according to expert panels in both subject areas), then beatification may proceed. Another such miracle would be required for him to be considered for canonization as a saint.

On September 7, 2011, a tribunal of inquiry was sworn in to investigate the alleged healing. During a special Mass at 10:30 am on Sunday, December 11, 2011, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, the documentation gathered by the tribunal over nearly three months was boxed and sealed. It will then be shipped to the Vatican for consideration by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, concluding the diocesan tribunal’s work – which makes up much of the diocese’s work on the project.[33]

On Sunday, September 9, 2012, a Mass of Thanksgiving and banquet was held at St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Spalding Pastoral Center in celebration of the advancement of Archbishop Sheen’s cause, with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., and his predecessor as Bishop of Peoria, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers (celebrating his 25th anniversary of episcopal ordination), in attendance, along with many of the clergy and religious of the diocese and from around the country. Copies of the “Positio”, or the book detailing the documentation behind his cause, were presented to Archbishop Myers, to representatives of the Church in other states, and to a delegate from the Archdiocese of Chicago, and to other patrons and supporters of his cause. According to statements made during the service by clergy connected to the Cause, the medical and theological study of the potential miracles needed for his beatification and canonization is currently well underway and at least one is seriously being considered. Due to new rules under Pope Benedict XVI stating that a beatification should occur locally, ideally in the candidate’s home Diocese (which is usually but not always the Diocese that sponsors the Cause), it would likely take place in Peoria, the first there. Should he be beatified and canonized, he would be among a select few natives of the U.S. to hold that distinction.[34][35][36]

On Thursday, March 6, 2014 it was announced that a Vatican panel of medical experts could not determine a natural cause to a miracle attributed to Sheen, this is a major step on the road to beatification. The miracle: the reviving of the still-born baby mentioned above who survived intact, so far, without having a detectable pulse at his birth for a lengthy period without explanation. For 61 minutes, while his mother prayed for Fulton Sheen’s intercession, the child did not breathe and only took his first breaths as doctors were calling his time of death. Doctors predicted the child to grow up with terrifying effects like organ failure and cerebral palsy. After the child’s first 5 months, he was considered to be a normally healthy child. The case will now go on to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, for further review. If the Congregation approves the miracle, then the cause will be passed on to Pope Francis, who will ultimately decide and sign and publish documentation on whether or not to beatify Archbishop Sheen, granting him the title of “Blessed”.[37] [38]

On Thursday, June 17, 2014, a seven-member panel of theologians that advises the Congregation for the Causes of Saints also unanimously agreed that the aforementioned case could be attributable to the baby boy’s parents asking for Archbishop Sheen’s intercession during the 61-minute period. Having been evaluated and approved by both medical and theological examination, the case now will be examined by the Bishops and Cardinals who are members and officials of the Congregation, who must give their approval before the case can be forwarded to Pope Francis.[39][40]

Indefinite suspension of cause for canonization

However, on September 3, 2014, the cause was suspended indefinitely, not for problems with Sheen’s moral character or with the miracle investigation, but because the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, within whose territory he is buried, had refused a request by Bishop Jenky of Peoria (who is the Actor, or supervisor, of the cause efforts because of his position as Bishop of Peoria) to have Archbishop Sheen’s remains moved to Peoria. This needed to be done so the body could be closely examined and first-class relics taken, both of which are among the final steps that take place before beatification and canonization. The cause for his beatification, per the Vatican’s directions, will be archived in the historical records of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. The Peoria Diocese said there would be no further immediate comment.

Normally, sainthood causes take many years to progress to canonization; the exceptions to these cases (causes of martyrs, who only need one miracle for sainthood; or where the Pope has granted a waiver to start the process sooner after death) are quite apart from the norm. Nevertheless, the potential for a long delay was very frustrating to many in the area and beyond who had helped and funded his cause, and to his other supporters.[41][42][43][44] Following are links to the Diocese of Peoria (with one statement from Bishop Jenky’s office and an update by Diocesan Chancellor Patricia Gibson), and one from Mr. Joseph Zwilling, Communications Director for the Archdiocese of New York, issued on behalf of the Archdiocese, that shed light on the situation and on both their views surrounding the matter.

The following is the statement released by the Archdiocese of New York on the issue. According to it, Cardinal Dolan wanted to respect the desires of not only Sheen, himself, but his closest family members. In particular, a niece.[45]

Selected books authored

  • God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy (1925, Longmans, Green and Co.)
  • The Seven Last Words (1933, The Century Co.)
  • Philosophy of Science (1934, Bruce Publishing Co.)
  • The Eternal Galilean (1934, Appleton-Century-Crofts)
  • Calvary and the Mass (1936, P. J. Kenedy & Sons)
  • The Cross and the Beatitudes (1937, P. J. Kenedy & Sons)
  • Seven Words of Jesus and Mary (1945, P. J. Kenedy & Sons)
  • Communism and the Conscience of the West (1948, Bobbs-Merrill)
  • Peace of Soul (1949, McGraw–Hill)[46]
  • Three to Get Married (1951, Appleton-Century-Crofts)
  • The World’s First Love (1952, McGraw-Hill)
  • Life Is Worth Living Series 1–5 (1953–1957, McGraw–Hill)
  • Way to Happiness (1953, Maco Magazine)
  • Way to Inner Peace (1955, Garden City Books)
  • Life of Christ (1958, McGraw–Hill)
  • Missions and the World Crisis (1963, Bruce Publishing Co.)
  • The Power of Love (1965, Simon & Schuster)
  • Footprints in a Darkened Forest (1967, Meredith Press)
  • Lenten and Easter Inspirations (1967, Maco Ecumenical Books)
  • Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen (1980, Doubleday & Co.)
  • Finding True Happiness (2014, Dynamic Catholic)

Further reading

  • Reeves, Thomas C. (2001), America’s Bishop. The Life and Times of Fulton J. Sheen. Encounter Books, San Francisco.
  • Riley, Kathleen L.(2004), “Fulton J. Sheen: An American Catholic Response to the Twentieth Century”. St/Paul’s/AlbaHouse, Staten Island.
  • Sherwood, Timothy H. (2010), The Preaching of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: The Gospel Meets the Cold War. Lexington Books. 137 p.
  • Sherwood, Timothy H. (2013). The Rhetorical Leadership of Fulton J. Sheen, Norman Vincent Peale, and Billy Graham in the Age of Extremes (Lexington Books; 2013) 158 pages
  • Winsboro, Irvin D. S., Michael Epple, “Religion, Culture, and the Cold War: Bishop Fulton J. Sheen and America’s Anti-Communist Crusade of the 1950s,” Historian, 71,2 (2009), 209–233.

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f “Fulton Sheen Biography and Inspiration”. Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  2. Jump up^ Otterman, Sharon (June 29, 2012). “For a 1950s TV Evangelist, a Step Toward Sainthood”.The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  3. Jump up^ “The Venerable Fulton J. Sheen: a model of virtue for our time”. News.va. Pontifical Council for Social Communications. June 30, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b “Archbishop Fulton John Sheen”. Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved21 January 2015.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b “The Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation”. Retrieved September 14, 2009.
  6. Jump up^ Rodgers, Ann (August 29, 2006). “Emmy-winning televangelist on path toward sainthood: Sheen would be 1st American-born man canonized”. Chicago Sun-Times (HighBeam Research). Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  7. Jump up^ “Fulton J. Sheen”. Nndb.com. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  8. Jump up^ “Newton Morris “Newt” Sheen (1862 – 1944)”. Findagrave. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  9. Jump up^ “Delia Fulton Sheen (1864 – 1943)”. Findagrave. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i “Bishop Fulton Sheen: The First “Televangelist””. Time. April 14, 1952. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
  11. Jump up^ Fulton J. Sheen. Treasure in Clay, Ch. 2 “The Molding of the Clay”, p. 9, 1980 .
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b c “About Fulton J. Sheen”. Fulton J. Sheen website. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  13. Jump up^ Encyclopedia of American Religious History. p. 921. ISBN 978-0816066605. RetrievedMarch 3, 2013.
  14. Jump up^ “Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen obituary article from the Catholic Post”. Allendrake.com. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  15. Jump up^ “Fulton J. Sheen, Catholic Champion”. Catholiceducation.org. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  16. Jump up^ James Hennesey, S.J., American Catholics, Oxford University Press, 1981, 255.
  17. Jump up^ James Hennesey, S.J., American Catholics, Oxford University Press, 1981, 280
  18. Jump up^ “Radio Religion”. Time. January 21, 1946. Retrieved March 30, 2009.
  19. Jump up^ St. Fultie, The Next American Saint? Brennan, Phil, http://www.newsmax.com, December 14, 2004. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
  20. Jump up^ Watson, M. A. (1999). And they said Uncle Fultie didn’t have a prayer. Television Quarterly, 30(2), 80–85.
  21. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Bearden, Michelle (January 24, 2009). “Mass Today Promotes Sheen For Sainthood”.Tampa Tribune. p. 10.
  22. Jump up^ Mikkelson, Barbara and David P. “Stalin for Time: Did Bishop Fulton Sheen foretell the death of Stalin?Snopes.com, August 8, 2007.
  23. Jump up^ Loyola Retreat House
  24. ^ Jump up to:a b An Enduring Journey of Faith: St. Joseph’s Parish, Pomfret, Maryland, (2012 by St. Joseph’s Church, Pomfret, MD, Harambee Productions, Inc. White Plains, MD 150 p
  25. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j Fulton J. Sheen (2008). Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen. Doubleday.
  26. Jump up^ James H. Willbanks, “Vietnam War Almanac”, Facts on File, Inc. (2009), p 215.
  27. Jump up^ John T. McGreevy, Parish Boundaries: The Catholic Encounter with Race in the Twentieth-Century Urban North, University of Chicago Press, 1996, 242
  28. Jump up^ The Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Archives accessed August 15, 2007 Archived February 28, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  29. Jump up^ “Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Museum”. Catholic Diocese of Peoria.
  30. Jump up^ “Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Spiritual Center”. Archbishopfultonsheencentre.com. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  31. Jump up^ “THE DIRECTOR’S CORNER « Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen”. Archbishopsheencause.org. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  32. Jump up^ Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, June 28, 2012. Vatican Information Service, June 28, 2012.
  33. Jump up^ “The Catholic Post : Article – Entries sought for sacred art show planned in Rock Island”. Cdop.org. January 29, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  34. Jump up^ “Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation”. Fultonsheen.blogspot.com. Retrieved December 30,2013.
  35. Jump up^ “Celebrate Sheen!”. Celebrate Sheen!. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  36. Jump up^ “World needs Archbishop Sheen’s example of faith, virtue, says homilist”. Catholic News Service. September 11, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  37. Jump up^ “Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation: Press Release”. Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation. March 6, 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  38. Jump up^ Teahan, Madeleine. “Fulton Sheen and the Miracle of Baby James.” CatholicHeraldcouk. N.p., 1 July 2014. Web. 28 Mar. 2015.
  39. Jump up^ http://www.cdop.org/pages/NNewsDetail.aspx?ID=21
  40. Jump up^ http://www.cdop.org/pages/NNewsDetailAttachment.aspx?ID=20
  41. Jump up^ http://cdop.org/post/PostFeatured.aspx?ID=3490
  42. Jump up^ http://www.pjstar.com/article/20140903/NEWS/140909693
  43. Jump up^ http://www.centralillinoisproud.com/story/d/story/canonization-of-archbishop-fulton-sheen-suspended/39658/BOdQEjHnF0mqJRmKJhAeJA
  44. Jump up^ http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/sheen-sainthood-process-suspended/article_d43c4d13-dea7-5af5-b8bc-97ed8184cd21.html
  45. Jump up^ http://www.archny.org/news-events/news-press-releases/index.cfm?i=34110
  46. Jump up^ This book was Sheen’s response to Rabbi Joshua L. Liebman’s 1946 best-seller Peace of Mind.

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulton_J._Sheen

Sheen cause suspended, call for prayer

EDITOR’S NOTE: Following are news releases from the Diocese of Peoria regarding the suspension of the Cause for the beatification and canonization of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

—–

SHEEN CAUSE SUSPENDED, CALL FOR PRAYER
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

It is with immense sadness that the Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, Bishop of Peoria and President of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation, announced today that the Cause for Sheen’s beatification and canonization has for the foreseeable future been suspended. The process to verify a possible miracle attributed to Sheen had been going extremely well, and only awaited a vote of the Cardinals and the approval of the Holy Father. There was every indication that a possible date for beatification in Peoria would have been scheduled for as early as the coming year. The Holy See expected that the remains of Venerable Sheen would be moved to Peoria where official inspection would be made and first class relics be taken. Subsequently, the Archdiocese of New York denied Bishop Jenky’s request to move the body to Peoria. After further discussion with Rome, it was decided that the Sheen Cause would now have to be relegated to the Congregation’s historic archive.

Countless supporters especially from the local church in Central Illinois have given their time, treasure and talent for this good work with the clear understanding that the body of Venerable Sheen would return to the Diocese. Bishop Jenky was personally assured on several occasions by the Archdiocese of New York that the transfer of the body would take place at the appropriate time. New York’s change of mind took place as the work on behalf of the Cause had reached a significant stage.

Bishop Jenky is what is technically called the “actor” of the Sheen Cause. The Diocese of Peoria and the Sheen Foundation have prayed and labored for this good work for the last twelve years. The Bishop is heartbroken not only for his flock in Peoria but also for the many supporters of the Sheen Cause from throughout the world who have so generously supported Peoria’s efforts. It should be noted, however, that saints are always made by God not by man. Efforts for many causes have sometimes taken decades or even centuries. Bishop Jenky urges that those who support the Sheen Cause continue their prayers that God’s will be made manifest.

No further comment will be released at this time.

—–

DIOCESE OF PEORIA PRESENTS ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATIONS REGARDING THE SUSPENSION OF THE ARCHBISHOP FULTON SHEEN CAUSE OF SAINTHOOD
Friday, September 5, 2014

After an outpouring of great support for the actions taken by Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria regarding the suspension of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Cause of Sainthood, the Diocese is providing additional clarifications.

According to the Chancellor of the Diocese of Peoria, Patricia Gibson, who has worked with the Cause from the beginning, “Bishop Jenky only agreed to pursue the cause for canonization of Fulton Sheen after he was assured by the Archdiocese of New York that they had no interest in pursuing the cause but would support Peoria’s efforts. Specifically, Bishop Jenky was told by Cardinal Egan in September 2002 that New York was not interested in pursuing the cause. He also indicated that at the appropriate time he would facilitate the transfer of the body to Peoria. In December 2004, Cardinal Egan again confirmed at a meeting in New York with Bishop Jenky that he continued to support the efforts of the Cause and reassured him that he would work to transfer the body at the appropriate time to be enshrined in the Peoria Cathedral.”

Based on this ongoing assurance, Bishop Jenky wrote to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in early 2005 asking for the body to be transferred to Peoria. They did not in any way forbid the transfer of the body but simply indicated that it was not the appropriate time. The Congregation indicated that “the transfer was not opportune at this time because the Diocesan inquiry had just been started in the Diocese of Peoria.” With this inquiry complete and a miracle being attributed to Sheen, now is an appropriate time.

On June 27, 2014, the Diocese of Peoria received the most recent communication from the Archdiocese of New York. This letter from its lawyer definitively stated that it would never allow the examination of the body, the securing of relics or the transfer of the body. Upon receiving this shocking statement and consulting with advisors to the Sheen Cause, Bishop Jenky believed that he had no choice but to stop his efforts and suspend the Cause.

Gibson added, “It is essential to realize that Bishop Jenky now feels a great responsibility to be faithful to the thousands of supporters throughout Central Illinois, the nation and the world, in regard to the status of the cause. From the beginning, Bishop Jenky sought assurances that New York did not want to undertake the Cause and would support Peoria’s efforts. This assurance was given before the process ever began. Bishop Jenky also confirmed that at the appropriate time Fulton Sheen’s body would be transferred to his boyhood home and be placed in a shrine in St. Mary’s Cathedral where he was ordained. Over the last twelve years, countless people have offered their time and financial support for these efforts in order not only to spread the word about Fulton Sheen’s virtues and holiness but also to prepare a shrine in Peoria upon his beatification. After New York clearly turned down the Cause, Peoria was happy to put forth the lengthy work and effort because of how much he is loved by the priests and lay faithful in this Diocese.”

Clearly Archbishop Sheen’s wishes for his final resting place could not have anticipated that he would go through a canonization process led by his native Diocese of Peoria, after it was turned down by the Archdiocese of New York. The Diocese of Peoria has heard from several relatives this week regarding their desire that Bishop Jenky continue to work towards having the body transferred as was presumed from the beginning.

The Chancellor, Patricia Gibson, further states, “The actions taken by Bishop Jenky this week reflect his strong desire to be true to the countless supporters of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Cause who for over twelve years have labored and supported bringing the message of Fulton Sheen and his sanctity to the world. Bishop Jenky continues to hope that the promises made twelve years ago will be honored.”

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Indiana and 19 States and Federal Government Have Religious Freedom Restoration Laws — Nothing New Here — Crackup of Lying Lunatic Left Democratic Party — Attacks People of Faith — Bullies — Christians and Jews — Demonizes Businesses — Supports Sin (“homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”) — No Wonder Americans Are Going Independent and Abandoning Democratic Party — Please Take Your Business Elsewhere and Switch Channels — “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” — Seeking happiness is seeking God. — Videos

Posted on April 3, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Babies, Blogroll, Business, Catholic Church, Climate, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Demographics, Documentary, Entertainment, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Money, Music, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Programming, Psychology, Quotations, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Religious, Speech, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 434: March 25, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 402: January 23, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 400: January 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 399: January 16, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 397: January 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 396: January 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 395: January 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 392: December 19, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 390: December 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 389: December 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 388: December 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 387: December 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 386: December 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 383: December 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 382: December 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Story 1: Indiana and 19 States and Federal Government Have Religious Freedom Restoration Laws — Nothing New Here — Crackup of Lying Lunatic Left Democratic Party — Attacks People of Faith — Bullies — Christians and Jews — Demonizes Businesses — Supports Sin (“homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”) — No Wonder Americans Are Going Independent and Abandoning Democratic Party — Please Take Your Business Elsewhere and Switch Channels — “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” — Seeking happiness is seeking God. — Videos

“Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

John, Chapter 8

Catechism of The Catholic Church

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

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America’s Forum | Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Religious Liberty Is Out First Freedom

Bake or Else! Wedding Vendors Face Threats to Liberty

Crumbling Freedom: Cake Artist Sent to ‘Reeducation’

Days of Lot : Colorado Judge orders Christian Baker to bake cake for Same Sex Wedding (Jun 06, 2014)

A Colorado Judge Orders Baker To Bake Cake for an Event ~ Illiberal Egalitarianism

‘gay wedding cake’ | Baker To Stop Making Wedding Cakes Altogether After Losing Discrimination Case

DISCRIMINATION – Oregon Bakery, ‘Sweet Cakes Bakery’ Refuses To Make Cake for Lesbian Wedding

Homophobic Bakery Goes Bankrupt

Joey Heatherton – “I’ve Got Your Number”

Joey Heatherton ‘Someone To Watch Over Me”

Joey Heatherton on the Dean Martin Show

Nice People | Bishop Fulton J.Sheen

Youth and Sex – Venerable Fulton Sheen

Marriage & Incompatibility – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

How to Psychoanayze Yourself | Bishop Fulton J.Sheen

His Last Words ~ Ven Fulton J Sheen

Pence signs Religious Freedom bill into law

“Straights Only”? Indiana Faces Boycotts, Protests over Anti-LGBT “Religious Freedom” Law

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Says Controversial ‘Religious Freedom’ Law Won’t Change

Pence signs Religious Freedom bill into law

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on FOX News Sunday

Joey Heatherton Look What They’ve Done To My Song

Joey Heatherton A Tribute

What’s My Line? Joey Heatherton (1965)

Joey Heatherton for Serta mattresses

In Defense of Indiana

by RICH LOWRY

The anti-RFRA backlash is a perfect storm of hysteria and legal ignorance.

Indiana is experiencing its two minutes of hate. It is doubtful that since its admittance into the union in 1816, the heretofore inoffensive Midwestern state has ever been showered with so much elite obloquy.

Indiana’s sin is that its legislature passed and Governor Mike Pence signed into law a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, setting out a legal standard for cases involving a clash between a person’s exercise of religion and the state’s laws. To listen to the critics, you’d think the law was drafted by a joint committee of attorneys from the Ku Klux Klan and Westboro Baptist Church. The enlightened are stumbling over themselves in their rush to boycott Indiana. Seattle and San Francisco are banning official travel there, and Connecticut is following suit. In a Washington Post op-ed, Apple CEO Tim Cook pronounced the Indiana law part of a “very dangerous” trend that allows “people to discriminate against their neighbors” (never mind that his company is happy to do business in Communist China). The anti-Indiana backlash is a perfect storm of hysteria and legal ignorance, supercharged by the particularly censorious self-righteousness of the Left.

All the Indiana law says is that the state can’t substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion, unless there is a compelling governmental interest at stake and it is pursued by the least restrictive means. The law doesn’t mandate any particular outcome; it simply provides a test for the courts in those rare instances when a person’s exercise of religion clashes with a law.

Nineteen other states have similar protections, and they are all modeled on a federal version of the law that passed Congress with near unanimity in 1993 (Indiana’s law is arguably a little more robust than the federal version, because it also applies to private suits). If these Religious Freedom Restoration Acts were the enablers of discrimination they are portrayed as, much of the country would already have sunk into a dystopian pit of hatred.

Legal historians a century from now may be mystified by how a measure that was uncontroversial for so long suddenly became a mark of shame. They will find their answer in the Left’s drive to crush any dissent from its cultural agenda, especially on gay marriage.

The religious-freedom laws once were associated with minorities that progressives could embrace or tolerate — Native Americans who smoke peyote as part of religious ceremonies, Amish who drive their buggies on the roads, and the like. That was fine. It is the specter of Christian small-business people — say, a baker or a florist — using the laws to protect themselves from punishment for opting out of gay-wedding ceremonies that drives progressives mad.

Why? It’s a large, diverse country, with many people of differing faiths and different points of view. More specifically, the country has an enormous wedding industry not known for its hostility to gays. The burgeoning institution of gay marriage will surely survive the occasional florist who doesn’t want to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding for religious reasons.

As a practical matter, such a dissenting florist doesn’t make a difference; the affected couple might be offended but can take its business elsewhere. But for the Left, it’s the principle of the thing. For all its talk of diversity, it demands unanimity on this question — individual conscience be damned. So it isn’t bothered when religious wedding vendors are sued or harassed under anti-discrimination laws for their nonparticipation in ceremonies they morally oppose.

It’s not clear that Religious Freedom Restoration Acts will shield these kinds of business people (they haven’t, to this point). It might be that more specific exemptions are necessary. But the mere possibility that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act might protect a baker opposed to gay marriage is enough to create a furious, unhinged reaction.

Yes, there is intolerance afoot in the debate over Indiana, but it’s not on the part of Indianans.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/416196/defense-indiana-rich-lowry

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Breaking News: Second Confirmed Ebola Case of Health Care Worker in Dallas Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital — Ebola Is Airborne and Spreading — Center for Disease Control (CDC) Blames It on Breach of Protocol — CDC’s Deep Denial Delusions — World Health Organization (WHO): Aerosolized Ebola Virus droplets produced from coughing or sneezing. –Videos

Posted on October 12, 2014. Filed under: American History, Biology, Blogroll, Books, Business, Chemistry, Climate, Communications, Disease, Documentary, Ebola, Economics, Education, Employment, European History, Freedom, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Law, liberty, Life, media, Medical, Medicine, People, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Science, Security, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Weather, Welfare, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 347: October 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 345: October 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 344: October 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 340: September 30, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 289: July 2, 2014

Story 1: Breaking News: Second Confirmed Ebola Case of Health Care Worker in Dallas Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital  — Ebola Is Airborne and Spreading — Center for Disease Control (CDC) Blames It on Breach of Protocol — CDC’s Deep Denial Delusions — World Health Organization (WHO): Aerosolised Ebola Virus droplets produced from coughing or sneezing. –Videos

Texas-Hospital-Patient-Confirmed

I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.

Oliver Cromwell

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Ebola Outrage as Outbreak Officially Begins In U.S.

Dallas Dog Raises Questions About Animals And Ebola

Ebola: The Undocumented Pandemic

#Ebola outbreak: Texas nurse tests positive & Suspected Case in Boston

CDC investigating Ebola protocol, as second U.S. patient confirmed

SouthCom Issues Stark Ebola Warning: “Katie Bar the Door”

Marine Corps general who leads America’s Southern Command warned Tuesday that the U.S. could face an unprecedented flood of immigrants from the south if the Ebola virus epidemic hits Central America.

‘If it breaks out, it’s literally, “Katie bar the door”,’ Gen John Kelly told said during a public discussion at the National Defense University. ‘And there will be mass migration into the United States.’

US Army: Ebola like FLU needs Winter Weather to go AIRBORNE

CDC Warns On AIRBORNE EBOLA

Max Alert! EBOLA Bodily Fluids Readily Airborne Weaponizable

Second CONFIRMED Case Of Ebola In The U.S. Texas hospital worker tests positive for Ebola

Pestilence : Health Care worker at Dallas Texas Hospital tests positive for Ebola (Oct 12, 2014)

Ebola Health care worker tests positive at Texas hospital

Pestilence : Press Conference of Second Confirmed Diagnosed Case in Texas (Oct 12, 2014)

Ebola – The Truth About the Outbreak (Documentary)

What Pisses Me Off About Ebola

Science Today: Virus Mutation | California Academy of Sciences

Antigenic Shift

Influenza: Get the (Antigenic) Drift

Flu Shift and Drift

Virus Basics

Introduction to Viruses and Viral Replication

Antigenic Shift – the Spread of a New, Mutated Virus

Ebola: The world’s most dangerous Virus (full documentary)

Texas nurse fighting Ebola receives blood transfusion from survivor Dr Kent Brantly – who also matched blood types with two others struck by the deadly virus in the U.S.

  • Nina Pham, 26, has received blood transfusion from Dr Kent Brantly
  • Survivor Brantly also donated to Dr Nick Sacra and NBC’s Ashoka Mukpo
  • Antibodies in his blood could help the patients fight the disease
  • Pham caught the Ebola virus while treating Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas
  • Second person who some identified as Miss Pham’s boyfriend is being monitored for symptoms  
  • Miss Pham raised in Vietnamese family in Fort Worth and graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with Bachelor of Science in Nursing 
  • HazChem teams spent the weekend fumigating her Dallas apartment 
  • Authorities have blamed a ‘breach of protocol’ – but nursing leaders have criticized the CDC for making her a scapegoat 
  • About 70 staff members at Texas hospital were involved in the care of first Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan after he was hospitalized

The Texan nurse diagnosed with Ebola has received a blood transfusion from survivor Dr Kent Brantly.

It is the third time Dr Brantly has donated blood to an Ebola victim after medics discovered he had the same blood type as previous patient Dr Nick Sacra and NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, who is still being treated.

Incredibly, nurse Nina Pham, 26, has also matched with Dr Brantly and on Monday received a transfusion of his blood in a move that doctors believe could save her life.

Lifeline: Dr Kent Brantly (left), who has been cleared of Ebola, has match blood types with Nina Pham (right) and donated so she can receive a blood transfusion to battle the deadly virus she caught treating a patient

Lifeline: Dr Kent Brantly (left), who has been cleared of Ebola, has match blood types with Nina Pham (right) and donated so she can receive a blood transfusion to battle the deadly virus she caught treating a patient

Lifeline: Dr Kent Brantly (left), who has been cleared of Ebola, has match blood types with Nina Pham (right) and donated so she can receive a blood transfusion to battle the deadly virus she caught treating a patient

Miss Pham has been in quarantine since Friday after catching the disease from ‘patient zero’ Thomas Eric Duncan – the man who brought the deadly virus to America.

About 70 staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital were involved in the care of Mr Duncan after he was hospitalized, including the 26-year-old.

Brantly is believed to have traveled to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Pham worked, to make the donation on Sunday night.

Miss Pham’s condition was described as ‘clinically stable’ on Tuesday morning. She is believed to be in good spirits and had spoken to her mother via Skype.

A second person who came in contact with the nurse is being monitored for Ebola symptoms in an isolation unit at Texas Presbyterian. He is reportedly Miss Pham’s boyfriend according to Dallas News.

The individual works at Alcon in Fort Worth, according to a staff email seen by CBS. MailOnline was awaiting confirmation from the global eye care products company.

Those who have survived Ebola have antibodies in their blood which can help new sufferers beat the disease.

Dr Kent Brantly was flown back from Liberia to the U.S. after contracting Ebola during his missionary work for Samaritan’s Purse.

He survived after receiving a dose of the experimental serum Z-Mapp and round-the-clock care at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

On September 10, Dr Brantly donated blood to a fellow doctor, Dr Rick Sacra, who also contracted Ebola during his work in West Africa and survived the disease.

Last Tuesday, he was on a road trip from Indiana to Texas when he received a call from Ashoka Mukpo’s medical center in Nebraska telling him his blood type matched Mukpo’s.

He also offered his blood to Thomas Eric Duncan but their blood types didn’t match.

Cured: Dr Nick Sacra was cleared of Ebola after receiving a blood transfusion from Dr Kent Brantly

Being treated: On Tuesday, Dr Brantly pulled over during a road trip to give blood to NBC's Ashoka Mukpo

Being treated: On Tuesday, Dr Brantly pulled over during a road trip to give blood to NBC’s Ashoka Mukpo

Within minutes, he stopped off at the Community Blood Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and his donation was flown to Omaha.

Pham was diagnosed after admitting herself to hospital on Friday when her temperature spiked – one of the first symptoms of the deadly virus. 

HOW COMMON IS IT FOR TWO PEOPLE TO MATCH BLOOD TYPE?

There are four major blood types: A, B, AB, and O. They divide into positive and negative categories.

It is not known what blood type the four Ebola patients have in common.

The most common blood type in the US is O positive, although ethnic groups normally differ.

The majority of African Americans and Hispanics have O positive.

Around 37 per cent of Caucasians do too, but 33 per cent have A positive.

There is more variety among Asian people. A quarter are listed as B positive, according to the Red Cross, but many also have a high number of Os and As.

A blood test confirmed she had the disease and she is now being treated in an isolation ward.

The Emergency Room where she was admitted was cleared and decontaminated.

Nina Pham’s uncle confirmed to MailOnline that she is the nurse who has contracted Ebola while treating patient zero Thomas Eric Duncan.

Jason Nguyen told MailOnline: ‘Nina has contracted Ebola, she is my niece. Her mother called me on Saturday and told me; ‘Nina has caught Ebola.’

‘My sister is very upset, we all are. She said she was going up to the hospital in Dallas and I haven’t heard from her since. I’ve tried to call but I can’t get through. It’s very shocking. I don’t know any of the details, only what I hear on the news. It’s frightening.’

He added: ‘Nina is very hard working. She is always up at the hospital in Dallas.’

A friend added: ‘You always hear it on the news, but you don’t expect someone you know so well to have it.’

HazChem teams spent the weekend fumigating her apartment in Dallas while health officials have ordered an investigation into how she contracted the disease.

Texas nurse with Ebola identified as 26-yr-old Nina Pham

Tragic: Nina Pham, 26, is fighting for her life after contracting Ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan. Here she is pictured with her beloved King Charles Spaniel clled Bentley who is not expected to be destroyed

Tragic: Nina Pham, 26, is fighting for her life after contracting Ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan. Here she is pictured with her beloved King Charles Spaniel clled Bentley who is not expected to be destroyed

Kind-hearted: Raised in Vietnamese family in Fort Worth, Miss Pham graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Kind-hearted: Raised in Vietnamese family in Fort Worth, Miss Pham graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Kind-hearted: Raised in Vietnamese family in Fort Worth, Miss Pham graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Her beloved King Charles Spaniel Bentley will not be destroyed and is being quarantined, Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings has assured.

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) Dr Thomas Frieden has blamed a ‘breach in protocol’ of infection control lead Miss Pham to catch Ebola.

Mr Duncan arrived in Texas from Liberia on September 20. He began showing symptoms of Ebola three days after his arrival and was admitted to Texas Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday 28. He died on Wednesday October 8.

Presbyterian’s chief clinical officer, Dr Dan Varga, said all staff had followed CDC recommended precautions – ‘gown, glove, mask and shield’ – while treating Mr Duncan.

CDC chief backtracks after blaming nurse who got Ebola

And on Monday the CDC said that a critical moment may have come when Miss Pham took off her equipment.

Ebola victims suffer chronic diarrhea and bleeding. But blood and feces from an Ebola patient are considered the most infectious bodily fluids.

Mr Duncan also underwent two surgical procedures in a bid to keep him alive but which are particularly high-risk for transmitting the virus – kidney dialysis and intubation to help him to breathe – due to the spread of blood and saliva.

Nurses’ leader Bonnie Castillo has criticized the CDC for blaming the nurse for the spread of the disease.

Ms Castillo, of the National Nurses United, said: ‘You don’t scapegoat and blame when you have a disease outbreak. We have a system failure. That is what we have to correct.’

In response to the criticism, Frieden clarified his comments to say that he did not mean it was an error on Miss Pham’s part that led to the ‘breach of protocol.’

Hazard: Protect Environmental workers move disposal barrels to a staging area outside the Dallas apartment of Miss Pham

Clean up: A  man in full hazmat clothing walks in front of Pham's home after disinfecting the front porch

Clean up: A man in full hazmat clothing walks in front of Pham’s home after disinfecting the front porch

Compassion: Tom Ha, who taught Miss Pham bible class said: 'I expect, with the big heart she has, she went beyond what she was supposed to do to help anyone in need'

The CDC said on Monday it has launched a wholesale review of the procedures and equipment used by healthcare workers.

Dr Frieden added that the case ‘substantially’ changes how medical staff approach the control of the virus, adding that: ‘We have to rethink how we address Ebola control, because even a single infection is unacceptable.’

When she got accepted into nursing school she was really excited. Her mom would tell how it’s really hard and a bunch of her friends quit doing it because it was so stressful. But she was like, “This is what I want to do”
– Friend of Miss Pham

Friends and well-wishers have paid tribute to Miss Pham and praised her as a big-hearted, compassionate nurse dedicated to caring for other.

Raised in Vietnamese family in Fort Worth, she graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

She obtained her nursing license in August 2010 and recently qualified as a critical care nurse.

A friend told the Dallas Morning News: ‘When she got accepted into nursing school she was really excited. Her mom would tell how it’s really hard and a bunch of her friends quit doing it because it was so stressful. But she was like, “This is what I want to do”.’

A devout Christian she regularly attends mass at the Lady of Fatima Church.

Tom Ha, who taught her bible class, told the paper: ‘The family is very dedicated and go out of their way to help people. I expect, with the big heart she has, she went beyond what she was supposed to do to help anyone in need.’

Aid:  Miss Pham had treated Mr Duncan multiple times after he was diagnosed with the disease and the CDC has claimed that a 'breach of protocol' meant the nurse contracted Ebola. However, nursing leaders attacked the authorities for apparently making Miss Pham a scapegoat

Aid:  Miss Pham had treated Mr Duncan multiple times after he was diagnosed with the disease and the CDC has claimed that a ‘breach of protocol’ meant the nurse contracted Ebola. However, nursing leaders attacked the authorities for apparently making Miss Pham a scapegoat

Hung Le, who is president and counselor at Our Lady of Fatima, said parishioners are uniting in prayer for Miss Pham.

He said: ‘Our most important concern as a church is to help the family as they are coping with this. As a parish, we are praying for them.’

Ha, who taught the woman in Bible classes, said he and others are translating health information into Vietnamese to help others learn about the illness.

‘People are more worried for the family than for themselves, but some have questions because they don’t really understand what it is or how it is transmitted.’

SPREAD OF A DEADLY PLAGUE: HOW WILL AMERICA CONTAIN EBOLA?

WHEN IS EBOLA CONTAGIOUS?

Only when someone is showing symptoms, which can start with vague symptoms including a fever, flu-like body aches and abdominal pain, and then vomiting and diarrhea.

HOW DOES EBOLA SPREAD?

Through close contact with a symptomatic person’s bodily fluids, such as blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen. Those fluids must have an entry point, like a cut or scrape or someone touching the nose, mouth or eyes with contaminated hands, or being splashed. That’s why health care workers wear protective gloves and other equipment.

The World Health Organization says blood, feces and vomit are the most infectious fluids, while the virus is found in saliva mostly once patients are severely ill and the whole live virus has never been culled from sweat.

WHAT ABOUT MORE CASUAL CONTACT?

Ebola isn’t airborne. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said people don’t get exposed by sitting next to someone on the bus.

‘This is not like flu. It’s not like measles, not like the common cold. It’s not as spreadable, it’s not as infectious as those conditions,’ he added.

WHO GETS TESTED WHEN EBOLA IS SUSPECTED?

Hospitals with a suspected case call their health department or the CDC to go through a checklist to determine the person’s level of risk. Among the questions are whether the person reports a risky contact with a known Ebola patient, how sick they are and whether an alternative diagnosis is more likely. Most initially suspicious cases in the U.S. haven’t met the criteria for testing.

HOW IS IT CLEANED UP?

The CDC says bleach and other hospital disinfectants kill Ebola. Dried virus on surfaces survives only for several hours.

The World Health Organization on Monday called the Ebola outbreak ‘the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times’.

It added that economic disruption can be curbed if people are educated so they don’t make any irrational moves to dodge infection.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, citing World Bank figures, said 90 per cent of economic costs of any outbreak ‘come from irrational and disorganised efforts of the public to avoid infection.’

‘We are seeing, right now, how this virus can disrupt economies and societies around the world,’ she said, but added that adequately educating the public was a ‘good defense strategy’ and would allow governments to prevent economic disruptions.

Ebola screening of passengers arriving from three West African countries began at New York’s JFK airport on Saturday.

Medical teams equipped with temperature guns and questionnaires are monitoring arrivals from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – countries at the centre of the Ebola outbreak.

Screening at Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta will begin later this week.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2791089/first-picture-devoted-texas-nurse-fighting-life-catching-ebola-treating-man-brought-dreaded-virus-america-beloved-dog-s-quarantine.html

Key Question: How Did Dallas Worker Contract Ebola?

How did it happen?

That’s the big question as U.S. health officials investigate the case of a Dallas health worker who treated an Ebola patient and ended up with the disease herself.

These are professionals and this is the United States, where the best conditions and protective gear are available, unlike in West Africa, where the Ebola epidemic is raging in much poorer conditions.

Ebola-Nurse

The health worker wore protective gear while having extensive contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died Wednesday of Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

Officials say she has not been able to pinpoint any breach in infection control protocols, although there apparently was a breach, they say.

 

Experience shows that health workers can safely care for Ebola patients, “but we also know that it’s hard and that even a single breach can result in contamination,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

The situation also raises fresh concerns about whether any U.S. hospital can safely handle Ebola patients, as health officials have insisted is possible.

“A breach in protocol could be anything from not taking your gloves off the right way to taking a dialysis catheter out of a dialysis patient and not disposing of it the right way,” explains Dr. Darrin D’Agostino, Chair of Internal Medicine UNT.

According to Dr. D’Agostino those are just some of the multitude of scenarios.
He says these incidents don’t happen often, but accidents do occur.

“We can be as diligent and meticulous as we want to be but occasionally things happen that expose to risk,” said Dr. D’Agostino.

While the fight to eradicate Ebola in Dallas and internationality Dr. D’Agostino is reminding us the battle will be long.

“The fact of the matter is that we do have a lot to learn about this virus and all the viruses that are in this family…this one is particularly infectious.”

Despite the uncertainty Dr. D’Agostino says he is confident that we have the proper infrastructure and resources to handle these cases.

 

Some questions and answers about the new case.

Q: What protection do health workers have?

A: The exact gear can vary. A hazardous material type suit usually includes a gown, two sets of gloves, a face mask, and an eye shield. There are strict protocols for how to use it correctly.

“When you put on your garb and you take off your garb, it’s a buddy system,” with another health worker watching to make sure it’s done right, said Dr. Dennis Maki, University of Wisconsin-Madison infectious disease specialist and former head of hospital infection control.

Q: How might infection have occurred?

A: Officials are focusing on two areas: How the garb was removed, and the intensive medical procedures Duncan received, which included kidney dialysis and a breathing machine. Both involve inserting tubes — into blood vessels or an airway. That raises the risk a health worker will have contact with the patient’s bodily fluids, which is how Ebola spreads.

“Removing the equipment can really be the highest risk. You have to be extremely careful and have somebody watching you to make sure you remember all the steps,” said Dr. Eileen Farnon, a Temple University doctor who formerly worked at the CDC and led teams investigating past Ebola outbreaks in Africa.

“After every step you usually would do hand hygiene,” washing your hands with antiseptic or being sprayed with a chlorine spray, she said.

Q: How else could infection have happened?

A: Some of the garb the health worker takes off might brush against a surface and contaminate it. New data suggest that even tiny droplets of a patient’s body fluids can contain the virus, Maki said.

“I can have on the suit and be very careful, but I can pick up some secretions or body fluids on a surface” and spread it that way, he said.

Q: Can any U.S. hospital safely treat Ebola patients?

A: Frieden and other health officials say yes, but others say the new case shows the risks.

“We can’t control where the Ebola patient appears,” so every hospital’s emergency room needs to be prepared to isolate and take infection control precautions, Maki said.

That said, “I don’t think we should expect that small hospitals take care of Ebola patients. The challenge is formidable,” and only large hospitals like those affiliated with major universities truly have enough equipment and manpower to do it right, Maki said.

“If we allow it to be taken care of in hospitals that have less than optimal resources, we will promote the spread,” he warned.

The case heightens concern for health workers’ safety, and nurses at many hospitals “are alarmed at the inadequate preparation they see,” says a statement from Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the trade union, National Nurses United.

Q: Should Ebola patients be transferred to one of the specialized centers that have treated others in the U.S.?

A: Specialized units are the ideal, but there are fewer than half a dozen in the nation and they don’t have unlimited beds. “It is also a high-risk activity to transfer patients,” potentially exposing more people to the virus, Farnon said.

Q. What is CDC recommending that a hospital do?

A. Training has been ramped up, and the CDC now recommends that a hospital minimize the number of people caring for an Ebola patient, perform only procedures essential to support the patient’s care, and name a fulltime infection control supervisor while any Ebola patient is being cared for. Frieden also said the agency was taking a new look at personal protective equipment, “understanding that there is a balance and putting more on isn’t always safer — it may make it harder to provide effective care.”

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2014/10/12/key-question-how-did-dallas-worker-contract-ebola/

 

Health care worker at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas tests positive for Ebola

A Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital health care worker in Dallas who had “extensive contact” with the first Ebola patient to die in the United States has contracted the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta confirmed the news Sunday afternoon after an official test.

The infected person detected a fever Friday night and drove herself to the Presbyterian emergency room, where she was placed in isolation 90 minutes later. A blood sample sent to the state health lab in Austin confirmed Saturday night that she had Ebola — the first person to contract the disease in the United States.

The director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday that the infection in the health care worker, who was not on the organization’s watch list for people who had contact with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, resulted from a “breach in protocol.”

“We have spoken with the health care worker,” who cannot “identify the specific breach” that allowed the infection to spread, said CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden. The CDC has sent additional staff members to Dallas to “assist with the response,” he said.

Frieden said exposure can result from a “single inadvertent slip.” He cautioned: “Unfortunately it is possible in the coming days we will see additional cases of Ebola” in health care workers.

Texas health commissioner David Lakey said the health care worker had “extensive contact” with Duncan. The nurse, who missed two days of work before going to the emergency room, is believed to have had contact with one person while symptomatic. Ebola, which is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person, can only be transmitted from infected people showing symptoms.

“We have been preparing for an event like this,” Lakey said.

Presbyterian chief clinical officer Daniel Varga said the exposure occurred during Duncan’s second visit to the hospital. Duncan, the first person to die of Ebola in the United States, went to the Presbyterian emergency room Sept. 25 and was sent home with antibiotics only to return to the hospital on Sept. 28. He was diagnosed with Ebola and died Oct. 8.

It is not clear how the health care provider contracted Ebola. According to Duncan’s patient records released by the family to The Associated Press, this is what happened at Presbyterian:

— On Sept. 28, an ambulance with Duncan arrived at the hospital’s emergency bay shortly after 10 a.m.

— Doctors performed tests on Duncan, who told them he had recently arrived from Africa, and determined he had sinusitis.

— Now in isolation, Duncan was projectile vomiting, having explosive diarrhea and his temperature was 103.1 degrees.

— On Sept. 29, as his condition worsened, Duncan asked the nurse to put him in a diaper.

— On Sept. 30, tests results confirmed Duncan had Ebola. Only then did staff treating Duncan trade their gowns and scrubs for hazmat suits, and the room was cleaned with bleach.

Varga at Presbyterian said the worker was wearing protective gear, including a gown, glove, mask and shield, when she came into contact with Duncan. “This individual was following full CDC precautions,” Varga said

Officials haven’t released the name of the health care worker or her job description. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he has spoken to the health care worker’s parents, who have asked for privacy.

“Let’s remember that this is a real person who is going through a great ordeal. So is that person’s family,” Jenkins said.

The second Ebola patient lives in the 5700 block of  Marquita Avenue in East Dallas, where the person’s apartment was going to be decontaminated Sunday. While the CDC didn’t consider the person to be at “high risk” of contracting Ebola, the health care worker had been monitoring for signs of the disease, including checking for fever twice daily.

The person’s car was decontaminated and the common area of an apartment complex was going to be cleaned by a hazardous-material team Sunday.

A crew of 15 people from the Cleaning Guys was going to decontaminate the person’s apartment Sunday afternoon, said company owner Erick McCallum. “Our main objective is for this to go away and to be eradicated,” he said.

Staff writers Melissa Repko, Sherry Jacobson, Claire Cardona, Eva-Marie Ayala and Matthew Haag contributed to this report.

=====

Update at 2:59 p.m.

Brad Smith, Vice President of CG Environmental-Cleaning Guys, a hazardous material company, was hired to clean the apartment unit of the ill health care worker.

He said the hazmat crew will begin cleaning in the next hour or two. They are not sure how long it will take. The crew will include up to 15 people.

He said he’s not concerned about the safety of the crew. He heard the health care worker contracted Ebola after “there was something that went wrong in her PPE” or “personal protective equipment.”

“I’m not sure how it happened,” he said. “But we will not let that happen to our guys.”Smith said the company was hoping not to get any more calls about an Ebola case.

“I was speechless. I don’t know what my thoughts were,” he said. “I just knew we had to react and gear up and do it again.”

Smith said the crew plans to clean the exterior today and clean the interior tomorrow. It will be similar to the cleanup of the apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan stayed.

“We won’t do anything different,” he said. “We think the last time we went out we were successful in cleaning it up. We will continue to so the same thing.”

Update at 12:21 p.m.

At the end of Marquita, morning services were underway at Skillman Church of Christ. The congregation first became aware of the deadly disease when medical missionary Dr. Kent Brantly, who many congregants know, contracted the illness.

Then many became close to the son of Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of the disease. Now pastor Joel Sanchez was telling the church that a healthcare worker just a few blocks away has Ebola.

“As much as we are connected to the world, it’s easy to see something on the television and think of it as happening over yonder, over there,” he said. “But when it hits close to home, it becomes real.”

The congregation prayed for the healthcare worker who Sanchez said put another in front of herself because he had a need. They prayed for the family of Duncan. But then Sanchez asked his congregation not to forget the thousands suffering in West Africa, an area with limited medical resources  where nearly 4,000 people have died from Ebola.

“We can’t forget those people whose only course of action is to pray that they don’t get it,” Sanchez said.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dr. Daniel Varga held a news conference Sundaymorning to inform the public that a health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas test positive for the Ebola virus after coming in close contact with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan.

 http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20141012-health-care-worker-at-presbyterian-hospital-tests-positive-for-ebola.ece

Health care worker at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas tests positive for Ebola

Police guard the residence at 5700 block of Marquita, where reportedly a person diagnosed with Ebola lived, photographed in Dallas on Sunday, October 12, 2014. (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)
Louis DeLuca/Staff Photographer
Police guard the residence at 5700 block of Marquita, where reportedly a person diagnosed with Ebola lived, photographed in Dallas on Sunday, October 12, 2014. (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)

The infected person detected a fever Friday night and drove herself to the Presbyterian emergency room, where she was placed in isolation 90 minutes later. A blood sample sent to the state health lab in Austin confirmedSaturday night that she had Ebola — the first person to contract the disease in the United States.

The director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday that the infection in the health care worker, who was not on the organization’s watch list for people who had contact with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, resulted from a “breach in protocol.”

“We have spoken with the health care worker,” who cannot “identify the specific breach” that allowed the infection to spread, said CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden. The CDC has sent additional staff members to Dallas to “assist with the response,” he said.

Frieden said exposure can result from a “single inadvertent slip.” He cautioned: “Unfortunately it is possible in the coming days we will see additional cases of Ebola” in health care workers.

Texas health commissioner David Lakey said the health care worker had “extensive contact” with Duncan. The nurse, who missed two days of work before going to the emergency room, is believed to have had contact with one person while symptomatic. Ebola, which is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person, can only be transmitted from infected people showing symptoms.

“We have been preparing for an event like this,” Lakey said.

Presbyterian chief clinical officer Daniel Varga said the exposure occurred during Duncan’s second visit to the hospital. Duncan, the first person to die of Ebola in the United States, went to the Presbyterian emergency room Sept. 26 and was sent home with antibiotics only to return to the hospital on Sept. 28. He was diagnosed with Ebola and died Oct. 8

Officials haven’t released the name of the health care worker or her job description. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he has spoken to the health care worker’s parents, who have asked for privacy.

“Let’s remember that this is a real person who is going through a great ordeal. So is that person’s family,” Jenkins said.

The second Ebola patient lives in the 5700 block of  Marquita Avenue in East Dallas, where the person’s apartment was decontaminated Sunday. While the CDC didn’t consider the person to be at “high risk” of contracting Ebola, the health care worker had been monitoring for signs of the disease, including checking for fever twice daily.

The person’s car was decontaminated and the common area of an apartment complex was cleaned by a hazardous-material team Sunday. A pet also lived in the person’s apartment.

Dallas police have cordoned off the East Dallas apartment, where a frenzy of news media and helicopters circling above have drawn neighbors outside. Police officers and a CDC representative talked to residents Sundaymorning and distributing papers about Ebola symptoms. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings also visited with residents.

“It just breaks my heart. … She was just an innocent woman who took care of someone who was sick,” said neighbor Colleen Watson said. “She did her job, and probably with full empathy and kindness, and for this to happen to her is so much sadder than any other case.”

Dina Smith was holding her 3-year-old daughter, still in disbelief that the first contracted case was just a block away. She said Mayor Mike Rawlings and staff members from the mayor’s office visited Sunday morning and talked to residents.

“I’m not particularly concerned because from everything I heard, she was a nurse and took every precaution,” Smith said. “But you hear the helicopters overhead and see the news, and it makes you pay more attention.”

Lindsey Carpenter, 33, said her roommate had searched on the Internet to find out why news helicopters were flying over their neighborhood. He barged into her room at 9:30 a.m. when he found an answer: “There’s an Ebola patient in the neighborhood.”

Carpenter, who works in a hospital in Lewisville, said she hopes Presbyterian investigates how the nurse contracted Ebola — especially because she was exposed to Duncan during his second visit to the hospital.

“They were prepared with hazmat suits and everything,” she said. “I wonder how she got it. It’s really puzzling. There’s probably more to the story that we don’t know.”

Texas Health says “the Emergency Department at Texas Health Dallas is diverting ambulance traffic with the exception of patients showing symptoms of  Ebola Virus Disease. The ED is open and seeing patients arriving by any other means.”

Staff writers Melissa Repko, Sherry Jacobson, Claire Cardona, Eva-Marie Ayala and Matthew Haag contributed to this report.

Update at 12:21 p.m.

At the end of Marquita, morning services were underway at Skillman Church of Christ. The congregation first became aware of the deadly disease when medical missionary Dr. Kent Brantly, who many congregants know, contracted the illness.

Then many became close to the son of Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of the disease. Now pastor Joel Sanchez was telling the church that a healthcare worker just a few blocks away has Ebola.

“As much as we are connected to the world, it’s easy to see something on the television and think of it as happening over yonder, over there,” he said. “But when it hits close to home, it becomes real.”

The congregation prayed for the healthcare worker who Sanchez said put another in front of herself because he had a need. They prayed for the family of Duncan. But then Sanchez asked his congregation not to forget the thousands suffering in West Africa, an area with limited medical resources  where nearly 4,000 people have died from Ebola.

“We can’t forget those people whose only course of action is to pray that they don’t get it,” Sanchez said.

WATCH: Dallas mayor, hospital doctors give details on Ebola patient No. 2

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dr. Daniel Varga held a news conference Sundaymorning to inform the public that a health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas test positive for the Ebola virus after coming in close contact with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20141012-health-care-worker-at-presbyterian-hospital-in-dallas-tests-positive-for-ebola.ece

TEXAS EBOLA HOSPITAL CAFETERIA BECOMES GHOST TOWN

 By Bob Price

The cafeteria, where employees and patients at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital normally take a meal break, is looking more like a ghost town since the outbreak of Ebola. A cafeteria worker said their business had taken a major hit in the wake of Nina Pham’s becoming symptomatic after treating Thomas Eric Duncan while he was ill at this hospital.

Breitbart Texas visited Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Monday to check out the mood of workers in the hospital. While visiting the various café’s throughout the hospital, there was a severe shortage of customers. A worker in “Café Presby” said their business is down by 25 percent over the past two weeks.

“I am concerned for our workers,” the employee said. “I hope we don’t have to lay anyone off or cut their hours because of this.”

A nurse who spoke with Breitbart Texas said they are very concerned for Nina Pham. “We aren’t as concerned for ourselves as we are for her. Exposure is one of the risks that comes with our job. We take all the precautions we can but there is always a risk of exposure.”

Another nurse who works for a different hospital but was visiting Texas Health Presbyterian said Nina Pham is a friend of one of her friends. “We are all praying for Nina,” she said. “She is a very sweet and caring nurse. We know she is strong and will recover from this.”

Breitbart Texas spoke with a doctor in the hospital about employee morale. “We are doing fine,” the doctor said. “The real enemy here is the media.” He expressed concern about some outlets sensationalized coverage of the Texas Ebola cases.

While exiting the hospital’s parking lot, the parking toll attendant wore protective gloves while handling the cash handed to her by people leaving the hospital.\

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/10/14/Texas-Ebola-Hospital-Cafeteria-Becomes-Ghost-Town

WHO: EBOLA IS MODERN ERA’S WORST HEALTH EMERGENCY

BY JIM GOMEZ

The World Health Organization called the Ebola outbreak “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times” on Monday but also said that economic disruptions can be curbed if people are adequately informed to prevent irrational moves to dodge infection.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, citing World Bank figures, said 90 percent of economic costs of any outbreak “come from irrational and disorganized efforts of the public to avoid infection.”

Staffers of the global health organization “are very well aware that fear of infection has spread around the world much faster than the virus,” Chan said in a statement read out to a regional health conference in the Philippine capital, Manila.

“We are seeing, right now, how this virus can disrupt economies and societies around the world,” she said, but added that adequately educating the public was a “good defense strategy” and would allow governments to prevent economic disruptions.

The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 4,000 people, mostly in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to WHO figures published last week.

Chan did not specify those steps but praised the Philippines for holding an anti-Ebola summit last week which was joined by government health officials and private sector representatives, warning that the Southeast Asian country was vulnerable due to the large number of Filipinos working abroad.

While bracing for Ebola, health officials should continue to focus on major health threats, including non-communicable diseases, she said.

Philippine Health Secretary Enrique Ona said authorities will ask more than 1,700 Filipinos working in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to observe themselves for at least 21 days for Ebola symptoms in those countries first if they plan to return home.

Once home, they should observe themselves for another 21 days and then report the result of their self-screening to health authorities to be doubly sure they have not been infected, he said, adding that hospitals which would deal with any Ebola patients have already been identified in the Philippines.

Last month, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged leaders in the most affected countries to establish special centers that aim to isolate infected people from non-infected relatives in an effort to stem the spread of Ebola.

Ban has also appealed for airlines and shipping companies not to suspend services to countries affected by Ebola. Doing so, he said, hinders delivery of humanitarian and medical assistance.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_WHO_EBOLA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-10-13-07-29-36

U.S. lacks a single standard for Ebola response

Larry Copeland

As Thomas Eric Duncan’s family mourns the USA’s first Ebola death in Dallas, one question reverberates over a series of apparent missteps in the case: Who is in charge of the response to Ebola?

The answer seems to be — there really isn’t one person or agency. There is not a single national response.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has emerged as the standard-bearer — and sometimes the scapegoat — on Ebola.

Public health is the purview of the states, and as the nation anticipates more Ebola cases, some experts say the way the United States handles public health is not up to the challenge.

“One of the things we have to understand is the federal, state and local public health relationships,” says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “Public health is inherently a state issue. The state really is in charge of public health at the state and local level. It’s a constitutional issue. The CDC can’t just walk in on these cases. They have to be invited in.”

The CDC deployed a team of 10 — three senior epidemiologists, a communication officer, a public health adviser and five epidemic intelligence officers, or “disease detectives” — to Dallas on the night of Sept. 30, hours after the agency announced that Duncan, a Liberian national who traveled to Dallas, had the Ebola virus. The next afternoon, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, head of the Dallas County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; CDC director Tom Frieden; and David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, agreed during a conference call to set up an Emergency Operations Center in Dallas County with Jenkins in charge.

The EOC was staffed by officials from Dallas County, the city of Dallas, the CDC, the county and state health departments and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, among others.

This was the team that made decisions on matters such as isolating people who had been in direct contact with Duncan, including his fiancée, Louise Troh, her teenage son and two other male relatives. Because they were not sick, they couldn’t technically be quarantined, Jenkins said Friday. Instead, Lakey issued a “control order” to keep them at home, where they could be monitored for signs of Ebola. Jenkins and Texas Gov. Rick Perry agreed to the order.

Texas officials were criticized for keeping the family inside the apartment where Duncan first showed signs of the disease, potentially exposing them to the virus. The family worried about Duncan’s soiled sheets and other waste in the apartment. The response team located a private home where the family could move and got permits to clean the apartment and truck 140 55-gallon barrels of waste to an incinerator 400 miles away.

Jenkins says he has a working model for how to respond to Ebola cases. Others aren’t so confident.

“In Texas, they really were slow to the plate,” said Robert Murphy, director of the Center for Global Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Texas is going to be the example of what not to do.”

Duncan, who arrived in Dallas on Sept. 20, somehow slipped through a Liberian airport screening process that allowed him into the country. He became ill several days later and went to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital Sept. 25; he was prescribed antibiotics, told to take Tylenol and sent home early on the morning of Sept. 26..

According to medical records provided to the Associated Press by Duncan’s family, his temperature spiked at 103 degrees during that visit. Duncan told a nurse that he had recently been in Africa, and he showed symptoms that can indicate Ebola: fever, sharp headache and abdominal pain. He was given a battery of tests and sent to his sister’s apartment with antibiotics. He returned by ambulance Sept. 28, was admitted to the hospital and placed in isolation. On Sept. 30, the CDC confirmed that he had Ebola.

In a statement Friday, the hospital said it had made procedural changes and continues to “review and evaluate” decisions surrounding Duncan’s case.

Murphy says some of the issues in Texas stem from a “system problem” in the way public health care is managed in the USA. The Centers for Disease Control provides only guidance for infection prevention and management. “What they do in Texas, what they do in Illinois, it’s up to the state,” he says.

“The question is, who’s in charge?” Murphy says. “The states can follow all the guidelines and take the advice, which they usually do, but they don’t have to. It’s not a legal requirement. So there really is no one entity that’s controlling things.”

Though the CDC is tasked with readying the nation for an Ebola outbreak, then leading the national response, the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for protecting the borders, according to Thomas Skinner, a spokesman for the CDC, which is under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The CDC collaborates with health departments and laboratories around the USA to make sure they are able to test for Ebola and respond rapidly if there is a case in their state, CDC spokeswoman Kirsten Nordlund said.

The agency is working to educate U.S. health care workers on how to isolate patients and protect themselves from infection; it developed a Web-based document that identifies rapidly emerging CDC guidelines for Ebola applicable to public health preparedness national standards for state and local planning.

The agency developed an introductory training course for licensed clinicians who intend to work in Ebola treatment units in Africa, and at any given time, it has 300-500 people working at CDC headquarters to support its Ebola response, Nordlund said.

Homeland Security “is focused on protecting the air traveling public and is taking steps to ensure that passengers with communicable diseases like Ebola are screened, isolated and quickly and safely referred to medical personnel,” deputy secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Thursday.

That includes issuing “do not board” orders to airlines if the CDC and State Department determine a passenger is a risk to the traveling public; providing information and guidance about Ebola to the airlines; posting notices at airports to raise awareness about Ebola; and providing a health notice called a care sheet to travelers entering the USA that have traveled from or through affected countries.

In addition, Health and Human Services has the authority to suspend the entry of persons into the USA based on outbreaks of disease in other countries and when necessary to protect public health.

Screening started Saturday at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport. Medical workers will take the temperature of airline passengers originating from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and Customs and Border Protection staffers will ask questions about their health and possible exposure to Ebola. Those suspected of possible Ebola exposure will be referred to a CDC public health officer for additional screening.

The testing will expand in the next few days to four more airports: Washington Dulles, Newark, Chicago’s O’Hare and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airports.

Osterholm and Murphy say the nation’s public health system leaves room for a broad array of Ebola responses from state to state.

“We have to have more clarity,” Osterholm says. “We have to have a level of excellence. If that means putting the CDC in charge of these departments of public health, that means we have to find a way to do that. We can have agreements (between the states and the CDC). … We can’t leave it up to the whims of the state to do it right or not do it right.”

He acknowledges that no one has called for such a change.

“Not yet,” he says. “But we need it, though. Texas was an example of how not to do it.”

Contributing: Rick Jervis in Dallas, Gregory Korte

W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces

The World Health Organization has issued a bulletin which confirms what Natural News has been asserting for weeks: that Ebola can spread via indirect contact with contaminated surfaces and aerosolized droplets produced from coughing or sneezing.

“…wet and bigger droplets from a heavily infected individual, who has respiratory symptoms caused by other conditions or who vomits violently, could transmit the virus — over a short distance — to another nearby person,” says a W.H.O. bulletin released this week. [1] “This could happen when virus-laden heavy droplets are directly propelled, by coughing or sneezing…”

That same bulletin also says, “The Ebola virus can also be transmitted indirectly, by contact with previously contaminated surfaces and objects.”

In other words, the WHO just confirmed what the CDC says is impossible — that Ebola can be acquired by touching a contaminated surface.

CDC remains in total denial, spreading dangerous disinformation about Ebola transmission vectors

This information published by the WHO directly contradicts the ridiculous claims of the CDC which continues to insist Ebola cannot spread through “indirect” means.

According to the CDC, Ebola can only spread via “direct contact,” but the CDC is basing this assumption on the behavior of the Ebola outbreak from 1976 — nearly four decades ago.

The CDC, in fact, continues to push five deadly assumptions about Ebola, endangering the lives of Americans in the process by failing to communicate accurate safety information to health professionals and the public.

Because of the CDC’s lackadaisical attitude about Ebola transmission, the Dallas Ebola outbreak may have been made far worse by people walking in and out of the Ebola-contaminated Duncan apartment while wearing no protective gear whatsoever.

Because the CDC sets the standards for dealing with infectious disease in the United States, when the CDC claims Ebola can only spread via “direct contact,” that causes emergency responders, Red Cross volunteers and even family members to conclude, “Then we don’t even need to wear latex gloves as long as we’re not touching the patient!”

Not “airborne” but can spread through the air

Both the CDC and the WHO continue to aggressively insist that Ebola is not an “airborne” disease. “Ebola virus disease is not an airborne infection,” says the WHO bulletin. But that same bulletin describes the ability of Ebola to spread through the air via aerosolized droplets.

The medical definition of “airborne,” it turns out, is a specific, narrow definition that defies the common understanding of the term. To most people, “airborne” means it can spread through the air, and Ebola most certainly can spread through the air when it is attached to aerosolized particles of spit, saliva, mucus, blood or other body fluids.

The CDC has now admitted there is a slight possibility of Ebola mutating to become “airborne” but says that chance is very small. [2] However, all honest virologists agree that the longer Ebola remains in circulation in West Africa, replicating among human hosts, the more chances it has to mutate into an airborne strain.

But the virus doesn’t need to mutate to continue to spread. It has already proven quite capable of spreading via indirect contact in a way that all the governments of the world have been utterly unable to stop. Despite the best efforts of the CDC and WHO, Ebola continues to replicate out of control across West African nations. Even in the United States, the Dallas “patient zero” incident has reportedly caused 100 people to be monitored for possible Ebola infections.

This is why government claims that “we have this under control” are just as much hogwash as the claim that Ebola can only spread via “direct contact.”

But that seems to be the default response of government to all legitimate threats: first, deny reality and misinform the public. Keep people in the dark and maybe the whole thing can be swept under the rug… at least until the mid-term elections.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/047177_ebola_transmission_direct_contact_aerosolized_particles.html##ixzz3FxuMpXzU

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

Posted on March 30, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Comedy, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Employment, European History, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, National Security Agency (NSA_, People, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Programming, Psychology, Quotations, Radio, Rants, Raves, Security | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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

Obama: NSA Proposal Satisfies Public Concerns

 

Obama announces overhaul of NSA metadata collection

NSA – Changes To Metadata Program – Special Report All Star

President Obama Names Michael Rogers As New Head Of The NSA

Background Articles and Videos

nsa_logo

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

Published on Dec 30, 2013

Through a PRISM, Darkly
Everything we know about NSA spying

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

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

Glenn Becks “SURVEILLANCE STATE”

Inside the NSA

Ed Snowden, NSA, and Fairy Tales

AT&T Spying On Internet Traffic

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

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

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

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

He told you so: Bill Binney talks NSA leaks

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

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

The story of Whistleblower Thomas Drake

Whistleblowers, Part Two: Thomas Drake

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

Meet Edward Snowden: NSA PRISM Whistleblower

The Truth About Edward Snowden

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

Inside The NSA~Americas Cyber Secrets

NSA Whistleblower Exposes Obama’s Dragnet

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

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

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

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

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

Background Articles and Videos

Stellar Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

PRISM

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

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

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

History

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

Details of information collected via PRISM

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

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

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

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

Response from companies

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

Initial Public Statements

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

Slide listing companies and the date that PRISM collection began

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post-PRISM Transparency Reports

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

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

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

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

Response from United States government

Executive branch

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

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

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

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

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

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

Legislative branch

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

Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)

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

Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN)

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

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

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

Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

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

Judicial branch

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

Applicable law and practice

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

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

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

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

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

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

Involvement of other countries

Australia

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

Canada

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

Germany

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

Israel

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

New Zealand

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

United Kingdom

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

Domestic response

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International response

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

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

Protests at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related government Internet surveillance programs

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

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

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

ThinThread

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

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

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

Trailblazer

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

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

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

Background

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whistleblowing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boundless Informant

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

Technology

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

Legality and FISA Amendments Act of 2008

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

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

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

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

ECHELON

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

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

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

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

Organization

UKUSA Community
Map of UKUSA Community countries with Ireland

Australia
Canada
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States of America

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

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

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

Capabilities

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

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

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

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

Controversy

See also: Industrial espionage

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

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

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

Hardware

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

Name

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

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

Ground stations

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

Likely satellite intercept stations

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

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

Other potentially related stations

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

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

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

Room 641A

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

Description

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

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

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

Room 641A and the controversies surrounding it were subjects of an episode of Frontline, the current affairs documentary program on PBS. It was originally broadcast on May 15, 2007. It was also featured on PBS’s NOW on March 14, 2008. The room was also covered in the PBS Nova episode “The Spy Factory”.

Lawsuit

Basic diagram of how the alleged wiretapping was accomplished. From EFF court filings[4]

More complicated diagram of how it allegedly worked. From EFF court filings.[3] See bottom of the file page for enlarged and rotated version.

Main article: Hepting v. AT&T

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecommunication company of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in a massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications. On July 20, 2006, a federal judge denied the government’s and AT&T’s motions to dismiss the case, chiefly on the ground of the States Secrets Privilege, allowing the lawsuit to go forward. On August 15, 2007, the case was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and was dismissed on December 29, 2011 based on a retroactive grant of immunity by Congress for telecommunications companies that cooperated with the government. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.[6] A different case by the EFF was filed on September 18, 2008, titled Jewel v. NSA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A

List of government surveillance projects for the United States

United States

A top secret document leaked by Edward Snowden to The Guardian in 2013, originally due to be declassified on 12 April 2038.

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

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Gerald Celente Predicts Economic Recession

Gerald Celente – Yahoo!’s The Daily Ticker – February 20, 2013

Gerald Celente: World Bank, Banksters, Coming Collapse.

Peter Schiff – Economic Collapse 2013

Peter Schiff: It’s Going To Hit The Fan During Obama’s Second Term – Fox Business

Peter Schiff: Wall Street’s rising back thanks to the taxpayers

Jim Rogers Asks Whether Obama Is ‘Delusional’ Or ‘Lying’

Chairman Kevin Brady presents his Opening Statement During JEC Hearing

Congressman Paulsen questions witnesses during Hearing on State of US Economy

Rep, Campbell during Joint Economic Committee Hearing on State of US Economy

Bill Gross Warns of Fed Easing ‘Irrational Exuberance Has Unduly Escalated Asset V

Harvey Golub on Fed Monetary Policy: We’re Creating a Series of Bubbles

Marc Faber Odds of World Heading Into Global Recession By 2013 Is 100% Certainty

JIM ROGERS – ‘If You Are Not Worried About 2013, Please – Get Worried’

Jim Rogers author of “Street Smarts” sits down w Glenn Beck on The Blaze TV re.

US to go into recession: Danielle Park

fiscal policy & automatic stabilizers

Austrian Economics versus Mainstream Economics | Mark Thornton

Econ Crisis 2 – Recessions

Old School Macro

Fiscal Policy

Deficits & The Debt

How Do Banks Work?

Central Bank & Monetary Policy

EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EST, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
BEA 13-06

* See the navigation bar at the right side of the news release text for links to data tables,
contact personnel and their telephone numbers, and supplementary materials.

Lisa S. Mataloni: (202) 606-5304 (GDP) gdpniwd@bea.gov
Recorded message: (202) 606-5306
Ralph Stewart: (202) 606-2649 (News Media)
Jeannine Aversa: (202) 606-2649 (News Media)
National Income and Product Accounts
Gross Domestic Product, 4th quarter and annual 2012 (second estimate)
      Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012
(that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the "second" estimate released by the
Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent.

      The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for
the "advance" estimate issued last month.  In the advance estimate, real GDP declined 0.1 percent.  The
upward revision to the percent change in real GDP is smaller than the average revision from the advance
to second estimate of 0.5 percentage point.  While today’s release has revised the direction of change in
real GDP, the general picture of the economy for the fourth quarter remains largely the same as what
was presented last month (for more information, see "Revisions" on page 3).

      The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from
personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed
investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, federal
government spending, exports, and state and local government spending.  Imports, which are a
subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

	The deceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected downturns in private
inventory investment, in federal government spending, in exports, and in state and local government
spending that were partly offset by an upturn in nonresidential fixed investment, a larger decrease in
imports, and an acceleration in PCE.

_______

FOOTNOTE.  Quarterly estimates are expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, unless otherwise
specified.  Quarter-to-quarter dollar changes are differences between these published estimates.  Percent
changes are calculated from unrounded data and are annualized.  "Real" estimates are in chained (2005)
dollars.  Price indexes are chain-type measures.

      This news release is available on BEA’s Web site along with the Technical Note and Highlights
 related to this release.  For information on revisions, see "Revisions to GDP, GDI, and Their Major
 Components".
_______

      Final sales of computers added 0.10 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP
after adding 0.11 percentage point to the third-quarter change.  Motor vehicle output added 0.19
percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.25 percentage point from
the third-quarter change.

      The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents,
increased 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, 0.2 percentage point more than in the advance estimate; this
index increased 1.4 percent in the third quarter.  Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for
gross domestic purchases increased 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 1.2
percent in the third.

      Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter, compared
with an increase of 1.6 percent in the third.  Durable goods increased 13.8 percent, compared with an
increase of 8.9 percent.  Nondurable goods increased 0.1 percent, compared with an increase of 1.2
percent.  Services increased 0.9 percent, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent.

      Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 9.7 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to a
decrease of 1.8 percent in the third.  Nonresidential structures increased 5.8 percent; it was unchanged in
the third quarter.  Equipment and software increased 11.3 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to a
decrease of 2.6 percent in the third.  Real residential fixed investment increased 17.5 percent, compared
with an increase of 13.5 percent.

      Real exports of goods and services decreased 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an
increase of 1.9 percent in the third.  Real imports of goods and services decreased 4.5 percent, compared
with a decrease of 0.6 percent.

      Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 14.8 percent
in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of 9.5 percent in the third.  National defense decreased
22.0 percent, in contrast to an increase of 12.9 percent.  Nondefense increased 1.8 percent, compared
with an increase of 3.0 percent.  Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross
investment decreased 1.3 percent, in contrast to an increase of 0.3 percent.

      The change in real private inventories subtracted 1.55 percentage points from the fourth-quarter
change in real GDP, after adding 0.73 percentage point to the third-quarter change.  Private businesses
increased inventories $12.0 billion in the fourth quarter, following increases of $60.3 billion in the third
and $41.4 billion in the second.

      Real final sales of domestic product -- GDP less change in private inventories -- increased 1.7
percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 2.4 percent in the third.

Gross domestic purchases

      Real gross domestic purchases -- purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever
produced -- decreased 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.6 percent in the
third.
Current-dollar GDP

      Current-dollar GDP -- the market value of the nation's output of goods and services -- increased
1.0 percent, or $40.2 billion, in the fourth quarter to a level of $15,851.2 billion.  In the third quarter,
current-dollar GDP increased 5.9 percent, or $225.4 billion.

Revisions

      The "second" estimate of the fourth-quarter percent change in GDP is 0.2 percentage point, or
$9.2 billion, more than the advance estimate issued last month, primarily reflecting an upward revision
to exports, a downward revision to imports, and an upward revision to nonresidential fixed investment
that were partly offset by a downward revision to private inventory investment.

                                                                     Advance Estimate             Second Estimate
                                                                       (Percent change from preceding quarter)

Real GDP.......................................                            -0.1                         0.1
Current-dollar GDP.............................                             0.5                         1.0
Gross domestic purchases price index...........                             1.3                         1.5

2012 GDP

      Real GDP increased 2.2 percent in 2012 (that is, from the 2011 annual level to the 2012 annual
level), compared with an increase of 1.8 percent in 2011.

      The increase in real GDP in 2012 primarily reflected positive contributions from personal
consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, exports, residential fixed investment,
and private inventory investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal
government spending and from state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in
the calculation of GDP, increased.

      The acceleration in real GDP in 2012 primarily reflected a deceleration in imports, upturns in
residential fixed investment and in private inventory investment and smaller decreases in state and local
government spending and in federal government spending that were partly offset by decelerations in
PCE, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment.

      The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7 percent in 2012, compared with an
increase of 2.5 percent in 2011.

      Current-dollar GDP increased 4.0 percent, or $605.8 billion, in 2012 to a level of $15,681.5
billion, compared with an increase of 4.0 percent, or $576.8 billion, in 2011.

	During 2012 (that is, measured from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012),
real GDP increased 1.6 percent.  Real GDP increased 2.0 percent during 2011.  The price index for gross
domestic purchases increased 1.5 percent during 2012, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent during
2011.

                                            *          *          *

      BEA's national, international, regional, and industry estimates; the Survey of Current Business;
and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov.  By visiting
the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases and announcements.

                                           *          *          *

                             Next release -- March 28, 2013 at 8:30 A.M. EDT for:
                Gross Domestic Product:  Fourth Quarter and Annual 2012 (Third Estimate)
                              Corporate Profits:  Fourth Quarter and Annual 2012

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President Barack Obama’s State of The Union Address, February 12, 2013– Rand Paul’s Tea Party Response and Marc Rubio’s Republican Response–Videos

Posted on February 12, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Enivornment, Entertainment, Farming, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Golf, government, government spending, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Money, Narcissism, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Public Sector, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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how_congress_spends_your_money_chart

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us_president_barack_obama_spending_money_for_debt_policy_speech_strategy_comic_political_cartoon_economist_funny_best_top_free_greatest1

The 2013 State of the Union Address

Rand Paul Gives The Tea Party Response To The President’s State of the Union Address

Marco Rubio – 2013 State of the Union – GOP Response w/ Water Break (12:01) (English)

Obama--State-of-the-Union-2013-4-jpg


Transcript: Obama’s State Of The Union Address As Prepared For Delivery

 

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, fellow citizens:


Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this Chamber that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…It is my task,” he said, “to report the State of the Union – to improve it is the task of us all.”


Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty. Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before.


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


But we gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. Our economy is adding jobs – but too many people still can’t find full-time employment. Corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs – but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged.


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


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


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


The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party. They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. For they know that America moves forward only when we do so together; and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all.


Our work must begin by making some basic decisions about our budget – decisions that will have a huge impact on the strength of our recovery.


Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion – mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. As a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.


Now we need to finish the job. And the question is, how?


In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars’ worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year. These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They’d devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. That’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as “the sequester,” are a really bad idea.


Now, some in this Congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training; Medicare and Social Security benefits.


That idea is even worse. Yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population. And those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms – otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations.


But we can’t ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful. We won’t grow the middle class simply by shifting the cost of health care or college onto families that are already struggling, or by forcing communities to lay off more teachers, cops, and firefighters. Most Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – understand that we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. They know that broad-based economic growth requires a balanced approach to deficit reduction, with spending cuts and revenue, and with everybody doing their fair share. And that’s the approach I offer tonight.


On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission. Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. The reforms I’m proposing go even further. We’ll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors. We’ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn’t be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital – they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive. And I am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don’t violate the guarantee of a secure retirement. Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep – but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.


To hit the rest of our deficit reduction target, we should do what leaders in both parties have already suggested, and save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected. After all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and Medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? How is that fair? How does that promote growth?


Now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit. The American people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms, and more time expanding and hiring; a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can’t pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries; a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas, and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in America. That’s what tax reform can deliver. That’s what we can do together.


I realize that tax reform and entitlement reform won’t be easy. The politics will be hard for both sides. None of us will get 100 percent of what we want. But the alternative will cost us jobs, hurt our economy, and visit hardship on millions of hardworking Americans. So let’s set party interests aside, and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. And let’s do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors. The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. Let’s agree, right here, right now, to keep the people’s government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America. The American people have worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause another.


Now, most of us agree that a plan to reduce the deficit must be part of our agenda. But let’s be clear: deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?


A year and a half ago, I put forward an American Jobs Act that independent economists said would create more than one million new jobs. I thank the last Congress for passing some of that agenda, and I urge this Congress to pass the rest. Tonight, I’ll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.


Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.


After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. After locating plants in other countries like China, Intel is opening its most advanced plant right here at home. And this year, Apple will start making Macs in America again.


There are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. Last year, we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio. A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. There’s no reason this can’t happen in other towns. So tonight, I’m announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the Departments of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs. And I ask this Congress to help create a network of fifteen of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is Made in America.


If we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas. Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy. Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s; developing drugs to regenerate damaged organs; devising new material to make batteries ten times more powerful. Now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race. And today, no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy.


After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it. And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.


But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.


The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.


Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.


In the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. That’s why my Administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. But I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water.


Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long. I’m also issuing a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. The states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen.


America’s energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. Ask any CEO where they’d rather locate and hire: a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and internet; high-tech schools and self-healing power grids. The CEO of Siemens America – a company that brought hundreds of new jobs to North Carolina – has said that if we upgrade our infrastructure, they’ll bring even more jobs. And I know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts. I’ve seen you all at the ribbon-cuttings.


Tonight, I propose a “Fix-It-First” program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. And to make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the whole burden, I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children. Let’s prove that there is no better place to do business than the United States of America. And let’s start right away.


Part of our rebuilding effort must also involve our housing sector. Today, our housing market is finally healing from the collapse of 2007. Home prices are rising at the fastest pace in six years, home purchases are up nearly 50 percent, and construction is expanding again.


But even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, too many families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected. Too many families who have never missed a payment and want to refinance are being told no. That’s holding our entire economy back, and we need to fix it. Right now, there’s a bill in this Congress that would give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s rates. Democrats and Republicans have supported it before. What are we waiting for? Take a vote, and send me that bill. Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. What’s holding us back? Let’s streamline the process, and help our economy grow.


These initiatives in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, and housing will help entrepreneurs and small business owners expand and create new jobs. But none of it will matter unless we also equip our citizens with the skills and training to fill those jobs. And that has to start at the earliest possible age.


Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives.


Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own. So let’s do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.


Let’s also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so that they’re ready for a job. At schools like P-Tech in Brooklyn, a collaboration between New York Public Schools, the City University of New York, and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in computers or engineering.


We need to give every American student opportunities like this. Four years ago, we started Race to the Top – a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year. Tonight, I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math – the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future.


Now, even with better high schools, most young people will need some higher education. It’s a simple fact: the more education you have, the more likely you are to have a job and work your way into the middle class. But today, skyrocketing costs price way too many young people out of a higher education, or saddle them with unsustainable debt.


Through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we have made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. But taxpayers cannot continue to subsidize the soaring cost of higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it’s our job to make sure they do. Tonight, I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act, so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid. And tomorrow, my Administration will release a new “College Scorecard” that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.


To grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today’s jobs require. But we also have to make sure that America remains a place where everyone who’s willing to work hard has the chance to get ahead.


Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants. And right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform.


Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my Administration has already made – putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.


Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship – a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.


And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.


In other words, we know what needs to be done. As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts. Now let’s get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away.


But we can’t stop there. We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence. Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago. I urge the House to do the same. And I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.


We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong. That’s why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, nineteen states have chosen to bump theirs even higher.


Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead. For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. In fact, working folks shouldn’t have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while CEO pay has never been higher. So here’s an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year: let’s tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on.


Tonight, let’s also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it’s virtually impossible to get ahead. Factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. Inescapable pockets of poverty, urban and rural, where young adults are still fighting for their first job. America is not a place where chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. And that is why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them.


Let’s offer incentives to companies that hire Americans who’ve got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance. Let’s put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in run-down neighborhoods. And this year, my Administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet. We’ll work with local leaders to target resources at public safety, education, and housing. We’ll give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest. And we’ll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and doing more to encourage fatherhood – because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one.


Stronger families. Stronger communities. A stronger America. It is this kind of prosperity – broad, shared, and built on a thriving middle class – that has always been the source of our progress at home. It is also the foundation of our power and influence throughout the world.


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


Beyond 2014, America’s commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change. We are negotiating an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions: training and equipping Afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.


Today, the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self. Different al Qaeda affiliates and extremist groups have emerged – from the Arabian Peninsula to Africa. The threat these groups pose is evolving. But to meet this threat, we don’t need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations. Instead, we will need to help countries like Yemen, Libya, and Somalia provide for their own security, and help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in Mali. And, where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans.


As we do, we must enlist our values in the fight. That is why my Administration has worked tirelessly to forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counterterrorism operations. Throughout, we have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts. I recognize that in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we’re doing things the right way. So, in the months ahead, I will continue to engage with Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention, and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world.


Of course, our challenges don’t end with al Qaeda. America will continue to lead the effort to prevent the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons. The regime in North Korea must know that they will only achieve security and prosperity by meeting their international obligations. Provocations of the sort we saw last night will only isolate them further, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense, and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats.


Likewise, the leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon. At the same time, we will engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals, and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands – because our ability to influence others depends on our willingness to lead.


America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. We know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private e-mail. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.


That’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy. Now, Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks.


Even as we protect our people, we should remember that today’s world presents not only dangers, but opportunities. To boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership. And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.


We also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all. In many places, people live on little more than a dollar a day. So the United States will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades: by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women; by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed, power, and educate themselves; by saving the world’s children from preventable deaths; and by realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation.


Above all, America must remain a beacon to all who seek freedom during this period of historic change. I saw the power of hope last year in Rangoon – when Aung San Suu Kyi welcomed an American President into the home where she had been imprisoned for years; when thousands of Burmese lined the streets, waving American flags, including a man who said, “There is justice and law in the United States. I want our country to be like that.”


In defense of freedom, we will remain the anchor of strong alliances from the Americas to Africa; from Europe to Asia. In the Middle East, we will stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy. The process will be messy, and we cannot presume to dictate the course of change in countries like Egypt; but we can – and will – insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people. We will keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every Syrian. And we will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace. These are the messages I will deliver when I travel to the Middle East next month.


All this work depends on the courage and sacrifice of those who serve in dangerous places at great personal risk – our diplomats, our intelligence officers, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. As long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military in the world. We will invest in new capabilities, even as we reduce waste and wartime spending. We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families – gay and straight. We will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have proven under fire that they are ready for combat. We will keep faith with our veterans – investing in world-class care, including mental health care, for our wounded warriors; supporting our military families; and giving our veterans the benefits, education, and job opportunities they have earned. And I want to thank my wife Michelle and Dr. Jill Biden for their continued dedication to serving our military families as well as they serve us.


But defending our freedom is not the job of our military alone. We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. That includes our most fundamental right as citizens: the right to vote. When any Americans – no matter where they live or what their party – are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals. That’s why, tonight, I’m announcing a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. And I’m asking two long-time experts in the field, who’ve recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for Governor Romney’s campaign, to lead it. We can fix this, and we will. The American people demand it. And so does our democracy.


Of course, what I’ve said tonight matters little if we don’t come together to protect our most precious resource – our children.


It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.


Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.


One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.


Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.


Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.


The families of Newtown deserve a vote.


The families of Aurora deserve a vote.


The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote.


Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges I’ve outlined tonight. But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.


We were sent here to look out for our fellow Americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day, usually without fanfare, all across this country. We should follow their example.


We should follow the example of a New York City nurse named Menchu Sanchez. When Hurricane Sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, her thoughts were not with how her own home was faring – they were with the twenty precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe.


We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor. When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours. And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her. Because Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read “I Voted.”


We should follow the example of a police officer named Brian Murphy. When a gunman opened fire on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and Brian was the first to arrive, he did not consider his own safety. He fought back until help arrived, and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the Americans worshiping inside – even as he lay bleeding from twelve bullet wounds.


When asked how he did that, Brian said, “That’s just the way we’re made.”


That’s just the way we’re made.


We may do different jobs, and wear different uniforms, and hold different views than the person beside us. But as Americans, we all share the same proud title:


We are citizens. It’s a word that doesn’t just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we’re made. It describes what we believe. It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story.


Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

http://www.npr.org/2013/02/12/171841852/transcript-obamas-state-of-the-union-as-prepared-for-delivery


Full Text of Rand Paul’s Tea Party Response to State of the Union

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul delivered the Tea Party rebuttal to Obama’s State of the Union speech


These are the prepared remarks of Rand Paul’s Tea Party rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union Speech. Follow U.S. News’s live coverage here.


I speak to you tonight from Washington, D.C. The state of our economy is tenuous but our people remain the greatest example of freedom and prosperity the world has ever known.


People say America is exceptional. I agree, but it’s not the complexion of our skin or the twists in our DNA that make us unique. America is exceptional because we were founded upon the notion that everyone should be free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.


For the first time in history, men and women were guaranteed a chance to succeed based NOT on who your parents were but on your own initiative and desire to work.


We are in danger, though, of forgetting what made us great. The President seems to think the country can continue to borrow $50,000 per second. The President believes that we should just squeeze more money out of those who are working.

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

Ronald Reagan said, government is not the answer to the problem, government is the problem.

Tonight, the President told the nation he disagrees. President Obama believes government is the solution: More government, more taxes, more debt.

What the President fails to grasp is that the American system that rewards hard work is what made America so prosperous.

What America needs is not Robin Hood but Adam Smith. In the year we won our independence, Adam Smith described what creates the Wealth of Nations.

He described a limited government that largely did not interfere with individuals and their pursuit of happiness.

All that we are, all that we wish to be is now threatened by the notion that you can have something for nothing, that you can have your cake and eat it too, that you can spend a trillion dollars every year that you don’t have.

I was elected to the Senate in 2010 by people worried about our country, worried about our kids and their future. I thought I knew how bad it was in Washington. But it is worse than I ever imagined.

Congress is debating the wrong things.

Every debate in Washington is about how much to increase spending – a little or a lot.

About how much to increase taxes – a little or a lot.

The President does a big “woe is me” over the $1.2 trillion sequester that he endorsed and signed into law. Some Republicans are joining him. Few people understand that the sequester doesn’t even cut any spending. It just slows the rate of growth. Even with the sequester, government will grow over $7 trillion over the next decade.

Only in Washington could an increase of $7 trillion in spending over a decade be called a cut.

So, what is the President’s answer? Over the past four years he has added over $6 trillion in new debt and may well do the same in a second term. What solutions does he offer? He takes entitlement reform off the table and seeks to squeeze more money out of the private sector.

He says he wants a balanced approach.

What the country really needs is a balanced budget.

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

Tonight I urge you to demand a new course.

Demand Washington change their ways, or be sent home.

To begin with, we absolutely must pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution!

The amendment must include strict tax and spending limitations.

Liberals complain that the budget can’t be balanced but if you cut just one penny from each dollar we currently spend, the budget would balance within six or seven years.

The Penny Plan has been crafted into a bill that millions of conservatives across the country support.

It is often said that there is not enough bipartisanship up here.

That is not true.

In fact, there is plenty.

Both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of protecting their sacred cows, of backroom deals in which everyone up here wins, but every taxpayer loses.

It is time for a new bipartisan consensus.

It is time Democrats admit that not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred. And it is time Republicans realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud.

Where would we cut spending; well, we could start with ending all foreign aid to countries that are burning our flag and chanting death to America.

The President could begin by stopping the F-16s and Abrams tanks being given to the radical Islamic government of Egypt.

Not only should the sequester stand, many pundits say the sequester really needs to be at least $4 trillion to avoid another downgrade of America’s credit rating.

Both parties will have to agree to cut, or we will never fix our fiscal mess.

Bipartisanship is not what is missing in Washington. Common sense is.

Trillion-dollar deficits hurt us all.

Printing more money to feed the never-ending appetite for spending hurts us all.

We pay higher prices every time we go to the supermarket or the gas pump. The value of the dollar shrinks with each new day.

Contrary to what the President claims, big government and debt are not a friend to the poor and the elderly. Big-government debt keeps the poor poor and saps the savings of the elderly.

This massive expansion of the debt destroys savings and steals the value of your wages.

Big government makes it more expensive to put food on the table. Big government is not your friend. The President offers you free stuff but his policies keep you poor.

Under President Obama, the ranks of America’s poor swelled to almost 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment left millions of Americans struggling and out of work.

The cycle must be broken.

The willpower to do this will not come from Congress. It must come from the American people.

Next month, I will propose a five-year balanced budget, a budget that last year was endorsed by taxpayer groups across the country for its boldness, and for actually solving the problem.

I will work with anyone on either side of the aisle who wants to cut spending.

But in recent years, there has been no one to work with.

The President’s massive tax hikes and spending increases have caused his budgets to get ZERO votes in both houses of Congress. Not a single Democrat voted for the President’s budget!

But at least he tried.

Senate Democrats have not even produced a budget in the time I have been in office, a shameful display of incompetence that illustrates their lack of seriousness.

This year, they say they will have a budget, but after just recently imposing hundreds of billions in new taxes, they now say they will include more tax hikes in their budget.

We must stand firm. We must say NO to any MORE tax hikes!

Only through lower taxes, less regulation and more freedom will the economy begin to grow again.

Our party is the party of growth, jobs and prosperity, and we will boldly lead on these issues.

Under the Obama economy, 12 million people are out of work. During the President’s first term 800,000 construction workers lost their jobs and another 800,000 simply gave up on looking for work.

With my five-year budget, millions of jobs would be created by cutting the corporate income tax in half, by creating a flat personal income tax of 17%, and by cutting the regulations that are strangling American businesses.

The only stimulus ever proven to work is leaving more money in the hands of those who earned it!

For those who are struggling we want to you to have something infinitely more valuable than a free phone, we want you to have a job and pathway to success.

We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future.

We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities.

We must be the party that says, “If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.”

For those striving to climb the ladder of success we must fix our schools.

America’s educational system is leaving behind anyone who starts with disadvantages.

We have cut classroom size in half and tripled spending on education and still we lag behind much of the world.

A great education needs to be available for everyone, whether you live on country club lane or in government housing.

This will only happen when we allow school choice for everyone, rich or poor, white, brown, or black.

Let the taxes you pay for education follow each and every student to the school of your choice.

Competition has made America the richest nation in history. Competition can make our educational system the envy of the world.

The status quo traps poor children in a crumbling system of hopelessness.

When every child can, like the President’s kids, go to the school of their choice, then will the dreams of our children come true!

Washington could also use a good dose of transparency, which is why we should fight back against middle of the night deals that end with massive bills no one has read.

We must continue to fight for legislation that forces Congress to read the bills!

We must continue to object when Congress sticks special interest riders on bills in the dead of night!

And if Congress refuses to obey its own rules, if Congress refuses to pass a budget, if Congress refuses to read the bills, then I say:

Sweep the place clean. Limit their terms and send them home!

I have seen the inner sanctum of Congress and believe me there is no monopoly on knowledge there.

If they will not listen, if they will not balance the budget, then we should limit their terms.

We are the party that adheres to the Constitution. We will not let the liberals tread on the Second Amendment!

We will fight to defend the entire Bill of Rights from the right to trial by jury to the right to be free from unlawful searches.

We will stand up against excessive government power wherever we see it.

We cannot and will not allow any President to act as if he were a king.

We will not let any President use executive orders to impinge on the Second Amendment.

We will not tolerate secret lists of American citizens who can be killed without trial.

Montesquieu wrote that there can be no liberty when the executive branch and the legislative branch are combined. Separation of powers is a bedrock principle of our Constitution.

We took the President to court over his unconstitutional recess appointments and won.

If necessary, we will take him to court again if he attempts to legislate by executive order.

Congress must reassert its authority as the protector of these rights, and stand up for them, no matter which party is in power.

Congress must stand as a check to the power of the executive, and it must stand as it was intended, as the voice of the people.

The people are crying out for change. They are asking for us to hear their voices, to fix our broken system, to right our economy and to restore their liberty.

Let us tonight let them know that we hear their voices. That we can and must work together, that we can and must re-chart our course toward a better future.

America has much greatness left in her. We will begin to thrive again when we begin to believe in ourselves again, when we regain our respect for our founding documents, when we balance our budget, when we understand that capitalism and free markets and free individuals are what creates our nation’s prosperity.

Thank you and God Bless America.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/02/12/full-text-of-rand-pauls-tea-party-response-to-state-of-the-union?page=4

Text of Senator Marc Rubio’s response to the Union address on Tuesday night

Good evening. I’m Marco Rubio. I’m blessed to represent Florida in the United States Senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of his second term. Tonight, I have the honor of responding to his State of the Union address on behalf of my fellow Republicans.  And I am especially honored to be addressing our brave men and women serving in the armed forces and in diplomatic posts around the world. You may be thousands of miles away, but you are always in our prayers.

The State of the Union address is always a reminder of how unique America is. For much of human history, most people were trapped in stagnant societies, where a tiny minority always stayed on top, and no one else even had a chance.

But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.

Like most Americans, for me this ideal is personal. My parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and give their children the chance at an even better one. They made it to the middle class, my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. I didn’t inherit any money from them. But I inherited something far better – the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams.

This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington.  It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs.

Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle-class prosperity.

But President Obama?  He believes it’s the cause of our problems.  That the economic downturn happened because our government didn’t tax enough, spend enough and control enough. And, therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.

This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.

And the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle-class taxpayers – that’s an old idea that’s failed every time it’s been tried.

More government isn’t going to help you get ahead.  It’s going to hold you back.

More government isn’t going to create more opportunities.  It’s going to limit them.

And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs.  It’s going to create uncertainty.

Because more government breeds complicated rules and laws that a small business can’t afford to follow.

Because more government raises taxes on employers who then pass the costs on to their employees through fewer hours, lower pay and even layoffs.

And because many government programs that claim to help the middle class, often end up hurting them instead.

For example, Obamacare was supposed to help middle-class Americans afford health insurance.  But now, some people are losing the health insurance they were happy with.  And because Obamacare created expensive requirements for companies with more than 50 employees, now many of these businesses aren’t hiring.  Not only that; they’re being forced to lay people off and switch from full-time employees to part-time workers.

Now does this mean there’s no role for government?  Of course not.  It plays a crucial part in keeping us safe, enforcing rules, and providing some security against the risks of modern life. But government’s role is wisely limited by the Constitution. And it can’t play its essential role when it ignores those limits.

There are valid reasons to be concerned about the president’s plan to grow our government. But any time anyone opposes the president’s agenda, he and his allies usually respond by falsely attacking their motives.

When we point out that no matter how many job-killing laws we pass, our government can’t control the weather – he accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air.

When we suggest we strengthen our safety net programs by giving states more flexibility to manage them – he accuses us of wanting to leave the elderly and disabled to fend for themselves.

And tonight, he even criticized us for refusing to raise taxes to delay military cuts – cuts that were his idea in the first place.

But his favorite attack of all is that those who don’t agree with him – they only care about rich people.

Mr. President, I still live in the same working-class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.

The tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle-class families. It will cost them their raises. It will cost them their benefits. It may even cost some of them their jobs.

And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to save Medicare and Social Security.

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

Hard-working middle-class Americans who don’t need us to come up with a plan to grow the government. They want a plan to grow the middle class.

Economic growth is the best way to help the middle class.  Unfortunately, our economy actually shrank during the last three months of 2012.

But if we can get the economy to grow at just 4 percent a year, it would create millions of middle class jobs. And it could reduce our deficits by almost $4 trillion dollars over the next decade.

Tax increases can’t do this. Raising taxes won’t create private-sector jobs. And there’s no realistic tax increase that could lower our deficits by almost $4 trillion. That’s why I hope the president will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead work with us to achieve real growth in our economy.

One of the best ways to encourage growth is through our energy industry. Of course solar and wind energy should be a part of our energy portfolio. But God also blessed America with abundant coal, oil and natural gas. Instead of wasting more taxpayer money on so-called “clean energy” companies like Solyndra, let’s open up more federal lands for safe and responsible exploration. And let’s reform our energy regulations so that they’re reasonable and based on common sense. If we can grow our energy industry, it will make us energy independent, it will create middle-class jobs and it will help bring manufacturing back from places like China.

Simplifying our tax code will also help the middle class, because it will make it easier for small businesses to hire and grow.

And we agree with the president that we should lower our corporate tax rate, which is one of the highest in the world, so that companies will start bringing their money and their jobs back here from overseas.

We can also help our economy grow if we have a legal immigration system that allows us to attract and assimilate the world’s best and brightest. We need a responsible, permanent solution to the problem of those who are here illegally. But first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and enforce our laws.

Helping the middle class grow will also require an education system that gives people the skills today’s jobs entail and the knowledge that tomorrow’s world will require.

We need to incentivize local school districts to offer more advanced placement courses and more vocational and career training.

We need to give all parents, especially the parents of children with special needs, the opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice.

And because tuition costs have grown so fast, we need to change the way we pay for higher education.

I believe in federal financial aid. I couldn’t have gone to college without it. But it’s not just about spending more money on these programs; it’s also about strengthening and modernizing them.

A 21st century workforce should not be forced to accept 20th century education solutions. Today’s students aren’t only 18-year-olds.  They’re returning veterans. They’re single parents who decide to get the education they need to earn a decent wage. And they’re workers who have lost jobs that are never coming back and need to be retrained.

We need student aid that does not discriminate against programs that non-traditional students rely on – like online courses, or degree programs that give you credit for work experience.

When I finished school, I owed over $100,000 in student loans, a debt I paid off just a few months ago. Today, many graduates face massive student debt. We must give students more information on the costs and benefits of the student loans they’re taking out.

All these measures are key to helping the economy grow. But we won’t be able to sustain a vibrant middle class unless we solve our debt problem.

Every dollar our government borrows is money that isn’t being invested to create jobs. And the uncertainty created by the debt is one reason why many businesses aren’t hiring.

The president loves to blame the debt on President Bush. But President Obama created more debt in four years than his predecessor did in eight.

The real cause of our debt is that our government has been spending $1 trillion more than it takes in every year. That’s why we need a balanced budget amendment.

The biggest obstacles to balancing the budget are programs where spending is already locked in. One of these programs, Medicare, is especially important to me. It provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately die with dignity. And it pays for the care my mother receives now.

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

Republicans have offered a detailed and credible plan that helps save Medicare without hurting today’s retirees. Instead of playing politics with Medicare, when is the president going to offer his plan to save it? Tonight would have been a good time for him to do it.

Of course, we face other challenges as well. We were all heart broken by the recent tragedy in Connecticut. We must effectively deal with the rise of violence in our country. But unconstitutionally undermining the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans is not the way to do it.

On foreign policy, America continues to be indispensable to the goal of global liberty, prosperity and safeguarding human rights. The world is a better place when America is the strongest nation on earth. But we can’t remain powerful if we don’t have an economy that can afford it.

In the short time I’ve been here in Washington, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the ones the president laid out tonight.

The choice isn’t just between big government or big business. What we need is an accountable, efficient and effective government that allows small and new businesses to create middle class jobs.

We don’t have to raise taxes to avoid the president’s devastating cuts to our military. Republicans have passed a plan that replaces these cuts with responsible spending reforms.

In order to balance our budget, the choice doesn’t have to be either higher taxes or dramatic benefit cuts for those in need.  Instead we should grow our economy so that we create new taxpayers, not new taxes, and so our government can afford to help those who truly cannot help themselves.

And the truth is every problem can’t be solved by government. Many are caused by the moral breakdown in our society. And the answers to those challenges lie primarily in our families and our faiths, not our politicians.

Despite our differences, I know that both Republicans and Democrats love America. I pray we can come together to solve our problems, because the choices before us could not be more important.

If we can get our economy healthy again, our children will be the most prosperous Americans ever.

And if we do not, we will forever be known as the generation responsible for America’s decline.

At a time when one showdown after another ends in short-term deals that do little or nothing about our real problems, some are starting to believe that our government leaders just can’t or won’t make the right choices anymore.

But our strength has never come from the White House or the Capitol.  It’s always come from our people. A people united by the American idea that, if you have a dream and you are willing to work hard, nothing should be impossible.

Americans have always celebrated and been inspired by those who succeed. But it’s the dreams of those who are still trying to make it that sets our nation apart.

Tonight, all across this land, parents will hold their newborn children in their arms for the first time. For many of these parents, life has not gone the way they had planned.

Maybe they were born into circumstances they’ve found difficult to escape. Maybe they’ve made some mistakes along the way. Maybe they’re young mothers, all alone, the father of their child long gone.

But tonight, when they look into the eyes of their child for the first time, their lives will change forever. Because in those eyes, they will see what my parents saw in me, and what your parents saw in you. They will see all the hopes and dreams they once had for themselves.

This dream – of a better life for their children – it’s the hope of parents everywhere. Politicians here and throughout the world have long promised that more government can make those dreams come true.

But we Americans have always known better. From our earliest days, we embraced economic liberty instead. And because we did, America remains one of the few places on earth where dreams like these even have a chance.

Each time our nation has faced great challenges, what has kept us together was our shared hope for a better life.

Now, let that hope bring us together again.  To solve the challenges of our time and write the next chapter in the amazing story of the greatest nation man has ever known.

Thank you for listening.  May God bless all of you. May God bless our president. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.

http://www.sfltimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12438&Itemid=199

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE
                                                  STAR - TREASURY FINANCIAL DATABASE
             TABLE 1.  SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS AND THE DEFICIT/SURPLUS BY MONTH OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT (IN MILLIONS)

                                                        ACCOUNTING DATE:  01/13

   PERIOD                                                                     RECEIPTS                OUTLAYS    DEFICIT/SURPLUS (-)
+  ____________________________________________________________  _____________________  _____________________  _____________________
   PRIOR YEAR

     OCTOBER                                                                   163,072                261,539                 98,466
     NOVEMBER                                                                  152,402                289,704                137,302
     DECEMBER                                                                  239,963                325,930                 85,967
     JANUARY                                                                   234,319                261,726                 27,407
     FEBRUARY                                                                  103,413                335,090                231,677
     MARCH                                                                     171,215                369,372                198,157
     APRIL                                                                     318,807                259,690                -59,117
     MAY                                                                       180,713                305,348                124,636
     JUNE                                                                      260,177                319,919                 59,741
     JULY                                                                      184,585                254,190                 69,604
     AUGUST                                                                    178,860                369,393                190,533
     SEPTEMBER                                                                 261,566                186,386                -75,180

       YEAR-TO-DATE                                                          2,449,093              3,538,286              1,089,193

   CURRENT YEAR

     OCTOBER                                                                   184,316                304,311                119,995
     NOVEMBER                                                                  161,730                333,841                172,112
     DECEMBER                                                                  269,508                270,699                  1,191
     JANUARY                                                                   272,225                269,342                 -2,883

       YEAR-TO-DATE                                                            887,778              1,178,193                290,415
 http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0113.txt
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Go See Lincoln — Now — Now — Now –Videos

Posted on February 2, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Culture, Economics, Education, Entertainment, government spending, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Movies, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Quotations, Raves, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Go see Lincoln — now, now, now!

Raymond Thomas Pronk

Lincoln_meeting_advisers

President Lincoln meets with advisers to discuss the timing for passing the 13th Amendment

Credit: http://www.examiner.com

“Lincoln,” the film, is a riveting and moving masterpiece of an historical drama that covers the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life and his efforts to pass through Congress the 13th Amendment and end the Civil War.

Lincoln is played by Daniel Day-Lewis, who spent a year researching the life and time of the president. Lewis’s memorable performance transforms Lincoln from a white marble statue in Washington, D.C., to an in-the-flesh father, husband, lawyer, storyteller, politician, strategist and visionary on the screen. His performance should earn Day-Lewis another Oscar, which would be his third Academy Award for best actor.

The focus of the movie is Lincoln’s efforts in January 1865, with the assistance of his close adviser and Secretary of State William Seward (played by David Strathairn), to round up enough Democratic and Republican votes to pass a bill in the House of Representatives that would lead to the passage of the 13th Amendment that would abolish slavery in the United States.  Lincoln directs Seward to enlist three unscrupulous political agents to offer patronage jobs, once they leave Congress in March, to lame-duck Democrats, who lost their seats in the November 1864 election, in exchange for their voting for the bill in January.

Lincoln seeks the assistance of Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones), leader of the abolitionist movement and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to secure the votes of radical Republicans in the House.

Lincoln also needs the votes of all the conservative Republicans in the House. To accomplish this, Lincoln seeks the help of Preston Blair (Hal Holbrook), founder of the Republican Party, and unofficial adviser to Lincoln. Blair gives Lincoln his support provided he is given the authority to go to Richmond, Va., the capitol of the Confederacy, to initiate peace talks.

Blair is successful in getting the Confederacy to send a three-man peace delegation headed by the Confederate States vice president Alexander Stephens (Jackie Earle Haley), that is delayed en route by Lincoln in order to first get the emancipation bill through Congress. The bill almost fails at the last moment when the Democrats disclose to the House the rumor that a Confederate peace delegation is in Washington. Lincoln replies to the rumor by sending a misleading message to the House and the historic bill passes on Jan. 31.

Lincoln finally meets with the Confederate peace delegation on Feb. 3, 1865, in Hampton Roads on the River Queen steamboat. The meeting ends in failure because Lincoln offers no concessions and demands the end of slavery as a condition for peace — the unconditional surrender of the South.

The Civil War’s massive death toll exceeding 600,000 and destruction are graphically illustrated on screen with Lincoln’s visit on April 3 to the Petersburg battlefield after the Union victory to meet with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (Jared Harris).

“Lincoln” is a Hollywood blockbuster film with record box-office receipts of more than $175 million and 12 Academy Award nominations. The film faces stiff competition at the box office and at the Academy Awards from the films “Argo”, “Les Miserables”, “Life of Pi,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty”.

I believe Lincoln will win at least five Academy Awards including best picture, actor (Day-Lewis), director (Steven Spielberg), adapted screenplay (Tony Kushner), and cinematography (Janusz Kamiński) at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 24.

Celebrate the anniversary of the birth of this historic president on Feb. 12, 1809 or the Presidents’ Day and the Washington’s Birthday holiday on Feb. 18 by seeing “Lincoln”.

Film rating: A

Raymond Thomas Pronk is host of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and author of the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com/

Lincoln Official Trailer #1 (2012) Steven Spielberg Movie HD 

Steven Spielberg Talks to TIME About ‘Lincoln’

Lincoln Interview – Daniel Day-Lewis (2012) – Steven Spielberg Movie HD 

Lincoln Interview – Sally Field (2012) – Steven Spielberg Movie HD

DP/30: Lincoln, actor Sally Field

Sally Field “Lincoln” Interview

DP/30: Lincoln, screenwriter Tony Kushner

Tommy Lee Jones’ Official ‘Lincoln’ Interview

Lincoln Q&A – Full Interview (2012) – Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis Movie HD

Beyond The Trailer:        Lincoln 2012 Movie Review – Steven Spielberg & Daniel Day

DP/30: Lincoln: Below The Line – Cinematographer, Costumer, Production dsigner

(l-r) cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, costume designer Joanna Johnston, production designer Rick Carter, make-up designer Lois Burwell

Lincoln – Movie Review

Persons of the Week: Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis of New ‘Lincoln’

Film History: Columnists and Historians Assess Spielberg’s “Lincoln”

by Kelly Candaele

“…ONE OF THE MOST gratifying aspects of Steven Spielberg’s movie Lincoln has been the debate that its release has generated among historians and journalists, a debate more important than the movie itself. What were the complex dilemmas that Lincoln faced as President? What were the political realities and conduct of the time? How should we interpret the decisions that Lincoln and others made? What role did slaves and free blacks play in their own liberation?

Despite the fact that the film focuses on a short period of time in Lincoln’s presidency and deals primarily with the political cut and thrust associated with the passage of the 13th Amendment, there is a real sense in which the film can be described as deeply philosophical. Lincoln is portrayed as a man of discipline, concentration, and energy, all characteristics that sociologist Max Weber defined as part of the serious politician’s vocation. By forging an effective and realized political character — one aspect of Weber’s definition of charismatic authority — an astute politician can change the nature of power in society. By controlling his all-too-human vanity, he can avoid the two deadly political sins of lack of objectivity and irresponsibility. For Weber, a certain “distance to things and men” was required to abide by an “ethic of responsibility” for the weighty decisions that leaders are often required to make.

Lincoln has always been a man for all political seasons. There is Lincoln the principled politician, who believed that war was a necessary and legitimate means to sustain the Union; Lincoln the timid compromiser, who as late as 16 months into the war declared that if he “could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it”; and Lincoln the reconciling healer of “With malice toward none, with charity for all,” of the Second Inaugural.

Conservative New York Times writer David Brooks argued in a November 22 column that it was Lincoln’s internal strength and ability to compromise that allowed for the possibility of public good. For Brooks, the temptations of fame and ideological rigidity are what undermine the average politician’s ability to compromise. Weber called the losers in that wrestling match with fame, political “windbags.”

But for liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, it was Lincoln’s principled stand on the 13th Amendment and the need to ban slavery that accounts for his iconic status as one of our greatest Presidents. In an October 19 piece, Dionne encouraged Obama to “follow Lincoln’s example” by refusing to compromise with current economic and financial injustice.

While most political journalists have viewed the film with an eye on the current political stalemate, our most prominent historians have looked for accuracy and context.

Columbia University Professor Eric Foner, one of the most eminent historians of the Civil War and Reconstruction, sees the film as an “inside the beltway” rendition of the period. In a recent interview on Jon Wiener’s KPFK radio show, Foner points out that during the period that the movie covers, General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union Army was marching through South Carolina. Slaves, in full-scale rebellion, were seizing plantations and “occupying” the land that they had worked. Slavery was “dying on the ground,” Foner insisted, not just in the House of Representatives. In Lincoln, “We are back to the old idea of Lincoln freeing the slaves by himself,” Foner says, reinforcing a one-dimensional view of a complicated historical process. The problem is not what the movie shows but what it doesn’t show. Additionally, as Foner points out in his Pulitzer Prize wining book, The Fiery Trial, Lincoln was “non-committal” during the failed 1864 attempt by Congress to pass the 13th Amendment. This was at a time when abolitionists, including the Women’s National Loyal League headed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, were delivering “monster” petitions to congress urging them to pass the amendment. They had gathered 400,000 signatures by mid 1864, but Lincoln was pushing for state-enacted emancipation in the border-states and occupied south.

Lincoln was also a “passive observer” of Senator Charles Sumner’s “crusade” to pass legislation that would allow blacks to carry mail, ride on streetcars, and testify in Federal courts in the District of Columbia, although he signed the bills that managed to pass in Congress. It was not until John C. Fremont was nominated for President in May 1864 — as a challenge to Lincoln — that Lincoln encouraged his party to embrace a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.

Foner also challenges the “race against time” plot of the movie, whereby recalcitrant Republicans and pro-slavery Democrats stall the work of Congress while a Confederate peace initiative threatens to undermine the amendment’s only chance at passage. In reality, Lincoln had told the lame-duck congress that if they did not pass the amendment he would call a special session of the new Congress in March of 1865, made up of enough Republicans (elected that November) to easily pass the amendment.

Historian James Oakes, in his book Freedom National — The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, published in early December, suggests that Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner might have that part of the history right. Oakes points out that a large number of Republicans felt that the amendment abolishing slavery was a “civil” rather than “military” measure, and that the basis for changing the constitution was thus linked to the winning of the war. As the war’s end drew closer, the justification for the 13th Amendment was potentially undermined.

In an email exchange with me about his book and the movie, Oakes speculates that Lincoln and his Republican allies were worried that public support for the passage of the amendment would dissipate as the exigencies of war diminished. “If abolition were imposed AFTER [Oakes’s caps] the South surrendered it might seem vindictive to northern voters, or voters might think Republicans were liars or were disingenuous for having claimed that abolition was a war measure,” Oakes wrote. Although this argument does not appear in the film, it was a central theme for New York Congressman Fernando Wood, the Democratic attack dog in Congress and in the film.

What Oakes finds more troubling in terms of historical accuracy is the scenario set up by Kushner, whereby conservative Republicans (represented in the film by Montgomery Blair) and Radical Republicans had to be brought in line to defeat the Democrats and pass the amendment. Oakes points out that the Republicans were united all along, as demonstrated by the House vote to pass the 13th Amendment that took place the previous July. There was only one Republican “no” vote at that time, cast by Ohio Republican James M. Ashley. Ashley was a strong supporter of the amendment, but realizing the amendment was about to lose, he voted no as a procedural maneuver that would allow him to call for reconsideration of the amendment when Congress returned in December.

Blair, who had represented Dred Scott in the famous Supreme Court case, was Lincoln’s Postmaster General until he was replaced in late 1864. Blair had influence in Maryland and Missouri and was called upon to secure Border State Unionist votes, not to cajole conservative Republicans. Between July 1864 — when Democrats and Border State congressman had defeated the amendment — and January 1865, both Maryland and Missouri had abolished slavery. So Congressmen who had represented slave states the previous July were representing free states in January. They were the Congressmen that Blair went after.

Historians and journalists will and should continue debating the historical accuracy and limited context of the film, especially the invisibility of blacks as central participants in their own liberation.

In his blog, Brooklyn College Professor Corey Robin quotes from the 1992 book Slaves No More (by Ira Berlin et.al.), making it clear that despite Lincoln’s great accomplishment, historians overturned long ago a Lincoln-centered view of emancipation. The destruction of slavery was:

[A] process by which slavery collapsed under the pressure of federal arms and the slaves’ determination to place their own liberty on the wartime agenda. In documenting the transformation of a war for the Union into a war against slavery, it shifts the focus from the halls of power in Washington and Richmond to the plantations, farms, and battlefields of the South and demonstrates how slaves accomplished their own liberation and shaped the destiny of a nation.

The relegating of African Americans to secondary roles, even in films where black civil rights is the central topic (2011’s The Help is a recent example) is unfortunately the rule rather than the exception. But on the positive side, Lincoln has accomplished something that historian and literary critic Irving Howe suggested is very rare for American artists: the ability to portray politics as “a distinctive mode of social existence with manners and values of its own.”

The history of slavery, its origins, extirpation, and consequences, becomes more fascinating and illuminating once the context is expanded. Robin Blackburn’s new book The American Crucible — Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights argues that the success of anti-slavery movements involved some combination of class struggle, war, and a re-casting of the state’s relationship to the claims of property — New York Congressman Fernando Wood, for instance, spoke against the 13th Amendment as a “tyrannical destruction of individual property.” Wood was pointing to the broader underpinnings of both the Constitution and state law.

For Blackburn, who writes in a Marxist vein, dominant economic interests, both North and South, needed a “different type of state.” In the South, slaves, who were legally property, could run away, while northern manufacturing demanded state regulation of finance, funding for internal transportation and communications infrastructure, and tariff protection. These Unionist and Confederate “rival nationalisms” were both expansionist, the Union looking to overtake the continent and the Confederacy eyeing new slave territory in the West, the South and in Cuba. The clash, according to Blackburn, “was thus one of rival empires, as well as competing nationalisms.”

Foner also places the state in the center of Civil War and Reconstruction history, focusing on how shifting political dynamics shaped the economic and social relations that followed the abolition of slavery. Slavery was a mode of racial domination but also a system of labor that a “distinctive ruling class” was fighting to retain. The “labor question,” and what role the state would play in re-constituting a disciplined and docile labor force after the Civil War became central to the battle between former master and former slave.

It was Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens (portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln), Foner points out, who recognized the “hollow victory” that liberation would bring unless accompanied by the “destruction of the land-based political power” of the agrarian ruling classes. In Nothing but Freedom — Emancipation and Its Legacy, Foner reveals some striking similarities between post-emancipation southern politics and similar developments in the Caribbean and Africa. Struggles over immigration, labor laws, taxation, fiscal policy and the definition of property rights “reveal how much of post-emancipation politics was defined by the ‘labor problem.’ In the southern United States, sharecropping became the common solution to an economic struggle whereby resilient planters and large landowners where eventually (after Radical Reconstruction) able to deny blacks access to productive land, capital, and political power.

If this seems a bit far afield from the central focus of Lincoln, it shows how difficult — how impossible — it is to present complex historical “moments” through film. History is not a series of “moments” but is, as the recently deceased historian E.J. Hobsbawn reminded us, something that surrounds us. “We swim in the past as fish do in water, and cannot escape from it,” Hobsbawm wrote in On History. The historian’s role — from Hobsbawn’s (and Marx’s) point of view — is the examination of how societies transform themselves and how social structures factor in that process.

Getting history wrong, as Ernest Renan noted over a century ago, is an essential element in the formation of a nation. Historians will continue to inform us about whether Spielberg and Kushner got Lincoln wrong in the service of polishing a national myth. Perhaps it is an unfair criticism to direct at a two and-a-half-hour movie on one of our most important political figures, but this story of emancipation is woefully incomplete. How could it be otherwise?

Tragedy very often accompanies politics practiced a high level. Has any American President avoided making decisions about the life and death of others? Lincoln was a man able to control his vanity by casting a cold eye upon both the virtues and the corruptions of human beings. He was able to reject cynicism, that reliable psychological shield for feelings of political impotence, and this the movie demonstrates clearly.

The film succeeds in portraying Lincoln as a political man in Weber’s sense, a man of ambition who was willing to be held responsible for the results of his decisions.

Moving away from the sterile debate over whether he was a “compromiser” or a man of “principle,” the film shows he accepted the fact that, in his political life at least, there would be a constant tension between the two. …”

http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?type=&id=1251&fulltext=1&media=#article-text-cutpoint

Spielberg’s Lincoln: A Historian’s Review

By Nicholas Roland

“… Steven Spielberg’s latest historical drama chronicles the 16th president’s final months and his struggle for passage of the 13th Amendment by the House of Representatives in 1865. Lincoln’s enduring popularity means that this film will be subjected to intense scrutiny and debate by historians, movie reviewers, and culture warriors alike.

Fortunately, Lincoln is blessed with a remarkably accomplished cast. Daniel Day Lewis is Abraham Lincoln. Having supposedly read over 100 books on Lincoln in preparation for the role, he manages to convincingly replicate many aspects of Lincoln’s persona and physical aura: Lincoln’s purportedly high voice, his wry sense of humor and knack for storytelling, his slouched posture and awkward gait, and the overwhelming weariness incurred by the “fiery trial” of war all ring true.

Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Fields) is portrayed as a more or less sympathetic character, in accordance with more recent scholarship rejecting long-standing depictions of Mrs. Lincoln as a shrew, possibly suffering from a mental illness. Fields plays a First Lady who is grief-stricken over the loss of her son Willie and weary from the stress of a wartime presidential marriage. During a scene at a White House reception, she draws on her social training as a daughter of the Kentucky elite to skillfully defend against political critics.

Secretary of State William H. Seward (David Strathairn) also appears as an important source of support for Lincoln. Seward cuts patronage deals with lame duck Democratic Congressmen in order to help secure the passage of the 13th Amendment and acts as a sort of political muse to Lincoln. Seward harangues and cajoles Lincoln on policy and political strategy but ultimately serves as a loyal ally in carrying out Lincoln’s intent, a depiction born out in the historical record.

Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) is also a convincing secondary character, albeit with some historical problems. A leader of the radical wing of the Republican Party, Stevens is accurately portrayed as an advocate of racial equality and a vehement opponent of secessionists. However, a scene revealing the purported relationship between Stevens and his African-American housekeeper risks conveying the sense that this relationship was the primary motivation for Stevens’ crusade for the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

Despite the excellent performances turned in by the star-studded cast, Lincoln has a number of shortcomings from a historian’s point of view. Based on Doris Kearns-Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, the film is at times a taut political thriller and at times the inspirational story of the final abolition of American slavery. The choice to focus on the last few months of Lincoln’s presidency is appropriate given the ultimate outcome of the American Civil War: the defeat of the Confederacy and the end of legal slavery. However, this narrow focus glosses over Lincoln’s famously ambiguous views on slavery and racial equality.

Spielberg’s Lincoln appears committed to rapidly ending slavery and even suggests that suffrage might eventually be extended to black men. In his lifetime, Lincoln was consistently criticized by radical Republicans and African-American leaders such as Frederick Douglass for his equivocation on slavery and lenient plans for Reconstruction. Lincoln seems to have held a lifelong commitment to the free-soil ideology that every man, white or black, has the right to earn for himself by the sweat of his brow. Despite this conviction, Lincoln repeatedly stated that he wished to preserve the Union, either with or without slavery. Lincoln viewed the Emancipation Proclamation and the enlistment of black troops as a wartime expedient to preserve the Union.

To its credit, Lincoln does make some references to contradictory statements Lincoln made earlier in his presidency about slavery.

Despite this nod toward the complexity of Lincoln’s political career, Spielberg risks reviving the Great Emancipator myth. The best evidence suggests that Abraham Lincoln personally abhorred slavery as an institution while simultaneously denying the concept of racial equality.

Some historians have argued that Lincoln’s personal beliefs underwent a significant change during the last year of the Civil War, and Lincoln did in fact suggest to the reconstructed government of Louisiana in 1864 that “very intelligent” black men and “those who have fought gallantly in our ranks” might be given access to the ballot box. As depicted by the film, during the 1864 Presidential campaign Lincoln threw his support behind passage of the 13th Amendment and was active in securing its passage in 1865. But he never became a radical abolitionist like Thaddeus Stevens, or an outright advocate of racial equality. Lincoln continued to put forth plans for the resettlement of freedmen to the Caribbean even after issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and possibly even after the passage of the 13th Amendment.

Too narrow of a focus on the actions of Lincoln and other white politicians unfortunately downplays the role played by both enslaved and free African Americans in the Civil War-era struggle for freedom. Black characters largely appear passive in Spielberg’s account. Kate Masur points out that White House servants Elizabeth Keckley and William Slade were deeply involved in the free black activist community of Washington, D.C. Instead of appearing as dynamic characters within the President’s household, they are relegated to cardboard roles as domestics. The most assertive black character in the movie is a soldier who confronts the President about past ill-treatment and future aspirations. Lincoln artfully deflects the soldier’s concerns and the scene ends with the soldier quoting the Gettysburg Address. The one-dimensional black characters in Lincoln are unrecognizable as depictions of African Americans during the Civil War.

Early in the war, when Lincoln strenuously wished to avoid confronting slavery, black enslaved workers fled to federal lines and congregated around federal camps such as Fortress Monroe, Va. Congress passed the Confiscation Act of 1861 in reaction to this development, marking the first movement by the federal government to separate rebellious slaveholders from their enslaved workers. While Lincoln continued to insist that the war was a struggle to preserve the Union, African Americans did not wait for the Emancipation Proclamation to turn the war into much more than a sectional conflict. Slavery was destroyed as much by their individual actions as by the political workings of white politicians.

The film also has a number of smaller inaccuracies and stylistic issues. For example, Alexander H. Coffroth is depicted as a nervous Pennsylvania Democrat pressured into voting for the 13th Amendment. Coffroth actually served as a pallbearer at Lincoln’s funeral, indicating that he was more than a simple political pawn of the White House. And in a scene supposedly taking place after the fall of Richmond and Petersburg, Lincoln solemnly rides through a horrific battlefield heaped with hundreds of bodies. A battlefield such as this would likely represent one of the worst instances of combat in the Civil War. Richmond and Petersburg fell primarily due to General Ulysses S. Grant’s maneuvering to cut Confederate supply lines rather than through bloody fighting on the scale Spielberg depicts. Lincoln did in fact visit Richmond after it had fallen and was greeted there by hundreds of jubilant freed slaves in the streets of the former Confederate capital. The chance to depict such a poignant scene is not taken up by the filmmakers in favor of a continued focus on the political and military struggle waged by white Americans.

Perhaps most inexplicably, the movie does a poor job of identifying the various cabinet officials and Congressmen central to the plot. The average moviegoer is likely to be somewhat unsure of the exact role or importance of several characters. This is especially curious given the fact that obscure members of a Confederate peace delegation such as Confederate Senator R.M.T. Hunter and Assistant Secretary of War John A. Campbell are explicitly identified onscreen.

On the whole, Spielberg’s Lincoln is a masterful politician and a dynamic character, able to carefully mediate between his own evolving beliefs and the political realities of his age. This interpretation falls solidly in line with the mainstream of Lincoln scholarship. For an incredibly complex, sphinxlike figure such as Abraham Lincoln, perhaps we shouldn’t expect a more thorough interpretation from Hollywood.

http://alcalde.texasexes.org/2012/11/spielbergs-lincoln-a-historians-review/

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America’s Dilemma: Citizenship or Deportation?—President Barack Obama’s Speech On Illegal Immigration in Las Vegas–January 29, 2013–Videos

Posted on January 30, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Immigration, Inflation, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Strategy, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Obama-Time-to-fix-immigration

President Obama Las Vegas speech on comprehensive immigration reform on Jan. 29

Credit: http://www.upi.com

reagan

FULL SPEECH – US President Obama Immigration Reform from LAS VEGAS 1/29/2013

1984 – Ronald Reagan on Amnesty

Sessions Warns Washington Elites Against Rush To Amnesty

Amnesty – Not the Solution: Talk Border

Immigration: The real Third Rail of politics on TalkBorder

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Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts 

Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs – Updated 2010

David Meir-Levi on Talk Border 

Martin Sieff on TalkBorder.com

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Michael Cutler, INS Special Agent

Charles Faddis, CIA (Ret), speaks with Michael Cutler, INS (Ret) on National Security and more in one part of a three-part interview for The United States of Common Sense, hosted by Charles Faddis..

Michael Cutler, a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, an advisor to the 911 Families for a Secure America, and a consultant, retired in 2002 after a distinguished career with the INS of over 30 years, including 26 as a Special Agent. In 1991, he was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and worked with members of other federal and state law enforcement agencies as well as law enforcement organizations of other countries. The task force’s investigations of aliens involved in major drug trafficking organizations ultimately resulted in the seizure of their assets and prosecutions for a wide variety of criminal violations.

Mr. Cutler has testified as an expert witness at nine Congressional hearings on issues relating to the enforcement of immigration laws having been called by members of both political parties. Mr. Cutler also furnished testimony to the Presidential Commission on the Terrorist Attacks of September 11. Mr. Cutler has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including the OReilly Radio Factor, OReillys No Spin Zone, Fox News and the Lou Dobbs Tonight Program on CNN to discuss the enforcement of immigration laws and has participated in various public debates and panel discussions on issues involving the enforcement and administration of immigration laws. Among the areas of concern that he is able to speak about authoritatively are the nexus between immigration and national security, the impact of immigration on the criminal justice system, strategies to combat illegal immigration, and why amnesty for illegal aliens is wrong.

Roy talks about ICE lawsuit with FNC’s Neil Cavuto

The Dangers of Unlimited Legal & Illegal Immigration

Stop Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants – Expert Reveals the True Cost of Amnesty

Path to illegal citizenship: The high cost of Illegal and legal lImmigration for U.S. Citizens 

Why Oppose the DREAM Act?

 

The E-Verify Solution for Illegal Hiring 

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

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the United States? Presentation by James H. Walsh, Associate General Counsel of the former INS – part 2.
Census Bureau estimates of the number of illegals in the U.S. are suspect and may represent significant undercounts.  The studies presented by these authors show that the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S. could range from 20 to 38 million.

America’s dilemma: citizenship or deportation?

By Raymond Thomas Pronk            

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

President Barack Obama flew to Las Vegas last week to give a speech at a local school outlining his views and principles for comprehensive immigration reform. “Right now, we have 11 million undocumented immigrants in America; 11 million men and women from all over the world who live their lives in the shadows.  Yes, they broke the rules.  They crossed the border illegally.  Maybe they overstayed their visas.  Those are facts.  Nobody disputes them.  But these 11 million men and women are now here,” Obama said.

Why are there more than 11 million illegal aliens in the United States? Simply, the federal government under both Democratic and Republican progressive presidents has refused to vigorously enforce existing immigration law as set forth in federal statutes and regulations and failed to control and secure U.S. borders against a massive invasion of illegal aliens. These presidents betrayed their oath of office to defend and protect the Constitution.

In a debate with Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale in 1984, President Ronald Reagan said, “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though some time back they may have entered illegally.”

On Nov. 6, 1986, Congress enacted the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), also known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, to reform immigration law and control the number of illegal immigrants entering the country. Reagan signed the bill.

Under this law approximately three million illegal aliens who had continuously resided in the U.S. before Jan.1, 1982 were granted legal status and eventually citizenship — amnesty for illegal aliens.

Since then the federal government has failed to control and secure the borders and by so doing, the 1986 law by granting amnesty created a strong magnet or incentive for future illegal aliens. Both Reagan and the American people were double-crossed by progressive Democrats and Republicans in Congress who really wanted open borders and unlimited illegal immigration.

The American people are asking for immigration law enforcement and secure borders and not Obama’s comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. Americans favor limited controlled legal immigration but oppose open borders with unlimited illegal immigration. So-called “undocumented workers” or more accurately illegal aliens should, as required by federal law, be removed from their place of work and deported to their country of origin.

Why? First, aliens broke into the country illegally when they entered the U.S. without a valid visa or over stayed their visas and did not return to the country of origin. Second, aliens broke the law when they either stole identities of U.S. citizens or purchased fraudulent documents such as driver’s licenses and Social Security cards in order to obtain employment in the U.S. Third, aliens broke the law when they worked in the U.S. without having the legal status to do so. Fourth, many employers broke the law when they knowingly hired illegal aliens. You do not reward criminal behavior by granting a pathway to citizenship. The rule of law requires federal government enforcement of immigration law by deporting illegal aliens.

When you multiple these crimes by millions, you are dealing with a crime wave and mass invasion that has been sanctioned by the progressive ruling elites in Washington D.C. from both the Democratic and Republican parties who favor open borders and token enforcement of existing federal immigration law.

Why did these ruling elites ignore the will of the American people? The Democratic Party favors open borders and a pathway to citizenship or amnesty for illegal aliens because they believe the overwhelming majority of these illegal aliens will, when they become citizens, vote for Democratic candidates.

Progressive Republicans likewise favored open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens because many of the businesses that employ illegal aliens also contribute to the campaigns of Republican candidates.

Both political parties could care less that millions of American citizens are unemployed as a direct result of policies that encouraged massive illegal immigration. Staying in power, not the welfare of the American people, was and is the top priority of these politicians.

The 11 million illegal aliens and their dependents should be given the choice to either voluntarily return to their country of origin by a certain date or face deportation under existing federal immigration law. With over 25 million American citizens seeking permanent full time jobs, this would immediately reduce the number of unemployed citizens by millions.

Most Americans would agree with two of Obama’s principles of comprehensive immigration reform namely “to stay focused on enforcement” and “to bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century.”  However, most Americans would not agree with Obama to first give the 11 million plus illegal aliens a pathway to citizenship or amnesty for illegal aliens before first controlling and securing the borders and enforcing existing immigration law.

There is a saying in Texas, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” — Abraham Lincoln

Raymond Thomas Pronk is host of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and author of the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com/

Background Articles and Videos

Opinion: Will Obama Poison Immigration Reform?

Reagan on immingration 2 

Numbers USA – Immigration By the Numbers – Part 1

Numbers USA – Immigration By the Numbers – Part 2 of 2

E-Verify: Employment Verification 

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US?  – Walsh – 1 

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

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the United States? Presentation by James H. Walsh, Associate General Counsel of the former INS – part 2.

Census Bureau estimates of the number of illegals in the U.S. are suspect and may represent significant undercounts.  The studies presented by these authors show that the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S. could range from 20 to 38 million.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
______________________
For Immediate Release                          January 29, 2013
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
ON COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
Del Sol High School
Las Vegas, Nevada

11:40 A.M. PST

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you!  (Applause.)  Thank you!  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  It is good to be back in Las Vegas!  (Applause.)  And it is good to be among so many good friends.

Let me start off by thanking everybody at Del Sol High School for hosting us.  (Applause.)  Go Dragons!  Let me especially thank your outstanding principal, Lisa Primas.  (Applause.)

There are all kinds of notable guests here, but I just want to mention a few.  First of all, our outstanding Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, is here.  (Applause.)  Our wonderful Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar.  (Applause.)  Former Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis.  (Applause.)  Two of the outstanding members of the congressional delegation from Nevada, Steve Horsford and Dina Titus.  (Applause.)  Your own mayor, Carolyn Goodman.  (Applause.)

But we also have some mayors that flew in because they know how important the issue we’re going to talk about today is.  Marie Lopez Rogers from Avondale, Arizona.  (Applause.)  Kasim Reed from Atlanta, Georgia.  (Applause.)  Greg Stanton from Phoenix, Arizona.  (Applause.)  And Ashley Swearengin from Fresno, California.  (Applause.)

And all of you are here, as well as some of the top labor leaders in the country.  And we are just so grateful.  Some outstanding business leaders are here as well.  And of course, we’ve got wonderful students here, so I could not be prouder of our students.  (Applause.)

Now, those of you have a seat, feel free to take a seat.  I don’t mind.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I love you, Mr. President!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  (Applause.)

Now, last week, I had the honor of being sworn in for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)  And during my inaugural address, I talked about how making progress on the defining challenges of our time doesn’t require us to settle every debate or ignore every difference that we may have, but it does require us to find common ground and move forward in common purpose.  It requires us to act.

I know that some issues will be harder to lift than others.  Some debates will be more contentious.  That’s to be expected.  But the reason I came here today is because of a challenge where the differences are dwindling; where a broad consensus is emerging; and where a call for action can now be heard coming from all across America.  I’m here today because the time has come for common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform.  (Applause.)  The time is now.  Now is the time.  Now is the time.  Now is the time.

AUDIENCE:  Sí se puede!  Sí se puede!

THE PRESIDENT:  Now is the time.

I’m here because most Americans agree that it’s time to fix a system that’s been broken for way too long.  I’m here because business leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, law enforcement, and leaders from both parties are coming together to say now is the time to find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as the land of opportunity.  Now is the time to do this so we can strengthen our economy and strengthen our country’s future.

Think about it — we define ourselves as a nation of immigrants.  That’s who we are — in our bones.  The promise we see in those who come here from every corner of the globe, that’s always been one of our greatest strengths.  It keeps our workforce young.  It keeps our country on the cutting edge.  And it’s helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known.

After all, immigrants helped start businesses like Google and Yahoo!.  They created entire new industries that, in turn, created new jobs and new prosperity for our citizens.  In recent years, one in four high-tech startups in America were founded by immigrants.  One in four new small business owners were immigrants, including right here in Nevada — folks who came here seeking opportunity and now want to share that opportunity with other Americans.

But we all know that today, we have an immigration system that’s out of date and badly broken; a system that’s holding us back instead of helping us grow our economy and strengthen our middle class.

Right now, we have 11 million undocumented immigrants in America; 11 million men and women from all over the world who live their lives in the shadows.  Yes, they broke the rules.  They crossed the border illegally.  Maybe they overstayed their visas.  Those are facts.  Nobody disputes them.  But these 11 million men and women are now here.  Many of them have been here for years.  And the overwhelming majority of these individuals aren’t looking for any trouble.  They’re contributing members of the community.  They’re looking out for their families.  They’re looking out for their neighbors.  They’re woven into the fabric of our lives.

Every day, like the rest of us, they go out and try to earn a living.  Often they do that in a shadow economy — a place where employers may offer them less than the minimum wage or make them work overtime without extra pay.  And when that happens, it’s not just bad for them, it’s bad for the entire economy.  Because all the businesses that are trying to do the right thing — that are hiring people legally, paying a decent wage, following the rules — they’re the ones who suffer.   They’ve got to compete against companies that are breaking the rules.  And the wages and working conditions of American workers are threatened, too.

So if we’re truly committed to strengthening our middle class and providing more ladders of opportunity to those who are willing to work hard to make it into the middle class, we’ve got to fix the system.

We have to make sure that every business and every worker in America is playing by the same set of rules.  We have to bring this shadow economy into the light so that everybody is held accountable — businesses for who they hire, and immigrants for getting on the right side of the law.  That’s common sense.  And that’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform.  (Applause.)

There’s another economic reason why we need reform.  It’s not just about the folks who come here illegally and have the effect they have on our economy.  It’s also about the folks who try to come here legally but have a hard time doing so, and the effect that has on our economy.

Right now, there are brilliant students from all over the world sitting in classrooms at our top universities.  They’re earning degrees in the fields of the future, like engineering and computer science.  But once they finish school, once they earn that diploma, there’s a good chance they’ll have to leave our country.  Think about that.

Intel was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and then stayed here.  Instagram was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and then stayed here.  Right now in one of those classrooms, there’s a student wrestling with how to turn their big idea — their Intel or Instagram — into a big business.  We’re giving them all the skills they need to figure that out, but then we’re going to turn around and tell them to start that business and create those jobs in China or India or Mexico or someplace else?  That’s not how you grow new industries in America.  That’s how you give new industries to our competitors.   That’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform.  (Applause.)

Now, during my first term, we took steps to try and patch up some of the worst cracks in the system.

First, we strengthened security at the borders so that we could finally stem the tide of illegal immigrants.  We put more boots on the ground on the southern border than at any time in our history.  And today, illegal crossings are down nearly 80 percent from their peak in 2000.  (Applause.)

Second, we focused our enforcement efforts on criminals who are here illegally and who endanger our communities.  And today, deportations of criminals is at its highest level ever.  (Applause.)

And third, we took up the cause of the DREAMers — (applause) — the young people who were brought to this country as children, young people who have grown up here, built their lives here, have futures here.  We said that if you’re able to meet some basic criteria like pursuing an education, then we’ll consider offering you the chance to come out of the shadows so that you can live here and work here legally, so that you can finally have the dignity of knowing you belong.

But because this change isn’t permanent, we need Congress to act — and not just on the DREAM Act.  We need Congress to act on a comprehensive approach that finally deals with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are in the country right now.  That’s what we need.  (Applause.)

Now, the good news is that for the first time in many years, Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together.  (Applause.)  Members of both parties, in both chambers, are actively working on a solution.  Yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators announced their principles for comprehensive immigration reform, which are very much in line with the principles I’ve proposed and campaigned on for the last few years.  So at this moment, it looks like there’s a genuine desire to get this done soon, and that’s very encouraging.

But this time, action must follow.  (Applause.)  We can’t allow immigration reform to get bogged down in an endless debate.  We’ve been debating this a very long time.  So it’s not as if we don’t know technically what needs to get done.  As a consequence, to help move this process along, today I’m laying out my ideas for immigration reform.  And my hope is that this provides some key markers to members of Congress as they craft a bill, because the ideas I’m proposing have traditionally been supported by both Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Republicans like President George W. Bush.  You don’t get that matchup very often.  (Laughter.)  So we know where the consensus should be.

Now, of course, there will be rigorous debate about many of the details, and every stakeholder should engage in real give and take in the process.  But it’s important for us to recognize that the foundation for bipartisan action is already in place.  And if Congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, I will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away.  (Applause.)

So the principles are pretty straightforward.  There are a lot of details behind it.  We’re going to hand out a bunch of paper so that everybody will know exactly what we’re talking about.  But the principles are pretty straightforward.

First, I believe we need to stay focused on enforcement.  That means continuing to strengthen security at our borders.  It means cracking down more forcefully on businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers.  To be fair, most businesses want to do the right thing, but a lot of them have a hard time figuring out who’s here legally, who’s not.  So we need to implement a national system that allows businesses to quickly and accurately verify someone’s employment status.  And if they still knowingly hire undocumented workers, then we need to ramp up the penalties.

Second, we have to deal with the 11 million individuals who are here illegally.  We all agree that these men and women should have to earn their way to citizenship.  But for comprehensive immigration reform to work, it must be clear from the outset that there is a pathway to citizenship.  (Applause.)

We’ve got to lay out a path — a process that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning English, and then going to the back of the line, behind all the folks who are trying to come here legally.  That’s only fair, right?  (Applause.)

So that means it won’t be a quick process but it will be a fair process.  And it will lift these individuals out of the shadows and give them a chance to earn their way to a green card and eventually to citizenship.  (Applause.)

And the third principle is we’ve got to bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century because it no longer reflects the realities of our time.  (Applause.)  For example, if you are a citizen, you shouldn’t have to wait years before your family is able to join you in America.  You shouldn’t have to wait years.  (Applause.)

If you’re a foreign student who wants to pursue a career in science or technology, or a foreign entrepreneur who wants to start a business with the backing of American investors, we should help you do that here.  Because if you succeed, you’ll create American businesses and American jobs.  You’ll help us grow our economy.  You’ll help us strengthen our middle class.

So that’s what comprehensive immigration reform looks like:  smarter enforcement; a pathway to earned citizenship; improvements in the legal immigration system so that we continue to be a magnet for the best and the brightest all around the world.  It’s pretty straightforward.

The question now is simple:  Do we have the resolve as a people, as a country, as a government to finally put this issue behind us?  I believe that we do.  I believe that we do.  (Applause.)  I believe we are finally at a moment where comprehensive immigration reform is within our grasp.

But I promise you this:  The closer we get, the more emotional this debate is going to become.  Immigration has always been an issue that enflames passions.  That’s not surprising.  There are few things that are more important to us as a society than who gets to come here and call our country home; who gets the privilege of becoming a citizen of the United States of America.  That’s a big deal.

When we talk about that in the abstract, it’s easy sometimes for the discussion to take on a feeling of “us” versus “them.”  And when that happens, a lot of folks forget that most of “us” used to be “them.”  We forget that.  (Applause.)

It’s really important for us to remember our history.  Unless you’re one of the first Americans, a Native American, you came from someplace else.  Somebody brought you.  (Applause.)

Ken Salazar, he’s of Mexican American descent, but he points that his family has been living where he lives for 400 years, so he didn’t immigrate anywhere.  (Laughter.)

The Irish who left behind a land of famine.  The Germans who fled persecution.  The Scandinavians who arrived eager to pioneer out west.  The Polish.  The Russians.  The Italians.  The Chinese.  The Japanese.  The West Indians.  The huddled masses who came through Ellis Island on one coast and Angel Island on the other.  (Applause.)  All those folks, before they were “us,” they were “them.”

And when each new wave of immigrants arrived, they faced resistance from those who were already here.  They faced hardship.  They faced racism.  They faced ridicule.  But over time, as they went about their daily lives, as they earned a living, as they raised a family, as they built a community, as their kids went to school here, they did their part to build a nation.

They were the Einsteins and the Carnegies.  But they were also the millions of women and men whose names history may not remember, but whose actions helped make us who we are; who built this country hand by hand, brick by brick.  (Applause.)  They all came here knowing that what makes somebody an American is not just blood or birth, but allegiance to our founding principles and the faith in the idea that anyone from anywhere can write the next great chapter of our story.

And that’s still true today.  Just ask Alan Aleman.  Alan is here this afternoon — where is Alan?  He’s around here — there he is right here.  (Applause.)  Alan was born in Mexico.  (Applause.)  He was brought to this country by his parents when he was a child.  Growing up, Alan went to an American school, pledged allegiance to the American flag, felt American in every way — and he was, except for one:  on paper.

In high school, Alan watched his friends come of age — driving around town with their new licenses, earning some extra cash from their summer jobs at the mall.  He knew he couldn’t do those things.  But it didn’t matter that much.  What mattered to Alan was earning an education so that he could live up to his God-given potential.

Last year, when Alan heard the news that we were going to offer a chance for folks like him to emerge from the shadows — even if it’s just for two years at a time — he was one of the first to sign up.  And a few months ago he was one of the first people in Nevada to get approved.  (Applause.)  In that moment, Alan said, “I felt the fear vanish.  I felt accepted.”

So today, Alan is in his second year at the College of Southern Nevada.  (Applause.)  Alan is studying to become a doctor.  (Applause.)  He hopes to join the Air Force.  He’s working hard every single day to build a better life for himself and his family.  And all he wants is the opportunity to do his part to build a better America.  (Applause.)

So in the coming weeks, as the idea of reform becomes more real and the debate becomes more heated, and there are folks who are trying to pull this thing apart, remember Alan and all those who share the same hopes and the same dreams.  Remember that this is not just a debate about policy.  It’s about people.  It’s about men and women and young people who want nothing more than the chance to earn their way into the American story.

Throughout our history, that has only made our nation stronger.  And it’s how we will make sure that this century is the same as the last:  an American century welcoming of everybody who aspires to do something more, and who is willing to work hard to do it, and is willing to pledge that allegiance to our flag.

Thank you.  God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END                12:05 P.M. PST

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Clint Eastwood–Speaks To Empty Chair and Empty Suit Obama–Go Head Make My Day–Let Him Go–Videos

Posted on August 31, 2012. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Culture, Employment, Foreign Policy, government spending, Law, liberty, Links, media, Movies, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Raves, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Full Clint Eastwood KILLS IT at the Republican National Convention RNC Eastwooding

40 Clint Eastwood Quotes Illustrating the Obama Years

Clint Eastwood Sudden Impact Coffee

Dirty Harry movies (Some famous Quotes)

170 Greatest Clint Eastwood Quotes

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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